News from Nonna: August 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Family That I Grew Up With

Family has always been one of my greatest blessings. My whole life has been made up of people surrounding me that I love. I will try to concentrate on one side and then the other.


Marjory Blanche Swan Malone was my paternal grandmother. Man did I love her. She was so sweet and kind, loving and soft! ( She was fluffy and I loved to lay on her and have her rock me.) img172She was a scrub nurse at the hospital and no matter where she went, she would call in and leave a number where they could reach her. I think it gave her life purpose. She loved to have people over for dinner and when she did, she would set the table so prettily. That is where I got my love of dishes. She never had anything material really, but she loved pretty dishes. She made fried rabbit that would melt in your mouth.

Mike, Diane, Kelly and I would always go over to Grandmothers’. She would give us anything to make forts in her backyard and always help us.

img065 We would stay all night and when I did, I slept with her. She would leave her false teeth under my pillow, every time, and ask me in the morning, where her teeth were! At night we would eat fried egg sandwiches, (how did I do that?) and watch Peter Gun on TV. I can still hear that music in my head.

She loved Easter, and we always had animg022

egg hunt at her house, among her flowers. She especially loved Iris’ and I can see her bending over, hands behind her back, smelling her flowers.

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Grandmother loved to play canasta. She taught us kids from a young age how to play and I still do to this day. She taught Diane and I how to play Jacks and we used to do that for hours in Oklahoma. Grandmother loved to swim. We used to go to the lakes around Porum all the time. I grew up camping, water skiing, and swimming. Grandma wasn’t skinny (it didn’t matter to her, plus I thought she was beautiful) and would put on a suit with the best of us. I got some of my worst sunburns in Oklahoma at her house! :(


Grandmother was a strong member of the Bouciant ?, the women’s arm of the Masonic Lodge. My Dad and Uncle Bud, and my Grandfather Malone, all obtained the highest rank in the Masons. This is her, very proud of her two sons.


One year, she was the chairperson for the cancer drive in Liberal. I used to go downtown and sit in her office with her. She was a good member of the Methodist Church and I went with her there on occasion.

My grandmother was one of the sweetest people. I never heard her talk badly about anyone, she never swore, drank, smoked, or was uncouth in any way. She had a very, very hard life. Her mother died when she was 4. She was basically raised by an older sister who was nothing like her. She married and was pregnant ten times. Three miscarriages, one stillbirth, two children died from Hemophylia, and another one from Meningitis, and three children who lived to adulthood, my father being one of them. Diane’s dad, Uncle Bud, and my Aunt Martha.



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Aunt Martha with Mike……

She lived with Arthritis that was very painful. I used to want to just hug her and hug her, and sometimes she would just wince, not complaining.

She would write to me in college and I always loved her letters. She passed away in her early 70’s, watching her favorite show, General Hospital. :) I could go on and on, but will save it for another post. I hope that I am like her in just a few ways. I love you Grandmother.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hotel Jardine (A Classy Place)


We moved to Denver now almost four years ago.  Seems impossible to believe but it is true.  Especially in the beginning and well, until now, it was hard to leave Kansas City and all of our family and friends.

The Lord knew I was lonely and so along this journey, there have been over one-hundred (yes I said 100) different people who have come to stay with us……How awesome is that?


This is one of our favorite little visitors, well he is actually a man now, but will always be one of my boys.  Camron Smith is on his way back to BYU and so we get to have him stay to and from the greatest university.  He just brings a light to our home, thank you Camron.

I absolutely love to cook for this boy, he loves to eat and my cooking seems to agree with him.  This morning he got biscuits, gravy, bacon, scrambled eggs with cheese, fresh peaches with cream, and orange juice.  So until next time Camron, have a great semester.  Go COUGARS!

“Little Reward”

In about 610 A.D. a very creative Alpine Monk decided to make use of the pieces of dough left over from baking bread. The Monk formed them into thin strips folded into a looped twist to represent the folded arms of children in prayer.

This scrumptious treat was given to the children as they learned their prayers. They began calling the treat "Pretiola", which is Latin for "little reward". Soon it was known the world over as a pretzel.

The secret of making great pretzels is not only in the baking but also in the shaping. We, like pretzels, are made from the best ingredients, by the best hands available, the hands of our Father in Heaven.

Have you ever seen a broken pretzel, or one that's lost its shape? We too, can lose our shape when we don't pray always to keep our spirituality intact. Even in the midst of our greatest trials, we must remember, as did Job, to call on the Lord. The simple shape of the pretzel, arms folded in prayer, reminds us to pray each day. Our "Pretiola" or "little rewards" are the blessings we receive.

Every time you see a pretzel, remember prayer. Check to see if your arms are often folded in prayer and have not lost their shape!


Cheesy Soft Pretzels by Annette Wrigley

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. shredded cheese
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. cold butter
2/3 c. milk
1 egg, beaten
Coarse salt

In a bowl, combine flour, cheese, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk - just to moisten. Knead 1 minute. Divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12X8 inch rectangle. Cut in strips and twist into pretzel shape. Pinch ends together. Place on a greased pan. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 400° for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

Homemade Pretzels by Paige Holden

1 Tbsp. dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. flour
1 egg, beaten
Coarse salt
Wax paper

Mix yeast in warm water. Add sugar and salt. Add flour and mix. Put dough on wax paper and knead until soft. Cut off pieces and shape as you like (too thick = doughy, too thin = brittle). Place them on a cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle coarse salt. Bake at 425° for 12 to 15 minutes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Day in the Life of Nonna and Poppa

Jaimie had to go to a doctors appointment today, so Nonna and Poppa got to watch Creed……Yahoo! We had a great time and hope that he did also. Jaimie is right on course, and the midwife thinks she won’t make it until the 26th of September which is her due date. Tylee could be born on Jacqui’s birthday, Jag’s birthday, or Jonathan’s birthday. Man we will leave decorations out all month.

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Downstairs in the playroom. He is going to be good with a little sister. Lots of kisses in store for Tylee…..

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Becoming proficient with money….

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Poppa is his buddy.

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So cute, he was fascinated with the washer today. Maybe an engineer in the future?

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Helping Poppa clean the truck. “No

Creed, no reverse!!!”

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“Time for lunch Poppa, we have had a busy day. Until next time……”

Thanks To Jacqui…

Thanks to Jacqui, my house is looking finer by the minute.  “But Mom, you don’t really want to put those things up. I will feel so bad, when I move and they have to come with me!”  Don’t worry honey, I’ll adjust, meanwhile I love my dining room…..

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Gentle Thoughts for Today

Does anyone realize that I have learned to cut and paste? I love it!!!!! So this is an e-mail from Mother and I laughed today. Thus I am going to share. I have not learned yet to flip the bird, (Mike however my pointer finger is going a hundred miles an hour!) but I am feeling better.

Birds of a feather flock together and crap on your car.

When I'm feeling down, I like to whistle.
It makes the neighbor's dog run to the end of his chain and gag himself.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because
by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house
is to buy a replacement.

He who hesitates is probably right.

Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are ' XL.'

The sole purpose of a child's middle name is
so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

Did you ever notice: When you put the two words
'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs.'

Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying
about your age and start bragging about it.

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Some people try to turn back their odometers.
Not me, I want people to know 'why' I look this way.
I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like
to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

One of the many things no one tells you about aging is
that it is such a nice change from being young.

Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

First you forget names, then you forget faces.
Then you forget to pull up your zipper.
It's worse when you forget to pull it down.

Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks,
it was called witchcraft. Today, it's called golf.

Lord, Keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand around my mouth. AMEN

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I SEE THEM…The White Hats That IS

So my last post was a little sad, I was in the slump. Fridays we work in the temple for 10 hours and I saw a lot of white hats:) White hats everywhere, people who are absolutely wonderful and working just because they love the Savior. So today I will be happy again and try to keep out of the slumps.

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I never was a good roller coaster rider. I don’t have the stomach for it! Life is like riding on a roller coaster at times. I love the wind in my face, but the drops do me in.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

President Holland Does It Again……

Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said, “I will not leave you comfortless. [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].”

About ten years ago, we were also going through a trial that I considered almost insurmountable. I could hardly find comfort at that time. Others were receiving persecution because of our family and it was overwhelming. I searched and searched for comfort and finally found what I was yearning for by reading a talk given by President Jeffrey R. Holland. It was entitled, “ Cast Not Away Therefore Thy Confidence.” It was so elemental to my being enlightened. Because of it, I wrote to him and told him how important his thoughts had become to the way I was trying to handle life. I actually got a note back from him and he said, “Remember the white hats always win in the end, always.”

So as we are here in another seemingly life altering trial, I once again have turned to his counsel and inspiration to see me through.

I pray I may not lose my confidence, but I sure am getting tired. All I see are black hats………………..

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Once Again “What the Hail!”

I just love saying that word and actually getting away with it! So we are sitting quietly yesterday afternoon, playing Canasta with Jacqui, and all of a sudden the dogs start barking and all hail breaks loose. Verlinda Camera 068

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It has come a gully washer and there goes my flowers..Verlinda Camera 071

See my earlier post to understand my dismay…

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So for the record, we have made snow balls in April, (see Cousin Camp), snowballs in Montana for our reunion in July, and now August. It's a hail of a life, but it's my life! What will October bring? Stay tuned.


I have worried a little on occasion if I could possibly, just maybe, or by chance be a little OCD. Not that I think that is all bad, considering I get a lot done, and I love, absolutely love a clean and organized house.

I would love to say that I am a compulsive shopper (be quiet Richard!), that I work out non-stop, that I dress like gangbusters every day, or that I can’t go to sleep unless I have everything done for the week, but alas no. I can just say that I love a clean and organized house.Verlinda Camera 060 Verlinda Camera 061

I think that RIchard has more vitamins than we have food, but those Jardines’ are long-lived……This is one room that I would not want to do without ever again. PANTRY!

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The spices of life……

So maybe I should try to excell in something besides food!

Six Miles, Three Hikers, and a Beautiful Day!

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Richard has been begging Jacqui and I to go hiking with him in the Rocky Mountain National Forest.  So Saturday was the day. It was glorious, the weather was cool, we took jackets, and the scenery was magnificent.  You have to consider the state of the hiking crew.  Jacqui is five months pregnant, Richard is still limping from his ATV accident and I have two rods, four screws, and a metal cage in my spine.  What a crew.  We however thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  And it was up hill both ways! :)

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There were horses going up to the top of the mountain, I wish we could have hitched a ride! But where is the pain in that?

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Actually, my favorite part of the hike.  This little fellow climbed up on our hands, legs, and arms to get the PIstachio nuts that I had.  I am sure he has enough food storage for the winter.  I couldn’t stop feeding him.Verlinda Camera 052

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Thanks RIchard for the adventure.  I would do it all over again, but six miles! surely I will loose a few ounces…….

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I would like to acknowledge my brother.  I am going through an extremely difficult time in my life right now.  Probably one of the most challenging trials to date.  I am an emotional person on a good day, so you can imagine my dilemma.  I have done all of the things that are important, praying, studying, improving the quality of my faith, counting my blessings, and doing everything that I can think of to help me through.  But my Father in Heaven continues to know what will strengthen me.  Yesterday morning my brother sends me this song and it was a port in my storm………………..

I have been greatly blessed in so many ways and I acknowledge my Father’s loving hand in all things.  That however does not seem to make this battle easier.  And so to remind me, he sends me a gift, a comfort, an answer to my prayers through my loving brother.  The song that you are listening to as you read my blog today, is my brother.  He knows just how important music has always been in my life, but no music is more beautiful to me than that, that my brother sings.  I could listen to him forever.

We both love gospel music.  I think it is in our souls.  My great-grandfather was a music maker and played at his church.  He loved to sing, my grandmother loved to sing, Uncle Gary loves to sing.  And so my brother was blessed with this talent as well.  (NO one is more talented at listening than I am!) So not only do I have great gratitude for my brother at this time and his sensitivity to my spirit, I feel the comfort and peace of those of my family who have gone on before me.  They are all telling me to hang on, this is but a moment and if thou endure it well, we will all be together again and then I will be comforted by them as well.  So Mike, my dearest brother and friend, Thank you, Thank you, for standing by me, loving me, and being in tune enough to know that at this moment, you are an answer to my prayer!  I love you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009



I was born on the 20th of July, around 5 AM in the morning, at the Epworth Hospital, in Liberal, Seward County, Kansas.  That is a story all in itself but for now, Jerianne has asked me to describe the place that I grew up, including sights, sounds, and smells. 

I loved growing up in a small town.  It got it’s name from what I understand, by a particular man being very “liberal,” with the water from his well, in a considerably dry part of the country. 

Liberal is famous for the annual Pancake Day Race with Olney, England.  That was always a highlight of the year with parades, a pancake race, school was always out, and my mom was famous worldwide because of it. She and her best friend Sally Warden, were the prettiest girls in town and they used them on a postcard that is still sold to this  day.


Uncle Gary in the Liberal parade, he is on the left holding the gun on his shoulder.  He used to make me cry when he would walk by looking so handsome.

Liberal is on the very plains of Kansas and is dry for the most part.  Not a lot of moisture to remember.  The feeling I have climate wise is one of dirt, in my teeth, on my face, and sunburns.  Oh, my sunburns were a plague to me.  I never tanned and had freckles a bushel.  I don’t remember  a lot of snow, or rain but do remember a lot of threats for tornadoes.  Running to the cellar or basement, or being stuffed under the bed while my mother stood and danced in place. Dark funnel clouds and anxiety. The song from Oklahoma, which was four miles from Liberal, is that there is corn and wheat as “High as an elephant’s eye,” and you can see for miles and miles.  Cows, everywhere, the smell of cows and my daddy would always say, “Verlinda, that smells like money to me!”

Growing up in Liberal was fantastic for me.  I loved it and look back on it with nothing but pleasant memories.  Maybe it was the small town that I loved.  Mike and I and Diane and Kelly, and our friends would play outside all day long.  LIterally, and into the night.  Our mother was never worried about us, there was nothing to worry about.  My grandparents both lived within blocks of us and that is where we spent most of our time.  Mostly, always over at Grandma and Granddaddy Upchruch’s.  No phones really, party lines I remember. No cell phones, we didn’t watch tv and there were no computers.  Just wonderful friends and the big outdoors.  We would ride our bikes, play ball in the fields, draw houses with rocks in the street, (they weren’t paved) play in the lumber yard, Uncle Bud’s big old truck, games galore in our yards and used our imaginations. 

Liberal was dry as I said and some of the feelings of the place is that my feet hurt!  They had goatheads, huge, hard stickers, that would get in  your feet and you had to literally pull them out.  Your feet were sore for days, but we really didn’t wear shoes a great deal.  There were also sandburrs, stickers on a stem that we would throw at one another, and play tag.  We played all of the old games, Annie-Over, Hide and Seek, Kick the Can, The Bears, Blind Man’s BLuff, Red Light Green Light, Mother May I, and on and on.  Always we were outside.

On Saturdays, during the summers, we could go to the Tucker Theatre, downtown for 25 cents.  We would buy a series of tickets from school.  We would walk all the way downtown, by ourselves, across the train tracks, and go to the movie and to Duckwall’s, where we could spend 10 cents for a candy.  We could walk all over town when we were younger and no one ever worried. We were safe back then. What a wonderful way to grow up.

Liberal was synonymous with family.  Family all around me and memories so close to my heart.  Grandmother Upchurch would put Mike and I in the car and we would “ride around,” Liberal for hours on end.  Looking at houses, waving to friends, going to the grocery stores, shopping at the Gibson store, visiting their friends, riding, riding, riding.  I never got tired of it.

Liberal is bible school at the neighbors house, going with my grandmother to so many different churches, family dinners, the smell of fried rabbit, walking to and from school twice a day, Rainbow Girls, wanting to fit in at school, McDermott,UFO’S, tinsel Christmas Trees that turned colors,  security, laughter, friends, happiness, joy, and gratitude and so much more. Liberal is part of who I am.


Grandmother’s Posterity…..

We continued our reunion for those of us who were brave enough and still had a little sanity left, at my brother’s house in Spanish Fork, Utah. Diane, my cousin, had graciously offered her house as another resting ground for the Malone clan.

Verlinda Camera 171 We had a wonderful time, eating, of course, playing games, laughing, hanging out and all over,enjoying the 24th of July festivities.

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We had a tribute dedicated to Grandmother Blanche Marjory Swan Malone. We shared some of our wonderful, fun, and happy memories about her with the younger generations. She would have loved this posterity of hers and been laughing right along with us. I believe Mike is demonstrating how we would all help her put on her girdle. Good thing this experience didn’t scar you Mike!Verlinda Camera 184 Verlinda Camera 185

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Grandmother’s great-grandchildren minus Jonathan and Jason. What a pretty group, and now for all of her great-great grandchildren…….Verlinda Camera 189

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We played old time games that Diane, Kelly, Mike and I used to play. Red Rover, Freeze Tag, Annie-Over, Blind Man’s Bluff and proved that the following generation could still compete!

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Batter-Batter Swing…..Verlinda Camera 204

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And ended the evening with an outdoor movie at Julie and Richard’s house. What fun….The kids played so well with each other for the next four days.

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Bless Mike and Debbie and Diane. They opened their homes literally to us all. Let’s just say, if Janae and her children have stayed at your home, you have been visited. All of the kids love Uncle Mika and Aunt Debbie. I unfortunately was extremely sick. I tried but knowing how generous I have always been, I shared the Plague from He.. with one and all. We were always calling poor Dave for a doctors viewpoint. After two round of anti=biotics, three bottles of cough syrup, Alka-Seltzer Plus, kleenexes, and coughing up a lung, I have managed to share this with one and all……..Sorry, but Families Are Forever! Thank you everyone, for helping to keep our family together and solid. (Did she say solid? Which one of this group is solid? I don't know what she's talking about! This whole Fam Damily is crazy........................Until next time.