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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Twisted Rhubarb Compote

6 c. rhubarb, cut into 1” pieces
1 T. candied ginger, finely chopped
½ c. sugar
2 T. agave nectar or honey
2/3 c. ginger aleTwisted Rhubarb Compote
¼ c. fresh strawberries, cut up (added for color)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of ½ lemon

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium low heat for approximately ten minutes, stirring 2-3 times during cooking.  Cool.  Store in refrigerator.

May be eaten warm or cold.  Great topped with whipped cream and a sprig of mint.

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Inside Info?

pontoonsThe 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.

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Green is Good

018Spring 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.

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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!daffydoor

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Imagine Spring

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Now, this Second Day of February, Two Thousand and Seventeen, the One Hundred and Thirty First Annual Trek of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club….

Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of All Prognosticators, was awakened from his burrow to the cheers of his thousands of faithful followers….

And, of course, he saw his shadow predicting six more weeks of winter. Are you about as ready as I am to strangle the little rascal? First, we get nailed with “The Blizzard of 2017” and 30 inches of snow, and now four days later, insult to injury, I’m looking out my window watching it snow some more. The Spring equinox arrives Monday!! I was watching my daffodils poke their heads through the ground, now it will be weeks for this to melt. So not to get too depressed, I thought I’d share some pictures from the Philadelphia flower show and imagine the Spring to come.

 

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Mad for March

marchm

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).  blizzard2017reThis 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 slamdunkour 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.free march clip art free clipart images for march   clipartfest

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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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Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho!

privacy screenHeigh ho, heigh, ho, it’s off to work we go!  That’s right, isn’t that how everyone feels in the Spring?  The sunshine and warmer temperatures create energy and call us to get up and get moving, get us motivated to do something.  Around the inn we decided to get some projects accomplished that have been on that “to do” list for, well, let’s be generous, and say a year (maybe two…).

First up, the privacy screen.  If you have been to the inn in nicer weather, you may have taken a stroll around the grounds and gardens.  Secretly tucked away on the south side of the house is a nice big patio, flower gardens and small fish pond.  This area was secluded from the street by a row of hemlock trees.  Unfortunately, our northeast portion of Pennsylvania has been plagued by pest called  hemlock woolly adelgid, which stops new growth, old needles brown, fall off and eventually kills the tree.  We have treated our trees and slowed the progress of the trees dying, but have still been left with unsightly dead lower branches and the loss of our privacy.  privacy screen start

Debates have raged on an answer how to fix this problem.  The second factor in this issue is an out of control wisteria plant.  When we bought our property, in 2005, the previous owner was concerned she cut a wisteria vine too severely.  On the contrary, the pruning helped the plant thrive, and unknown to that owner, the plant had been very sneaky and sent ground runners to the other side of the row of hemlock.  This created a beautiful bloom last season, but what were we growing, hemlock or wisteria?  Ta, da!  The idea for the privacy screen was agreed upon.  It would be a lattice fence which in a few short years would be covered with beautiful blooming wisteria, and if ever needed the hemlock trees could be cut down without the loss of privacy.  hemlock wisteriaAs spring has just arrived, work has just begun.  If your list is like ours we will keep finding projects that will keep us going all season long.  Next up, the patio?

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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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