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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

Saturday, December 31, 2022

December 31 With Pieter J.C. Vedder Visiting Sitanala Leprosy Hospital in Indonesia

 Just wanting to take you back to Indonesia during the time we did still consulting, after having lived and worked there for about 3 years.
So you get to see how we spent New Year's Eve...
December 31, 1998
Grateful for Gil Gillis from TV 35 (at that time) for putting this together for us to show to the Rotarians and others.
En route to our work, on December 31, 1998, we visited Sitanala to deliver a donation from the Dublin, Georgia Rotary Club and Friends. 
Hand delivering the cash US Dollars to Father S. Binzler, a Jesuit, who worked with the leprosy patients on their designated compound.
On November 04, 1989 Princess Diana visited the very same Sitanala Leprosy Hospital.

On the following video you also will see shocking images of the damaged and burned buildings of the Chinese Christians, who ran the businesses for the majority.
In May and November of 1998, those 'rioters' damaged some 6,000 buildings and tortured, raped and killed some 1,200...
It was for me personally the closest I've ever come to a war zone.
Pieter starts out with his finger on the map showing our route of flight for reaching our 'work' destiny:
Atlanta, Georgia/USA on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to Amsterdam, then on to Singapore and finally reaching Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.

Happy New Year to ALL!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

December 30 Fond Memory of our late Congressman J. Roy Rowland

This is also in honor of our late friend J. Roy Rowland who passed away on April 25, 2022
We had no idea, that our Georgia Congressman, the Honorable J. Roy Rowland had a special U.S. flag flown over the U.S. Capitol for both of us, on December 30 of 1993.
This on the occasion of our U.S. Citizenship.
It was not before February 15, 1994 that we were presented with this very special flag. Due to the fact that we were still doing International Consulting and not available before that date.
Here at the Dublin Laurens County Chamber of Commerce the above certificate with the flag is being presented to us by Mr. James Vaden Hilburn.

(Sadly Mr. Hilburn died on Friday, May 4 of 2007 in a plane crash). 

We have this certificate framed and it hangs in our office; will show it to you soon!
Here we pose with the United States flag in front of the Chamber building, with Ms. Willie Paulk to the left and Pieter with me in the center and Mr. James Vaden Hilburn to the right.
YES, the Chamber building did get a new coat of paint...!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Frost and our Patio Pots

 It has been quite some years since we had such frost as this winter.
Maximum was –10°C or 14°F.
Our tropical exotics like this Clematis Armandii we long have lost to bitter winters...
In above picture was against our balcony on April 14, 1995.
That one died from frost...
Pieter had managed to save two starters. 
{My Green Sewing Creation} ←click for seeing more photos with its tropical blooms.
Those were the top years for our garden!
But the trees have grown bigger and our other shrubs and plants must compete...
Also we both aged and we opted more for Pot Plants on our Patio.
Also the more hardy ones so not every fall and spring they ought to be hauled in and out of our greenhouse.
On our patio, one pot plant is this Croton Yellow Mammy.
Croton plants have beautiful patterned leaves.
Crotons are pretty!
Some other pot plants on our patio.
Soon we will see what will be left from our patio pot plants...
Looking out of the bay window we see a lot of dead plants in the garden!
Hate that dreary look but in two months things will start anew.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Our NATIVITY and Angels from Italy

Christmas Once again...
So let me show you our hand carved wooden nativity scene with angels from South Tyrol, Italy. The birth of Jesus is the reason for the season... Our Saviour, who came into this world because of LOVE.
The wood carving is so meticulously done by the Italian craftsmen!
Love the angel holding a HEART; the universal symbol of Love...
At present we do have some Paperwhites blooming again. 
As well as fragrant Chimonanthus praecox (Calycanthus p.) (C. fragrans) which you see in the center of this Mandalay Chartreuse vase by Mason, together with Ilex decidua 'Finches Golden' a yellow berried Ilex. 
Last year we only had the yellow Ilex (holly berries) but this year there are plenty of red Ilex.
Do you have a special nativity scene in your home?
Wishing you a Merry Christmas with all your loved ones!

Related link:
{Our Garden's Winter Blooms for Christmas} my previous post about this Wintersweet flower...
Christie's Mandalay by Masons showing you the Mandalay by Mason, as is my vase above...

Friday, December 23, 2022

Precious Gift from Best Friend Ellie—Mouth Blown Glass Nativity

What is this season all about?
The Third Sunday of Advent is coming and all this leads up to CHRISTMAS the birth of our PRINCE OF PEACE.
Like to share with you a display of a beautiful nativity scene.
My dear friend Ellie gave it to me, the year we had our 25th wedding anniversary.
She for years volunteered at a Dutch 'Wereld Winkel' or Fair Trade shop.
Mouth blown glass with strokes of silver to mark hands, wings and halos. 
Baby Jesus in his manger... with an oxen to the left.
This is art work from the Andes.
Mary with her silver lined halo and the angel with silver lined wings and halo, besides their hands and some brush strokes of silver on the garment. Air bubbles are still visible...
I've placed it on a silk brocade tablecloth that Pieter did bring home from China when he went with the People to People Citizen Ambassador Program. 
See more info about the Ambassador Program at: {Silk Embroidered Birds from China Trip}.
That is a treasure of course and even more so, since Pieter got to see how they do make such silk brocade.
It is a handmade tradition of more than 2,000 years and originally only was for the emperor.
Watch this short video → Chinese brocade (Hello China #85)
Silk Brocade; fit for our PRINCE OF PEACE

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Our Permanent Resident Angels & Cross Stitch for Christmas

Just reposting this 2011 post...
On November 9, I did already write about Our Living Room ANGELS - CHERUBS that have taken up permanent residence, not only for the Christmas season. All our ANGELS - CHERUBS are the REAL thing, made out of special wood and hand carved in South Tyrol, Italy. So here they are shown once more to you as they sure belong to the Christmas season.
The golden wreath we added for the Christmas season...
Quite an angelic population on our mantle... They are our Permanent Residents!
From Bad/Münstereifel, Germany I did bring this pure linen cross stitched Christmas bow back home.
The edging of the linen band is done in gold and the hand embroidered cross stitching also used gold for the stars as well as for some contrast stitching.
Hard to capture on photo.
I've just finished a scan from this bow & stars cross stitch pattern, for those of you that are interested in it.
Look for it below and feel free to print it out.
My German friend Marlene, did bring me a second one when she and her husband Egon did visit us after their tour through Mexico.
They are hung each year in the living room from the doorknobs of the oak wall unit.
This is the scan and I put it as a larger size. The width of the linen band is 7 cm or 2.8"
The entire cross stitch pattern is 11 cm long or 4.3" so you can determine the thread count accordingly.
If you love it as much as I did at first sight, okay - here is the pattern for you.
Just a small Christmas gift from me—to my loyal readers!
Obviously many visitors loved this... 11,044 views.

Related links:

{6 Antique & Vintage Italian Angels, Cherubs Putti} previous post by me
{Our Living Room ANGELS - CHERUBS} previous post by me
{Our Living Room} previous post by me
{5 Angels - Putti from Italy & Germany} previous post by me

Monday, December 19, 2022

Will You be KISSING under the Mistletoe?

 YEP, being Old World Americans we did do this tradition! 
Of course, Pieter and I HAVE KISSED each other under the MISTLETOE as a Christmas Tradition!


Saturday, December 17, 2022

May your 4th Advent Week lead towards a REAL CHRISTMAS

Yes, the year is getting thinner and we all are preparing for Christmas 2022.
May this 4th Advent week lead us towards a REAL CHRISTMAS
Far away from the commercial holiday it has become...

 The green cotton Zweigart Aida tablecloth now with a Mason's Mandalay Chartreuse plate for the brass spiral candle holders.

May the Enchantment fill our hearts.
If we do not live, speak and think in the language of enchantment, including naming angels and recognizing spirits... then the soul will go out of our lives and communities, and we will wonder why nothing seems to hold together and nothing seems to have value anymore. ~Thomas Moore

In the back is a group of angels looking on, all from South Tyrol, Italy.
The one on the left is a ceramic one and was a gift from Italian friend Maria from Ristorante da Maria and the others are all wooden angels from Italy.

Now two sterling silver candle holders with fluted bobèches have joined the Royal Selangor pewter ones that we bought in Singapore.
Royal Selangor is established in 1885 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The silver crocheted doily has been hand made by a former Turkish neighbor in The Netherlands.
Incredible work, I would not be able to copy that!
The silver tray was handmade for us in Kotagede, near Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

Two Mason's Mandalay Chartreuse ←(click it) candle holders and two silver plated tall ones with tapers and bobèches.
Each of them also holds a Hugger Candle Snugger.
Candles are Dutch Gouda. Yes, Gouda is a city that produces fine cheeses and candles!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

German Marzipan Stollen over 500 years of Christmas Tradition

For years while living in the US we have been enjoying the authentic German Marzipan Stollen, an over 500 year old Christmas tradition. We bought our Oebel Marzipan Stollen this year at World Market in Atlanta. My surprise was big for also finding German Marzipan Stollen at our new, local T.J. MAXX store. We did buy them there often, while on the road as consultants in Connecticut. But it sure makes us feel more at HOME with local supply now. Do you know this delicious German Tradition also? If not, you ought to buy one now, even 'after Christmas sales' can give you this great experience.
Enjoy this Marzipan Stollen with tea or coffee and I guarantee, you will be hooked!
So plan to add this to your Christmas to do list.
It sure brings one in the mood—together with candles and bobèches in silver candleholders...
Not much else needed but some Christmas music!
Served on a Rosenthal Sanssouci Roses Ivory plate.
The silver crocheted doily has been hand made by a former Turkish neighbor in The Netherlands.
Incredible work, I would not be able to copy that!
The silver tray was handmade for us in Kotagede, near Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Our Wreath with Silver Christmas Balls and Angel

Out comes of course our favorite wreath with Silver Christmas Balls and Angel...
LOVE the Silver Angel especially!
Love this quote:
'If we do not live, speak and think in the language of enchantment, including naming angels and recognizing spirits... then the soul will go out of our lives and communities, and we will wonder why nothing seems to hold together and nothing seems to have value anymore. ~Thomas Moore'
This is where I got the idea... from the hardcover book of Argenterie Giovanni Raspini, Florence/Italy.
Those wooden shutters remind me of my childhood as we used to have them like that!
Used to sell those silver Christmas Balls but they're all gone—only these silver gifts remain→click link: Spectrenoir
Oh and certainly candles belong to Christmas!
Different wreath as the natural moss one did not last...
But these are our solid oak indoor shutters. 
Only ONE final Angel Cherub is hanging around in Spectrenoir ←click link.
A very sweet French door knob lavender sachet...
Yes, made in France that is!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Wishing you ALL a MEANINGFUL 3rd Advent Week

 As time is passing quite fast—may I wish you worldwide:
 a MEANINGFUL 3rd Advent Week!

This is a time for burning our fire place and for lighting candles—our huge pillar candle from our 25th Wedding anniversary is also visible.
To the left you see a typical Austrian or Italian Tyrol region nosegay made out of spices and tiny cones—called Gewürtzsträusschen.
I tied raffia around my gilded magnolia grandiflora leaves with some Nandina (heavenly bamboo) berries...
A perfumed pillar candle with some holly and real cranberries on the green Hardanger table topper.
My red Hardanger tablecloth with the beautiful table runner—done in Portuguese Guimarães white work. 
We bought this in Coimbra, Portugal during our 19–day trip by bus from Limburg/The Netherlands to Spain and Portugal in September, 1994.
On eBay I once got a hold of this Baccarat Crystal Vesuve / Vesuvius Caviar Server (2 pcs) because the inset was missing—it was a bargain...
Perfect for filling up with cranberries and floating candles!

Friday, December 9, 2022

When I go to Trader Joe's I buy their PERFECT Belgian Endive

Yes, each trip we make to Atlanta for stocking up on healthy food items, I do come home with Trader Joe's PERFECT Belgian Endive.
They sell them packages with 3—one Red and two White.
Perfect for a healthy salad for two!
Don't forget to take the BITTER core out with a pointed knife!
Next I slice them in half...
Slicing them up like this...
Usually I prepare the dressing from some Trader Joe's mayonaise, some Chia seeds and also add some white Modena vinegar from Trader Joe's.
Very simple and healthy!
Chia Seeds are great for 
Combat Diabetes
Get More Fibre
Stock Up On Omega–3
Stronger Teeth And Bones
Don't Forget Manganese
Plenty Of Phosphorus
Pack In The Protein
Fight Belly Fat
Get Full Faster
Improve Heart Health
So are you using CHIA already?

Related link:
Blink TV Australia used our Marl Cave Mushroom Growing Image in Guillaume's Paris Episode 9 | previous post by me also showing Belgian endive being grown


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