Saturday, September 11, 2010

Do you remember?

This date will come every year, and my emotions up until now, have remained the same. The story doesn't change, and like so many others around the world, especially in the family of firefighters and rescue personnel, I will pause and reflect on the events of that day.... On this day....every year.

Ground Zero World Trade Center New York City September 11, 2001

I would never have imagined that I would become part of the world of firefighters and have a new way of viewing and reflecting on the events of that day, which, truly, seem like so long ago.

I seemed to have watched from afar, but now, becoming "connected" has opened my eyes like never before at the risks that these individuals make every day and the heroic acts that they perform.

I am very HUMBLED each time that I look at these 2 jars and reflect upon the events that happened on September 11, 2001. I worked for a major scrapbook magazine at the time and can recall vividly every detail of the breaking news and the emotions that I and my family felt during the next days and upcoming weeks and months. My boss was scheduled for a business trip to NYC and even weeks after the event and in the midst of confusion and chaos collected these 2 jars. My thanks to Michael Randall. Not every event in our lives will be a positive one. The beauty of saving things like dirt, or creating a scrapbook page, or writing a song, or any other creative outlet one expresses, is that it gives us a chance to cope and accept negative events and use them as constant reminders to live for today. I have an incredible appreciation for life. I open these jars and still smell the sulphur from burning buildings. I feel pain and sorrow for those that lost loved ones. I feel gratitude that the Lord spared my family from such pain.

THANK YOU. May we all continue to heal and look to the future. May we never have to have an event such as this to bring us all closer together and remember what is important in life.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sudwerk Restaurant & Brewery

This Sudwerk Restaurant and Brewery that I visited recently is located in Davis, California. My daughter, grandson and I enjoyed some time together over a great burger and brew. Okay, so we only had the burgers, but the dirt I got from there MORE than made up for the no-brewsky rule. Come on, the grandbaby is only 15 months old!

Sudwerk is a great place to catch a fast meal and some beer! Copper-colored kettles and huge circular structured seats make up the decor. The ambiance is very unruly, with noise levels touching the top of the decibel chart! The food is all German and you should give the sausages, burgers and sandwiches a try. While you're in the lobby gulping the food down, walk over to the bar for some exquisite Sudwerk beer. All the beer is brewed in accordance with "Reinheitsgebot"the German purity law. It can get boisterous in here, but that's the fun of it all!

We decided that Davis is the 1/2 way mark between the two communities we live in. I am pretty sure we will meet in the middle again soon. If (and when) we do, you can bet dirt will be on the menu for sure!

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Open Letter to Firehouse 50

Sac Metro Fire Station #50

Dear Captain Kurt Hudnall,

It has come to my attention as of late that the men assigned to your station, B shift, have been up to something that I think I should make you aware of. It may come across as sort of "dirty", but you will soon see that for me, that's a good thing!

In addition to the skill sets of rescuing, training, fire fighting, bbq-ing, inspecting, shopping, cooking, more training, eating, and being "clowns" in general...they also do several good deeds outside of the work place.

Hence, the dirt picture to the right...

One of your crew members took time out of his pre-work time and found it in his heart to collect me some of the dirt outside your station. How nice! It even inspired my daughter and I to come make a personal visit to see for ourselves, just what goes on down there.

While visiting, we were greatly impressed; not only with the professionalism displayed by all the individuals there, but we sensed a genuine gratitude as well.

Could it be that chocolate pudding cake was a good choice to bring? Regardless, know that the great spirit at the 50 was appreciated, as is the job that you and your crew do everyday for the community.

The dirt, was just the icing on the cake. (no pun intended)

Much thanks from,

Land Lover, Sand Saver, Dirt Digger

Shasta Lake

Thank you Mr. Reyes for yet another great sampling of dirt.

Although he thinks the fish was the best "catch" on the trip, I beg to differ.

He and a buddy, Art Gonsalves went to a tournament recently and in their adventure remembered to "catch" some dirt for me! It is very, very dark and quite woodsy, for lack of a better word.

Information on Shasta Lake can be found at It is a beautiful lake located at Mt. Shasta in California and has a tremendous amount to offer. The fishing is great...if you are into that sort of thing. But...

with a catch like this, who wouldn't want to go fishing? (for a little more dirt!) Thank you again!

And for the record...It's a 3lb. spotted bass. He caught it with his lucky bobber I am sure!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Continuing on the cruise, the Doxey family also returned with this sample from Nicaragua. Although, it seems much more of a ROCK sample, than dirt. But don't get me wrong! It's all coming from the ground, and it's all appreciated! What an interesting addition to my collection. Nicaragua is located between 11 and 14 degrees North of the Equator. for more information on the Tourism side of Nicaragua:

Tourist Office
Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism, Managua, Nicaragua: +505 222-3333 or

Many cruises now tour the Panama Canal and include Nicaragua as part of that package. Thank you again to the Doxey family!

Costa Rica

Beautiful places bring beautiful sand, and in this case, beautiful dirt. The sample to the right was dropped off to my house quite some time ago, and I apologize that it didn't get posted sooner than this. But...that having been said, it has quickly become one of my favorite to look at. It's deep, rich colors fascinate me. *insert funny phrase here. (something shiny!) Thank you Lynette Doxey and family for once again, going on the trip of a lifetime and sharing part of it with me. You are always appreciated! I can only imagine what traveling through this country was like. According to Wikipedia, Costa Rica (Rich Coast) ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is known as the "GREENEST" country in the world. Sounds like we could all use a trip there to learn how it is done the right way!

Horsen' Around in Loomis

A visit to my hometown for Father's Day achieved a number of things. Father's day greetings to 2 great men, and... more dirt samples! This friendly guy donated some of his "pasture" to help in my quest for dirt. Anita and Peyton, thank you for allowing me to present to the world, Lucy,( I mean) Thunder, (or was it) Nick?; your beautiful horse! Which ever pony it was, they didn't seem a bit camera shy. This dirt was fun to collect. I was also very pleased to hear a few stories from your childhood and even more pleased that the gopher agreed to let me sneak some of his homeland! Thank you again to your entire family for great food, great conversation, and of course, GREAT DIRT!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A New Adventure / Station 24

A recent move to California has created a lot of things for me. Some positive and sadly, some not so positive. But, even with all of the changes in my life, there is one thing that remains quest for dirt. I have a lot of catching up to do and fortunate for me, a lot of free time on my hands to do it, so here I go, talkin' dirt once again!

Station 24 is just one of the numerous firehouses in the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. It is located in Sacramento and is currently home to my good friend Joe Reyes. He and two of his crew went on a call this past week and were gracious enough to invite me to tag along. The call was to assist a young girl who had a broken arm. I stayed in the engine (not to be confused with a truck) and watched these fine men just "do their job".

I have blogged about these guys before but it never gets old giving a shout out to people who risk their lives every time they go out on a call. KUDOS to them! While at the station, I of course, couldn't pass on the chance to grab some dirt and tell a few "dirty" stories. The most memorable one of course being the dirt in my collection from New York on 9/11/2001.

Here is the picture of the crew, the station, and of course, the dirt! Thank you once again, Capt. Joe, Dave and Joseph, for being so eager to help add to the dirt collection!