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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... 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Driving to Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part I - Mayerling

With only 17 days in-between the MGA Conference in Manchester, England, we again departed from Atlanta, USA for Europe on Wednesday, October 17 of 1984.
This time we both would be driving all the way from The Netherlands to Budapest in Hungary for attending yet another Mushroom Conference.
We started out in our Talbot rental car from Timmermans in Horst, The Netherlands and drove by turn.
First day we made it till Mayerling in Austria in 1,100 km or 683 mi.
After a very good night at Hotel Helenenstüberl, we of course had to visit in the morning the hunting lodge where Crown Prince Rudolf killed his mistress and then himself... See full Youtube movie in two parts below post.
The above post card's lower left corner shows the original 1889 Imperial Hunting Lodge.
That's me pointing to the house number 3 on the wall with Mayerling on it as well.
Feeling so happy for having been at the place from a historical movie I watched...
Though not happy because of the tragedy that took place here!
I'm standing somewhere to the right on this building, you can still see the carved statue above the door.
 It looks like some changes have taken place in over 34 years!
Click here to see this photo on my Pinterest.
What I have gathered is, that at present the Sisters Carmelites live in Mayerling click link.
It is only 5 minutes away from the Cistercian Abbey Stift Heiligenkreuz which dates from 1133 and is located in the Vienna Woods.
We need to go back for a longer time to enjoy all the above!

We went on our way after visiting Mayerling, as we had to cover still quite a stretch and not all was Interstate at the time during Communism in Hungary!
No problems at the border and we continued via then Interstate E5 via Magyaróvár to Budapest.
Now Magyaróvár and Moson have been merged and it is called Mosonmagyaróvár.
We enjoyed seeing the impressively large agricultural areas but not so much the poor villages.
We stopped alongside the road to buy grapes, pears and in a village we changed money and bought quark, yogurt and pure fruit juice.
We arrived in time in Budapest around 14:30 at the Congress Centre having done now a total of 1,500 km or 932 mi.
Pieter's Campbell Soup colleagues from the USA had arrived by plane and Long Chi Wu is standing next to me and Pieter on the right (for the viewer), Colleague Frank Gabel made this photo.

Stay tuned...
Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related links:
The Crown Prince aka Kronprinz Rudolf Part1 full Youtube movie
The Crown Prince aka Kronprinz Rudolf Part2 full Youtube movie

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Husband Pieter's 1974 Visit to Esztergom, Hungary during Communism

During the Fall of 1974, Pieter and his best friend Harry Hollander did drive from The Netherlands, through Germany, Austria into Hungary, with wives and adopted daughter Liz.
For many years Pieter had scientist friends in the mushroom business in Hungary but for them it was nearly impossible to get out of the country for attending any meeting or lecture.
Any conversation, they had to do inside his friend Imre Koronczy's car; out of fear that inside a restaurant they could be 'listened to'... 
On a terras with the Esztergom Basilica in the back.
The largest Church within Hungary.
Hungary's Largest Church-Esztergom Basilica and Treasury (With Facts/Figures) click link for more info via video.
József Cardinal Mindszenty was the Prince Primate, Archbishop of Esztergom, cardinal, and leader of the Catholic Church in Hungary from 2 October 1945 to 18 December 1973.
More about him in a later post...
Esztergom was the Capitol in the 13th Century and the residence for the Royals.
Múzeum Cukrászda Espresso
This seems still to be in operation on address: Batthyány Lajos út 1., Esztergom 2500, Hungary
Right on the Danube River and that is also the border line with Slovakia.
Back in 1974 during communism, there was ONLY local produce on the market!
Such as here the Jonathan apples, pears, grapes.
Hungary is known for its Paprikas and also Tomatoes.
In the US they say bell peppers...
Imre Koronczy was Pieter's scientist friend whom he helped often for sending him an official invitation so he could attend important lectures outside of Hungary. His wife then was not allowed to travel with him; out of fear they would never return  back to Hungary...
Right at the bottom of this screenshot, google search for Imre Koronczy, Budapest, you can also read my husband's name P.J.C. Vedder with the title of his English book: Modern Mushroom Growing, first printed by Educabook in The Netherlands and next by Stanley Thornes, Cheltenham (England)...

Very meaningful relationship and by the way, Pieter's adopted daughter got to travel a lot with her Daddy!

Next is about a trip we made together, also by rental car driving from The Netherlands...
Stay tuned.
Thanks for your visit and comment!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Mom is Being Posthumously Honored for her Knitting

Mom's 5th Mother's Day in Heaven...

She no doubt is smiling proudly down from heaven because of the many views of her fabulous knitting!
Mom wrote in a letter from September 17, 1986 (my Maternal Grandma's B'day...) that she'd asked the lady from the yarn shop, for placement of her knitted bedspread at the Hiltho Exhibition.
Hiltho Exhibition is every 4 years since 1967, and is the biggest in the South of The Netherlands.
Mom had tried so hard for the Hiltho '86 exhibition from 26 September till 1 October... click link; then click through.
It just didn't work out for having her work displayed at the Hiltho... to have a booth there was too expensive for the yarn store!  But the store owner told her she should bring it for the coming winter, to have it as window display instead.
That's what happened and here my Mom is proudly standing in front of the shop's window with her beautiful work!
I'd forgotten that I too had knitted several squares, before immigrating to the USA...
Mom mentioned that in her letter!
This is Mom's letter, neatly handwritten as so many that I received over the years!
Mom was very happy with the offer to have it as window display instead.
She wrote that my sister-in-law Elly, brother Harry's wife, very dedicated was helping her getting all the knitting finished. Elly also had taken the squares apart and rejoined them in a different way, as she'd seen from one of the patients at the nursing home where she worked.
It was quite emotional for making these bedspread photos on February 21, 2014, before going to the hospital again for visiting Mom during her dialysis.
Deep inside I KNEW that this would also be the very last time I would see her alive...
My gut feeling proved to be right.

Less than a year later, I would be up all night and do Face Time with my youngest brother, who sat together with my 2nd brother, at Mom's bedside. Seeing, hearing Mom and talking to her for the very last time.
It was then when I did compose a beginning for a FAREWELL, or EULOGY, to be read...

Going Home...

Daddy, brothers and sisters, sisters-in-law and partner, nephews and nieces, family and friends...

We are together in warmth and gratitude to honor our Mother.

A dear wife, dedicated Mother for all of us. Her entire life she has given love with an enormous big heart; without asking much for herself.

This last trip of 17 days away from D'n Afhang, was a difficult route for her but she has accomplished it with pride. She wanted to go home with all her heart, for finally putting her tired head to rest close to Daddy, in her own beloved place, where 7 of her 8 children were born.

Eight children, of which I am the second and our eldest sister is now finally again with Mother!

She almost made it for being married to Daddy 66 years; in love and sorrow.

Working hard her entire life and yet in her way always trying to pamper us.

She was able to cook delicious tomato soup from own cultivation, with yummy fried onions. Her spare ribs with home-made tomato paste and fried onions were also a favorite.

Baking for the entire family she did also with much love and she herself was fond of ginger cake... 

She also loved nougat, that I always brought her back from the fun-fair!

She loved to knit and crochet and in the photo she proudly poses in front of the window where her large knitted bedspreads hung.

Together with Daddy she made trips to Germany, and also to Paris and even four times to Georgia in the USA. Proudly she always said she had two daughters in America; one in great America.

On the bike she often went to little America on Tuesday’s, on market day, with a gift for her first grandchild. 

Meanwhile Mom had passed away and that stopped my writing...

Never could finish it...

In Dutch:

Naar Huis...
Papa, broers en zussen, schoonzussen en partner, neefjes en nichtjes, vrienden...
We zijn bij elkaar in warmte en dankbaarheid ter ere van ons Moeke.
Een lieve echtgenote, toegewijde Moeke voor ons allemaal. Ze heeft met een enorm groot hart haar hele leven liefde geven; zonder veel voor zichzelf te vragen.
Deze laatste reis van 17 dagen weg van d'n Afhang was een moeilijke route voor haar maar ze heeft het met fierheid volbracht. Ze wilde met heel haar hart naar huis om daar op haar eigen geliefde plek, waar 7 van haar 8 kindjes geboren werden, haar moede hoofd eindelijk te rusten leggen dicht bij Papa. 
Acht kinderen, waarvan ik de tweede ben en onze oudste zus is nu eindelijk ook weer bij Moeke!
Bijna heeft ze het gered om met Papa 66 jaar getrouwd te zijn; door lief en leed.
Hard gewerkt haar hele leven en toch op haar manier altijd geprobeerd om ons te verwennen.
Ze kon lekkere tomatensoep koken van eigen teelt, met heerlijke gebakken uien. Ook haar ribjes met tomatenpuree en gebakken uien waren een lievelingskostje.
Bakken voor het hele gezin deed ze ook met veel liefde en zelf was ze dol op gemberkoek... 
Ze lustte ook zo graag nougat die ik haar altijd meebracht van de kermis!
Breien en haken deed ze graag en met trots staat ze op de foto voor de etalage waar haar grote gebreide bedsprei hing.
Met Papa samen maakte ze reisjes naar Duitsland en ook naar Parijs en zelfs vier keer naar Georgia in de USA. Trots zei ze altijd dat ze twéé dochters in America had; een in groot America.
Op de fiets ging ze vaak op dinsdag, markt dag, naar klein America om haar eerste kleinkind weer iets toe te stoppen. 

Ondertussen is Moeke gestorven en kon ik niet meer verder schrijven...
Helaas heb ik het nooit afgekregen...

This year, on my Angel Sister's heavenly Birthday, I noticed a tremendous increase in views for Mom's hand knitted bedspread, on my Pinterest.
January 11, 2019... Mom's Bedspread was at the TOP!
Hard to believe these figures, yet it was there and on my blog, almost every day, Mom's picture was in the sideline as one of the favorite posts!
Love seeing this photo...
Mom ranks right there in my TOP blog posts and that in only five years!

It made me so happy and feeling oh so proud of her for being Posthumously Honored for her Knitting!!!

Happy Mother's Day!

Related link:
{Mom's Hand Knitted Bedspread as Window Display} | previous post by me
{HAPPY Mom on her 90th Birthday - THANKS TO ALL OF YOU} | previous post by me, when I took the bedspread photos...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


There are many blessings but we both are so grateful for being still alive and even more so, for Pieter being with me, regardless his heart condition.
May God grant him more time to be with me!
Just shortly before his Birthday, my Pieter accomplished something incredible.
We both climbed one of the World's Coolest Observation Decks: Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee.
Husband Pieter: View from the Summit.
At 6,643 feet or 2,025 meter, Clingmans Dome is Great Smoky Mountains National Park's highest point.
It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the second highest point east of the Mississippi.
Only North Carolina's Mt. Mitchell (6,684 feet or 2,037 meter) rises higher.
We were so lucky with a clear and sunny day.
Even if it is very windy at the top...
And yes, that is snow that you see in the video!

Relive 'Clingmans Dome Great Smoky Mountains'

Clingmans Dome, View from the Dome click to read more.

Grateful for having this under our belt! ❤️❤️

1982 Sinden Award for Pieter at The Hotel Majestic, Harrogate, England | like for his professional Award he earned another one...

Saturday, May 4, 2019

1959 ISMS Congress in Denmark with Conny Riber Rasmussen

The ISMS - International Society for Mushroom Science got founded by husband Pieter's boss, Pieter J. Bels.
It was only in 1949 that these CONGRESSES came to life.
More about that below this first photo from 1959.
This photo is from the South of Sweden.
From the ISMS Congress, an excursion to Sweden was made. 
Those are actually MUSHROOMS grown outdoors!
This is a photo from husband Pieter's 1964 Dutch book: 'Moderne Champignonteelt'
Such methods are no longer being done!
Pieter J. Bels wrote in his lecture given at the 30th anniversary:
Let us start in the year 1949. Before that year mushroom growers were, in general, very secretive. There was practically no national and international contact. There were just a handful of mushroom researchers.
But then traveling started. Dr. Ware went to France; Lambert and Sinden to England; Mrs. Hauser to the U.S.A. and England and the Bels' to Switzerland, Belgium, England and Scandinavia.
The time seemed ripe for more international contact...
This is another part of that lecture:
The Third Congress was organized for 1956 in PARIS, by Sarazin, Heim and Dekeirel. Here we had simultaneous translation for the first time.
In 1957 "Mushroom Science 3" came out.
In 1956 we received an invitation from Hugary for the Congress in 1959.
Before we could send an answer, Russian tanks were in Budapest, actually on November 4, 1956.
As a young girl, in Kindergarten, I recall that we were praying hard for the people in Hungary!!! There was FEAR
So Hungary was out of the question. Conny Riber Rasmussen from DENMARK came up and helped us out. The 1959 Congress, the Fourth, was held in COPENHAGEN. Practically alone, with his enormous energy, Conny Riber Rasmussen organized this 4th Congress.
Prof. Paludan, now 89 years old and Dr. Treschow were President and Vice-President.
Conny's Congress was a success. We made an excursion to Sweden...
As seen in the FIRST picture, the reason for that excursion were the mushrooms grown in the soil, outdoors!
The mushroom industry sure has come a long way since then!
Sadly though, Hungary never made it back into hosting such an ISMS Congress...
They regained their freedom from Communism only 30 years later.
That is when they finally got rid of Socialism...
Politics and wars always affect the little people in a big way!
Husband Pieter became good friends with Conny and he has stayed with him for a week at the University Institute in Copenhagen. It was such an energetic scientist!
Here, Pieter is on the ferry from Hamburg, on his way to Denmark again in October of 1964 with some of his students on excursion to Conny Riber Rasmussen.
This was together with his ex-wife.
Younger brother from A. Veeken to the left, one of Pieter's Dutch students and Pieter to the right...
Under the Danish Flag...
Once ashore, they continued to travel in their cars and then a delicious Danish Smorgasbord awaited them!
Guest at Conny Riber Rasmussen's in Copenhagen, Denmark.
On the left is Conny Riber Rasmussen and Pieter is seated, 2nd from left and his ex is sitting next to him.

Fond memories of Pieter's three trips to Denmark and his encounters during ISMS Congresses with Conny Riber Rasmussen.
He was quite famous at the time for reaching high yields in mushroom production by filling 2 trays with full grown compost and then layering the compost on top of each other.
At the time an average of 7 kg/m2 he managed to reach 10 kg/m2.

Fond Danish memories!

Related link:
Soviets Crush Hungarian Revolt (1956) | A Day That Shook the World 2 min. video showing the reason that the ISMS Congress had to be in Kopenhagen

Monday, April 29, 2019

SECRETS of the Heart

Do you BELIEVE in things happening for a reason?!
Certainly I DO...
Let me explain further...
A dear friend Ms. D. S. Mullis published her novel SECRETS of the Heart
 Since I seldom have time for reading, I took it with me on a trip to our KIA garage for a check up.
Our KIA SOUL is the car for biking as the bike rack is permanently attached to it.
We bought this car and it came with only one key...
Too tricky for when one gets lost!
So we asked at the KIA dealer to provide us with an additional key.
Pieter came up to me with several key holders to make a choice from...
I saw it AT ONCE!
The RED HEART with SOUL was my choice.
Pieter laughed and said that is more than COINCIDENCE!

Great novel and even more so in the wake of our First Lady Melania Trump's BE BEST program!

SECRETS of the Heart click link for going to it, then click through.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Make you the world A bit better...

In our veranda we enjoy looking at our sun catcher with quote from Edward W. Bok that we purchased at the Bok Tower, highest point in Florida.
Just want to share it with you here:
Click to find it on my Pinterest in: QUOTES & WORDS OF WISDOM with info for ordering it from the Bok Tower Giftshop.
It is hanging to the right, next to another one from the Bok Tower.
Below my Hand Crocheted Fleur de Lys curtains...
A bit more close but still hard to actually catch it well, against the light!
Together with the Delftware houses we collected over the years from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines it looks great!
This is it, looking outside...

Wishing you a lovely day and thanks for your visit and comment!

Related links:
{Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida} | previous post about our visit to Bok Tower, HIGHEST point in Florida
{The Kiss of the Sun for Pardon} | previous post about the other sun catcher from Bok Tower
Mega Task Crocheting DONE | previous post where you can see the sun catcher
My 2nd Fleur de Lys Crocheted Curtain is Hanging | previous post by me
{1903 Ladies Home Journal by Edward Bok - The Mother of America & Dutch American Heritage Day} | previous post by me
{Edward Bok Quote} | previous post by me

Sunday, April 21, 2019

1958 Tragedy for Pieter's Mushroom Friends in Zichen-Zussen-Bolder in Belgium

Those caves in the Limburg village of Zichen-Zussen-Bolder in Belgium, were again the result of sawing blocks of marl, or soft stone as it is also called, for building cities.
Also here, husband Pieter came for a frequent visit in Belgium, just across the Dutch border.
For his boss, Pieter Bels, my Pieter wrote a kind of a speech, in the summer of 1957.
Read more below first screenshot...
De Roosburgramp click for video from where I got this screenshot...
There were always quite some adventures in Belgium, especially when visiting Gerard Kinet. First they had bacon breakfast at Jacquemin. That was being generously served with cognac. It caused them  having difficulty walking straight, between those mushroom beds inside the caves, with their trouser legs pushed up!
On December 23, 1958 harvesting went on inside the caves of Zichen-Zussen-Bolder in Belgium.
Prior to Christmas for having mushrooms available for special dinners...
Above screenshot is from video Roosburg 1958-2008 (link is further down below)
Belgium: Mushroom Galleries Cave In 20 Feared Dead 1958 click link for short video
Collapse of the quarry
It seems to be that one of the main reasons for such a disastrous collapse, was the gradual widening of underground corridors, plus taking away some support pillars.
The main reason for doing so was because of transport equipment being able to pass.
It also was mentioned that the mine inspectors sometimes closed an eye...
Slowly mushroom growing had also shifted away from the one layer beds on the floor to stacked trays.
The difference can clearly be seen between the first and second image above.
Screenshots from video Roosburg 1958-2008 just click it
Screenshot from video Roosburg 1958-2008
Pieter's mushroom friend Gerard Kinet, as well as others he knew very well, were among the 18 that lost their lives...
Gerard's body was never found, only 7 got recovered.
Gerard's father-in-law Willem Heynen was heartbroken and the Bishop tried to console him as he'd lost his son Pierre, father of 7 children and his son-in-law Gerard Kinet, father of 2 children...
On December 31, they recovered the body of the youngest person and on February 17, that of a 21-year old...
On December 27, 1958 was the funeral for 5 of those that got recovered...
My Pieter is somewhere amongst the crowd, he went to their funeral.
Quite a tragedy!

May they all R.I.P.

Related link:
Husband Pieter visiting Mushrooms in the Cave - Bradford-on-Avon in England | previous post by me

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Two Days London with Husband Pieter

On October 1, after the MGA Conference, we both got dropped off by friends at the Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel where we would spend two nights on our own.
Pieter had previously spent one summer at the University and knew London pretty well via the Underground!
The back entrance at the Hilton hotel brings you to the airport and to the train station, so off we went by 12:30 and saw Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus. Of course checked out shops as the Underground entrance is at Harrods... What a choice! Especially woolen goods, Burberry and porcelain...
We also saw the Tower, and St. Paul's Cathedral just before they closed!
We had a pizza and back to the hotel.... With a goulash soup at the Hilton we went to bed.
Sunday, October 2. We did sleep in and went by train now to South Kensington and visited two museums. The Victoria & Albert Museum was very impressive! 
Also the Natural History Museum.
Here I stand next to the Natural History Museum South Kensington.
To the right you can see the tower from Victoria & Albert Museum.
We were so lucky with the weather!
Natural History Museum at South Kensington click link...
Husband Pieter near Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, wearing his Burberry Polo Shirt...
Such perfect weather for walking in 1988, and what I noticed is that we could be on the stairs, close to the actual monument!
Pieter took a better photo of me, seeing the marble figures behind me...
Marble figure on corner of Albert Memorial click link.
Here you can clearly see that the area is protected and now people are being kept below the stairs.
What a lovely walk it was and now I also got to see the Royal Albert Hall, across from Albert Memorial.
Pieter had the 1980 MGA Conference Reception at Royal Alber Hall, see link below post.
We ended the day with a buffet dinner at the Hilton...
October 3, breakfast and packing in a relaxed way, no rush. At 12:45 we went back to Atlanta, this time in 9 hours! Strong head winds...
In 7 hours and 10 minutes we flew to London in a Jumbo 747 from Atlanta but now it took us 9 hours going back but with a DC-10.
That was the end of our Conference trip to Cambridge with before and after excursions!
A lovely time spent and now we could start packing up as only 16 days later, we would be moving to Pennsylvania... 
Campbell's Soup made us move!

Thanks for your visit and comment!
Wishing you all a Happy Easter Weekend 🐇

Related links:
Cambridge Conference and Newmarket Race Horses, England | previous post by me
From London by Train to Pullborough and Visiting Linfield Mushroom | previous post by me
1980 MGA Conference Reception in Royal Albert Hall, London | previous post by me
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