Pesto Chicken Pasta with Peas

English: this is a picture of self made pesto ...
English: this is a picture of self made pesto in a mortar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 cooked chicken breasts, cut up

1/2 c. pesto

1 cup frozen peas, thawed (you could add to the pasta while it’s cooking during the last few minutes, or rinse the peas under hot water)

4 cups cooked pasta (rotini or broken up spaghetti) (regular pasta or gluten free pasta)

1/4 c. olive oil

Toss all ingredients together in a large pasta bowl. Add Parmesan cheese if desired. Serves four.

Skipping Christmas

I basically grew up in foster homes. I had no family of my own .  After my mother died, my father remarried and abandoned me to an institution and the foster home system.

I think I spent one Christmas with my father and his second wife before being institutionalized.

I don’t remember much about my childhood or teen Christmases.  It’s unlikely they were of the story-book, fantasy kind, however.  In Canada, we celebrate Boxing Day as well, which is the day after Christmas.  I remember one singular visit from my father on Boxing Day when I was in the FHFH (“foster home from hell”). That being said, he could have visited more and I just don’t remember. I don’t even remember Christmases at the foster homes.

In early adulthood, after my first marriage fell apart and I was single, at Christmas I’d “borrow” another family to spend Christmas Day with. No-one should be alone at Christmastime. Other than that, I didn’t put up a tree or acknowledge it in any way. I didn’t really even have anyone to buy gifts for.

Eventually Christmas got a bit easier and I started celebrating it in small ways. A tree, some decorations, like Mr. and Mrs. Claus, antiques I inherited from my mother.


One year, a guy I was dating took it upon himself to meet with my father. I guess he was appalled at “my story.”  My father gave him a token gift to give to me, I forget what it was.  My boyfriend gave it to me Christmas morning and I burst into tears. Overwhelmed and in shock, I said to him: “You shouldn’t have done that, you shouldn’t have done that.”  [I just remembered this and it happened years ago; seems like I’m pretty good at forgetting anything to do with my father.]

Still, I don’t get too attached to Christmas. More like, I go through the motions of it.  The shopping, putting up a tree and other decorations, celebrations, and attending church services where there’s the usual mundane skit about “How many times can we re-tell the Christmas story in new, fresh & exciting ways.”

I spend Christmas and Boxing Day with my second husband’s family.  I get a bit worn out by all the visiting.  Typically on Christmas morning, the Christmas story from the Bible is read. One year instead I read a chapter from a Brennan Manning book.  The chapter was called “Shipwrecked at the Stable”:

The world does not understand vulnerability.  Neediness is rejected as incompetence and compassion is dismissed as unprofitable.  The great deception of television advertising is that being poor, vulnerable, and weak is unattractive.  A fat monk named “Brother Dominic” is cute and cool because he conquers vulnerability and helplessness by buying into the competitive world with a Xerox machine.

The Bethlehem mystery will ever be a scandal to aspiring disciples who seek a triumphant savior and a prosperity Gospel.  The infant Jesus was born in unimpressive circumstances, no one can exactly say where.  His parents were of no social significance whatsoever, and his chosen welcoming committee were all turkeys, losers, and dirt-poor shepherds.  But in this weakness and poverty the shipwrecked at the stable would come to know the love of God. ~ Shipwrecked at the Stable, from “The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus” by Brennan Manning. You can read the full chapter here:

One year at Christmas we stayed home because it was held a province away and we didn’t want to drive in unpredictable winter weather. Staying home that year was such a relief.

Mostly I’d just like to skip Christmas.  Our massage therapist suggested to my husband we create new traditions of our own like attending the Nutcracker.  Yeah, no.  Ballet? Not a fan.

A tradition of Christmas I’d like to create is the one where I pull the covers over my head on December 24 and take them off on December 26.  Especially this year.  That’d be okay, right?

Dear Dad


Well, I used the only thing you ever bought me the other day.  The hand mixer I purchased with the gift card you sent me for Christmas a few years ago. That mixer’s my inheritance, your legacy to me, and pretty much the only good thing you ever gave me.

Oh wait – when you gave me up to the government, you “gave” me a lot of things, but none of them were beneficial.

You got out of a lot in your life – supporting your daughter financially, emotionally, and otherwise – when you surrendered me.   What’s interesting is, shortly thereafter, you traded me in for two new models when you adopted two children with your second wife.  Like a do-over? I never truly realized the significance of that until after your death. I also did not realize you had separated from Mom, perhaps because her illness became too much for you to handle.  I only realized that after re-reading the synopsis of my life I’d received from social services.  Mom and I were living with her mother until my mother went into the hospital because of  colitis.  My aunt told me she was in there for a year.  During that year, you screwed around on her.  What a winner you were Dad. Cut and run when it gets to be too much.  Sometimes I wonder if I inherited that urge from you – I, too, want to run when life gets to be too much. But I don’t.

Too bad you couldn’t have manned up and done the same.

Your daughter

Grief is Inconvenient

A bit of preamble: My husband and I have started grief counselling. Our first appointment was last month.


People never cease to amaze me, and not necessarily in good ways. We are scheduled for grief counselling Thursday afternoon. A co-worker of hubby’s who wanted to have a meeting with him at that same time was being a real jerk about this yesterday, and got all huffy: “you should go to that in the evenings.”

I’m sorry our grief is so fucking inconvenient for your schedule.

Insensitive asshole.


Who acts like that when told someone’s going for grief counselling? Grief counselling in the evenings are difficult to do; they don’t have many evening appointments.

Since I just got diagnosed last night with pink eye we are re-scheduling anyways.

Of course this co-worker will think the re-scheduling is because of him and that he won.

Not that I’d wish this on anyone, but God forbid this co-worker would ever need to have time off during work hours for dealing with tragedy and grief.

Of course the real tragedy is his lack of sensitivity.   And that is grievous.