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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

{Fourth Week of Advent 2014}

Our fourth and final week of Advent for 2014!
Wishing you all a meaningful time of the final days before CHRISTMAS!
Our hand carved wooden Cherub Angels from Italy are all lined up...
The singing angel to the left is a ceramic one from Italy, gift from a dear friend!
Click above link, to my on line Boutique; only ONE  still available.
Little golden candles with spriral brass candle holders on a Mason Mandalay Chartreuse plate.
Wishing you all a very Happy 4th Advent!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

{The Birth of Santa Claus}

We are nearing Christmas, so this story about the Birth of Santa Claus is interesting...
English speaking readers can read the text below:
The American Santa Claus has developed strictly on his own to the point where he is now stationed on the North Pole and drives a team of reindeer. 
All that remains of his Dutch phase is his name: Santa Claus is a direct derivation of Sinterklaas.
Popular Dutch folk song...
For the Dutch Sinterklaas Eve...
Large chocolate initials serve as place settings along with the so-called 'lovers', tall men and women of speculaas, a crisp and dark brown pastry rather like ginger bread.
From De Nederlandse COURANT
The mailing of St. Nicholas cards was in the beginning of the 20th century a tradition in the better circles.

Related links:
{Of Sint and Santa} | previous post by me
{How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Treats} | previous post by me

Thursday, December 18, 2014

{5 Giant Oak Trees got a 'Hair Cut'}

We needed to give 5 of our Giant Oak Trees a 'Hair Cut', so it happened on November 6, just the day after I took their photos to show the before and after.
Our Giant along the driveway on November 5, showing the maple trees in the back with some fall color.
When mowing the lawn on the John Deere, low hanging branches are a problem too!
We really love this majestic, old oak tree.
Photo from December 14, clearly you can see that the lower branches are gone!
You also can see that the under brush in our wood garden has been totally cleared.
This is our broadest oak of all we got; it also is semi evergreen!
Those low hanging branches are gone now, photo from December 14.
The low hanging branches prevented the waterlilies from growing in the pond because of the shaded area.
This giant oak is near the gazebo and was touching the Japanese Magnolia to the left and a dogwood tree to the right; which light branches you can see in this photo.
Seen from the other side of the gazebo it looks a lot more open now for other trees to breath again!
This too is semi-evergreen as seen on this December 14 photo.
Between our property and the neighbors, we have another Giant Oak...
This one had kind of weeping branches, touching over the picket fence all the way down.
Also suffocating the Japanese Magnolia that is visible to the left of the lantern.
Impossible to capture it entirely...
Photo from December 14, and almost bare. The Japanese Magnolia to the left is happy with those lowest branches being removed!
This was the main problem... Our Quercus Virginiana or Live Oak, which was touching the chimney when it was windy and hanging over the balcony...
Photo taken on December 14, and you can see how much has been cut off here!
This photo I took from the balcony, on November 5th.
Photo from December 14, our balcony is free now!
One big reason was this!
The sap from the catkins and leaves (yes, those evergreen trees also do shed!) caused this staining on our balcony's Polyurethane ballustrade...
We love the shade from our giant trees but not the mess!
See two of our felines underneath the tree?
Soles Tree Service did an excellent job!
We're all set for the coming years and hopefully the balcony stays clean(er) as well.
Do you have any Giant Oak Trees or others, that need 'Hair Cuts'?

Related link:
{Black Gum Nyssa Sylvatica Cut Down} | about tree that got cut down in front of the house on the same day.
{65 Year Old Pine Tree Cut Down} | previous post by me from December 2013
{Our Live Oak got a Haircut} | previous post by me

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