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... 

Monday, July 30, 2012

{Our Balcony}

First I like to thank all of you that helped identifying our mystery plant. Check my previous post about the outcome...

Our balcony is accessible from the master bedroom and is on the South West side of our home. It is nice for having dinner alfresco, having tea or reading under the umbrella... Lots of uses! Besides, it provides a perfect view over the pond, and into our garden and adjacent wood garden.
Photos are not excellent as they had to be taken through the window of our living room...
This is in April with the teak Barlow Tyrie Capri Lounger and teak table out. Chairs are folded and ready for use.
The Confederate Jasmine, about to bloom...
This is in May, the blossoms of the Confederate jasmine are falling off already...
We purchased a new Suncast Resin Deluxe Deck Box with Seat; shown here.
Great for storing the teak chaise lounge cushion!
Here the view is almost obstructed by the enormous fig tree...
This photo is taken on July 25 and it is way too hot for being out on the balcony!
You cannot bear to walk bare foot on the tiles!
This is the temperature in the shade at 15:45 o'clock on July 25.
The 'Roasting' temperature for the balcony would have been way above 43°C (109.4°F) earlier in the afternoon.
The above is from 16:12 o'clock...
Do you have a balcony as well?
Tell me if you do much reading or lounging on it right now.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

{HELP NEEDED Identifying this Plant!}

After searching in vain for the name of this huge pot plant, I  now resort to my world wide readers...  Indeed: HELP NEEDED identifying this plant. It was given as a birthday present to Pieter in April, so we've tried for three months now to determine its name. The leaves are kind of leathery and in the center something is growing. Not a blossom I think as it started in May already.
It is not rhubarb... But WHAT is it?
Does anyone know; please help me out!
My guess is that it is some tropical variety...
Above two photos were taken on May 20.
June 26...
July 5...
THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR NAMING THIS ONE... and solving the mystery!

Thanks to Ger from Hoorn Des Overvloeds, a Dutch blogger friend, she pointed me into the right direction. With some more research I've found out that it is an Anthurium Plowmanii Fruffles
It is native in Brasil, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay. Just click the above link for finding out more.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Regardless of the hot and dry summer in 2011, we did have some 2012 ANTIOXIDANT SUPERFRUIT Yield! Look here... 
I took these photos on June 26 but lost them... Only now I found  the file and like to show you.
Did you know about the blueberries Vaccinium corymbosum having ANTIOXIDANT SUPERFRUIT conditions? If you cannot grow your own, by all means: BUY THEM! They are so healthy.
Below this post you find two more links where you find a lot more info. The last link is showing a nice way of serving them in pretty china with antique Christofle silver.
Ours got a wash and were eaten with Trader Joe's Greek style non fat yogurt.

Did any of you harvest their own blueberries? 

Related links:
1862 Christofle Sugar Sifter Spoon 'Filet Violon'

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{How to get a FLATTER TUMMY}

Summer is still in full swing, at least I hope for most of you... That means we will be more often wearing a bathing suit or anything that will reveal more 'TUMMY'. Now the question of How to get a FLATTER TUMMY... Let me show you some great tips from my favorite RealAge site. You can follow them even on Facebook and you will also enjoy their: Say Goodbye to Belly Flab in 9 Steps...
Swap your jelly belly for some lean, mean stomach muscles...
Eat three servings of vegetables every day this week...
Want a sexier tummy, better blood pressure, and the energy you had 10 years ago?...
Get yourself a pedometer and start walking.
Good carbs include most fruits and vegetables; 100% whole-grain anything...
We only use whole grain, for all baking and for our popover pancakes etc. 
Our delicious bread comes from Costco wholesale.
Are you eating 100% whole grain anything too? Love to hear your thoughts!
+Costco Wholesale  sells them in a 2-Pack and they weigh 2 lbs or 908 g.
It is yummy and healthy!
Read labels carefully for low saturated fat and trans fat close to zero...
Our Costco bread is excellent as it has zero trans fat! See above photo with Nutrition Facts.
Stair climbing we do a lot daily as we have a two-story home.
Are you also climbing stairs daily?
The bigger your waist, the higher your stress...
Guess summer time is the perfect time to relax!
Did you know that releasing tension will also ease stress eating?
Watch portion sizes, choose healthy foods...
About portion sizes you should read friend Celia's High Heeled Life post about:Size DOES Matter...  
Plate sizes have increased by 50% since the 1960s!
It's true that your waist is more important than your weight!
Okay, my waist is 70 cm (27.6 in) and my weight is around 52.5 kg (116 lb). 
My height is 167 cm or 5' 6"... Now you know all about me!
Notice that husband Pieter keeps me 'CHAINED'...
It is however a good reason for NOT gaining as this 22 kt gold chain, a dear souvenir from our work in Indonesia, would burst.
Does your husband/partner keep you chained as well?... 
Reward yourself...

Are you daring enough to reveal your waist size?

Related link:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

{Our arrival in Jakarta, Indonesia}

As promised in my previous post Fly with us to Jakarta, Indonesia, now I show you some photos of our arrival in Jakarta at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Click on the hyperlink's photo gallery to see this beautiful airport. It is designed by French architect Paul Andreu, who also designed the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris, France.
Of course it makes one longing for a shower and a good bed after two nights on the plane. Our last years of consulting we were fortunate to use the day-hotel of Mercure Schiphol Terminal in The Netherlands. That way at least you can sleep for several hours during the 12-hour lay-over and get a refreshing shower.
After arriving in Jakarta, we always used a taxi from the Blue Bird Group, for taking us to the  Aryaduta Hotel. This used to be Hyatt, now it is under the Lippo group. Driving the toll road it gets you into the busy city of over 9 million people. Arrival at the airport would be around 16:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Remember that between Georgia, USA and Java, Indonesia there is a time difference of 12 hours. Our night is their day! Actually we did make this commute to our work in Indonesia a total of 21 times, from Atlanta, USA.
Good morning Jakarta; Selamat pagi Jakarta...
Naturally we would wake up very early the next morning, almost before dawn... Sunrise in Indonesia is around 6:00 o'clock, year round. Sunset is around 18:00 o'clock, also year round. One has to get used to the shorter days as this country is right on the equator.
The view from our room at the Aryaduta hotel was incredible, almost like a painting...
A bustling city is waking up!
This is taken from the Hyatt lounge where we had our breakfast with great view from the huge windows.
 Packed up and ready for the last leg of our journey to work... waiting in the lobby of the Aryaduta hotel.
It feels great for having had a nice bed + shower...
My leather journal has been written and the newspaper read.
Here you can see where we are and where we are heading to.
Indonesia is the 4th most populous country in the world and is very spread out. See my link below (Fly with us to Jakarta Indonesia) for a map of Indonesia in relation to the USA. 
The flight on KLM Royal Dutch Airlnes made a stop in Singapore, before reaching the capital of Indonesia; Jakarta.
Our final destination is Yogyakarta by plane, but this trip we will go by helicopter...
At Halim, the military airport of Jakarta.
Getting our luggage into this helicopter... 
Ready for the last leg of the journey...
Baggage handling is easy.
Pieter is already  seated and I will have to get next to him in the center seat...
Take off...
The view from the heli was breathtaking but it is very hard to capture on camera...
Two pilots are on board as is necessary in Indonesia, a country that is full with vulcanoes. Mount Merapi which is near Yogyakarta is 2,930 m (9,613 ft) and last erupted in November 2010. Previous large eruption occurred in 2006, shortly before the Yogyakarta earthquake.
Indonesia is in the ring of fire, an area with a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Due to the clouds coming in, we could not reach our final destination in Central Java on the Dieng plateau. So one more hotel night in Yogyakarta and early morning we finally arrived.
English is widely spoken but often in a funny way.
As is here used on the sign of Hellypad instead of Heli Pad...
This is in the mountains, at one of the mushroom plants' location.
Stay tuned for more about our consulting work in Indonesia near the Indonesian Twin Volcano Sumbing-Sindoro...

Related link:
{Fly with us to Jakarta, Indonesia} | Previous post by me
{Yes; I was at an Yves Saint Laurent Prêt-À-Porter Show in Jakarta!} | Previous post by me
{Angels engraved on lucky calendar coin of 1969} | Previous post by me
{Batik Birds from Indonesia on Silk and Cotton} | Previous post by me
{My Batik Creations} | Previous post by me
{Did I loose my strength?... Like in Samson and Delilah?} | Previous post by me
{My 8th Blog Award - Sunshine from Japan} | Previous post by me
{March 14, Written Life Message for me by my Favorite Great-Uncle} | Previous post by me
{One Thousand and One Nights for BRIDES} | Previous post by me

Friday, July 20, 2012

{Updating my readers before getting to Jakarta}

Since several of my readers not seem to know what kind of consulting work we did, this might be a good read for understanding a bit more. 
Click this link: {Angels engraved on lucky calendar coin of 1969} as it tells our story best.
Also my husband's LinkedIn Profile tells a lot.
As well as my LinkedIn Profile... just click on both for knowing more.
Drawing by artist at Imperial College, London where my husband Pieter gave a paper.
Next post I will take you to our Arrival in Jakarta, Indonesia...
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

{Fly with us to Jakarta, Indonesia}

You might know about our work and many travels as international consultants. We have been in the air for some 1,500,000 miles. That is for over 3.5 months up in the blue skies, roughly converted into time! That's a LOT, enough to make your 'derrière' almost square. Together we did make a total of 21 round trips to Jakarta, Indonesia, where we have lived and worked for about 3 years, staying for 2 months at a time, 4 x per year. So preparing for our commute to work, from the USA, was quite something. We would fly out from Atlanta on KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, than partner with Northwest Airlines. Below you will also see our total miles flown...
  • Atlanta Airport, waiting for boarding. We would fly over night to Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • After a nine hour direct flight we were in Amsterdam, at Schiphol airport in The Netherlands.
  • Making a long phone call with my Parents...
  • Yeah, you see my shopping tote from Escada Company Store (my favorite outlet store).

  • Here I am waiting for 40 minutes at Schiphol airport, for being able to check into Mercure Hotel Schiphol Terminal click the link.
  • For the 12 hour lay over this is the best one can do. You have a quiet room without any windows, twin beds and a shower and you book it for 12 hours at a time. That makes you able for continuing the longest leg of the journey fresh.

  • From the orange (USA) to the green (Indonesia) is about 19,000 km of flight distance one way (from Atlanta, Georgia).
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands is where the blue arrow is...

  • With the yellow marker I've marked off the island of Java where we are heading towards...
  • Link of: Compare US to Indonesia with more info about Indonesia.
  • Our flight to Jakarta would always be on a KLM Boeing 747-400 or on a Boeing 747 Combi.
  • Also called La Grande Dame... check link for photo.

  • This is the total of Pieter's WorldPerks miles as of July 17, 2007: 1,262,856
  • Pieter did accumulate some more miles than I did as he's been to New Zealand for Campbell's Soup by himself... 
  • Also he was sent by Campbell's Soup with the People to People Citizen Ambassador Program to China besides his travel within the USA and Canada for Campbell's Soup.

  • This is my total of WorldPerks miles as of July 7, 2007: 1,133,546

  • These were the great days of service!
  • We of course did both have a Royal Wing Courtesy Card from KLM and often got an upgrade into Business Class. 
  • Thanks to the Royal Wing Card we could always check in at the Business Class counter and also were allowed the extra carry on piece.
  • Can you imagine that at that time we could pack TWO suitcases of 32 kilograms (70 pounds) each...
  • So many things happened since than. 
  • We both are fortunate for having been up in the sky during that time...
  • Stay tuned for the next story where we travel from Jakarta to our destination...

Remember, this was going to work; not on vacation!

Monday, July 16, 2012

{My Lace Crocheted Handkerchief #3}

Love to show you another Lace Crocheted Handkerchief that I'd made as bridal handkerchief for Marion, the daughter of Pieter's eldest brother. After completing hers, I made one for myself and here it is for you to see. This time from a pattern found in Anna Burda and I used again very fine DMC thread from France.
Very delicate lacework around a hemstitched batiste handkerchief.
Our Gardenia adds to the romantic look of lace.
Shown again with my prized vintage train case, hand painted by Rebecca from A Gathering Place.
Again with our gardenia and fresh cut roses from the garden.
This is the Dutch Anna Burda magazine from where I got the pattern.
Top left is the one I made for Marion as bridal handkerchief and one for myself...

Related links:

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