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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 8 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Monday, July 4, 2022

Visiting Castle Gardens Arcen with Friend Ellie

What to do on a beautiful sunny day?
First we did cross the River Meuse by ferry from Lottum to Arcen
Pieter once used to live in Arcen and he crossed it daily.
At the River Meuse...
It sure was beautiful  weather and we visited Castle Gardens Arcen... or Kasteeltuinen in Arcen ←click link
Ellie is sitting near the entrance, crossing the moat to the Castle.
Huge old Chestnut Tree and Castle
The history of Castle Arcen.
A 17th century castle built in the Baroque period.
Also this got destroyed in the 80-year war (when the Spaniards occupied The Netherlands) and rebuild later.
And yes, Ellie and I were there during the annual Rose Festival... A DREAM as I love roses!
Surprise, near the entrance was a huge Sequoia tree.
We had to wait for our guide to join the group around 1:30 PM
Time for just 'hanging' around...
My Partner–in–Crime Ellie...
HET KOETSHUIS = THE COACH HOUSE and it got built around 1763
Rose Garden or Rosarium and ALL FRAGRANT ONES!!!
We were already on the move with our guide, but still could hear the soprano Maja van 't Oever and bass Jan Alofs in the Rose Opera ←click link.
On all five days of the Rose Festival there was this rose opera...
Ellie captured me, while seated in the Rose Garden in partly shade for doing video WhatsApp with Pieter at 14:00 Dutch time = 8:00 Georgia/US time...
Yes, keeping our Blissful Relationship alive across the 8,000 km that separated us.
Fragrant climbing roses...
Ellie overlooking the moat
And me peeking out over the beech hedge (Carpinus betulus) over the moat...
The Rosarium is surrounded by a berceau. A walking path covered by a foliage vault. Berceaus were very popular with the lords of the castle in the 18th century. In addition to its architectural value, it als had a function: browning was out of the question for the nobility.
And yes, in my Province Limburg there are LOTS of French words in the language, left from the French ruling period...
Our guide captured both of us standing under this foliage vault or 'berceau'.
This picture gives an even better view of the entire berceau!
Tree Bridge — artistic design in concrete!
Kasteeltuinen Arcen – Rosarium ←click for 1:32 min. video
After climbing the stairs in this Tree Bridge, view over Rosarium
Zoomed in view over Rosarium
Happy WeFie of Ellie and me...
Beautiful garden with waterfall
Birdhouse in an old shoe...
Dogwoods blooming
Exposition with ROSES as we visited during the 2022 Rose Festival from June 9 to 13.
Those gardens are endless and such a variety!
Thai fisher home in the Kasteeltuinen Arcen – Oosterse Watertuin ←click for 1:35 min video about Far East Watergarden
With bamboo pipes flooding of Indonesian Sawah (not with rice but just grass)
Time for a tea break!
There was a demonstration for flower arrangements that could be purchased for taking away.
Swan in the moat, watching the feeding outlet where people can purchase some amount of food.
A big carp was hanging out there as well!
Arcen Kasteeltuinen—Castle Gardens Arcen 4.7 km or 2.9 miles
That was quite a lot of walking and the top shows the parking area.
These 35 acres of Gardens are a DREAM...
See also: Luchtbeelden Kasteeltuinen Arcen ←click for 1:13 min short video with aerial view.
Back by Ferry from Lomm to Lottum which Church is visible on the other side of the River Meuse...
A wonderful day! 

Stay tuned for more...

Related links:
Food for Body and Soul in Limburg | previous post by me
In Limburg with Friends | previous post by me

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Husband Pieter's 1994, 4th of July Speech

 About time for sharing this special speech by husband Pieter, delivered on the 4th of July at the Dublin stadion before fireworks.
Pieter has written several speeches in his life time and he spoke at The International Society for Mushroom Science (ISMS) Congress numerous times. 
Always in a foreign language though...
The 4th of July 1994

Thanks for the kind introduction; now you know almost all about the two of us. 
For the introduction of a speaker a typical question always is, what is exactly your title?
In a certain booklet we found that there is actually no prouder title than to be an American Citizen. 
Although the weather is not cooperating too well, today we have something really important to celebrate as you all know we celebrate Uncle Sam's 218th Birthday, the birth of this great nation.
In the introduction, you have heard that we are new Americans, although we came to this country already in 1983.
My wife's love–affair with the United States started in April of 1983; her very first visit to the New World.
Some Campbell Soup people taught her at that time some history by visiting Rockford (Grand Rapids), Michigan, where President Ford grew up. They thought maybe she was homesick and thus they brought her to Holland in Michigan. 
She was not homesick but just absorbing all she could about this fascinating New World. 
One of the highlights was the visit to Chestnut Street in Philadelphia; to the Independence Hall—the home of the Liberty Bell, a shrine of Patriotism for all Americans.
There we learned more about Life with a capital 'L' and also about Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. 
The next day we flew to Dublin, Georgia and there we fell deeper and deeper in love with the New World. 
So, in August of 1983, we came to live here.
This was Our Pursuit of Happiness.
Last year we got our American Citizenship and since then we can say: we are Dutch by birth and Americans by choice, and we are proud of both. 
There are a couple of reasons for that pride. Maybe you didn't know, but the Dutch, of any nation, have the longest uninterrupted friendly relationship with the U.S. and for sure we like to keep it that way.
It was on November 16 in 1776, that the Ford on the Dutch Island of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean returned the salute from the American warship Andrea Dorea, as it entered the harbor. 
 This was the first salute by a foreign power to the flag of the United States of America. 
As the history books say: this was a very courageous action by the Dutch, and it enhanced the diplomatic credibility of the United States of America. 
It also gave a strong boost to the moral of the revolutionary troops.
So, today it is 218 years ago that the U.S. has been founded.
In the Dutch tradition, Birthdays always are important events, often celebrated with an all–day open house, birthday gifts etc.
A good question, not only for us but for all immigrants could be: 'Why did you come to the U.S.?
What did we expect to find here what we eventually didn't have in the country where we lived before? 
Although a lot of things have changed since then, the answer will be more or less identical to what brought the founding fathers to this of the world over 200 years ago.
The most important reason for them was the freedom and the space to live in the broadest sense.
The freedom to believe in God in different ways; the freedom to have your own opinion, the opportunity to develop yourself up to the limits etc. 
On this Birthday we should never forget that the Founding Fathers, and after them numerous immigrants, have for sure not chosen the easiest way. They didn't find a paradise; they just found a place with almost unlimited opportunities, but they had to be explored. 
Very important also is that their Freedom was based on a STRONG MORAL AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
That, in combination with hard work, made this country into what it is today; in our opinion the best country to live in.
We have a number of good reasons to make this statement.
As you perhaps know, or picked up from the introduction, for our job we traveled and still do, all over the world and lived in several countries.
We lived in Dublin, Georgia from 1983 through 1988 and after that in Italy and Indonesia.
We more and more discovered what a great country the U.S. is to live in; we got homesick and looked for every opportunity to return.
With O'Henry we can say, "You can't appreciate home 'till yu've left it... or old glory 'till you see it hanging on a broomstick on the shanty of a consul in a foreign town."
We think Americans in general don't realize how blessed they are, too many things we just take for granted. 
Especially the younger generation should realize that it hasn't been always this good, just travel the world and find out how spoiled in fact we are.
As the Founding Fathers long time ago, we've found our real happiness in this country. 
We often have to answer the question why we've chosen to live in America. 
We think we are able to give a reasonable answer because we can compare.
Our standard answer to that question is: The U.S. is for sure not paradise and not the ideal society because it is built up by some 250 million human beings. But traveling over the world, we can assure you that you will have a hard time to find a better place to live. Therefore, we have good reasons to be thankful and to celebrate the Birthday of this great nation. 
Like in the Dutch tradition, we should not come to a Birthday party with empty hands; one has to carry a gift.
What kind of a gift could we come up with for the Birthday of our country?
The most appropriate gift in our opinion would be that we promise to contribute our share in what the founding fathers once started.
They worked hard to develop this country, made it prosperous and a better place to live. They installed and maintained high moral values, based on a strong believe in God.
They've shown the world that they could handle their freedom.
Our forefathers didn't contribute frivolous gifts to this country.
So, let's celebrate this Birthday of our nation not only with a spectacular firework but let us wrap up a big box for Uncle Sam, containing:
A huge amount of humility, a lot of tolerance, respect for each other and patience, the most of integrity and compassion and a strong will to share freely with others.
Thank you Founding Fathers!
Happy Birthday Uncle Sam, we love this country.
May God bless this nation and all of us.


Happy 247th Independence Day!

Related links:
{December 30, 1993 U.S. flag flown over U.S. Capitol for both of us!} | previous post by me 
{The Dutch 1st to Salute to the Flag of The United States in 1776} | previous post by me

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Food for Body and Soul in Limburg

 Oh, there are so many things that we don't have here in the USA...
Food is different of course and especially the many bread varieties we so MISS here.
Let's start with the SOUL Food.
Friend Ellie thought about The Chapel of Our Lady of Genooy in Venlo and off we went...
dialect for Dear Lady of Genooy Help Me
Statue of Dear Lady of Genooy is authentic from the 17th century.
Ellie pinning with her bank card, for candles...
Lots of votives but under a modern exhaust fan!
Chapel of Our Lady of Genooi is a small Roman Catholic chapel in the north of Venlo and dating from 1423, built on the model of the chapel of Loreto in Italy. The building is a national monument.
The monastery was destroyed in the Eighty Years' War (that was when the Spaniards occupied The Netherlands from 1568–1648)...
Driving from Genooy in Venlo via the Interstate again past the windpark...
Now let's feed the body, and show you some typical food items from my Province Limburg...
Ellie decided to prepare once more fresh white asparagus.
You can purchase them as 'geschilde asperges' which means already peeled!
Euro 4 or 7 for one kilogram = 1,000 gram versus our pound is only 450 gram.
Just along the National road on our way home.
First these highly fragrant floating roses...
Don't you love their sight?
They perfumed the outside terras we were on!
And some more fragrant roses floating with decorative garden leaves!
A stop at the local super market in Sevenum.
Limburgse Vlaai is so typical for my province.
Delicious pies with fruits, whipped cream...
Our Province is more Burgundian, the French influence from years of occupation in the past, certainly left its mark.
You notice that these boxes contain half pies!
Sure there are also whole pies...
Apricot, plum and cherry are some favorite fruit pies...
Sadistic for taking those pictures while Pieter at home no doubt would be mouth–watering when viewing them on his iPad! 😜
Oh and BREADS makes you feel like being in HEAVEN!
This is NOT at a bakery but ordinary supermarket.
MISS these healthy breads here in the USA...
Ellie created a delicious supper with the fresh white asparagus.
Pieter commented that his Mom also used to have this typical china.
It is Royal Boch since 1841 Belgium in Boerenbont.
Boerenbont ←click link
Oh and Ellie persuaded me to try a tiny piece of the delicious RICE PIE WITH WHIPPED CREAM...
It is a family favorite and very much Pieter's favorite as well.
Sometimes chocolate flakes are added on top... some are visible to the right.
Sadistic photos for my poor Pieter at home but also nostalgia.

Hoping you enjoyed this post!
Stay tuned for more...

Related links:
In Limburg with Friends | previous post by me

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