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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 Commercial Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Espresso with French Macarons

Still winter, even if we don't have the extreme cold here in the South...
What picks us up better than a cup of Espresso?
Got these Espresso cups years ago from dear Friend Engracia...
So here they are being used for some Espresso and French Macarons!
It is already a bonus when there is light and even better, some sunshine!
Found just enough fragrant daffodils in our garden for filling a tiny silver vase...
On a lacquered tray, a gift received while I was in Japan.
My tiny Gero Zilmeta 528 Menuet demitasse spoons are the right size for these espresso cups - IF sugar is needed.
Found these yummy French Macarons at Costco and they were excellent!
Have not yet made my own...
Also gathered some of our special pink Camellias while I was in the garden.
A close up of their special vase with just 3 pipes that hold each flower.
It is the Camellia Japonica Debutante
My perfect lacquered tray from Japan.
with the reflection of the kitchen lamp in it and my hands...
These Espresso cups are YAMASEN JAPAN, gift from a dear friend Engracia.

Wishing you stay cozy during these winter days!
For the southern hemisphere, enjoy your summer.

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Sunday, January 27, 2019


SO happy for having found my favorite AERIN BEAUTY ROSE BALM LIPSTICK again!
Used to get this at Bergdorf Goodman but they sold out...
This is from NET-A-PORTER with FREE SHIPPING and they even gift wrap things!
A Beautiful black box with black ribbon...
So very well packed and yes, I did order TWO!
Here it is...
Natural wax base extracted from rose petals... so SOFT!
Color is 01 WHISPER
Shipped by UPS and yes, for FREE!
It got delivered on my Dad's 98th Birthday at 9:13 P.M.
MARIETTE'S BACK TO BASICS on Pinterest just click to go there...

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

ROYAL UPDATE: Fairmont Château Lake Louise provides the highest courtesy in every way!

Yes indeed, a ROYAL UPDATE was received on December 28, 2018 from the Fairmont Château Lake Louise - AccorHotels Group!
A very courteous note, for letting me know that the correction has been completed.
Even with snapshots, which I use in this post.
The CORRECT info above.
Now the info about H.R.H. Princess Louise is historically correct with her being the fourth daughter and NOT the oldest as I've found it written, while staying at the Château Lake Louise in September, see my post about that below.
Feeling very proud of this accomplishment!
Had to share this with my readers...

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related link:
From Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise via Banff to Calgary | previous post by me

Friday, January 18, 2019

My 7th Consulting Trip to India with Husband Pieter

On Tuesday, September 15, 1998 we both traveled again to India for consulting service to a new mushroom company in Pune, 
A business man from Connecticut had begged us to go there and help them out. They even paid us up front and booked our flights in business class.
So we caved in and went another time to India... On KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to Amsterdam in seats 15 A+B.
On Wednesday, September 16, we landed ahead of schedule at 6:50 in Amsterdam. With our telephone card we did call Mom, Dad seldom came to the phone. 
Pieter called with his brother Thé and around 10:45 we continued with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to Mumbai. The time difference with The Netherlands is 3.5 hours and the flight takes some 8 hours.
We were one of the first passengers to be outside at 23:20 (again only carry on!) but after some 20 minutes there still was nobody!
With my sharp hearing, I just picked up the name "Vedder" and walked towards the person and said: "I back your pardon, did you mention the name Vedder?". It was our person, without name shield and his driver stood behind the masses of people. They just got there too late, due to a party...
We got dropped off at the Iskcon Ashram temple where his family was a life patron and thus had access to two rooms...
ISKCON Temple in Mumbai famous for its HARE KRISHNA
There was in 1998 in our room, NO SHOWER and it did not smell clean either.
Thursday, September 17, by 1:00 we each were in the rather short twin beds, with our feet sticking out. Our own goose down travel pillow helped for having some more comfort!
By 4:00 they started waking up everyone for prayers... by means of an instrument that sounded like elephants trumpeting. NOT pleasant to wake up to after only 3 hours on the mattress!
The monks started chanting...
By 6:00 we went with our person to the Rail Road Station. 
Train ride to Pune got cancelled due to heavy rain and tracks being under water...
Our person started calling for 3 airline tickets instead and suddenly realized that he had sent his driver off...
So by taxi we went to the airport and had a kind of breakfast there before take off at 11:00.
Again we got dropped off at a hotel and now Pieter was quick to jump into the shower, while I started to unpack.
Soon, Pieter yelled at me from the shower, that I had to repack everything: "We're NOT staying here he said firmly, after he'd shrunk from ICE COLD WATER!"
After lunch at the mushroom farm owner's home, we went to his farm for a first observation.
Afterwards we got dropped off at the Taj Blue Diamond Hotel in Pune, very good! It is in the same group as the Savoy in Ooty.
Hotel Taj Blue Diamond Pune just click link.
Pieter did attend right away a Rotary meeting in the hotel. Again, a meeting without any food, like before in Ketti Valley, Tamil Nadu/India.
We ate some cookies with fruit in our room.
We continued with our work and got up at 6:00 for having first breakfast before the driver of the owner came to pick us up.
On Sunday, Pieter did video tape while on the road due to less traffic that day.
We slept very well due to this hotel being a good distance off the main road and thus quiet.
Some of the staff members we knew already for many years as they'd worked for Pond's India at the time we consulted there.
On Saturday, September 26, we packed up and checked out after one more delicious Indian breakfast.
We went to the mushroom farm and together with the harvest manager Shubhada Sandeep Cruz, some photos got made when she handed me fresh flowers... We have them on our video tape!
Never seen those photos.
We did receive a very special gift, a beautiful stag, entirely made out of leather.
Did post about this gift in a previous post: {History of the Poinsettia} in 2011.
We got dropped off at the Train Station by 17:35 and our carry on luggage got placed for us in the overhead rack.
Pune to Mumbai
Dadar written on the back so we knew where to get off.
Just in case Amjad our driver would not be there...
By 20:45 we reached Dadar Station and the same driver from September 16, Amjad, recognized us and he dropped us off at the airport.
Checked in and we had time for relaxing in the Taj lounge before take off by 0:50 on Sunday, September 27. This stretch was flown by Northwest Airlines and the service was by far not as courteous as from KLM!
We landed in Amsterdam, called my Parents and flew on to Atlanta at 13:05 and got home by 19:15.

End of our Indian travels for work! That means 10 x for husband Pieter and for myself 7 x.
It is never easy such a long journey with time changes and lay overs etc.
But we always did it with love, for educating those that needed it MOST.

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related links:
My 6th Consulting Trip to India with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
My 5th Consulting Trip to India & Visit of Taj Mahal | previous post by me
Pieter Hands Check to Rotary Club Ketti Valley, India | previous post by me
My 4th Consulting Trip to India after HUGE Landslide | previous post by me
Husband Pieter's DANGEROUS Trip back from India | previous post by me
My 3rd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Consulting for Pond's (India) Limited Mushroom Project | previous post by me
My 2nd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Brindavan Gardens Mysore with Luxury Heritage Hotel | previous post by me

Monday, January 14, 2019

My 6th Consulting Trip to India with Husband Pieter

On November 01, 1995 we boarded for Amsterdam, from Atlanta.
Again, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines gave us a Royal Wing upgrade to business class and we slept the entire night.
We went to hotel Ibis for some rest and a shower.
Friday, November 3, we left after a delicious Dutch breakfast (the bread we miss so much...) we went back to the airport and departed at 10:40 to Bombay (Mumbai).
Again we got an upgrade to business class! We landed at 23:30 and because we only had carry-on luggage we were quick outside and met with our person.
Saturday, November 4, around 12:00 our JetAir plane brought us to Coimbatore and we met with our Pond's man and by 18:00 we arrived at the Holiday Inn in Ooty.
November 5, As usual we started working on Sunday, and quick we both were back into that routine.
On Friday, November 10, we both were married 12 years and my youngest sister Gerd remarried that day. We had a nice dinner at the Savoy hotel in Ooty with the Pond's staff.
Both of us LOVE Indian food!
And we LOVE each other - a Blissful Relationship.
To the right is another colleague from the USA...
This truly was a candle light dinner!
Such a lovely Friday evening...
On Saturday, November 11, it was our final day at the mushroom farm.
Time moved so fast and things are headed into the right direction!
We both got a beautiful wood inlay with horse and a large brass plate with a peacock.
Treasures that are forever with us inside our home - fond memories!
On Sunday, November 12, we went via the mushroom farm to Coimbatore and flew to Bombay (Mumbai) and on to Delhi to our hotel.
Monday, November 13, we flew around 1:00 with KLM to Amsterdam and arrived on Tuesday, November 14, at 6:00 and we still enjoyed an upgrade into business class, which yielded us 6 Delft blue houses.
We did call my Parents, took a shower and after some shopping we departed for Atlanta and arrived around 13:00 back in the USA.

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related links:
My 5th Consulting Trip to India & Visit of Taj Mahal | previous post by me
Pieter Hands Check to Rotary Club Ketti Valley, India | previous post by me
My 4th Consulting Trip to India after HUGE Landslide | previous post by me
Husband Pieter's DANGEROUS Trip back from India | previous post by me
My 3rd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Consulting for Pond's (India) Limited Mushroom Project | previous post by me
My 2nd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Brindavan Gardens Mysore with Luxury Heritage Hotel | previous post by me

Thursday, January 10, 2019

My 5th Consulting Trip to India & Visit of Taj Mahal

On Wednesday, July 27, of 1994 we both flew again to India for consulting service together. This was Pieter's 8th trip to India meanwhile.
On KLM Royal Dutch Airlines we sat in preferred seating, the old business class.
We landed in Amsterdam on Thursday, July 28, at 8:00 and went to hotel Ibis.
On Friday, July 29, we did rise early at 5:30 and rode the Ibis bus to the airport.
Our Royal Wing card did yield us again a business seat on our way to Bombay (Mumbai).
On Saturday night, July 30, we were at our The Leela Hotel, Mumbai by 1:00 and went to bed.
By 11:00 we went back to the airport for our flight to Coimbatore. From there the usual climb up into the mountains, by car and it was beautiful and green.
We reached our guest house in Ooty by 17:30, it was rainy and windy!
This time we came prepared with a piece of thick plastic in our suitcase to cover those metal slats to keep the cold wind out.
It sure made it a lot more pleasant!
On Sunday, July 31, we went to the mushroom farm by 8:00 and were back home by 19:00. 
It was such inclement weather and here we were with compost hands, eating our sandwich near the electric heater!
On Monday, August 1, we again went together to the farm. This time I asked a favor for stitching my black leather jacket that had come loose when carrying the heavy square box with glass and sculpture gift from Pond's, inside my Samsonite bag. It would be sent to Madras (Chennai) to the leather garment factory where Pieter had purchased a lambs leather jacket for him and for my brother Martin plus a suede leather for me.
We had dinner at the home of one of the staff members.
We continued working every day and on Thursday, August 4, a special courier from Madras did bring back my meticulously stitched leather jacket! What a joy.
Friday, August 5, was our final day at work and we got again honored with a farewell ceremony in which we, as usual received each a gift. A twin gift since we both worked for them. This time it were solid silver Diyas in which the Hindus pour fragrant oil and use 5 cotton wicks to light it.
On Saturday, August 6, we did drive by car early morning with a staff member to Mysore and visited the Palace, where we have been before. Then we traveled to Bangalore and stayed at the Sheraton hotel in Bangalore.
On Sunday, August 7, we flew to Delhi, and stayed at hotel Kanishka (Ashok), sounds almost Russian...
Strange enough, there were lots of Russians staying!
We had a relaxing day.
Monday, August 8, at 4:15 I shampooed my hair, nearly cold water... By 5:30 we left with 2 beautiful sisters as our guides. They were the daughters of some of Pond's employees and we were going to Agra, some 225 km south of Delhi.

There still was no 6-lane Yamuna Expressway at the time and on the road we saw elephants with  HUGE balloons of fabric, that got filled with fresh harvested cotton. Large black camels pulling a cart and with the shaves pointed up.
Black camels are larger than the Arab camels and in the dessert state of Rajasthan, there are a lot of them.
In an article of the Daily Mail: From Delhi to Jaipur and back in a VW Polo? You'll need a blindfold for that! I did find some similar chaos to show you how that looked like.
The writer also mentions: Everyone points their vehicle/camel/elephant in the direction they wish to go, keeps a hand on the horn, and advances as fast as they can, avoiding the pedestrians, chickens, monkeys, goats and cows, who persistently cross the road kamikaze-style, despite the roaring traffic.
Yes, we saw goats, stray dogs that were either pregnant or nursing pups. The ever present holy cows and buffalos, adding horses and donkeys used by people as load animal.
You just did weave with your car all the way through. Those cows know that wonderfully well, they usually dream or lie in the median, a raised area between the lanes. The average speed was not high with all the roaming cattle! Occasionally on an open stretch you reached one hundred km/hr. It was pleasant to keep the windows closed and the air conditioning on in the car, thus keeping the odor of manure from all those beasts at bay. Oh yes, there were also roaming pigs, kind of wild boars, at least they looked a lot like that. Plenty of manure and to top it off,  the necessary mud from the wet monsoon! Unseen, you can not imagine what a mess and chaos there was!!!
Taj Mahal a UNESCO World Heritage site click on pink hyperlink to read more.
BUT we made it to Agra and we enjoyed the marvel of the Taj Mahal.
It is entirely built in white Indian marble, which is a lot harder than the Italian marble.
As a matter of fact it is the mausoleum of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who had it built for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
She was a Persian Princess who died when giving birth to their 14th child.
View our: Taj Mahal short Video ←click link.

It is indeed one of World's Wonders!
Beautifully situated on the banks of the Yamuna River lies the Taj Mahal←click it. Watch→: Taj Mahal (UNESCO/NHK) video with lots of info. At the time we were there, it was prohibited to make any photos! You even had to pay for having your camera placed inside a locker...

We did purchase the book from Taj Mahal & The Glory of Mughal Agra by J.S. Lall,
also some video we have from it, as seen from the Agra Red Fort, across the river.
On Amazon there is the same book available with different cover photo: Taj Mahal and the Glory of Mughal Agra
From the White Indian marble we purchased the above picture frame at the Taj Mahal.
Agra Red Fort see more photos via link.
This is an enormous complex of palaces.
We enjoyed our private English guide and learned a lot! Great architecture from the early 17th Century.
The road back in our Ambassador car was again an adventure. One should not be surprised to see suddenly we were moving as a ghost rider, on the wrong side of the road, because it seemed temporarily less congested there. It was a newly opened 4 lane highway divided by a concrete median. At certain spots the concrete quality seemed rather poor, so openings appeared and drivers were  too eager for switching over to drive against the traffic...
Our Guardian Angels had again a very busy day!!!
Lunch we ate at the Sheraton Hotel in Agra.
We were home before it got quite dark as we did not trust the mini lights of the Ambassador car and others and many without any lights!
On Tuesday August 9, we had a quiet morning till 11:00 when the wife of our usual Delhi guide who for 5 years always picked us up, came to take us shopping. At 14:00 we had a meeting with the General Manager from Madras, who just happened to be in Delhi. We had a good conversation with him and it helped that both of us worked for the same company.
Again we went with the same wife as guide into New Delhi, to the Lotus Temple which we this time could video tape. Also the estate from the president; Rashtrapati Bhawan (built in 1931) and the government buildings and India Gate.
We just could run to the car before a downpour!
We let her drop us off at the airport by 20:30 so nobody needed to look after us anymore...
We were early and after checkin with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines we observed something we'd never ever seen.
Russians with huge burlap bales, on which they walked and laid down...
When we asked our KLM agent, she said this was a daily drama with Ukraine Air to Kiev.
They can not even take it all home... they buy huge amounts of fabric rolls, let the Indians sew for a dollar a piece children- and teenage clothing and they stash that all in these burlap bags. In Russia they have a shortage and due to the lower wages in India they purchase it there.
How we would have loved to capture that but at Delhi airport photography or filming was prohibited.
We found in one of the stores, beautiful boxes, cut out in a kind of lacework, made from camel bone!
Never seen them before. They came from the dessert state of Rajasthan. What are those people artists!
Wednesday, August 10, we started boarding at 0:15... but when we were on the runway at 0:50 the captain stopped! The temperature indicator of one of four engines did not work.
They had to replace that and it would take 1.5 hour. We parked on an apron and the captain announced that the food had to be served meanwhile.
We had an upgrade on our Royal Wing card and got seated in the upper deck in business class.
By 8:00 the captain said we had to return to the gate... they couldn't find the problem.
We disembarked and went to the waiting room.
First they called all business class passengers + all passengers traveling to the UK.
So we were lucky since we had our upgrades!
We had to turn in our boarding passes for new ones on Air Canada for flying with them to London.
Then we had to walk to where the plane parked, for identifying our luggage on the pavement, so they could load it into the Air Canada plane.
We flew to London in 8 hours and 45 minutes, departure at 8:30 instead of 0:50...
We had left a note in Delhi for contacting our friends who would pick us up, as we parked our car with them. They got informed!
In London we got awaited by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and after we retrieved our luggage they brought us by bus to the other terminal of Heathrow Airport.
Then we had to run for passport check and straight into the KLM plane that was waiting for us.
To Amsterdam with 106 stranded passengers from Delhi.
By 17:15 we were in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
KLM did bring us to the Golden Tulip, Barbizon hotel (now Barbizon Palace) in Amsterdam.
Also a voucher for dinner and breakfast included.
Thursday, August 11, we went by shuttle back to the airport in Amsterdam and we flew with Delta to Atlanta, USA.
Plane was full and lots of smokers, so bad that the captain had to request to refrain from smoking for at least 15 minutes to refresh the air. How blessed we are now with non-smoking flights!

End of another India adventure...

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related links:
Pieter Hands Check to Rotary Club Ketti Valley, India | previous post by me
My 4th Consulting Trip to India after HUGE Landslide | previous post by me
Husband Pieter's DANGEROUS Trip back from India | previous post by me
My 3rd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Consulting for Pond's (India) Limited Mushroom Project | previous post by me
My 2nd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Brindavan Gardens Mysore with Luxury Heritage Hotel | previous post by me

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Pieter Hands Check to Rotary Club Ketti Valley, India

During my 4th Consulting Trip to India, together with husband Pieter, he did also visit the Ketti Valley Rotary Club for handing them a US $ 500.00 check from our own Rotary Club of Dublin, Georgia.
Here husband Pieter hands the US $ 500.00 check to the Ketti Valley Rotary President in India.
The check from our own Dublin, Georgia USA Rotary Club
Sorry, my photos are NOT good but it is what it is!
Rotary Club of Ketti Valley District 3200
They just had a meeting without any food or drinks being served.
Husband Pieter tells something about the Dublin, Georgia Rotary Club
There were chairs lined up and this is the room we met in.
Mingling and talking
President standing under Club's banner...
Me to the right talking with one of the Lady Rotary members...
Wearing my Hermès silk shawl, a gift from a mushroom friend in Switzerland.

In combination with Rotary International and The Innerwheel Club of Ketti Valley they also did FREE CLINIC by LADY DOCTORS
Such a Lady Doctor at work...
And again here, the same Lady Doctor
The US $ 500.00 check from our local Dublin, Georgia Rotary Club would get used for teaching the poorest women English...
And also teaching them to sew or to knit on machines which they later on would get to take home so they could start making their own living.

There is so much to do in countries like India...

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related links:
My 4th Consulting Trip to India after HUGE Landslide | previous post by me
Husband Pieter's DANGEROUS Trip back from India | previous post by me
My 3rd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Consulting for Pond's (India) Limited Mushroom Project | previous post by me
My 2nd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Brindavan Gardens Mysore with Luxury Heritage Hotel | previous post by me


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