Wednesday, May 9, 2018


These are on my desk.  How do you spell, < sniff deeply> ? Now, inhale, enjoy.

Ahhhhhhh.  Favorite part of spring as long as I have allergy medicine.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Adventures in Cooking --- The local way

My homework assignment for ANTH 3200  was to cook a meal from only locally produced items. That was a challenge!

I produce a lot of my own food...but not really. Yes, we grow a garden.  We could live okay off of some of the things we have in storage.  But what about the OTHER stuff?  I don't have meat (except a few cans of Spam and tuna) except in the freezer, and not a whole lot.  Lots of fruit and some veggies. 

So I took the challenge to cook a meal using only locally grown and produced food stuffs and then I talked to my farmer friend, Susan. They grow sheep and other animals, have chickens. I figured I could make a frittata and be okay calling it a "meal."  I offered to trade some salmon or cod for eggs or whatevers.

She and her sister put together a beautiful array of wonderful LOCAL Eats. I made them for our Saturday night dinner.


Pork chops
Tossed  Green Salad
Vegetable Frittata

Pretty impressive, huh?  And almost everything there was  locally produced. I forgot and added in a half cup of milk from the fridge while mixing up the eggs for the frittata,  and I have no idea where that milk came from.

Here are some photos and explanations of interesting work-arounds.
What I have in my fruit room. Why not just make a big pot of soup, you say?  Next time. These are tomatoes from the backyard garden I bottled some time ago. Didn't use these.

The "Real Salt" from Redmond, Utah. It really is good. But not $5.29 good for those few ounces. It was one of two purchases I made for this meal.

Dried apples and peaches and bottled apricots. Didn't use any apricots (sugar--not local).

The lovely finished meal of pork chop, applesauce, tossed green salad and frittata.

The 3 ounces of Asiago cheeseI bought for $3.  The block of Pepperjack purchased for about $4.00 and what I would have preferred to used.

What I have in my freezer.  Roasted tomato puree, frozen peaches and frozen raspberries. No sugar added to the fruit, just pure fruit (I think....maybe the peaches have some sugar in them). I didn't use any peaches.

Peach jam and bottled peaches.  We certainly have plenty of dessert fixin's! I didn't use any jam, either, for this meal....that ol' non-local sugar, you know?

The centerpiece.  Because it's spring and one must have a centerpiece in spring, even if it does make me sneeze. That was locally produced in my yard. We did not eat the flowers.   (Though, personally, I think they ARE pretty enough to eat!)

Re-hydrating the dried apples from my basement. I used the juice/water from this for a number of things in the meal.

Dicing up dried plums.  Carolyn's plums were way prettier than mine.  I halve mine before drying, she slices hers.  Mine are dark and hard usually (and  I have to soften them up with a slice of bread in their jar or something similar).  There is also a little baggie of frozen roasted green chiles from my garden a few years ago. I also added those to the frittata.

I simmered my big dried plums and dried pears for some sweet juicy-stuff  and considered making some kind of plum sauce for the pork chops.

The stuff I got from Susan and her sister: Lettuce and spinach greens, pecans from Washington County, eggs, pork chops and dried plums. (and some dried red peppers, too.)

More stuff from fruit room I did not use.  We could have had beets and green beans and pears to round off our meal.  The sugar in the pears was not locally produced.

This is what I really had to go to the store to get, however. Coconut and jelly beans to put on the bunny cake for Easter Sunday dinner.  And not one bit of any of it is locally grown or produced and I don't care because you gotta have a Bunny Cake for Easter!!

awaiting the feast Saturday evening. Berenice and Gayela

Tossed salad with toasted pecans, diced dried plums and raspberry dressing; applesauce.

Pork Chops with apple slices; veggie frittata

Rendered fat from the pork chops to sautee the vegetables for the frittata, in backwards order.

Cleaned greens. There were a variety--leaf lettuce, red and spinach.

Frozen grated zucchini I found in the freezer. From the garden. It thawed and shrunk down from a larg, full, 1 quart zip lock bag to about 2/3 cup of veggies. It's all water, that zucchini. I added it to the frittata.

What the stewed plums and pears looked like.  I pureed them and made a sauce after draining off the juice to use for salad dressing.  The puree was too thick, so I added  apple water/juice.

This is what I wanted to just reach and grab as I went--the spray vegetable oil, the seasonings and rubs.  But I didn't. They are not locally grown or produced. I dug around and found some of my home-dried herbs and only came up with chives that were useful.

The whole afternoon was spent cooking. And ruining a cake--it fell apart when I took it out of the pan. I don't know how I'll turn it into a bunny cake, but I'll try.

Happy Easter, and happy cooking local, folks! I hope I get an "A"

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

3/26/2018 Ruth Hair Funeral

I was so honored to be able to be a part of Ruth's funeral on Monday. She was a dear, dear friend and she will be missed.

Here is her obituary:

  Ruth Hair
     June 19, 1943 - March 12, 2018
Ruth Cooper Hair, age 74, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 12,
2018 at her home in Grayslake, IL.
She was born on June 19, 1943 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada to Laurence
Clark and Inez (Stevens) Cooper.
Ruth was a graduate of Cedar High School and earned a bachelor's degree in
Zoology from Southern Utah State College. She married Calvin Thomas Hair
on September 5, 1964. They adopted two children and eventually settled in
Newbury Park, CA for 25 years before retiring in Cedar City, UT.
Ruth loved music, art, literature, and theater. She was an accomplished
seamstress and enjoyed sewing clothing, Brazilian embroidery, quilts, and
collectible teddy bears. She was devoted to her husband and two children, and
to serving in the LDS church.
She is survived by her daughter Karyn (Bill), her son Jesse (Alison), her sisters
Daphne (Gardiner), and Necia (Harl), her brothers Hal (Nadine), David (Pam),
and Howard (Lavonne), her grandchildren: Silas, Ruth, Calvin, and Clayton,
and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 11:00 am at the
Cedarview Ward Building on 1925 W 320 S, Cedar City. A viewing will be
held on Sunday, March 25, 2018 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Southern Utah
Mortuary. Interment will be in the Cedar City Cemetery under the direction of
Southern Utah Mortuary.

The program from the funeral:

The prelude and postlude music was really played by Bill Conner. Beautifully. He felt like Ruth had truly prompted him to play at her funeral (he'd played at Cal's ) and so we asked and it was done. Bill and Aubrey Conner drove down Sunday night together. They are Karen's two brothers. I usually hang out with just Karen Conner Green when given the chance, but the visits with Bill and Aubrey were great. They (and I) were the only Texarkanians there at the funeral, sadly.  There were a few from SoCal, but they didn't get the opportunity to participate. There were a variety of people who were in charge of various funeral assignments and, siblings... I went to Bill and Aubrey's hotel Sunday night after Ruth's viewing and we had such a good visit together, reminiscing about Cal and Ruth and other Texarkana people and memories.

After Monday's funeral, Bill, Aubrey and I went to the cemetery and back to the chapel for the luncheon. It was nice to be able to visit with some of Ruth's family that I knew from way-back-when.  That first summer of 1974 when I came to Cedar City, I was taken to Family Reunions and met them all, there were summer gatherings of all kinds of family--both sides!  And I was right in the midst of them all. Good people. And I kind of followed up on some, as we've been back in Cedar for many years and I called on Mrs. Cooper (Ruth's Mom) for a while when selling Avon in her neighborhood. Inez would catch me up on who was where and doing what. And, of course, once Cal and Ruth were back in Cedar, we did have lunches together occasionally. At the funeral luncheon I was also able to share some very old snapshots of Ruth's family (a couple of siblings) from those old days, so that was fun. Nadine and Ruth and I hiking Kolob Arch trail, and David and Jimmy and I hiking the Narrows.  Many memories. Not bad for an old lady who HAS no memory! ha.

And here is the talk I was privileged to give, sharing memories of her Texarkana Days, which surely did spread far beyond the time and place of Texarkana. (You don't have to read it. I just wanted to keep it. ) I have never before spoken at a Funeral. I thought I would be a blubbery mess, but I was not. I did, however, read all my remarks because I just don't do well with extemporaneous speech any more.  So I wrote it, timed it, practiced it and presented it. Whew. Glad it is over. Rest in peace, Ruthie.

Ruth Cooper Hair funeral, March 26, 2018

A quote from Kim Evans : “Ruth and Cal Hair changed my life as a youth in the Texarkana Ward. They served with such love—especially us youth during those critical teen years. They were there for us when my dad was killed—and again with us when we were sealed as an eternal family in the Salt Lake Temple. I owe any good choices I’ve made to their example, influence, and love. They belong together and I’m so happy for them now! “

Cal and Ruth Hair came to  Texarkana, Texas in the early 1970’s while Cal finished up his Military assignment with the Marines. He became the Bishop of the Texarkana Ward, a ward with all the drama and difficulties, the icky stickiness of life complete with death, divorce and messes, as well as the births and marriages and joys of life. They were so young and I think they were maybe a little scared and overwhelmed, (and they WERE, Ruth told me later--"We were so young," she said) but OH how they loved and led and served our ward.  Ruth was a leader in the YW organization. And what a leader she was!  Under Ruth’s direction, our little Texarkana Ward did some fantastic Road Shows--the only ones I ever remember being in.  We participated in  Music Festivals, and she was the one who introduced me to songs that I still love to hear and sing. Her music and photography talents were put to use when she did a slide slow, put to music, of all the youth and shared it with the ward. Those are treasure photos of that group of young men and young women in their very formative years, as Kim said, all of whom were deeply, positively affected by the Hairs. Cal and Ruth began their family in Texarkana and the ward rallied around, helping to get things ready when Karyn very quickly came into their home and into their lives.

Cal and Ruth lived in Texarkana only a few short years, but they were very influential years. Besides being our leader in Young Women, she also taught our home study seminary class.  We didn’t have early morning seminary in Texas at that time, but met on Sunday’s after church, after a long day of church. She didn’t have to made it fun, but it was.  She read all my assignments, made thoughtful comments in the margins in her distinctive handwriting. We became the scripture chasing champions of the whole stake under her leadership! I loved that association with the other youth in our ward, and the monthly trips to our Stake Center in Gilmer, Texas. I remember Girl’s Camp with Ruth and her camp songs and guitar. Her influence went deep with all of us because of her positive, uplifting, generous, giving, self-less person that she was and is. She made us all feel so important and so capable of of great worth. She is a people builder.     Karen Green told me that she thinks mostly of Ruth as one who “saw the very best in us and loved us unconditionally.”

It was Ruth who told me, “You should come to Utah and go to SUSC and you can live with my mother and get a job in the library there.”  And it all came true. I was looking for a smaller-than-BYU school to attend and as my mom said, “I always felt like it was the Hairs who saved you from a Texas life.” A Texas Life might not have been a bad thing, but my Utah life definitely did become a great thing.  Ruth left Texas in 1974 ahead of Cal, taking baby Karen and heading out to Utah to help with Niecia and Harl’s wedding; Cal followed later, driving me, non-stop straight through, across the country and delivering me to the Cooper’s doorstep, as promised. Cal helped me find my first job, introducing me to friends up and down Main Street, Cedar City Utah 1974. What those people did for us!  Two years after they (and I) left Texas, Ruth was my Temple escort in the St. George Temple when I received my endowments and was married. How they loved and served their Texarkana Ward people! Not just me-- all of us.

Others from the Texarkana ward also migrated to Utah through the years.  Because of the Gospel connection we all shared, we stayed connected, and the Hairs, particularly Ruth, were our common thread. We had some Texarkana Reunions. Ruth connected deeply with the sweet wives of the Texarkana “boys”. Texarkana gals loved getting together for occasional lunches up north once Cal and Ruth were back in Utah.  What a gab-fest those were!  I feel like I had the best part of the deal because Ruth and I drove up from Cedar City together, we had all that time along I-15 to visit with each other. I loved those drives. Especially the one where we were so busy talking that we forgot to stop and get gas and got home on fumes, a wing and a prayer.  Ruth cherished all those Texarkana-ites. She loved us all, cared about us all, and we knew it. There were wide spans in our ages and life stages, Some were older than Ruth, some were younger, but it was the Gospel of Jesus Christ that was our bond.

I’d like to share just one more memory of Ruth from another Texarkanian. This one is from Bill Conner who played prelude music here today so beautifully. Besides being a talented musician, he’s also an eloquent writer:


In the summer of 1972 our dad told us he was taking a new job and we would be moving to Texarkana, TX.  I was going to be a senior in high school, had just been initiated into the Singing Sooners (Oklahoma's version of Young Ambassadors) and was not at all excited about moving to an unknown town and a new high school where I didn't know anyone.

Our parents were still looking for a home when it was time for school to begin, so we didn't have anywhere to live.  Our dad told us that the Bishop of the ward in Texarkana and his wife had offered to let the three of us kids live in their home.  It was a time of unknowns for us ... and now we would be living with strangers for several weeks until our parents found a home and moved from Oklahoma to be with us.

But we weren't strangers for long.  Cal and Ruth took us in and treated us like we were their own kids.  Ruth would spend time with me every day listening to records and talking about life.  She so easily related to our teenage experiences.  Though Ruth was only 12 years older than I was, she and Cal became like second parents.  Ruth loved music and she would always ask me to play the piano for her.  She had this way of making you feel like the most important person in her life.  She became a great friend .... and primarily because of Cal and Ruth, Texarkana soon began to feel like home.

Those were such impressionable years -- a time of important decisions -- and both Cal and Ruth were great examples to me of how living the gospel can be fun.  Cal was my Bishop when I decided to serve a mission.  He was a great influence on me ... and a great example.  And Ruth was such a great cheer leader.  She encouraged us in every aspect of life ... educationally, musically, socially and spiritually.  My parents' marriage was beginning to dissolve and Cal and Ruth became like second parents to me.  Over the years we kept in touch.  My wife and I visited them in California and later after Cal retired and they moved back to Utah we continued to come down for visits at their beautiful home.  I was somewhat shocked to discover that Ruth had somehow gotten Cal into opera.  It was kinda cool to see this tough Marine crying to Puccini.  They were great role models of a loving couple.  Ruth had an unconquerable spirit.  And she was a proud mom.  She was always talking about Karen and Jesse.  I haven't seen Karen since I held her as a baby on the front lawn of their home on Olive Drive in Texarkana, but I feel like I know Karen and Jesse because of all the stories Ruth shared.  Ruth was a light in my life from the day I met her.  And I don't know how I would have made it through those final teenage years as well as I did without the guidance of our dedicated young Bishop and his amazing wife.  

I'm not much of a road trip guy and I wouldn't drive 4 1/2 hours for just anyone, Ruth.  But I'm grateful to be here today to honor a life so well lived.


Bill Conner

It is a beautiful thing in this life when we have a friend who makes US feel 
as though we are their best friend. Ruth was one of those--we all feel as though 
we are her best friend, 
a whole
big room full of us,  valued and cherished by a wonderful woman who we also value and cherish. Christ said “Ye are my friends,” and I am glad that I could call Ruth my friend, and am so glad she is back with her friend and eternal companion, Cal, and with our Saviour, Jesus Christ. In his name, Amen.

 1976, at our wedding reception in Cedar City, UT. She sat at our Guest Registry book.
 Helping in the kitchen at Katie & Casey's reception
 2010 (?) Texarkana Get-together at Karen Conner Green's home in Layton, UT. L-R, Ruth, LaVoice Evans Dean, Norma Wadsworth (kneeling), Karen Green, Lynn Richards, me, Kim Evans
 Cedar City Cemetery, March 26, 2018