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Topic #55

If you could have anything to eat right now, what would it be?

Bonuses: 1) Assume price is no object. 2) If you could eat this food with anyone alive or who has ever lived, who would it be? 3) Find and share a photo of what you’d like to eat or the person from #2.


If price were not an object…hmmm…nope, I would still pick the same food:  Pizza…Pepperoni pizza, specifically.

Not particularly Brothers Pizza…I don’t think that I’ve ever had it, to be honest, but a heart shaped pepperoni pizza is just right up my ally.   Fresh from the oven,  hot and melt-y, spicy and tomato-y and cheese-y…please excuse me while I wipe the drool from my keyboard…but oh, that sound heavenly right now. I miss fresh, hot pizza and I promise, its one of those things that will be first on my list of indulgences when I get to Sitka in a few weeks.  Oh how I have missed Pizza Express 🙂


I would want to eat my pizza with my friends and family.  All of them.  So that is a lot of pizza needed.  Really, there is no specific person to enjoy my pizza feast with because there are so many people that I would love to enjoy a meal with.  I want M to meet my Mum, sister and BIL and my adorable nephew, my uncles and aunts surnames of Austin, the entire community that I lived and worked with in Bellevue, WA, many of my HS chums, friends from college…oh my list just goes on and on…and then there are also my friends who I want to catch up with because its been years since I have really had a chance to sit and visit with them…I’m telling you, its a HUGE list.

Part of my pizza party is about getting to see and visit with people so much more than anything else.  I know that there is little chance for my entire family to ever meet M which makes me wish for it more than anything else.  I also miss M terribly right now…its been nearly 8 weeks since I saw him…so all I want is for us to be able to sit down over a simple, hot and delicious meal and relax and chat and just hang out.  I know that there are a few people that will be hard to see again because of geography getting in the way and that makes me sad and wish for just a few hours of relaxed conversation over a pint and slice to just touch base in that way that bonding over food makes possible.  In December I had a blessed few hours with Brightonwoman and her family and it was the relaxing with pizza and root beer in the comfort of a hotel room that really makes me miss the easy comfort of visiting with friends on an easy Friday night.

Some people might want the fancy for their special meal of choice…but for me, its pizza with my family and friends.  With the beverage of their choice to hand and napkins…lots and lots of napkins.


What’s something you never believed until you experienced it?

Believing in a man was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

It took time.  Lots and lots of time.

Growing up, it was my mum, sister and I with only intermittent visits with my father.  I never really thought that growing up in an all-female house had that much of an impact on me and my perception of men until I became a nanny and learned otherwise.  In my experience, men were interested in creating children but not in the raising.  Men were more interested in having the resulting “perfect family” than in helping create it with their time.  A man just would want to know about the highlights of my days, not the real emotions and feelings behind it all.  Closed off, disinterested, dismissive.

ML was the father of the family I worked with and he was the first man that I had ever really spent time with in a close situation.  At first, I tried to keep my interactions mainly with JL, his wife, but I soon learned that in a family, and I was a part of the family, everyone talks.   I thought I could talk to anyone and then I realised that I had a HUGE block when it came to ML.  It really didn’t take me long to figure out that it was because I had no idea how to be “normal” around him.  At that point it had been 15 years since I had lived with a man who talked to me on a daily basis and who not only wanted to know how I was feeling and what I was doing daily but also could see it for himself.  My interaction with my father had been so fleeting since I was 7 that I didn’t know how to talk to a man about more than the brief highlights of the month.  He was interested in me and not just because I was taking care of his children but because I was a family member.  And that was the other thing that blew my mind: his interest and plain and obvious love of his children.  I hadn’t seen that in a very long time and I was very lucky to find myself in a community of men who not only took an interest in their kids but who also loved them openly and showed that love by playing and really interacting with them daily.  All the men of the community really helped to open my eyes to the fact that men CAN and DO have a caring nature.

In my past relationships, admittedly, I have always had a block.  It was believing that they are interested in me for me; that they want to have personal relationship with the oddness that is SisuGirl.  Its not something that I admit lightly.  Its also something that I admire M for: his willingness to convince me daily that I am loved for being exactly who I am.  He shows me daily that he not only wants to know about my day but that my feelings, and his knowledge of my feelings, are important to him; that he is willing to put in time and effort to be the very best partner to me that he can be because it creates a better “Us”. I just wish I had the words to describe the power his love and interest and how wonderful and freeing it is to be myself.

Because of ML and now because of M, I believe in the goodness and loving nature of men.

What’s the single most important thing you accomplished in 2010 and how do you plan to top it in 2011?

At first I thought that this was going to be incredibly easy to write about.

What was the most important thing I accomplished in 2010?

Pshaw…it was losing 60lbs!  <–to–> 

Duh.  I mean, how many other people can say they had done that?  Oh wait…how do I top that?  I can’t lose any more weight.  Well, I can, but it wouldn’t be healthy for me to do so…so how about planning on keeping it off.  Since 95% of people who lose weight gain it back again, being one of those special 5% would be amazing.


OK, that was easy.


But I forgot about mentioning M.

Mike and Tasha 8-29-10

Entering into a long term relationship with him was huge for me and a major accomplishment of the last year.


What about going to visit family in MI for 2 weeks in the summer and meeting my nephew?  That was a big trip in the planning and the making and certainly something that I got to cross off my 101 list.


And what about…






Completely inadvertently, the SINGLE MOST important thing that I did in 2010 was “Let Go.”

I let go of the security blanket I was carrying around me that allowed me think that I was “happy” being overweight when it was more of a fleeting thought that if I could make my own self think that I was confident and content with what I looked like then others would see that confidence and not notice the poundage.

I let go of the idea that I was past an old relationship, admitted to myself that life was nowhere near where I thought it should be, realised that I was still mourning the loss of that idea, accepted that I was making a new path all my own and actually DID move on.

I let go of a relationship when I realised that it was more of a band-aid for the both of us and that neither of us were ever going to be what the other wanted.

I let go of control and learned to go with the flow, accepting things for what they were, not what I wanted them to be.

I let go of the “Perfect Plan” I had made for my life when I was in college (!!) and embraced the idea of a new future with new adventures around new corners.

I let go of my singleness and entered into couplehood in a way that was far less awkward that any other budding relationship that I have even been in proving to myself that it was right in a way the others had never been.

I let go of my fears of not being Enough and just Was and that made for a wonderful visit with my family, some of whom I hadn’t seen in 5 years.

I let go of a lifetime of shopping woes, lived in the moment and splurged on some wonderful clothes that look great on me.  We won’t talk about some of those *other* pieces of clothing that end up as lacy piles on the floor…those look good on AND off me.

I let go of the idea that I was stronger as a single person and embraced the power that comes from leaning on and drawing from someone else.

I let go of nearly all of the negative things that were holding me and started reaching for those things that I wanted to embrace on a regular basis.

Balance  Clarity  Connection  Courage  Faith  Fertility 


Healing  Hope  Inspiration  Joy  Love  Patience  Peace  Perseverance  Strength

I started to live my life Intentionally.  Back in August I actually let go from inadvertant living and started Intentional Living…focusing on the parts of me that made me, well, me.  What made me happy, sad, angry.  What gave me focus, energy,  or passion.  What excited, inspired or drained me.  How I could use those forces for the good in my life and not spend so much life on the feeling of “getting thru it” parts.  Because in the end, life IS the journey.

How will I top that in 2011?  For starters, the first 8 months of my 2011 is still focusing on Intentional Living.  I still have 12 area of focus to move thru in the next *GASP* 7.5 months (realistically 6.5 because moving and setting up house will take at least that long).  I’m going to continue working on letting go of those things that have a hold on me, most notably, my negative view of my body.  In the end, I want to look at 2011 as my Intentional 16 Months (8/29/10-12/31/11).

And you can bet I’ll be blogging about it here.


A few thoughts that I’ve been knocking around in response to topic suggestions:

#1: What are you looking forward to?

For me, thats easy. I am always looking forward to something while I try and savour the moment that I am in here and now. I think I have more issues with the savoring that the looking forward!

In Knitting: Oh there are so many patterns to talk about and I SO want to be knitting them all RIGHT NOW so I can wear them tomorrow…  The Bel-Air and the Apres Surf Hoodie just to name two.
Ribby Cardi is on my needles yet again and I’m done with the body and, despite this photo from Monday, am nearly done with the first sleeve.

I just love the KnitPicks City Tweed HW, both how it looks, knit-ability and how it feels and this sweater is nearly perfect.  If I were wearing it now then it would be perfect.

Also on the needles right now is a Hot Water Platypus. (Rav link only, sorry!)

Yes, a Platypus.   Or at least it will be soon.  Knitting it between the sweater and socks gives me time to order and get a new hot water bottle since my old one sprung a leak around the gasket.

and, of course, socks galore! I need to finish the pair of Mikes socks that were “The Jaywalkers That Were”,

but, in typical Jaywalker fashion, too tight to get over his heel…so they were frogged and are a 2×2 standard rib sock done toe-up and are both nearly to the heel.

In Spinning:  I’m really looking forward to plying the Intentions : Clarity later today.  I plyed and set the Balance on Monday and wow, it really looks wonderful and I’ll blog about it later this week when I get photos done. 

Both Balance (L) and Clarity (R) need a final post to them and Connection (Bottom) needs to sit and wait a bit before I can ply it up.  Courage is up next and I’m looking forward to seeing how it spins out.

In Life in general:  I WAS looking forward to snowshoeing with my Best Buddy, M, yesterday when she got home from Anchorage.  We gave each other snowshoes for Christmas…I gave her pink ones because pink is her favourite colour and she, well, she knows me well.

Sadly, the temp came up and the rain fell down so Nelson Lagoon is a slushy mess with nearly all the snow gone.  This means ocean-like puddles EVERYWHERE because the ground has been frozen for at least a month.  Instead I played with my Wii and “Just Danced” for more than an hour, quite a good workout in itself.   I would have gone for a run but my new shoes, Attla by IceBug, have not come in yet.  Highly recommended by a runner colleague and backed up by other AK friends who run in all our icy weather as being worth every penny, I am really looking forward to giving these a go.

Of course there is also the 8 more weeks of looking forward to go as M moves thru his training to become a VPSO and then one more week before our move to Pilot Station, AK.  If you haven’t yet, I suggest you Google Map it and compare it to where I am now in Nelson Lagoon.  Its on the Yukon, yes, it IS further north and I promise to add more photos of it as soon as I am there to do so.

#2:  Why did you start blogging?

Hmm…I wanted to have a place where I could see my knitting progress with words and photos and have a medium that I could share with my friends and family around the world.  I have family members and friends from WA to MI to FL to the UK and wanted some way for them to be able to see where I was and what I was doing.  After my first year in Sitka, I realised that words spoken over the phone or letters alone wouldn’t cut it, so I started to blog!

#3: Does everything happen for a reason?

Oh yes.  EVERYTHING.  I believe this not only because of the Jeremiah 29:11 verse: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” but also because I have seen evidence of it in my own life.  Sure, things don’t always work the way I had planned, but always, in the end, good things have come from it all.  Want proof?  Here was an endingAnd Here was a new Beginning.  I am nowhere near where I thought that I would “Be” in my life but I am so happy and content with where, and who,  I “Am” and this is all because everything in my life has happened and shaped me into the person I Am.  It is for good reason that I am this way.

The post idea for today was: Are you stressed out?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

Nope, there is NO stress here at Chez Sisu.  In fact, there is a great joy, anticipation and relaxation around here and here’s why:


Oh yes.  The Cold Bay store got a shipment of frozen okra and that means that I can make Okra and Tomatoes, a dish that I just LOVE but havent been able to make properly, due to lack of frozen okra, in 2 years.  It will be hard not to eat the whole batch in one sitting but considering the hours I would have to spend in the loo tomorrow if I do so, I think I’ll restrain myself.


There is brown rice in the rice pot and lemon chicken (and shrimp) in the crock pot right now.  I’m waiting for the rice to finish and the shrimp to pink up.  The shrimp were a late addition to the pot…I had made a really good version of lemon chicken {3 Bl/Sl Chicken thighs, 3T lemon juice, 2 cloves of garlic crushed, 1/2c water, 1 T chicken bouillon on high 3 hours} and then fished the chicken out, added 3T of soy sauce and 6 frozen shrimp and popped the lid back on.  They are nearly done and its been about 20 minutes.  Yes, I should be worried that any possible bacteria haven’t been killed because the broth hasn’t come to a boil, but as I’ve never gotten sick (knock on wood), I’ll enjoy it as broth over the top of all foods on my plate tonight.


My Ribby Cardi #2 knit from City Tweed in Orca and Cottontail (Cottontail doesn’t seem to be available anymore, I’m glad I got lots.)  For some reason, I am loving this right now.  I’m knitting it in one piece and, so far, No Worries.  However, I bet money that there will be some issues as my work goes on just because the pattern has to be re-written.  I’m going to take my time though and just work steadily through using all Ravelry tips I can get!

I am spinning Connection, my third Intentions roving and really, all of the above things blend into feeling connected.  I have grand memories of eating okra and tomatoes AND using the crock pot with my family.  I was given my rice pot by the family I was a nanny for and I have quite treasured memories of all of them.  Knitting always makes me feel like I am connected with my Mum, who taught me to knit, and my Nana, who was ALWAYS knitting.  My cardigan was a good knit the first time that I made it (sadly felted it too much to wear again) and I can’t wait to have another, especially one knit in these colours because they match a Favorite Sweater that I had bought at Primark when I was in Belfast…and then lost in Seattle, most likely at Pike Place Market.

To further the connection, I am feeling very connected to M as he is away.  I feel his absence quite keenly this time and I think its because there is a HUGE reason why he is gone:  Training for a new job.  A job that is going to take us away from Nelson Lagoon and on to a new village.  We will be moving together.  Making a fresh start together.  Being connected together.  Being a part of a Couple.

And I am so excited about it, the spinning, M and the move, and the feeling of connectivity is the part that makes me know that everything is as it should be.


I am, at my core, a Tea person.  I love tea, from herbal to green to black to white.  I think its the English side of the family coming thru but, for me, the day just starts better when I begin with a cuppa in my hand.

I fully admit to drinking the “floor sweepings” that Lipton’s packages as tea on a regular basis.  Its what I grew up with and really, if I’m honest, what I love for its simplicity and known flavour.  There is something familiar in the taste and ritual it invoked.  Even as I reach into my cupboard today I still expect and want to be reaching into the glass hexagon jar/canister that was always the tea caddy in our house.  I know exactly what color the cup needs to be to be my perfect cup and I can bet I can get my Mums cuppa perfect too.  There is comfort too in the face on the old style box.  I’m not such a fan of the new style as they 86’ed the guy.

As I “grew up”, I used my own money to invest in tea at college and came home every summer with new boxes of just about everything, herbal or black.  I found a new love in herbal teas because I have always been effected by caffeine, especially if I drank it after  4pm but I still wanted that warm drink for both my fingers and my insides.  Last year I discovered a box of Wild Cherry Berry in the depths of my sisters cabinet…apparently my BIL is also a tea fan and has the same tendencies to buy and try and put away that I do.  After killing the box, I was crushed to not find any in the store to bring home to AK.  Even worse was that I couldn’t find it in my local grocers either but it was Mum to the rescue and she discovered: 

the renamed version of my Wild Cherry Berry (because if there are no actual “Wild” Cherries mixed with the Berries, you can’t call it that!) and bought it for me in bulk.  I just got another box in my Christmas box and I am most grateful.  I drink BCB at least once every evening and still look forward to is as a ritual and a treat.

A staple for my tea habit is Sleepytime for its soothing qualities 🙂  It is my go-to tea if I feel just a bit to jazzed up to sleep and it also seems to be M’s too as he will get up at night to get some.

My new favorite and something that makes me smile more than anything is .  My Mum and Sister gave it to me in my Christmas box and I am LOVING this tea on a daily basis.