My husband said a funny thing to me the other day.
As I was sitting on the couch, devising future strategies for our business and shooting out idea after idea after idea, my Carrot responded slowly with a mixture of enthusiasm and caution. By now he’s used to my non-stop dreaming and idea generation. Befuddled by the fact that he wasn’t jumping into the air with joy over my genius, I asked him why he didn’t meet my ambition. Why he didn’t want bigger things for us? (Yeah, I can be obnoxious). He said simply, Don’t worry about it so much. I have my own important role. I’m your parachute.
He explained how I’m always flying: soaring to new heights, dreaming big new dreams, setting my goals sky high, heading up, up, up. But being partners for eight years, married for nearly three, and running a business alongside each other for five, he knows the truth. I will dream big. I will take on too much. I will think I can do it all. And I will crash. Hard. The spans of time vary. But it’s pretty routine that I’ll have 2-8 months of intense, totally unsustainable growth and drive and passion followed by 1-3 weeks of explosion from overwork and a total neglect of self.
When that airplane explodes, he says, you don’t have to worry, you’ve got me. I’m your parachute.
He’s right, of course. It’s why we work so well. His approach is slow and steady while mine is more about big bursts of acceleration that help move us forward but can never last at their full intensity.
I’m actually just breaking out of one of these cycles. After several very good months of achieving things I’ve dreamed of for years (a promotion at work, more writing opportunities, my first published work in a magazine, collaborative events at the farm, collaborative posts on my blog, separate WPR and WORT interviews), I got swept up in the act of achieving and lost my balance. I fell hard. I got trapped inside an exhaustion-fueled depression and just couldn’t seem to get excited about anything. It was a pretty dark, lonely place.
And as always, my Carrot was right there to catch me.
I am happy to say that crash is finally over and we’re back to acceleration. I went to Charleston and Folly Beach with my college friends for a four-day, totally blissful beach celebration in honor of my college roommate’s upcoming wedding. I ate at Normandy Farm & Bakery. I made brunch twice with my friend Maggie. We talked love and life and had a great damn time. I bounced a bazillion new business ideas off of them. Party-in-a-box meal kit. Yeah, it’s happening.
Then I went to a cabin on a lake outside Wausau to celebrate another one of my favorite humans who also happens to be getting married the same day as the Charleston bride. There was more chatting, more dreaming and a good dose of drinking homemade wine in a homemade sauna in the Northwoods taking breaks to look at the moon.
I’ve made salsa and pickled jalapenos and pickled cherry tomatoes and frozen as many colored peppers as possible. The farm got a driveway. A piece I wrote about pho came out in Madison Magazine and it’s spread across six pages. We hosted over a hundred cyclists on the farm for Bike the Barns. We were featured on an amazing podcast created by my dear friend Julie. We lost 98% of our winter squash field. We began harvesting leeks. We can’t stop harvesting tomatoes. I’m plotting and planning so many more farm events before the first frost comes to greet us.
So I guess what I’m saying is: it’s time for a drink. A drink in celebration of the partners who support us even when we’re bat shit crazy. A drink in celebration of the dark days (and also the brighter ones). A drink that is dark and moody while still being herbal and bright. A drink that combines some of my favorite Wisconsin flavors (bitters, cherries, ginger, fennel) into one rich glass of sweet, earthy delight. This is the perfect cocktail for sipping on a cool fall night as the sun goes down regardless of your emotional stability. But apparently not on Sundays.
Lots of love from your favorite slightly spastic, slightly unbalanced farming gal,
This post was done in collaboration with La Petite Farmhouse and so many fabulous Wisconsin brands. Thank you to Quince & Apple, Bittercube and Old Sugar Distillery for sponsoring this post! Head over to La Petite Farmhouse to see her amazing recipe for a Honey Citrus Gimlet.
NEVER ON SUNDAY
Takes 5 minutes (plus time to make ginger syrup but I make ahead and store in my fridge)
1 ounce Old Sugar Distillery Ouzo
1 ounce brandy
1 ounce Quince & Apple tart cherry syrup
3 ounce ginger syrup (see below)
1/2 lemon, juiced
A few dashes Bittercube Jamaica #1 Bitters
2 ounces prosecco
- In a cocktail shaker, combine ouzo, brandy, syrups and lemon juice. Shake well and then pour into a cocktail glass over ice.
- Add bitters and top with prosecco. Stir with a stir stick to combine and enjoy!
1 cup water
1-1/2 cups sugar
2-inches ginger, peeled and sliced
- Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in ginger.
- Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain ginger and store in glass jar in the fridge until ready to use.