Wednesday, July 13, 2022

It Only Hurts When I Life

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Kathy, grief, legal, Will, probate

For the record, Daughter J said I shouldn't post the cartoon above because "it makes you look sad." To which I countered, "Yes, but it makes me look sad in a funny way." She still isn't buying it and you might not either, but I ran out of ideas and needed SOME picture to put at the top of the page. 

It's been exactly four months since I lost Kathy and while I keep plugging along, I can't really boast of making progress in leaps and bounds. On my scorecard so far, I've had lunch with a friend once (with outdoor seating), dinner with Kathy's brother and his wife once (indoors and boldly unmasked), and this past week I actually watched a TV program by myself for the first time. So there's not a lot of carpe in my diem

Still, Life, in its eternal wisdom, keeps me hopping with various tasks that need attention. Today, for instance, I had to have an audience with a judge to make a number of sworn statements relating to the disposition of Kathy's Will, which named me as the sole beneficiary and executor. After raising my right hand, I had to answer tough questions like these:

"Are you the person named as executor?"
"I am."
"Are you willing to serve as executor?"
"I am."
"As beneficiary, do you accept this person as your executor?"
"I do."
"As beneficiary, do you wish to waive being provided a complete accounting of all assets held by the executor who is also you?"
"I do."
"Do you, whichever person you're being, swear you're telling the truth?"
"We do."
"I now pronounce you beneficiary and executor. You may kiss your lawyer's fee goodbye."

So that's been handled and will facilitate the generating of more legal paperwork which will be required to do things like changing names on titles and bank accounts. Because that's such a satisfying and uplifting use of my time and energy. 

I've also noticed weird seepage coming out from under the toilet in the master bathroom and have decided that it's likely a bad wax ring where the biffy connects to the plumbing. Fortunately, replacement wax rings are only about five or ten bucks, meaning I should be able to get the toilet fixed for about $375 (plus about five to ten bucks) because I'M damn well not going to do it, no matter how easy Youtube thinks the job is.

Of a slightly more satisfying nature, I'm also doing daily bucket brigade duty to try to keep our various plants alive while North Texas bakes in 104° heat and weeks without a trace of rain. And trust me, "alive" is the low bar I'm setting for most of the plants just now, all of which are wilting, turning brown, and giving me dirty looks for not letting them come inside my air-conditioned house. Then again, that may have been the crew who mow my lawn - it's not like I'm going to stand out in that heat long enough to be sure.


Mike aka Proof said...

To whom are we speaking? Executor or beneficiary? Never mind! You're not under oath here!
Glad you're still plugging along among the living. It gets easier, they tell me. But they don't say when. Glad you're still keeping your sense of humor. I sympathize with your plants. Not standing in solidarity with them, but I sympathize! Hang in there!

Wren said...

Despite all the aggravations of everyday life and, of course, the great sadness, you are still a clever writer. I hope it somehow gets easier for you.

Sue in Oregon said...

Coming up on the 5 year anniversary of my widowhood. It does get easier but not fun. I can laugh and reminisce about the good times and share stories that make me smile. Life will never be the same but it does go on and I still treasure everyday. Like I just learned that in January I will become a great grandmother for the very 1st time. These are life experiences that I will want to share with Tom when we are together again. So carpe your diem, there are still events in your life that make it worth showing up.

JustaJeepGuy said...

I never worry about watering my grass until it crackles when I walk on it. It's still alive when it's brown; it's when the grass turns gray that it's too late. That's when I let my yard self-xeriscape.

VideomanSS said...

Guess I had it easy as we had moved to an assisted living place so no plants...etc. to worry about. Moving into an assisted living place did make it easier as we had Downsized Immensely. Original plan was to move 2400 miles away when I retired before my wife's Dementia really kicked in. So when she passed of other side effects I made the move anyway as most everything was in place. Took her to a family cemetery 3 months later after all the snow melted so I would get out and moved 3 months later. Kept me very busy so didn't have much time to think about current living conditions without her until the move was complete. Then surrounded by her relatives and some old friends so made it so much easier as we had lived here before. I thank God for them and their support. And I still had two dogs that had been hers so was keeping busy. I guess that is the thing. Keeping busy and make your life go on. We were together 49 years but had taken care of all the names changes and accounts as she had given me an overall Power of Attorney in advance which really made it easier. I feel for you Stilt but keep it busy and, if possible, be surrounded by friends. I will sorting through old pictures...etc. and still brings a tear to the eye. Prayers for you and Daughter J.

Maoz said...

Hi Stilt and Daughter J. I want to ditto what Sue in Oregon said.

As for setting the bar for your plants at "alive": If they complain, tell them to pretend they're in the Land of Israel. Here we are observing the biblical seventh-year Sabbath of the Land. We get a day of rest every seventh day; (somewhat) similarly, the Land has its Year of Rest. So certain forms of agricultural/horticultural activity are prohibited. Which means yards and gardens and so forth aren't as gussied-up as normal. But doing enough to keep the plants alive is definitely allowed.

Hang in there, you two. We're with ya!

Michael D said...

Your doing the right thing. When my father-in-law died we found out he never told anybody (businesses) that my mother-in-law had died 9 years earlier. So we had to inform them about her so we could inform them about him. Plus they had never sent out the letters for their living trust. I found them in the closet. So we had to introduce ourselves also. Real fun.

jimbro said...

Home repairs that might end catastrophically, defined as terminal damage to my house or me, get farmed out to a professional. Despite what YouTube plumbers claim, it's never as easy as they make it look. As far as the plants go, the survivors are obviously the fittest amongst the bunch so this is Backyard Darwinism in action or something like that! Stay busy sir!

Anonymous said...

Hate to add to your frustration and angst, and know you want to stay away from politics, but I don't believe we're allowed to refer to the 'master' bedroom and bathroom any longer. That makes us sexist and racist. Here in NY it's now the 'primary' bed and bath…..thought i'd share this with you as I know how you wish to always be politically correct!
Two more things… HAVE to watch the movie Coco. It will help you through this sucky time in your life.
And #2, why the &$#@ am I still in NY? Any room left down there in the great state?
Love you Stilt

Alan said...

You've got a crew that mows your lawn? Wow! You're living in the lap of luxury.

jhsilcox said...

The pain of such a loss never goes away and someday, when you think you're 'over' it, the memories and sadness will sneak up on you, envelope you, and kick you in the gut. Don't allow yourself to feel guilty for eventually, not thinking of Kathy every moment of your day. You are permitted to move along at your own pace. Everyone grieves differently.

On a completely different tact, depending on your plantings, it may work for you to gather some 3-5 gallon plastic buckets drill a 1/4" hole in the bottom and place the buckets near your planting. Filling the bucket and moving on to the next will enable you to quickly do the watering without having to stand and wait for the water to soak in.

Unknown said...

Stilton, I understand where you are now. My sweetheart passed 3/27/2020 !0:27am. I knew it was going to happen but it still tore a hole in my heart. I still am healing. Yes, the Probate thing was done. Getting my letter of testamentary was granted then the changing of many names and accounts. I still get mail for her- car warranty, wanting to buy her house (my new residence) etc. What a wonderful world we live in. I'm with you on the grief. It will get better but slowly.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

I recommend shredded scumbag realtors to keep your plants healthy... :)

Murphy AZ said...

Here in Aridzona, we can sympathize with you about the heat. We are patiently awaiting the arrival of our "monsoons" from under rocks and cacti, wherever we can find shade.

You being in Texas, it won't be long before some gulf hurricane will wander through and dump enough rain to make you wish for the dry days to return. Hang in there, Sir. Six months from now you'll be having ice storms and looking fondly back on these fine, summer days!

Snark said...

The recurring requirements to fulfill legal responsibilities (which feel like ripping stitches from a wound,) not to mention the expense incurred from lawyers during probate is what prompted us to put everything into a trust. It was only a couple hundred bucks more than a will but should save more than that when the time comes to need it. We did one decades ago to protect our daughter from herself if anything happened to us way too early; the practicality of it was demonstrated when my parents passed. Some lawyers discourage it because it interrupts further income to them later. As if I care about that.

Keep on keeping on.
Be well

Jon said...

Thanks you <𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘣𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘨𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨> !

I now have to clean coffee off both of my monitors.

I'll offer (from an ignorant place) Kathy would likely want you to get out and about ?

Glenda T Goode said...

Grief and mourning are a marathon and not a sprint. There is no magic moment when all of the sudden you have made peace with everything. It takes as long as it takes.

The only thing that be done is to keep on living. Don't abandon the things in life that you enjoy or that are who you are because of losing Kathy. You need to carry on.

Memories that are painful at present will ease and you will find the warmer ones that you will always keep close to your heart. This is a period of adjustment and your emotions will sort themselves out in time.

Reach out to friends and family. Keep busy intellectually. This will help you find your way and you will stumble at times, shed a tear or two and yet, continue on because that is what life is all about.

Jess said...

It's amazing how many dollars have to be fed to an attorney to finally stand in front of a judge, who doesn't care, and have this pillar of the legal ivory tower give you the magic words to keep what is yours. It's like "Breaking Bad" and "The Wizard of Oz" rolled into one neat package.

We share the heat in the southeast section of the great state of Texas. Triple digits every day, although the weather wizards are not always in agreement. Apparently, their thermometers are better than mine, which I can understand. They probably spent a few thousand for what I paid $9.75 at Lowes.

Mikey said...

Well, if I lived near you (I'm in Kentucky) I'd volunteer to come over and replace your wax ring for free. I've done several and, although it can be intimidating if you've never done it, it's not hard. I bet you know someone who can do it.

Elbarto said...

I'd commiserate on your heat wave except that I'd be in 7th heaven if it was only going to be 104 here today. Earlier in the week it was 114, but it's cooled off some and we're only expecting to hit 110 today.

TrickyRicky said...

Hang in there Stilton. Easier said than done, I know.
Sorry to gloat everyone, but I'll be enjoying our forecast high of 85 here in the front range foothills of Colorado.

Patrick said...

We all heal at our own pace. Keep the social contacts, keep busy, and find a consistent means to vent your thoughts, memories, and the grief they may bring. Mine was my blog, and I posted to it almost daily during the period you still find yourself in. Talking to others in the same straits and listening to their issues and stories - offering them what few insights I had at the time was cathartic. Again: gradually the joy of each day will outweigh the pain of the loss you’ve suffered. Love ya, man! Keep at it!

Patrick said...

(Yay! Solved the iPhone posting issue! Needed to enable cross-site checking in the iPhone settings for each browser I use, for the curious…)

pkerot said...

I know divorce is not the same as the death of your wonderful wife but after my divorce I got up every day, put on my clothes and went to work every day ...but I was DEAD for two years.
What I am saying is that it will take a while but things will get better.
Thank you for making our days better

RyDaddy said...

I'm coming up on 4 years since losing my wife to cancer and that underlying feeling of "just plugging along" is still there. It's not there all the time anymore, but it's there.

Nancy Dickerson said...

The day they took my husband's body to be cremated, I began to clean the house. It wasn't that the house was dirty; it was something mindless to do. Each day, I got up and made the bed, did whatever needed doing and kept on moving on. Stopping too long led to thinking about things that hurt. My prayer for you is that you can keep moving until the thoughts become more like the sad-happys that I share with my children now. We remember him and smile and laugh. It was ten years ago, but I still love him just as much now as I did then. Write down the happy things that need to be remembered and keep them for Daughter J. Wait and give them to her in a few years. Share the things that made Kathy the special person she was. Sometimes it is the memories that make life worth living.

Lee The Voice said...

I think that a toilet ring may be better than ring around the toilet.

Drew458 said...

If I was anywhere near you I'd fix that toilet for $25, and $25 for a new rubber seal and a clicky water line. $20 for a new water line press on ball valve if needed.Nobody uses wax rings anymore. It really is that easy to do. So easy that you don't need to watch a video. Basic Man Skills stuff, sorry.

It's a 1 hour job your first time, a 15 minutes job once you've done a couple of them. The rubber seal lasts forever, and can be transferred to a new toilet if you buy one.

John the Econ said...

I can deal with my own s*** for $370. But that's me.

I noticed the silence here as I checked in over the last two weeks after my morning chores were complete. Really wanted to nudge ya, but at the same time know you probably need your space at this point. Either way, you've been in our thoughts.

Drip lines on timers are your garden's friend.

Shelly said...

I just received news that my elderly cousin (even more elderly than me) just died suddenly of a massive stroke. She and her husband were about to celebrate 64 years of marriage. He went into the other room for a couple of minutes and came back to find her slumped over and unresponsive. After a day or so in ICU they had to let her go as she was only being kept alive by the machines. Her sweet husband is completely broken. He doesn't want a funeral or even for anyone to know. He wants every picture and all her belongings removed from the house. It's heartbreaking. It makes me ponder which is worse, suffering through a lengthy incapacitating illness like Kathy or just sudden death with no suffering. Either is rough but getting a chance to say goodbye is worth something. My prayers are still with you, Stilton.

Dan said...

Wax toilet thingie replacement.
Me and a buddy before we retired. We both were scheduling our cars for oil changes. We had often done that sort of thing ourselves, but we both commented that, "yeah I can do it, I just don't WANT to."

Anonymous said...

One day at a time sir. I wish I had better advice, but there it is. We're all pulling for you and your family to get back to better days.

mamafrog said...

Pleeeese tell me the judge actually said it that way? I really need a laugh right now and that helped. (Full moon and mom is being fractious, of course.)

And I'm impressed, you actually accomplished three things without too much griping, whining is permitted and encouraged, of course. I...honestly...cannot remember much about the first months after my husband died. It's all become a blur. Dealing with his cremation, for which I thank God daily for my children's help and guidance, and getting his ashes. I said "hello Sweetie" when I picked them up with my oldest son, a little embarrassing but it felt right. His ashes are with two of our dogs ashes now. When the last one goes, probably this year as she doesn't look good, I will take them all to someplace we really loved and scatter them.

Keep watering those plants, this heat is really rough on everything. I had to giggle at a news blurb about Dalls/FTW getting near a hundred, we've been there since May and it ain't any more fun now than it was then. We actually have had a few upper 90's here and there for relief and it's funny to think that, lol.! I heard tree frogs the other night but I think the little buggers are lying. It's supposed to be a sign that rain is on the way but, yeah...upper 100's so not much hope.

Mom finally let one of my brothers have her car, and that was such a blast I had to spend a couple of nights at my oldest son's house because I was in such a rage at her attitude. Should have just waited until she had a nap as she usually resets then. Yes, rather like a wonky computer on windows XP. It at least helped me calm down so that will be my go to as long as gas prices don't get too bad.

We are STILL battling fleas on top of the heat. You have to spray and vacuum constantly and it's a pain in the arse. One cat is an escape artist and keeps bringing them home. I'm also allergic to the spray as it has Cedarwood oil in it, so I'm in a Benadryl haze most of the time. You would think it would keep me calmer but the itching is driving me nuts, lol.

The toilet issue is just insult to injury, and of course it had to happen! I think that's another one worth paying someone else to do, lol.

OldTexan said...

We did the toilet reset fa few months ago, 20 years ago when I was in my 50's I did a retile on one of our bathrooms and put in new fixtures including toilet by myself. I knew how to put in a wax ring since I helped out a plumber when I was in high school and I was strong enough to get everything lined up because it must be done right. Correct, an inexpensive part and when the plumber and his helper came out I told my wife it would probably be $125 to $150 and I was only off by a bit, it was $225 and I smiled as I paid it.

Old people things I no longer do are getting on the roof, getting up more than three feet on a ladder, carrying lots of heavy stuff, bags of fertilizer and dirt and I am lucky to have a strong 22 year old grandson who lives in town, he is 6'4" weighs almost 200 pounds and works out almost every day and it is easy for a youngster to do the heavy lifting, mowing my yard three times faster than I can and the price is excellent, a large bacon and egg breakfast and an occasional rack of ribs right off the grill. It is amazing and fun to watch that young carnivore eat. I am in my late 70's and a friend ten years older than me told me about being careful durning those years from the 60's to the 70's and one fall can really mess up your whole retirement time, best to pay other folks and get the job done right.

Unknown said...

Keep your head up, bud. We are all pulling for you!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Mike aka Proof- I keep hearing that it gets easier (not "easy") and am counting on that being true. In the meanwhile, I try to laugh when and where I can.

@Wren- Thanks for the kind words. I desperately need to be writing these days but am still looking for the right topic/theme/perspective/inspiration.

@Sue in Oregon- Thank you for sharing your personal experience and please accept my condolences for your loss. right now I'm having sort of a hard time visualizing what those good "life events" coming up might be, but I'll continue to assume that they can happen if I practice patience.

@JustaJeepGuy- My yard would be a crispy critter at this point if I hadn't promised Kathy that I'd take care of it. Although I do like how it looks when it's healthy.

@VideomanSS- A mistake I made was not expanding my circle of friends enough when I had the chance. Being self-employed and working from home as a writer, I didn't have a "work circle" of friends. Nor did Kathy, since her job working for the City of Dallas sucked eggs. But we were happy with each other. It was our intent to increase our socialization just before Dr. Fauci's Effing Plague ended personal interactions and stole the last two and a half year's of Kathy's life. Long story short (albeit not short enough), I have A friend and A family member within driving distance - but "surrounding" myself with much of anybody isn't really possible. Though I wish it was. Keeping busy is good advice and I'll try to do that.

@Maoz- I hadn't known about the agricultural "year of rest" but it makes sense. If my lawn starts looking "un-gussied-up" I'll tell people that I'm converting my home to a BNB kibbutz. (grin)

@Michael D- I'm trying to do all of the right legal things and attend to the loose ends. I don't want Daughter J (or anyone else) to pay the price for my laziness or lack of attention to detail.

@Jimbro- I'll admit that the Youtube videos make the wax ring job look almost easy enough for me to do myself. But that's assuming that I've diagnosed the problem correctly and there are no surprises lurking under the porcelain. So calling in a professional is definitely the way to go. So to speak.

@Anonymous- Henceforth I won't refer to the "master" bedroom, nor will I allow cotton sheets to be used there. I'll look for Coco. I've heard good things about it.

@Alan- What, you don't have groundskeepers?! Actually, there's a 2-man crew that mows my front lawn once a week (I take care of the back). I used to do it all, but I just couldn't keep up with everything when Kathy got sick. And at the moment, I'm still feeling self-indulgent.

@jhsilcox- I only wish old memories and sadness would kick me in the gut. Currently the aim is a bit lower...

And good idea about the water buckets. Although even now I don't actually stand and wait for the water to soak in. I just pour it on the plants and then shout "suck, you bastards!" I think I read somewhere that plants like to be talked to (grin).

@Unknown- First, manly widower-hugs. I'm so sorry for your loss. Yes, this court proceeding was about getting the "letter of testamentary" which I'll apparently need to present to lots of different entities to change names on official documents and such. All of which I hate; it's bad enough not having Kathy with me and it's an added affront to have to participate in erasing her name from things.

@M. Mitchell Marmel- I know a good gardening tip when I hear it!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Murphy AZ- For a short time today it looked like a bit of rain might fall on us and I was ready to sit out in it. But no. And I'll admit that I dislike ice storms even more than I dislike heat, so I'm trying not to complain too much.

@Snark- Our assets were/are in a trust, too. It's a good way to streamline things legally and our attorney and financial guy helped set it up so that things would run smoothly when the time came. Bonus: it can help minimize certain taxes which is always a source of pleasure.

@Jon- Kathy would definitely want me to be doing things but she also wouldn't want me exposing our daughter to undue risks from Covid (she has conditions that make her high risk). That being said, Kathy would definitely be telling me to get off my ass more if she were here. And I'm trying!

@Glenda T Goode- Excellent advice that I'll take to heart. Thank you.

@Jess- I actually really like our attorney and haven't noticed any tendency to overbill (50% of the estate is about right, isn't it?). Seriously, he's a really good guy and has been very supportive.

@Mikey- Actually I don't know anyone who could just replace that ring for me. But hey, plumbers need to eat, pay bills, and clothe their children - I'll just be doing my part to help.

@Elbarto- You, sir, are officially living in an air fryer.

@TrickyRicky- 85 degrees?! Don't forget to wear your parka!

@Patrick- Your blog was and is a help to me, as is your continuing support. I do need to increase the amount of interaction I have with others; my head is an interesting place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there. And good for you for solving the iPhone problem that I don't even remotely understand!

@pkerot- I'm sorry you felt that way but must admit to a bit of envy that you at least had work to go to. The downside of working at home is when it doesn't feel like home anymore. But I hope and trust that this will improve with time. Thanks for the encouragement.

@RyDaddy- I'm so sorry about the loss of your wife. And I don't really see a spectacular improvement in my mood in the future but I'm hoping that eventually I can hurt 33% less on a daily basis. Sigh.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Nancy Dickerson- I'm trying to do that "busy work" thing because it does help, though some days it's hard to break out of my inertia (like today, for instance). And I have oodles of wonderful memories of Kathy that I look forward to enjoying and sharing again some day. I'm trying to get there, 24 hours at a time.

@Lee the Voice- My concern is that if I try the job, I may end up with a ring around my entire bathroom!

@Drew458- Basic man skills?! Next, I suppose you'll expect me to pee standing up! (grin) And I just saw those rubber seals on Youtube and they look like a big improvement over the wax rings. Who knows - there might actually be one of those under my toilet now!

@John the Econ- In fairness, I just made up that repair number. Though I wouldn't be shocked if I'm pretty close. And hey, if there's radio silence here for too long, feel free to prompt me. Time passes differently lately and sometimes I just lose track of when I last communicated.

And drip lines on times for the plants are going on my "to do" list. Not that I'll install 'em!

@Shelly- I'm very sorry for your loss and I'm genuinely stricken by the husband's plight. I can understand his immediate impulse to want to remove reminders of his wife that trigger his pain, but I hope nothing goes out that he'll want after enough time has passed.

And I can't really come up with an opinion about whether it's worse to lose a spouse unexpectedly or after a lingering illness. With the latter, you do get to say "goodbye" and tie up some loose ends. But with the sudden loss, you're spared the agonizing spectacle of your loved one's pain. Both options suck. For me, it was better that Kathy did not go suddenly - it would have destroyed me. As it was, the last months we shared forced me, at nearly 70, to finally grow up.

Thank you (and everyone!) for your prayers.

@Dan- Exactly! These are things I don't want to do! Outside of saving a few bucks, the only reason to do manly-man stuff is to impress your woman. That no longer being an issue, I prefer to simply write a check while some other poor bastard pulls the muscles in his back.

@Anonymous- "One day at a time" is the best advice I could ask for or give. It is the only way to deal with life's hardest situations. Don't try to cope with the whole thing - just try to cope with 24 hours at a time. It's gotten me this far.

@mamafrog- Truthfully, the judge did not use those exact words and he didn't seem like a wildly risible guy. And before my zoom meeting, both my daughter and my attorney encouraged me not to joke around - because they both know me.

Sorry about the car tribulations and the ongoing battles with the fleas. My older brother lives in Hawaii and a number of feral chickens have moved into his yard bringing chicken mites with them. The little stinkers jump on exposed skin and bite, so my brother is unamused. But at least they're outside (for now).

And looking on Amazon, I see some kind of little electric flea traps that might be helpful - have you tried anything like that? It looks like a little box with a nightlight bulb (to generate heat) that attracts the fleas, then they hop onto a super sticky sheet so you can laugh at the little bastards later.

@OldTexan- Great wisdom there. I've already injured myself slightly in recent years trying to do stuff that fat old men shouldn't do, and I don't want to make a BIG mistake and bust a hip or something. So I'll keep paying workmen, although if Daughter J brings home a 6'4" suitor with his own set of tools, I'll bless their engagement.

@Unknown- I'll try to keep my head up, though sometimes it feels like doing so is just blowing the cover from my foxhole.

mamafrog said...

Darn Stilt, I was hoping for a judge with a sense of humor. I suppose they lose that after awhile though, or it's not taught like "doctors handwriting" classes!

I looked at those light up flea traps, stupid cats and mother absolutely cannot leave anything alone that is out of place or different. I know it's not her fault but it can drive me buggy at times, lol. For now the spray and salting the floor, always an amusing thing to say, seem to keep them mostly under control and I can tolerate it for awhile. We are getting different flea collars though as those don't seem to help, and one poor cat is going to the vet next month for flea allergies. Hopefully by then I will have been able to cart some off to a no kill shelter. They are fixed and then get sent to people who need barn cats, so I've been told.

mamafrog said...

@Nancy Dickerson, you and me both. As we were still dealing with moving from out of state and clearing up a storage shed I found that cutting up boxes was highly therapeutic. Left me tired and dirty enough that a warm shower and bed were welcome. Going through years worth of books we both collected was another matter but I hope they went to people who would love them.

Rod said...

[Just now back again] It helps a little bit to trick the mind when experiencing short-term extreme temperature; in fact sometimes so well one can be a little sloppy about taking precautions.

When very hot (but OK) I just think of how cold I've been and where. Couple of examples: 50 or more d.F below zero in Alaska OR a Blue Norther maybe only about freezing temp but also wet & windy without proper gear or shelter in Texas.. both are quickly dangerous cold with longer exposure.

When very cold (but OK) I think of working on recently shut-down, room-sized gas compressor engines that have not cooled very much and need quick repair OR They have cooled but still need to get up on or inside them for rebuild in hot Midwest summertime compressor station. Same comment; so be careful, but it has to be done.

Then what you may be experiencing for just a little while (don't overdo it) doesn't seem so much. There's a big diff between for example just a hot surface or car interior upon entry vs hyperthermia; or quick but temporary chill vs true hypothermia.

In dry desert-like conditions if get face burned: wet a thin cotton bandanna, put it on your face and look into the wind or a fan. It's like sticking your face in a cooler. Repeat for while and it will reduce the heat and the burn. And you hand is still free for the cold beer.

John the Econ said...

I'm chock full of topic/theme/perspective/inspiration at the moment. Just lack the artistic talent that you have.

"...right now I'm having sort of a hard time visualizing what those good "life events" coming up might be..."

You are going to need to take the opportunity to reinvent yourself, but you aren't ready yet. You can't go forward as "Stilton & Kathy" as you've been for decades because there's no Kathy anymore. It's only been months, and you still have a lot of grieving to do. So patience is the thing at the moment.

Mrs. Econ & I have the same "friend" issue. I'm self-employed and while Mrs. Econ works for a large organization, she works at home as well. Our circle has become far too small, and we'd both have the same problem if/when one of us leaves. We need to work on that. We did have a number of friends through our church, but when the church went "woke", everyone there dispersed as well.

"Dr. Fauci's Effing Plague" did this to a lot of people. And the Karens are still working to keep it going.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

In my town we have a "Grief Center" After my youngest son died from Army service related injuries my sister implored me to use them. To my surprise, it helped, a lot. Maybe something like this is available in your area.

JustaJeepGuy said...

@John the Econ, I note this from that article:

"The variants have shown a remarkable ability to get around the protection offered by vaccination."

If that's so, then maybe that "vaccination" isn't quite what a vaccination actually is. Wouldn't it be great if those pushing the "vaccination" suddenly got hit with a case of conscience?

If I were a praying man, the one thing I would ask God to do is strike the Demo_Rats with a conscience. We wouldn't need to worry about the RINOs if the Demo_Rats had a conscience.

Roger Seitz said...

I lost my wife of 52 years several months ago.
The evil curse of cancer took her, mercifully quickly.
I understand how you feel and only hope that you (and I) emerge from
this travail soon. Family can gather around, and friends can be there for you, but in the end we must learn somehow, to move on from our loss.


Feargal the Cat said...

Stilton, Keep on keeping on, time moves at different speeds for all going through bereavement.

Meanwhile, as you bask in the Texas sunshine - in an air-conditioned house - think yourself lucky you don't live in the UK. We're suffering Global Warming Project Fear on stilts from all #ScumMedia outlets, as the weather threatens to give us a couple of days around 90 degrees. It's almost as if the #ScumMedia have overlooked the throngs of tourists who head from the UK to the Mediterranean beaches and Iberian Peninsula each year to shallow fry in temps of 100 plus.

John the Econ said...

@JustaJeepGuy, just as the left has had to repeatedly re-define what "vaccinated" means, it seems that now they're re-defining what a "vaccine" is. Traditionally, a "vaccine" inoculated you against a particular disease. But now it seems that the various Wuhan Flu vaccines don't actually do that. At best, they're more therapeutics than actual vaccines.

But the left has no problem re-defining words in realtime these days, so I think we know where this will continue to go.

@Feargal the Cat: Is it possible that vacays in the Mediterranean inoculate one from discomfort attributed to temperatures above 35C?

The people I currently pity are the Germans who are now hoarding firewood in anticipation of the lack of affordable or available energy come next winter. More people will die of moderate cold than they will of discomforting heat. Their Energiewende program to eschew both fossil and nuclear fuels for unreliable renewables has not gone well.

mamafrog said...

@Feargal the Cat, please, many of us in Texas and Oklahoma would love to trade for 90's! Our temp tomorrow is predicted for 111-112, something I don't remember personally seeing for probably about 60 years! At least in the OKC area. I saw 115 as child passing through one of the small towns in Oklahoma on our way to Chicago. In a Volkswagon Beetle, lol, four people and no AC, dad driving like a madman to get some air moving.

JustaJeepGuy said...

I "vacationed" in the Mediterranean in the summer of '76 and I found it to be way too hot for me. I'll never book a cruise on that line again!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@mamafrog- I would imagine that most judges lean toward the serious side, if only to keep the people appearing before them from getting out of control. Hey, it worked on me! Good luck with those new flea collars!

@Rod- Good tips for dealing with extreme temperatures. Kathy and I did something similar by picking movies to watch which were the opposite of what was happening outdoors. On a hot summer day, there's no better snowy movie than "Fargo." And when it's cold out, try the parched desert conditions of the original "Flight of the Phoenix" with Jimmy Stewart.

@John the Econ- Good advice. Reinventing myself is exactly what's called for and it's not an easy or intuitive process. After 48 years together, I was definitely half of an "us" rather than a "me." And every major event in my adult life, the ones that shaped me, were experienced in tandem with Kathy. So major, major brain rewiring has to take place for an old dog who doesn't even want to learn new tricks.

And regarding Covid, I'm still baffled regarding the issue of masking. As nearly as I can tell, Covid is still running wild (and is likely to do so for years to come) but people are just saying "screw it" at this point. I'm still stockpiling (and wearing) N95 masks, but the world is sure sending mixed messages.

@Well Seasoned Fool- I'm very sorry about the loss of your son. You've knocked the breath out of me. I followed the link to that "Grief Center" and it looked outstanding. I'll do some digging to see if anything like that is available in my area. I see a therapist regularly, but it's not specifically grief therapy. And I'm so glad to hear that your group helped you - you give me hope.

@JustaJeepGuy- It annoys me that these "vaccinations" don't prevent you from getting diddly-squat. The statistics seem to indicate that they help reduce mortality, but the world needs a REAL vaccine as soon as possible. And I haven't been following the news closely, but have we still not nuked the Wuhan lab?

@Roger Seitz- I'm sending a hug your way, brother, and I ache for your loss. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I don't have access to many friends and family members nearby, though the ones I have are great. And the friends I have here are certainly vital to me. Yes, you and I have to figure out a way to move forward, somehow. But for now, my process is just trying to get through one day at a time, trusting that we'll eventually be able to look in the rearview mirror and see we've made progress.

@Feargal the Cat- "Time" really isn't what it used to be when grieving. It's quite disorienting at time. But at least my Texas air-conditioning is working for now, though we keep being warned about the grid being "iffy" owing to high power demand. The Wall Street Journal had a good editorial today (I think it was today - there's that "time" thing again...) about how the green energy movement is absolutely destroying people because the availability of energy is plummeting "for the cause." Idiots.

@John the Econ- Your observations about the Germans hoarding firewood reminds me of an uncomfortably funny joke:
Q: What did socialists use before candles?
A: Electricity.

@mamafrog- I'm surprised that VW Beetle with its "air cooled" engine was able to keep going in those temperatures!

@JustaJeepGuy- #FirstWorldProblems (grin).

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, change is hard. Believe me, I know. (I'm the kind of person who spends a lot of energy getting things the way I like them, and then wants them to stay that way forever) But life doesn't work that way. Stuff happens and change is inevitable. You're at the beginning of a new chapter. In time, you'll see it.

Germany: It's argued that part of the purpose of forming the EU was to prevent Germany from being "that" Germany again. Mission accomplished. There's little threat of a new generation of panzers blitzkrieging across Europe when they can't even manage to keep their lights on.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- Currently it doesn't feel like I'm working on a new chapter but rather an epilogue. I suppose time will tell.

John the Econ said...

It's only an epilogue if you want it to be.

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Stilt, on that cruise I couldn't decide if the 8-16 hours a day I spent down in the engine room was hotter than the time I spent out on the main deck attempting to enjoy my time off. I didn't envy the crew of the USS "The Sullivans" when they tied up next to us though. Those WWII destroyers weren't the best for crew comforts.

Toni said...

My husband died 6 months ago today. We were married for almost 50 years. I see a therapist and it has helped, but I am still a wreck. I like to read what you write, it makes me feel better and I smile. Take care of yourself.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@JustaJeepGuy- Well *I* feel like an idiot. It was only after I posted that I realized that you put "vacationed" in quotes for a reason, making my #FirstWorldProblems response nonsensical. Sorry about that! And thank you for your!

@Toni- I'm so sorry for your loss. Good for you for seeing that therapist, and thank you so much for letting me know that reading my stuff makes you feel a bit better - which in turn makes ME feel a bit better. This is a hard road we're on, but it helps to have company on the same journey. All the best to you!

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Stilt, I could have worded my post a bit differently, too. As they say, "No harm, no foul."

Sharon D. said...

Stilt, We live in Garland. My husband could but that ring on your toilet. He has done many over the years. He was a farm boy so he is very handy to have around. I have not been on here for awhile. 8-19-2000, is coming up. Less than a month away. That is the year my 38 year old son was killed in the line of duty. One of the memories that I have of him is when his dad drove off and left me and his three sons. Oh he wrote a note for all of us. I needed to learn how to keeps the cars running. My son and I were both under the car and we were going to change the oil and put in a new oil filter. We bought the filter just down the street at the auto repair place. I have to do this myself. I tried and tried and finally my said mom let me put the new filter on. He could not do it either. LOL We slid out from under the car and looked at filter. It was not threaded. We walked down to the place we purchased it and they laughed long and hard at us until I showed them the filer. Several red faces and a new threaded filter and we were. I hope you can think of something funny today. It sure is a slow process.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@JustaJeepGuy- Nah, the fault was all mine. There's something called "widow's fog" which basically means that the surviving spouse, of either sex, is going to be stupid for quite awhile. I'm here to tell you it's a real thing!

@Sharon D.- I am so sorry about the loss of your son, and only now learning how painful various anniversaries and memory triggers can be. Please remind us here as that date approaches because I'm sure a lot of folks, including myself, would like to say a prayer for your family.

Regarding the toilet situation, if your husband is genuinely willing to do the job it would be very much appreciated. I'll pay for all the parts, of course, and for that matter would be happy to pay an honest man for an honest job! It's finding the honest ones that I don't have patience for right now. If you would, shoot me an email at Stilton at Cutcheese dot com and we'll see what we can put together. And thank you so much for thinking of me, especially when you've already got so much going on in your life. I'm touched and appreciative.

mamafrog said...

Widow/widower's fog is very definitely a real thing. I think mine lasted at least a year.

judgeroybean said...

Same toilet problem, master bath. Paid shyster plumber over $400 to replace wax ring, only to have smell return 2 days later. Trying to think 'Occam's Razor.' Best of luck, pal.

TheOldMan said...

Replacing the wax ring is easy unless you have back issues because moving the toilet is a heavy job and you certainly don't want to drop it. The most important thing I have learned about doing the job (and I have done it many times) is to not get the wax on anything: hands, tile, floor, anything. That is a pain to remove from any surface. Have lots of newspaper around to lay the old one out.