Saturday, November 7, 2009

Another year of dirt

Yes, I know, it's been an ETERNITY since I last blogged about the joys of dirt collecting. And actually, one would think that this post should refer to some sample of great stuff that I have been given, and collected since my last post. Truth be told...I am a little gun shy about handling any of my samples. After all, it was a year ago this week that I picked up a fungus from one of my dirt samples that ended up landing me in bed for numerous weeks. PCP was the official title of my illness, and at the time, I was told that I should not handle any of my samples without a mask and gloves. Fast forward to today...

The girls decided that this would be the PERFECT gift for my birthday this past week...and I couldn't agree more. I also got some emails from great friends telling me I have lots of samples coming my way. WOO HOO! So, it sounds like I have lots of blogging in my near future. Good thing too, the Utah winters are just around the corner. UGH.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ventura Beach, California

Ventura Beach, California. Now there's someplace I would like to be this week! Not because I want to be surfing or anything like that, but mainly to collect more sand like the one that Jeremy Berg's family brought me this past week.
The sand is gorgeous, but the bottle that it was delivered in (along with the bag) was just as beautiful! Carolyn Berg had the sand, along with a way cool magnet delivered by Jeremy's grandparents right here to me in Orem while they were on their way to Idaho Falls to Watch Jeremy play. He is one of our players this year and is having quite the season to say the least. He is 5-0 and doing GREAT!
Thank you to the Berg family for the sand, and for sharing your son with us for a little while. We are looking forward to this year's PLAYOFFS and more importantly, to seeing Jeremy become successful in the years to come.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jackie Robinson Park

So, here is the story about a kid that STOLE (no baseball pun intended) my heart away a few summers ago... Casey Kotofsky. He is the son of Jeff and Jyll Katofsky, the owners of the Orem OWLZ baseball team.
If ever there was a kid that you could just be OH SO PROUD of, it is him.

At a recent summer baseball game in Ogden Utah, the subject of dirt collecting came up. (ya, go figure!) When I mentioned that I collected it and needed some from WHEREEVER anyone goes, the Katofsky kid jumped at the chance and told me how he had been to quite a few places! Not only traveled and hung out, but had also played ball there too.

You see, this boy is MULTI TALENTED! He couldn't pass up a chance to add to my collection and returned this week with a sample from the Jackie Robinson Park where he pitched this past season. To read more about Jackie Robinson the ball player you can visit

Casey gave me this dirt last night at the field and was not a bit camera shy about this photo op too! The dirt is bright red and OBVIOUSLY from a ballpark. I look forward to getting more trading cards with his autograph...(he probably doesn't remember, but he gave me one of his 3 years ago and simply signed it... to my star)... and more importantly, more dirt from his travels. This kid is going far to say the least! Thanks Casey!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rancho Cucamonga

Recently, the baseball season started. Along with new players coming and going, I have the privilege of meeting their parents as well. Some stay longer than others, but even if it is for a brief amount of time, it is always fun to get to know them.

Enter the Wing Family.

Michael played in Orem near the end of the 2008 season. He lived with us for that short amount of time, and his impact on the team was felt immediately, but for our family it was even more. He kept in touch during the off season and when he went to the Dominican Republic for fall ball. Of course, my staying in touch with him was for purely selfish reasons...I needed dirt from the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes' home field! And my efforts paid off! His parents Damon and Laura came to visit Michael this season and with them they brought me this dirt sample.

It even had a little additional "turf". They live in Rancho and of course, are seasoned veterans at attending baseball games too! They plan to visit later in the season, and hopefully will be able to fulfill my request for dirt from Anaheim Stadium. It will complete the entire collection for fields that the boys of summer play on while on their journey from rookie ball to the BIG LEAGUES.

Thank you Wing family! You, (and the VERY cool t shirts) are very much appreciated.

Michael will no doubt leave a lasting impression on the Orem Owlz team as well as in the hearts of the Ridley Clan.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Roadtrip California style

THANK YOU to my sister! These items were sent to me quite some time ago, but given the fact that I have done nothing but work, work, work...I just barely got to the P.O. Box this week!

The only information I got with these little goodies was that they were not to be taken out of order. Apparently they made sure to put all of them in baggies,and marked not only the dates, but the TIME as well that they were collected.

So this is a post about a recent road trip "California" style. The event was a celebration of sorts for my nephew Rick who was finishing up his high school career. They ventured down from the Sacramento area to Southern California, hitting several very COOL spots. They are as follows:

June 3, 2009

6:50 a.m. McDonald's in Santa Nell parking lot

8:15 a.m. Colinga Avenal Rest Area

9:47 a.m. Grapevine Jack in the Box

June 4, 2009
1:32 p.m. San Diego Zoo

June 5, 20009

8:48 a.m. Imperial Beach

5:30 p.m. La Jolla Beach

June 6, 2009

5:40 a.m. HAMPTON INN Kearny Mesa San Diego

8:13 a.m. McDonald's Newhall
10:11 a.m. Lost Hills Exit

11:53 a.m. Rest area with No Name

So, there you have it. A fun road trip that I didn't get to physically go on, but got to enjoy through the efforts of my sister and her family! Thank you for including me on your journey! Oh and thank you for not charging me extra for the very cool seashells.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud


Hours before a game, beneath major league baseball's newest stadium, one of the sport's oldest rituals is under way. Two Washington Nationals batboys are rubbing brown "gunk"on dozens of new balls, toweling them off once the wet dirt cakes. Only when they're done can the umpire yell, "Play ball!"

Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud has been helping pitchers get a grip for 70 years. After a wild pitch killed a batter in 1920, a tacky substance was sought. Shoe polish and tobacco juice didn't stick. What did was the feldspar-rich clay found in a NEW JERSEY swamp by player and coach R.A. "Lena" Blackburne. In 1938 it became a big-league staple, and in 1968 it made it to the Hall of Fame.

The company reaps six harvests a year from two holes in secret spots, filters out debris, and adds a "magic" ingredient for extra grip. Aged for 6 weeks, two three-pound vats are sent to each team-a season's worth of joy from Mudville. -Jeremy Berlin National Geographic

Well, there you have it! Last year when this article came out, I immediately headed down to the Owlz office to see where I could get my hand son this "dirty" little mud wonder. Enter Brett Crane, official "I'm the guy you go to" for the Orem Owlz. He had just sent back the remainder of the minor leagues' mud to the League offices. So, basically I have been waiting for A YEAR to finally get to see, and smell the official mud that will start the Minor League baseball season.

I swang by the office this afternoon to pick up our season tickets when there it was, the little bucket from heaven...uh...New Jersey, or was it Mississippi...uh, Delaware? Oh okay, the dirt is from New Jersey! This season will be one to be remembered, and if I play my cards right, I hope to have my hands right in the middle of the whole muddy tradition. (If you know what I mean)..Come on Brett, hook a sister up! Thank you to the entire Orem Owlz staff and especially that great "go to guy" for giving me a little mud, and sharing in the BIG adventure in the Pioneer League.
for more info click here : and

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pineapple HEAVEN!

I am not for sure what it is these days, but...

ALL the friends of our family seem to be going to HAWAII.

Take the Dabling family:
Gee, I hope I didn't forget anyone. Bart and Janice became our friends when we first got started working at none other than The Brass Hearth (now Ruby River) in Provo some 25 years ago. They had kids the same age as us so we traded baby sitting services among other things. They took their family to Hawaii this past couple of weeks as well as caught a couple Rancho Cucamonga Quakes games. (Thank you for the pic of Andrew Gentry!) In return for really doing absolutely nothing...They brought me back a PINEAPPLE. YUM! Oh, did I mention they also brought me back some D.I.R.T. / beach S.A.N.D. Yup, and it is BEAutiful! In addition to the pineapple and the sand, I also got a really cool bracelet. WOW! Glad I got remembered on their journey. Thank you Dablings! Hey, isn't time for a road trip to Idaho Falls?

Sand from the following locations:

Kamaole Beach, Maui Lahaina Beach, Maui Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Happy Place?

So quite some time ago, I did a google search of the word dirt. YES, YES, I know, there is a lot of smut out there when you type in the word dirt, dirty, dirtier, dirtiest, blah, blah, blah.

But, this time, when I did the same thing, I found a new happy place to visit! The site is called The State Dirt Company. The cool thing is, should I get closer to the end of my journey here on this earth...(no pun intended) I can now PURCHASE some dirt from lots of different states. Now don't get me wrong, I am in NO HURRY to check out as of yet, however, when my time comes to be in the ground instead of collecting it, I want to know I have dirt from EVERY ONE of the states in the

U S A.

Check them out here: I even have some dirt in one of those little jars they sell the dirt in! Go figure! :) P.S. Not that my birthday is coming up anytime soonly, but YOU did ask what to get me right? Shopping. Simplified. Send Soonly!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Don Pedro Lake, California

Let me just start by saying this...
I found it very funny that the delivery of this soil sample in the mail came to me in UTAH, from CALIFORNIA, in a bag from a guy who is JAPANESE(Yamamoto), with a label that says Made in MEXICO and yes,with a return address of ARIZONA.
Thank you my friend, for sending it my way. There is no confusion as to who YOU are!


Don Pedro Lake is located just west of Sonora in Central California. It was collected from the shore at Flemming Meadows. Another fishing tourney was the purpose in the trip, unfortunately, my dirt sample was the only TROPHY received that day! Better LUCK next time? Thank you for the dirt, and for once again including me on your adventure!

Athens, Greece

Thank you to Janet Grandy! She lives down the street from me and has always been an absolutely wonderful example to my family. She is always the first person to bring in a meal, or write a get well note, or share the wonderful items out of her garden. I am never surprised to hear my family talk about a "random" act of kindness shown by this amazing woman. She recently returned from Athens, Greece and was so kind as to bring me some dirt from her travels. The story she shared with me about the dirt is as follows:

Hi Brenda,

The story about the dirt I scooped up in Athens, Greece goes like this. You know how much I love gardens, so while in Athens, I went to the National Gardens which used to be the Royal Gardens that belonged to the Royal Family. They no longer have a Royal Family however. I scooped it up with a spoon under a Wisteria Bowery. When I came through customs in New York, a cool African American Customs Agent wanted to know how much soil I had and why. I told him around a cup and that I collected it for a friend that collects soil from around the world. I explained to him that the soil was not going to be used outside, but that it was going to be put into a glass jar. His response was, "Well, I don't think that a cup is going to hurt anyone in Utah, so go ahead".

Love the story Janet, and LOVE the soil. Athens Greece is on my list of places to visit someday when I become rich and famous. Right now, I feel pretty RICH for having friends like Janet to share in her journeys with me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Black Beach Hawaii and Meagen's Beach


Even Steven has been a friend of the family for many years and has come to be one of my favorite people that travel. Mainly because he always brings me back some soil from wherever he goes. His latest trip was no exception.

Black Beach Hawaii. WOW! Was this dirt B L A C K. Now I can honestly say that I have seen some different colored dirt and sand in my time, but this truly was the darkest black sand I have ever seen. He said it was that dark because it was still wet from being in the bottle, however, even after it had dried out the darkness was unchanged. The other dirt he brought me was in contrast, quite light in color. Put them together and they looked like salt and pepper.
The second bottle of sand was from a location known as Meagen's Beach. OBVIOUSLY I am going to L.O.V.E. this place because that's my oldest daughter's name. Both of these locations were vacation spots for Steven. He has traveled more and more over the last few years and I look forward to him bringing me a little part of his journey. THANK YOU and on a side note...Steven, see you at the park!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The strangest thing...

The strangest thing happens when I request dirt from folks all around the world...THEY SEND IT! One of my favorite "dirty" stories is about a gentlemen whose wife I was associated with when I worked in the scrapbooking industry. She owned 2 stores in Salt Lake City and she was a very good owner, manager, and scrapbooker. She and I were discussing the value of scrapbooking when she mentioned that she did a lot of her layouts based on the travels of her husband. He was a businessman and traveled not only in the US, but throughout the world. I told her of my collection of dirt, and from then on out, I was always receiving dirt samples from wherever it was he traveled. He, had a collection of sorts himself. He was a collector of Samurai swords... and I thought dirt collecting was unique!
Fast forward to his trip to Singapore....He is checking his personal belongings at the gate preparing for a flight home from the capitol. They find a small plastic bag containing my dirt sample, some traditional items, his Samurai sword he had collected while there, etc. As the security guy is checking through all of his bags, he asks, "what is this strange substance in the plastic bag sir?". Of course, the answer is dirt. IMMEDIATELY, the red flags go up and the Security guard begins to become more scrutinizing of EVERY item he has with him. He makes it very clear that dirt is not aloud to be removed from the country and that he needs to dispose of it immediately. The consequences if he didn't weren't discussed, however, he told me that Turkish prisons were mild in comparison to what happens to felons in Singapore.
NOTHING was said about the Samurai SWORD! Unreal. So, he takes the baggy, and proceeds to the nearest restroom where he SAYS he is going to dispose of the dirt. He goes in to the restroom, takes off his shoe, removes his sock, pours the dirt in the sock, replaces it on his foot, and then the shoe, and returns to the line where they promptly check himself, his Samurai sword, and MY SINGAPORE dirt in for his flight. The sock-o-dirt and other strange ways dirt has been saved for me is pictured in this post.
For me, I don't care how it is delivered...In a water bottle, in a zip-lock baggie, in a coffee can, or even in a sock...I just APPRECIATE that it is saved and given to me! So, collect it, send it, and I will enjoy it! (Just don't risk a prison term to do it!)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

CCC Martinez, California

Here it is...Not only did I get some WAY cool dirt from Martinez, California located in Contra Costa County, but I got something even cooler! A new little grandson named Kelvin Kyler Love. This is the pic of the baby, and the dirt...and yes, every time there is a new place that baby Kelvin will visit, the tradition will continue. New baby. New dirt.

The dirt is from the hospital that Kelvin was born in. Kelvin was welcomed into the world on Monday, April 27th at 4:17 in the morning. Read more about the whole story at P.S. The little brown spot on the Itty Bitty Diaper...isn't what you think...It's the DIRT! Welcome to the world Kelvin!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

White Sands, New Mexico

This is so beautiful! Thanks go out to Patty Palmer for her efforts in getting this to me so quickly after our talk in Relief Society about collecting dirt and how to use it in our daily lives.....(haha) !No, not really, but we did discuss my LOVE of collecting dirt in a lesson I gave in Relief Society some time ago. This is from White Sands , New Mexico. This sand sample was obtained, (Patty wanted me to point out) COMPLETELY legal.

Apparently, you are not aloud to remove the sand, but nothing has ever been mentioned in regards to the removal of said sand out of your shorts, socks, shoes, or anywhere else that may have accidentally gotten stuck. Thank you to Patty, who so bravely and boldly went where no other sister dared to go before! (Into the shorts to find some sand)

More info on White Sands, New Mexico, and the COOL place it really is can be found here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Box 158...Hey that's ME!

This is the box I got in the mail on Friday! Ain't it a beautiful thing...Dirt, just for me. This is what it looked like on the outside, and in and of itself, is a wonderful thing....But WAIT! There's more...

the stuff below is what came on the inside of the box... 5 samples from all over the place!

The letter along with it reads as follows:

The letter is from my sister Sue Harrington. The dirt traveled from Tonopah, Nevada to Indian Springs, to Tehachapi, to Baker and then finally to Boron. Oh, and least us not forget to Orem, Utah and my personal favorite spot...BOX 158.

Thanks sis! For thinking about me on your journey, and for just being my sista!!

Ione, California

Ione, California

During the days of the gold rush, miners knew the town of Ione by the names "Bedbugs" and "Freezeout". Unlike other communities in Amador county, Ione was not founded as a mining town, it was founded as a supply center, stage, rail stop, and agricultural hub. Today, the town is home to the Mule Creek State Prison. According to the prison's website, there are 3,782 prisoners residing in the facility, well above the design capacity of 1700, and they account for well over half of Ione's population.
This sample was taken from the home of my friend Joe Reyes. I actually know 2 people that work at the prison in Ione! Turns out Joe's wife and my sister - in - law both work there. So, dirt, is truly, the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of us all.