Topping off the week with…dessert!

Amish Peanut Butter Sundae photo: Greg Miller

Oh, man!  Yummy-licious!  What??!!!??  This is not a bird!  Sigh.  This is not a great diet either.  Hmm.  So why all the food lately?  Something deeper?  Ha!  You read my mind.  How did you do that?  Yeah.  I am doing some evaluation on future plans.  And waiting not-so-very-patiently on movie news.  And, well, I don’t seem to be very indecisive when it comes to food.  That sundae was sweet enough to shrivel your teeth on impact.  I can hear Dr. Phil’s voice in my mind now “It’s not the food you’re eating–it’s what’s eating you.”  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  But I just might be eating this good food anyways.  Don’t take away my excuse!

So what about the movie?  I haven’t updated anything for over a month now.  Why?  Um.  Maybe it’s because I have not seen or heard anything new to pass along.  No cool movie posters.  No trailer.  No ads.  No interviews.  No articles.  Oh, well.

Future plans?  Well.  The overly eager and optimistic part of me would love to announce some grandiose plans for next year.  The realistic me (who’s gone through 2 years with very little work–ok–sigh–I did work 11 weeks during the last 2 years).  Ahh, but now I am complaining.  Sorry.  But I am working now.  Yes.  A short-term contract doing database programming for Timken in Canton, Ohio.  It’s 40 hours a week and a paycheck.  But what about the bird guiding?  Umm.  <hangs head.  shuffles feet.>  Temporarily on hold.  The truth?  I’m like anyone else.  I gotta pay my bills.  The boy in me wants to be a birding bum.  But, I did that–ok, went off the deep end–for a year.  That Big Year thing.

And about that Big Year.  Yeah.  It made it into Sports Illustrated.  It became a book.  Soon it will be a major motion picture.  And it celebrates my LEAST responsible behavior…ever.  Maxing 5 credit cards?  Spending money I didn’t have?  How could I ever recommend that anyone do a big year?  Ahh.  If you’ve got the money and you’re willing to give up some normal comforts–a lot then maybe, just maybe you might think about a big year.  Is it of any scientific value?  Nope.  Does it benefit other people?  Nope.  Is it a completely selfish pursuit?  Yep.

So here you are.  You’ve read this far and I’ve just been blabbing on about rumblings inside of me.  Welcome to my darker,  moody side.  I’m certainly grateful to Mark Obmascik for putting together such a wonderful story.  Without him we all wouldn’t be where we are right now.  Where is birding going to go from here?  What direction will it take?  What changes do we need to make to be good ambassadors of birding?  How can we improve our help getting new birders involved.  And what can we do better for conservation?  You know?  For the birds?  Are our actions now going to improve birding in 5 year?  10 years?

So about the movie and birding?  Will the movie help or hinder birding?  Isn’t part of that up to all of us?  We cannot dictate people’s taste in comedy or acting.  But birding is going to get a lot of exposure whether we like it or not.  Are we ready to handle the questions?  Questions about birds.  And questions about ourselves as birders.  Can you explain easily to a non-birder why you go birding?  Are our clubs and organizations ready for an influx of birders?

And what if the movie is a flop?  Will it be an embarrassment?  Are you worried?  Haha.  I think there will always people who make fun of birds and birders.  That shouldn’t bother us too much.  If it does, maybe we should think about taking up a “popular” sport.  I don’t bird to please others or to be cool.  I go birding because I love birds plain and simple.  And that’s just not gonna change for me.  I will go through times when I have to be a “real” person with responsibilities and paying bills and not birding nearly as much as I’d like.  But hopefully I’ll live long enough to enjoy being a birding bum once again without so many external cares.

So for now I am biding my time working and not doing nearly as much birding as I’d like.  But I am sure there will come a time and a window will open and I’ll bird more again.  And all of you fans of Mark Obmascik’s Big Year–I have talked to so many of you who have had a chance to experience a big year vicariously through reading the book.  Maybe some day you’ll be able to go bird in some of those special places and the best times of the year.  And you can enjoy the thrill of the experience.

Until that time, stay patient my cubicle cell mates.  haha.  Yeah.  I often feel like I am cooped up in a pen.  I get Cabin Fever bad…

Oh, wait.  You want the recipe for homemade Amish Peanut Butter?  Ok.  Here you go:

Amish Peanut Butter

Ingredients:
2 cups peanut butter
2 cups marshmallow creme
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup karo syrup (or try maple syrup if you like)

Directions:
In a sauce pan bring water, karo syrup, and brown sugar to a boil, stirring frequently until all of the sugar is dissolved.  Let cool to a luke warm temperature. In a bowl mix peanut butter, marshmallow creme, and simple brown sugar simple syrup.

This is my mom’s recipe.  Many folks around here use it (or versions similar to it) including a lot of the local restaurants.  And yeah.  This goes REALLY well on vanilla ice cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and drizzled with chocolate syrup.  🙂

4 thoughts on “Topping off the week with…dessert!

  1. Greg Miller’s adventures are what make the book. The good natured fellow without excess cash who revels in the experience? Most can relate,can’t afford a big year, so we do little local years, read the book many times, smile and laugh and nod, and go to sleep happy.

  2. I wandered on over after finishing reading The Big Year and was excited to see ICE CREAM! Especially with peanut butter cups. And wow, I might have to make some Amish PB.

    To answer one of your blog’s questions about the movie and birding, I’m not worried if the movie is a flop or an embarrassment! 🙂 Birding has a strong foundation, and there are so many birders with such an obsessive drive that some people making fun of birding (if that were to happen after the movie) would probably not do much damage. Locals thought I was an amusing novelty when I first began birding, poked fun, wondered why. Then they realized I wasn’t going away. Then a lot of them started asking questions about birds, I answered them all, now I see many of them with binoculars too! And most of them didn’t know what birding was and paid no attention to birds before. So I’m hoping the movie at least makes people go, “Huh? What is this birding thing?” Plus the local Audubon chapter near me always awaits new members with open arms! So I, for one, am definitely eagerly awaiting the movie. Plus I’m a big Jack Black fan. 😉

    I feel your pain with not having a lot of time for birding and wishing you could be a bird bum. I was lucky recently to work a seasonal bird job, but now I need to find lots of work, thanks to bills and such. Job-hunting alone is a full-time job, too! *sigh*

    • Thanks for the encouragement Lindsey. Birding goes in cycles for me based on opportunity and my favorite resources: 1) money, 2) time, and 3) health. Tonight I am excited about the movie. Tomorrow I may be back to being scared. Who knows?

      • You’re welcome! 🙂 Haha those are my favorite resources too, looks like I don’t have a lot of #2 again. It’s funny that I have nothing to do with the movie (besides sitting there watching it, stuffing my face full of popcorn) but feel the same way you do. At the least, I hope it’s fun!

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