Useless Information?

Dust off your Trivial Pursuit Game, it’s time to engage your brain in the strange, meaningless world of trivia.  Today is National Trivia Day. trivial pursuit Take a break from your work challenges and see if you can stump your co-workers, your kids or your partner.  (Where do they come up with these crazy days to celebrate?)
In ancient times, the term “trivia” was appropriated to mean something very new.
Over time, the word “trivia” has come to refer to obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge as well as nostalgic remembrances of pop culture.

So here we go, let’s see how smart you are (or how much valueless information is hiding in your noggin):

1)      In which country did Cheddar Cheese originate?

2)      In which city did Starbuck’s coffee originate?

3)      “Granny Smith” is a popular type of what food?

4)      Which river divides New York and Pennsylvania?

5)      In which US state did the first steam locomotive run on rails?

6)      Which Pocono bed and breakfast is currently offering a BOGO deal?

Hope you enjoyed my little game.  Do you want the answers?  Scroll down to the bottom of this post.triviaEngland, Seattle, apple, Delaware, Pennsylvania (Honesdale to be exact), James Manning House B&B, of course! Hope you’ll check out Cabin Fever and pick a time to stay. (The innkeepers might just join you in a game of Trivial Pursuit!)

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Experience the Northern Poconos

I often wonder how to answer the question when asked, “Can you see the mountains from your B&B?”  Is this person expecting to look out every window and see snow -capped peaks like in the Rockies?  Perhaps they feel like they will be surrounded by craggy rocks poconodeer to climb and all the other land is a flat plane with houses looking into other house windows?  How do you explain that the Pocono Mountains are an experience?

First the Pocono Mountains are modest in elevation, the point highest is just under 2,700 feet.  But there are highs and valleys, and hills and dips.   Now it is the summer season, as one drives the roads, you are surrounded by green.   The trees are green, and there are many, many trees, abundant, tall, branching and filling the view.  The grasses and plants that stretch into the woods are green and dotted with wonderful colorful wildflowers.  In the Northern Pocono region the roads wind up and down the hills and houses are amply spaced on several acres of ground.  Farms, with fields of green hay are mixed into the landscape and where people have chosen to live now or long ago, trees have been removed leaving beautiful views of mountain ridges in the distance, dark blue, continuous along the horizon.Northernpoconos

The mountains have many streams, and creeks that flow over rocks and tumble along through the trees making small rapids and waterfalls.  Eventually these streams wind their way to the small rivers that fill the Delaware River on the Eastern edge of the Poconos.    They make DyberryCreekUpperPoconoswonderful places to take a picnic lunch or a fishing rod.  The landscape of the Northern Poconos is dotted with small ponds and pristine lakes, wonderful places to “throw in a line”.  The water provides sources for wildlife, the greens for food, and the trees for shelter.  Deer, squirrels, groundhogs,poconolake raccoons, opossums, chipmunks all find the wooded rolling and sloping terrain dotted                                                with human population to be a                                                  comfortable home.

The Northern Poconos have small towns with quaint stores and friendly restaurants.  People say “hi” on the streets and cars stop to let pedestrians cross.  Honesdale, the county seat of Wayne County, has special events on their Main Street with local craft vendors throughout the year.honesdalemainstreet  Here’s America as it was, where there is free entertainment in the park, country fairs, and pride in their history.  You can even help the townsfolk welcome Santa for the season with a parade and singing in the park. Hawley, another small Americana town located in Pike County also hosts several special events and has an indoor local marketplace of specialty items and local goods.

Visiting the Northern Poconos is not the tourist trap kind of place.   Take a train ride through the country side and notice more of this relaxing pace of life in the mountains.  Take a beautiful drive along our wooded roads, snap a picture of a deer, or capture the view over the clearing.  It’s an experience.  Wake up relaxed, take a walk in the woods, sit by a stream and listen to the birds.  Unwind, Rejuvenate!

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Get Up, Get Moving!

herbgarnishIt’s mid-spring.  The great outdoors is calling.  It’s time to renew that connection with the outdoors.  Many of us, and here at the inn included, are thinking about planting.  Maybe it’s flowers, perhaps some vegetables, and here I always like to have some fresh herbs for cooking, well er, at least to garnish the plates.  (I’m looking forward to the new herb guild and learning more about recipes and cooking with herbs.)  The perennials are up, including a favorite around here, rhubarb. The maple leaves are opening and the flowering                                                       trees are gorgeous.

Activities are definitely also “waking up”.  Downtown Honesdale is kicking off the tourist season with Train Day, May 7.  There are activities for young and old alike.  There will be street vendors and fun, not to mention riding the Stourbridge Line. stourbridge line If walking Main St. and shopping is your outdoor activity there’s a special treat in store (no pun intended!) for you.  The Greater Honesdale Partnership is kicking off its Partnership Passport.  Shop all summer long visiting participating merchants and qualify for prizes.

For those of you who want more strenuous outdoor activities, how about Biking Wayne County?  Ride from Honesdale to Hawley through beautiful rolling hills.  Then enjoy a bikehonesdalerelaxing ride back to Honesdale on the historic Stourbridge Line train.  End the day with a complimentary beer tasting at Irving Cliff Brewery.  It sounds like a great day, and you could relax at the James Manning House for the night and enjoy a wonderful breakfast in the morning!

Sshh!  I know another secret, for you anglers……….the streams and lakes have been stocked with trout again this week.  There’s some great fishing around these parts!

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Observance, Mother Earth

loveearthEarth Day isn’t one of those splashy holidays.  It is nationally recognized, as an observance.  The movement has also grown to include over 192 countries.   It’s listed on all calendars, including the electronic one on your cell phone.  Since I’ve retired from the classroom, I no longer celebrate with the children in school.  There was always some personal joy to the excitement a teacher could create with little ones.  Earth Day was one time to be sure to be outside planting and inside creating beautiful artwork, a fun day loaded with learning.  Now it is a time when I try to reconnect with the outdoors, and make a personal plan to change something in my efforts to protect our planet.

Personally, today I recycled paper, aluminum cans, plastic containers, and press board.  I collected trash on my walk with Lui.  Although it wasn’t an easy challenge, I completed the challenge to remove 40 items from my closet and give them to the Salvation Army for reuse.  I remembered and reduced my use of plastic bags by having enough reusable bags with me at the grocery store.  Today I also planted 10 tree saplings, of varieties native to the area, hoping someday to transplant nice young trees to final homes around my family’s properties. plant-trees

Here at the inn we try to have a green side to hosting guests.  We use as many non-incandescent light bulbs as possible, many CFL’s and now switching over to LED.  (On a side note: we are lucky to be able to recycle those CFL’s at our local library.)  Heat and hot water tanks are turned off or turned down when guests are not using them.  Vegetable and fruit peelings, coffee grounds and egg shells are all composted.  We provide containers and encourage guests to recycle, and have subscribed to single stream recycling.  Our appliances and furnaces have been replaced with energy efficient units.  We are proud to tell our guests that $2 of their stay is donated through the Green Lodging Program to the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, helping to protect the wild and scenic Delaware River and Bald Eagle Habitat.  This year our plan to improve our footprint as an inn, is to encourage our guests to use our alternative sources for fresh water, rather than small plastic bottles.

All that reflecting on a personal goal to observe Earth Day, as I think we all should, improving and reducing our private impact on the earth.  Still, the most interesting event that I participated in happened last night.  The library director and I organized a new program meeting at the library, “The Greater Wayne Herb Guild”.  We had a nice turn out of interested people who have the common interest to increase our knowledge in the growing, harvesting, cooking and using herbs. It was fun to create and bake the snack of Lemon Lavender Muffins and mint tea.   Hopefully, when you visit the inn soon, you will be enjoying some savory new recipe!  2016-04-21 20.07.002016-04-21 20.07.23

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Who Stole My Spring?

AprilsnowWhere did the energy go from last week?  Where did the “Spring” go from last week?  After a lovely month of March, we have had a detour which turned our weather back to winter.  I know it’s only a short setback but frustrating all the same.  The birds have been singing and nesting, after their return from winter quarters.  The grass is green contrasting sharply as the new coating of snow melts slowly.  The poor early blooming daffodils, violets and pulmaneria are not very happy with their frozen petals.  I sure hope this counts as the “onion” snow  and I’ll soon be turning over the garden soil.  Still spring is a wonderful time of year in the mountains.  Life is very evident and it’s time to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.

Prompton State Park is open all year for hiking and biking.  It is exciting to find the trillium and other wildflowers that have just come to life.  Wildlife of squirrels, birds, and rabbits merganresizescurry around full of energy and playfulness.  Small creeks and streams tumble over the rocks, making small rapids and waterfalls.  A quiet walk along the Dyberry always seems to provide an interesting sight such as ducks and geese swimming in the waters, perhaps an eagle will soar along the water looking for a meal.  Talking about water, trout season opens April 16.  The inn is only five minutes from stocked waters, and Wayne County has many great fishing holes all season long.  Time to get away from work stress and catch some energy from Mother Nature, hope we see you soon!flyfishDyberry

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Make it a Group Away!

group awaySpring is coming, and this year we agree.  The temperatures have been mild and the little bits of snow we’ve had are almost invisible.  Gardens are starting to spring to life with early bulbs pushing through the surface.  What a wonderful time of the year to plan a get away!  Really, it’s a time to plan a group away.  Girl friends can have a blast just being together, shopping, eating out (not cooking for the family) and what better way to enjoy this respite but to stay a weekend at a Bed and Breakfast?  How about a yoga group?  Maybe quilters, book clubs, or card players?  Men, you are not excluded, plan a fishing trip for trout in the stocked Dyberry Creek, or the Delaware or Equinunk Rivers.  Maybe a plan a group for a competitive disc golf match at Prompton State Park.  Couples, what fun can your group have staying together, taking up the whole Bed and Breakfast?  You might take in a concert or check out the Irving Cliff Brewing, a great new microbrew in the neighborhood.  The James Manning House is your perfect spot to enjoy comfortable rooms, relaxing together, great fellowship and wonderful breakfasts.  When your group takes over the house, we’ll work to accommodate all of your needs and make it a memorable experience.group relax

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Cabin Fever Time

IMG_6807January is Cabin Fever Month!  There hasn’t been much chance to shovel snow, but it’s always nice to sneak away, forget the phones, (and work) for a little R&R. Can’t you just close your eyes and picture yourself curled up in front of the fire with a good book?  Or maybe you’d like to engage your partner in a board game, or take the time to piece together a challenging puzzle.  The James Manning House can provide all that for your retreat.  Visit www.jamesmanninghouse.com

AND then we’ll add a hot, hearty comfort food breakfast to energize should you decide to 2015-02-18 08.39.17venture outdoors.  Manmade snow has been covering the slopes, and the black diamonds are calling the skiers.  Perhaps there will be snow on the ground to enjoy the typical winter sports,  such as snowshoe trekking, or cross country skiing, or maybe to ride the sleds.   Why not try something without the snow? The ice is now thick enough for some ice-fishing and the perch and panfish are very hungry.  Prompton State Park has trails to hike, from easy to hard, open all year round.  The park is also home to an 18-hole Disc Golf course, which never closes.   Nature provides wonderful natural ice sculptures for the nature enthusiast and photographer to find.  Without snow, and minus the leaves and insects of summer, geocaching is fun in the winter. Visit www.friendsofprompton.com.

winter at PromptonNot an outdoor enthusiast?  Join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy on an Eagle Watch Experience.  Right in our back yard (so to speak) the Upper Delaware River and surrounding region is one of the largest and most important bald eagle wintering areas in the northeastern United States.  The visitor’s center of the Conservancy is open weekends throughout January and February.  They offer tours or can give guidance for your own observations, such as good spots for you to view from your own car.  Visit www.delawarehighlands.org.

Stay with us and shop our stores in downtown Honesdale.  Have you visited the newest antique store, Union Chapel?  Enjoy an evening at the Cooperage for some down home fun and entertainment.  January has some interesting entertainment including game nights, open mike night, and performances by The Paramounts, Scott Ainslie, and Oren Fader.  Visit thecooperageproject.org

Get away from the rat race, beat the winter blues, skip all the drama and reconnect with comfort.  Reserve your two night stay at the James Manning House and enjoy the comforts of home; a queen bed, private bath, TV in the room, wi-fi, and electric fireplace in the room.lanchg  The hospitality station is always filled with coffee and teas, but we will also treat you to some cappuccino and home baked goodies.   Call us to reserve and let us know you’ve been reading and you will get two nights for the price of one!  The only rules are that the nights are consecutive, in January, and no other discounts apply.  Cabin Fever runs from January 5 through                                                                                         January 30.

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