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... 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Our Bletilla Striata Alba Orchids After Winter Inside Greenhouse

Even plants can show their happiness!
Before they used to live for 20 years in our wood garden but the competition with huge trees was fierce.
So Pieter dug them up and planted them in pots, you can find the link below post.
They were very happy inside our Greenhouse extension that Pieter built.
Blooming rather early but I could not make photos as I couldn't get inside, past some citrus trees in pots.
On March 8, I could get to them as Pieter already had hauled the first half of pots outside.
Looking very healthy and happy!
Some already started to wilt, they were over their peak already.
But both of us were very happy with their performance!

Do you also enjoy plants that show happiness?

Related links:
{Our Bletilla Striata Alba Orchid native to Japan and China} | previous post by me
{Our Bletilla Striata Alba Orchids now Happily in Pots} | previous post by me
{SHATTERED Winter Dreams...} | previous post by me showing the greenhouse extension

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Our Japanese Magnolias got Twice New Leaves

We all know how strong Mother Nature can be...
But this is the very first time that we see Our Japanese Magnolias,  Magnolia x soulangeana, getting TWICE New Leaves!
Such a dreary sight on March 31; ALL leaves turned brown...
That is after the frost on March 16.
They were blooming already on January 27, extremely early.
We both were hoping that the entire tree would not die...
No hope, all are brown and wilting away!
Strange enough, there are even some flower buds on this branch below.
On April 18, you can see all new leaves, still some of the frozen brown ones hanging on.
In a bit more than one month since the frost damage!
That looks like a miracle.
We are very happy with this sight; a gift from our Creator!

Happy Spring.

Thank you for your visit.
Related link:


Monday, April 24, 2017

Table Setting With Picture Frame Vases and Place Cards

Still regret for not having kept more than 6 of those Delft White Picture Frame Vases... They sold like hot cakes! BUT, I sure love to use them with my Table Setting, together with our silver Place Cards.
We happened to have still some of our white azaleas and together with a sprig of Rosemary, they worked perfect.
Also my French Christofle silver knife rests were put to use.
I've almost sold out on my French Christofle Silverware... (click the hyperlink).
My extra long French Le Jacquard damask tablecloth with napkins work fine with the additional small oak table added on in the back.
Chargers are French Pillivuyt Sancerre, also available at Replacements.
Our dining room set is solid French oak and also the floor is solid oak planks.
But instead of the Delft White Picture Frame Vase I used a little perfume bottle with silver embellishment, a dear gift from our boss in Italy.
The soup spoons, as well as the dessert spoon are Alvin Bridal Rose (Sterling, 1903) and by now you all know that I love ROSES. Clicking the link you find more pieces by Replacements Ltd.
Our solid silver napkin rings we had made in Indonesia while we lived and worked there.
This Picture Frame Vase is holding 2 Ice Wing Narcissus.

Hope you enjoyed my Table Setting and thanks for your visit.

Related links:
{Large Delft White Picture Frame Vase} | previous post by me
{Delft White Picture Frame Vase} | previous post by me
{Cooking Dinner for Twelve at Our Home} | previous post by me
{Tuesday May 4, dinner with friends} | previous post by me
{Table Setting for Friends} | previous post by me
{Mother-in-law's 1930s Société Céramique Blue Boerenhoeve Transferware} | previous post by me

Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 ROTARY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION will I-85 Collapsed Bridge be Repaired?

On Monday, April 17, we did drive again to Atlanta, for dropping off some more 8 mm movie film reels at Costco for conversion to DVD. You can click the pink link.
The thing is that they do not let you mail them in, nor mail them out to you, once converted. 
Guess they don't take any risk for getting precious memories lost in the mail!
So we're almost completing this project of digitizing as well.

On the way back, Pieter did take some good photos from Piedmont Road, showing the Collapsed Bridge Repair on Interstate 85 well on its way.
Since the fire destroyed the Bridge on Friday, March 31, the Marietta firm to tackle I-85 bridge’s repair worked 24/7!

Just click on pink links...
The estimate is for June 15 but another HUGE traffic input will be on June 10-14 for the Rotary INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION in Atlanta!
So we have to keep our fingers crossed that it might be possible to finish in time for that.
Here you can see the activity of the repair.
On the car's GPS you clearly see the Interstate lines...
Wishing those workers Godspeed and may all go well, as planned!
C.W. Matthews Contracting Company Inc. managed to complete this in only 44 days; click to also view the video in time lapse!

Thank you for your visit!

Related link:
Spaghetti Junction in Atlanta, Georgia - Worst Truck Bottleneck in America | previous post with info about collapse of bridge.
I-85 northbound lanes reopen | WOW, on May 13 they opened up! Only 6 weeks later... ahead of schedule!!! Southbound lanes also to be opened this weekend, before Monday.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

10th Birthday Trader Joe's Midtown Atlanta

Today, April 17 of 2017 I did drive again to Atlanta and as usual we stopped first at Trader Joe's Midtown.
Lo and behold, they had their 10th Birthday today!
Before I knew it, I was told that my outfit did match their LEI, so they put one around my neck...
For driving the long distance I did wear my Nanette Lepore Floral Printed Leggings from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th with an older Escada t-shirt.
Pieter took this photo of me outside the store, wearing my LEI...
Curious about the beginning of Trader Joe's, I looked up 'Our Story' (just click the pink hyperlink) and found out that it all started in the 50s... It is derived from the German ALDI.
Happy to have them but would love to have them closer to our area!

Got tired from the 3-hour drive back home.
Will visit you as soon as I can, two busy weeks ahead!

Thanks for your comments and visits.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spaghetti Junction in Atlanta, Georgia - Worst Truck Bottleneck in America

Whenever we do run our rounds of shopping at +Costco Wholesale+Whole Foods Market and +Trader Joe's in Atlanta, we have to drive 242 km or 150 miles; one way.
Due to very heavy traffic on our way home on Monday, I could finally send my location via WhatsApp from Spaghetti Junction in Atlanta, Georgia/USA.
Spaghetti Junction ranked worst truck bottleneck in America - just click on pink link.
Yes, it is called the WORST Truck Bottleneck in the Nation!
It always has been quite impressive to drive here! Mind boggling...
We did 13 miles or 20 km in 40 minutes time from our start at Whole Foods on Roswell Rd.
Of course I have to avoid driving south on I-85 as a segment has collapsed there two weeks ago today.
A miracle that no one got injured when it collapsed!
State Of Emergency After Atlanta Bridge Collapse | NBC Nightly News - link to short video showing also the non-combustibles that got stored under this bridge. 
Today, April 13, President Trump meets with I-85 bridge first responders.
President Donald J. Trump has promised $ 10,000,000.00 to help rebuild this section.
It is estimated that by mid June it should be open again.
Meanwhile we have to weave our way through spaghetti junction, at least on my way out of Atlanta!
Going north, I do know some local roads to bypass the collapsed I-85 segment.
This is in satellite view from where I was.
Mind boggling to see that many roads going over each other.
Feeling sorry for those truck drivers that have to deliver almost all what we eat and what we consume!
May your road be always safe and even with some slow or still standing traffic, as long as no accidents occur; we can be happy!
I made it home in 3 hours on Monday, not bad and our felines did not have to wait long for their supper.
This also explains why I enjoy a stay at the Hyatt Place Atlanta/Duluth/Johns Creek in-between driving home, as mentioned in my previous post! I'd rather be walking their Scenic Walking Trail around the Community Lake instead of sitting in this Spaghetti Junction!

Thanks for your visit.

14-01 Atlanta #01: GA-400 to I-85 South to Downtown at Twilight - This is exactly the route I follow, when coming back from Costco, going home to the south...
Love to drive it!
You can view it in this very short video above (pink link).
The Connector is 12-16 lanes of mayhem which can be intimidating for those not used to this kind of road and traffic.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Scenic Walk Hyatt Place Atlanta/Duluth/Johns Creek

When we both have to make our rounds in Atlanta, going to +Costco Wholesale, +Whole Foods Market  and +Trader Joe's it is refreshing when we can start doing so from Atlanta.
So when I had to go to Macon, on March 23, for my regular check up at the Rheumatologist, we decided to drive the 1.5 hour from there to Atlanta. But boy, were we wrong. The traffic in and around Atlanta is so heavy that it takes you double that time!
A sunny but windy day and we went straight for the Scenic Walking Trail around the Community Lake, behind our Hyatt Place Atlanta/Duluth/Johns Creek hotel. 
What a treat that was!
Such a tranquil lake to walk around, following the trail!
Looking back towards the hotel, on the left there is a generous sized gazebo.
We both love the Hyatt hotels, as they are for us a Home Away from Home!
It was windy so Pieter did wear a jacket and I put on my down puffer vest.
Walking like this feels so good after a long drive in the car!
Happy for being able to walk and also because it is almost nice spring weather.
It had gotten a bit nippy with the wind but still sunny.
I slept like a rose that night on the King size bed with down duvet and pillows.
Next day after breakfast I started out fresh!
My entire outfit is from Last Call by Neiman Marcus except for the 'Eleni' Wedge Sneakers which came from NORDSTROM with 50% discount.
They do have a zipper on the inside so you don't have to lace or buckle up!

Hope you also enjoy spring weather and walking in the outdoors.

Thanks for your visit.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Globe'

Last week, husband Pieter did find a beautiful Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Globe' for planting inside a big planter on the patio. Click on the pink hyperlink for info by the Missouri Botanical Garden.
We love anything variegated as it adds beautiful color to the garden and goes very well with our home's exterior paint color of Golden Mist by Benjamin Moore.
A true GOLDEN on this Thuja occidentalis.
Unfortunately, this Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes we found dead on the driveway...
Don't you LOVE these golden leaves?
Love its name 'Golden Globe'
Our Tiggy-Tiger girl loves to photo bomb...
All those big planters, Pieter found on sale and he has spray painted them in a matching color.
Patio is not yet clean as again we are expecting some tornado like weather.
Good for getting rid of the pollen but dry leaves and catkins all come down on the balcony and patio.
Our eldest, 13-year old Barty boy poses proudly next to the planter with lovely Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Globe'

Thank you for your visit!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Classic Escada Skirt Suit with Silk Gucci Scarf

On February 26, blogger friend Marie-Thérèse Norris from The French Touch, wrote about Going Gray the Right Way. She also mentioned the days of the well-dressed Church Ladies.
That prompted me to wear my classic wool/silk/cotton blend Escada skirt suit to Church on March 5.
It is a plaid with dark navy so I did wear navy panty hose with my Escada pumps and Escada hand bag.
The suit came from the Escada outlet in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The handbag from the Escada boutique in Jakarta, Indonesia when it was on sale.
Happy with some sun rays...
The Silk Gucci Scarf, in fact a neckerchief, I bought in Singapore at the airport, tax free.
Going 18 years back in time... at my Parents' home in Horst, The Netherlands.
This very skirt suit I did wear on Mom & Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary.
Both, Mom and I had been to the hair dresser before heading to Church on February 27, 1999.
Mom had requested me to be the lay reader at the St. Lambertus Kerk (Church) in Horst, The Netherlands for their 50th Wedding Anniversary Mass.
Of course as their eldest, I was happy to grant her that wish!
Spunky girl is with me in this photo...
A short sleeved woolen navy sweater from Escada is underneath.
Not bulky and very comfortable to wear.
Lots of fond memories around this classic Escada Skirt Suit and even if it is already 18 years old, it for sure is a keeper!
Here our Verbena Lanai® Blush White are already blooming at their best.
This Gucci silk scarf had some navy, gray and cream tones so it worked perfect.
Those were the perks of being and International Consultant and having a stop-over in Singapore; a shoppers paradise!
51% cotton; 49% rayon is from the short sleeved sweater
The suit is 32% Wool, 28% PA Nylon, 23% Silk, 17 Cotton and very comfortable in our climate!
The short sleeved sweater is 51% wool with 49% rayon.
Handbag I found in Jakarta, Indonesia on sale at the Escada Boutique.
Low heel pumps came from Chattanooga, TN Escada outlet.

Thanks for your visit!


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