Well, here it is, my millionth crafty, domestic project since J.’s deployment. A friend is about to have a baby girl, so I bought a bunch of fabric and made this fluffy quilt – perfect as a floor throw when Baby starts to crawl. I’ve included my instructions for making a simpler version here: Download scrap_quilt_instructions.pdf. This is a simple quilt – no binding or creating perfect squares (in other words, you can fudge on the seam allowances a little). This might not pass as a "traditional" quilt. But I have never had the talent/skill/patience for difficult crafts, so the only projects you will see here are pretty but simple, and look like they could be difficult.
One way to pass the longest year ever is with a specific goal. Mine is to finally get fit and gain some muscle. Specifically, I’d like to look like this lady (hey, one can dream). Anyway, I bought Shape Magazine’s A Woman’s Guide to Weight Training (which came with a handy training log), read the intro thoroughly and put together a routine for myself. I’ve joined the YMCA (enrolled Toddler E. in their nursery service at a reasonable $2/hour). I’ll be doing a routine based on the "beginner workout" suggested in the book, then move up every 6 weeks. My workout (3x/week) consists of 30 minutes of cardio (I hate machines so I’ve chosen solo racquetball for now), and an hour of full body weight training (chest, shoulders, back, abs, arms, glutes/legs).
Since I’ve just started blogging, it wouldn’t be obvious but I have almost literally been crafting away the anxiety over my husband, J.’s, deployment. I stay pretty busy, but I feel like the time spent without him has gone so s-l-o-w-l-y. In an attempt to count down the time a little more quickly and keep my anxiety at bay, I find myself at the fabric store FREQUENTLY. It’s my alternative to Xanax. His last assignment in Iraq started before the beginning of the war, as a platoon leader for a chemical platoon attached to the 3rd Infantry Division (the Army division that "invaded" Iraq). I didn’t hear from him or from our rear detachment for weeks at a time and it was agonizing. I developed an anxiety disorder that was debilitating and embarrassing at times. I basically didn’t stop crying until he came home. Thankfully, the deployment was brief by Army standards, and he was home shortly after the official war was declared over. We moved on with our lives as a married couple again. It was a blissful pause in what has become a rather hectic period in the Army. And now he’s deployed. Again. His third in our 4 1/2 years of marriage – not really so unusual for an Army family these days.
I can’t afford to lose myself in anxiety again. And so I sew. And clean, and organize, and join playgroups, and teach my toddler, E., how to shop for shoes.
This week I made a tote bag. Yeah, it’s just a tote bag. But it bought me a couple days of sanity. And I’m a couple days closer to seeing my husband again.
Boy, how quickly I forget how many things a husband is handy for. Tired of parking my car outside and one muddy lawn away from the house, I decided to move J.’s truck out of the garage and – surprise – it was dead. Hm. Will call handy looking neighbor to help. Ugh, that’s so…so…NOT me. Then I remembered this big orange thing my father in-law bought us before J. left. The Black & Decker Electromate 400 (what I now call The Black & Decker Husband-To-Go) – inflates tires, charges batteries, and acts as a power outlet. Anyway, I took it out of the box, read the directions, held my breath as I turned the key (hoping nothing would explode), and to my surprise – it started right up!
But…I should have remembered to keep the truck running a while…
The journal entry that kicked off my longest year:
13 Oct 05. Tonight I cried. My husband is leaving for what I consider a pretty dangerous mission in Iraq. He leaves tomorrow. And I’m sick with worry. As I made his favorite meal, he recorded his reading sessions and favorite songs with our baby girl, E., who just turned one last week. I cried silently in the kitchen. After he rocked her to bed, we spent another half hour making video tapes of him reading more stories to her. Now he’s in the garage finishing his packing and I’m trying to sport a brave face…because I know he worries about me as much as I do about him.