Félix Vallotton


Pink Eye

The day before yesterday it felt like my left eye was dry or something. I took a look in the mirror and, ah, one half of the white of the eye was red. When I woke up the morning after it was even worse.  I went to work and was told to go home and return once the pink eye had subsided. Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, I was told, is easily transmitted to others. So here I am at home, my eye a little red, but otherwise I am perfectly fine. I can’t believe this, what an unexpected break. Of all the reasons to be excused from work, this must be one of the most silly ones. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that conjunctivitis can probably be very serious and also that people don’t want to have this eye problem transmitted. But still. There is basically nothing wrong with me! I’m not working, instead merrily reading, chatting on the phone, playing with the dog or blogging and still getting paid. Hooray! Just saying.

On the Dream of the Country

I was raised in a house in a forest surrounded by fields. We weren’t farmers, but we, at one point or another, had sheep, a goat, geese and ducks. We always had a large dog and a cat. On our property, we had flowers, fruit trees, all kinds of berries, rhubarb and potatoes. My father chopped wood. In the summer, my mother made jam. My sister and I helped out. As an adult I always lived in cities and now I live in one of the biggest cities in the world. New York City. I have been here for many years. The modern architecture, the elegant townhouses and pre-war apartment buildings, the stores, the restaurants, the avenues and streets, the parks, the people, the energy; this is where home is. But intermittently I get this intense longing for the country. This is when I go online and browse real estate in upstate New York. I connect with real estate agents, inquiring about houses within an hour or two from the city. Right now I can feel one of those phases coming on again. My wanting-to-move-to-a-house-in-the-country phase. I dream of a house, not too large, old, freestanding, surrounded by large trees and fields. I imagine doing practical things, like mowing the lawn or picking berries or hanging laundry on a clothes line in the garden. I imagine running barefoot in high grass and getting my hands dirty in soil while planting flowers. I think this my country dream is related to a need to escape the city, clearly. I imagine I am also melancholy about the past, wanting what I had as a child. But in addition, and perhaps more significantly, I imagine it has to do with an innate need for basics, a desire to connect with what is practical and pure. Nature.

Photo above by backgroundpictures.net.

Summer Fruit Salad

A few days ago, I made the most deliciously summery fruit salad! It tastes great after an hour in the refrigerator, but even better the day after (or even two days after). The combination of lemon, fresh mint and honey contribute to the tanginess and sweetness. Please see below for ingredients.

One apple

One banana

Half a grapefruit

Eight strawberries

Two hand fulls of blueberries

Fresh mint leaves

Half a lemon

One tablespoon of honey

Cut apple, banana, straweberries and grapefruit into small pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add blueberries, honey, chopped mint leaves and lemon juice. Combine and chill for at least an hour. Serves four people. I eat this fruit salad for breakfast and also as dessert or a snack in between. Yummy!

Photo above by http://www.shutterstock.com.

On the Staycation

I am on a ten-day-long staycation. This is a time for me to rest and play, but also a time to catch up on stuff at home and continue to focus on physical training. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind just hanging out on a beach in the Caribbean, but I just didn’t plan things right. So here I am, on a vacation at home. Sam and I are taking long walks in Central Park in the mornings and lingering there a little longer than we usually do. Then I go home, eat something and take a nap. I have dinners, a movie and at least two beach visits in mind. I also got three books, which I am rapidly getting through; Crusoe’s Daughter, by Jane Gardam, The Lilac House, by Anita Nair and The Snowman, by Jo Nesbo. When I am not indulging in these activities, I am catching up on things like cleaning, getting my AC from the storage place, etc. I thought I would dislike doing these things, but no. It feels good to catch up. I go to the gym three days in a row and take one day off, the again three-day on and so forth. I’m hoping to maintain this exercise pattern once back to work. So it is all working out beautifully. But, let me tell you, on day three, unexpectedly, I felt at a complete loss. I was restless. I had nothing to do and I didn’t know what to do with myself! I laid down to take a nap, but I couldn’t stop thinking and I had to get up. Noooo, what was this? I spoke to a few friends who all seem to agree that this was a common phenomenon that they had all experienced themselves. We all lead such busy lives that relaxing simple does not come that easy, it takes a couple of days before we will feel completely at ease with the notion of not having to work. The following day I somehow miraculously overcame my restless phase and all is now good again in the Sitwell household.

Image above by spreadshirt.com.

This is one of my absolute favorite blogs that just got 5000 subscribers! To show her gratitude, the blogger created 50 of her unique impressions of some of the avatars subscribing. I am so impressed, what a wonderful gesture. Congratulations!

The Middlest Sister

Five thousand people have now subscribed to The Middlest Sister. Five thousand! Holy cats! You guys are awesome! To thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, and otherwise making this blog a success, I’ve made you a surprise. Below are cut-paper versions of the avatars of 50 of the top 100 commenters, randomly selected. Click on the images to be taken to their blogs 🙂 Here they are in no particular order:


Thanks for reading, guys!

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