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Monday, April 25, 2022

Spelunky Charms

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Kathy, grief, Scotch, Ukraine, Daughter J

Okay, I'm kidding about that particular book, but I'm still hiding out in a cave rather than interacting with the world yet. Not that it's all bad - Osama bin Laden left a lot of porn in here.

Days continue to pass and I'm hoping that the (too) slow process of healing is happening on some subliminal level even though it doesn't feel like it. And I really am building up a little library of books that purport to help with the process of reinventing your life now that everything, and I mean everything, has changed. Dammit.

One thing the books seem to agree on is that it's important to maintain some sort of contact with other humans. And look - YOU'RE a human and here we are together! It's Kismet! 

And now let me prove that there's nothing much exciting happening around here...

• I continue doing gardening chores for Kathy, even though I don't really enjoy the process yet. I think that maybe I'll learn to, though, once I start getting an idea of what I'm doing. Mind you, I was no stranger to yard work before, but I always operated under expert (and occasionally exasperated) supervision. Still, I've managed to plant four ferns, some ornamental grass, and several pots of petunias. Additionally, I've been watching and watering the new plants and so far they look healthy.

• I still haven't tapped that bottle of 30-year-old Scotch, but intend to one of these days.  Perhaps to toast Daughter J, who is having a birthday in a couple of days. We don't really plan to do anything celebratory because it's going to be a very weird day this year. Still, we'll probably enjoy tasty food from the outside world and probably watch a good horror movie. In times of emotional turmoil, it can be very soothing to watch attractive young people running from maniacs with power tools.

• Speaking of running from maniacs, I've been concerned about a business acquaintance who lives in Ukraine so was greatly relieved to have this message forwarded to me: "Glad to hear from you! You remember that I am from Ukraine! Yes, we have a war that no one expected. Imagine that you live in a developed civilized world, go to cafes, theaters, use Apple, Netflix so on and think that now humanity will begin to explore Mars and suddenly, you are attacked by savages from the last century and they begin to destroy everything with missiles and tanks. So far, it seems to us that we got into the movie "The Man from the High Castle." And you just need to find a portal to return to the usual reality ... Somewhere such feelings. My family and I left Kyiv under bombardment and went to Western Ukraine. The "Russian world" has not reached here yet. I hope it never comes."

• I forget if I mentioned it, but I finally did write up a very negative review of our hospice service and posted it everywhere I could think of. The hospice service replied online that they were sorry I felt dissatisfied and said that they really appreciate feedback to help them provide excellent service and blah, blah, blah. In other words, they blew me off. But that's fine - I had a duty to warn others and now I have.

• My doctor has chosen a "wait and watch" approach to my "in-flight moving" condition, which is fine with me. He also wants to consult with my former neurologist about the highly kinetic Psychoneurological Non-Epileptic Seizures I was having four years ago. Since then, the condition has become much less pronounced but hasn't disappeared completely. Of course, it's not the size of your PNES that matters...

And with that sophomoric attempt at humor, I'm pretty much out of things to say. With the all-important exception that I'm very grateful for the love, laughter, and support you continue to share in the comments section. It means a lot to Daughter J and me!

The Irises Kathy planted are coming up. Purty, ain't they?

69 comments:

Mike aka Proof said...

"I always operated under expert (and occasionally exasperated) supervision"
Pro tip: Green side up!

Anonymous said...

I hope that G-d's grace, blessings and love are able to help you through this very difficult time. Perhaps by growing, planting and nurturing will help as well.
G=d bless and thank you for posting.

JustaJeepGuy said...


@Stilt, when you said this:

"One thing the books seem to agree on is that it's important to maintain some sort of contact with other humans."

I immediately had to say (to myself) that personally I have found that minimal contact with other people is preferable. I'm not exactly a hermit, but life is easier when you don't have to deal with unpleasant characters. Fortunately, no one I've "met" here at Stilton's place is one of those unpleasant types.

You will recover (if that's the correct term) in your own time, with or without other "humans". I will wait and see (and, hopefully, read) what it takes for you to adjust to your new circumstance. Do what ya gotta do.

Mike said...

Bro,

You are moving forward. If some days are a little slower, that's OK. Stay strong. We're pulling for you.

The Overgrown Hobbit said...

Have some family and friends that lost loved ones not so long ago. Always add you and your DP to the god blesses when I pray for them.

Thank you for so many years of funny and thought-provoking comics

bocopro said...

Wife & I, both in our 80s, have accepted the reality of our mortality . . . along with the standard assortment of arthritic joints, myocardial infarctions, stents, bilateral radical mastectomy, chemotherapy with all its nausea/fatigue/malaise, age-related macular degeneration, IBS, and so on, ad nauseum.

Ti saluto, mon frère, and your irrepressible strength through character and humor. Hang tough, Bro, and muchisimas gracias for the years of laughs, snarks, and sometimes gallows chortling at the pezzonovante.

Read a wise comment once – think it mighta been Mark Twain . . . or Will Rogers – which said in essence, when things look bad, remember that anyone or anything that tries to drag you down . . . is already beneath you.

Feargal the Cat said...

Stilts, there is no stopwatch on grief. Keep on planting - utilising Mike aka Proof's infallible advice; green side up - and enjoy daughter J's birthday in whatever way you see fit. 'Wrong Turn' is an excellent example of the genre you describe.

We are all individuals...it's just the corporate behemoths who wish to catalogue by 'type'. Keep on keeping on, it really upsets them.

jimbro said...

Dark blue iris flowers were my brother's fraternity flower and his frat brothers brought them after his untimely passing as a young man. Fast forward many years to discover a tremendous cluster of them growing in the garden bed of the house I bought in Maine. I look forward to seeing them every year as a tender reminder of him.

bocopro, I salute you and wish we were neighbors so we could have an espresso and chat every so often. You have wisdom to spare.

Unknown said...

Friend,
After having worked through roughly the same things with my mother (ovarian) and my sister (blood) I can reassure you that though things won’t ever be light hearted, the weight will ease. I guess I’m reminding myself as well, because my wife is dealing with ‘the cancer’ (as they used to say in the thirties) aka melanoma. Please let us who follow you know of how the 30 year single malt tastes, because if it’s good I might use it as a change of pace from my usual Lafroig or Lagavulin. A marine friend of mine years ago (more years than I want to recall) advised me to ‘embrace the suck’. I’m babbling like an idiot now, apologies. Praying for you.
Take care.

PaBlum said...

Do you realize that to leave a comment you must "prove that you are not a robot"?

Isn't that discrimination against robots? :-)

Be strong! I lost my daughter a dozen years ago and learned that the hurt never goes away but one learns to live with it.

Jerryskids said...

Glad to see you're hanging in there - I know it's hard but in time it'll get better. There's nothing you can do but keep on keeping on. Still praying for you.

Art said...

Hard to believe it will get better sometimes. My sainted wife passed 4+ years ago, and while most days are okay, there are still some very dark days here. I'm sure it's similar for you. Hold fast to family. And don't drink that entire bottle in one sitting!

NaCly Dog said...

You are walking slowly, but that is still progress. May you continue to move forward.

Maybe a new goal is to see how many days you can sip a tad of that expensive Scotch. And that is a nice Iris.

There is future happiness possible, and your daughter is part of that. Keeping up the humor helps.

Anonymous said...

Our prayers for you and your family to recover from the past year's events. Life sure does have its supply of twists and turns you don't expect.

Anonymous said...

Stilton.....continued prayers for you and your family during this healing journey.
Flowers and trees are a living memorial! I have a 30 year old grapefruit tree that my dad grew from seed. It survives the cold Indiana weather inside. Messy but it’s worth it! (We’re 20 miles south of Indianapolis)

Heal well

Wayne in Indiana

Murphy AZ said...

You must be making progress if they've turned you loose with garden tools.

Great journeys are sometimes accomplished with small steps, even in the garden.

Nancy Dickerson said...

Ah, been there, done that. NOT that it is any easier for knowing that others have been exactly where you have been, but ten years later I can look back and still be thankful that things were not any worse for my husband and our family than they were. At the time, we were horrified that he just seemed to be slipping away daily. But then, his attitude was that he did not want to make things any worse than we could have expected. He was here in the home where he grew up, with the children he had reared. He knew he was loved. And as for Hospice--the lady who insisted he needed to be in THEIR facility was a complete B--but the workers who came here to help us--what few times they came--were sweet and helpful. It always seems like there are dipsticks.

May daughter J have a better day for her birthday, and may you not feel the urgent need for that bottle of relief this week. May God give you both peace.

Greg said...

Hang in there brother. Continued prayers are sent your way.

OldTexan said...

There is an old saying, probably old people say it at times, that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago and the second best time is today. I was out this morning working with my plants, a newly planted rose bush which the deer seem to like munching on during the hours of darkness, and I noticed that my three year old red oak tree has doubled in height since it was planted and during the last two weeks it has leafed out and become beautiful. That kind of stuff helps me appreciate the years moving on along as I am moving on up into the last quarter of my 70's missing a lot of friends and kin who have passed on along. I am glad to see that you Stilt and daughter are hanging in from day to day and hope each day becomes a bit more tolerable and your dizzy, whirly stuff diminishes, good luck with your gardening and blessings to you both as you watch your stuff grow and fight the weeds and fire ants (Texas).

Snark said...

Slow progress is still progress. As long as you don't become a Progressive. Human contact can be beneficial...as long as it is the right people. Especially not those on the left. OH WAIT! I specified HUMAN contact! Being in Texas, you can probably find those. Still, you might want to be careful to not overdo it.

On second thought, dogs can be good therapy. (The four legged kind.)

Enjoy the scotch. It's not doing anyone any good in the bottle.

MTlurker said...

Stilt,
Please accept my deepest sympathies and best wishes. I lost my 58+ year soulmate last December, eleven days before our Anniversary. None of this is easy, nor should it be. But you CAN do it. I joined a bereavement group. It helps.

jpb252 said...

Keep the Faith!

John the Econ said...

Ukraine: Just another reminder of how fragile a comfortable civilized life can be. We should stop taking it for granted.

Comment from yesterday: Do consider at least a modicum of exercise, even if it only means a walk down the street at first. The medical correlation between physical inactivity and depression are well documented. When I think back to periods of my life when I was particularly depressed, physical inactivity was definitely present. Break the cycle. You will feel better.

Our prayers for healing are with you.

Veince Bob said...

Keep all your happy thoughts, this is good medicine and will protect your long-term health. Give God thanks for all the good things you have had.
The Sun will come up tomorrow let's all be there to enjoy it.

Bob said...

Good to hear from you again.

mamafrog said...

Well, I am jealous!! Irises aren't out quite yet here in Oklahoma. I love them and mom used to have a garden in our back yard full of them, one of my favorite smells in the world.

I don't know if your weather down there has been as wacky as ours yet but nature is really "showing herself" this year (as my MIL used to say), I think it was meant as in the acting up sense. Personally 93 degrees in early April is just a bit much and I was excessively whiny that day! And then this week we had all sorts of weather rumptions, I actually heard tornado sirens going off in OKC. That's something I'm not sure has happened in awhile for me which is what living in a state with the most boring possible weather for 17 years will do to you. I'm looking at you Washington state. I've been back in Oklahoma five years now and it's still a little disconcerting at times to hear the usual siren blares that happen every Saturday at noon when they check if the darned things are working. Mind you, I'm quite glad they do. Our local weather forecasters can be quite amusing at times too as some of them get rather worked up in bad weather, and disgustingly cheerful in hot weather.

You talking about your dealings with depression has made me decide it's time to visit the doc and have a serious chat with her. It's something I dealt with years ago (while working for WalMart, lol) and I think it's time to be a little more open about it. My daughter told me several of my kids have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders and it rather shocked me. Does it seem like this is more common because we've gotten better at diagnosing it or because it's symptom of everyday life now? Though with the rate that some drugs are being discovered in our water supplies I can't see why we need more meds. And now I'm really depressed.

Save the hermiting for the high temps in summer and enjoy what you can of spring now, and don't forget to exercise! Yeah, yeah, I know, take your own advice dummy, lol.

TrickyRicky said...

It's always good to see notification of a new Stilton's Place post in my inbox. You and your daughter are included in my prayers each night, along with an unfortunate, and growing, number of friends and family who are fighting tough medical fights or have succumbed to the inevitable.

I concur with John the Econ regarding physical movement. It always helps, especially above the neck.

I found this gem the other day and it really spoke to me personally. I must admit that I did not discover it in the original, but within a Joe Pickett novel...

"I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair" - Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Paul Donohue said...

Sophomoric humor or not, I appreciate your sense of humor. It is so close to mine.

Kathy's Irises look like they're coming in nicely and it sounds to me like you're beginning to like gardening, even though you haven't realized it yet. I've pretty much given up on gardening due to my current condition and limited remainder, but Annie keeps it up and I find myself enjoying things like the young crepe myrtles that she put in last year. Their foliage is excellent and it's pretty clear that they should have a good May to September bloom. I'm sure that she put them in because they're my favorite tree.

I'm glad to hear that you haven't opened that $30 bottle yet but Daughter J's birthday is a great time to crack it open. I hope that you both have a great day.

It's also good to see that you reviewed the hospice. I'm sure that their reply to you is the same reply they give to every other review that they get. The fact that it's a rote reply completely negates it to all who see it. Your review may well save several people from experiences like yours.

So keep on trucking', a day at a time. It sounds like you're moving in the right direction. We're all thinking about the two of you.

Dan said...

So, are the four ferns, ornamental grass, and pots of petunias adjacent to or on top of the python?

Colby Muenster said...

Just remember, Stilton, bears like caves too, and bears... well, they eat people. Please don't stay in that cave too long!

@Tricky,

Being from Wyoming originally, I love C.J. Box's books. He is very good at capturing the "Wyoming way." I just hope it isn't ruined by the Hollyweird types when it goes to video.

Karno said...

I've been through the loss of loved ones more often than I care to talk about. So in my experience, you've shown admirable strength and patience through this ordeal. And yes, the support of friends helped me through the hard times. And for all that I very rarely comment, you have mine.

PA Ray said...

Don’t post oft, not much to say.
Read and observe is more my way.
Glad you post, it makes my day,
It’s quiet Ray from NW PA

Shelly said...

When I was young, raising kids and working, I had no time for gardening and every attempt I made turned out badly for the plant. I guess you could call it a brown thumb. In retirement, I found the joys of gardening and dearly love planting, weeding and nurturing my blooms. It can certainly take your mind off things that are unpleasant to think about. Maybe this might happen to you, fine sir.

jhsilcox said...

Remember, everyone heals at their own pace; there is no 'right' way to grieve. And, beginning to feel better doesn't mean that you've forgotten Kathy, but that you're honoring her by living your life to the fullest.

God bless you!

susan page said...

I suffer from desenbarque syndrome so empathize with your balance problems,

Sharon D. said...

Yes I am a human. Not a robot. As time goes on for me I try to do more for my friends. I am soon to be 78 years young. One friend younger than me. I have lost 3 family members so far in my life time. One was my adult son. They say that it is good to say their name. Kathy is a beautiful name and I hope it makes you happy to say Kathy. We planted a tree in memory of my son. It a real nice tree. My leaning tree, I hug it and talk to him. Maybe the out doors in not you thing but it helps me. I pray that your daughter is starting to feel a little better too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Daughter J. Grief is a strange thing. Women talk about their grief. Men not very much. So happy you talk to us as friends. We really care about you and daughter. Breath.

Lee The Voice said...

Nice Irises.

Anonymous said...

Prayers continue for healing for you and the "youngun".
.
NSF

Igor said...

One foot in front of the other. Repeat. You'll gwet there, we're ALL pulling for ya!

'Fraid I don't qualify as non-robot because I'm an Engineer.

Health and well-being to you and Daughter J. Kathy looks down and smiles, I am sure.



Mamafrog, what part of Washington State? Here on the right side we have 4 seasons. On the Left side, Summer falls on a weekend if you're lucky.

Chap said...

I'm thankful for your continued breathing.

John said...

The great circle of life. It's very, very painful at times and healing, at least on a superficial level can take a very long time. Stay busy and reflect on the good times.

My father-in-law was the dad I never really had as mine passed away when I was young. After he passed, I have many tools and mementos from his shop now gracing my shop; I have a big grin when I see those and think about him tinkering in his shop. Sort of like Kathy's lillies.

Jon said...

I downloaded a copy of that video of your sleep attack. Still funny. I am heartened to see you are pressing on with some aspects of life. I miss the Real King of France who ran Curmudgeonly Skeptical blog.

Trudge on !

Anonymous said...

The absolute guarantee about life is that no matter what it goes on....even when we don't want it to....the sun comes up each morning and a new day begins....I hope you will celebrate your daughter's birthday...life is short....we don't know how short...grab each day and live it as though it was your last...one day it will be and you'll have no regrets......don't wait for 'better times' to do things....better times are today...
Sending up prayers for strength for you and your daughter....
Love n' Prayers......

Richard said...

glad to see you post again I was getting worried. be carful and stay safe.

markshere2 said...

No inspiring or comforting words come to me, so ... you are appreciated by me and thousands of otjers who maintain silence.

Please abide and provide love for your daughter?

And accept her love and know that Kathy is feeling much better now.

Mark

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Mike aka Proof- Green side up?! Now you tell me!

@Anonymous- Thank you.

@JustaJeepGuy- I'm a complete introvert but I want at least some human contact. Plus, I want to reconnect with friends before they write me off as a lost cause. That being said, when it comes to good humans here on this blog I enjoy an embarrassment of riches.

@Mike- Thank you. It's a slow slog and I know I've only just started it. It will take the time it takes.

@The Overgrown Hobbit- Thank you so much. And I look forward to being primarily funny again one of these days.

@bocopro- You and your wife have a lot on your plates but fortunately a healthy attitude about this wild ride we're all on.

@Feargal the Cat- Thanks for the heartwarming movie tip! (grin)

@jimbro- Thank you for sharing that story. I'm glad you have such a beautiful flower to remind you of your brother.

@Unknown- You're not babbling at all. In fact, you're speaking my language. I'm so sorry about your losses and hope with all my heart that your wife's treatment goes well. And rest assured, I'll let everyone know when I sample that Scotch - though if you were here I'd be pouring for both of us right now.

@PaBlum- I hate the dang security thing that makes you "prove you are not a robot" but have never found a way to turn it off. And I'm so very sorry about your daughter. My sister died while she was still a young wife and mother and it was very hard on my parents.

@Jerryskids- Time may be the great healer but it's one slow sonofagun. Although I barely have the right to say that since it hasn't even been two months yet. But the days and hours are long.

@Art- I'd give you a manly widower hug if I could. I'm hoping there will be okay days in the future...I'm not even asking for more than that. Regarding the Scotch, I'm too much of a cheapskate to drink it in one sitting, although an online review said that it was so smooth that you can easily drink more than you intend.

@NaCly Dog- I'm not moving forward quickly (I suspect if I looked behind me there would be a snail-trail) but I'm moving. And I think humor is inextricably going to continue to be a significant part of my life. I'm wired funny in multiple senses.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous- Thank you. And yes, Life blindsided me with this one!

@Wayne in Indiana- 20 miles south of Indianapolis? I wonder how often I drove through your neck of the woods when I was commuting between Indy and Bloomington (where I went to college and eventually met Kathy). And my own Dad planted a number of fruit trees in his yard in Hawaii that are still bearing fruit. It really does make for a nice living memorial.

@Murphy AZ- They haven't trusted me with a chainsaw yet...

@Nancy Dickerson- Hearing about the losses of others (and I'm so sorry for yours) doesn't make things easier, exactly, but it does remind me that my pain is not unique or unprecedented. I've joined a very big club with the worst initiation imaginable, but it's still a connection with a very human community.

@Greg- Thank you for the prayers.

@OldTexan- When we moved into this house, there wasn't a mature tree in sight. Now our neighborhood is full of them and it's great. There is a majestic oak towering over my office that was just a sapling when we had it planted, and full-blown crepe myrtle trees that were probably only knee-high when we planted them. I think the whole gardening thing is going to grow on me, no pun intended.

@Snark- I'm happy to report that there's no possibility whatsoever of my turning into a Progressive (well, short of major head trauma). And yes, dogs can be the best therapists. Daughter J and I are getting a lot of beneficial affection from her dog, Ladybug. And when they move out (to an apartment two minutes from here) I'll probably get another dog in my life who can teach me about living in the moment. And the joy of barking at the Amazon delivery guy.

@MTlurker- Oh, my. 58 years. I'm very sorry for your loss, my friend. And I'm appreciative of your experience and advice. I haven't joined a bereavement group yet (except online) but won't hesitate to depending on how things play out. I wish you only the best.

@jpb252- That's my goal.

@John the Econ- I felt like my friend's comments about Netflix, Apple, and day to day life really humanized the situation. I'm sure he felt like "it can't happen here" which, as you point out, should be a warning to all of us who feel the same way.

Regarding exercise, I'm going to try to start a walking routine beginning tomorrow morning. The mood benefits are well documented so I'd be a fool not to give it a go.

@Veince (Venice?) Bob- I'm trying my best to end each day by considering the things I'm grateful for. It's not always easy, but I think it's critically important. And it helps when the sun DOES come up in the morning - it feels like a fresh start. Unlike sundown, which is still a very difficult time around here.

@Bob- Glad to be heard from! I didn't mean for it to turn into 10 days, but my sense of time isn't working correctly yet.

@mamafrog- I could semi-joke that people who haven't been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder just aren't paying attention. But in complete seriousness, I'm very open about taking antidepressants because I want others to feel a little bit more freedom to ask their doctors about them if needed. Antidepressants aren't for everyone and they're not magic - but in cases like mine, they can be life-changing in a positive way.

And I do intend to take advantage of the nice outdoor weather we're having before we hit the triple-digits of summer around here!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@TrickyRicky- That Tennyson feller knew what he was talking about. And I thank you for the prayers on our behalf.

@Paul Donohue- Kathy really landscaped our yard beautifully and I've always enjoyed all of those plants even if I wasn't the mastermind or gardener (although I was useful when she'd tell me to "dig up that big bush and move it over there"). So tending the garden isn't just for Kathy, it's also for me. And it's lovely right now to see so many things coming to life that Kathy planted.

I had to chuckle (ruefully) at the hospice's public reply that they'd really appreciate more feedback. They even included a phone number I could call! But my review already contained every scintilla of information they'd need to identify and call ME if they really wanted feedback. Bastards.

@Dan- Actually, all of those things I described went in various places in our front and back yards, and none in the "python burial grounds" at the side of our house. The neighbors planted so many nice things that will grow and spread that I don't want to crowd anything.

@Colby Muenster- Good advice about bears. I'll try to vacate the cave before any come back for the hibernation months.

@Karno- Thank you for the support, it genuinely means a lot. And I'm sorry for the losses you've experienced. Life can be cold and hard, so it's good that we have the warmth of friendships to compensate.

@PA Ray- You forgot to end your verse with "Burma Shave!"

@Shelly- Kathy knew so much about gardening that I never had to learn any of it, although I picked up a bit just by osmosis. I think learning about the tips, tricks, and processes will also spark additional interest on my part.

@jhsilcox- Wise words. There's definitely a tendency for the bereaved (including me) to feel guilty if they accidentally feel okay for a bit. I know that Kathy wouldn't want that. I do want (and intend) to honor Kathy by living as best I can. I just need to find that elusive path...

@susan page- I'm sorry you've got that going on. Mine isn't bad at the moment but it's still there. But of Things That Are Bothering Me right now, it's not in the Top 25.

@Sharon D.- I'm just a little younger than you but catching up fast. I'm very sorry about the deaths in your family and the pain you've experienced. And I think the idea of the tree is a beautiful thing. I'm going to study our ground here and see if there's a spot where I could put in something like that for Kathy. And yes, I think it's good to use her name.

Regarding talking about grief, I hold a lot inside most of the time but I am open and honest with my friends here on this site. And for that matter I have a female therapist who I'm able to be very open with. Even pressure cookers need to vent.

@Lee The Voice- We have both white and purple Irises that Kathy planted, and she always loved bringing in a bloom to put in a bud vase so its perfume could scent the air. I may not do that this year, but I'll sure as heck go outside for an occasional sniff!

@NSF- Thank you!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Igor- I'll try to turn "one foot in front of the other" into a gameplan rather than a field sobriety test...

@Chap- You can thank my daughter, my dog, and my CPAP for the continued breathing.

@John- There are lots of reminders of Kathy here in the house. I look forward to just enjoying them without so much pain.

@Jon- It still annoys me that I've never gotten a real explanation for what was going on with those sleep attacks. They weren't subtle and they weren't normal. And if the doctors couldn't diagnose it, then I think they were duty-bound to name the condition after me.

@Anonymous- Oh, we'll try to do something for Daughter J's birthday, though even at the best of times we've never made a big fuss about birthdays here. And you're right that I shouldn't wait until a "perfect" time to carpe the diem. Life is short...and unpredictable.

@Richard- Assuming I don't get hit by a bus, I'll never just "disappear" from this site. If I decide to hang it up (and I don't plan to) I'd post to that effect. At the moment there's just going to be intermittent pauses in posting because of the ebbs and flows in my mood and energy.

@Mark- Thank you!

robert kendall said...

Stay Strong! you're not alone!

czechlist said...

Sympathy for you but blessed that I do not have to express empathy though I came close
My wife is a breast cancer - chemo and double mastectomy - survivor. I just finished a load of laundry. All of her blouses and shirts were inside out and I thanked God for the opportunity to turn them out and hang them for her future wear.
Mom was in hospice and passed a few months ago. I was upset at the hospice facility but it was understaffed due to covid and an incompetent government paying people not to work. The available nursing was great but the staffing shortage denied her the complete care ($7G/mo) she was paying for. Thankfully her suffering was short term
God bless you, your daughter, my wife and the distillers of single malt whisky

Russ said...

I have been inspired by your wit and writing for many years (going back to the good old Hope and Change days).

I lost my wife in October of 2021. There is no timetable for grief or loss. Be comforted by your daughter and those around you who express their caring. Peace will come. It will take time. Open that bottle of scotch and savor it slowly.

Gary said...

I lost the Love of my Life in 2019 - - I feel for you

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@robert kendall- Thank you, sir. This site reminds me of that every day.

@czechlist- As you can imagine, I'm positively grinning about your ability to do laundry for your wife to wear. What I wouldn't give to be able to do the same. Well, for Kathy - I'm not saying I want to do your wife's laundry. And I'm sorry that your hospice experience wasn't great. Staffing shortages were part of our problem, too, and I don't really blame the facility for that. You can't hire people who don't apply for the jobs.

Thank you for the good wishes and let me send some right back your way.

@Russ- I'm so very sorry for your loss. And if anyone ever dares to tell me that there IS a timetable for grief, I might turn violent. "Healing" will take the time it takes and the form it takes, and that's not going to be the same for any two people. I've joined a widowers' group on Facebook and it can be disheartening to see someone say "it's been 10 years and it hasn't gotten better." I pray that I'll have at least a modicum of peace long before that, but I would never suggest that the man making the post is taking "too long" with his grief.

Thank you for the comforting words and please know that I'd like to give you a manly hug just now.

@Gary- And I feel for you, too, with all my heart. Take care, brother.

Anonymous said...

I lost my Soulmate to cancer July 2020, and a big chunk of my soul went with her. Believe me I know what you're going through and it won't be easy for quite a while. The books help a lot. A friend who lost his wife the previous year sent me a bunch. Keep your humor as best you can...it helps. Continued prayers for you and your daughter. The dark tunnel will eventually lighten... and it won't be a train. Love & good wishes to you, Stay strong Stilt.
Don [xringer22@sbcglobal.net]

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Don- I'm very sorry for your loss and I appreciate your insight and encouragement. And I'll keep reading my grieving books, even though I can only go a few pages at a time. Slow and steady is my mantra these days.

@Readers- Yesterday I successfully gave blood for the first time. One week earlier my veins failed me and it was a real disappointment. Knowing how important blood donations are, and how important they were for Kathy, this gave me a real mood lift yesterday. I was doing something for somebody even if I didn't know who.

The process of giving blood was simple, fast, and essentially painless. If you've ever (or never) considered donating blood, I'm asking you personally to give it a try. When you make a whole blood donation (the typical kind) it actually gets separated into red blood cells, plasma, and platelets meaning that 3 people will benefit from each donation you make. I wish I'd started doing this years ago but I'll be a regular now. I hope you'll think about doing the same (and thank you!)

Anonymous said...

Your shared thoughts and wisdom keep me sane..... Thank you!!

Semper Fidelis, Buck

John the Econ said...

Congratulations and thank you @Stilton on your first blood donation. As you said, you'll never know who you helped, but you can know for certain that it made a real difference in someone's life. It really is something you can feel good about. I am sure Kathy is proud.

I'm scheduled for after lunch today.

Linda Fox said...

Flowers do lift your spirits. It's a reminder that, even amid personal disaster and difficult times, life endures.
You're doing the right things - keeping busy, engaging in the hopeful act of gardening (outside in the sunshine, helping the ongoing life around you continue, being with your daughter).
We're all pulling for your and your family.

Unknown said...

It's okay to hurt, it's okay to grieve and you never, ever get over the loss. You really only learn how to navigate around the most painful parts. The one person who shared every memory with you isn't there when you want to cry, want to laugh or want to just pleasantly reflect; the support you had for the daily challenges you face is sadly missing, so you'll want to feel anything but what you are feeling. From my own experience I can tell you that crawling into a bottle or self-medicating doesn't make anything better. Enjoy the things you enjoyed together, a glass of wine, a couple shots of Scotch, but not more than what you loved together.
You already possess one of the best tools to move through this, your ability to write coherently and thoughtfully. Having the materials to right readily at hand, no matter where you are or what you are doing can be very cathartic. Some you will share, some will be private, just as it was when she was with you.
Don't neglect the things she loved about you, especially your incredible sense of humor.
Dammit, I wanted to say something to make you laugh, but I can't think of a thing. If I could only figure out how to upload a picture of my goofy looking face, neck beard, and tornado coiffed hair, I know I could get a laugh out of you.
Hang in there Stilton, like others, I'm praying for you guys.

Kathe Houston said...

Stilton
Praying for you and J everyday.
It sucks losing our partners! I don't know how to do blogs or whatever but it is showing my google email as I type this and I NEVER have used THAT. - Jack created it for whatever reason and I've not disconnected it because I never know what he did or didn't do and how it will mess with something I might need.

I know you don't like to use Messenger nor do I but I,d like to send you the email that I do use and my phone number and won't put it on here or in Facebook - for all I know you won't need it anyway but I would hate to lose you.

I'm sitting here 5 years later...still not really functioning and attempting to clear out my Outlook files and ran across access to your blog so here I am. Until I figure out how to get out of using the google email they are showing for me and change it to the one I do use I guess I'll have to go look once in a while...GEEZ! LOL
I've got to get thru some of this crap as it just keeps piling on and I wake up in partial terror because I KNOW I need to get rid of some of this crap but not knowing what I even have it for in the 1st place as Jack created all kinds of things using my name and etc LOL And blew up the computer hard drive leaving me no passwords or info. AYYYYYYYYYYY

Love always,

Kathe

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Buck- It's absolutely my hope and intent to keep posting, and on a more regular basis, once I've collected my marbles enough.

@John the Econ- All I need to know about the recipient of my blood is that the person is "someone like Kathy," whatever their age, race, sex, etc. In other words, someone who needs blood. And good for you for being such a regular donor. I now feel like a dolt for not having done this before, but I'm told that humility builds character.

@Linda Fox- The flowers DO lift my spirits and staying busy helps my mood. As does the support I'm getting from you and others here!

@Unknown- A lot of wisdom in your post and it sounds like it was hard won. So thank you and also know that I'm genuinely sorry for your loss.

I'm glad to report that I'm not overindulging in drugs or liquor or anything of the sort and don't expect that to change. I'm still overeating pretty badly, but assume I can rein that in when I find other things to occupy my days. As you suggest, that will probably be some form of writing - though at the moment I'm hard pressed to know what to write about. I'm sick of politics (and politicians and idiots) and eager to talk about things other than loss and grief. But what? Suggestions are welcome!

And don't worry about being unable to send a picture: if I want to see a goofy face, neck beard, and tornado-coiffed hair, all I need is a mirror.

@Kathy Houston- The most reliable way to be in contact is email (although I can be tardy about responding to it these days). I can be reached at Stilton (at) Cutcheese (dot) com. I don't envy your challenge in unraveling computer stuff set up by Jack - I'm having trouble unraveling my OWN computer stuff! At least my own Kathy always had a book of my passwords in case I went into the great unknown first. Although she would have looked at that 30 page booklet and say "what the hell was he DOING at all these websites?!"

Larry Seidenberg-Jones said...

Mr. Jarlsberg, I am so sorry about everything you and your family have been going through. My deepest thoughts, prayers and condolences are with you. I have been reading your column and Johnny Optimism for many years and you have provided me and many others with mirth, entertainment and laughter all this time. Thank you so much for everything you have given and I hope you and your family heal soon and my prayers for your Wife's soul as well.

John the Econ said...

There's no doubt that your blood will go to someone in need. In recent years, the Red Cross has started sending an email a few weeks later telling you where your blood ended up being used, which I think is pretty cool. Sometimes it's used in my town. Sometimes, it's sent across the country. You never know where or who when you donate, but you to know it mattered to someone.

Also, they're doing COVID antibody testing again, and will let you know if you tested positive.

Thanks again for joining the club.

Gee M said...

Just a funny moment I had trying to get a free account from Peacock...
And I just kept on trying to get an answer...the concussion I got a few months ago is still making me stupid.

null (5/4/2022, 6:54:01 PM): how do I receive Peacock on my laptop?
null (5/4/2022, 6:56:21 PM): hello?
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:56:24 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:56:26 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 6:57:04 PM): receiving content
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:57:07 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:57:09 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 6:57:35 PM): give me an example
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:57:38 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:57:40 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 6:58:01 PM): what are the topics
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:58:04 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:58:06 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 6:58:20 PM): programs
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:58:22 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:58:24 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 6:58:47 PM): is this a joke?
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:58:50 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:58:52 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 6:59:05 PM): is this a joke?
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:59:08 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:59:10 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 6:59:26 PM): funny shows
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:59:29 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 6:59:31 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
(I'm the idiot referred to as "null", as in null and void.)
null (5/4/2022, 7:02:54 PM): love
null (5/4/2022, 7:03:28 PM): I want comedy
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:03:31 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:03:34 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 7:03:50 PM): funny shows
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:03:53 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:03:55 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 7:04:22 PM): funny shows is a topic...
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:04:25 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:04:27 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 7:04:59 PM): police dramas
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:05:02 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:05:04 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 7:05:14 PM): police dramas
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:05:16 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:05:19 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 7:05:50 PM): world peace
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:05:52 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:05:54 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 7:06:41 PM): so, everything is a direct question
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:06:44 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:06:46 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.
null (5/4/2022, 7:07:00 PM): kiss me honey
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:07:03 PM): Sorry, I can't answer direct questions yet.
Peacock Helper (5/4/2022, 7:07:05 PM): Pick a topic and I’ll take you to the right place.

Gee M said...

Oh, BTW...Peacock really sucks...Hulu and Prime are way better.








I may not be a robot, but I sure am a null...lol

Dan said...

@Gee M (aka null)
Is Peacock Helper like Hamburger Helper?

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Ted Striker:
I've got to concentrate...

Ted Striker:
concentrate... concentrate... I've got to concentrate... concentrate... concentrate... Hello?... hello... hello... Echo... echo... echo... Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon... Manny Mota... Mota... Mota...

Gee M said...

Dan
It's way better...it actually works. :)