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.