June is bustin’ out all over! It’s been one string of blooms to another, wisteria to rhododendron, phlox to peonies to clematis. Here in the Poconos of Northeastern Pennsylvania the weather has taken its good old time to warm up and brighten up with sunshine. That hasn’t stopped the outside chores. Around the inn we have been planting flowers and pulling weeds, mowing grass and fixing deer fences. Personally, I like sprucing up the yard and being outdoors, cloudy days and a bit of drizzle can’t stop me. On the other hand, wearing fleece jackets or full out downpours does get depressing after a string of days of that kind of weather. All that has changed, summer is almost here and it’s time to get away for a day or two (or three or four) of pure relaxation. Let our gardens and wildlife refresh and replenish your spirits. Enjoy our satiny soft sheets on pillow comfort mattresses. Grab a good book, find a comfy chair inside or out, forget the phone and don’t lift a finger. Time for that getaway!
When you travel to a Bed & Breakfast you most likely remember to pack a book, after all you are headed out for a relaxing vacation, right? If the B&B you are headed for is the James Manning House you are certainly going to find plenty of reading material in your guest room and in the common rooms, perhaps stacked in a corner, maybe on the coffee table, even in the basket in the bathroom. We like to provide books for our guests to read. There are books on the local history, on traveling, and loads of novels of all themes. Our excuse for all these books has always been “for the guests”, but then someone sent me the following article. We might just fit the following definition of: tsundoku. How about you?
There’s A Japanese Word For People Who Buy More Books
Than They Can Actually Read
In fact, most literary types are pretty proud of the practice, steadfast in their desire to stuff shelves to maximum capacity. They’re not looking to stop hoarding, because parting with pieces of carefully curated piles is hard and stopping yourself from buying the next Strand staff pick is even harder. So, sorry Marie Kondo, but the books are staying.
The desire to buy more books than you can physically read in one human lifetime is actually so universal, there’s a specific word for it: tsundoku. Defined as the stockpiling of books that will never be consumed, the term is a Japanese portmanteau of sorts, combining the words “tsunde” (meaning “to stack things”), “oku” (meaning “to leave for a while”) and “doku” (meaning “to read”).
We were reminded of the term this week, when Apartment Therapy published a primer for those looking to complete book-hoarder rehab. Several blogs have written on the topic before, though, surfacing new and interesting details about the word so perfect for book nerds everywhere.
While most who’ve written on the topic of tsundoku use the word to describe the condition of book hoarding itself, The LA Times used the term as a noun that describes the person suffering from book stockpiling syndrome, or “a person who buys books and doesn’t read them, and then lets them pile up on the floor, on shelves, and assorted pieces of furniture.”
Tsundoku has no direct synonym in English, Oxford Dictionaries clarified in a blog post, defining the word as “the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling it up together with other such unread books.” An informative sub-reddit provides even more context, explaining that “the tsundoku scale” ranges from just one unread book to a serious hoard. “Everyone is most likely to be ‘tsundokursed’ one way or the other,” it warns.
According to Quartz, tsundoku has quite a history. It originated as a play on words in the late 19th century, during what is considered the Meiji Era in Japan. At first, the “oku” in “tsunde oku” morphed into “doku,” meaning “to read,” but since “tsunde doku” is a bit of a mouthful, the phrase eventually condensed into “tsundoku.” And a word for reading addicts was born.
Speaking of addictions ― the term “bibliomania” emerged in England around the same time as “tsundoku.” Thomas Frognall Dibdin, an English cleric and bibliographer, wrote Bibliomania, or Book Madness: A Bibliographical Romance in the 1800s, outlining a fictional “neurosis” that prompted those suffering from it to obsessively collect books of all sorts.
Bibliomania has a dark past, documented more as a pseudo-illness that inspired real fear than a harmless knack for acquiring books we won’t have time to read. “Some collectors spent their entire fortunes to build their personal libraries,” Lauren Young wrote for Atlas Obscura. “While it was never medically classified, people in the 1800s truly feared bibliomania.”
Tsundoku seems to better capture the lighter side of compulsive book shopping, a word that evokes images of precariously stacked tomes one good breeze away from toppling over. While there’s no English equivalent quite as beautiful, no one’s stopping you from incorporating the Japanese word into yourregular vocabulary.
“As with other Japanese words like karaoke, tsunami, and otaku, I think it’s high time that tsundoku enter the English language,” Open Culture wrote in 2014. “Now if only we can figure out a word to describe unread ebooks that languish on your Kindle. E-tsundoku? Tsunkindle?”
The neighbor says to me, “I like your boat”. “Thank you”, I return. Her reply, “Do you know something that I don’t?” And we both laughed, anything to break up that dreariness on a rainy, cold and dismal day changing the usual commentary to the weather. It’s so nice to see the sun shining this morning, even if occasionally obscured by clouds. Rainfall for the month of May has been above average, and the sun extremely scarce. April had significant rainfalls after melting 30” of snow. The streams, lakes and ponds are swollen with rushing water and any additional thunderstorms send the water over the banks, and make waterfalls where none have been before. Walking through the backyard requires mukluks for sure! The poor golf courses in the area are struggling to find days to mow let alone allow carts off the cart paths. (And a good drive will land into the fairway, not on the fairway!) So we wait and think that better days are coming, and that a dry and sunny day will soon allow our yard “ornament” to reach the lake.
I hope you can find the humor in your rainy days, too.
6 large eggs 1/2 c sour cream, mixed with 1 T. Spinach and Herb Dip Mix
3/4 c. cheddar cheese, divided
2 t. butter
2 t. olive oil
1 c. sliced mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/3 c. red pepper, chopped
1/4 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. fresh broccoli crowns, chopped
1/2 t. sea salt 1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
Directions: Mix the sour cream and dip mix (I prefer Tastefully Simple) in a small bowl, and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10″ deep dish, pie plate with cooking spray; set aside.
Melt the butter and oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Add the chopped vegetables and mushrooms. Saute for approximately five minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and cover pan.
Whisk eggs and sour cream mix in mixing bowl, beating for about one minute. Stir in 1/2 c. of cheese. Spread the vegetables in the pie plate, and pour the egg mixture over top. Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of frittata and return to oven for 5 minutes.
Spring has sprung, the grass is green, and so the flowers are now seen. Just a little humor for the bright and peppy way the season makes one feel. So far spring around the inn has been a sea of bright yellow forsythia blooming and assorted varieties of daffodils and narcissus dotting the landscape with color and vibrancy. Mother Nature and the gardens have certainly awakened from their winter nap.
Of course the emergence of flowers, warmer temps, and greening of grass means time to fit the outdoor chores into the routine and schedule. Beds must be raked of winter debris, errant volunteer plants (i.e. weeds) must be pulled, branches picked up, trimming, and mulching, etc, etc. It’s a good thing I like to garden………. Rainy days find us doing some spring cleaning and finishing up indoor maintenance chores. But honestly we do all this because the inn is just a wonderful old house and we enjoy making it beautiful for you, our wonderful guests!
What does the month of March signal in your mind? Is it wind, the advent of spring, muddy paw prints, the sun glaringly showing the streaks in the windows, or daylight savings? Do you think of Julius Caesar, the Ides of March and his feeling of Doom? How about some March Madness? Just what is the madness?
According to the gurus at Basketball.org (http://www.basketball.org/march-madness-history/), the term March Madness is a registered trademark held jointly by the NCAA and the Illinois High School Association. The term itself was coined by a writer and essayist named H. V. Porter, who published an essay named March Madness in 1939.
Around here the college basketball tournament has always been a popular sports series on the television (glad I can record the shows I want to see). This year it appears some of the madness of March has come in the form of the revenge of Mother Nature and a record breaking 30 “ of snow in less than 24 hours. Sheesh!
Traditionally at the James Manning House it has also meant some great special for you our guests! This year is no exception!! We survived “the big one” and the doors are open for guests to enjoy some R&R and forget their own March madness. We are offering a three night stay for $150. Here’s the deal, starting now through April 9; a cozy, comfortable getaway, 3 nights and breakfast for only $150. When making reservations, the nights need to be consecutive and you must mention March madness. Previous reservations are excluded from this special, it is designed for those of us going mad with the return of winter and the doldrums of March.
Crust: 1 – ¾ c. all-purpose flour ½ c. granulated sugar ¼ c. packed light brown sugar ¼ t. salt ½ c. butter, melted
Filling: 1 can cherry pie filling ½ c. sweetened condensed milk
Topping: ½ c. shredded coconut ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Spray a 9” square baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine flour, sugars, and salt. Add melted butter and blend in with a fork until crumbly. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish and press down firmly. Combine the pie filling and milk, stirring until well blended. Spread this mixture over the crust. Mix together the coconut and chocolate. Sprinkle evenly over cherry mixture.
1 c. gluten free all-purpose flour ¼ c. quinoa flour 2 t. cinnamon 1 t. baking powder 1 t. baking soda ¼ t. salt 2 T. brown sugar ¾ c. natural applesauce ½ t. vanilla ¾ c. water (or almond milk) ½ t. white vinegar
Preheat waffle iron as per instructions. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, mix the applesauce, vinegar, and vanilla. Add this to the flour and combine. Slowly add the water, mixing to form a batter. If the batter is too thick, add additional water, 1 T. at a time. Let the batter rest for a minimum of five minutes. Meanwhile, grease your waffle iron. Hint: I brush canola oil on my waffle iron while hot with a pastry brush, the waffle get a crisper texture than with baking spray, and if done while hot, not much oil is used. Pour batter into center of waffle iron and spread almost to edges. Close the waffle iron and cook until desired crispness.
Happy New Year! Well, I suppose you think I need to move on with things, that New Year’s was a few weeks past. Instead I’m choosing to be positive, each day is a new day, put them all together and it’s a new year! That’s how it goes in a “Happie” place.
That’s right the James Manning House is a Happie place. We are proud to say that in December we were honored with Happenings Magazine’s Happie Award for Best Bed and Breakfast. Winners are chosen by satisfied customers who vote for businesses that make them most “Happie.” Each year Happenings invites readers to vote online for the businesses that make them the happiest. There is always an enthusiastic response from readers, throughout ten counties in Northeast PA, they want their voices to be heard. “They’re looking for businesses that make them happy. And, when they find them, they want their friends and neighbors to know who these “best of breed” businesses are,” says Happenings publisher Paula Mackarey.
Founded in 1969, Happenings Magazine reaches more than 110,000 readers across Northeast PA every month. The hard-copy version is distributed free at hundreds of locations throughout the region, and www.HappeningsPA.com is viewed by thousands of visitors weekly. Happenings covers events, lifestyles, people and businesses and has become a well-known forum for telling the region’s story in the most positive way.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all our guests, friends and voters for their support. We are pleased and grateful to be honored and recognized. It is our goal and pleasure to make our guests and their visit with us a “Happie” event!
1 c. butter flavor shortening 1 ½ c. firmly packed brown sugar 2 lg. Eggs 2 t. almond extract ½ t. vanilla ½ t. white vinegar (keeps cookies soft) 1 t. baking powder 1 t. real salt ½ t. baking soda 2 ½ c. rolled oats, uncooked (can use quick-cooking in a pinch) 12 oz. fruit jam, our favorite is raspberry Sanding Sugar
Whisk together the flour, salt, soda and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the shortening and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Beat in the eggs, extracts and vinegar, blending well. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix at a low speed until just combined. Stir in the oats. Cover the dough and refrigerate at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease. Roll out about a fourth of the dough on a floured surface to about 3/8” thickness. Cut out circles of dough with your choice of min. 2” to max. 2-1/2” inch round cookie cutter. Put half the circles 2” apart on prepared tray, place ¾-1 t. of jam in center of base cookies. Using a very small hole cutter punch holes in the remaining circles, then place on top of bases over jam. Press the edges of cookie sandwiches to seal. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake one tray at a time at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on edges. Do not overbake or cookies will be hard. Cool 2 minutes on trays, then move to cooling racks to cool completely. Makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies at 2-1/2”.