Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Election day looms

So now that my "Older than dirt" campaign is in full swing, I thought that I would give you a quick update as to the states that have responded. Much to my surprise, SEVERAL! The following states have sent me samples: West Virginia, South Dakota, North Dakota, Georgia, Utah, New Mexico and Delaware. After I have received a few more, I will post some photos and some incredible stories that have been shared thus far. One state even tells me that their state legislature passed a law to make their dirt the official "State Soil". WOW! And I have some in my collection! Going to the post office everyday is just like looking forward to Christmas! Thank you in advance to all of the states that are taking the time to fulfill my request. Oh, and thank you too for sending me links to research even more fascinating facts about dirt, soil, and sand.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't mess with TEXAS

Scrapbook pages cont. This dirt sample was actually purchased at a store in Dallas. One of the few times that I didn't get down and dirty, I just dug out a dollar! We were headed to Houston, then Galveston in order to board a cruise ship. This is the same trip that took us from Salt Lake City to Dallas Texas, to Houston Texas, to Galveston Texas and on to the ship.
The Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Rhapsody of the Seas then took us to Key West Florida, Belize, Cozumel, and back into Texas. I loved Dallas. It was one of the prettiest cities I have ever been in. The company that made the little foot shaped dirt holder has since gone out of business. BOO. I would have liked to gotten feet with dirt in them from everywhere! If you know of anyone that makes these little treasures still, hook a sister up!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

All for the price of a PONCHO

I'm not ganna lie...I love the fact that I did all of these pages so long ago. It makes it much easier (and a little more colorful) to do blog posts. La Bufadora has a whole treasure of memories behind it. It is located in Baja California, Mexico. Yeah, go figure. It is a local tourist attraction and in order to actually get to the attraction, you first have to walk about a mile through a mexican flea market. SO worth it! We bought way more than we should have including a gorgeous blanket that turned out to be a poncho. Go Meg GO! But I digress. So, once you have gone through the tourist tunnel and paid your dues, you end up at this very large body of water wedged between 2 rocks. When the tide comes in the waves crash up, and "buf" adora has happened. The "buf" wasn't all that great, however, there was a man dressed in full Indian dress that refused to have his picture taken because I picked up some of the dirt from La Bufadora. I really think all he wanted was a tip, but either way, I got his picture (even though it was just his backside) and my dirt. All for the price of a poncho.

Catalina Island and Avalon

Another stop on another cruise. This time we took the Ecstacy with Carnival from Long Beach to Catalina Island located in Avalon California. There were the nicest people there that ran a little souvenior shop and they told me about a lot of places I could go to find some really great soil. But, we only had about an hour to shop for dirt, get some grub, and catch the dingy back to the BIG BOAT. The cruise gave us a lot of memories. One that I was really surprised about was how COLD it was on this cruise. So cold in fact that we wore mittens, scarfs, and beanies while outside of our cabin and on the deck of the ship. I'd like to return to Catalina Island again someday. This time to rent a couple of bikes and ride all over. I think this is really a great way to meet with the "locals".

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sequoias and Space Shuttles

Just a random post about 2 things. The top photo is what was given to me by my nephew. He collected it from the base of the world's largest sequoia tree. The one below was taken at the last space shuttle launch. Both of these make me think about all the cool places I've yet to get or even see dirt from. A question I get asked quite a bit is where is the ONE place in the world that I would like to have dirt from. I've contemplated that so many times in my life. My first thought was Bethlehem. Not just the city, I have dirt from there. But the actual location that the Savior was born. Mt. Sanai, where the 10 commandments were given to Moses. The exact location that Joseph Smith was given the Gold Plates to translate. How about Mecca?Areas that I actually feel a connection to. Then, I think about the temple grounds of all of the LDS Temples throughout the world. And so far, I actually do have a good start on some of these. On a smaller, less spiritual scale, any historical site would be grand. Mt. Rushmore, the locations of the Civil War, the Alamo, the grassy knoll, Ford's theatre, the 4 corners, the Berlin Wall (or where it once was), and many more. Then, what about all of the places that sports history was made. Wimbeldon, PGA events, but particularly Augusta National in Georgia or St. Andrews in Scotland, oh...the Kentucky Derby. There are so many options! Legends and Lore...Billy the kid's burial ground, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's hideouts, wow. Now I'm on a roll. See, this is the great thing about collecting dirt. There's always new places to explore, even if it's through someone elses travels. That's why I'm always saying...May your journey take you somewhere...I don't have dirt from.

Mayan Ruins of Tulum

On the "Crop n Cruise" trip we got to take an excursion to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. It was so unbelievably HOT I can't even describe it to you. Jerry and I thought we were prepared for the heat but quickly found out we were very naive as to what REAL heat can do to you.
The Mayan ruins were absolutely beautiful. Even though I was really more interested in the beach sand that I collected from there. Several people told me that the soil from there is sacred and just like Hawaii volcanic rock, it was very "unlucky" to remove it from the ruins themselves. I for one don't mess with karma, so this sample was taken from an area just north of the actual ruins.
Grandma Elza, Jerry and I will never forget our experience in Mexico. The Mayan Ruins have so much history behind them and I still have reading more about them on my list of things to do. Until then, I will enjoy my dirt while sitting in the COOL breeze back here in Utah.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Value of DIRT

Shipping for dirt from family and friends, .42 cents. Bottles to store each sample in, .25 cents. Having a collection to look at and love forever...


The value of dirt is not the same for everyone. I know that in my eyes, it is priceless. Others who look at it, quickly dismiss it and simply say, "it's just dirt" but, it's MY dirt and I could never put a price on it. This is a scrapbook layout that I created showing 6 places that I have dirt from. California, Arkansas, Nebraska, Germany and the Bahamas. I chose to leave the samples on the layout as opposed to putting them in jars in order to keep from disrupting them. The sample in the bottle next to the title page is from Michigan. Coin collections, stamp collections and other collections may fetch a higher dollar amount on EBAY, but I wouldn't take a dime for mine. Just a sidenote -
Look forward to a lot more scrapbook layout posts. I knew all those hours of cropping would pay off someday.


Fort Hall Casino, Where Winning is Tradition! Well, I don't know how true that is, but... A recent trip to Idaho by a family member scored me some pretty cool dirt! Fort Hall Casino is located just North of Pocatello Idaho. We travel quite often to Idaho to follow our favorite baseball team, however, the only gamble we want to take is getting to the field less than an hour before game time. The most interesting thing about the casino is that it is an enterprise of the Shoshone-Bannock Indian Tribes. I imagine that Native Americans saw a LOT of dirt in their travels over the years. Anyone who has watched the movie Dances With Wolves with Kevin Costner can attest to that. It sure makes me wonder if any other tribes walked across this same dirt that I have now added to the collection. Hmmm...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Willing to Serve

I received this sand from a great kid that lives in my neighborhood, Jordan Bateman. He has been stationed in Iraq for just a little over 2 years now. He comes home on occassion to visit his friends and family and when he does, he even finds time to sneak away to the hotel and enjoy some quiet time with his wife. Because I am so proud of him and the service he is performing for our country, I try to hook him up with a great rate whenever I can. It's the least I can do in exchange for what he is doing on my behalf over there. The last time he came to visit, he not only gave me one of his famous Bateman hugs, but surprised me with these items from Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait. I should have asked how he got each of them, but thought I would let him enjoy his R & R. I figured he came home to get away from all of that over there. I'm so thankful to him for bringing me a little bit of his world, even if it's not his idea of what a world should be like. The canister he brought it to me in holds the earplugs he uses during practice of using his weapons. He tells me that where he is stationed, it's more lush and green than dry and sandy. He feels very fortunate that he is stationed in that area unlike others. I feel fortunate that we have people like Jordan who are willing to serve. Thanks again to Jordan and all those who serve in the armed forces. You are appreciated beyond words.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends

Working for the Hampton Brand of hotels is very rewarding. Not only do they do an outstanding job of marketing (thus the title of this post) but they also bring in some great clients for me to meet. A couple of years ago when I was the Director of Sales, I got to have some really special people stay at our property. Because they were extended stay guests, we at the hotel got to know them very well. One in particular was John Cornish. John had a true appreciation for my dirt collection because his line of work is in the mineral industry. I really believe when I first told him about my collection he thought I might be pulling his leg. But after some details that I offered him he became a believer and told me that I should really get started on categorizing, labeling, and journaling about each of my samples. To help me out he quickly gave me samples from his hometown too. So John, in case you are reading this, YOU were the inspiration and motivation for my blog site! John has LOTS of connections within the industry and gave me the following links to some websites that others might be interested in viewing. I was surprised to find out that there is actually one entitled sandcollectors.org. Maybe some day, there will be one called, dirtcollectors! Either way, I know I couldn't have the great collection I do if it weren't for the John Cornishs' in the world. Shown below are his donations from Port Angeles, Washington and Hollywood Beach. The black and white grains remind me of salt and pepper. It is so beautiful I'm afraid the picture doesn't do it justice. Another website of interest John suggested is mindat.org. I am sure there are many more. If you know of some, send me the link and I will gladly add it on. There is so much out there to explore! I can't find them all by myself, but I get by with a little help from my friends.

Port Angeles, Washington
Hollywood Beach

Thursday, October 16, 2008

TAG I'm it?

Yes, I have now discovered the true joy of being an official blogger. Since my first post less than 2 weeks ago, I have been approached by numerous individuals wanting me to become part of their "blogging" network by making a donation, purchasing their products, oh, and one even said I would receive a million dollars from a very wealthy king in Europe... he just needs my bank account information to help him distribute the funds here in the United States. Listen, if I really thought that responding to any of these could get some new dirt for my collection I probably would! Truth be told, I kind of feel bad not responding to at least a couple. So, in order to rid myself of the guilt I have decided to respond to one in particular. Okay, so it's from my daughter, that is beside the point. Apparently, I have been TAGGED! It requires me to do the following: go to my 4th file in my photo gallery, pick the 4th picture I have, and post it on my blog along with a description of what it is about. Finally, I'm to TAG 4 other people. Seems simple enough. Well, here it is. This is a photo of something near and dear to me. Several pictures of the owlz baseball players that have stayed with us over the years. And, btw, (I'm really getting good at this blogger slang stuff) each player in the photo has not only a HUGE spot in my heart, but a spot in my dirt collection as well. There. My task is complete. I now tag the following individuals: Lyn in Australia, Sue in California, Alice in Georgia, and Emily in Massachusettes. This has been fun, but I must run along now. I'm ganna see if that king has any LAND he wants to sell.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

From the City Built on Water Comes DIRT!

Tokyo, Japan Venice, Italy Sienna, Italy
When October rolls around, a few things come to mind. Fall in Utah, halloween birthdays, my friends Clayton Jensen and Nick Cottle, (both who love the color orange), college football games and DOBA DAY, an annual event held at my oldest daughter's place of employment. Jeremy Hanks, co- founder of DOBA, and my daughter's boss, has the greatest job! In addition to activities such as DOBA DAY, Jeremy has the opportunity to travel to all kinds of places. Fortunate for me, he always remembers to bring me a little "something" from wherever he goes. His latest adventures have taken him to Japan and Italy. Located in the left of this picture is dirt from Japan. Tokyo to be exact. I am amazed at how rich and dark it looks. The dirt from Venice, Italy he was particularly excited about because it is from the city built on water. Finding dirt there was somewhat a challenge. He got this sample in the middle from a planter box next to the gondola rentals! The other location in Italy named Sienna, was the inspiration behind the crayola crayon color. When I held the dirt next to the crayon, the colors were almost identical. Check here often. You never know when Jeremy may be back from another trip and ready to share some exciting stories behind the dirt he has collected. Thanks Jer!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BEACH SAND...dirt's favorite cousin

I recently got an email from Donna Boyd, the grandmother of Beau Brooks, one of my favorite players that shared our home during baseball season. She told me that dirt collecting was an interesting hobby. And although she didn't collect dirt, she does have several bottles of sand. One in particular from a beach in Destin, Florida. Her family meets together each summer and at Christmas at this location. She saves a little sand in a bottle and it serves as a constant reminder of the great times shared with her family. Along those same lines, whenever one of my daughters is asked where they would like to go on a family vacation, the answer is always unanimous. Anywhere with a beach! The following are my collection of sand from beaches around the world. When people ask me about sand in my collection, and I already have it from a certain location, their response is usually, "Oh, you don't want it from there then." No 2 grains of sand are alike, I promise. Note the 3 bottles of sand from Maui on the right. All from Maui, all different. Sand, dirt, beaches, call it what you want. I love to look at it. Thank you to all of you that have sent me sand from beaches you have visited on your cruises, vacations, fishing trips, bon fires, exercise outings and clam bakes! Hey Donna, I checked on my collection and guess what? I don't have any from YOUR beach! (hint hint)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Older than Dirt, my political point of view

In the spirit of an election year, I submit to you my views... Many years ago, my youngest daughter Madison wanted to give me a very unique birthday present. She wrote a letter to the governor of every state requesting a dirt sample from each of their state capitals. Enclosed with the letter she sent a zip lock bag along with a return, self addressed, stamped envelope. Apparently,with new reforms on campaign spending, her budget was cut and she was only allowed to send out a few of those envelopes. And, just like all campaign promises, some got responded to and some did not. The election results from her campaign are listed below. I am giving myself a birthday present this year. Not only am I going to cast my vote on November 4, 2008, I am resending all of the remaining envelopes and have even added a few new requests. Hopefully the response will be much improved. The official "Older Than Dirt" campaign has begun! And since my birthday is only one day before that other guy gets elected, let's see who can get more votes...uh I mean dirt. Just a side note- We all know how quickly things get done in Washington D.C. so, rather than wait another 4 years for a response, Jerry and I just took Amtrak in May of 2007 and collected this sample ourselves! Needless to say, we had lots of "dirty" places to choose from.

Alabama? yea Alaska? yea Arkansas? yea Arizona? yea California? yea Connecticut? nea Colorado? nea Delaware? nea Florida? yea Georgia? yea Hawaii? yea Illinois? nea Indiana? yea Iowa? yea Idaho? yea Kentucky? yea Kansas? nea Lousiana? yea Maine? nea Maryland? nea Massachusettes? yea Mississippi? nea Michigan? nea Montana? yea Missouri? nea New Mexico? nea New Hampshire? nea North Dakota? nea North Carolina? nea New York? yea New Jersey? yea Nevada? yea Nebraska? yea Oklahoma? nea Ohio? yea Oregon? nea Pennsylvania? nea Rhode Island? nea South Carolina? nea South Dakota? nea Tennessee? yeah Texas? yea Utah? yea Virginia? yea Vermont? nea West Virginia? nea Wyoming? yea Wisconsin? nea Washington? yea

Sunday, October 5, 2008


With a collection like this, there are always lots of questions that I get asked. Here are just a few:

What kind of dirt do I collect? ANY! I have it from states, countries, famous tourist attractions, hometowns, beaches, ballparks, amusement parks, mountains, just about anywhere.

How do I know it is authentic? Well, unless I collect it myself, I don't. BUT the person giving it to me knows. How 'bout a little faith in others? Ultimately, I put my trust in them.

How can I send you some? That's easy! Check out the address in the side bar. Just send it in the mail.

What will I do with duplicate dirt locations? No 2 spots are exactly alike. I keep 'em all, even if I don't post them on my blog.

How much do I want? Just one tablespoon. 1 teaspoon for the bottle, and one for the extra I keep in storage. It shouldn't cost more than just a first class postage stamp. Place it in a zip lock bag to be safe. Some folks have also sent me dirt in a film canister but it does cost a little more.

When did I start my collection? Read my first post.

If you send me dirt, will I give you credit for it? DONE!

How do I keep track of it all? Well, in the beginning it was easy but over the years, as I have accumulated more, not so much. I now have a system and label all of the bottles as I go. I also only keep minimal amounts of the dirt and let the rest get donated to a good cause. The beach samples go in my salt water fish tank, the others in my garden!

What is my favorite dirt? I have 3 that I really love. One for it's looks, one for it's location, and one because of the person that sent it to me. (You know who you are.)

Where will the dirt go when I am gone? The bottles will continue to be collected and journaled about. The daughters are in charge of that. The rest will go with me where other than...In the ground!

Got another question? I do...GOT DIRT?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Major League DIGS

My good friend Julie Hatch recently published an article in Owlz Illustrated celebrating the 100th anniversary of the tune, Take Me Out to the Ballgame. I love the song, but just send me some dirt! My friends Judge Smith and Even Steven are such big baseball fans that they made a goal before they die to attend one professional baseball game in every major league park there is. I encourage this behavior! I just remind them to be sure to grab me a sample of the field before ordering their first hot dog and suds! The following shows dirt from Major League Ballparks. As you can see, I only have a FEW more to go... Keep me (and my dirt) in mind next time you go to enjoy America's favorite pastime. Oh, and just a suggestion, but maybe it's time we re-write the tune:

Take me out to the ballgame
Got to get some dirt now
Just pick a base it don't matter to me
I'll be happy if I get all 3
So just put some soil in my jar
I'll be grateful you know
for it's GOT TO GET me some dirt
Or why bother go?

That one's for you JULES!

Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox)
Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim Angels)
Shea Stadium (New York Mets)
Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)
Candlestick Park (San Francisco Giants)
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Fulton County Stadium (Atlanta Braves)
Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
The Kingdome (Seattle Mariners)


Each year the girls and I travel with the Owlz Baseball team to a few away games. The Pioneer League is spread out from Utah to Idaho to Wyoming to Montana and we have been to every park except Casper Wyoming. We even traveled to Great Falls, Montana to witness the CHAMPIONSHIP game in 2007. GO OWLZ! Other teams within the Angels organization spread out all over the country. Each year as we get new players, I tell them of my dirt collection and I always get some new soil to add. The pitchers love to get dirt from each mound that they pitch on. The catchers just bring me what is left on their uniforms or in their shoes after a game.(Thanks Rosey!) This collection is from the ballparks and pitching mounds traveled to within the minor league system for the Angels. The samples include teams from the Pioneer, Midwest, California and Texas Leagues. I am told that I need to save room for dirt from the Dominican Republic for post season play there. Thank you in advance to Beau Brooks!

Orem Owlz (UT), Missoula Osprey (MT), Helena Brewers (MT), Idaho Falls Chukars (ID), Ogden Raptors (UT), Billings Mustangs (MT), Casper Ghosts (WY), Great Falls Voyagers (MT)

Tempe Angels (AZ), Cedar Rapids Kernels (IA), Arkansas Travelers (AK),
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (CA), Salt Lake City Bees (UT)

On and off the FIELD

Few things get me excited about new dirt in my collection as the beginning of a new baseball season! Growing up as a kid I followed the Cincinnati Reds and I was a huge Pete Rose fan! I once got to see him in person in San Francisco when we watched the Giants and Reds in a double header. I also attended a couple of Los Angeles Dodgers games as well. Now, living in Orem Utah I have the opportunity to live right around the corner from where the Orem Owlz Baseball team plays. They are the rookie affiliate in the farm system of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They arrive each year around mid June and can play as long as mid September. Not only have they played in the league championship game for the past 3 of 4 years, they have won it 2 times! I share this because we are a "host family" to players while they are here. We have had 13 players live with us over the last 4 years along with numerous others who have come just to hang out. Because we share our home with them, they often share their "dirt" with us! Both on and off the field! The following collection is in chronological order and is the dirt from their home towns.

Marco Albano Arlington, Massachusetts 2005

Anthony Sullivan Arlington, Massachusetts 2005

Tadd Brewer Sturgis, Kentucky 2006

Barret Browning Jesup, Georgia 2006

Scott Knazek Browns Mills, New Jersey 2006

Christopher Garcia Bronx, New York 2007

Rian Kinary Davie, Florida 2007

Andrew Romine Lake Forest, California 2007

Christopher Rosenbaum Albany, New York 2007

Trevor Pippin Peach Tree City, Georgia 2008

Buddy Boshers Huntsville, Alabama 2008

Beau Brooks Huntsville, Alabama 2008

William Smith Newnan, Georgia 2008

Michael Wing Rancho Cucamonga, California 2008

My stompn' GROUNDS

Born in Los Angeles and growing up in Saugus until I was 11 I have just a few samples from the place I grew up as a child. Loomis truly was my stomping grounds and my H O M E until August of 2003 when I moved to Utah to attend BYU. I met my husband Jerry while working in Provo and together we started our family there. The town that we wanted to live in was an easy decision, however, our choice on an exact house was not! So, in the first 6 years of our marraige, we moved 13 times! The careers that we both had lead us to Juneau Alaska to work in Grandma's Farmhouse Restaurant. Way too cold! The dirt from Juneau is so beautiful and was collected in front of the Mendenhall Glacier. After 6 months, we moved back to Utah and lived in Pleasant Grove. Yes, the same small town that Todd from the show Survivor is from. We then had another opportunity to move to Idaho Falls Idaho where I managed Roberts, a retail craft store. But, missing the four seasons of Utah, we returned after only 4 months and finally settled permanently in Orem. We have met many people along the way and in the midst of all of our travels even managed to raise 3 outstanding daughters! Meagen, Holli, and Madison.

Los Angeles, California
Saugus, California
Loomis, California
Provo, Utah
Juneau, Alaska
Pleasant Grove, Utah
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Orem, Utah

So much DIRT, so little time

So, now that I have my first 100 bottles filled, I figure I have to decide on a way to blog about each of them. 30 years to collect all of it, (so far) I guess I shouldn't worry about how long it will take to display it on a blog site. Since I have dirt from all over the world, I thought about listing the samples from each continent. Then, I thought about organizing it by themes. For example, LDS Temples, Vacations, Baseball Stadiums, or Beaches. But just like dirt, random and ever changing, I will just post what comes to me next. That having been said, here I go!

This photo shows the very first samples of dirt I collected.

Mount St. Helen ash, and Loomis, California.