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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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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Great Christmas Light Fight – Not

We do like to see Christmas Villages, and lighted houses as we drive around the countryside, but with a 198 year old house, comein from the coldour outdoors will not be entered in the Great Christmas Light Fight.  Our front door is welcoming with wreath and greens.  The front is simply lit with flood lights, and the windows adorned with  ribbons and greens, much in the way of yesteryear.christmas sign

Bells and greens decorate the sign and lamps of entry, while Santa Claus flies nearby in his sleigh.flying santa Another whimsical sight guests see on arrival, is Santa giving Mrs. Claus a kiss underneath the mistletoe.  Mr & Mrs Claus

lighted treesChristmas trees from inside don’t have to retire at our B&B, they just become a member of the lighted grove around the driveway.  Although the trees are not real, the birds find window snowbeautycover and the cats enjoy a new playground among the lower branches.  When the December Christmas snows are falling, these trees create a winter wonderland.

Let us not forget the real reason for the season, our vintage Nativity reminds those passing by of The Wonderful Gift:The story

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Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

build a snowmanSpending time with grandchildren is always great. This past week my three-year-old granddaughter has been playing and singing Christmas songs all rolled together. She likes singing “Rudolph” the best, but asked me to help her to sing “Frosty the Snowman” which she did know with only a little help. Then we were watching Frozen, a favorite movie, with a favorite character, Olaf (a snowman for those not familiar with Disney). Children love snowmen! At the first flakes they cry, “Can we build a snowman?” Day three of decorating involves the lovable characters in a variety of styles: Snowmen!

snowfriends

One of my favorites is this beautiful painted gourd.  Created and purchased locally, this snowman is nestled in a hemlock cone forest of trees made by family.  This snowman graces our house all winter long.painted gourd snowman

Some of the snowmen have been with the family a long time and we have inherited a few more from other family members that had been used in the 40′s and 50′s, that vintage time of our parents.  I like to take a section of  the book shelves and create a little snow scene, such as pictured here.snowscene

 

Snowmen have become very popular in decorating and of course come in all sizes and shapes.  they are supporting favorite sports teams and added to collectors creations.  If you are interested in learning more about the frozen snowballs, author Bob Eckstein has written a book “The History of the Snowman” , available on Amazon or eBay. And say, “Let it snow, let it snow!”snowmanshelf

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Twelve Days of Decorating

snowy snowmanToday Mother Nature gave me the best starting point for twelve days of Christmas decorating.  You can’t beat the real thing, and now that the ground is covered, lights twinkle brighter, beauty glows stronger, and spirits are happier.  It is December and winter is here; “Let It SNOW!”christmas sign

 

Our open house has come and gone, but not everyone had a chance to stop by.  Some live to far, lives are busy this time of year, and we understand all the interruptions, so I thought I’d take some time to give you a peak around our Holiday House.  Each day I’ll pick a different theme and an explanation about the decorating “James Manning House” style.  Follow along and I hope it helps to get you or keep you in the holiday spirit.

comein from the coldDay One, and the snow keeps falling, so here’s a few more images with a pretty, fluffy white blanket of the season.  It’s the best decoration of them all, making everything so wonderfully Christmas.snow goose

 

 

 

country church

window snowbeauty

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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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