Sunday, January 13, 2013

The "ONE" Project

It's a New Year!  That means new resolutions and goals for most people.  I know for myself, my list is long and full of new things I want to accomplish in 2013.  In fact, I’ve noticed that several of the things on my list were also on last year’s list, and the year’s before that, and even the year before that.  After three years of being on my list, you’d think some of them would have a big ol check mark after it!    Don’t get me wrong, there have been some accomplishments to the goal, but each item is only partially done.

There are way too many things on my mind these days.  I have ideas for this project and for that project, but I never seem to be able to focus on just one of them long enough to accomplish the task.  This only makes me feel overwhelmed by all the ideas I have.  I feel even worse when I can’t seem to accomplish anything.  Soon I’m giving up completely on all my tasks because I feel like such a loser.  

So, this year, I have decided that I am not going to fall into the same pattern as the previous years.  The only way for me to focus and accomplish anything is to dedicate myself to only “ONE” goal or project at a time.  Now, that’s not to say I can’t have more than one on my list, it only means I will only concentrate on “ONE” until it has been accomplished or it’s well under control and I’m able to start the next project.  

I know I’m not alone with this problem, so I want to invite you to do the “ONE” project with me!  Whether your task is simple and routine, or reaching outside your comfort zone, we can attack and accomplish by taking baby steps.  

If your goal is in the area of health and fitness, this can be extremely overwhelming at the thought of changing everything at once.  It’s hard enough just getting to the gym or working out at home.   When you add a whole new way of eating on top of it at the same time, it is a lot to take on all at once.  Why not break it down into steps.  Try going to the gym twice a week for first month or so.  When that becomes habit or routine, add more trips to the gym!  Once you have a good handle on going to the gym, start changing your eating habits.  

If you struggle with the everyday routine things, such as staying on task with housework, laundry, grocery shopping etc., then this will be a perfect way for you to conquer these things as well.   

Do your smallest task frighten you?

So how does this “ONE” project work?  Just like it sounds; and it’s nothing new.  It’s just simply choosing “ONE” task and setting aside an allotted amount of time to begin working on it.   If you want to have a clean house by the end of the week, choose one task a day and focus on doing it.  If you want to work on your business, set aside an hour a day and focus on it.  

I’m going to start by exercising on my Gazelle for fifteen minutes every day for one week.   My goal would be to increase the time as I raise my endurance.   After 6 weeks, it will have become a habit.  And I’ll be ready to move on to adding something else. 

Are you with me?  I don’t want to do this by myself!  Misery loves company!!  We can support each other and cheer each other on!   You will be amazed at how much more you will accomplish this year by focusing on “ONE” thing at a time.  So join me on my Author FACEBOOK page and let’s do this together!   Stop by and let me know what your “ONE” thing is so I can help encourage you and cheer you on!  It makes me think of the phrase “All for one, and one for all!” 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Divine Appointments & Fun Reunions

Home Sweet Home - my last week here 


It has been a very productive week here at my mom's house.  She has kept me busy that's for sure.  We spent four days going through her house trying to get rid of extra stuff and prepping it for her garage sale.  I still say she wasn't ruthless enough - we could probably go through the house again and have another huge garage sale!  Friday was busy and we sold over half of our items.  Saturday was a lot slower - but we still did pretty good.  We got all the leftovers boxed up and ready to donate; and mom was thrilled to have her car parked back in the garage.

Today was the day I've been looking forward to this whole trip!  I got to visit my home church that I grew up in - Turning Point Open Bible - and reconnect with lots of folks!   It was also my book signing day at the Service Station Coffee House.  I felt so blessed by all the support of my Spokane friends!  I sold 14 books today!  (Last weekend I sold 8 at the Intersection Church.)  I have lots of fun pictures from the day - but first, I want to talk about my divine appointment I encountered today.

Divine Encounter?  You bet! 


 I often say, "it is way too easy to leave church in the same condition that you arrived."  In other words, we are good at putting on our "church" face and hiding our bruises (hey, isn't there  a book about that?) from those around us.  Mom and I found our way to our seats this morning at TPOB. I knew Pastor Monte was going to have me stand as he announced my book signing event so I strategically placed myself sort of in the  middle of the room.  you know; so I could do my turn while doing the princess wave!  Anyway, there were four empty seats next to me.  Pastor Monte had me stand as he talked about my book.  When he mentioned my book was on surviving domestic violence, the lady that was in the fifth seat over from me, past the empty seats, gasped and looked astonished and amazed.  During the "meet and greet" time - the lady slide over to me and whispered, "I need to talk with you after the service."  I knew she had someone in her life that was experiencing domestic violence.

After the service, she sought me out and said that when Pastor Monte said my book was on surviving domestic violence she knew it was God's divine timing to place someone in her life who would understand.  She continued to tell me that her husband of 30 years beat her up again just last night.  We talked for quite awhile - and she was amazed at how much I was understanding and really knowing what she was talking about.  "You just don't know how good it is to talk to someone who knows," she said.  While the pain and trauma was still so fresh to her from the night before, I could see the relief and hope on her face as we continued our conversation.  It was very apparent she too had been hiding her bruises while sitting in the congregation.  She was amazed that others, me, had the same thoughts and feelings that she has.  She was finally aware that she was not alone.  I was able to give her some resources for some classes that take place here in Spokane.  I also gave her a copy of my book.  We prayed together and she left a little more hopeful than when she arrived. 

So, do I believe in God's divine appointments?  Absolutely!

OK - so here are some pics from my book signing event today - I'm so blessed and thankful.

Me and our friend Mark

Mark and my mom, Edrea

Me and Patricia - the mom of one of my good friends I grew up with

Me signing Linda and Mike's book - I used to babysit their kids!

My mom catching up with her friend Gloris.  We used to be neighbors!

Me and Pastor Paul

Me and Cheryl  - she was my first grade Sunday School teacher - and she's Linda's sister

Monday, May 28, 2012



I love visiting churches I used to attend when I was younger - or that my husband and I served in leadership at.  Yesterday, I went to the Intersection Church (formally known as Valley Open Bible) and reconnected with lots of folks I've knows since I was in the first grade!  One particular lady was really fun to connect with because we share the same grand children!!  So fun having two grandma's together bragging on their beautiful grandchildren!
It also was an opportunity for me to publicize my book!  The pastor set me up at the information counter to meet and greet and have my book available for anyone who might want a copy.  Mostly those who knew me purchased a copy, however, there was one lady who purchased one who I didn't know.  We chatted for quite awhile as she shared her story with me.  I am still amazed at how common abuse is - in whatever form - among so many people.  

Mom and I rested all afternoon!!  Boy was that nice!  Then my friend, Shannon, came to hang out with us.  We went to dinner and Noodles Express and then indulged in an Asian cannoli!  It's my new favorite dessert!!!!    We rented the movie "We bought a zoo" and stayed up late watching it.   Thank you Shannon for hanging out with us!  It was great catching up with you!


Today was Memorial day.  It has been a long time since I've been able to visit my dad's grave site because I live in Portland and dad is buried in Spokane.   I drove my mom, sister, & brother-in-love to the cemetery today.  I loved seeing all the flags and watching the other people that where there to remember their loved ones.  I took some random photos - I thought I would post some of them here for you to see.  Thank you to all those who fought and lost your lives for our freedom and to their families for their great sacrifice.


My Daddy



Sunday, May 27, 2012


Everyone should have that one kind of friend who is just as crazy and spontaneous as you are.  But who also loves & supports you and gives good advice!  Who laughs at the same things and views life through the same lenses.  My friend, Lori, is just that friend for me.  When we lived in Coeur  d'Alene, we would always have spontaneous coffee or movie dates!  I sure do miss her lots and it was good to catch up with her last night at dinner at Cafe' Rio. 

Me and my "spontaneous" friend, Lori
 Tonight, I had dinner with more great friends, again at Cafe' Rio.  This makes my 5th time this week.  (The employees there are starting to recognize me and two of them want to buy a copy of my book!)  I sat with David and Liz for three hours catching up and sharing parts of our stories.  Don't you just love times like that when you don't realize how much time has passed during your conversation?  I do!!  I also had the opportunity to meet the manager of Cafe' Rio - after all, I am probably their most frequent diner.

David & Liz

Me and Robert - the manager of Cafe' Rio

Cafe' Rio ~  VERY much like Bajio in Portland
We're making progress on the yard sale preparations.  We did the garage today.  Not my favorite by far - I am not too much of an outdoorsy person nor do I like spiders!  My poor mother had to sweep the cob-webs and dead spiders before I would empty out any of the cabinets or boxes. I kept trying to tell her she had the wrong child helping her with this part!  She said she was going to put a pea under my mattress tonight to see if I was really a Princess!  We got through it, and I survived.  But I'm itching like crazy!!!   And I added a few more things to my "take home" pile.  

Plant stand made by my Grandpa McClain!
I think one of the most cherished treasures I will be bringing home is a box full of  memories.  Twenty-Eight years ago I stood in my mother's garage full of all of Nathan's belongings.  (see my very first blog post if you don't know who Nathan is)  As my mom, his mom, and I were going through boxes of all that was left behind, I told them that I didn't want any of it - just get rid of it all!  Nathan's mom took everything and told me she would store it at her house for me; and if I ever changed my mind, it would be there waiting.   My mom, in her infinite wisdom, kept a few things as well.  I came across that box while cleaning out one of the closets.  I was actually excited and thrilled to see it!  Ten years ago, I would not have been, I'm sure.  As I looked through photo albums and letters, all I could do was smile.  I didn't see the abusive Nathan in these photos; I saw the happy Nathan from before the drugs and alcohol.  And I'm so thankful my mom saved a piece of my past for me.  It is a true testament that I really have forgiven him and that God has truly restored and blessed me.  And for that I am thankful. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Home Sweet Home Days  Nine & Ten

I honestly didn't think I would have anything to blog about this week while my mom and I go through her things to prepare for a yard sale.  Boy was I wrong!  My mom has been showing me all kinds of treasures and telling me about our family history that I don't recall ever hearing before.  She has put a note in with every little item to explain whose it was and when or how it was acquired.  One of the notes was even in  my grandmother's hand writing.  That must be where my mom got the idea. 

Yesterday we got through her office and today we got through the kitchen.  I had more fun in the kitchen, although, I saw tons of old pictures while we did the office.   But the kitchen; that's where most of my childhood memories surfaced.  As I pulled things out of the cupboards to clean, re-arrange, and decide if it was a keeper or a yard sale item, I have to admit, I absconded with some of my mom's profits that could have been raised at the up-coming yard sale.  Before it went into the "sale" pile I staked my claim!  Let me assure you, it's not all for my benefit.   Some of the things I will be bringing home for my daughter.  

Now, before any of my family members panic, there is nothing of great value.  (Mom said we had to wait to fight over that stuff!)  Trust me, I saw many, many boxes marked with each of our names on them.  And from the looks of things, there is plenty to go around!  

It has been an interesting experience.  There have been times that mom and I laughed so hard, I thought we'd bust a gut.  Other times, like when mom read me an article she wrote as a tribute to her dad, tears streamed down our cheeks.  There are just some things she is not ready to let go of yet . . . so we neatly packed them up and placed the box back in the closet.   And that's OK.  

Tomorrow, I think we will be going through her clothes.   That may sound like an easy task, but the woman has three closets full of clothes!!  One closet is a huge walk-in.

As I said, I have been re-connecting with a lot of good memories.  Here are just a few of the items I'm bringing home with me!

I literally squealed and jumped for joy when I found this hiding in the back corner of a cupboard!  I played with this apple/tea set ALL the time when I was little.  And for those of you who know me well, you know I have a collection of miniature tea sets!  
Yes, this IS coming home with me!

WOW - does anyone remember Rossetts?  My mom used to make these for us all the time!  I remember sprinkling the powdered sugar over them as they came out of the oil.  
SOOOOO GOOD!  I was thrilled just to be bringing this home, but when 
I opened the box the recipe was also inside!! BONUS!!

This little guy has lite up our doorstep at Christmas time ever since I can remember!  
It's plastic with a light inside.  The paint is worn off here and there but I don't care.  
It's an item you can't find anywhere else but your mother's treasure box.

 One of my favorite breakfasts was poached eggs.  And this is the very pan that my mom would fix them in.   It's one of those handy-dandy all purpose pots.  Double boiler, egg poacher, steamer . . .they just don't make em like this anymore. 
 These are just classic!  I love the design on them and the fact that they are reversed
in color from one piece to the other!  I don't think these are actually from my
childhood, but they made me smile anyway, so they are coming home. 
Good-bye ugly plastic strainers - say hello to my old metal strainer.
Love the little feet and handles!

My mom saves anything in print that has to do with her children.  If our names are in a program for a play, concert, or beauty pageant,  my mom has a copy.  She has also kept a lot of newspaper articles and explained to me that if there is a smile face drawn next to it, it's worth reading.  (so cute!)  I never met my Grandpa Juliano.  He was killed while changing a flat tire on the highway before I was born.  I've seen pictures (again) and heard new stories about him this week.  I wish I could have met him!

Grandpa Francisco Juliano - struck by a car while changing a flat tire.

 Grandma & Grandpa Juliano's wedding photo!  LOVE IT!

 One of the many musicals I have directed.
I can't believe she still has this!  I don't even have one!

My dad, Frank Juliano, with his first Grand son, Danny. 
I miss you dad!

It is hard to see our parents grow older.  I am so glad I made this trip to spend time with  my mom and help her go through things.  I'm making new memories to add to my old ones. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Monday!  I got to spend most the day with some precious people.  For those of you who know my mom, you know she is always involved in hospitality for the church.  She has been serving ever since I can remember.   Today there was a funeral service and of coarse mom was on the food team.  They were short handed for this event so mom recruited me to help out.  it was such a blessing to help out and I had a lot of fun being with all the ladies and the one token man.  Lake City Community Church is blessed to have this group of Seniors.  

Since we have moved away, LCCC has added to their campus.  It is a beautiful facility and there seems to be something happening there everyday!  I especially like the new cafe'.  I could sit by this fireplace all day long!

OK, so there was one more reason I'm on this trip that I haven't mentioned yet.   My mom is getting ready for a big yard sale and I promised I would come and help her.  So this week will be spent going through closets, drawers, and boxes digging up treasures to sell.  I can't imagine there will be too much to blog about in the next day or two - so if I skip a day here and there - you'll know what I'm doing.  

I still haven't seen any of my CD'A friends!  I'm hoping to work hard in the day time so maybe my mom will let me go out and play in the evenings.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

HOME SWEET HOME ~ Day Six & Seven

The movie, "The Ultimate Gift," was awesome!  If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it.  It's a typical "Hallmark" movie with a great message.    It was worth staying up for.  In fact, Linda and I stayed up until 3am watching movies.  It was great - just like old times when we'd have slumber parties. 

So, day 6.   I had the whole day until 5:30pm to myself.  So I took myself on a "trip down memory lane" adventure.  After sleeping in until 11am - since I stayed up until 3am - I found a comfy Starbucks and hung out with my computer for an hour.  Then I began my adventure.  I drove to one of the neighborhoods I grew up in.  We moved there when I was in the 6th grade.  I started at my old home.  Took some pictures and walked around the area a bit.  When I got back to my car, the owner of the house was out watering the yard.  Of course I had to stop and say hello.  We chatted for a bit and she extended an invite for me to see the inside.  I didn't take her up on it at this time - but she told me to come back if I wanted to see the inside. 

This was the best house - lots of good memories

We had lots of youth functions in this room

 After our visit, I drove down the street to my elementary school.  The school sits on the other side of Indian Trail Park.  I loved that park.  We would ride our bikes through the "trails" area of the park all the time.  Back then, the trail seemed huge and full of big mounds of dirt we called hills.  Racing through there was an absolute blast!  Today, the hills are not so big.  Funny how that works.  I drove around the school and up and around the neighborhood some more; being sure to seek out the houses of friends I hung out with.   I actually squealed out loud when I came across the streets that were named after me and my best friend, Kathleen.  OK, they probably weren't named specifically after us - but it was really, really cool that they were right next to each other.   We would ride our bikes over to those streets all summer long; always talking about how cool it was that our "streets" were right next to each other - and we were best friends.  

Indian Trail Park - bike trails

My sixth grade classroom

Our sledding hill that stretched three blocks!
There was a community yard sale happening in the old neighborhood!  So, I parked on one end of the street and walked my way down one side, and back up the other.  Stopping and chatting with folks.  I also bought a few treasures along the way.

My next stop was my Jr. High School, the pizza hang out place, and the place I worked my first job.  After that, I headed North to the place that probably holds the most memories from Jr. & Sr. high school.   Pattison's North Roller Rink.  We spent almost every Monday night at the skating rink with all the other area youth groups.  Best rope licorice ever! And the dill pickles were huge!  But my favorite part of the night, ladies speed skate, and, ladies choice couples skate.  

Salk Jr. High School

My first job -at the time it was Corky's - famous for banana splits

 5:30 pm finally came and it was time for dinner with 2 more life-long friends, JoAnne & Nikki.  JoAnne made us a wonderful dinner.  We ate, sipped wine, caught up on family life, and shared dreams.  We topped the night off at FroYo's, a frozen yogurt shop.  (The best coconut & caramel yogurt ever!)

Me with JoAnne & Nikki


Sunday!!  It was so good to be back at Lake City Community Church.  We were involved at this church when we lived in Coeur d'Alene.  I sang on the worship team, and Doug was the Alpha Director.  Since we have moved away, a new building has been added to the campus and it is absolutely stunning.  

After church, we met my sister & brother-in-law for lunch to celebrate John's birthday.  (from day two)  We hung out until about 4:30pm and now, my mom and I are chilling on the couch getting ready to watch a Hallmark movie!!  We are both exhausted.  Looking forward to the down time this evening.  I'm sure my mom will put me to work tomorrow.