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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

glittering final hours

We made it. the Last few hours of this the last day of 2011.
What a year it was.
We survived and I think the challenges of this year have made us all a little bit stronger.
There was sadness, loss, and struggle.
There was also survival, growth and determination.
It was not easy.
It was not that joyful.
But we are polished and glittering from our efforts as we come to the closing hours.

Next year is ours to create.
It is ours to define.
It is ours to embrace.
Here's to love, laughter, light and lusciousness in 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

home and hearth

I did not write as much on my journey as I had hoped but I did relax-
and after the year that we have had I think that was job #1.

It was a trip filled with toasting and hugging and browsing and eating and twinkling and art-ing and sitting and thinking. Could not ask for much more. And still home in time to do some last days of December writing.

I am still considering 2012- Where do I want to go and what do I want to accomplish. But 2011 certainly is ending better than it was throughout.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Beautiful Branches and Luscious Lights

Revisiting a previous adventure can be more rich in detail, more magical in memory and more relaxing and fun. As my path goes back over some of the gorgeousness of a few years ago- my heart and mind are renewed and my child spirit revels. Four seasons again coming to a close. New adventures ahead. Advent indeed.
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Things I love 12:17:2011

I want to start regularly writing and sharing a list of things I think are just so wonderful that I want to tell everyone I know. I did this once before but want to do it more regularly!

So here are some to start off with

I Love:

ETSY- really, small biz people at their finest offering unimaginable treasures.

Evernote- a great way to capture ideas, build projects, make plans. A clipping extravaganza and worth the money, Site and App both great. 

A Year Most Lovely- great journal for the year from my gorgeous, luscious, magical friend Anna.

and finally, The Christmas markets I am reveling in this week.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Magical Season

The lights twinkle softly
reflected in eyes and thoughts and laughter around me.
It's Christmas time again. 
I love it. Not for the packages and price tags
but for the merriment and warmth, the hot wine, and snuggles
the time to reflect on a year gone by and dream of one to come.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


What lesson did you learn in 2011 from “The School of Life” rather than a classroom? #WeVerb11

I am still learning, even with less than a month to go. I think every day of this year has taught me something. Some painful lessons, some joyous ones. I think the big answer to this question is that I have learned to keep learning. That even small pieces of new information, or small ideas can make a longer term profound effect.

The school of life in 2011 was not a quiet, supportive classroom. It was rough and tumble and often outright harsh. But I am, at the end of it, still standing. And that is something.

One Word...

Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why. Imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?
In the spirit of where this all started… this is the same first prompt from 2010.

one word... I guess it would be Shifting. 

The patterns of our life shifted in so many ways. Cancer in the family, job changes, new challenges and the big shifting of the earth- the quake of 3/11. I felt it took months for the literal and figurative aftershocks to stop And even now,  Japan is not what it was pre-quake. It was not all bad- there were some amazing ups and downs and some progress was made- though not in the ways I had hoped or anticipated. I wanted this year to be about clarity, and I guess it was in some ways. I found myself in the position for most of the year that I had to accept that some stuff was just not going to get done. It was a year of priorities and putting out fires and that is just the way it is.

For 2012? what do I want? What one word would I like to have embodied by the end... actually I want to use weverb11 to figure that out. So I think I will keep my own council on this for now and consider a bit more. Time to think about it all.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Who did you meet?

2011 was not a year of lots of new people- it was actually a year of losses. After the earthquake on 3/11 many long time friends left and the holes are still visible. Plus a really good friend's schedule is so different now that we hang out 3-4 time a month- down from something like 2-4 times a week. Some new people came into our lives via THS- and I met Neal and the people at A-JIS in a more substantive way. But it was not a big year of new faces.

One thing that was powerful was the connections that remained after my visit to my 25th HS reunion in 2010. Because of facebook- I bump into folks online and comment and read comments from friends and classmates from a lifetime ago. I have read that this has gone on all over the planet, reuniting , and reweaving childhood memories in current times.

Because of the quake and the changes I felt deeply this year there are some special people I want to deepen my relationships with. Care and water new growing friendships, reach out to supporters and let them know I don't take them for granted. Wonderful people who have supported me in ways that I can never full repay. #reverb11

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Where did 2011 begin?

It is time again for #reverb11 reflecting in the month of December on what has come and gone in 2011 and setting a course for 2012. Starting slow, but getting started. Today's first question- Where did 2011 begin?

January was full of promise, just rushed back from seeing family on a shortened trip- to start a new experiment- ultimately it did not succeed as 2011 ramped up to be an extraordinarily rocky and roller coaster-y year. The cold winter month of beginnings, I made my way to the big shrine and thought about the year to come. Change was in the air and I thought I knew the direction things were headed but I did not. I was full of emotions- full of stress and worry- trying to set a simple, clear and sustainable course. My mother's visit was a good one. And with my friend by my side we stood with thousands of people in the Japanese ritual of starting out the new year with determination. The year of the rabbit. I thought of peace, quiet, simple joys- it was instead to be a year of jumping and starting and stopping, running and skittering, staying alive in extraordinary times.

and so it began.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Counting Down and Celebrating

The Countdown has started. The tree is trimmed, the events are planned.
Now is the time it is important to remember to also take time to enjoy, breathe in the pine scented atmosphere and take good care of myself. I love the holidays but can get easily swept up in the stress and whirlwind. Cookies and milk, hot wine, and time to just watch the lights twinkle. Also take time to scheme and plan for the coming year of the dragon. I plan to breathe some fire and take flight next year. The sky is the limit.

Monday, November 28, 2011

All the Pies Are Cut

We Cut all the pies. Served all the birds. Whipped all the cream.
I am satisfied and proud. I think we made many people happy.
It was great seeing friends, families and colleagues come together.
Sharing stories and bottles of rich red wine.
I am thankful for all of this. And so much more.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is it time yet?

I don't usually have christmas stirrings until after Thanksgiving. This year I am feeling urges early. Still loving this turkey-week BUT I have put on the christmas lounge music a little earlier than normal. Not sure why. I am also a bit eager to get to the end of 2011 with all it's ups and downs, and turn a new page for 2012.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cloudy Rainy Brain

Layers of cloud cities stretching off into the distance. Rainy Cloudy Brain day- Not sure what to do first and how to get it all done. Plus the desire to nap keeps distracting me. Resist!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

shorter days and longer nights

The days are getting shorter- and Just at a time when I need every second of every minute of every hour to get as much done as I can. The nights are getting longer- and yet it gets harder to rouse myself in the early hours. But all of it is wrapped in a delicious layer of late autumn sights, smells and of course tastes. I had my first mikan (japanese tangerines) and my first persimmon is waiting for me, a larger harvest moon of sweetness. Today I had my first inklings of holiday happiness.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

2 1/2 action packed years

When I think about the last two 1/2 years and try to figure out what has happened and what it all means, I come to the conclusion that more than any time in my recent past- this past 30 months have been all about doing stuff I had no idea how to do. Sometimes doing it successfully, sometimes not so much. But doing lots of learning all along the way. I have made some HUGE mistakes- and hopefully have learned from them. And I have pushed the boundaries of what I thought I could do. I hope I can keep doing that for as long as I am here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Add one cup of fun and stir with vigor

Being around kids is the best reminder of how to have fun.
I watched them yesterday taking big bites of life and savoring every minute.
At first they didn't quite know which way to look or where to go. But that didn't last long.
Then the whirlwind began. Oh, and at the end of the day for the middle ones- there was dancing
and revelry. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Life has a Big Deliciousness

I love wine-ing and dining
And I love watching people enjoy our food
Never get tired of feeding hearts, minds and souls.
This kind of experience is why we do what we do.
And I revel in it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

room with a view

Sometimes the best way to figure out the small stuff is to take the long view
far away can often make up close make more sense.
and anyway, it looks pretty. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

it is all about the food

I am working on new ideas, as I try to execute the old ones.
it's a tougher balancing act than I thought it would be.
I guess that has been true about almost everything in the last two years.
But at least I know the turkey will be good.
and afterall, it is all about the food.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

the real question

I think, more important than asking
what HE did or didn't do-
Is asking ourselves what we will do?
And asking Why we are waiting to do it?

Friday, October 07, 2011

The BEST time of Year!

And so it begins, the best time of year.
Waiting for the Pumpkins and Witches, Apples and Cookies.
And Oh the Turkeys!
I love the happiness they bring- esp. to those of us far from home.
Big vats of potatoes, trays of stuffing and tart cranberries.
Let the planning begin.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Change of perspective

Nothing like spending a day with 5 year olds
to change your perspective on just about everything.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Working together without drama
and with only a little ego
is a good good thing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn Nights

The sounds of cicada give way to evening crickets
and my heart gets heavy with "North East Homesickness"
and a deep craving for apple cider.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

You Will Find the Answers

One of the most amazing ways to experience and feel community is to make food together
in this case- writing fortunes and then making our own fortune cookies.
The kids did a great job on the writing
...and so did my pastry chef/ on the folding.
Can't wait to have an excuse to do it again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

just too tired

sometimes the tiredness cannot be denied or postponed
and you just have to put on your jammies and go with it. 
hoping you don't drool too much and embarrass yourself. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

All Roads Lead Home

I don't often travel alone but had a little journey to chicago for 5 days.
Good to be back. I like the independence sometimes of doing it all by myself.
BUT it is never as much fun as going with the Mr.
And now I miss the beast when I am away too.
The rails leading home tonight were a relief and a comfort.
good to be home.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Love a Bit of Luxury

Did I mention...
I got the biggest, fluffiest, white terri/cotton hotel like robe for my birthday?
Love It. Easiest way to feel like the queen of my domain ever!
True Love knows your inner royal daydreams.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's Old is New Again

If you have seen my eyeglasses then this lovely lady above will be no surprise.
I am going to do a USB typewriter conversion with this gorgeous machine from days gone by.
Don't worry it will still work as a typewriter but also as a keyboard.
Assuming I am successful, with my electronics and soldering guru's guidance.
Will let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Small things make a difference

It is amazing what a few cans of paint can do.
New feeling, and perspective.
Atmosphere can be everything- and really the best is still yet to come.
I am far from finished.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summer Sights and Smells

Summer is winding down, but there is still time to savor
BBQ smoke, and other sweet and salty treats.
Hot with a hint of something else in the air.
it went by very fast and furious but it was in itself complete.
We ate (a lot) Played (not enough) Worked (too much)
it was all fun.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where does the time go?

the last 5 weeks flew by. So many things I was supposed to do but didn't.
now what?  everytime I look at my email or answer my phone my list gets longer.
I need some inspiration, or a magical time turner. Anyone know where I can get one of those?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crystals and Lace and Gold

There is really nothing more elegant than a chandelier.
I might not seem the type to you- but then you've never heard about my famous love of very fancy hotels.
This kind of light makes everything sparkle more, the people, the conversation, my thoughts and dreams.
One of these days I am going to bring one home, and hang it in my living room.
Then I am going to lay down on the floor and stare up and get lost in days gone by.
Maybe I will even sleep there. waiting.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Moonshine and Monsters

Moon over rice fields. and bugs. lots of bugs- that make beautiful sounds  

Totoro was hiding behind every grove of gorgeous trees
My little dog-buddy had a great time protecting us from all the new creatures and Monsters of his imagination,
and thrilling at all the new sites and sounds.

we were hot but glad to be out of the city for a bit.

At the end of it all though, we were just as happy to get back to our cozy urban crows nest and the aircon...especially the aircon

silly city-slickers.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hot Dog

Summer has come slamming back into us.
The heat is a living thing. We want to go out and play but don't last long.
And usually end up flat out afterwards.
But we keep trying anyway- because, what are summers for if not for getting hot while playing hard.

p.s. cool marble is a wonderful thing

Friday, August 05, 2011

end of the day

sometimes at the end of the day-
this is the only appropriate response...

Utterly Collapsible

There are things shifting and changing inside.
Perspective is funny that way.
I had a great visit with a creative vision yesterday.
Lovely give and take, and she let me steer the location which always means so much to me.
We adventured and relaxed. And I felt old worries collapse and new ideas surface and become more clear.
Also, we ate cake.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Stuff I Like 8/4/2011

One idea I have had for a long time is just to occasionally post up a catch all of "Stuff I Like" I also want to make this into a Tokyo based online newsletter/ ap - perhaps this fall. Share some of the best of the best in Japan and online. But for a little trial- let's start with this...


Ominvore Books- this is an amazing food and cookbook oriented store in San Francisco. I went there last summer and it was amazing. I urge you to sign up for their newsletter and visit their site regularly even if you can't go in person to SF and visit them. The newsletter features great books and themes all the time. The events list always gives me good ideas for my own events, and the website and newsletter are fun, friendly and accessible.

All of the gorgeous gadget covers at 12South  these literary cases for Mac are the prettiest and most functional looking covers I have seen in an age. Expensive but stunning, I want the iphone and ipad ones for sure. (birthday hints)

For my Tokyo friends, head over to No8 Bear Pond/ On The Corner in Shibuya and try their Iced Latte in Jar. They brew very good coffee and then add the milk, ice and shake it like hell in a mason jar which makes this coffee foam at the top. So refreshing.

stay tuned for more stuff i like in the future!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Small Inspirations

mindbump suggested by throught the eyes of an everyday extraordinaire

"Let it be people, music, objects, or anything else, what inspires you in your life?"

These days I think my inspiration is often coming from everyday objects. As we set up our new apartment and get rid of old stuff I look at each addition into our home and each purchase  through a different lens then in years past. Is it pretty-do I love it-do I need it? one long run-on question that repeats over and over. Each time we find something "perfect" I feeln more inspired to get organized, keep things neater, and sit back and bask in functional, beautiful surroundings.

cleaning up crumbs

I should be printing out and working on my exercise routine
fixing up a ton of stuff, balancing things and cleaning.
I have a plan to implement
but it seems a sugar doughnut got in the way.

Monday, August 01, 2011

sounds as good as it is

Some food words sound so good I can't resist.
Loved them before I even tasted them;

Kalamata Olives
Meyer Lemons
Hollandaise Sauce
oh and so many more!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I knew this girl...

She was a pretender.

I am usually a good judge of character but she played me. She figured out fast to appeal to my "teacher side" to feign admiration,  and ask advice. She seemed all sweetness and light but she was really dark sticky shadows.

I still bump into her name and her tweets. And I am rather mesmerized, like wondering about a train wreck or a calamitous couple. It is hard to shake her- perhaps I keep hoping to validate something, answer some question.

I hear about her in passing- always from someone gravely disappointed or shocked.

and I wonder when she will run out of marks. 

Monday, March 07, 2011


the stars were alined and I had nothing planned today except working from ohome-- and then it snowed!!! guilt free snow day. Sitting and watching it come down while I work on the internet and plan and update calendars etc. Being able to do most banking from home and most communications from home. I think I really am moving into the post PC world. Out of the office but still productive. AND I can sit in comfort on my couch and work like a fiend.

I really want to spend some time thinking and putting into perspective recent turns in my life. But for now a few notes of things I am using in this new world. for morning pages
loads of iphone and ipad apps for organizing and communicating
simple note for idea capture

more that I will share as I go along. This is just a quick snow day update.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mind Bumping My Writers' Block and Singing a Merry Tune

mindbump suggested by Testube

"Describe your most embarrassing musical purchase. What's hidden in your skeleton CD rack?"

Illustration on the left by Deborah Champion / Buy this print or others by her at ETSY

With starting my daily morning pages on I have had trouble thinking of what to write over here on my blog. which was one of my goals this year- better blog upkeep. Plus I would like to write more about something other than worries about money and my company. I would like to touch on other parts of life- here at the fancy glass. Start writing more general food and life posts again. So today I am experimenting with MINDBUMP, blogging ideas suggested by fellow bloggers. A community generated prompt that gets and gives at the same time. Will see what I think... have to try a few times.

So today's is above... I have to say I am not embarrassed by my music. I know it is not for everyone but I love that about life. I guess I get a little embarrassed about my love for Christmas music since everyone groans and rolls there eyes when I start listening to it 24/7 basically right after thanksgiving. But I do LOVE it. It sets the tone for my holiday time of year. I wish more artists would release Christmas albums. I really can't get enough. I was thrilled this year to buy the GLEE Christmas cd. Too funny. And I have to say I loved most of the songs on it.

I feel we have lost something when the mixed tap/ and cd faded into the past. making a theme list to give to someone was a great interactive and sharing experience. I got some great ones from friends and some other that I simply did not like and couldn't listen to, but it was fun all the same. I know you can make a playlist now, but seriously it is not the same. With my love of winter seasonal music maybe one thing i should do is make a mix for each season or each month, reflecting the time of year, what needs doing and what needs letting go. I also want to download some new stuff- things I don't know so well. But embarrassed? Never! I love my music and it is after all for me, so why be embarrassed. The quirky-ier the better I say!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Form Follows Function

I have a lot of plans, dreams, micro projects, huge projects, hopeful projects all competeing for my limited resources. I am sure many other women (and men) struggle with the same dilemma. This year I feel slower- sluggish and prone to escape into myself. I think it is just a feature of overwhelm and something that I can conquer if I just use some of the tools and thinking I have done to move things step by step.

I want to focus on making the restaurant the best it can be. But I am split many ways. I think it is time to start a more regular weekly plan of what needs doing and when I will be in Kimono to get those things done. Perhaps it is partly Feb. blues too. I get hit by those- but this year Jan. was pretty stalled in some ways too. I need to be clear with myself about what I want. I have never struggled with who I am and who I want to be- but sometimes I am caught in wanting too many things to happen all at once.

Plus having a puppy this year has been a constant joy but a real readjustment. more than any other dog or pet I had years ago- this one I feel the dependency both as a difficult daily task and a luscious loving obligation. I know my friends mostly have children- and Archie is just my dog. But a lot of the feelings of responsibility are similar if less serious.  In any case having him and a baby-business is a juggling show.

I need to decide my functions each morning and the form my actions need to take will follow.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Dreams and Plans

I started out 2011 expecting huge things and big turn arounds- instead it has been a rocky road- with little steps forward. Hard not to be impatient and frustrated, already worried this year is not going to be what i need it to. But in the world of Thoughts become Things- I need to find a good center and keep a positive attitude moving forward. I find the mornings are up up up full of promise and then I get low and crash- both from tiredness and over-expecting. I have to get back to

Clarity- Simplicity- Sustainability.

Think about what they mean to me, and How I want to manifest them this year.

I am in a mastermind group with 4 other Amazing ladies. And we each had a word for this year (forget that I really have 3). We shared them in our meeting on wednesday and one of the ladies put them all together in this manefesto!

"CLARITY leads to increased PRODUCTIVITY and the courage to LEAP into our BLISS and PROSPER."

I want to make this into a huge beautiful image of some kind and put it where I can see it throughout my day! Time to reset and refocus-yes again! I think this year is going to be about agains agains and agains until it sticks.
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