The Ramblings of a Mad Man

Posts tagged “children

Rum Soaked Chicken

My chicken was hot and rum soaked. I can’t decide if I want to call it Pirate Chicken or me. ūüėČ

Okay, the original recipe calls for marinating the breasts overnight or slapping them on the grill. Me, being ever impatient, placed them in a vaccum seal bag, pressed the marinade into the chicken for about 4 hours, and then baked them in the bag. It comes handy if you buy the vaccum bags that you can put in the oven. It owrked out for me.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup CPT Morgan Private Stock
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 chicken breasts

Why is the rum gone? The rum is always gone...

Why is the rum gone? The rum is always gone…

The original cooking instructions from Food.com had this to say:

Directions:

  1. To Bake:  Spray a 9 X 13 glass cooking dish with olive oil cooking spray coating it entirely.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a glass baking dish, cover and marinate overnite.
  3. Bake in the same dish, covered @ 375 for 45 minutes, stir.  Cover and continue baking for another 45 minutes.  Stir and continue baking for additional 10 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Serve over Jasmine rice.
  5.  BBQ:  Spray a 9 X 13 glass cooking dish with olive oil cooking spray coating it entirely.
  6. Combine all ingredients in a glass baking dish, cover and marinate overnite
  7. Spray BBQ grill with olive oil cooking spray and grill chicken for 5 minutes on each side, until chicken is no longer pink & juices run clear.  Be sure to  baste continuously with Caribbean marinade. Enjoy!

I followed the Bake instructions, minus the 24 hours of marinating time. Vacuum sealing removes the long wait time. Love it.

As a side, I made green beans and Rosemary-Garlic Red Potatoes:

Roasted baby red potatoes, partially smashed down, drizzled with a mixture of butter, garlic and rosemary, then roasted again until browned and crispy.

Roasted baby red potatoes, partially smashed down, drizzled with a mixture of butter, garlic and rosemary, then roasted again until browned and crispy.

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Consent Order: Permanent Custody Order

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. A long and drawn out fight, built up to a boiling point, ended with a whimper and a proposed final order. Basically, all she wanted was visitation and to not pay child support. Seeing as she hasn’t provided any type of financial support since I got custody last May, or since she was actually ordered to in November 2012, that wasn’t really a sticking point for me.

The only amusing thing is that she has apparently unblocked me on Facebook. And I have read her “Notes”. It is astonishing at how self deluded one person can be.

“You father has admitted to me that he’s hurting you guys, but he’s blaming me for it. I have that text message. “

The case is over, said and done, but let me make this point. I have every text message, phone call, and email between us since 2011. This is referred to as a “evidence.” I am highly tempted to unleash all of it. I also have copies of the DSS documents, where medical professionals have viewed her mistreatment of our children. Anytime she wants to feel froggy, I can also unleash her own arrest record from the state of Alabama. Yes, I have all of that too.

I am irritated. I’ll just chill for now. The kids will be home in a couple of days and we will get back to normal. I’m sure there will be an adjustment period after they come home. There always is after they have spent any time with her. We’ll get calmed down. Back to our routine of school and work, ballet and fitness.


Flounder with Mustard Dill Sauce

By Danna Korn and Connie Sarros
Flounder with mustard dill sauce is packed with flavor. The recipe for this gluten-free dish is easy.
Preparation time: 5 minutesCooking time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1 teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons olive oil

Four 5-ounce flounder fillets

1 garlic clove

1 lemon

2 green onions

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons slivered almonds

1 teaspoon brown mustard

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly oil an 8-x-11-inch baking dish with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Rinse and pat the fillets dry.

Place the fish in a single layer in the dish.

Mince the garlic.

Juice the lemon.

Chop the green onions.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the onion, dill, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, almonds, brown mustard, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a blender.

Puree the ingredients for 10 seconds.

Scrape down the blender’s sides with a spatula.

Puree for 10 more seconds.

Spread the sauce over the fish, dividing evenly.

Bake the fillets for about 15 minutes or until a fork inserted in the thickest part of the flounder turns easily.


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The Weekly Challenges of Parenting

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Counting My Blessings

I know. It has been a while since I put words to the electronic page. You probably thought I had given up on you. Don’t worry, dear reader, my faithful confidante, I am still here. Things have been coming to a head for the last few months. I have been waiting for certain things to fall into place so I could share more of my life with you. The time has come.

Where to begin after such a long absence? I have added recipes and workouts, just keeping the “Ramblings of a Mad Man” alive. Well, lets start at the most simple and undeniable truth, I am in love. I have found a true equal, a soul mate, God’s match for me. The irony is, she doesn’t believe in God. To me, I think the Big Guy can be a joker sometimes. He led me to step outside of my comfort zone, allowed me to try things my own way, while keeping the perfect woman just out of my reach, I’m the periphery.

I am getting ahead of myself. Many of my faithful readers know many of the key events of my life over the last two years. For those of you who don’t, allow me to quickly summarize. In May of 2011, I deployed to Afghanistan. I was married, and had two children at home. This was my fourth deployment to a combat zone. It was my third deployment with my ex wife. We had been married since March of 2005. As with all marriages, we had our good times and bad. We weren’t a perfect couple. We weren’t the worst either. We got married because she was pregnant with our daughter. On reflection, sometimes I think I convinced myself that I loved her simply because of our daughter. Fast forward 6 years, the birth of our son, and halfway through our third deployment together, she admits that she had two affairs while I was away. The first one started less than two weeks after I’d left. The second started about two months later. Anyway, we tried to work it out while I was still in the desert, it failed and she left the state of NC with our children in order to go live in her home state with her boyfriend and our children.

I returned home in March of 2012 and the battle ensued. We fought over our children and over the absolution of our marriage. Let’s hit the big events in the time line:
– March 2012: Redeployment
– April 2012: Her complaint for divorce in her home state is thrown out due to lack of jurisdiction
– May 2012: I am granted an emergency “ex parte” custody order, go and get our children (being awarded an enforcement of a foreign order in her home state), and finally the temporary custody order is confirmed by the local judge 10 days later.
– June 2012: The last time she spends any significant length of time with our children, she also files a false report of abuse against me with CPS
– October 2012: Custody trial is continued “indefinitely” (We still don’t have a new date). She spends a couple hours each evening with the kids for a week. Has not visited since.
– March 2013: Divorce is FINALLY finalized (Thank You, Jesus!)

Those are just the highlights in the ongoing saga of divorce and custody battle. It isn’t completely over, but a huge weight has been lifted and some of the Top Secret files can now be released into public circulation.

Now, to more enjoyable and happy tidings. The kids are doing great. Each day we make advances. It isn’t always sunshine and skittles, but we learn and grow. We are all happy. God has blessed me with two beautiful, loving, curious, kooky children who I will protect with my life and fight for like a wolverine. God has saw fit to bring a woman (Let’s call her “Alice” for the amusement of it.) into my life who challenges me to be a better father, boyfriend, soldier, man and son of God. (I know, I’m sure you are puzzling over how a woman who is an atheist can make me stronger in my faith. I told you, He can be a joker sometimes. He definitely has plans for us, this much I know.) We have had many wonderful discussions on the subjected, always very passionate, trying to open each other up to our point of view. She challenges me physically, motivating me to improve myself. I’m probably in the best shape of my life right now. She brought me out of my shell and has shown me Wonderland. The kids are in love with her as much as I am. Alice chose to accept us as we are, she loves our children as if she birthed them herself.

I haven’t even told you how we met yet. Forgive me. I just wanted to give you a little on the character of the woman who has captured the hearts of the inmates of the Loony Bin on the Cliffs. She has healed the heart of this Mad Man. Everyday, she helps to heal the mind, along with the infrequent help of “Yoda.”

We met while working. It was before I had gotten custody of the kids. Many of you may remember that I was staring into the darkness at the bottom of a bottle in the early days of returning home from Afghanistan. The only time I didn’t have a BAC was when I was in uniform. I would head to Green Ramp, the airfield where we paratroopers depart from for a jump, when there were airborne operations and help out my fellow jumpmasters. It was during one of these occasions that I first saw Alice. I was being my typical self, screwing with the jumpers as I inspected their parachutes, joking with them and lightly teasing them. I noticed this beautiful, dark haired, tattooed parachute rigger who found my assholish jokes to be amusing. Now, she will deny this, but she kept gravitating toward me, chuckling at the comments I would make. I would purposefully “find a deficiency” just so I could yell, “Rigger!” And draw her closer. When I had finished with my inspections, I stepped out for a cigarette, working myself up to asking her out for a drink. By the time I got back inside, she was gone. My buddy E saw me looking around and said knowingly, “She went back to the PIF. There’s always next time.”

Honestly, I didn’t think I would see her again. Me asking her out would be a slight taboo in the army, due to rank differences. I also was concerned with how she would respond if I did. With the way the Army is, you never know if simply asking someone out for a drink will be taken as harassment. So, I chalked it up as a loss and went on with my life. God gave me a second chance to ask her out about a week later. I was back at Green Ramp, assisting a buddy with DACO (Departure Airfield Control Officer) duties, getting ready to push a line out when she showed up again. It was early evening, I had started to inspect parachutes and found a minor deficiency on one of my jumpers. I yelled out, “Rigger!” and who should appear, but this beautiful woman who I couldn’t stop glancing at the last time I saw her. We started our dance again, me joking with the jumpers as I inspected them, her drifting my way whenever she wasn’t assisting another jumpmaster. I don’t care what she says on this subject, I know that God put us there together again. As the other jumpmasters and I were finishing our inspections, my buddy J comes over and informs us that the jump had been canceled due to high winds on the drop zone. “Alice” was standing off to the side, texting her boss and I walked over. Here is where our stories will once again differ, lol. She claims that I was nervous and timid when I asked her out for a drink. Okay, I was nervous, but only because I didn’t know how she would receive my invite. As I’ve said, the army is quick to label almost anything as harassment. Would my asking her out for a drink end my career? Would she take offense? After all that life had thrown at me in the last year, did I even care anymore? (By the way, Alice will be joining the blogosphere soon and I am sure she will give her version of our story when she is ready.) Well, one thing I knew I wasn’t going to do anymore at that time was psych myself out anymore. Either this woman and I would go out and have a drink or we wouldn’t. In all honesty, I really wanted to know the answer.

“Well, we’re scratched. We should get out of here at a reasonable time. Do you want to go get a drink with me?” No pick up lines, no bullshitting, and only a hint of trepidation. She thought it over a minute and said yes. I gave her my number and asked her to let me know when she was ready to meet. She would have to go back with the parachutes to the issue facility and I would have to close out my duties with the Ground Liaison Office. Both of us would want to return to our abodes for showers and changes of clothing.

She texted me a little while later, giving me an estimate on how long it would be. I suggested a time and place to meet which she agreed to. Due to the late hour, I am going to give an abbreviated account for now. I showed up early, had a beer before she got there. When she finally walked in, she took my breath away. She was beautiful in uniform, in civilian clothes, she was stunning. We spent the evening talking. The conversation was refreshing. It lacked drama, it was cerebral, it was mentally stimulating. We left separately, as friends. Over the next few months, we would meet occasionally, talk by text. Neither of us were really in hot pursuit. There were a couple of times when I would delete her number, thinking that I’d never hear from her again. Out of no where, I would get a text and we would start talking again. It wasn’t until August when we would start spending more time together, just enjoying each other’s company.

For tonight, that is all I’m going to write about. It is time to curl up next to my Russian/Venezuelan beauty and drift off into dream land.

God bless, dear reader. Remember to be thankful for the blessings you receive everyday. To each their own, in the faith department. Good night and good luck.

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Self Denial or Delusional?

[[Sends M a pic of a hearing notification in AL for her ridiculous restraining order]]

Me: Are we going to end this nonsense already?

M: Idk what it is.
Me: Uh, hearing for the ridiculous PFA on the 12th
M: I didnt know anything abt it til now. But, youre the one keeps putting it off by not showing and having your lawyer have it continued. I always go.
M: So, if you want it dropped, either show up or have your lawyer represent you. It woulda been dropped in dec if you hadnt lied and said you were ncoic of rear d
Me: They never schedule it when I am actually off. The question is, are you going to end it? I don’t “harass” or “threaten” you. And yes, I was the Rear D NCOIC. Chosen by the CSM himself.
Me: You assume I lie about that, but no, I really was. Even says it on my NCOER.
M: Its EASY for you to get a pass. And if you want it dropped, show up. Otherwise, unless its abt my kids, stop harrassing me, now. Meaning: shut up & leave be
M: Whatever helps you sleep at night, now, BACK OFF.
Me: Lol. Good night
M: Look, chris, im already agitated today. I dont need your pestering on another holiday like youve been doing each & every one of them. So, just leave go.


Some things never change

Me: May I make a suggestion? You have until February before I can file. Get your hip fixed.
M: Why are you suddenly worried about my hip…?
Me: Honestly, I have thought about it several times. I am surprised you haven’t done it yet.
M: Ive just been waiting for my insurance to kick in.

Me: Tonight, after talking to you, I decided I don’t hate you anymore and I really do hope we can be amicable and working co-parents in their continued development.

Me: You still have Tricare. It won’t cost you any co-pays.

M: Neither will mine. With my work i have full benefits. And i stopped hating you months ago. Its not easy to do, its easier to hate, but its not healthy.

Me: I don’t hate you Morgan. I am at a point where I still get exasperated by your actions, but mostly I just feel sad that you are unwilling to talk with me in a rational manner about what is best for our children.

M: Because we always fight and im sick of fighting.

Me: And I haven’t tried fighting with you, Morgan. I have remained calm even when you start ranting at me. (I.e., visiting at the coffee scene, the whole visitation snafu on the 17th). I am done fighting with you. I pay a lawyer thousands to do that for me. My only priority is the safety, health and happiness of our children, Morgan. They are safe, they are healthy and they are happy. They miss you and I want them to spend time with you, but until we have an order signed by a judge, you give me no reason to trust you. Your lawyer received a schedule that saw you spending 90% of their school breaks with them. When I had an issue with 1 item on your lawyer’s proposal, you claim I “threw it in your lawyer’s face.” I simply told her that it would not work as it stood with that last sentence on there. Had she simply scratched that, we would have a signed visitation agreement.

Me: There is no sense in fighting about something that has already expired. And maybe it was just the damned lawyers looking for a reason to charge us more money.

M: Lawyers are greedy bastards, but its the way of human. Look, im going to bed. I have to be up at 415 to get ready for work. Kiss my babies for me. Good night.

Me: Morgan, we need to come to an agreement on visitation for Rose and Dave. They deserve that.

Me: You’ll receive a recommendation from me through the lawyers.

M: Chris, i had no problem with the one suggessted. All i wanted was to be allowed to take my kids to school and you couldnt even allow me-or them-that small thing

Me: I am not going to give you my reasoning again. You know our daughter as well as I do and you know how throwing her off her routine effects her.

M: Good night, im finished talking to you for now. Please do not text me again tonight unless theres and emergency w/ ro or dave or unless 1 of them wants to call.

Because when she knows I am right, suddenly I am “harassing” her. I really do pity her at this point. She can’t get past herself for our children. That’s just sad. Why do I even bother anymore? Maybe because our son and daughter asked to see their mother today and I had to explain to them that she was in a different state.