Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The payoff doesn't always match the input.

When you put energy into something, the payoff isn't always what you expect. Here are three examples from my home:

1. Canning tomatoes. A friend of mine gave me a huge bag of gorgeous tomatoes from her garden. Then my neighbor brought over 7 or 8 more. I had, from what I could tell, 4 different varieties. I washed them. I par-boiled them. I peeled them. I seeded them. I chopped them...and onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. I cooked them with red wine, bay leaves, tomato paste, olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. I pureed them in the blender. I cooked them down to a thicker-than-soup consistency. I added fresh basil. I canned them. And this is what I got out of it:

There's another jar only 2/3rds full. I was hoping to give a jar to each tomato-sharing friend, but again this is all I got! We're having pasta tonight with the non-processed jar. That was a lot of work. I sterilized 5 jars. Wishful thinking. But I'd never done this before and now I know it's not like pickles. With pickles you get a lot of jars. Oh. Before I forget, I had to go to 3 stores to find canning lids. Why no one carries canning supplies this time of year I cannot explain.

2. Potty training. Suffice it to say I've been living under a rock for several weeks. I have no idea what's going on in the world. But I can tell you what motivates my child to learn to use the toilet. In the last few weeks, we went from the big potty to the potty chair and back to the big potty. We're on our second style of tracking chart. We've used stickers, stars, balloons, happy & sad faces, and in moments of sheer desperation, candy. There has been a lot of laundry. A. Lot. Of. Laundry. And running errands with child in undies takes no less than twice as long as with child in diapers. But unlike the experience of canning tomatoes, this has a big payoff. We are close to only using one diaper or pull-up a day (night time protection). Wow, the dollars that aren't being deposited into the tills of big box stores! Fiona is learning about her body. Today she was leaning over herself so far to watch herself pee that she lost balance and fell into the toilet. Balance is one of those things that make a very big difference in one's life. And now that she sees where her pee comes out, I think she's more interested and impressed with herself. She is becoming more independent and has even gone to the potty by herself (without prompting and she washed her hands!) a couple of times. It's getting better. It's slower than I hoped it would be, but it's getting better. We have to be close to a toilet at all times so for at least the next several weeks I expect to continue looking at the underside of this rock.

And when you live under a rock, it's imperative to amuse yourself. Behold! I made a tutu:


Auntly H said...

That tomato sauce will be worth the effort come February when you're craving something yummy like that.

my word verification is "invert" - in honor of FiG's loss of balance?

Gran-E said...

I'll bring pasta. You both are changing so fast. Gran-e/Mom

MOMjNana said...

I LOVE your writing style! You could be an entertaining food column writer! Love, Ant Judy