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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, May 31, 2019

Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part IV - Kiskunhalas

We must keep in mind that our visit was during Communism and everything was owned by the State.
So a lot of things are no longer valid...
On Thursday, October 25 of 1984, we got up early at 6:00 for having breakfast and then departure by bus at 7:00 for a visit to the research center in Kecskemét, Hungary.
Next we went to Hajos, where we hd lunch at the State Estate.
Complete with good music and wine!
We even purchased a bottle of wine... a Tokaj.
We saw huge agricultural areas; everything was State owned.
Next we went to the substrate preparation place for Pleurotus, in Borota.
Then we visited a private Pleurotus grower in Kunfehértó.
We even went to the State Forestry in Kiskunhalas, to look at sawn off poplar trunks. These were being spawned with  Pleurotus to digest them within 5 years. They also yielded some fresh Pleurotus. 
In KISKUNHALAS, at the State Forestry Company we had dinner with music and dance and lots of brandy, wine and champagne tasting!
In my diary I wrote: 'We even could handle it!'
Well, we dumped most of it in the decanter, at the table...
Pieter's successor at the Dutch Practical Training College, did NOT dump his glass' contents in the decanter...
A fun evening.
Barack Pálinka or Apricot Pálinka (brandy) is a national drink.
Earlier, in Hajos, the Congress participants could select their photos, taken during different events.
Here Pieter is dealing with that and it probably was the photo taken during the lectures.
That's me on the right, sitting next to Frank Gabell, Pieter's Campbell Soup colleague and the one with his glass to his lips is the other colleague, Long Chi Wu.
Around 20:30 we departed for Budapest where we arrived singing... around 23:30.
Yes, in the bus I've been singing together with two Hungarian colleagues/friends; Júlia Györfi and Katalin Stubnya.
Our song was: KALINKA and without dancing... Haha!
Enjoy it from my Pinterest: Kalinka
and to see the authentic Russian dance to it, click here: Kalinka
My Dad sang in a small choir as a Don Kozach for a while... I had to sew his Astrakan hat, his red satin blouse and the cummerbund to it.
Both, Pieter and I LOVE Hungarian and Slavic music, including Russian!
Bit by bit you figure out who we are....
Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related link:
Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part III - Szentendre | previous post by me
My 1st Trip to Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part II - Budapest | previous post by me
Driving to Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part I - Mayerling | previous post by me

Monday, May 27, 2019

Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part III - Szentendre

On Wednesday, October 24, it was again full congress day for husband Pieter and I could join the ladies in the different buses. For me no problem for joining the English, German or French speaking group.
Pieter later would have an excursion to the state owned Duna in Csepel. 
But we were going to Szentendre...
The first city you reach in the Danube Bend; Szentendre (St. Andrew).
This was once a popular place for immigrated Serbs who fled for the Turks, and that is still visible in the many Serbian Orthodox churches.
A beautiful Serbian Orthodox Church
Wooden frescoes of St. Constantine and St. Helene.
Paintings throughout this Church by Mihailo Zivkovic, with eyes that seem to follow you...
Blagovestenska Church at Fo tér 4, is the only one of the town's several Serbian Orthodox Churches that will be fairly sure open.
The tiny Church (as in above's card), dating from 1752, was built on the site of a wooden Church from Serbian migration of 1690.
Lovely Baroque-Rococo design!
Check on my Pinterest link for information in regard to the Plaque Cross, seen above to the right. 
Click here and then enter from there.
Folklore Center Scentendre... I did find a lovely, hand embroidered Hungarian blouse here.
You will see it later in a post...
This is from a brochure but their work is stunning!
Szentendre is only 20 km away from Budapest!
A Nostalgia Café at the back of a Folklore Gift shop.
We first got offered an aperitif and then we ate lunch there.
Above the bar they had all kinds of money bills, also Dutch Guilders and US Dollars...
This was the Restaurant
In the Danube Bend we did visit the 13th Century Esztergom Castle and had a great view from there.
Click to see it on my Pinterest: Esztergom Basilica and Castle and this is the very place where husband Pieter in 1974 visited... see post below.
Esztergrom is the seat of the Hungarian Catholic Church and this is the largest Church in Hungary.
The first Hungarian King, Saint Stephen, got coronated here and it was the Capitol till the 13th Century.
Back home to the Congress Center in our little German speaking bus, via Margaret Island at 17:15.
A gem in the middle of the Danube, with Margaret Bridge reaching it...
Click here to find out more via my Pinterest.
The men got home from their excursion to the Duna by 19:30.

For me it was a lovely day, with lots of impressions!
Just pondering if the Belgian Mrs. Jacquemin in my bus, would be related to the Jacquemin in my post (see below) about the1958 tragedy in the caves... We meet so many people in this life!

Stay tuned for the next chapter...
Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related link:
My 1st Trip to Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part II - Budapest | previous post by me
Driving to Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part I - Mayerling | previous post by me
Husband Pieter's 1974 Visit to Esztergom, Hungary during Communism | post where Pieter was in Eszergom
1958 Tragedy for Pieter's Mushroom Friends in Zichen-Zussen-Bolder in Belgium | previous post in which I mentioned mushroom friend Jacquemin...

Thursday, May 23, 2019

My 1st Trip to Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part II - Budapest

There we were, on October 22, 1984 in Budapest at the Congress Centre, which was high on a hill on the edge of Buda.
We had quite a nice room and we ran into lots of colleagues and friends from all over the world.
Pieter's Campbell Soup colleagues Long Chi Wu and Frank Gabell also had arrived by plane from the USA. 
Budapest, Hungary
We were around 14:30 at the Congress Center
HOUSE OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES (translated from above card and mind you, this was all state owned, the entire congress center! That's Communism...)
Number 225/2 (room and 2 keys)
Departure date October 28 (but we left on the 27th...)
Check out, please leave before 10:00
Baggage and storage of valuables is available at no charge
Meal Time (which was all left blank...)
We both followed Dutch business friend Piet Theeuwen (from Theeuwen Compost then and now Walkro), driving into the center for strolling around and seeing some shops.
Finding a good restaurant to eat,  which would be Belgrado with Hungarian music. Pieter's colleagues who had joined us in our car, loved it!
A very good first evening in Budapest, the Paris of the East!
HEROES' SQUARE with Archangel Gabriel standing on top.
On Tuesday, October 23 it was a date which Budapest for 28 years never forgot.
The day to remember that in 1956 the revolution started and that the Russians knocked down brutally on November 4th in 1956. 
Soviets Crush Hungarian Revolt (1956) | A Day That Shook the World
As a little girl, I remember that we prayed for Hungary with Catholic the nuns, our teachers... It made a very strong and lasting impression on me and the adults were talking about war again, they all feared the Russians would invade further.
In 1984, Hungary had 11,000,000 citizens and 2,500,000 lived in Budapest.
Their salaries were very low and most people had to have 2 or 3 jobs for making ends meet.
Rent was usually 1/3 of their salary in 1984. State loans for 35 years at 2% interest, after their own initial capital. 
From the Heroes' Square I also went to the Matthias Church 
Greetings from Budapest is written on the card...
The Matthias Church was used as coronation Church by Hungarian Kings and it dates from 1015.
Check out the Matthias Church's Roof Tiles and the Holy Trinity Statue here click it through.
St. Stephen's Basilica
Greetings from Budapest is written in Hungarian on this card...
Budapest is really a marvelous city with its Buda and Pest embankments.
Top left you see the famous Fisherman's Bastion in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style.
To the right the letters ANSP are visible, guess that is the Hungarian Air Navigation Service Provider.
It also gives you an idea of the cars from 1984, lots of Trabants during the Communist era...
We got to see 8 bridges from which 7 got destroyed during WWII and needed to be restored.
While I was out with the Ladies, Pieter was seriously attending the lectures at the International Congress.
At that time, there were translators and you could opt for languages to listen to.
In Hungary they speak often German so that made it easier for us.
But for English speaking attendants, it was not easy...
Pieter is seated in the 3rd row from bottom and he's the 3rd from the left.
His two Campbell Soup colleagues were seated 1st and 2nd from the left.
We met for lunch after we got back around 13:30 and we went with the two American colleagues shopping in Budapest. Traffic is a disaster... Stinky cars, no clean emission at that time!
We parked and I wrote the name of the street down for all, with question in German for direction, so they too could find their way back, by asking if needed.
We ourselves could ask it verbally...
Shopping on foot and Frank came back with a red Hungarian rose for me; very sweet!
Not easy for finding our way back in the dark. With asking in German, English with Hungarian replies - what a language!
By the way, Hungarian is only related to Finnish and Estonian...
But we made it back to our Congress Center and Hotel.
Here I'm on the balcony with the red rose I got gifted from Frank...
We had to get ready for the official reception with cold buffet.
We met with several colleagues/friends from The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia (at the time!), Bulgaria, Russia and Hungary...
It was an interesting day, till 22:30...

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

Related link:
Driving to Communist Hungary with Husband Pieter Part I - Mayerling | previous post by me
Budapest: The Best of Hungary click to go to my Pinterest for EDUCATIVE video

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...
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