Saturday, December 15, 2012

Grandmother Bates

My Grandmother Bates

I attended my grandmother's funeral this month.  She was 98-1/2 years old.  I was with her when she passed away peacefully at her home.

As I sat and watched her a couple of hours before she passed (she had been in a coma for 2 days) I contemplated on her and her life. 

She loved to create.

This was a passion deep inside her, one that had to be satisfied.  Her creations brought her great joy and fulfillment. They were an expression of who she was and her love for God's resources.  She blessed the lives of others with her creations and her many talents.  At her funeral I thought - what do we take with us from this life - nothing material, none of our possessions.  We take our talents, our knowledge, and our relationships with others.  We take our memories, the good things we did, unfortunately we also take our poor choices but hopefully we have overcome some of those things and put them behind us. 

I can learn a lot from my grandmother's life.

She had extreme perseverance, a strong testimony, she was blind the last 16 years of her life but this did not stop her from creating - she did it by feel and touch and by determination.  2 days before she passed away she made a wreath from a cottage cheese carton lid and wool felt.  She was amazing!  Throughout my life I have wished my grandmother was more interested in me personally and how I was doing - but I have come to realize that there are many different ways of loving others. Not everyone can give the way we might need but that doesn't mean they don't care about us or love us.  We just have to learn to accept the different ways people show love.

I am understanding this concept of different ways of showing love more as my own children have families and have communicated their need for more attention from me.

I realize that I am alot like my grandmother.

I show love by the things I create and care deeply in my heart and think about my children a lot but don't always take the time to communicate that love.  So as I have learned a little bit more about the way I show love - I am able to understand my grandmother a little better and realize that it's not that she didn't care - it's more that she cared differently.  We judge things in life the way we see and feel them and it is not always the most accurate view.  So I guess I have learned to judge less and love more.  And that also applies to me - I need to judge myself less and love myself more.  I have such a hard time with this concept.  I love others and give them the benefit of the doubt but am so hard on myself. 

Grandmother I love you!!

You lived a good life - you made the best of your situation and kept on going to the end.  You fought a good fight and you won.  You are back in the presence of our Heavenly Father and moving toward your eternal reward.  I know you have seen my father and rejoiced in that reunion.  I know you are with your ancestors - all those you loved and did genealogy for.  I know they are eternally grateful to you for those efforts you made in their behalf.  I know heaven rejoiced when you came home because you were a valiant daughter of God.  I know you did the best you knew how and I applaud you for that.  You touched many lives. 

I am grateful my mother was able to be your caretaker for the past 2 years.  I know it added a richness to your life.  This ability to endure to the end and make the best of situations is a quality I see in my mother, she sees what has to be done and does it.  I know this was a quality you had also - a trait you passed on and I am grateful for that gift as it has blessed my life many times.

So - to my own life!

I am so blessed.  I have beautiful children and beautiful grandchildren.  I recently spent a few days with my daugher-in-law Katelyn and my 3 amazing grandaughters.  Kamryn - 3, Brooklyn - 5 and Lauryn - 7.  I was very humbled at how excited these girls were to have me come. All those things I am so hard on myself about they don't even see.  To them I am grandma and they truly love me.  This is such a blessing in my life.  As I watch these beautiful children and spend time with them, I am truly committed to make sure that they know that I love them and that I care about who they are and how they feel.  That is a piece I can add because I know how much my grandmother would have given that to me if she had understood it and was able to do it.  That I know - if she had known how, she would have, and that heals the pain because I can now feel how much she loved me.

Life is full of joy and sorrow, ups and downs.

I know that if we live our life close to the Savior, Jesus Christ that we will be able to weather life and its trials and that we will find much joy in the journey.  We can't control this world and other people's decisions but we can control how we live our lives.  We can control who we choose to follow. We can control where we put our efforts and our trust and our faith.  I know that if we choose to follow Christ we can have peace, joy, love, charity, hope and all that is good because that is who Christ is - everything wonderful, virtuous, lovely and of good report.  I will seek after these things!!

I am a daughter of God who loves me and I love him. 

I will stand as a witness of God in all things and in all places as I strive to live the Young Women values which are:  Faith, Divine Nature, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Virtue and Integrity.  I believe as I come to accept and act upon these values - I will be prepared to make and keep sacred covenants, strengthen home and family, enjoy the blessings of exaltation and live a good life.  I truly believe this!!  Life can be good and wonderful and marvelous.  That does not mean that we won't have trials because believe me - we will - but we will have strength to endure those trials and be stronger in the end.  This is my testimony!!  Love your children, love your grandchilden, forgive those who have wronged you.  Live a life of happiness, of faith, of love!!  Be Happy!!        

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blogland Bliss

I have subscribed to several blogs and they are quite detailed and full of all kinds of information.  You can learn just about anything out there.

There are fancy blogs, there are fun blogs, there are informative blogs, ones that advertise, ones for organizing, virtually anything you want to know can be found on a blog.  They are as versatile and diverse as the people on this planet.  Mine is just very simple.  A place to write and record a few memories and maybe share a few things I know a little about.  A place to share a few pictures and thoughts about who and what I love.  Or just a place to write a little bit about my life.  I look at fancy organized decorated blogs and get somewhat overwhelmed as I am sure others do - but what I have come to is that my blog is for me - to record some special things in my life and some special feelings that I have - or maybe it is a place to remember good memories of family and friends or a little part of me.

So here you have it - Lady Robin's Nest - my blog.  I don't blog real regularly but I know if I just keep making the effort I will have a wonderful record of some of the things that mean a lot to me and for my children that is priceless.  I think one of my next tasks is to write about each of my children and grandchildren, my mother, my husband's mother - just so they will know why they are so special to me.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

These things remind me of my father

There are so many things that remind me of my father.

One of the main things I remember is his extreme patience with me.  He was always kind to me and was not critical or judgemental about my shortcomings.  I remember how kind he was to me as a small child and the time he would spend with me.  He would talk with me a lot and would be interested in how I was feeling or concerned with my struggle with depression.  I would always think that the next thing would make me happy but he would always remind that the grass was not greener on the other side - just different!!  This has proven true over and over in my life and I can truly say that at 54 I have learned this.  I don't look for the next thing to make me happy anymore I just enjoy where I am and what I am doing and really try to make each experience great!!

I share a lot with my father - we are very much alike.  He was always late because he was doing 1 more thing before he left or just plain not fretting about being on time.  Unfortunately I seem to have learned this trait as I have good intentions but am always about 5 minutes late everywhere I go.  I have his love for beauty - it almost makes me crazy with delight and whenever I see a sunset or a beautiful sky I am reminded about his passion for these daily events.  I remember him yelling across the draw - Robin - you've got to see this one.  I was reminded by my brother Chuck this last week of how he would show you a plant and you would tell him you had seen it and he would say but look at the uniqueness of this one.  Each one was truly unique to him and special.  His spirit lives on in many of his children and as my brothers age I see so many of his mannerisms in them and it truly amazes me of God's creation of man and how genetically we in families are connected.

I inherited his knees!!  I have had both replaced and had crooked legs like him and had them surgically straightened.  This has put a damper on my love of gardening but I have been doing Zumba and seem to strengthening them so I feel hopeful I will want to garden again.

The other thing I share with my father is love for wood and fixing old pieces of furniture and making them beautiful.  When I work with old furniture pieces I feel a real connection with my father and I can hear his voice in my head as I remember the things he taught me and just the many hours I spent with him in his shop observing what he was doing and spending time with him.  I think this gave me a real appreciation for finishes and doing things well.  I have been taking some pictures of furniture I have redone and want to start recording them on my blog.  Here are a few pieces.

I am painting this dresser for a cute young mom that I painted the bed for that is pictured further down.

This is a desk I purchased from an estate sale - the original was a honey maple color which was quite dated.  I repainted it with chalk paint - the bottom is in old ochre and the top is painted in duck egg blue.

Here you can see the distressing a little better - I think it turned out beautiful.  It is for sale at This Old New House in Spokane, Washington.

This is an oak stool which Kari found for me it was just a brown oak.  I painted it with red chalk paint and distressed it.  My sister Lori bought it for her photography studio.

This is a bed frame that I repainted for the same lady I am painting the dresser for.  She had purchased it and the paint was peeling off and I repainted it for her. I also distressed it.

Another view of the bed frame footboard.
This is a view of the headboard.  It was beautiful!!

This is a shelf that was painted white and I painted over it with chalk paint - distressed it and the white came through.  It is available for sale at This Old House.

This is a very old chair that I painted with chalk paint.  My sister Lori purchased it for her studio.

This is a table I painted with chalk paint and distressed.  The colors underneath came through and added great depth and interest to the table.  I sold this at the 2 Women Show.

This is a magazine rack I painted with red chalk paint.  I sold this at Julie's show she had in Spangle.

This is a magazine rack I painted with green chalk paint.  It is currently for sale at This Old New House.

This is a piece I got at Thrifty Living on Pines in the valley.  I painted it with pink chalk paint and sold it.

Today I Turn 54

I haven't posted in quite a while but plan to start posting more frequently.  Today is my 54th birthday and birthday's have a way of making you reflect back on your life.  Where you've come from and where you are going.  I enjoy so many aspects of life - I have enjoyed the freedom from living in this great nation - the freedom to create and develop talents and interests and the opportunities to use these talents to bless the lives of my family and others.  My greatest blessings are my children and I love each one so dearly - they are all unique and different and just amazing.  I also have amazing grandchildren.  I look at each one and see their little spirits and am thrilled at who they are and who they are becoming as they grow and progress in their little lives.  I'm thrilled by little ones who are still in heaven waiting to come to earth and by wonderful children who will teach and nurture these new little ones and who are preparing for their arrival onto this planet.  A tumultuous planet at best but one that is also full of so much beauty and joy if you can stay close to God and have faith in him and his love.  I know that the times we are in are unstable and unsure but I have faith that if I listen to the prophet and other leaders who tell us to prepare for the future that I can have peace and be a strength for others who may not have this knowledge. 

My cat who Jeff calls Cletus but I just call him cat!

He loves to curl up in just about anything contained and sleep.  He is only 6 months old!

We all love this kitty - he is so playful and lots of fun!
This is a compote my dad made me many years ago on top of a table.  My kitty is also a climber!!

Isn't he adorable!!