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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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Saturday, December 22, 2012

{Blogger I Admire | Christmas Angel & Sentiments}

There are so many blogger friends that I admire... One of them certainly is Olga from the blogs: Lacy Crochet and: Olga's Home and Garden. For sure Olga is a young lady with golden hands, born and grown up in the Ukraine. She is living in California since 2001. Check out her blogs you will find many surprises as she is capable of baking, cooking, crocheting, gardening... A real sentipede! My most favorite story by Olga is: Ukrainian Countryside (just click this hyperlink and read also her own comment which is the final one). Especially during this season of Christmas, where the emphasis is so commercial, for spending lots of money on gifts... Have we all forgotten where we came from? Olga is brave enough to write about her very humble and hard working maternal grandparents and great-grandparents that lived in such a tiny home... Seen in her photos, as she visited this place during summer. Her own Mother did grow up there. In many East European  countries there is still a lot of poverty, especially for the elderly (below post is a link, just scroll down to last picture for seeing what I talk about). We have seen it in Hungary and those images never leave our retina. Sure we visited during the Communist regime, still behind the Iron Curtain. But those elderly do struggle on, as many are not even able to pay for the rent of their apartment... Living in poverty, in cold and misery and malnourished. That idea clashes with the way overdone Christmas hype of creating each year new type of decorations and spending on-going money... It has nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas but more with a culture that turned to greed. "Greed has replaced religion as the national religion, and with greed comes envy." --Wesley Pruden.
This perfectly crocheted angel is a gift from Olga that I cherish. THANKS AGAIN OLGA!
We don't have many Christmas ornaments or decorations, never even put up a Christmas tree anymore.
Our tree and most things we gave away when we moved from Georgia to Pennsylvania. 
After working and living in different continents and seeing so much poverty, we never could bring ourselves again to put up a Christmas tree...
Sure I admire them at other bloggers' posts and for Children it is great to do this.
We have no family here in the USA, only one Christmas our foster-daughter Anita from Indonesia came to stay with us for 2 months. That was very warm!
Instead of giving presents, we felt more for giving this deaf girl her former education by paying for her college and university and later giving her the Danish Oticon hearing aid so she could HEAR.
I never ever will forget that phone call where she called and said: "Mama I can hear you now!" I cried for joy... She never before heard her Parents, her siblings, music, never heard the birds or other animals. That to me is Christmas! 
We did it with love, paying for it from Pieter's pension. We do live off just one pension and since I'm younger, there is quite a wait for me before I will receive my pension too. But we managed all those years and with pride. 
Step-daughter Liz's Mom still receives her monthly income from Pieter and we both share what is left. We are content and happy with it, as we both know the true value of life.
This is our family; even if we live in different continents. Not easy but they are in our hearts and in our prayers always. Sad fact is that neither of our girls has been warmly accepted into my family... WHY? 
My husband Pieter is an orphan, he has no Parents or brothers left since August... that hits hard too; especially for Christmas time. Pieter has only his daughter Liz, and three nieces and great nieces and nephew; all living in The Netherlands. But we have our Angels in heaven and I guess that my sister Mariet who was still born, is closer to me than any of the other six living siblings. 
Just some Christmas sentiments...

Related link:
{Our Daughter Liz}: previous post by me
{# 148 and my blog is 1 year old today!}: previous post by me about my sister Mariet...


  1. Dear Mariette, you are living the true meaning of Christmas, to give with no expectations, only the love of giving. It is true that so many live in poverty. My heart breaks every day to think of this. We are so very fortunate in this country, but not all are and we give whenever we can. It is difficult to have no family close by and have loved ones who are no longer with us except in spirit, and I understand your feelings. I am sending you a big hug, you are a lovely person and your Dear Peiter, too. I will look at your friend's blog and read her story. Thank you for sharing. Warm Christmas wishes to you and Peiter. Hugs, xx Karen

    1. Dearest Karen,
      Thanks for your meaningful reply. You are such a great writer; always from the heart... Hugs to you and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Lieve Mariette,
    Wat denkt je eindelijk hoor ik nog van haar.Maar het is zo moeilijk om op je blog te komen en het vertalen lukt ook niet zo goed,ik weet niet hoe dat komt bij sommige blogs heb ik daar problemen mee.Maar ik wil jullie toch super gezellige feestdagen toewensen en een Gezond en gelukkig 2013
    Lieve kerstgroet Carine

    1. Lieve Carine,
      Probeer nog eens om met mijn vertaler te werken. Heb hem naar boven gezet, was ònder mijn blogpost gekomen. Bedankt voor het melden. Je clickt bij mijn naam altijd op 'About' en daar vind je mijn blog en zo kun je binnen. Dat is Google+ en die is iets anders...
      Fijne Kerstdagen en ook een Zalig Nieuw Jaar!

  3. May be you have not close your family and loved ones but you have you and Peiter
    the love of blogger friends . It is so nice to keep the real meaning of Christmas Days . May this Christmas be so special that you never ever feel lonely again and be surrounded by loved ones throughout!Merry Christmas to you and to your lovely

    1. Dearest Olympia,
      Yes, we are used to celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. We go to midnight mass and we keep all our loved ones in our prayers. Thanks for you friendship. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

  4. Thank you for sharing Maritte, love reading your writing and the beautiful photos you share in your blog. Family are hard to understand sometimes, but the blood keep us together I supposed. I am upset with them sometimes but inside I love them very much, hate them love them! LOL... I love Christmas when I am a little girl maybe i still do but I find Christams very stressful. I hate Christmas coming, I lost all the excitement about Christmas now... the cooking the presents the cards I find it too much for my little brain... I hate Christmas! Sorry Jesus... anyway, I am not like the old day anymore maybe its the medi, everything seem hardwork to me. Not sure wanting to run the cards business is a good idea... I am living on hope and dream... still not sure. Your little crocheted angel is lovely, love to try make one one day if I still remember how to... :-) Have a great day Mariette. Mei

    1. Dearest Mei,
      Understand how you feel. It is Jesus' birthday but all the fuss about the commercial things around this date have taken away a big part of the true meaning and certainly don't create more PEACE! Hugs to you always and I wish you a Merry and Peaceful Christmas, deep in your heart...

  5. A beautiful simple angel decoration Mariette.
    I'm off to see Olga's blog.
    I believe in the true meaning of Christmas - it's not bout the presents, it's about HIS Presence.
    Joyeux Noël
    Shane ♥

    1. Dearest Shane,
      You are so right about that. For you also the best wishes for a Merry Christmas, in your heart and far away from your loved ones in another continent. We know the feeling!

  6. Deaerst Mariette,
    your little angel is wonderful!
    You are right, Christmas is so mcuh more than presents....but, I think, there is every day a little bit of Christmas feeling in the world ;O)

    Wishing you a pecaeful and lovely christmas time, even though your familiy is in the netherlands.in your hearst, you will be close together!

    with love and hugs

    1. Dearest Claudia,
      For a lot of people there really is a Christmas feeling because of our daily blessings. Compared to so many others that don't have even a warm shelter and a filled stomach... Let's be grateful!
      Hugs to you and a Merry Christmas.

  7. Dearest Mariette
    Of course you think of family and those who are not with us anymore during Christmas time.
    Moreover, extra grateful for the people you have around you.
    Angel is absolutely gorgeous - simple and White
    Hugs to you

    1. Dearest Kajsa,
      You know the true sentiment of Christmas in your heart as you care about people and animals. Love to visit you always, you are a dear friend!
      Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

  8. That angel is beautiful.
    A lot of my Christian friends are disillusioned by Christmas, but again I tell them to enjoy as much as they can without burdening themselves or others. Greed is every where. Some people in my faith also seem like they never are satisfied with the things they get as gifts, they think that the shoppers did not take time out to buy good gifts, but I tell them to give every one a benefit of doubt.I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas, good health, satisfaction and safety for the New Year. Ameen:)

    1. Dearest Munir,
      Yes, this is global as they all push the commercial part of Christmas way too much. It needs a strong character for seeing through this. It should not be a competition of who can gift the biggest gifts... They entirely miss the point. You too a Happy Christmas period with your loved ones.


  9. Liebe Mariette,
    dein Eingel ist ein wunderschönes Geschenk! Kleine, liebevolle Geschenke wie dieses halten den Geist von Weihnachten aufrecht - und ebenso die großen Geschenke, die ihr Anita gemacht habt. Ihr habt Weihnachtne IN EUCH!
    ../_……_\………\ ……*…….*………*……..*…….*
    /________\………\…..*…….( • • )…..*…….*…..
    ……|…|….|…|.*………..*…..(░ • ░)……**…….*

    ♥ EXTRA-LIEBE Weihnachtsgrüße, genieße das Fest und die letzten Tage davor! ♥

    1. Liebe Traude,
      Ja, den Geist von Weihnachten sollte auch aufrecht blieben aber für vielen ist es eher einen Wettbewerb zum prahlen und wieviel man geben kann...
      Frohe Weihnachten zu euch!

  10. Mariette ik wens jou en je man fijne Kerstdagen samen!

    Liefs Janny

    1. Beste Janny, ook voor jou en je gezin een hele innige Kerst periode in Frankrijk!

  11. christmas is a hard time of year for me, too. lots of melancholy feelings arise. i am glad you and pieter are together.

    that is a beautiful angel.

    1. Dearest Theresa,
      So many people have no inkling what it means that those who are serving have given ALL they have for the Peace we enjoy now. Even if they are safe, they are not with their loved ones on this meaningful family day... Not the Lord's Peace but the peace for being able what we do in this world. Yet so many are deprived from it... THANKS for your part and sacrifice for world PEACE.

  12. No...my daughter does NOT have the Junking Gene, nor does her brother, Sarah (DIL), Micah (SIL) or my Miss K. Only Steven and I. But that's OK. Adrienne is a bargain hunting queen and has been known to purchase new things (like watches valued at $450 for $99). She hunts and hunts and hunts and always finds the perfect gift for everyone. Thought and planning is #1 with her. She purchases thing every single month for our local food shelter and also brings things like soap, detergent, etc....things most people don't donate. She has a big heart and seeing the smiles from her gifts brings her more joy than I've ever seen. It's just her way.

    I love your Angel from Olga. I miss my Grandmother...my father's mental presence and my grandparent's as well. One day we will be together again.

    Blessing you friend. My surgery is the 28th so I'll be gone for quite a while. Will miss you.

    Merry Christmas.

    Love, Rebecca

    1. Dearest Rebecca,
      Adrienne is sure a very warm and caring person, that part of the genes did rub off for generations! Enjoy this special family time and go into your surgery peaceful. Merry Christmas to all!

  13. Dearest Mariette,
    Beautiful gift hand made.I'd love to visit Olga.
    In Ukraine held a huge genocide by Russian Communism.I have the video documentary of Russian Communism until their Gulag.When I watched those video just making me poured of tears.why..why...why.as always innocent people as a victims
    Your Christmas sentiments so deeply. I understand how living abroad.
    another year for us without gift, family, festa etc. only me,my husband and kids. Our Christmas is Holy Mass. It fulfills the emptiness that human couldn't give.
    I miss my home really do.
    Wishing you a very Holy Christmas, don't worry I am on your side.
    love to you

    1. Dearest Ayu,
      You are so knowledgeable about history in this world. Most people have NO idea! One of our most meaningful Christmas days was when we were in Denpasar, Bali/Indonesia at Mass. There were so many people outside of the Church that could not fit in... They used loud speakers for those outside so they could follow as well. Holy Communion went on for ever as those long rows of people from outside kept coming. That gave us a true feeling of Peace in this world as ONE FAMILY!
      Hugs to you,

  14. Liebe Mariette,
    ich habe einen ähnlichen gehäkelten Engel - leider nicht in weiß - ich finde sie so wunderschön -

    lg. Ruth

    1. Liebe Ruth,
      Ja der Engel ist schön und hat auch viel Bedeutung. Es geht um den Frieden zwishen allen Menschen hier auf Erden.
      Lieber Gruss,

  15. Voor Pieter en jou en jullie familie fijne kerstdagen en alle goeds voor 2013 gewenst!
    Lieve groeten,

    1. Beste Nicole,
      Ook voor jullie allemaal een hele fijne Kerst periode.

  16. Dearest Mariette,
    Your friend's Olga's Crochet is really elegant and beautiful angle☆☆☆
    As I also have trouble with my ears, I can guess how happy Anita was receiving your gift. You both must miss Liz so much. I DO miss my mother and brother so much around this time of the year.
    I cannot say 'I understand' about your Christmas sentiments, but I respect your thoughts and I appreciate this post for the insight to me, my friend.
    At least we both have beloved hasband, don't we! Haha, we will have ready-made cake just two of us tomorrow.

    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

  17. Ciao!

    a TUTTI

    Un sincero abbraccio

  18. I remember seeing Olga's post on the old homestead. It does seem rather indulgent to go overboard on stuff and make oneself crazy during the holiday season. I stopped doing that a couple of years ago. Definitely not what it is all about. Better to give than to receive and certainly makes one feel good to know you've made a difference in someone's life. I have found after being away for so long that my friends truly have become my family -- blood is not thicker than water, and that's okay. Life is ever changing. Blessings to you, Tammy

  19. Dearest Mariette, sorry I am so late in wishing you a Merry Christmas. You are so right about the true meaning of Christmas! We had a sad Christmas and it was the first without my mother-in-law who passed away in November. We spent it at my brother's who is invalid and had a nice quiet lunch with my son and daughter who were also there. I am going over to your friend Olga's blog. Enjoy the last days of the year and may the new one bring you and Pieter good health and happiness!
    Many hugs and kisses!


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