Thursday, November 25, 2010


Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Just wanted to pop in and say hi and acknowledge my Blogiversary (2 days late).  Yeah, so much for weekly updating as stated in the first post.  I don't know where I thought I'd fit in daily posts! HA! 
I'll be back Monday with a new post including some Christmas crafts I've been working on and a few Owly finds. 

The Owl

Monday, November 1, 2010

Owly Monday: The return

Its been nonstop since I've last posted.  I haven't had a day off since I began working again! Granted, I do get home from my shifts at Macy's around 12 or 3 so there is some down time, but this waking up at 5 am is getting to me! I know, it's a good thing I don't have kids or an hour commute.  I really am enjoying my work at the zoo and feeling more and more comfortable around all the new people.  We'll see how it goes when show season starts and when we start doing more programs for audiances.  I've done a few animal handling  events (Children's Hospital, a small nursery Halloween event and the grand opening of the new Outlet Mall).  I really hope a fulltime position comes up soon because I don't know if I can take this 2 job thing after Christmas.

I finally got to enjoy a day of on Friday!  I did absolutely nothing. 
Ok, I did make some yummy food.
Pumpkin Pancakes

We apparently used half the bag of white chocolate chips so I had to substitute a half bag of regular chocolate chips.  These are soooooooo tastey.  I don't remember where I got the recipe, but here it is:

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 package (12 ounces) white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.  Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut into squares.

My Zoo boss gave me the recipe for the pancakes from a magazine:

Pumpkin Pancakes
2 cups dry pancake mix
3tbsp dark-brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine the pancake mix, brown sugar and pumpkin-pie spice. 
In another bowl, mix the milk, pumpkin, egg, vanilla extract and oil. 
Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. 
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or pan on medium high.  Pour the batter onto the griddle/pan and cook until bubbles appear in the batter and edges brown.  Flip and cook until other side is browned. 
Makes about 20 pancakes.

Sam and I have been watching a lot of horror movies in honor of Halloween.  I have yet to find one that scares me.  They all make me laugh with their rediculous gore and crappy acting.  I don't think Sam wants to watch anymore with me because I laugh and sort of ruin it for him.  Some of the recent BAD ones were:
Daughters of Satan (1970's) - I couldn't thru the first 30 minutes.
An American Haunting
The Haunting of Molly Hartely
Hard Candy (not really horror but close enough)
Terror Train (1980 w/ Jamie Lee Curtis)
Drag Me to Hell
Candyman (sorry Sam)

Horror movies I love:
the classics/standards (Exocist, Poltergeist, Psycho, The Birds)
Return to Horror High (its bad I know, but its badness makes it good)
Evil Dead (same as Horror High)
Rocky Horror Picture Show 

I really do love Halloween.  But I never get to enjoy it anymore.  We're both always working and don't get to go to any parties so dressing up would be pointless.  I'd love to decorate more, but we're never home to enjoy it.  One day we will.

 I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  And its time to start thinking about the holidays!  I've got so much on my to make list.  I hope 2 months is enough!

The Owl

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Owly Whatever day it is... :)

Its a completely new week in the Woods.  Not only am I working at Macy's, but I'm also a Birmingham Zoo employee!  I'm super excited and soooooo glad to be working again.  I've already started at Macy's and will start at the Zoo on Thursday!
I haven't done much in the way of crafting this week.  I made a fall wreath for the door.  I just got a grapevine wreath and Owl at Joann's and some VERY on sale fall picks and ribbon at Michaels .  The Owl is still a little wobbely since I just hot glued it; I'll probably thread some floral wire through it and attach it to the wreath. 

Hope everyone has a great week!

The Owl

Monday, September 27, 2010

End of an Era/New Beginning

I must say it has been a wild and crazy summer.  June, July and August were super busy at the Center.  There have been a lot of changes there.  A lot of personal difficulties.  I went on vacation at the end of August/beginning September and came back to work and BAM! They let me go.  After everything I'd been through with them.  6 different Executive directors in 3 years. Almost shutting completely down.  Removal of the mammal program.  6 baby seasons.  I really don't know why.  They gave me a vague reason, but they couldn't back it up and wouldn't tell me what I'd done.  I have my theories (money and certain people). I lived and breathed that place 24/7 and was passionate about the cause, so it was like they ripped my heart out and turned my world inside out and upside down.  I don't stand for a cause anymore.   I've been heartbroken this past month and I've sort of lost myself.  I haven't been able express my love of all things Owly as much and I can't seem to get excited about birds or enjoy birdwatching anymore. 
I just don't know what to do with myself. 
I've had a lot of good feedback and support from a few of my former coworkers and a lot of love and support from many of the volunteers.  Some of them questioned whether they should continue to spend their time there, but I encouraged them to stay if they enjoyed it and because the birds need the help now more than ever.  And I definately couldn't have gotten through this without my families support. 
I immediately started applying for jobs.  I've had a phone and inperson interview with the Zoo for a part-time position and am waiting to hear anyday now from them (they've called my references this week).  I interviewed and accepted a part-time position at Macy's for the season and just to get me by.  Hopefully I can get the keeper postition at the Zoo and work up to a full-time position.

On to more positive things....
I am slowly getting back on track.  I've decided that it will have to be a homemade Christmas this year and trying to get gift ideas together for the family.  
I also managed to celebrate a BIG birthday this month.  Not the happiest I've had, but I always love birthdays.  Of course nothing could top last years birthday which was celebrated in Tanzania, Africa.

They had a few other Owl items, but I didn't have much left on my card.  I also used my birthday $5 off $20 coupon.

And since September 23rd was the first day of Autumn I made Some Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Bars.  They really turned out to be more like Paula Dean's Gooey Pumpkin Bars and probably could have used a higher temperature, but they are soooooo tastey and rich!

(and yes, thats a Pumpkin candle in the background)

This blog will become my motivation to get back on track and start doing what I love again.

The Owl

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bad Owl

I've been such a baaaaad blogger the past few weeks.  (sorry mom!)  I really don't have any good excuses.  Work has been busy and I've just been lazy. Apologies all around!

I really like this lamp from Target.  We have such an assortment of lamps that don't go together...they all need to be replaced with these!  (Sam would just LOVE that!)

On to Newsworthy stuff...
If you're not living under a rock, you've heard about the economic and ecological disaster happening in the Gulf of Mexico.  As I type, oil is washing up on the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and getting extremely close to Texas and Florida.  As a rehabber, the images shown on the news is devestating and heartbreaking.  I want to do something.  I have to do something.  The Alabama Wildlife Center is currently on hold, waiting for the call for help from the officials at the Theodore Oiled Bird Station near Mobile, Alabama.  I'll hopefully be attending an orientation today to visit the facility and get aquanted with it. 
Those facilities are paid for by BP, but the paraprofessionals and those with experience who have signed up to help are doing so voluntarily.  AWC must somehow find the funds to send its animal care staff and experienced volunteers in order to help.  This is especially difficult during the busy time of year when we get at least 5 animals in a day and have hundreds of baby birds and many baby raptors to feed. 
So please, donate to your local wildlife rehabilitators who desperately need the funds so that they can send those people who are experienced in dealing with wildlife.
You can search thru the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Associations website to find a local rehabber.
You can designte funding for Oil Spill Relief for AWC on the website.

This is going to be a loooong, hard, heartbreaking road that will have to be traveled for many years to come.  I hope that people won't forget about this even after some other national newsmaker hits the airwaves.

The Owl

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

She's Crafty

Its been a busy week on the craft front.  My first project was to make Mothers Day gifts for my mom and mother-in-law.  I found a really nice tutorial on The How-To Gal.

Wood Blocks from Hobby Lobby
Brown Spray Paint from Home Depot
Hinges from Home Depot
Mod Podge (on hand)
Helpful Hint: I'd recommend using a Laser Printer or have the pictures printed at an office supply store.  We printed ours on our Epson and the ink tends to run/smear.  But I liked it w/ some faint streaks (and so did the moms).  And by some miracle, I was able to get all 3 cats in one picture.  They may not all be looking, but they're all there!

The Alabama Wildlife Center held its first Wild Baby Shower this weekend and it was a huge success! We had lots of visitors who gave lots of wonderful things to help us through baby season.

I found some cute Owl candy molds at Bake It Pretty and made some milk and white chocolate lollypops to sell.  I used my owl vases w/ floral foam to arrange them.

We created a bean bag toss game and I made the bean bags for 4 different foods that certain birds would eat.  I scavenged the scrap bins at Hancock Fabrics and found some for really cheap and freehanded most of the food items.  Then used fabric markers to draw on more details.

Waxworms (I just randomly pleated the fabric to make ridges).

Mice.  For the mice I used this tutorial from  I used ribbon for the tail and fabric markers for the details.

Sunflower Seeds.  I used part of the mouse tutorial and cut out 4 pieces and sewed them together.  I painted some nonspecific detailing.

Here are the boards a wonderful volunteer painted! They are just amazing!
Red-tailed Hawk = Mice
Northern Cardinal = Sunflower Seeds
Eastern Bluebird = Waxworms
Great-blue Heron = Fish
The kids really enjoyed it and I'm sure we'll be using this for many events to come!
You can see more pictures from the event on AWC's Facebook page.

The Owl

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

So very busy a bit of Owly Tuesday

First, I wanted to say a little something about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill.  The Center is currently on standby to send some of the staff (including me) to the Coast when needed.  Its just a horrible ecological and economic disaster.  There won't be any healthy fish for the local business and tourism is going to suffer greatly.  There won't be any healthy food for the animals to eat and therefore their young will starve.
Its going to take a while for the true effects to present, but I can guarantee its not going to be good at all.
People are so eager to help right now, but most of the help is going to be needed further down the road and I hope their enthusiasm will sustain throughout the devestation.

Now on to a few brighter things.  We've been busy on the yard the past few weeks and I've been dying to test out my green thumb.  So I've planted a few things.
This is one of 2 hanging baskets on the front porch.  Plectranthus (the green leafy stuff), Begonias (pink, white and red flowers) and Ajuga "Mahogany" (purple flowers). 

I've planted a few Oakleaf Hydrangeas from some cuttings my coworker gave me.  We'll see how they do, if they don't make it, thats ok.  They wer free!  But I really hope they do b/c I love Oakleafs.

Our wedding tree (Red Maple) we planted June 2008 is doing really well! We thought it wasn't going to make it because of all the highwinds and sitting in the pot for 2+ months.
Here it is at the wedding.  It was soooooo windy when we bought it and drove it to the reception area.  It looked sad.
But its lush and grean and has grown a lot in 2 years.

I'll be working hard on sewing a 3 each of fish, worm, mouse and sunflower seed for this weekends Wild Baby Shower!  And a few other things are also up my sleeve.  So, till next Tuesday...have a great week!

The Owl

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Owly Tuesday

Welcome to the first installment of Owly Tuesday! Its been quite the busy week at the Center.  We've gotten a lot more baby birds in and with the severe weather and high winds this weekend the baby raptors are definately flood in.  We've also been planning our first Wild Baby Shower that will take place May 8th (the day before Mother's Day!).  We've got a cute game planned and I've got to work hard on sewing some things for it and possibly baking some Owl Cupcakes as well. 
I've got a few crafty things to share. 
First the Spring/Summer wreath I made.  Nothing fancy, and I'm hoping a bird couple might find it appealing as a bird nest site.

And I've been working on a project that I've been wanting to do for the longest time.  Its not fully complete, but I'll give you a sneak peak.

A few Owly finds at JoAnn and SUPER cheap ($1!!)
I bought about 6 of these.  I'm thinking 2-3 to keep to organize my crafty stuff and the rest I will save to use in the Craft and Bake sale we have in December.  I'm thinking Owly Cookies or Owly Ornaments.  And they've got a little label holder.

And I just loved these things when I was a kid.  I used to get those Lisa Frank ones all the time.  I thought these would be cute for either prizes for the Shower game or even used during our Creatures of the Night event in October.

Have a great week!

The Owl

Monday, April 19, 2010

Last Owly Monday

It'll probably be Owly Tuesday from now on.  Since my schedule has changed at work, its gonna be easier for me to post on Tuesdays thru the end of summer.

I had a wonderful time with my Hubs at Callaway Gardens celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary.  Saw lots of birds and the azaleas were blooming beautifully.  No Callaway visit would be complete without a visit to the Butterfly House.

And behold.....
The Owl Butterfly!

Some visitors warned us that there was a snake on one of the trails.  Of course we had to see what it was.  I wanted to make sure it was off the trail so noone else would find it and hurt it.  It was just a simple rat snake sunning itself.  Cuteness!

They still had some of their Easter sculptures out. This one was to cute.
2 Birdies!

Just a few items for you.  I'm trying not to tempt myself by going out to "window shop."  I just know I'll want whatever Owly item I can find!  And Sam's already threatening that I need to pick my most favoriet Owl item and the rest will disappear.  He would neeeeever. ; )

You must check out Night Owl Paper Goods!  They have some amazing cards, totes gifts and more.  Lots of eco-friendly products and they are local.  I just love all of their artwork. 

 And who would ever need an owl serving dish?
Uhhhhh....that would be me.  I mean, I do TONS of serving.  Ok, well, I would if I had it!

How cute is this nursery set from Amazon?  (And to those wondering....NO!)  I posted this because I thought of my college BFF that I got to visit and finally meet her son and thought of him. 
Lurve the lamp!

  Have a wonderful week!

The Owl

Monday, April 12, 2010

2 Years Ago Today

I married my High School Sweetheart! 
I've decided to post a few memories in honor of the beg day...and some of it is, in fact, owly related. 
Crazy, right?!

It stormed horribly through our rehersal...luckily the chapel was covered and we stayed not soaked.
On wedding day, it was beautiful!  Everyone said it was the perfect temperature, but I was a bit cold, especially since I was in a sleeveless dress.  But the excitement of the day helped me ignore the temps.  The dogwoods were blooming and the trees were so lush and green.  It was exactly how I pictured it.
 One of my fav pix.

 The Dogwood's were so pretty.

My bouquet.  Silver Sparkely Shoes! 
And yes I walked thru the woods in my dress.  I'm not some priss pot...the best pix came from us in the woods.  And I like dancing with leaves and twiggs in my shoes.

I'm probably the only bride who could really care less about a manicure before her wedding.

We had a Memory Table set up at the entrance to the chapel for those loved ones who couldn't make the wedding in the flesh.  We felt them present in our hearts.
We lost 3 Grandmothers the year before our wedding.  The bottom picture is my Dad's Mom (MawMaw) and the top picture is of my Mom's Mom (Grandmother).

Sam's Granny (his Dad's Mom, bottome picture) passed away a few days after I'd decided to stop by one day and tell her that we were getting married.  She was so very excited and told every hospice nurse that came to care for her.  His Mom's Dad (Granddaddy, top picture)passed away the December before we started dating, and unfortunately I never got to meet him.
Sam's MawMaw also passed.  She took care of him and his sister when they were growing up.

You can't see here, but our minister was wearing sunglasses!  Hilarious!

I cut out birds in the colors of the wedding and used them as a "guestbook."  We bought a Maple Tree that we would plant in our yard after the wedding and put the signed birds in a scrapbook.  The birds haven't made it into the scrapbook, but the tree survived horrid winds and torential rains and 3 months in its pot and drought.  Its currently leafing out now in our backyard!
Our Cake, w/ Owly cake toppers.
It was sooo tastey!  Strawberry filling with whole strawberries between the layers.

Daddy's little girl.

Yes, Leslie, I gues it was.

My hair...I found some birdy pins on Etsy.
This was a Barred Owl I rehabbed and we were able to release during the reception. 

The Owl