August 8, 2007 

Door Diaries 

The alarm went off at 7:45 AM today heralding the beginning of what was going to be “one of those days”, of that I was quite certain.  My mood of late has not been great, as every living thing in my house could attest to – as well as quite a few living things connected to my house only through various wires and signals.  My husband has been out of the country, single parenting disagrees with me more than words can say, and the weather has been hot and humid more often than not lately (See previous columns on my lack of air-conditioning.  It’s probably mentioned in anything dated in a summer month, and looking it up would be doing ONE MORE THING FOR ONE MORE PERSON and I said something earlier today about bad things happening if I had to do that ever again, in my whole life, ever – so you’re on your own).  Today, I had to deliver the dog to the vet’s office before nine, because she hurt her leg the other day.  It progressed from being completely unused, to being gingerly used sometimes, but didn’t progress beyond that.  They had given me pain medication information and things to watch for, but now we had progressed to the “bring her in and leave her while we run some tests” phase.  Thus, we all set out in the pouring rain:  two surly children, a petrified dog (it was storming), and me.  The roads were flooded, and the kids wouldn’t stop insisting I couldn’t possibly see where I’m going – as though since they can’t even see over the dashboard neither can I?  We delivered the dog, I signed all kinds of agreements to pay for whatever the dog needed – and quite possibly whatever everyone else’s dog needed too (judging by the bill I got later, dogs were in bad shape all over town today but I did my part, believe me), then we headed back home, soaking wet.   

Once home, I talked with a friend for a few minutes and we lamented about not accomplishing what we’d like to and other such things.  She accomplishes about four times what I do I think, yet still – we never feel we have enough to show for it no matter the volume it seems.  I wrote a General Hospital Night Shift column, and felt unsatisfied with it but sent it on anyway.  I’m sure by now you’re getting the drift of my day.  Fast-forward to this afternoon:  The dog and the groceries have been paid for and unloaded from the car.  Dog is sleeping off a tranquilizer; she’ll be fine with a lot of rest and restricted movement.  I’m feeling…broke, broken, and in need of a break.  One of the kids walks in with the mail, and there’s a padded envelope in it – with my name on it, woot!  I’ve realized that I have an amazing circle of friends who have somehow managed to say and do just the right things at just the right moments lately.  This is not the first time in the last few weeks that I’ve been feeling particularly low, only to find a little surprise in my mailbox.  Inside the envelope were four refrigerator magnets with my very favorite comedian, Ron “Tater Salad” White, and some of his wonderfully acerbic sayings on them.  They say things like “You know what?  Next time you have a thought, let it GO”, and there’s ol’ Tater, drinking his famous scotch and making me smile.   

As I strategically placed them about the refrigerator, I started looking around and really noticing the surface of the door.  There was a time when I swore I wasn’t going to have one of those cluttered, horrible looking doors on the most used appliance in the house.  There are other places to “keep” things!  Not that you’d know that by looking at mine, but I’m sure there are.  I read somewhere once that you can tell a lot about someone’s life by looking at his or her refrigerator door.  Those of you that utilize new-fangled devices such as corkboards can’t play along, poor you!  For the rest of us though, I thought it an interesting thought as I started really looking around on there.  What could a stranger tell from my door?  So, since one of the things I was lamenting earlier was the lack of subject matter for a column today, I imagine this as a sign and the rest of this column will be simply a list of what is on my refrigerator.  I would appreciate it if you would do me the favor of imagining that my refrigerator is one of the largest you’ve ever seen – the door is HUGE really so it’s not nearly as cluttered as it might seem, not even close.  You maybe haven’t seen the new extra-wide, extra-tall ones they have out now, but trust me they exist! 

Here you go, my life as a door: 

A business card for my hair salon. 

A hot pink ceramic magnet, sporting a wild-haired giraffe and the saying “Ask not what your mom can do for you, ask what you can do for your mom”.  My friend sent it to me for my birthday in June – my kids finally noticed it about a week ago…they laughed…?  Their comprehension scores weren’t great in school last year, so this figures. 

Three different pizza place magnets – we’ve ordered from two of them.  I’m not even sure if the third still has a restaurant in this town. 

A photo of the husband and kids wearing safari hats, posing next to a giant stuffed ape and giraffe (That’s two giraffes – does that mean something?  Can this be like dream interpretation?), from Kidfest 2006.   

Several magnets from the kids’ school – one is last years school calendar.  Hopefully they’ll send a new one this year, it’s very convenient.   

A pharmacy magnet – not the one I use, however. 

A wooden heart painted by one of the kids, it has a magnet on back and a clothespin under it, to hang things from.  Hanging from it is a Polaroid from when our youngest had her tonsils out.  The hospital snapped a picture of us with her in her little hair net, hugging her stuffed bear right before they wheeled her away, then gave it to us to hold.  It’s either nice or macabre…depending on how you look at it and how freaked out you get while your kid’s in surgery.  Dated April 2005 and probably should be put away before it fades. 

A pink foam heart mounted on a clothespin with a magnet, made in Kindergarten by one of the kids. 

Two clothespins with magnets, covered with paper, which says “Faith Holds On” and also covered in a lot of glitter. 

A picture taken in a photo booth of my girls when they were maybe 24 months and 8 months, or so – it’s a beautiful picture. 

A magnet from my eye doctor.  (I’m sure eye doctors have a more impressive name, I just never can remember it.  Probably if I looked at the magnet it would tell me, huh?) 

A Disney photo magnet holding a picture of the four of us from our trip there in January of this year.  We had a fabulous time (our first trip)!  

A bone shaped magnet for a dog-grooming place we used once about four years ago – she came home with a flea so I never went back.   

A hand-painted, by child, wooden butterfly. 

A magnetic clip I got as a “prize” at some home party I went to at some point.  It’s holding the agenda for my husband’s trip and all his contact numbers, etc.  Under that it’s holding a list of emergency numbers and instructions for the kids in case something happens to one of us here at home. 

Two of those “have any picture made into a magnet” magnets – one is a picture our oldest drew in kindergarten, of her standing happily outside a house with a rainbow of butterflies going over it.  The other is a picture the youngest drew of her imaginary friend “Wendy” when she was three or so.  Poor Wendy was a bit lacking in the looks department, and she had this odd crossbar running between her legs, much like a table might have, but she has fabulously colorful hair (sparse though it may be).   

A magnet from the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina, graciously sent by a wonderful friend who helped out when one of the kids had to send a Flat Stanley (it’s a book, about a boy who gets sent around the world…I think) they made out to people in several different states and beg for a return mailing about said state.  Not easy when your entire family lives in the same state!  It’s technically not my magnet, but I stole it because it reminds me of good friends, and I like looking at it! 

A flip flop magnet from Maryland that says “Don’t Bother Me I’m Crabby” on it, and has a clear top which used to hold sand in it but it fell off the door at some point and cracked, so the sand is gone.  The magnet remains though – and it was acquired for the same purpose as the one above.  I stole this one for the same reason, AND because I know secretly she meant for it to end up on the refrigerator door where I could see it given that whole “crabby” part.  Though, she knows of my daughter through me pretty well too so, maybe she was thinking ahead? 

A set of retro magnets, one of which has a lady with a beehive watering the lawn while the kids play in the background and it says, “They’re not looking, I could escape”.  A gift from the Crabby magnet sender, on our first annual “girls weekend”, three – almost four – years ago.   I treasure it and the “escape”, always. 

One of the retro magnets is holding a paper with a television schedule my husband made on it.  It has days of the week, in calendar form with dates, and an initial in each box.  It is to be consulted when a brawl seems imminent over the conundrum of which station to watch, usually the two catalysts are Animal Planet and Cartoon Network, but you never know what might find its way in there.  In defense of my parenting skills, it’s not consulted every day, and I do limit TV time.  Though, as an example of my parenting failure, this schedule is about to be joined by one deciding whose day it is to have the computer, and possibly whose day it is to talk.  Yeah…talk.  Don’t ask. 

A magnet with Stephen Nichols on it, from a long ago General Hospital Fan Club event.  Love him.  It’s getting tattered though! 

Also held up by some of the above: 

A colorful drawing of what I believe to be the bridge to Terabithia.  I didn’t ask, because I read somewhere you shouldn’t – it does have a lovely sunrise behind it – or the bridge is about to be swallowed by a big yellow hole, one or the other. 

A drawing of a dolphin in the sea, complete with sand and such. 

An invitation to my niece’s 2nd birthday party.  Elmo theme. 

A card from Katrina that had a sentiment in it that makes me feel good, so it’s probably going to still be there three years from now when I forget I ever did this column and do it all over again like I just thought of it. 

A note my youngest left us for our anniversary in January – it says “I hop you had an good anivsry”, complete with hand drawn hearts.  

A schedule from the library with about twenty events on it.  We’ve attended…um…one.  But there’s still time for me to become more child-entertainment oriented! 

A picture from Halloween 2005 - a pirate and a ninja.  My aunt sent it to me – I left it up since we’re all four in it…I’m a little picture phobic, so that’s somewhat rare.  The Disney one probably replaces that one now though; I should file that in an album. 

That, my friends, is my entire door diary.  There are definitely a few things to be thankful for on there.  I’ve added my new magnets, and I’m putting the one that has Ron toasting me with “Gonna Be a Good Day, Tater” in its own little clearing, so as not to be missed. 

Not that it needs a “clearing” on this vast expanse of a door, of course!        



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