About Me

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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom 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 at Spectrenoir: http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

{Healthy Vegan Pancakes Recipe}

For a healthy and very easy pancake recipe, this one will do the job!
Again I did substitute the whole wheat with whole wheat pastry flour from +Whole Foods Market and it works just perfect.
Instead of berries I used the first time just fruits I had available... kiwi, cantaloupe melon and seedless grapes.
Dusted off with desiccated coconut (unsweetened!) that is available at +Trader Joe's also, together with the coconut sugar.
Of course I also use the real Maple Syrup, grade A that we usually buy at +Costco Wholesale 
This is how the batter looks like...
You can find the recipe on MARIETTE'S BACK TO BASICS on Pinterest under PANCAKES & WAFFLES and you just open the one that reads: Vegan Fluffy Pancakes by clicking it. 
Using my large 32 cm (12.5") cast aluminum Select Cuisine pan from Europe that we found at a Hanos.nl wholesale in The Netherlands, where I went with my best friend Ellie.
It came home with me in the suitcase!
Mine did not turn out that Fluffy though, so I omitted it in my title.
Yes, you can be very generous in using this healthy Coconut Oil, also from Costco.
Pieter and I both loved them very much and I like to make a larger batch. Easy for having something on hand when you have no time.
Just add fresh fruits and flaked coconut with maple syrup and you are eating!
Hope this helped some of you that look for healthy recipes for diabetes type 2 or other health reason!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

{Life is Paradise, and we ALL are IN Paradise, but REFUSE to SEE it}

Hope you all are enjoying spring, even for those Europeans that are facing snow...
Because I'm still scanning my final albums, no time for posting, nor visiting blogs. 
Sorry for my absence but I have to complete this!
For that I share with you our beautiful Lilac Clematis 'Silver Moon' and a great quote:

 "Life is paradise, and we are all in paradise, but we refuse to see it." Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Yes indeed, Life is in many ways PARADISE!
Look at all those precious blossoms in spring.
ENJOY them and wishing you a lovely week.
Holy Week for my blogger friends in Greece.

Happy Spring! 

Related post by me:
{Our Lilac Clematis 'Silver Moon'}

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

{Our Golden Live Oak 'Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold' in April}

Just have to share with you our biggest garden treasure and that is the very rare, I do believe it's perhaps the ONLY one within the USA... Golden Live Oak 'Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold.
We had tea on the balcony and I took this photo just this afternoon.
To the right you see the brown foliage of our sick Italian Cypress...
But this Golden Live Oak ' Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold' looks stunning every spring! 
We have it now for 20 years and it is not a tall tree, like the Quercus behind it.
This  Golden Live Oak ' Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold' has been a big influencer for selecting our Benjamin Moore Golden Mist color for the exterior of the house.
Don't you love this sight?!
Photo is from April 16 in the morning.
This huge 'Magnolia Namnetensis Flore Pleno' is framing our home nicely, as does the semi evergreen oak on the other side of the house.
All the Pot Plants on the Patio dwarf in comparison...
Turning around makes you see the Golden Live Oak as well as the huge Magnolia Namnetensis Flore Pleno with in the back another huge oak tree... 
We got many different oak trees on our property!
Looking past the Magnolia, the Golden Live Oak comes into full view behind the retainer wall, with our Acer Negundo Kelly's Gold Yellow Box Elder.
Stepping back now... To the right you can see the road.
View from our driveway where the two (one already died) Italian Cypress struggle for life and our Windmill Palm.
Against a backdrop from the Quercus Virginiana Live Oak, a green form.
The Acer Rubrum, or Red Maple, gives its best red and the Acer Negundo Kelly's Gold Yellow Box Elder, to the left is also a show stopper!
The above photo is taken this afternoon, from the balcony.
Also our Canary Island Palm (in a pot) is visible here.
This last photo is from April 14, less sunny and thus looking less golden...
Hope you enjoyed our Garden Treasure!
Wishing you a lovely new week ahead and always thanks for stopping by.
In one week I also will find time again to visit you... SORRY!


Related links to our Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold:

Adam Black (who tried several times to propagate this tree!), together with Jason A. Smith from the School of Forest Resources and Conservation University of Florida/IFAS did show one of my photos towards the bottom of their Pdf: Presentation University of Florida
{Golden Live Oak 'Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold' in Sunshine at its BEST} | my previous post with more links below

Sunday, April 24, 2016

{Wearing my Escada Sheath Dress with Jacket}

On January 5, blogger friend Marie-Thérèse from The French Touch wrote about: Something Old, Something New and Something Essential and in the commenting she asked me how many Sheaths I have in my wardrobe...
Okay Marie-Thérèse, here is one of them!
On April 9, it was a rather cool day for Georgia standards so I loved wearing my Cashmere Wool Escada Sheath with Silk Leopard trim + Jacket!
Here you can see the comments about the very subject and some funny language details as well.
A Classic Sheath Dress in Dutch we call: 'Nauw Aansluitend Jurkje' or Tight Fitting Dress if translated. But if you search for 'Sheath' in Dutch it also will show a condom... only emphasizing the tight fit! 
But let's go back to Fashion...
Just love to wear this soft and warm Cashmere Wool with Silk Escada outfit. It is lined too.
Together with my Wolford tights and Escada suede pumps it works fine.
I also got to wear my Majorica pearls...
Come to think about it, since we both retired, we don't attend Congresses anymore so the need for dressing up is a lot less. 
Frankly, I'm more of a jeans and shorts wearing girl...
What do you like to wear mostly?

This was on April 9, with our Rose Arbor and soon our two white Eden roses will be blooming!
Things are always growing and time is going fast.
Proud for having scanned now 25 of my 33 photo albums; so there is light at the end of the tunnel. 
What looked like a mega task is diminishing now.
With perseverance and will power.
BUT, in tackling this job, I'm a bit too sedentary for my health...
In a week that too will change and we get back to walking and biking together and hope that will improve my health.
Went to see my Nephrologist on Wednesday and learned that both of my kidneys are functioning for 48%.
That hit me real hard; thinking about my Mom who died last year, after almost 8 years of kidney dialysis.
This means that my stage CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) went from 2 to 3A.
Let's hope I will be able to reverse it somewhat! 
At least keeping it steady and not progressing...

Related link to previous post by me showing a Sheath Dress:

Friday, April 22, 2016

{My HEALTHY Breakfast with Home Baked Whole Wheat Bread}

Just LOVE to bake my own bread and yes, with all my photo scanning work, I still managed to do this. Using my favorite French Silform round bread form duo this works great.
 My actual Breakfast Plate!
Half an avocado, and a mandarin partly shown below left, rye bread with vegan cheese on top of my Home Baked Whole Wheat Bread.
For the rye bread with whole wheat I use Fleischmann's Soft Margarine made with Olive Oil.
At the top you can see the slice of my Home Baked Whole Wheat Bread, before I smeared Almond Butter on top!
That's what I eat every day for breakfast with a small coffee with cocoa added for health benefit and some coconut oil, and a mug of Trader Joe's Soy Milk because of its very low sugar.
The recipe I adapted a bit from this: Easy Whole Wheat Artisan Bread ← just click the link.
For Whole Wheat Flour I used Whole Wheat Pastry Flour from Whole Foods.
For Dark Brown Cane Sugar I used Coconut Palm Sugar and that's it.
Best is to mix these dry ingredients very well, before adding the whole wheat flour and I did use a flour sifter!
The water should not be cold, rather luke warm.
In the recipe the warning is for not to overwork the dough so I used my Rosle Round Handle Turner for Non Stick Pans again, just click.
After blending I did minimal kneading and let it rise over night.
Here are the two batches, inside my Silform Moule Rond for Pain (bread)
Mine measure 7" diameter and are perfect.
Next morning, gently kneading it through again, I also did make slits in the dough, letting it rest one more hour, covered by a cotton tea towel.
My adaptation also is in the way of baking as I do not cover my bread and let it inside the oven for 65 minutes on 370°F instead. 
The end result is also seen in the first picture.

Bon appétit!

Related links with previous posts by me:
{My 6th Blog Award & Secret for my Size and Weight}
{Flat Belly Diet Foods - Meet the MUFAs!}

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

{Our Free Award Night at Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead}

Yes, Hyatt Hotels do have lots of perks. From the beginning, when my husband Pieter was still Vice President Training & Development for Campbell Soup, he often stayed at the Hyatt Cherry Hill, NJ. 
That hotel is no longer under their label but from 1984, Pieter had his Hyatt Gold Card which came with great perks. Not only did they offer free nights but also a free airline ticket and cruise. All that has stopped, yes the luxury and glamour as we know it from the 80s and 90s, is no more.
BUT Hyatt still offers many perks and high courtesy. So we are happy that we've stayed with them for several decades now, as a loyal customer and we even use their Hyatt Credit Card (Visa), together with the Platinum Hyatt card, for which we even earn faster points for free nights.
+Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead, like all their Hyatt hotels, has the highest comfort level bedding... almost like at home!
Down pillows on this King-Sized Hyatt Grand Bed™with down duvet blanket.
Well, being a many decades loyal customer at Hyatt, does pay off!
Look what they did bring up to our room; out of courtesy.
That makes one very happy!
So we comfortably did nestle ourselves and yes we did indulge!
Even a personal Welcome like this on the screen...
A rather healthy treat with fresh fruits, almonds, cranberries and delicious cheeses.
Prepared with love!
For breakfast I did have waffles with fresh berries and I forgot to take a picture...
As a matter-of-fact, I hate to show a half eaten piece...
So I only can show you husband Pieter's Roasted Spring Vegetable Frittata, made from Egg beaters, squash, mushrooms, arugula, red onions, bell peppers.

We always look forward to staying there again!


Monday, April 18, 2016

{Tea in Atlanta with a Blogger Friend I Admire}

FINALLY I get to post this... Meeting a very sweet and special Blogger Friend, Tamago and her husband 
Tamago writes the very humorous and fun blog: GOROGORO & NIKONIKO about her two adorable cat-boys.
Devoted Cat-Mamas together; Tamago to the right.
We enjoyed some tea and dessert at the +Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead where we were staying for a free night, annual gift that comes with their Visa card's anniversary.
This makes Tamago my 6th Blogger Friend that I met in person.
It is always very special to do so.
Mr. D. with my Pieter, two devoted Cat-Daddies.
This was on June 28 of 2015.
Thank you sweet Tamago for this special photo of the two of us together!
As usual we did exchange some delicious cookies...
Again I'd baked some Amaretti Cookies from Almond Meal with Coconut Palm Sugar to bring with me.
Sweet Tamago and Mr. D. gifted us with some very special individually wrapped Macarons from the Mozart Bakery.
This very special Bakery also seems to have a restaurant and we for sure will check it out within a couple of months!
The thrill of tasting a Mango Macaron!
For the color I added these orange Hibiscus...
And of course served, using the Japanese lacquered tray with Kyushu teapot and Japanese teacup, in honor of Friend Tamago.
Sorry for having eaten this yummy Mango Macaron almost before taking a picture!
Mozart Bakery's Macarons are yummy and their tastes are: 
Green Tea

Thank you so very much sweet Tamago and Mr. D.!
Wish we would live closer and do this more often.

Related links:
{Brunch in Toronto with Blogger Friends I Admire} | previous post by me
{Port Huron, MI - Meeting with Blogger Friend I Admire} | previous post by me
{Livonia, Michigan - Meeting with a Blogger Friend I Admire} | previous post by me
{Visiting Ria from IT'S ME} | previous post by me

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Guess I need two more weeks for finishing my photo albums and having them ALL digital... 
Several I already did have digital, from scanning the slides before. We often did have slides + photos, developed from special professional film rolls for that purpose.
How times have changed!
But I very much like the way it is now.
Every day I manage one album... 
So by the end of April or early May I will be DONE!
Hope I'm getting out of the stupid time where photos had rounded edges, in the mid till late 80s.
Have to fill those edges in, which is time consuming!
For sure I will do the HAPPY DANCE once I'm through.
The weather is not yet such that it feels like a time waste...
There are some JOYS also in early spring.
Such as this Bletila Striata Alba Orchid that Pieter dug up from our wood garden where it almost wilted.
We have had three of them for years but the roots from those big trees compete for food and water.
They are happy inside a pot now and bloomed very early on March 20!
You can read more about it in my previous post from 2011:
{Our Bletilla Striata Alba Orchid native to Japan and China} They now are 20 years old!
On March 11, while having late afternoon tea in our living room, I heard some strange noise...
That turned out to be the gas burners from a HUGE Hot Air Balloon that landed in our back yard! 
Just beside the big pond and they barely managed to get over the huge oak tree that stands next to the pond.
Lots of spectators too in our back yard.
After having worked hard all day and taking a shower afterwards, Pieter already was in his robe and ready to retire in front of TV... Not so!
WISH we would have been on the balcony for seeing them land.
The daughter of a dear friend was inside the basket, it was one of the things still on her bucket list.
 After having received two donor lungs, and recovering well enough, she finally was able to realize this!
Here are our boys, Bandido, left who joined his brother Spooky to the right in their favorite bolstered Kitty Sill Deluxe.
Probably they can communicate as it turned out that this was on March 28 and by Friday, April 1 (no joke!) Spooky was near dead with a urinary track blockage.
It was a dreary rainy day and I spotted him, hidden in the cat house in the front porch, with big eyes looking at me.
He did not want to eat and later he'd hidden away against the wall of our front porch; in the rain... We found him and rushed him to the Animal Clinic that is only one mile away from us. She did sedate him and insert a catheter and on Monday we could pick him up.
He's now eating medicated dry food and has improved greatly.
He'd lost weight and was without energy.
So glad we found out in time!
So what do you do with all this stress?
Rewarding yourself with a delicious five course dinner at the authentic Italian Restaurant of Ristorante da Maria at +Dublin Farm "Come Home To The Country" 
Also my webmaster let me know that he will get out of this business so I had to secure all of my text before it will be taken down.
Too much on my plate but this will pass!
Wishing you a lovely upcoming weekend and thanks for your visits.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

{206 Countries Visited - Welcome The Gambia}

Already on March 9, the 206th Country Visited my humble blog - Welcome The Gambia!

Republic of The Gambia
The Gambia is a tiny country in western Africa.

Wishing you all a great week and I'm still very, very busy.

Related link:
{205 Countries Visited - Welcome Mayotte & Message to Incognito Relatives} | previous post by me


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