Thursday, July 21, 2011


Before class starts

Mission accomplished! I taught my class on dirt today, and thanks to a few great helpers, both American and Chinese, it went off without a hitch. What fun it was to share my passion and love of collecting dirt with 20 enthusiastic students from China. They ranged in age from 11 to 18.

I had a great time, and I hope that they may have been inspired to start collections of their own. Be it dirt, stamps, leaves (one young lady already has several in her collection) or anything else, I hope they enjoy it as much as I do. I was again reminded how dirt really is the GREAT CONNECTOR OF US ALL!

I think the kids enjoyed eating the dirt the most! Here is the recipe for that:

1 Clear plastic cup
1 Hunt's snack pack pudding cup
20 Chocolate chips
3 T Crushed Oreo cookies
Gummy sour worms for texture and taste.

Bickey, wearing YELLOW in the above photos, is a young man with already 9 years of English classes under his belt, was very helpful. He not only wrote all of the words I used in my lesson into Chinese symbols, he volunteered to eat the dirt and actually believed the dessert to be real dirt. His reaction to taking a bite and calling it "OREO" made all of us smile!

*side note I called him yellow during class because I couldn't pronounce his Chinese given name.

Here are a few pictures from the events of the day. What a great time I had, and I am pretty sure I will be getting more samples from China shortly after the students return home. PeopleLink has been a great group of people to work with. A special THANK YOU to Megan who is in my ward for asking me to participate!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dirt Collecting and SHARING via CHINA

It's that time again! Time to catch up on blogging about more collections of dirt that I have received this past few months. It's hard to believe I started this blog nearly 3 years ago.

The dirt is never ending and just when I think I am caught up, I find more dirt I didn't even remember I had.

Case in point:

I was recently asked to participate in a program here in Roseville, where students from China come to visit, live with host families, and spend two weeks engaging themselves in American culture.

What better way to do that than introducing them to DIRT COLLECTING?

Granted, it may not be every American's passion, but it certainly is mine. To be able to share that experience with others, no matter what their age, is always exciting for me. So I began to go through all of the samples that have been given to me over the years from China.

I had two for sure that came to the top of my head, The Great Wall of China and Xian China. However, I had two additional vials from Hainan and Shangzhou. All four of which I plan to bring to my class slated for tomorrow. I am so looking forward to talking about my love of collecting dirt, and also asking the students if they are familiar with these areas.

I have asked each of the host families to give their student a sample of dirt from their own yards so that the students can have a little something to take home with them to remember their experience here on American Soil. Of course, I have also given each of them a vial just like I have placed mine in with the label: Roseville, CA, USA.

Thank you to Specialty Bottle Company for sending me those so promptly.

I will keep you posted on how the entire class goes. I have brushed up on my Chinese Culture and language (both words) and feel very prepared to encourage these young minds to dig the dirt, love the land, save the soil, and all that good stuff!

In the meantime, I am back at my preparations for the big day. I am currently preparing edible dirt cups. I will definitely let you know how THAT turns out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Folsom Lake Fun

Holli, Peyton and I cooling off after a great morning of fishing. TIME to find the DIRT!

Sand from the shore line of Folsom Lake. Near Granite Bay. The 5 Percent area to be exact.

Folsom Lake is near and dear to my heart for several reasons. I grew up just down the road from the lake in my hometown of LOOMIS. It is beautiful and I have seen it on so many different levels. I've been there fishing quite a bit in the last year and on this trip, took my daughter Holli, Joe's niece Peyton, and of course, Joe!

We started by fishing, but found a great little private cove that we decided to cool off in. This is where I chose to get a sample of dirt, which actually is sand from right under the lake. Next to it, actually ALL THROUGH IT... is fool's gold. I bottled some of it up as well. The lake is wonderful and I look forward to going back again very soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bullard's Bar, CA

Centrally located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Bullard's Bar is the ultimate in outdoor recreation. If you enjoy house boating, fishing, camping, water sports, hiking, mountain biking, or all of the above, Bullard's Bar is the place for you.

D. All of the above?

I enjoy all of these things, however, this vacation was not meant for me. I did, however reap the benefits of these two and their adventure because I got some dirt! It is a bright red in color and when their fishing expedition was complete and they washed the boat off, the bright red color was very evident on the side of the boat.

It was a great trip as far as the fishing goes, it was even greater for me in that I got this great dirt sample!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fire Station # 22

While working another call back, Joe remembered to get me some dirt from the station. It got me to thinking that each time we make a collection of soil from somewhere, we always leave a small "divot" where the dirt once was.

This particular station had amazing landscaping and so we wanted to be extra careful and not just leave a gaping hole when we got the sample. Little did I know that the Captain that works at this station also loves getting his hands in the dirt and not only grooms all of the lawns, but also keeps the ivy that is growing neat and tidy.

He was already planning to "fill" in the area that we got the dirt from with these ice plants. They have a beautiful color to them when they bloom! They will look wonderful I have no doubt...especially when surrounded by all of that beautiful DIRT!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Firehouse 103

Here I go again! Trying to make another attempt at getting caught up on all of the blogging that I need to do. Sometimes it feels like the more I try to get it done, the nicer the weather becomes and the less time I find myself blogging about dirt and the MORE time I am out working in it! From my perspective, it is a bountiful payoff!

So, Joseph did another call back at this station. He did 15 calls in a 20 hour period, and sometime in between he even found some time to collect dirt from the firehouse for me. It is another station located in the Sac Metro Fire District. It was certainly busy!

I love that these firehouses are usually located smack dab in the middle of a residential area. (DUH!) Makes sense really... but it also makes it easier for him to help me collect my dirt. Remember, it was almost a year ago that I set a goal to get dirt from every firehouse in the district. One more down and MANY MANY to go! ***

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Roseville... Ice Capital of the WORLD?

On a recent adventure through one of Roseville's parks, I came across this NOTICE located above a footbridge that I was visiting while waiting to have my taxes done. (The things I do to pass the time, I know)...

HOW STRANGE! Or at least it was until I saw the Roseville Historical Land Marker #2 on the other side of the bridge that explained why the sign hung there.

Turns out, Roseville CA located just north of Sacramento was once the Ice (as in FAKE) capital of the world.

WHO KNEW? I couldn't pass up the opportunity to snag some dirt. And thanks to my bff we scooped some up and marveled at how many times the places we go to on a regular basis turn out to have so much historical meaning.

It was a great day and I got a great sample of dirt. Who knows who may have walked...or skated...across these grains of dirt as well as this footbridge?

The sign reads as follows:

Across the footbridge situated high above the Southern Pacific Railroad yards, passed untold thousands of Pacific Fruit Express employees at the world's largest artificial ice plant. In disuse since 1974when the giant plant was razed this local landmark was moved in 1986 for use as a public footbridge across dry creek and as a memorial to those days when Roseville was the ice capital of the world.
Dedicated in March of 1987 as the Reuben E. Nelson footbridge in honor of Reuben Nelson, long time superintendent to the PFE and civic leader.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



Ha ha ha! I love when Sean Connery said that in the movie. Nick Cage learned a few things about himself when he portrayed an FBI agent and "side kick" of sorts to Sean in the movie entitled The Rock back in 1996.

And although I have never been to Alcatraz personally, I do have some great daughters that have visited there. (Thank you to the Man upstairs that it was only a day visit)

Thank you to Madi, Brady and Holli for snagging me this sample of dirt from the island of Alcatraz on a recent visit there. I have many dirt samples that are in these cute little magnetic fridge decorations. I always love getting them!

Alcatraz, also known as "The Rock" is the most infamous prison in United States history. It housed some of the most notorious criminals we have ever seen in our nations history. This prison was known amongst criminals as the worst place to go. Alcatraz is secluded on an Island off the coast of San Fransisco, with no one around for miles, these prisoners sat in this dark, foggy and dampened prison counting the days, trying not to go completely crazy. Alcatraz was opened back in 1934 and it closed it's doors in 1963. Alcatraz was considered one of the harshest prisons around. The prisoners had minimal privileges, if any, and some prisoners where even driven to complete insanity because of the conditions that were Alcatraz. This makes Alcatraz tours in San Fransisco, one of the most popular things for most tourists and even locals here to do.

Thank you again to my sweet family for thinking of me on their trip to San Francisco.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Long time coming...

So much has been going on since my last post. I am finally finding that I have time to sit down and update my blog. SHAME on me for neglecting dirt that way.

After my bout with the PCP, I decided that I was going to limit my association with dirt samples that have been sent to me from around the world. Sad but true. That having been said, my family still keeps me going on the different places that they visit and are sweet enough to send me dirt from their various journeys.

My oldest daughter Meagen is now using her blogging skills and is a contributor on this site:

I guess that partly inspired me to start updating this blog again. That, and the fact that I have an incredible amount of time on my hands and....

I have been sitting on numerous samples that were received from others and collected by myself over the past several months but have had nowhere to store them othe
r than the bags in which they were received.

So today, I ORDERED MORE BOTTLES! Thank you to the Specialty Bottle Company for keeping such excellent records and reminding me of the exact size that I needed to keep them all the same!

I also have another plan to display all of my bottles but that little surprise will be posted at another time. I guess this is what one would call the "cliffhanger".

Stay tuned, the future has a lot in store, including an absolutely hilarious tale from a loved one that moved from California to Alabama and collected a TON of dirt samples (treasures) along the way. The trip includes a run in with the law for having dirt in the front seat as well as a visit with Barney Rubble's bff...Fred Flintsone!