you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Friday, December 31, 2010

Too many to name...

Gifts. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?- #reverb10

My gifts from those who love and support me were overwhelming this year. I struggle to deal with feeling unworthy of the generous hearts around me. Too many to name- too much help.

One thing that stood out was the constant support that my best friend and my husband both have given me to keep moving forward. I would not have such a happy terrific puppy in my life- if they hadn't been there to help take of him. And I think having a dog made a huge difference to my sanity this year.

Also so many friends helped me month to month. That gift stays with me each morning when I wake up and each night when I finally crash.

Always- having the best mom in the world is a gift I am grateful for EVERY years! 

Another huge gift brought to me in 2010 was getting back in touch with my father's sisters and brothers. I have not been in communication with my aunts and uncles for decades and having them back in my life- even if so far it is mostly through Facebook, has been a huge present!

SO I guess, mostly it is the people around me that are the true gifts of 2010. And I hope that stays true in 2011- because friends, family and strangers who will become new friends are so much more important than things.


Defining Moment - Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.- #reverb10

Another hard prompt to pin down... I guess the one was the recent advice I got from a good friend and adviser. It will involve a lot of "stuff" in the coming months and set me on paths I did not know I would be headed down. It is also taking several leaps of faith, but I trust this person and other people in my life agree so I am holding my breath and jumping into the future. I am not sure it is the right path, and neither are they, but it is a path worth pursuing and with little other inspiration on the table I think fail or succeed this will be a defining choice for sure.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Clarity, Stability & Simplicity

Achieve- What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. -#reverb10

Clarity, Stability & Simplicity

I will feel at peace and empowered if I achieve these related three things. I can't separate them because in my current situation they are irrevocably intertwined.

Pay and prepare for The Queen Sweep
Start using the Tools on Reverb10
Get back to daily walking
Clean off the dreaded window sill of books and junk
Organize the in and out pile
Write the letters that need writing
Decide between Yoga, Pilates and the Gym and do it somehow.
Make my dentist appointment (asap)
Commit to 1 calendar (not three!)
Embrace and write about my Word(s)

these are 10 things I can do a little on today- make some progress and then keep plugging away. I am filled with stress and worry- but hope and determination too.  

breathing is important.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rhiannon For a Day (or a year)

New Name - Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? -#rerverb10

I wrote a short piece for a workshop, about a winged woman named Rhiannon. If I could have a different name for a day, that would be the one I would pick. The story was powerful, came from someplace deep within me. She had multi colored feathers in her wings, and each one told a story and contained a special power. She would reveal them slowly, only to those she could really trust. I would love to don her mystery, majesty and power for a day. Introduce myself again especially to those I have known for years and share love and healing and promise with my kind supporters who have helped me survive this year. I need to find that story and re-read/ re-write it for 2011.


ordinary moments - Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? -#rerverb10

In the summer when it was soooo hot, (hottest year on record in Japan) I would have to walk my new puppy late late at night, or early early in the morning. There were many ordinary moments in those quite times. Just him and I out in the big city, with rarely another soul in site. But one that stands out is one where I saw shadows of my fears and strength at the same time. I was walking late and a little spooked and in my head worrying about what I was going to do to keep going. And I saw this amazing wrapped and struggling Aloe plant seemingly fighting with it's own shadows. I took a photo and wrote a bit about it. Somehow that image made clear that It was important to fight real fights but not poison my mind and heart with things I could not change. Fighting the fights that I can really make a difference in.

I can't find the photo now, which is a bummer- but maybe it is better that way. Stronger in my imagination that it would be in real life. The plant is still there on my morning walk but I have not seen it in quite the same light or shadow again.

Wine Adventure, Life Adventure

Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?- #Reverb10

This one is easy- I opened my own little bistro this year, and it has been lovely. I have felt so good feeding friends and new comers and one of the really amazing things has been designing these new micro wine dinners. 3 wines 3 courses an intimate experience with 10-15 people. We did 8 of them last year, and we will do one a month in 2011. Each and everyone was memorable and amazing. My chefs worked together to really push the envelope and It was glorious seeing and tasting their efforts. The reviews were great. I have repeat customers and big fans of the whole program. We are calling it "My Table- Wine Adventures" and for 2011 we started a club for a bulk purchase of reservations! Very fun, and very enriching, creatively, and deliciously.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Kid Is Alright.

Everything’s OK - What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? -#reverb10

2010 did not lead itself to "everything's ok" moments. BUT one that stands out is when I had my friend who is doing a new  business to help declutter- come to my office and help me organize. Until she came i thought it was beyond me- BUT while she was there she just kind of guided me and the whole thing was mostly done in 4 hours!!! unwanted stuff gone, files set up, shelves organized... And the thing was she just had to gently nudge me- I knew what to do and was able to do it with just some friendly help. I had it in me... and I never thought that I did. Since organizing at home and other places is high on my 2011 agenda, this assurance has given me a ton of confidence. I feel like if I make the time and even get a little help I can do what needs to be done. Even better the office STAYED organized so I think with the right system 2011 could be the year I get it together, at least stuff and clutter wise. Here's hoping!

next we are starting the 8 days of

How to create your personal manifesto

 I will share as I go along. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Photo – a present to yourself Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and [...] - #reverb10

This shot was taken by a friend Jack, when he and his wife took us to the redwoods. For me this signifies a lot of stuff. A BIG year, a lot of profound learning, an awe and sadness of things that were, things that were not, and everything in between. It is not all visible to others in this shot- But it is to me.

back to the future

Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake) #reverb10

Dear 48, thank goodness you listened to me and took things step by step in 2011. It was such an important time and I know it was hard after all the roller coasters of 2009-2010. Clarity, simplicity, and focus were the watch words of 2011 and it was great that you kept at it. I know it wasn't a perfect year and I know you struggled, especially with simplfying... but see how much it helped!? It made a lot more possible than you ever imagined. Glad you pushed yourself!

Dear 33- ups and downs are headed your way, but thank you for the chances you made possible moving to Tokyo and being open to new adventures. You will learn a lot, but you will never like Natto.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bite the Bullet

Beyond Avoidance What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)- #reverb10

I need to get my house in order. conquer Clutter. It will be healthier for myself, my relationships, my time and schedule. I waste too much time looking for things, I waste too much energy stressing about it. I have too much heartbreak losing important things because of having too much stuff and being too disorganized.

I know people that have WAY more stuff than I do and they know where it all is and have a system. BUT it is time to admit that I can't manage like that. I can't keep it all in my head and I am too prone to putting things down in the wrong places and just plain not remembering what is where and when???

I have already committed to myself and my family and friends who have had to deal with the aftermath of my clutter that I am working on clearing mind, body, soul and stuff for 2011.

In fact, I am going to start this as the project for the long New Year holiday.
Here we go!

It Will Be Ok

Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)- #reverb10

It may sound defeatist but I certainly don't mean it that way. The biggest help for healing in 2010 is that the sheer volume of what was coming at me was such that there was no way to deal with it all. I am still raw and overwhelmed from the mental cuts and bruises BUT it taught me an important lesson.

It is ok. I will be ok. I have friends and family that will stand with me. I can fail and get up again. I can just explain that it is just not possible for me to do X Y OR Z and life goes on.

I was healed by the knowledge that not being successful all the time, or on top of it all - all the time will not be the end of the world. It will not end my connections, it will be ok. That has been such a liberating lesson. It does not make the failure hurt less, it does not make it much easier to have to apologize for not being or doing what people need me to be or do 24/7, but that is pain I can deal with, the fear of failure is worse than the pain of failure. The amorphous worry wears me down more than facing up to what I can and can't do.

This was definitely a drip by drip evolution. I went into 2010 still trying to pretend that this was going to be easy. I am ending the year knowing that it is not. But it was a long road of getting knocked down and struggling back up. I am not there yet, and some days it is easier to remember that it will be ok, and some days it is not.

In 2011 I hope to be healed in ways that bring out some deep beauty and joy. This has felt like a year of something "about to happen." I think 2011 will be a year of happenings. I seem poised for something. Not sure what... but it feels intriguing and not scary.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Do or Do not, there is no try...

Try What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)- #rerverb10

Yes- I wanted to experiment more with cooking, menu creation and baking.

Not doing it meant not actualizing on some important tastes, flavors and statements I wanted to make. Also want to learn more about making drinks and creating some new profiles!

Determined to fix this is 2011!

School House 2010

Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)- #reverb10

it has been a long year. Hard and stressful. I thought after surviving 2009 that this year would be much easier- not the case. Consequently, I learned a lot about myself.

I have a long way to go on my relationship with money management, and on pacing myself. But i learned to ask for help, to find resources out there when I need them. I learned that down time is more important now than ever before. I re-learned the joys of downtime. And the healing powers of furry friends.

I learned that more important to me than instant success is learning, correcting, failing, correcting again and moving forward, inch by inch.

I learned that I am ok with my body, and that it is easier to exercise than I thought. I learned a lot about patience, though I am not sanguine with it yet- I can muster the skills as needed.

I learned that I am ready to move on.
Let's see what happens in 2011!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)- #reverb10

I had a friend, still a friend I guess, but working  together did NOT help our friendship. We learned more about what we don't like about each other- more about how we don't agree, more about our  how different our reactions to the world are. I honestly believe neither of us is all right or all wrong... but we are not on the same path.

One of my hopes for 2011 is that we can cleanly be done with each other- at least business wise.  In a good world, we will maybe repair the friendship part... but not holding my breath for that. Sadly things have gotten pretty out of control. Life is long, I hope we can repair that which went wrong.

Minutes and Memories

Minutes Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)
What do I most want to remember- start timer Now!

1. keeping clients and getting new caterings
2. my trip to SXSW again with chris.
3. Getting my new dog
4. Learning so much more about myself, what I can do, what I don't know how to do. and so much more.

these are the major things I don't want to forget from this year. The taste of successes and failures- a complex flavoring to this year of life.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Community Is Everything

I am participating in #reverb10 to think on the year that we are ending and make a plan for 2011. I didn't start until the 8th but still want to go and catch up on the first 7 prompts. So this is from the 12/7 request.

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?- #reverb10

I consider my self and builder of communities. I have started many, joined many and am probably over extended but I love bringing people together and sharing and learning from each other.

2010 even though it was crazy busy, I deepened or extended my involvement in a few offline communities. Of particular help adn support was joining the ACCJ. The American Chamber of Commerce. I was also able to be selected for the first ever Entrepreneur Mentoring Initiative. (EMI) which concluded on 11/22. Good experiences, I am still digesting what I learned and what I think about everything. My mentor Jeff Char was terrific.  Also this year was an up and down saga of building the Tokyo Hacker Space community. which I love but which as been often really difficult.

In 2011, I don't have plans to join more communities but to take time to deepen the involvement I have and to pay more attention to individual friendships and the community of close supporters and family that have been so key to my making it through this year.

I Get By with a Little Help From My Friends

Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)- #reverb10

I have much to be grateful for in 2010 though it was a year of real struggle and continues to be harder than I ever imagined. But the one thing I have come to appreciate most is the support of my husband and friends. I have had to reach out for help many many times over the last year and people have unfailingly been there to help. They have been kind, understanding and unwavering. My husband especially.

It has never been easy for me to accept that I cannot do everything perfectly, that I need help. But this year has been a huge learning curve on that front as on so many others. It was scary to ask for support especially so frequently- but there have been people there along the way who just loved, helped, and surprised me with their warmth and lack of judgement. My hope in 2011 is to not let them down and to repay them for their faith even when I did not always make the right decsions and did not always understand what I was getting into.

I try to express gratitude for all of their help by helping others whenever I can AND by promising and working myself to support and repay each and everyone of them. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2011 Will be the year of the ACTION hero!

Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)- #reverb10

So much to do, so many actions to take, baby steps, huge leaps, quiet moves--- so much!

One of my huge failings this year was lack of organization, papers missing, things lost (expensive and time consuming things) receipts late, scraps, snips and debris everywhere. Time to clean up my act. I am going to spend the new year holiday getting things sorted and hoping a clearer desk and file will help clear my mind a bit. And for once I am not going to be afraid to get help working on this. I have a de-clutter lady and an amazing life coach both ready to help me on the external and internal stuff.  Going to book the appointments and get going.

Enough is enough. Time to clean up my act!

Monday, December 13, 2010


December 12 – Body Integration- This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds) #reverb10

Honestly- this year I have felt out of synch a lot of the time. Moments of real integration were fleeting at best. A snuggle here, and quiet moment petting my new dog, a few brief seconds of stillness, a hug with my husband... but it has all been short lived, flashes only. Sometimes I feel very in the moment out walking but I still feel my body, heart and mind are not always working together.

Time to make a change.

integration a possible theme for 2011?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

These Things that Hold Me Down

(image by Neil Mulholland)

Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)- #reverb10

This is a big question for me. It seems like my focus has been on wanting to be rid of some big things and little things that impede and slow my soul. But this is also a hard one to write about. Diving right in might be best...

1. Drinking too much Coke. I mean- I don't want to say never, but at least get to rarely.

2. CLUTTER- it is not one thing but many- streamlining my "stuff" and systemizing. But mostly just getting rid of that which I don't need or want or love.

3. Books that I have already read (except the true life changing, keepers) the chances of me re-reading old already read books with my schedule and lifestyle are so remote- and the shelf space so coveted that it is time to box, bag, donate and dust!

4. Procrastination- time to kick the habit, once and for all. I don't really procrastinate too much on work stuff (though sometimes- damn menu covers) but personal stuff. Oh My. Hello- dentist- here I come!

5. Clothes that don't fit. Obvious, I know- but....

6. Multiple calendars- it is time to have my schedule all in one place. Adding to the crazy with a personal calendar, two online calendars and a paper calendar?! it is a wonder I ever know which way is up!

7. Pens, Pens and more pens. Find the ones that work that I like. Donate the rest to a school or something! drawers of pens I don't use- kind of crazy land.

8. Fear of saying No. Very important and so far impossible.

9. Scraps of papers that never find a file. I have the start of a system. Time to use it.

10. Relationships that don't work. For the first time in a long time, I find myself embroiled in a few situations where there is no one really at fault but the relationships are just not working. It is past time to set myself and others free and move on. There is no one in these situations that I wish ill will toward, and hopefully friendships are still possible but partnerships are not. It was a steep learning curve for all of us I think.

11. Distraction. in too many ways to detail here. but worth considering as it's own prompt.

Wow, this list is not too daunting. And it is certainly all worth working on. Reverberations.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wisdom in a Small Furry Package

Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)- #reverb10

It will seem silly to many people I think, But the wisest thing I did this year was get a dog. Archie is a joy. He makes me laugh, he loves my husband and I without question, he reduces my stress by 140% I think he has saved me this year. Starting a new business is impossibly hard in the best of times and this has certainly NOT been the best of times. I was worried I was crazy adding a dog into the mix. But it turns out it was one of the best decisions I made in the last two years. It has not always been easy, and he does drive me crazy at least once a day. BUT what a great little spirit and what a wonderful addition to our little family.

wisdom can come in furry little packages.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beautifully Different

Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)- Reverb10

 Me? All this writing about me stuff is hard. I do feel different, original, unique. But what makes me different is a harder question. Some things that are different about me;

One thing that sets me apart is a sort of laser vision for the bigger picture. I can see how things relate to each other and can fairly quickly come up with several solutions and suggestions for challenges and problems. I am not daunted. I try to be fearless- and a lot of the time I succeed. I can see into connections and how people relate to each other and I am sensitive to the mood of a room. That being said, I am often super direct and step on toes. Sometimes this is a virtue sometime a luscious curse that I am not that willing to alter.

I love lots of things. I love to try new things, and I have a very strong memory.
I will give anyone anything that I have to offer if they are in need or want.
I have cool antique glasses that I think look hot.

That is enough of that for one day.

It's my Party

PARTY- What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans? from Reverb2010

For me it was not any party I went to, but a week long party I held myself. Our annual thanksgiving spread at my restaurant. This was the first year that it was all about me getting out there and promoting, getting people to come and have thanksgiving dinner at my new little restaurant and providing folks far from home with a taste of their memories. The people who came were largely new to me this year, Another big change. The marketing I did brought in lots of new faces.

The food was traditional, yummy, and totally home-style
The people were generous with their praise, ate a ton and promised to visit us again! I couldn't have asked for more. I really felt the bounty that week. It was easy to remember why I am in this business.

My 2010 has been largely just about work, but I hope to go to some parties that someone else will be hosting in 2011. Sprout and spread some social butterfly wings.