The Art of the Roll

I’m in Wyoming now, having arrived late on Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow we pick up my son from camp. He’s been gone for a month and I absolutely cannot wait to see him. On Saturday we will drop my two youngest girls off at the same camp for their month of fun.

Today I took the afternoon off from camp packing to drive to some of my favorite places: Lunch at Dornan’s in Moose, Mormon Row, Kelly and Teton National Park.

There is something so joyous about watching a horse take a good roll. I thought I’d share it with you.

Roll Complete. Oh geesh, they were watching…

The Demise of iWeb & the Allie Diet Plan

On June 30th iWeb will disappear from Apple. Everyone has to move over to “the Cloud”, whether they want to or not. I’ve already made the transition in most ways, but my original website,, was created in iWeb. This site originated on November 3 of 2009 and ended when I made the switch over to WordPress and on December 5, 2010. I’ve only re-posted maybe 2 original posts from that site, but when I was telling my friend Lorraine the other day that at the end of the month the original Crafty Farm Girl site was disappearing forever she implored upon me to transfer the best of the best over with haste. She recalled this post below and said that when she read it was when she realized she had to get to know me better (our sons were already good friends).

It was also the post that drew a line in the sand with my husband and me – apparently a client that he’d told about the site had read this post and made some comment to him about it. He came home that evening telling me that I couldn’t post things like that anymore because he referred clients to my site all the time. I told him to stop referring clients then because I wasn’t going to stop saying things like this. The end result was that he didn’t stop referring clients to my site and I didn’t stop saying what I wanted.

Alli Diet Plan

Originally posted on on Saturday, June 12, 2010

In my continual effort to lose the ghastly amount of weight I’ve put on over the past few years, on Friday I started the over-the-counter FDA approved Alli diet. I’m not sure what you know about this diet if you know anything at all, but essentially it blocks some of the fat that you eat from being absorbed.

If you stick to the recommended fat intake of 15 fat grams per meal all is supposed to be fine. However, if you go out and eat a Big Mac or a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner, you’re going to suffer from what the makers of Alli nicely calls “treatment effects”.

Basically you shit your pants.


That is one motivating factor to keep me on the straight and narrow. It’s been two days, and so far no “treatment effects”.

If you want to read a hysterical article on Alli you can check out this link. Don’t read it if you’ve got a sensitive stomach.

Alli Side Effects in Layman’s Terms

Even though I’m taking the pill I can’t read this stuff and not laugh out loud.

I imagine I won’t be laughing if I’m suffering some of those “treatment effects” though while shopping at Target or something.

I’ll keep you posted on the success (or failure). In the meantime, you might want to give me a wide berth if you run into me at the grocery store.


As a follow up to this post I have a few things.

Is this pill still even on the market? It was so hot when it came out and I haven’t heard a word about it lately.

It didn’t work at all for me. I stuck to it perfectly for like 2 weeks and didn’t lose any weight so I gave up. Those side effects can only be worth the risk with visible results in my opinion. I guess things like this are just one of those things that since the dawn of time and until the end of time people that are desperate to lose weight will still buy, clinging to the hope that “this one” will work for them.

I did eventually lose a lot of the weight that I had gained I am happy to say. There will always be more to lose and I’ll never be as skinny as I used to be, but I’m fairly happy with how I am now. That’s something.

Also, if you read me way back when or even just recently been through my old site and saw something that you think shouldn’t disappear into cyberspace forever, just send me a comment and I’ll try to get it transferred over for others to enjoy.



Jim and I flew down to Austin on Thursday morning for a long weekend getaway and to attend the 1st Annual Country Living Austin Fair. Now I’ve been to Austin twice fairly recently; last March with Amanda and India, and in December with my sister (where we started our Crafty Farm Sister’s Southern Road Trip). I loved Austin so much that when I saw Country Living was having a fair there, it was the perfect excuse to take another trip down south. This time I thought it would be fun to see if Jim could handle my southern style of traveling.

Standing at the Austin airport waiting for our rental car. It's hot out.

The first night in town I’d made reservations a month ago to go to Uchi, chef Tyson Cole’s restaurant where Paul Qui, winner of this year’s Top Chef is the executive chef. Top Chef is a favorite show of mine, and while I don’t watch television at home, I download Top Chef and Criminal Minds onto my iPad to watch when I travel. Paul was my favorite from the start of the season, so it was great to go to his restaurant and see him in action. The food was delicious.

Some Sister’s on the Fly were there with their vintage trailers. It was fun talking to them and checking out their campers. Their organization is the reason I first got interested in getting a vintage travel trailer. Of course now that I have one I haven’t managed to go on one of their outings.

Sister's on the Fly had some trailers at the CL Fair.

I loved this booth Wren. They had some great things.

And the vintage travel trailers didn’t end with Sister’s on the Fly! There were quite a few dealers at the show that had their own trailers that they incorporated into their booths. Some just as display, some as dressing rooms, some full of merchandise.

This one was a dressing room with a sitting area.

This woman made amazing felted animals. Her chicken wasn’t quite finished yet, but he was spectacular.

The most beautiful this at the show though may have been this longhorn steer. He was the most extraordinary color.

I just love playing with photo apps.

Since we had some free time after the Country Living show, we decided to head on out into the Hill Country for lunch at The Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood. My sister and I had been to this BBQ mecca in December and I wanted to share the joy with Jim.

The Salt Lick's BBQ Pit

Jim is not as enthusiastic about BBQ as my sister, (which frankly cut down slightly on my own intense pleasure just a tiny bit), but the meal was still amazing.

My plate of BBQ from The Salt Lick.

Then we drove around the beautiful Texas Hill Country for a bit. The wildflowers were all in bloom on the sides of the road and it was so beautiful.

The wildflowers were in bloom on the sides of the road and were so beautiful.

Then the strangest thing happened. When I walked into the brush on the side of the road to take this photo, I must have had an allergic reaction to some flower or plant. By the time I got back into the car my legs were covered in tiny itchy welts, then I got some on my arms too. We were in the middle of nowhere. While I desperately itched my legs and arms trying not to tear my skin open, I prayed we would happen upon a CVS or Walgreens where I might find something to alleviate the itching. Then as quickly as they came, within an hour or so the itching stopped and the pain went away. Does anybody know what I had a reaction to?

Wildflowers as far as the eye could see.

A mama longhorn and her baby. Look at the tiny horns!

Below is a photo of me sitting in my hotel bed on saturday morning.. Can I just tell you the last time I sat in bed relaxing? Maybe when the twins were born, but that wasn’t exactly relaxing; that was nursing on both boobs while every part of my body ached. On this morning below Jim had gone out for an early morning walk and I was just sitting there relaxing. It was absolutely heavenly. Of course I lasted about 7 minutes before I got up to shower, but it was terrific while it lasted.

My sister and I stumbled upon TreeHouse in December, shortly after it had opened, and I dragged Jim there first thing Saturday morning. It is a green/sustainable living home improvement store. I could spend hours in the store pouring through all of the cool things they have, but I wasn’t sure how Jim would react to it – manual labor isn’t his thing. He was surprisingly enthusiastic about the store, but it’s hard not to be. The people that worked there are SO friendly and knowledgeable. We met a great guy who moved from Atlanta just to work there. And then we got talking to this great gal while she was passing the flooring department and came to find out she not only grew up in the town we live in, but in the very neighborhood we live in. How weird is that? She gave us a great recommendation for a place to eat that night too.

TreeHouse in Austin is a green/sustainable living home improvement store - the first of it's kind in the country.

This Marmoleum came in the greatest colors. I would put these in my house.

This chandelier was made out of driftwood! One of the employees had installed one over her dining room table and they showed us a picture of it and it looked terrific.

This sconce looked like it was made out of a wine bottle backed with old barn wood. It was very cool.

Some more great chandeliers they had.

And even more...

Then I dragged him a few stores down to Whole Earth Provisions. Shopping in this store reminds me of browsing through the Whole Earth Catalog when I was a kid. (I guess that kind of dates me, because most of you won’t even know what I’m talking about.) It’s a great store that has something for everyone. I got a great new pair of Merrell’s that I put on to wear before I even left the store.

My new Merell's

Now this is my third trip to Texas, and somehow I had yet to see an armadillo — and I’ve been looking. Doesn’t it just figure when I finally come across one it’s flat as a pancake and being picked apart by vultures.

Armadillo roadkill.

How do you think the owner's of this beautiful house in the Tarrytown neighborhood felt about having their yard full of vultures?

That night, at the recommendation of the girl we met at TreeHouse, we dined at Justine’s Brasserie, which is a french-style bistro. It was way over on the fast East side of Austin — so far that I thought for a while that we couldn’t possibly have gotten the directions right, but there it was, tucked into a rather industrial area of town. We had read that it could get quite crowded and they didn’t take reservations, so we got there a little after 6 and were pleasantly surprised by only waiting a few minutes to be seated. We got a table outside and it was just the right temperature — not too hot or too cold. We had a lovely waitress who provided us with excellent service, and while the menu was filled with traditional bistro food, it was done so perfectly that Jim and I both agreed that it was probably the best french food we’d eaten — including the meals we’d had in Paris; the kind of food that even though you’re full you keep reaching for another fork full because it’s just so perfectly prepared.

On Sunday morning we had just enough time before our flight to head back into Austin and grab some breakfast. After a few failed attempts at traditional breakfast haunts that huge lines, we ended up back on South Congress Street where I got a caramelized pear crepe from one of the food trailers. It was delicious, and the perfect way to end a delightful weekend in a delightful town.

A caramelized pear crepe from one of the South Congress Street trailer food vendors. It was really really good.


I don’t want to torture anybody too much with vacation pictures, but I just thought I’d share a few here with you today.

The place we are staying at is painted this glorious yellow color that changes with the light.

There are lots of iguanas around - large and small. Most of them appear to be suffering from having their tail pulled off at some point or another, and you can see the tail re-growth clearly on this guy we met on the beach the other day.

Part of the Coba Mayan Ruins that we visited yesterday. See how the tree roots have formed around the archway?

A handsome pelican.

The sunset from our house on Tuesday night.

Today we went snorkeling at Cenote Dos Ojos. Cenotes are fresh water pools with underground rivers and caverns. We snorkeled where we could, but it seemed that the best way to see this particular cenote was with scuba gear on. There were tons of scuba divers there. Amanda and I have pretty significant claustrophobia and aren't all that fond of creatures that live in the ocean and other bodies of water, so we were pretty creeped out by the whole thing. Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it again.

We went to Tulum today after our Cenote Dos Ojos snorkeling adventure, and they had beautiful beaches with white sand as soft as powder.

A Beach Sunrise

I’m a night owl, not getting to bed before 12:00 most nights, and then I read every night once I get there. My normal rising time during the week is 6:20, but this morning it was 5:00 as I had to deliver my daughter to school by 6:15 for her class field trip to Washington, D.C. It also happened to be her 14th birthday today, so we pretended it was her birthday yesterday instead.

And yes, I live in a fairly constant state of exhaustion.

India and her Sun Conure parrot, Salsa, open birthday presents a day early.

Now, having to get up that early was awful, but I wasn’t going to let an opportunity to be near the beach at sunrise pass by without taking advantage of it.

A beautiful sunrise.

A seagull flying with his breakfast in his beak, looking for a good place to drop it and break the shell open. I love the golden sunrise reflecting off the underside of his wings.

Everybody seemed to be having breakfast!

The breakfast drop completed, and preparing for landing.

And it was COLD this morning; 19 degrees when I was out there. I wished I’d brought a hat and gloves, but I wasn’t functioning properly at that hour.

A shallow tidal pool froze into the most beautiful ice crystals.

So although it was awfully early to be up and out, being able to get some great photos made it much more pleasant.

My New Office Space

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been working on a huge office redecoration. It’s more than that really though. I had an “office” in the smallest upstairs bedroom that I never ever used. It was too small, there was no space to work in, and too far away from both the kitchen and the family room, which is the heart of our home and where my children always are (and want me to be). It was essentially a storage room, but completely unorganized – to the point where I could barely walk in the room anymore. My computer is down in the rear part of our large family room, and my work desk was the kitchen table, so every night I had to clear the current project off so we could eat dinner.

Several years ago we had architectural plans drawn for an office for me along with a desperately needed new garage, but when the bids came in they were so expensive and over budget that we dropped the plans. However, we went into the exercise with the intent to do the renovation, so when I came across some vintage industrial furniture that was exactly what I wanted for my office, I bought it. The store that I bought it from kindly stored the pieces for me for almost 2 years, but they finally called for a delivery date a few months ago. Having no “office” to put the pieces in, I had them delivered to my (still) dilapidated garage. Sigh.

A few weeks ago I couldn’t take it anymore . Jim was away for the weekend, so my friend Cyrena and I, by ourselves, hauled two of the 3 very heavy pieces out of the garage, around the house (in the snow), and into the rear of the family room. That is the reason I’ve been wearing a wrist brace for the past few weeks in any photos – my poor old body just wasn’t up to such a task anymore. Sigh again.

The desk on the right is a reproduction of a french postal workers desk, and the built-in stool swings out. The desk on the left was already in the space, but I moved it from the other side of the room. It holds all kinds of printer papers underneath, and a lot of my craft patterns and files are neatly stored above now.

My desk was always in that spot and the dog's crate was always next to me. The metal glass doored cabinet to the left is new, and now holds a lot of my fabrics and yarns, neatly organized and labeled, in wire baskets. The piece on top is an old scale, and the chicken we got years and years ago on our honeymoon.

In front of the french doors at the back of the room we had a round table and chairs that were purchased to be a family game table, but was rarely used. I wanted a table that could replace the kitchen table as my workspace – one that I could leave projects on until completed. I looked and looked all over for an appropriate work table, but in our very expensive area of the country, couldn’t find anything that wasn’t very, very expensive. I really wanted a metal-topped table, and in the end I finally made my own. I absolutely love the way it came out, and will post that as my next Crafts post.

I didn't make the industrial metal and wood cart that forms the base of this new worktable, but I made everything else. It's a zinc topped table that I with a nailed edge treatment.

My new desk almost fills the space where the french doors are. leaving just enough space for one of my vintage dress forms. I think we've used those doors once in 15 years of living here, so it wasn't a concern to block them. My folk art collection was always up on that high shelf. The bookshelves got completely cleaned, reorganized by category, and many books were donated to a local book charity.

My old “office” upstairs still needs some serious work done to it to get that cleaned up. But, it’s a great start. I didn’t change the square footage of how the room had been laid out before, just reconfigured it so that the entire back area was my work space and not just a piece of it, so nobody else in the family feels that they got “pushed” out and has no place of their own because of it.

That’s about it. I did a ton of work, but there’s a ton more to do,

My Heart

This idea wasn’t planned, but it worked out so well that I thought I’d share it.

When I was on the Southern Road Trip a few weeks ago, I’d brought along a small felt heart that Maia had bought for me a few months ago. It had been missing for a little while, and I found it just before I left and told her I would be bringing her heart with me on the trip. On the second day of the trip I decided to take a quick picture with my phone of the heart on a cactus and send it to Maia so she would know I was thinking of her. She loved the picture so much that every day my sister and I made a point of taking a picture of the heart somewhere that I could send to her. It was such a simple thing, and it meant so much.

My heart in Cypress Mill, Texas on a cactus.

My heart on top of an Indian Mound in Arkansas.

My heart on the bridle of a carriage horse in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

My heart at the Little Hawaiian in Carrollton, GA. My heart got to spend the night in the restaurant, as we forgot it on the table and had to go back and get it the next morning before we left town.

My heart tucked into the collar of an adorable dog in Carrollton, Georgia.

My heart at Leon’s Full Service in Decatur, Georgia.

My heart in bed. On the last full day of the trip we drove so much and really didn’t stop to see or do anything. At the end of the day all I really wanted to do was go to bed, so that’s what my heart did, too.

All of my kids miss me when I go away. Because this was spontaneous and unplanned, it was a terrific way for me to let Maia know I was thinking of her every day. Of course now that I’ve done it, the next time I travel all 3 kids will expect photos every day with 3 different items, and then it becomes not so much fun. But maybe this is an idea you can use to let a loved one know you’re thinking of them when you travel.


The Crafty Farm Sister’s Southern Road Trip is over. We drove 2,297 miles in 7 days. The last 2 days were probably the worst. Friday we drove from just North of Atlanta in Doraville, to Franconia, Maryland. That’s about 615 miles in one day. I’ll admit it — we might have been a little aggressive with our driving estimates. Especially when you consider the fact that we spent a whole day in Austin and in Atlanta. That essentially left 5 days to drive that distance. But we both had fun, were still speaking to each other at the end of the trip, and will happily take another trip together again next year.

The good thing about a trip like that is every other place I have to drive seems so easy. An hours drive today was over in the blink of an eye. And, I still love to drive, so it’s all good.

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Before we left Atlanta we stopped in the quant little town for a quick breakfast.

There were some lovely wreaths on the doors in Carrollton, Georgia.

We found this wonderful shop about a block off the main square called The Nest that had a terrific mix of antiques, yard sale finds, and home goods and accessories. Owned by mother-daughter team Donna and Carla, they were super nice. They also had two mighty cute dogs. If you’re ever in Carrollton you should make it a point to stop there.This stunning brown paper gown was just something one of the owner’s of The Nest threw together for a display. Now that’s crafty!

We had a 45 minute drive from Carrollton to Serenbe, the 1000-acre sustainable living community in the Chattahoochee Hills. It was a beautiful drive through the hills of Georgia, and frankly, we were so happy to have the sun shining and blue skies everything looked beautiful.

These adorable calves seemed pretty happy the sun was shining, too.

There’s really too much to say about the Serenbe Community here. I’ll have to do a separate post on it soon.

Once in Atlanta, we headed right for Highland Row Antiques. Lisa and I had found this shop when we were in Atlanta this past April for the BlogHer Food conference, and knew we had to go back with a vehicle to transport some of their wonderful things home. Now they’ve got a lot of pretty peculiar things there, too. We were talking to one of the partner’s, and she said they do a lot of work selling movie props. Note the Jolly Green Giant’s legs are behind him, so he’s complete. And, well, what can you say about that nude painting. It takes a special person to want that hanging in their home. That Deer Processing sign would have come home with Lisa if it would have fit in the car. Those vintage suitcases were in near perfect condition.

They had some terrific vintage hats. My favorite is the tall yellow one. Reminded me of a bee skep.

Some other cute things we saw in some Atlanta shops. That birdhouse with the pitchfork perch is now on my list of things to make. Such a cute idea for a farm girl.

We were eating in Decatur, which is just outside of Atlanta. On the way out of town we stopped at a new group shop that had just opened. There was some fun stuff there, but it was all a little pricey.

Before we got to Atlanta I had looked up farm-to-table restaurants in Atlanta on my iPad. There were several good choices, but the looks of Leon’s Full Service in Decatur appealed to me the most. Perhaps because it seemed more casual, (by this point in the trip, our selection of clean laundry was getting a little thin). I presume it’s called Leon’s Full Service because it’s in a space that used to house a gas/service station. We were so glad we picked it. I am not exaggerating when I say that I had one of the best meals I have eaten in years that night. Truthfully, everything on the menu, (which changes weekly) looked so amazing, and we were so hungry, that we showed virtually no restraint and practically had to roll ourselves out of the joint. It was worth every bite.

Since we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, we started with a snack of pub frites with a choice of 14 house-made dipping sauces. I chose the masaman curry and madras curry catsup and Lisa chose the smoked tomato mayonnaise and garlic aioli. They were so delicious. Then we moved onto a cheese plate. We had a triple cream cows milk, aged Gouda , and a local blue. They served it with some crusty baguette and some house-made quince jelly. The cheeses were so good bread wasn’t really required, and that quince paste was incredible.

For starters. Lisa had charred scallion and ginger chicken sausage with baby bok choy, green curry, fried shallot pickles. It was crazy good. So moist and flavorful you’d never know it was made from chicken. Smoky and a little spicy. I chose the grilled flatbread with georgia apple butter, aged cheddar, roasted fennel, smoked pecan, toasted fennel seed. I cannot even explain how delicious this was to you. The home-made apple butter was perfect with the aged cheddar, and the fennel wasn’t overwhelming at all. I love sweet and savory combinations. I had the leftovers the next night for dinner in our hotel room.

For entrees Lisa ordered slow roasted beef brisket with black peppercorn gravy, fried onions, served open faced and served with a zucchini-sharp cheddar casserole, sweet onion gravy, arugula, lemon oil. I had a boneless beef short rib served over parsnip puree. It was so tender you could cut it with a fork.

And then, believe it or not, I ordered dessert. I was so full, but just had to try one bite of the peach cobbler with brown sugar whipped cream. Really, I meant to just have one bite. Because I was really quite full by then. But, it was so darned delicious that Lisa and I ate the whole thing! I really couldn’t believe it.

As we were leaving I went in the ladies room. The lady in the next stall had the most kick-ass pair of boots on. She was probably wondering why somebody was taking pictures in the next stall. Anybody know what brand those are?

To summarize, below are the things I acquired on our Southern Road Trip. My sister brought some stuff home too! We couldn’t have fit much more in that minivan if we tried.

These are a few of the things I went home with from Highland Row Antiques.

This stuff came home to Connecticut too.

And of course Beyonce and a great old large scale that weighed a ton.

So that’s what we did in Georgia! Next time I’ll finish up the trip, which includes a stop to see my new friend Sharon, a dairy farmer in Virginia.

Clarksdale, Mississippi to Carrollton, Georgia

Well weren’t we surprised to wake up in the morning on Wednesday to find snow on the ground! Bad enough that we hadn’t seen a single glimpse of the sun since arriving in Texas, but now we had to add snow to it??

So now now the steely grey cast that all of my photos have had to them on this trip will also be snow covered.

This cute little kitty and her brother desperately wanted us to take them with us when we left. They were very friendly, and frankly I'm surprised my sister didn't have at least one sleeping with her that night.

Another shack in the morning snow.

Can I please have this shack with the faded turqoise paint please?

Inside the lobby of the Shack Up Inn is really something.

There was one street in Clarksdale that had some beautiful homes on it.

But there was also a whole lotta empty going on there.

On the drive to Carrollton I found two cars I would like to have.

This is an old Chevy of some sort; I don't now what kind, but my dad will as he's been a car buff his whole life. It's like the original version of an El Camino with more style. There's enough room in the back for a few bales of hay or a goat.

And I would love to get my hands on this old pickup truck.

We didn't see a whole lot on our drive this day, but we did see the Campus of Of The University of Mississippi (Old Miss), which was a beautiful campus, and the town of Oxford was charming.

At the end of a very long day of driving, we had made our goal and reached Carrollton, Georgia. As we were pulling into the town we saw the first glimpse of blue sky we'd seen 5 days! Things were looking up.

Although the name put us off at first, the reviews convinced us to try it. We ate at The Little Hawaiian and had the best meal we'd eaten in a few days. It felt wonderful to be eating something that at least seemed to be slightly more healthy than what we'd been eating the last few days.

Ruston, Louisiana to Clarksdale, Mississippi

On Tuesday and Wednesday we drove from Ruston, Louisiana to Clarksdale, Mississippi. It wasn’t a particularly exciting drive, but we took very rural backroads and got to see a lot of the farmland and country areas of Louisiana, Arkansas and western Mississippi. We had made reservations early in the day at The Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and it was something we were definitely looking forward to. Clarksdale is a town rooted in the history of blues music. And while it was clearly working on a resurgence, it appeared that there was a long way to go to get the town back to it’s original glory. But everyone was super friendly, and we really enjoyed the Christmas Parade that started just as we finished our dinner that night.

But I’ve got too many photos to show you to do a post on three days in one post or you’d all be sleeping by the end. Here is a summary of Tuesday’s drive from Ruston, LA to Clarksdale, MS.

We saw a lot of these. Small factory farms and empty fields. Or just empty fields with falling-down barns. There was a lot of that, too.

At one point the stupid GPS had us get off the rural back road we were on and popped us onto this Levee Road. It was dirt, but you could still drive fast and it was pretty, driving along the Mississippi River. We came along this herd of horses heading home for dinner, which was pretty amusing.

We stopped in Arkansas to visit some Indian Mounds, which were constructed by deliberately heaping soil, rock, or other materials (such as ash, shell, and the remains of burned buildings) onto natural land surfaces. They are estimated to be 3500 years old.

And apparently in Mississippi it is acceptable to have an enormous airplane in your backyard. Is it their guest house? Man cave? I mean this was, huge — like 727 huge.

We almost didn't make it to The shack Up Inn. There were two ways to get there, and this was the back road in. As soon as I pulled off the main road I knew we were in trouble. It took me 15 minutes to rock my way out of that mud and get back on the road, and needless to say our car was then covered in it.

Unfortunately after finally getting un-stuck from the mud, we arrived at The Shack Up Inn just as the sun was setting.

This is the main section of The Shack Up Inn, which are rooms in an old converted cotton gins, and the rooms are in the old cotton bins. We didn't get to see them.

The decorating scheme at The Shack Up Inn isn't for everyone, but we absolutely loved it.

All of the cabins at The Shack Up Inn are old sharecropper houses. We stayed in The Legends Shack that had two separate rooms with a kitchen and is one of the largest shacks.

My bedroom had a couch and a chair. There was a TV, but it only gets the blues music station. If you want regular TV, you'll have to stay somewhere else.

The kitchen had a fridge, sink, microwave, coffeepot and table.

My sister's bedroom. We both agreed that staying there felt like going to sleep at a good friend's house; very comfortable and cozy.

Clarksdale had a very enthusiastic Christmas parade with a marching band that could really dance.

And the band leader had so much enthusiasm and was dancing so joyously it was infectious.

They pull their floats with tractors!

I think these ladies had a card game going on the kitchen table set up on their float, but they loved having their picture taken!

And Santa was there too!

What we didn't anticipate was waking up to 2" of snow on the ground! I thought it was supposed to be warm in the South!!!