Month: March 2016

The Junk Cabinet

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I think my junk drawer is breeding. What once started as a drawer full of miscellaneous items in our kitchen has now turned into a cabinet. It’s hard for me to call any of it junk though. My family is constantly in that cabinet. Whenever we can’t find something, it’s the first place we all look and usually find what we need.

For some ridiculous reason it is also the cabinet I decided to store the school lunch bags. They are stored on the top shelf, which even I can barely reach, let alone my youngest child. They take up so much room that there is no ideal spot. So they landed there. We seem to have accumulated several over the years. Maybe that happens with five kids. Considering everything I get rid of in our household, it’s amazing that I cannot seem to part with lunch bags. They seem to be one of the last well-made products in our world because they last forever! I certainly cannot say that about my dust buster or dishwasher.

In our “catch all” cabinet, we also have an array of household items like light bulbs, batteries, and glue. I believe in being prepared. One time when a friend was visiting my refrigerator light bulb went out. I reached into the cabinet, dug around, found the bulb I needed and quickly closed the cabinet before anything fell out on my head. My friend was amazed I had that size light bulb on hand. I hope she’s here when my microwave light goes out. I have a spare.

I’ve learned that no household with children can have enough batteries on hand. These seem to breed on their own yet never in the size we need at the time. I could not believe I actually needed a 9-volt battery the other day. I did not even know they were still used. We’ve tried the rechargeable batteries to save money but that did not go over well. We just ended up with a bunch of batteries that were never charged when we actually needed them.

If any homework or household project requires glue we’ve got it. Our cabinet has Gorilla glue, Elmer’s liquid glue, Elmer’s glue sticks, and Super glue that seems to Super glue itself shut and never work. It’s basically good for one use only but it’s in there.

There’s painter’s tape, duct tape, but no Scotch tape. The demand for that greatly increased once I had children. I’m not even entirely sure what they use it for. I just know it’s never in the cabinet.

I have emergency numbers taped to the cabinet door with neighbors listed that have moved, probably twice by now. I have Bath and Body lotion because I feel the need to have lotion in every room in my home. Also, because it was 75 percent off, so why not?

There are several incomplete decks of cards, plastic spoons for a card game my family loves to play during the holidays, and dice in mismatched sizes. One day I really need to clean this cabinet out, but then where will we find what we need?


First Published in The Atchison Globe 3/2016



Presidential Order of Business

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The 2016 Presidential Election may not be until November 8, but it feels like it’s right around the corner. So I decided to offer a few suggestions to our new president, sort of a “Honey do” list like I give my husband. I’m sure he/she will be excited to read my list. Maybe it will even be on the first meeting’s agenda.

Dear Mr. (or Mrs.) President:

I’m writing to offer you a few suggestions while you are in office. I emphasize the word “suggestions” here as my hopes continue to diminish with every election.

First order of business: Let’s be honest. After you are elected, not everyone will be happy that you have won. Some people may even feel hostile. I propose that you implement another national holiday immediately to gain favor. I strongly believe you would get very high ratings in those initial Gallup polls if the Monday following Super Bowl Sunday is declared a national holiday. No United States citizen should have to work the following day after consuming large amounts of chicken wings, queso, guacamole, chili, and beer. If work productivity on that Monday was actually measured, I’m sure it would be considered a win-win for both employees and employers in the end.

Second order of business: I have been trying to teach my children that it’s important to vote. That it is a right and a privilege. My teenage son is not convinced his vote really counts. I understand his point of view. I have found if I cannot get to the voting polls until after work, it does feel a bit useless when the news is already reporting which presidential candidate is substantially ahead in my state. Instead of wishing for a power outage the night of the next election, is there any way you could make news stations wait to broadcast results until after the voting polls are closed?

Third order of business: Can you do anything about lowering the National Debt? I have a college student that thinks taking out more loans is the answer to all of her financial stress. It’s difficult to convince my daughter there is no forest with anything green sprouting other than foliage. She is the generation that thinks money grows on trees. (Oh wait, my mother says that’s my generation.) If the country is trillions of dollars in debt, what should I tell my daughter when it comes time to pay back the money she has borrowed? I understand lowering the National Debt might not be feasible during your tenure; after all, our country didn’t accumulate that kind of debt over night. If it’s not attainable, then can you tell me how to get a credit card with that kind of limit? I know several people who would be interested.

I wish you the best of luck while in office. It would certainly be challenging to have your job.

Best Regards,

Lisa Baniewicz


(First published in the Atchison Globe.)