Spontaneous!

Do you feel like this winter has just been hanging on way too long?  Just because the weather has been wetter and colder than normal when we are looking for Spring, doesn’t mean you can’t get away and enjoy some R&R.  There are some fun things to do around our area of Wayne County.

Have you ever been to a sugar bush?  This weekend, March 17, 8th Annual Self-Guided Maple Tour, a tour of maple open houses in the Northeast PA region, predominately in Wayne County but also with stops in Pike and Lackawanna Counties. Enjoy locally produced maple products and learn more about today’s producers of maple syrup. maple bush You can tour area sugar bushes at your leisure, following the maple syrup making process from the tree to your table.  Along the way, pick up some locally produced pure maple products.  This event is free to the public. Don’t feel like driving, a bus tour is available.

Stop by the second to last Main Street Farmers’ Market of the season at the Cooperage on Main St, this Saturday, March 17.  Stock up on artisanal goodies, freshly baked goods and farm fresh eggs. There will be locally grown produce like carrots, cabbages, potatoes, onions and even hearty greens!  Also, enjoy farm to table eats from Anthill Farm Kitchen. Make sure you stop by for the healthy recipe demonstration and earn your Coop Cash to spend on produce at the Market!

Don’t forget your Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner, check out the menu and fun at these three local restaurants: TheTrackside, Tick Tock’s, and The Red Schoolhouse.

Of course, your favorite bed and breakfast will provide the rest and relaxation with comfortable beds, a cozy fireplace and delicious breakfast.  Be spontaneous!  Drop the weekend chores and get away from doldrums!

 

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On the Positive Side

Hello February! Depending on where you live this means you’re on the down side of sunsethomewinter.  In Northeast Pennsylvania we enjoy the later sunsets and additional daylight.  My guess is, however, that the groundhog will see his shadow and we’ll be in for six more weeks of winter.  Personally, I don’t mind more snow, in reasonable amounts, but I don’t need subzero temps or strong north winds.

While there are winter activities to enjoy even without snow; skiing Elk, ice skating, tubing, and more.There is also indoor entertainment to enjoy as well.  Crystal Cabin Fever starts this month, eagle watching along the Delaware (tour bus or in your car), music at the Cooperage, new exhibits at Dorchester antiques, riding the Stourbridge Line, and so much more.  

Here at the inn we have been using the “stay inside” winter weather to work on those long needed projects that tend to build up while “you’re napping”!  Warren finally decided he would hire a company to sand and refinish our hardwood floors in our quarters.  It was a busy week as all furniture had to be removed from the room, wallfloor décor removed and our bedroom couldn’t be accessed. While the furniture is out it’s the perfect time to touch up paint, fix holes, and dust all the corners, shelves, etc. I guess it should be considered fun, too, as we had to stay at a B&B for a week!

Meanwhile, I took the time to go through some of the magazines and photos that definitely had been pushed aside or shoved into drawers.  I also cooked and jarred four new jellies and jams.  The sweet aromas helped to lessen the varnish smells. It really is nicer to make jam in January, warming up the kitchen at a cold time of year.  jelliesWhen the fruit was ripe in July and August I didn’t have the time to prepare for the jams. Freezing the fruit to store for later was the better option. So this worked out perfectly.  In case you are wondering, added to the other flavors, we now have; bumbleberry, cherry, black raspberry and josta berry, and autumn cranberry pear.

 

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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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Are Your Ready? Here It Comes!

2018Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!  2018!  Remember when we celebrated the start of a new millennium?  It seems like yesterday.  Time marches on, stops for nothing, and seems to move into double time.  So here we are facing the beginning of the end of two decades of the 21st century.  What are you planning for this year?  Have you decided on your resolutions, or do you skip that part of setting personal goals?  Hopefully, you will do some personal reflection and work on a better year for 2018.  Perhaps, that will include more travel, and we will be lucky enough to help you on that goal.

The James Manning House B&B has set some goals as well.  Early summer will mark our tenth year in business as a place of lodging for guests.  We have grown in our service to guests and enjoy opening our doors to many interesting visitors.  We appreciate all the people who walk through our doors and feel our repeat guests are gold.   (A fond reference to a song and inspiration from my years of scouting: “ Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold”)  So we hope that you will come back and be our guest in 2018, a year with many specials for our visitors as we celebrate 10 years. Watch our newsletters and website for these celebrations and specials:

January is Cabin Fever Month.
February is for Lovers.
March  – Madness reigns.
April brings Spring an “Egg” specially good time.
May is for Gardeners Get Dirty.
June is Anniversary Month.
July – Summer Playtime.
August – Explore Wayne County.
September – Adult Back to School Relaxation.
October brings out the Leaf Peepers.
November is for Homemade Holiday Preparation
December – Celebrate the Season.

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Aftermath

Oh the aftermath! Many of us have a whirlwind of a day on Christmas, family visiting, lots of cooking and kitchen clean-up. It’s wonderful and exhausting all at the same time. For us the family time is priceless. Then in the morning THE aftermath.  Wrapping paper piles, boxes, bows,  and boxes, all needing removal from the living spaces.  What is your mode for disposal?  It may take a little bit of time, but it sure helps to recycle the fiberboard, cardboard and non-foil wrapping paper.  We also reuse ribbon and some boxes making less of an impact on the landfill.  One of the good things that we managed to do for the last several years was create lists for what was wanted under the tree.  It may seem like a waste of time when creating that list, but it certainly saved time the day after, when among four families, there were only three returns and those for size and a toy that wasn’t working.  What are your traditions for gifts after Christmas?  Do you still stack them under the tree to show to visitors who stop by the house?  Times sure have changed!IMG_2846

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He is Born!

For Unto Us a Child is Born!nativity“Hark the Herald Angels Sing”angels on highSing we NOEL!noel

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You Know Who’s Coming!

fabric santaYou better watch out,

You better not cry,

You better not pout,

I’m telling you why,

Santa Claus is coming to town!santa shines

He sees you when you’re sleeping,

He knows when you’re awake,

he sees youHe knows if you been bad or good,

So be good for goodness sake!stylin santassitting big santaAnd just a few more…collection of santasBack in time…turn of centruy santa“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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The Wall says it All

magicWhen visitors look around at the inn, they will find that even the walls decide it’s the Christmas season.  There is cheer in the Gathering Room, asking you to “believe” in the magic.  There aresanta throw Christmas plates, fabric quiltings,  and a Santa tapestry.

plates

 

 

 

The kitchen boasts a collection of kitchen gadgets and other replicas of Santa.  kitchen wall

But some of our favorite seasonal wall decorating is accomplished with print material. If you have been to a wonderful Christmas attraction making a collage of photos can not only add Christmas spirit to your decorations, but you’ll also have your memories of that experience close to sight and heart.  These are some of our favorite photos from Longwood Gardens at Christmas time.  Longwood Gardens is open year round and is located near Philadelphia, PA.wall collageAnother favorite is a series of prints from an original 1950′s story book given to good little children who sat on Santa Claus’ lap in Pomeroy’s Department Store in Reading.  It is depicting “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.night beforeOf course there is always a unique treasure that we hold dear.  In our case it’s a picture made by our grandchildren, with those little hands and feet.child art

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A Wreath Upon the Door

There is no beginning, there is no end.  The wreath has significant meaning for the season. It’s circular shape represents eternity. From a Christian religious perspective, it represents an unending circle of life, eternity or life never ending.reflection

The evergreen, most frequently used in making wreathes, symbolizes growth and everlasting life.  A live wreathsimple wreath, greens and a bow.

Some believe that initially wreaths were hung on doors in Ancient Rome to represent victory.

In Christianity, the Christmas wreath was used to symbolize Christ. The circular shape, with no beginning or end.lighted wreath

fabricWreaths at the James Manning House can be found in a variety of materials.  Some favorites are homemade, fabric squares and cinnamon sticks, while another is a grapevine wreath wrapped in ribbon with a simple small embellishment, and another is a wreath made from bells to add a festive ring to the air.bellsgrapevine2

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O Christmas Tree Part 1

Santa treeSongs are written about the Christmas tree.  Decorating seems to be centered about the tree.  Most times it’s the first and maybe the only decoration in the living quarters.  The Christmas tree is often the topic of conversation around the holiday season. “Did you get your tree yet?”, “Did you put up your tree?”  Many traditions are centered around the tree; Santa Claus comes and decorates the tree, every year there is a different theme, the ornaments are all handmade, the youngest child puts the star on top, and on and on they go. I’m sure you have your tree traditions, and so does the James Manning House, starting with a decorated tree in every room.

Today we’ll start with a few of the themed trees, and the rule is decorated, size is immaterial.Let’s start our tour in the kitchen.  What is more appropriate in a kitchen that bakes over a thousand cookies for Christmas?  A tree decorated with cookie cutters and a Santa Claus or two.cookie cutter tree

Outside the windows the Christmas snow has fallen and the birds are busy flitting around the feeders.  Not much is red birdsmore beautiful than a bright red cardinal against the white snow, and what fun to watch the little chickadees flying in and out collecting one seed at a time.  The next tree brings the birds and snow inside adding warmth to the winter decor.

Our last tree to admire today is the Santa tree.  Adorned with over 75 Santa Claus ornaments this Alpine pencil tree is a favorite puzzle to search for all the classic and whimsical ways that the jolly elf can be created.  traditional santaCandy shaped, Santa on the beach, a star shaped Santa, Santa created from a brush, Santa gone fishing, Santa made from a star fish, and there are so many more.  You will have to visit just to find them all.candy santastar santabrush santa

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