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Lindsay’s Fall Fling

I was in desperate need of a “creative day,” and Lindsay stepped up to the plate with the offer of a Lettering Class/play day at her house!

Who is Lindsay, you ask? She is Lindsay Ostrom, an extraordinary lettering artist. I met her many years ago at CHA when I was buying for the scrapbook section of my store, and she had a line of products she sold to the industry. Fast forward about 15 years and we re-connected through Facebook. Since then I’ve been a pretty good customer for her art, and we’ve become “actual” friends in real life.

It had been on my calendar for WEEKS and I was so excited I could hardly stand it.

It didn’t even really matter WHAT we were doing (heeheehee! I never even asked!) I just knew that whatever Lindsay would plan would be tons of fun, and I HAD to go!

The hour-long drive was a little daunting in the rain. In the back of my mind I was afraid the rain would turn to snow, but even that couldn’t dampen my enthusiasm. There was an awful accident going the opposite direction on I80, but I sucked it up. I COULDN’T let a little weather cheat me out of the fun.

I arrived just a little late, and everything looked so cute!

The table was decorated in fall motif (well, of course, it was “Fall Fling” after all!) complete with party favors!

And the work table was even cuter, each place set with a special folder full of fun instructions, decorated with our names in yummy Lindsay fashion.

Our first project was a monogram surrounded by Lindsay flowers. Before working on the actual project, we practiced a bit. (Yes, even me, in spite of the fact that I HATE to practice!) I was slow as molasses in January, constantly second-guessing myself, but I at least got it to the point where you could see what I was doing before it was time to move on to the next project. That means HOMEWORK. What are the chances? I suspect Linz isn’t going to let me slide by without finishing it!


Next up was lunch. Linz made sliders, mac and cheese and fruit, so we retired to the kitchen to wolf it down before getting back to work!

The afternoon project was a wooden sign for Fall. I opted to make mine a tree-topper for my Thanksgiving tree, and actually completed it. Lindsay offered a few suggestions along the way, and it turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself!


All too soon it was 3pm and time to head back down the hill. Never has a day gone by so quickly.

I haven’t worked on my homework yet (I will, I promise!) but I have gotten my journal page for the day almost done!

And my special sign is adorning the tree!


And I have about a dozen ideas for other projects that the class inspired. Oh, GREAT! Just what I need, more ideas!


Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

By this point, we were beat. But we didn’t give up. This was supposed to be the largest concentration of elephants we’d see, and we couldn’t wait to get out there.

And then there were these super cool trees we’d been hearing about, the Baobab tress.

So, off we went! Or at least, I went, the 1st day. Mr. Tattered wasn’t feeling well, so he opted to stay in camp. He joined me the 2nd day.

We didn’t see any new animals in this park, but they weren’t kidding about the number of elephants. We saw lots and lots. And since we weren’t chasing all over trying to see specific animals, I took a little more time to stop for photos, and spend more time just watching.








The giraffes were equally amazing.







Dwarf mongoose.









Baobab trees…


Until the very last day, we were not really bothered by insects. But in Tarangire, there were the most annoying flies. I got bit over and over and over, to the point where I went a little cray-cray. I was swinging a towel wildly trying to kill them, and FINALLY got one. We laughed and laughed.

My favorite photo of this area was at the watering whole. I couldn’t believe how many animals there were hanging around.


And so we wind up our trip to Africa. It was the best trip we never want to take again!

From there we flew to Amsterdam where we spent 5 days “recuperating” before heading home. Amsterdam is my new favorite city in the world (for now.)

Manyara Lake

Thanks for checking in on yet another area of Tanzania, Africa.

Manyara Lake.

This place was bird heaven. We saw monkeys, and elephants, and wildebeests and other assorted mammals, but by far, the birds were the stars of this show. I would be willing to bet we saw MILLIONS. And the variety? It was just incredible.

Enjoy just a few…

This was our first inkling we were about to see something amazing…

And then we got to the lake…














It’s challenging to get good photos of birds because they won’t hold still (silly things!) so we truly saw SOOOOOOOOO much more than what I’m showing you. Trust me on this, it was incredible!


On To The Central Serengeti

As we moved to the Central Serengeti, we found places where there was obviously much more rainfall, making for more greenery, and larger herds of animals, plus some we hadn’t seen before.



We saw lots of scavengers. They had a lot to choose from!


These aren’t your storks that bring babies! They’re scary looking!


Secretary bird


A baby vervet monkey. They were so cute!






Dik dik (the smallest of the antelopes)

One of our funny stories of the trip was “The great sandwich theft!” This cute vervet money came right up to the truck and I snapped a photo right before he jumped onto the back of it. I told our guide, and he looked around, but didn’t seem concerned. Then the monkey jumped into the open top, opened Mr. Tattered’s boxed lunch, grabbed his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and jumped out. I was so shocked I couldn’t even lift my camera to get a shot. I had no idea what he was doing, and I was afraid he was going to bite me! This was NOT his first rodeo. He knew EXACTLY what to do and was in and out in a matter of seconds.


male leopard


We’d already seen 4 of the “big five” animals (Lions, Leopards, Elephants, and Buffalo) and were hoping to see the last, the Rhino. We never got real close, but we DID see one from a distance. That counts, right?

The big 5, surprisingly to me, weren’t the most common ones, but the ones most “trophy” hunted. That distressed me. MY big 5 were the lions, giraffes, hippos, elephants and the….well, there’s probably a 10-way tie for 5th place. Heeheehee!

Tomorrow we head for Gnorongoro.







On this day we left the Serengeti and passed through Maasai land on our way to Ngorongoro, a giant crater at about the 9000ft level.


As we neared the crater, everything was covered by red dirt.

We saw more lions here than anywhere else, but aside from new birds, there were not a lot of “new” species. Which didn’t surprise me. I mean how many more can there be???



This one was taken with NO magnification. She was that close…

This is one of my favorite photos of the trip. The male lion has eaten his fill and looks like a guy in his recliner after a big meal. Notice the herd of wildebeest in the background who know they are safe for the moment!

The thing that DID surprise us was how cold it was at night. I mean, it’s at a high elevation, but for some reason that didn’t equate to cold to me. Had it not been for the hot water bottles they put in our beds, Mr. Tattered may have frozen to death. He got his, AND mine! I was comfortable. Heeheehee!

We did see a baby rhino (again, from a great distance, but hey, some people never see them at all, so we were grateful for what we got!)

One of my favorite stories, was the one about how the white-headed buffalo weavers find their mates. The males build the nests, then the females find the nest they like best, and accept the male who built it!



I guess if I had to give up one area we went to, this would be it, but it had its own charm, especially when it came to the lions. We did see a TON of them. So enjoy a few more photos, then tomorrow we’ll move onto Manyara Lake.










Overflow Northern Serengeti

As I put together the post on the Northern Serengeti, I realized there were way more photos I wanted to show you. So, I’ve put together another array, but I’ll let most of them speak for themselves… Enjoy!


















Okay, so that’s an overview of the Northern Serengeti. There were lots of smaller animals and many more birds, but you get the idea. If this had been it, it would have been an amazing trip, but there was more to come!


Northern Serengeti

We flew from the small airport in Arusha into the Northern Serengeti on a tiny little plane, landing on a dirt air strip (Kogatende) in the middle of nowhere. It was quite thrilling.

Our permanent guide met us there, having driven up with our suitcases, and we immediately headed out to the Mara River, the dividing point between Kenya and Tanzania, where the Great Migration takes place.

We were seeing animals right away – We had to laugh. As excited as we were to see a few animals at a distance in Arusha National Park, it was just awe-inspiring to see many, many more up close!

Impala were first, followed by zebra…





The migration of the wildebeests from Kenya to Tanzania was our primary reason for choosing Tanzania, and although we were towards the end of the migration, it didn’t disappoint. The first 2 days we saw smaller migrations, just a few thousand at a time. Day 3 we saw many, many thousands.

One of the more interesting parts of it was that frequently, the wildebeests waited for the zebra, who have a good memory for the crossing points to go, then they follow. In the absence of the zebras we couldn’t tell what the tipping point was that took them from milling around to taking the plunge.


Although the river looks pretty calm, there is quite a current, and for the younger animals, the crossing is treacherous. Many get separated from the herd, and these are waiting to pick them off…

We only saw one get taken down, but there were many we were afraid would drown.

Mothers and babies would get separated in the river. Once the mothers got across, they would begin calling out to their babies. It was heart-warming to see them connect up. Some of the animals were so exhausted when they reached shore, they’d collapse to rest for a few minutes before continuing their journey.


Also in the river were large groups of hippos. They stay mostly in the river during the day, then move onto shore at night to graze.



We also saw giraffes and lions.

And elephants. Lots of elephants.





Late afternoon the first day we saw cheetahs hunting. They just casually sauntered by the herd of wildebeests, trying to act like they weren’t interested. We’d been there for quite awhile, and it didn’t look like they were going to attack, so we left. Minutes later our guide got word they’d made a kill so we went back. It was gross, but part of the circle of life we knew we’d see.


I swear, if this was ALL we’d seen it would have been fabulous. But there was so much more. I think I’ll probably need to add some more photos from the Northern Serengeti tomorrow. And then there’s still 4 more places!!!



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