Roger Fry

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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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Sewing Basket

I noticed on my yellow twinset cardigan that a button was lose and about to fall off. I had recently purchased this cardigan from a rather exclusive store and was cursing under my breath about already having to fix a button on such an expensive piece of clothing. But that is neither here nor there. I needed to find yellow thread! As I reached for my sewing basket to look for it I was unexpectedly overcome by memories of times past.

I arrived in Newark, New Jersey from Europe about twenty years ago with my husband-to-be who was American. The plan was that we would live with his family in a small suburban town in Pennsylvania until he found employment (I could not work since I did not yet have a green card) and then find a place of our own. We ended up staying for seven months! His parents, and his grandmother who was staying there as well, were generous and patient people who never made me feel like I was imposing. But regardless, as you can imagine, I felt that I was. I contributed nothing. I grew close to my mother-in-law-to-be, we had things in common; gardening, cooking and sewing. I remember that together we sewed me a beautiful gray flannel suit that I would later use for my first job interview in New York City. At some point, his grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I took it upon myself to care for her. I clothed her, brushed her hair and watched over her when she was not sleeping. As tragic as it was that she had been given this diagnosis, it had given me a purpose and a way to feel useful. Then we moved to Manhattan. We were married now and I had found employment. When my husband’s grandmother passed away I was given a gift. It was the old wicker sewing basket that had been standing on her dresser. You have to understand that this was an incredible gift. I had admired it from a distance and also used it often while living in Pennsylvania. It represented meaningful memories not only to me, it must have for my husband’s mother as well. Her giving it to me was a gesture of great kindness. The basket was filled with little treasures; spools of thread of all kinds of color, needles, buttons, scissors, thimbles, pieces of fabric, and much more, some of it dating back to the late 1800s. My husband and I divorced a year after we had moved to New York City. We lost contact after that.

After a few moments of digging in the basket, predictably, I found my yellow thread. As I sewed on the button, I felt content sitting there at my desk, dog at my feet, the rain falling heavily outside my window. I thought of people whom I had loved and who had loved me. Some of them were no longer in my life. I missed them. I contemplated what I had accomplished over the past two decades. I also thought of the chances I had missed and some of the things I probably should have done differently. I don’t know how long I sat there with the needle and the thread in my hand. It was way beyond having sewed on the button, I know that.

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible conversations

My friend and I went to see the Prada exhibit at the Met last night. I own a few small Prada items and truly admire the style of this designer. My friend is slightly obsessed with Prada, to put it mildly. She has dresses, shoes and handbags and needs to intermittently be dragged out of Prada stores in order to prevent financial disasters. She is the first to admit that she has a problem and that she does not care to change it. But back to the exhibit itself! This was a truly extravagant exhibit and the Metropolitan Museum just seemed to be the perfect place to display it. The contrast and the similarities of the work of these two Italian designers from different eras were highlighted magnificently. The designs were either displayed freestanding on elevated spaces or sometimes behind glass. Throughout, recreated film-snippets of interviews with the two women were projected on large walls. Feathers, fur, leather, jewelry, silk, lace and velvet had been used by both designers to create dresses, skirts, tops, jackets, hats and shoes. The items were sometimes simple, sometimes outrageous, but always stunningly captivating. My friend and I were initially in a frenzy shouting, “oh, look at this,” or “look over there!” At some point we became strangely silent, just walking next to each other in awe. I am not exaggerating when I say this, but think a few times we both had tears in our eyes. These clothes, some of them created as recently as two years ago and others decades before that were magically beautiful. At the end of the exhibit we agreed, part of the a appeal of these designs were the fact that they appeared timeless. They were classics. For more information, also see: http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/press-room/exhibitions/2012/schiaparelli-and-prada-press-release and http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/arts/design/schiaparelli-and-prada-impossible-conversations-at-met.html?pagewanted=all.

Image above from Metropolitan of Art webpage.