Friday, September 25, 2009

But I Was Trying So Hard

Since my piano students came back several weeks ago, I feel like I've been in survival mode. Every responsibility I have is experiencing some form of neglect. It reminds me of being in the lake swim of a triathlon - swallowing water, coughing, turning onto my back to catch my breath, taking courage and turning over on my stomach and trying to swim. Then starting over. I can never see the shore - foggy glasses, sun in my eyes. Eventually, though, it is over and I can move on to the next thing. I'm just waiting for the part where I stop barely keeping up with everything to the part where I'm running ahead. Know what I mean?

In my quest to keep my Domestic Goddess title, I canned pears yesterday. I set up my stations; peeling, cutting, putting them in jars, adding syrup, lids, then the wet bath. I have no idea what Bridget was doing, but I know she was doing it in her pajamas. When the first batch was done cooking in the wet bath, I opened the lid to find this:
I'm no expert, but that is not right. It slowly dawned on me that one of the bottles had broken and that all the "water" that had been bubbling over onto my stove top was actually syrup. And remember, this is my first batch. That means I had peeled pears sitting on my cutting board getting brown while I cleaned up this ridiculous mess.
I thought to myself, "I try so hard!" I had a room mate in college who used to cry and say, "I try so hard" every time we asked her to do her own dishes or pick up her blow dryer. (She liked to leave it in the hall. On the floor. Because she had brothers - at least that's the only explanation we ever got.) Saying that little phrase meant the discussion was over and we would continue to do her dishes and step over her hair dryer. Thinking about her was enough to give me the will to live and also finish the pears. (I probably should have mentioned that it takes a lot of girding of loins to get me to start these projects. I don't like to encounter problems after that.)
Aren't they beautiful? And I only had three left over. No guilt.

11 comments:

Jess said...

Argh! So frustrating to hit a problem early on. I am impressed you kept going. :) I've been feeling like crying "I try so hard" myself lately. I'll have to think of your roommate also. :)

Ashley said...

I love that you just rolled with it. And glad you grabbed the camera--I know that if it were me lifting that lid today, I would be in tears. I almost cried at the Sprint store today when they said I had to pay $18.95 to get my 'free' phone activated. But I rarely handle bad news well.

melissa said...

Beauteeful. I always thought "I try so hard" was a Mom quote. I think I owe her an apology for those unfavorable impersonations.

Who knew that Swedish musicians were what was missing from my life?

Mom said...

Those are indeed beautiful jars of pears! And to only have three left over is also an accomplishment. You can put peeled pears in a bowl with cold water and a little bit of salt to keep them from turning brown.
(Swedish musicians?? What am I missing? "I try so hard" is NOT a Mom quote.)

Nicole said...

I know, right? Movitz is awesome. It's the link on the left under my family picture, Mom. And it's too late for me to know about cold water and salt, isn't it.

Mom said...

There's always next year! :)

Mr and Mrs C said...

So THAT'S where that phrase came from!!!! Eeegads! I think of that phrase and laugh hysterically reflecting on it's use on the mission. ;) Great job on the pears by the way...you are a Goddess 'cause I don't even think about doing projects such as these.

Kristina P. said...

Nicole, can you email me? I have the address of the winner of your bag. Thanks for letting me pimp you out!

sands14@juno.com

Jen said...

There's also Fruit Fresh. I confess I've seen that exact thing in my boiling water canner- even sadder since it was blueberry pie filling. Billions of hand picked yet still expensive berries floating in their grave. I haven't stopped grieving that one.

amylouwho said...

Nice pears! But what really stuck out here is how I've missed out on 36 years of using the phrase, "but I was trying so hard!!!!" (with a whine, I'm assuming). After all, I had 5 brothers and no sisters and I was one of the cabooses.... that might explain a lot.

I, however, never leave my hairdryer in the hall.

Angie said...

The finished pears are beautiful. You do quality work.