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The Mountains of Savoy, Mass., USA. April 2013

Grandparent’s House

We had a kind return invitation to visit our friends Wayne & Therese, at their home in Savoy, Mass., USA, following their visit to us in May the previous year.  Wayne’s family have owned a large acreage at the top of the second highest mountain in Mass. USA, for several generations, and I do mean the TOP of the mountain! As a child, Wayne used to visit his grandparents here each summer, until his parents built their house next door.

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Wayne and Therese’s house.

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Wayne and Therese have worked together, over the years to extend his parents house, which is now their home, to double its original size, standing on a plot of 22 acres.  The extension is to the right including the garages and internal access to the house including a beautifully furnished guest room above the garages.

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Spidey

Wayne and Therese used to have 2 cavalier spaniels, one of which was from us, “Dylan the Villain”.  They now have a poodle, “Giselle” and a doberman, “Spidey”.

Giselle

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Throw the ball, just throw it!!!

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Spidey liked nothing better than to fetch a ball, but would not give it back – it was all part of his game!  Giselle went off me part way through the holiday as I bathed, clipped and groomed her!

Giselle – trimmed!

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Therese also has nearly 2 dozen assorted hens, including 4 cockerels.  They are divided into 4 “family Groups”, each with their own male.  at night they are housed on a barn behind the garage, again divided into 4, each with a roosting area and laying boxes.  They go into the barn at sunset and Wayne can access the barn via the garage, without going out in the bad weather – a big advantage in the cold winters!

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When we were there, Wayne and Therese were getting around 8 eggs a day. This is approximately equivalent to one egg alternate days per hen, a rate which will increase as the daylight hours lengthen.  The eggs were of different colours, depending on the breed of the hen, including an olive coloured egg from an Americana cross hen.  Some eggs were very dark brown and speckled, some plain brown, some white and some pale turquoise.  Then there were the tiny bantam eggs, all white.

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I must admit that the eggs were delicious. There’s nothing quite like freshly laid farm eggs!!!

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I was videoing the chickens, when Spidey came up behind me – he wanted me to throw his ball!! He is just so jealous!!

 

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A few days after we arrived in Savoy, it snowed heavily and left a beautiful scene.  Next morning there was a beautiful sunrise.

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As the snow began to melt, Wayne took us on an off-road trail ride on his Gator – Fabulous!!!
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The stream marks the boundary of Wayne’s property.

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With the snow-melt, a small pool a little way down from the driveway began to fill, and before we knew it, a gathering of frogs had moved in!  Here is a video of them singing!

sugar shack1sugar shack2On the first weekend, there was a Benefit Breakfast at Steve’s Sugar Shack for their local Fire Service.  The fire is lit to boil the sap collected from the trees, using the tools shown, and miles of plastic tubing. This makes syrup to use on the pancakes!

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sugar shack breakfastsugar shack firemen.

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The breakfast consisted of pancakes and bacon, sausage and syrup.  Delicious!  Volunteers from the Fire service cooked and served the breakfasts in return for donations.

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chocWe called in on the Handmade Chocolates shop – twice!

As the weather cleared, we went to the Yankee Candle Village.  Bigger and more varied than I had imagined.

 

Candle making

display of candles

rows of candles

We saw candles in process of being made … rows and rows of jars of candles … displays of candles …

 

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jams and chutneys

syrup and pancakes

kitchen requisites

syrup and pancake mix … kitchen requisites … jams and chutneys …

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… and a locomotive running on a track near ceiling height

locomotive

 

There were Halloween lights …  and Christmas lights …

yc bavarian scene…  and even a Bavarian Christmas Village!

 

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The Mohawk Trail is a popular tourist attraction, particularly in the “fall” when the leaves turn colour and give a magnificent display.  Wayne took us for a drive along the trail which was thoroughly enjoyable.  There was a mock-up of an Indian trading post.

Hurricane Sandy had badly hit the area in 2012 and much of the devastation was clearly visible, with roads washed out and landslips, but the scenery was spectacular.

mt viewThere was a ski run on the mountains opposite, and the beautiful Mohawk Park.

Many thanks to Wayne and Therese for their generous hospitality and for making this a very special holiday.

…  John and Anne