I Spread It on Bread, on Crackers, and Toast

Marmite. A product so known for having a love it or hate it flavor, the company has it written on their website.

I’ve never been more nervous to try something.

I once had dinner at a tiny Chinese restaurant, let’s assume it was called The China Wall, since most of them are, in a strip mall between Lancaster and Mountville, Pennsylvania. It’s not there anymore, I checked. They had a little buffet where I had my first encounter with egg drop soup. I wasn’t quite as adventurous with food back then but eggs and broth didn’t seem like a gigantic leap out of my comfort zone.

That egg drop soup is the only food I have ever tried that I could not convince my throat to swallow. I actually had to go to the bathroom to spit it out. Somehow I managed to consume a vomit flavored Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Bean, which was disturbingly realistic, but my body would not allow me to injest the soup.

After that experience, I was understandably hesitant to try egg drop soup again. However, I’ve learned, because my family is chockablock with terrible cooks who are extremely fond of canned foods (asparagus, peas, potatoes, etc.), that you can’t always depend on one tasting. Canned asparagus is like salty asparagus flavored baby food, molded to look like wilted asparagus stalks. Fresh asparagus is delicious. If I hadn’t given the vegetable another try, it wouldn’t be a regular staple in my diet today. In fact, if I had formed my final opinion after the first taste of anything I’ve had, I’d probably be eating nothing but funnel cakes, whoopie pies, raw carrots, and sweet bologna.

So, years later, I braved another tasting of egg drop soup and it was extremely okay. I’m still not a huge fan but, when it’s not prepared with millennium eggs, it’s much more tolerable. Not even that second attempt, after having to spit out the previous, made me as nervous as Marmite.

I’ve read reviews that have referred to it as fishy, some that have likened it to a moistened beef ramen seasoning packet, and others who have called it “salted tar.” It’s no wonder I’m nervous. But, I am determined to give it a go.

I’ll let you know which side we’re on.

Title From:
Marmite Song
by Jamside Up

And I’ll Find Strength in Pain

This weekend we started repairing the pasture fence. Some of the poles were bent over so far that half the barbed wire was touching the ground. How does that happen?

Brian was in charge of disentangling the dangerous barbs from the railroad tie corner posts. Whoever put the wire up was extremely thorough. They twisted and wrapped it in every direction, tying it a dozen times around each massive chunk of wood.

I was in charge of removing the wire from the poles and then removing the poles from the ground. Those that the stampeding elephants plowed through were easy enough to remove, popping out of the ground without effort. The rest… Not so much. This is the first time in my life the palms of my hands have been bruised.

Title From:
The Cave
by Mumford & Sons

Stand up When You Hear Your Name

Right now our new friend seems to respond to tongue clicking, the rattling of the food bag, and “Hey, good boy!” I couldn’t very well refer to him as SHUSH-SHUSH-SHUSH here, and I didn’t want him to get accustomed to Good Boy as his name either since there are quite a few wild cats around, and if another happens to start enjoying my company I’ll probably say “Hey, good boy” to him as well. We can’t have everyone thinking their name is Good Boy. This isn’t the Foreman house; everyone here gets their own moniker. So, after nearly three weeks of going back and forth with names, we finally settled on Pickwick. Hopefully he’ll acknowledge it in time. If not, I still have SHUSH-SHUSH-SHUSH to fall back on.

What made you think of Pickwick, you didn’t ask?
Well, let me tell you…

I came across the name while doing research on my genealogy. I resumed working on my family line a few months ago, after pausing for our year without internet in Connecticut. I’m trying to make as many connections as I can on my own. It’s very easy to link the wrong people when 96% of your ancestors are named Mary, so I don’t want to depend on someone else’s research. However, occasionally I run into blocks and grabbing someone else’s tree information helps steer me to the path of making the connection (with sources) on my own.

Unfortunately, the lineage that led to my discovery of a ship christened Pickwick, was not my own. I followed a lead from someone else’s tree and spent an entire evening researching the wrong family history. Luckily, I noticed the error before setting the names into my own family tree. The same can not be said for the fellow whose research I went by.

Title From:
Look How Far We’ve Come
by Imagine Dragons

Riding Wildfire

It’s been beautifully springy here recently. We’ve had the windows open, airing the place out. Now everything is covered in a thin layer of dirt. The winds were gusting at 60-75 mph today, blowing everything from dust, leaves, and horse poop into the air. We were lucky enough to avoid the power outages the poor folks in Billings are dealing with, for which I am especially grateful. I hate being without power when living on a well. My first thoughts when the lights flicker are 1.) I better use the bathroom now and 2.) I should fill the bathtub so we can flush the toilets later. With the electricity in our Connecticut cabin being so unreliable, we kept buckets of water on the porch for emergencies. So far we haven’t had to do that here but I may start just to be safe, especially if winds like those today are commonplace.

Along with the dust, leaves, and horse poop, the winds brought smoke from a nearby wildfire that’s burning out of control. Fire season here makes me as nervous as hurricane season in Louisiana. Brian grew up in Louisiana and lived there when we met. I was always resistant to settling there because the idea that every year I’d experience the very real possibility that my house could be there and gone after one storm, made me extremely uncomfortable. Now we live where the very same thing could happen. Although unsettling at times, it’s definitely a risk I’m willing to take in exchange for being able to live in such a gorgeous state. Not that Louisiana isn’t pretty, but there is that whole humidity thing.

Note: The picture here was taken in Worland, Wyoming, over the summer. The fire was an impressive controlled burn on a field.

Note: The song for the title of this post is going to be stuck in my head for days, I just know it.

Title From:
Wildfire
by Michael Martin Murphey