Category Archives: The Future

501 Jeans

My husband is a pretty finicky fellow, and has definite preferences regarding the clothes he wears.  He has been somewhat distressed lately after futile searches for his favorite jeans-Levi’s 501 jeans. Those are the ones with the button fly.  I have no idea why he prefers them, but there it is.

He has had trouble finding the size he needs  as well as the colors he wants.  His secret worry has been that they are no longer being manufactured,  and that he will have to find a new style and brand of jeans to wear.  This makes him feel as old and as out of date  as the Dodo. It is as though he can still imagine himself as a young man  at U of Wisconsin when he wears those jeans with his Frye boots.

He was delighted this weekend to find some on-line.  He tends to shop in stores instead of on-line, and our choices out here are limited.  Now his youthfulness  is preserved, and he can go forward into his mid 60’s with confidence.

What keeps you feeling young?  What do you fear will go out of production?


Today’s post comes from Crystalbay.

Tonight, I lost the battle. I’m defeated. I give up. For one month, I’ve kept my two kittens blockaded in the bedroom.  I have a big door on one side; no door on the other.  Because I felt they should only be kept in one room for a while, I moved a big bench to close off the opening without a door and nailed in a throw a few inches higher than the bench to fool them into thinking there was no way out.

This worked for a while, then “Trouble” found a way over it, so I nailed the blanket half a foot higher. That worked for a while until tonight when I nailed the blanket up so high that only one foot was still exposed. Trouble climbed over it in seconds, even though I repeatedly squirted him with a water bottle. He’d dart off, then return to finish his task of penetrating the barrier to full freedom in seconds. He didn’t care that I yelled “NO” or that I’d pick him up and toss him back in the room or that I squirted him.  He had no respect or fear at all.

That’s it: they’re both on the loose, terrorizing my old cat upstairs and doing anything that their feline instincts lead them to. I’m defeated. The vet was right about this male Ragdoll and now I’m under their control. Poor old Izzy, whose world was upended a few weeks ago. In just one week, she lost her only friend, Peanut, then was scared into the dungeon below the cottage for days. A few days later, I brought the kittens home, so she lost having me in the bedroom she’d always come into for affection. She spotted the kittens for the first time only two days ago, and spent hours hiding in the bedroom upstairs. Her only comfort in life has been having me, out of guilt, going upstairs to sleep with her every night after the kittens were safely closed in the downstairs bedroom. Now, she’s lost even that.

Now, Trouble, followed by his copycat sister, has claimed the entire cottage as his territory. I’m struggling right now with feeling owned rather than owning these pesky fur balls.

What is the best way to turn defeat into something postive? When have animals or people got the best of you?

Making Predictions

I was happy to wake up on September 24 and find that the world hadn’t ended as David Meade, biblical numerologist, had predicted. I believe he recalculated after he found things were still the same on the 24th as they were on the 23rd, and predicted another date for our demise  on  October 15th.  The rogue planet Nibiru, violating all physics principles, is predicted to collide with earth and set in motion all sorts of rannygazoo.   We shall have to see what happens. I believe that is the date of  Blevin’s book club.  At least you will all be together.

It isn’t easy to make accurate predictions.  Our world is so random that people search for certainty and cling to the idea that we can make sense of the universe. Consider poor Harold Camping,  the evangelist and radio host who made multiple predictions of the Earth’s end in 2011,  and who finally admitted in 2012 that he was sinful for even trying to make such predictions, falling back on Matthew 24:36 “of that day and hour knoweth no man”.

I am often asked as part of my work to make predictions regarding human behavior.  Psychologists have a myriad of tests and ways of making such predictions, but it is never completely 100% accurate. I know that people who score certain ways on tests of cognition and memory probably have dementia.  I know that people who score in certain ways on tests of emotions and personality probably have certain  mental health diagnoses.  I feel pretty certain predicting that parents with drug and alcohol use disorders  who previously neglected and abused their children will probably do the same thing if they continue to abuse substances.   I can  predict, however, with almost 100%  certainty, that if people are allowed to purchase machine guns, those guns will fired off.  That is probably the easiest thing to predict, and you don’t need an advanced graduate degree to do so.

When have you been able to say “I told you so”?

Waiting For The Smoke To Clear

The header photo was taken September 12, mid afternoon,  in New Town, ND. The site is the Four Bears bridge over the Missouri River, and the haze is smoke from Montana and Canadian forest fires.  It has been a long, smokey summer.  I believe that the smoke made it all the way to the Twin Cities, too. Tonight the visibility here is predicted to be about 2 miles, which is quite reduced from normal. I can’t imagine how awful it must be for people living in western Montana. All we can do is wait,  and hope for precipitation.

A friend of mine from the Flathead Reservation in Montana says that the only thing that will put out the fires is snow. I am happy to report that snow is predicted in the higher elevations out there tonight. It rained here today and it didn’t dissipate the smoke at all. All we can do is wait it out.

This has been a summer of waiting on the weather-waiting for rain that never came, waiting for it to cool down (it was 98° here yesterday) and now waiting for the smoke to go away.  It is a lesson in human insignificance and the power of nature.

What are you waiting for?

What Were We Thinking

We have lived in our house for 29 years. During that time we reared two children, and coped with two Welsh Terriers, one Fox Terrier, and 4 cats.  It is a modest, ranch style house of about 1200 square feet with an attached garage. The basement is finished.

Over the years we have upgraded the kitchen and done some cosmetic flooring changes.  We made the house and yard functional for our needs without much thought about the future. Well, the future is upon us, and I feel daunted by the things we need to undo and change in order to sell the house when I retire in 4 years. My main thought as I survey the house and property is “What were we thinking?”

The terriers dig up and consume the asparagus? Put a fence with steel posts and hog panels around the asparagus bed. Who cares if it disturbs the flow of the yard space and makes the back yard ugly.  Don’t worry how you will remove the posts and haul away the hog panels when it is time to dismantle the fence.

Need more garden space? Just dig up the front yard and grow veggies there. Who cares that no one else in the region will appreciate that scheme and will want a grass covered front yard to mow.

Need book space? Just attach brackets and shelving to an entire wall in the basement family room.  Then fill all the shelves with books. Don’t worry one bit about what you will do with all the books, or the damage to the walls when the brackets are taken down.

Closet doors in the entry way don’t slide well and get the way when you want to access things stored there? Don’t hire a carpenter. Just remove the doors and store them in the furnace room for 20 years. During that time, cannibalize the door slider hardware from them to repair other closet doors. Now, figure out how to put the entry way closet doors back on and find replacement parts for the missing hardware.

I figure we are looking at remodels of two bathrooms, wall repair and new carpets in the basement, lots of yard restoration, and the help of a patient carpenter who can just bite his tongue and not judge. I am glad we have several years to put things to rights.

What have you done, or what trends have you followed, that made you say “What was I thinking?”

Am I Old Yet?

Yup, I am officially an Elder. It was announced in the last couple weeks. First a young waitress called me “Sweetie.” Then when handing me my annual fair gyros, the vendor said, “Here you are, My Dear.” And yesterday when I called to make a doctor’s appointment, the nurse ended the call with “Honey.”

No one (much less a stranger) in my previous life as an adult has ever used such endearments to address me. I can only attribute it to my being 75 and it’s “safe” (or is it patronizing?).

P.S. When I was in pre-op before hip surgery a nurse told me I was a “poor imitation of a 75 year old.” Have I aged that much since May?

How do you mark the various stages of your life?