Gracie

This is my cat. Her name is Gracie. She came into our lives quite by accident a couple of years ago. My husband and I were having dinner out on the porch one summer night two years ago. All of a sudden, this little kitten, no older than six weeks  came up to us looking  hungry. We already were living in a feral cat community, and we were feeding many of the strays already, so we gave her something to eat and some water. We went inside, and she followed us. We were used to that because of the few ferals who were not afraid of us.  Next thing you know, when we put her back outside, this little kitty trying to climb up the screen on my bedroom window. So, I went and opened up the door, and she just made herself at home. It is as if she was saying, “Will you be my human, and can I stay here?”  Well, who could turn this beauty away!? So, my husband said, “Okay, we can keep her.”

Gracie has quite a personality and her own way of doing things. One of the funniest things I love about her is when she stretches out on her back, curling up all four paws. It seems to be her way of saying, “I really like you,” or “I dare you to tickle my belly!” She is usually very camera shy except for the few times I took these photos. This cat is smart!She knows what it means when I whip out either my cell phone or tablet to attempt to get a photo or video of her. It’s next to impossible. She knows just how to avoid having her picture taken. The ones shown here are just a few of others I have taken over the past year. These are the rare ones where she actually looked up.

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Time Flies When Your Having Fun

It is Sunday, September 4, 2016. You must be thinking that I have given up on my blog. I cannot believe it has been TWO years since my last entry. Well, many things have happened in that time. First, my desktop computer died last summer. Windows Vista 64-bit – Kaput! The fan burned out. I found and bought one on eBay. Now all I need is someone to fix it. The professionals in my area are a little too expensive for my budget. In the meantime, my husband decided to buy me a laptop. I am still trying to get used to the track pad. As I type, my left thumb hits it, causing all sorts of technical problems, but that’s just because I have some neurological issues. Otherwise, I am enjoying my new “toy.”

As for my health, some things are better than others. I recently found out that my kidney’s are not functioning as normal as they should be. Technically, that means, I am in the early stages of Chronic Kidney Disease.  I am currently taking medication for hypertension, and one of those is also designed to help protect the kidney’s from further damage. My doctor does not see the need for me to be referred to a specialist, but I disagree, sort of. It is not as easy for me to understand what is going on.There has to be more that I can do besides medication to help protect my kidney’s from deteriorating anymore than they have.  The internet is great for searching the web on millions of subjects. However, it does not take the place of a face-to-face consultation. We’ll have to see what the next week brings me, I guess.

My mother and older siblings came for a visit earlier this summer. It had been 11 years since our last “reunion.” I told my brother that I don’t want to wait that long again to get together.  “We’ll see,” he said. Mother has aged and slowed down a lot. She is now living in an assisted-living apartment. There are aids who help her wake up in the morning, and take her dog out for his morning routine.  Mother has breakfast and dinner in the main dining room with others who live there. There are activities that she wants to get involved in, but it is taking her awhile to adjust to her new surroundings.  She still attempts to stay up late at night, sleep on the couch. That’s not safe for her anymore, as she has a history of falls with rib fractures. My older sister lives nearby and is Mom’s primary. From this point on, I am going to keep in touch with my sister for updates. I try to call Mom, but she doesn’t always answer the phone. Lately, my calls have gone to voice mail. Sister thinks she may have accidentally blocked my number. Oh, well, that’s okay. At least sister is nearby.

My youngest nephew is getting married in October. He’s only 19 or 20 yrs old. My sister (his mother) feels he and his fiancee’ should wait another year or two, but, you know how young people are. They don’t always want to take advice. According to the invitation, Nephew & Fiancee’ are getting married somewhere in the mountains of Colorado – about an hour from where they live. I would love to go, but it is not possible. I hope they send pictures.

 

 

Where Have I Been?

Hello Readers! Happy Thanksgiving to all! You probably have been wondering what happened to me, whether or not I was still alive. Yes, I am still here and doing well. Things at my house have been hectic for a very long time. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day to get all things accomplished.

I am currently making some very important decisions on the direction of my blog as well as my private life. So much is happening around us, and with the political “climate,” it is going to get much more dangerous to share information. Alas, I still believe that our Heavenly Father will protect us, but he also expects us to be wise in all our decisions.

With all that said, I may consider converting or transferring an older blog from another provider into this one and then upgrading from the free WordPress version I am currently using. All that takes money that I currently do not have, and I do not have the heart to ask for donations, especially during hard times for everybody. Until then, I appreciate your patience and ask for your daily prayers as I take on this transition. It will be awhile before I can come back “full-time.”

Thank you so much!

Found! Photo of my Paternal Grandfather as a Child

Sidney Thedford and FamilyI am so excited about this!! A few weeks before Christmas, I finally had the opportunity to speak with a relative who lives several hours north of me. She went through boxes from her husband’s father’s house and came across several photos of ancestors. The one shown is the family of my paternal great-grandfather.The relative sent me a few of them. My grandfather is the littlest one in front on the far right (click on the photo to get a better view!). The family resemblance is just amazing to me. My oldest brother has nearly the same features and expressions, especially the “scowl” you get when facing sunlight.  🙂

I’ve been told that since they all grew up in Texas, many of them were cotton farmers. There’s not a lot of information on the women from that time period, because they were stay-at-home mom’s. Many of them didn’t have much of a “scholarly” education other than the basics. Knowing how strong they must have been for this time period to raise large families, they knew how to preserve the home and hearth for them. I wish I had more detailed information about my great-grandfather. It would be nice to know how he treated his wife and sons. Was he friendly and kind to others? I know he was a faithful member and deacon of the Baptist church. From that, I can have hope that he loved his family very much.

One of my Favorite Talks …

In my lifetime, I have encountered many people of great faith in God and Jesus Christ from many denominations. Some have often made claims of having the “corner market” on Christianity, basically implying – and sometimes outright stating – that other denominations or non-denominational “Christian” churches with instrumental music are not Christian – according to their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

My mother taught me from a very young age to never take the words of any bible teacher as “gospel.” She taught me to study the scriptures for myself to learn if they were true.  This brings me to my most important lesson in my adult life as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I mentioned in a previous post, I fasted and prayed, asking God for His Divine Wisdom on what I should do. One evening, I was in an online discussion with a fellow “Mormon,” and he showed me something that confirmed in my heart exactly what I have been seeking for a very long time: The Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ, and it is true! The following link will tell you why I believe this:

“We invite all to inquire into the wonder of what God has said since biblical times and is saying even now.”

LDS.org – Ensign Article – “My Words … Never Cease”.   By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

How to Have a Personal Relationship with the Savior, Jesus Christ

“A stronger personal faith in Jesus Christ will prepare [your children] for the challenges they will most surely face.” ~Elder Neil L. Andersen

Reflecting on my childhood, I remember what my mother and grandparents taught me about what it meant to be a child of God.  I learned from more than just a series of lectures for me. They taught by example. They prayed with me and for me. They read from the scriptures and taught me how to commit them to memory. Despite the physical challenges that I had to face, my mother and grandparents did their best not to treat me any different than my older siblings. I was encouraged to develop the talents that my Heavenly Father gave me.

One of my favorite talks comes from the General Conference in April 2010: Tell me the story of Jesus. This is one of the ways that has taught me as an adult to continue my relationship with Jesus. What is even more special is that I believe that prophets still work today to spread the good news. In speaking of prophets, I testify that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. “For his word ye shall receive as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.” D&C 21:5

I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Almighty God and the Savior of the world. I believe that he died to atone for my sins so that I may have eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom.

Sharing my Faith

Some people I have known through the years are questioning my faith in – and committment to – my relationship with Jesus Christ.  Some have also gone as far as to say that I am no longer a “true Christian” because I left the only “true” church (their words – not mine) I have ever known since I was born.  To give you a little background, I was raised in a Christian home as a member of a non-denominational church in the northeast part of the United States. For many years, all I knew was what I was taught.  That teaching was that “the Bible is the only authoritive Word of God.”  Following in everyone else’s footsteps, I towed the line. Accepting their teachings was what was expected of me – not by my mother or grandparents, really – but my my Sunday School, church camp teachers, youth ministers, etc.

However, as the years went by my heart became empty. That empty feeling didn’t go away even though I did what was expected of me. I was longing for a closer relationship with my Savior and Lord, and I bounced around within the mainstream Bible-only churches, including Baptists, and other evangelical pentacostal churches. There were so many different opinions of the interpretation of the Bible from leaders of all mainstream congregations that I had faithfully attended. Confusion was really clouding my own faith.  I couldn’t even see where I was being fed, spiritually, much less an encouragement to anyone. One day, I came to the realization that I was really tired of basing my faith on someone else, and I was tired of worrying about what “so-and-so” might think or say.

So, I prayed and asked God for His wisdom and guidance on this one very important issue: Where can I firmly plant my feet and grow, spiritually, and be a blessing to others at the same time?

As of January 2010, I am Mormon. Yes, you heard me correctly. I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No harm will come to anyone in my family or life-long friends who are still members of the other church(es) because of my decision.  Yes, there were LDS missionaries involved – but – I made my choice without any provocation or pressure from anyone. I sought them out on my own.  After much prayer and personal study of the Book of Mormon, I have found through my faith that prophets still exist today. There is so much more to it than just the prophets. For me, it is about a deeper, personal relationship with Christ that I have never had before. With that, I have found peace in my decision. Will I encounter hardship in relationships with others? It’s possible. But I must believe the Gospel, obey the Word of the Lord, and I shall endure these things. I’ll trust in the Lord that he’ll direct my path.

For more information, visit http://www.lds.org.