A whirlwind weekend

Walking the dog

So.  How was your weekend?  Mine went by so quickly that I’m still trying to catch my breath.

Corporate park reflections

Or maybe it’s all the food I ate filling me up so much that my lungs are lacking their usual room to expand.  What is it about family and food?

There was still some fall color to be found in south-central New Jersey

Before I start rambling, the photos are some random scenes from the trip.  Most of the outdoor shots were taken on walks near the hotel where we stayed.  The hotel is located in a corporate park where Mother Nature has been allowed some room.  Trees, birds, a lake, a pond, lots of grass and plenty of goose poop.  The geese seem to love corporate parks.

The less natural view. Or perhaps it is the more natural view. Depends on how you look at it.

The M’s (M the Elder, M the Younger, and M the Younger’s wife Mere) and I decided to suspend our vegetarianism for this trip.  It’s easier, for everyone.  M the Elder and I come from families who consider potatoes to be a vegetable (yes, I know that technically they ARE a vegetable, but they’re hardly in the same league as, say, broccoli or brussel sprouts).  The Thanksgiving menu consisted of two turkeys (one roasted, one deep fried), dressing/stuffing (with sausage in it), mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese, sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows (MUCH too sweet and candied to be considered a veggie of any kind), and a couple of nods to veggies with some coleslaw and mashed rutabaga (a favorite of my father’s that he only has on Thanksgiving because that was the only time my mother would make it; she was not a fan of the turnip or rutabaga after a poor childhood in which those vegetables were staples).  I brought a butternut squash and kale dish.  Mere made a green bean casserole as a gesture towards her family’s Thanksgiving traditions.

Late autumn glow

I think this might be the last time I suspend my vegetarianism.  I noticed that after a weekend of meat eating, I feel weighed down.  Heavy and dragging.  Ponderous.  (And redundant, it seems, but I’ll leave all those words to reinforce the substantial massiveness of how I feel.)  When I feast on fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, I feel light and buoyant.  I prefer light and buoyant over weighed down and heavy.

More exercise would have been good too, although we did try to fit it in when and where we could.  We walked in the mornings, played some football and threw around a Frisbee prior to Thanksgiving dinner, and kicked around a soccer ball on Friday.  I kept up with my yoga and meditation.  But we also spent a great deal of time sitting, especially in the car (a grand total of 21 hours — 983 miles — for the weekend), and a lot of that sitting was combined with eating and drinking.

Curly tail. (Mallard)

It could have been worse, I suppose.  The weight gain total for me as of this morning is 1.5 lbs.  Then again, perhaps all that food and drink and slothfulness hasn’t caught up with me yet.  I’m hoping to head it off at the pass by exercising now that I’m home.

Textured lake. (Processed in Pixlr.)

Some words to the wise (a saying that makes no sense to me in the shortened version):

  • Never travel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Just don’t.  It’s awful.  Our trip home was extended a couple of hours by the heavy volume of traffic, and an accident near mile marker 146.  It seemed even worse if you were headed east (which, thankfully, we were not).
  • For that matter, don’t travel on the PA Turnpike on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.  It’s not much better.  The travel advisory mentioned that they expected over 2.6 million people to be traveling the turnpike over Thanksgiving weekend.   Seems about right to me.
  • Oh, okay, we all know the PA Turnpike presents difficulties in travel anytime of the year due to constant construction so take I-80 if can when crossing Pennsylvania.  You’ll still encounter construction but at least they don’t charge you for it with tolls or outrageous prices for food and gas at the rest areas.  That’s usually the way we go, and would have this time except we had to stop in Pittsburgh to pick up (and drop off) the M&M’s (M the Younger and Mere).

The nature of a corporate park

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with family, but it sure is good to be home again.  We woke up to a beautiful foggy, frosty morning which I almost missed.  As it is, I didn’t enjoy more than a glance out the window.  I was so tired from the trip that I opted to go back to bed rather than go for an early walk.  That’s okay.  I got to enjoy the sunshine and blue sky later.

Across the street from my sister’s home

We must have had a little snow here in the Bogs.  There are small patches of it gathered in shady places.  They are predicting snow showers for tonight.  The chance is pretty slim and we’re not likely to get much out of it if it does snow (unless, of course, the weather prognosticators are wrong).

Power marching across the land

The pond had a big swath of ice growing towards the middle earlier today.  It’s a sign of things to come, although the sun did eventually melt it.  Our mallards (ducks) are back.  We usually have at least one pair of mallards winter with us.  If (when?) the surface of the pond freezes, they move to the creek until they can access the pond again.

In the flight path. (My sister and her family live near a small airport, and we saw a lot of small planes out practicing the day after Thanksgiving. Texture and “paint splashes” added in post-processing.)

I am once again so far behind in blogging that it’s impossible to catch up.  It’s been that way for months, really, but it’s time for me to wipe the slate clean and start over.  Please forgive me if I miss anything important.  (I am also far behind in all things email related.  If you’ve emailed me in the past month and I haven’t answered yet, huge apologies to you.  I hope to get caught up in that area soon.)

Going over the Ben Franklin Bridge (into Philadelphia).

If there’s something from the past month or so you think I should see (or read) or might want me to see (or read), let me know.  That way I won’t miss out.

A sunrise in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

I think that should do it from me and from the Bogs for now.  Thank you for visiting, and joining me on a look back into the recent past.  I hope your weekend was fab and filled with fun, and that your Monday has been a smooth transition into a new week.

This morning’s view of the pond.  (You can see the thin ice stretching across the pond from the right.)

Be good, be kind, be loving, just Be.  🙂

Ice ice baby (From this morning.)


25 Comments on “A whirlwind weekend”

  1. Chloe says:

    such beautiful photographs, your lighting is always pefect

  2. Kathy says:

    Another most lovely post, Robin! I know what you mean about feeling so light and wonderful after feasting on fruits and veggies. It feels much more balanced to eat that way, and raw food too, mmmmm…. Barry ate almost all the Thanksgiving stuffing-turkey-potato leftovers because he loves to do this once or twice a year, but I made a raw salad on Friday (there’s a link to the recipe on my FB page) and it felt so great to eat it. Glad you’re safely home and we’ll stay away from that PA turnpike. 😉

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Kathy. 🙂 I’m looking forward to that raw salad. I wrote down the recipe, but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. It’s been another weekend away from home. It may be January before I can get back to what’s normal eating for me.

  3. Coming East says:

    Glad you had such a nice time with family, but I know how nice it is to sleep in your own bed again. I had to laugh at the rutabaga, though, because that was my father’s must-have every Thanksgiving, and I made my daughter buy one for me so I could keep up the tradition. I actually like them.

  4. I think the PA Turnpike is always under construction, and always a nightmare. For years, I have dreaded driving on that road, at any time of year! I’m glad you had a good (& filling) Thanksgiving, Robin!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Cathy. I think you may be right. Even the Philadelphia Mummers acknowledge the PA Turnpike troubles during their New Year’s parade.

  5. Glad your T-Day and weekend were good, and that you’re home safe…
    We’re still recovering from the chaos, but one more day should do it…

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    Because our weekend weather was dreary, thanks for the vivid colors! …. and you explained why we shorten Thanksgiving weekend by returning home on Saturday!

  7. mobius faith says:

    Really nice images. Great story although all the M’s must get confusing. hehehe. Of course the opposite of that would with all those M’s it must be mmmmm good spending time with them. 🙂 Glad you had a nice weekend.

    I especially like the franklin bridge shot and the morning ice. great fun all around. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      lol, Terry! Yes, all those M’s get mighty confusing, especially when you consider two of my brothers also have names that begin with M. Our family needs to start expanding when it comes to the alphabet.

      Thank you. 🙂

  8. Gorgeous photos, Robin. As somene from Pittsburgh, I assure you and everyone else-the bottom line–avoid the PA turnpike at all times, at all costs. Okay, I exaggerate, but only a little. Glad you have great Thanksgivng!
    Hugs,
    Kathh

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Kathy. 🙂 I’m with you — avoid the PA turnpike at all costs. It’s not our normal route, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

  9. Sallyann says:

    Great picture of the small planes, they look really vintage. 🙂

  10. Dana says:

    The holidays always present a challenge when it comes to eating, I find. I eat very similarly to my mom and middle sister, but everyone else (dad, youngest sister, and especially Marty’s whole family) eats pretty much exactly the opposite foods. We are planning a trip to Calgary for the upcoming holidays, and I’m super nervous about it. Candida/elimination diets and traditional Czech food don’t really go hand in hand…

    • Robin says:

      Wishing you an unexpected glut of healthy food, Dana. I’ve given up for now. I stay on track at home, but this next month is going to involve a lot of family and a lot of foods we normally don’t eat. I’ve decided to enjoy life and not worry about it. 😀

      • Dana says:

        I wish I could just sit back and enjoy everything, too. Unfortunately, my GI system is *so* sensitive that anything out of the ordinary (food-wise) puts me out of commission in a bad way. Can’t take me anywhere! 😉


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