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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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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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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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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Deck the Halls and the Pots

On the second day of decorating take a look at some of the boughs of green.  I like to add the special touch of live greens both inside and outside. Have you ever thought about what to do with “too heavy” to move planters layered potwhen the summer flowers have long faded and froze?  Brighten the outdoor holiday decor with cut greens and a fresh bow. Christmas dusty miller You can use almost any type of evergreen to make these outdoor gardens, whatever is available.  The branches can be cut to create different heights.  Push them into the dirt in the pot and if the soil is dry water well, when the ground freezes it preserves the greens to look nice all winter.  I also look at some of the other available plant leftovers that might make nice alternate textures.  The tissle weed seed heads hydrangaeare beautiful when spray painted, and this year I tried some spray paint on the hydrangea heads that had dried in the hanging basketfall.  Even the hanging baskets make good winter gardens.  Mine were also brightened with some water proof Fairy Lights which look like magic after dark.

 

Inside tucked among the Santa Claus decorations, on the hall table, in the guest rooms, poinsettiasand assorted other places it’s very easy to brighten the house with poinsettia plants. They come in so many colors and varieties from the greenhouse I like to place two or three together.  Cut greens are also filling empty crocks to add that wonderful Christmas aroma to the sitting rooms.  Again, a variety of cut evergreen boughs pushed into some floral foam will keep the greens through the holiday season.greens in crock

And don’t forget to spruce up your houseplants with some whimsical, glittery embellishments from the Christmas decorations spiced peace lilydepartment of your favorite store.  I will splurge on a centerpiece from a very artistic florist for the dining room table.  Each year Kathryn’s  creations from Fox Hill Farms astound me, and instead of getting sad when the fresh flowers fade, I pull them one by one and replace with some silk flowers.  The greens last a long time and only I know the arrangement didn’t come that way!  This is the original creation, isn’t it stunning?centerpiece

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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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