Monday, September 24, 2012


  • Ireland-An Owl that enters the house must be killed at once, for if it flies away it will take the luck of the house with it.

  • Israel-In Hebrew lore the Owl represents blindness and desolation and is unclean.

  • Jamaica-To ward off the Owl's bad luck, cry "Salt and pepper for your mammy".

  • Japan-Among the Ainu people the Eagle Owl is revered as a messenger of the gods or a divine ancestor. They would drink a toast to the Eagle Owl before a hunting expedition. The Screech Owl warns against danger. Though they think the Barn Owl and Horned Owl are demonic.

  • Latvia-When Christian soldiers entered his temple, the local pagan god flew away as an Owl.

  • Luxembourg-Owls spy treasures, steal them and hoard them.

  • Madagascar-Owls join witches to dance on the graves of the dead.

  • Malawi-The Owl carries messages for witches.

  • Mexico-The Owl makes the cold North wind whilst the gentle South wind is made by the butterfly. The Little Owl was called "messenger of the lord of the land of the dead", and flew between the land of the living and the dead.

  • Middle East-The Owl represents the souls of people who have died unavenged.
  • Mongolia-The Burial people hang up Owl skins to ward off evil.

  • Morocco-The cry of Owls can kill infants. According to Moroccan custom, an Owl's eye worn on a string around the neck was an effective talisman to avert the "evil eye."

  • New Mexico-The hooting of Owls warns of the coming of witches.

  • New Zealand-To the Maoris the Owl is an unlucky bird.

  • Newfoundland-The hoot of the Horned Owl signals the approach of bad weather.

  • Nigeria-In legend, Elullo, a witch and a chief of the Okuni tribe, could become an Owl.

  • Persia-Wizards use arrows tipped with a bewitched man's fingernails to kill Owls.

  • Peru-Boiled Owl is said to be a strong medicine.

  • Poland-Polish folklore links Owls with death. Girls who die unmarried turn into doves; girls who are married when they die turn into Owls. An owl cry heard in or near a home usually meant impending death, sickness, or other misfortune. An old story tells how the Owl does not come out during the day because it is too beautiful, and would be mobbed by other, jealous birds.

  • Romania-The souls of repentant sinners flew to heaven in the guise of a Snowy Owl.

  • Russia-Hunters carry Owl claws so that, if they are killed, their souls can use them to climb up to Heaven. Tartar shaman of Central Russia could assume Owl shapes. Kalmucks hold the Owl to be sacred because one one waved the life of Genghis Khan.

  • Saxony-The Wend people say that the sight of an Owl makes child-birth easier.

  • Scotland-It's bad luck to see an Owl in daylight.

  • Siberia-The Owl is a helpful spirit.

  • Spain-Legend has it that the Owl was once the sweetest of singers, until it saw Jesus crucified.

  • Ever since it has shunned daylight and only repeats the words "cruz, cruz" ("cross, cross").

  • Sri Lanka-The Owl is married to the bat.

  • Sumeria-The goddess of death, Lilith, was attended by Owls.

  • Sweden-The Owl is associated with witch's.

  • Transylvania-Farmers used to scare away Owls by walking round their fields naked.

  • U.S.A.-If you hear an Owl-cry you must return the call, or else take off an item of clothing and put it on again inside-out.

  • Wales-An Owl heard among houses means an unmarried girl has lost her virginity. If a woman is pregnant and she alone hears an owl hoot outside her house at night then her child will be blessed.

  • Yorkshire-Give children Owl broth to cure the whooping-cough.


   This diy/recipe comes from www.instructables.com.   They can even be served or given to someone in a bleeding heart box.  Chocolate!   Chocolate!   Chocolate!

Okay, I fell in love with Zombies at the time the movie Fido came out.  I'm also a researcher for the ZRS and my husband is the one who got me into these monsters.  Those are the reasons behind these Zombie Truffles!  There was a part in Fido, where Mr. Theopolis (the neighbor) comes over and says "Zombie Troubles?" and that's where my chocolate brains got their name!  I put different things in my candy, and you can always change it up to best fit your taste buds!

** This is to celebrate May, which is Zombie Awareness Month!  :)

** Most important part to remember, if you use this to gift, or to display, you want to think about your presentation.  You want the end product to fit the mood that you're going for.  :)  The rest should be easy!

** Here is a message from the CDC on the Zombie preparedness topic, and my chocolate video below.  :)

------------------------------ My favorite scene from Fido !! ---------------------------


Step 1Stuff You Need!


*White chocolate melts (wilton)
*Black food coloring
*Some stuff for blood
*Brain mold (candy or ice)
*Stuff to put in your candy
*Ziploc bags
*A way to present end product
*Coffee cup to melt chocolate in microwave
*Spoons, etc.

Step 2Prep!


If you want to put things into the candy, make sure to have them ready, in small enough sizes to fit into the mold when it's ready.  Have your chocolate ready to melt, arrange everything nicely so that you aren't scrambling at the last minute and think about what you want to do.  :)  Be ready because you need to have all decisions made before you melt the chocolate.

Step 3How to make bloods!

Okay, I did two kinds of blood at once.  Basically, I wanted something thick and disgusting.  I took from my cake supplies and mixed a crazy, nasty bloody mess out of the things you see in the photo.  You can always choose to make yours differently or use other ingredients.  He tasted the bloody brains and said they were good.  That makes it a success for me.  :)

You can go one of two ways...taste and "feel" or...accuracy.  I've seen red syrup and we all know that it represents blood but doesn't look like it.  These things that I used, they really added up to the look.  Maybe not the sprinkles...but I had to throw something pretty in there. haha.  And the bonus is that it passed the taste-test.

After I mixed the bloody concoction, I scooped it with a spoon into a baggie for piping into the brains when the chocolate was melted.  The container was still full of blood residue so I added some Mirin or rice wine and it held the consistency for the drippy blood that I wanted to drizzle with.  PERFECT!  You can use some other alcohol if you want.  You won't really be tasting it much, anyways.  It's just to decorate with.  :)  Then I poured my drippy blood into a ziploc to use it as the last step.  (Drizzle each brain lightly.)

Step 4Melt Chocolate & Add Color!


Okay, I may be one of the only people who use the microwave.  But it's easy.  I put the chocolate melts into the coffee cup, about 3/4 full.  Put it in the microwave and wait 20-30 seconds, pull it out and stir them.  They won't be melted, but you want to keep them moving.  Put it in again for another 15 seconds or so, pull them out... they should start to lose their shape.  You will see the edges melting away into blobs.  At this point, you want to mix really well.  Toss them around in the cup, get them moving.  If your chocolate starts to melt even more and you can't see the shapes anymore, don't put it back in the microwave.

But if they aren't melting, put them back in.  Another 10-15 seconds and pull them out, mix again, help them melt by moving them around and constantly mixing.  This will make your chocolate super smooth, not burnt and ready to color!

Get TINY TINY TINY drops of the black coloring and put them in one at a time, mix into the chocolate really well.  Keep adding TINY bits of color until you get the result you want.  It's important not to make charcoal brains!  :)

Step 5Pouring Grey Matter!


Okay, I just used a spoon.  Once it was to the color I desired, I got a spoon full of chocolate, dropped a small dollop into the brain cavity and poked it down with the tip of the spoon.  You want to put less chocolate if you want to put things inside of your candy.  Just remember to make room, so that you can seal the top of it.  ( Put 1/4 full of chocolate, then filling, then top it off with another small dollop.  Use your spoon to smooth out the peak and you're done!

Fillings I used:  blood mixture, heath toffee crunchy candy stuff, marshmallows, sugared jelly candy.

Step 6Fridge!



Put your chocolates, carefully, onto a flat surface into your fridge and be patient.  If you take them out too early, the tops will have set, but the bottom of the mold won't be set.  One way is to feel the tips of the brains to see if they are cold from the outside of the mold.

After 10-20 minutes, they should be done.  Mine just popped out really easily and I didn't use any spray in the mold or anything.  Rinse and clean out any leftover brain chunks in the mold, that way your next set gets the same impressions.

*TIP* You can change the color of your chocolate each time you mold a new set, and put different fillings in them so that you know what color has what item inside.  Also, a coffee cup of chocolate pretty much takes up the whole mold, so it's easy to cycle them through, clean stuff up, let them chill and begin again.


Step 7Brain Sculpt!

Everyone makes mistakes!  I over pour, you over-pour...that's life.  :)  So what you do, is take a knife that is too sharp to be using this close to your fingertips and try not to cut yourself open like I did.  4 times.  :)

Basically, you scrape the edges and the chocolate will shave off.  You can do this to the flat bottoms of the brains too, if they aren't level and you want them to be.  When you clean up your edges, you just need to run your fingertip around the edge and it will round and smooth it out with your natural body heat.  It's cool.  :)

Step 8Presentation!

Ways to present ---

Gift, for a friend, loved one, surprise, in a lunch, at a party, etc.

Think about whether you just want to throw it in something, or if you want to make it elaborate, or if you need a platter, maybe you want a gift box...you can do this any way you want.  If it were for a party, I would probably make it up on a silver platter with TINY round shreds of lettuce with a brain on top of each piece and blood drizzled atop each of them.

For a lunch, just throw them into a ziploc with some drizzled blood and zip it up.

My idea was to put them into a Valentines Candy box.  I used cut up napkins to put under each brain, carefully.  If you use tissue, napkins, soft materials like this, make sure that you do it close to the presentation time because the napkins will absorb the blood and look sloppy.  Another great idea is fabric.  White fabric, cut into tiny pieces.  That would be really cool.  :)  Strong, and visually creepy.

Most importantly, enjoy!  Grey chocolate will look the most accurate, but if you don't like white chocolate, do them in milk chocolate, or dark, or whatever you'd like.  I made these for the accuracy and gave them to my husband.  I don't like white chocolate and these brains look gross, so it just adds to the effect for me. LOL.


    The Great Reno Balloon Race is the largest free hot air ballooning event in the Nation. During three days in early September, you can look up into the Reno skies and see a rainbow of hot air balloons soaring about. From its humble beginnings in 1982 with just 20 balloons, The Great Reno Balloon Race has taken flight with more than 100 balloons each year. Taking place just a few miles north of downtown Reno, the event enchants both young and old with its vibrant colors and inspiring music. The Balloon Race has won many awards over the years including 'Best Special Event in Reno' and 'Best Special Event in Northern Nevada.' With an average of 150,000 spectators attending the event each year, the number of lives touched by the beautiful spectacle continues to rise just like the balloons themselves.


    Twenty balloons participated. The idea was to create an event that would keep visitors in town the weekend between the State Fair and the Reno Air Races.


    The pre-dawn flight known as Dawn Patrol is a new phenomenon in the world of hot-air ballooning. In 1978, Federal Aviation officials approved strict flying regulations and standards that all pilots must use in predawn flight. These regulations include flying within an hour of sunrise along with special navigation lights that are located under the basket. In the late 80’s the Balloon Race Board of Trustees patented Dawn Patrol and began one of the community’s most popular traditions in 1990. Balloon rallies around the country use The Great Reno Balloon Race as a model in orchestrating their pre-dawn events.



    The Community Launch was added. The goal is to direct the balloons to a point on the launch field. This offers the audience a new perspective of the skill needed to fly a balloon as spectators witness the pilots navigating through the wind currents to get to a spot directly in front of them.


    Addition of the Glow Show, which was added to offer spectators an attraction as they wait for Dawn Patrol on Saturday and Sunday. It also helps to showcase our major supporters (on Saturday) and Special Shape balloon visitors (on Sunday). The Glow Show begins at 5 a.m.

Getting ready for a night take off


    Washoe County school children get involved with the event in the Tissue Paper Balloon Launch. This event gives school children a chance to positively interact with their community. One of the major goals of this project is to make sure that no funding comes out of the pocket of school teachers. The thrill of winning big goes airborne as the Biggest Little City in the World hosts the biggest card game, Balloon Blackjack. The casino-style action gives pilots a chance to throw two extra markers at huge face cards placed on the launch field. Those pilots hitting the highest hand most accurately win prizes.


    Regional art gets representation at the event due to an affiliation with the Sierra Arts Foundation and the Reno Gazette-Journal. Over a dozen artists were on-site featuring works at the Sierra Artists’ Tent, representing that the arts are alive in Reno. The Tissue Paper Balloon Launch received the prestigious

    Judges’ Choice Award given by the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Public
Relations Society of America.

She just couldn't wait anymore!

    Attendance soared to new record levels at the 19th annual race, as over
135,000 spectators visited the event.


    The Great Reno Balloon Race celebrated its 20th Anniversary with the Birthday Cake balloon.


    ABC’s Good Morning America appeared at The Great Reno Balloon Race for live cut-ins of Dawn Patrol during their Friday morning show.


    The Great Reno Balloon Race hit record attendance with over 140,000 spectators attending the three-day event. Also,

    Serena’s Song, the only wheelchair accessible balloon in the United States, offered free tethered rides for wheelchair uses and people with disabilities throughout the weekend.


    The 25th Anniversary Great Reno Balloon Race was one for the record books! Saturday’s Balloon Race crowd of 75,000 was the highest in history. Throughout the event an estimated 175,000 spectators braved the early morning chill to celebrate 25 years of high-flying fun.

    CNN attended the event and The Great Reno Balloon Race also got coverage in worldwide media including Prestige Hong Kong, Every Day with Rachel Ray and The History Channel Magazine.

Event Highlights

    The early morning hour acts much like a good cup of coffee without the side effects. The air briskly releases hints of fall. Looking around you see acres of billowing fabric, gently introducing panels of vibrant color into the landscape. As hot air encompasses the material, the liftoff begins and your spirits ascend with the hot-air balloons as they take flight.
    The Great Reno Balloon Race is proud to feature the following events for your pleasure and enjoyment.

Filling the balloon for flight

    E. L. Cord Tissue Paper Balloon Launch
In conjunction with the Washoe County School District, and thanks to the generous support of the E.L. Cord Foundation, thousands of students will launch their hand-made tissue paper balloons into the air. This delightful sight is on Thursday and Friday at 9:30 am.

Glow Show
    Beginning at 5:00am on Saturday and Sunday, glowing balloons will act as a beacon to those sleepy spectators making their way to the launch field. Just follow the sound of "Dueling Banjos" and the distant glow of beautiful balloons. If that doesn't wake you up nothing will!

A night flight

Dawn Patrol
    A trademark of The Great Reno Balloon Race worth the early rise, the show features a handful of balloons that are qualified to fly in the dark. This is a dangerous task as atmospheric conditions change drastically as the sun begins to rise. Balloonists glow, twinkle and fly along with choreographed music across a darkened sky, leaving the crowd awe struck. Saturday and Sunday only.

    T-6 Formation Fly Over Each morning during the national anthem, just as the American flag is presented for Mass Ascension, spectators will be thrilled by a T-6 formation fly over. Thanks to our partnership with National Championship Air Races, visitors can experience just a brief taste of what the Air Races are all about.

Wells Fargo Mass Ascension Launch

    Starting at 6:45am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, over 100 balloons will launch from Rancho San Rafael Park. The splendor of these unique and beautiful balloons thrills the crowd as they enjoy the multitude of vibrant sights and sounds in the early morning light.

Balloon Boulevard
    Crafts, souvenirs, food and warm drinks await spectators at the concession line. Official posters may also be purchased here along with official Balloon Race clothing and memorabilia. We encourage you to visit and support our vendors as they are part of the reason this event continues to be free.

Teaching a little about hot air balloon aviation

Balloon Blackjack
    Pilots try their hand at throwing markers at jumbo-sized playing cards placed on the field. Those hitting 21, or closest thereto, at the centermost spot on the cards win the hand of the day!

Tethered Rides
   After Mass Ascension, the RE/MAX balloon provides tethered rides for children. These rides are available to the general public for a $5.00 donation to the "Children's Miracle Network."

Special Shapes

    Each year The Great Reno Balloon Race features a variety of special shaped balloons to the delight of our spectators. Check back often to see what balloons will be flying the Reno skies during this year's event.