Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Ketchup Day & Book Update

 stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Kathy, birthday, Ketchup Day
Yes, I know that this is Stilton's Place and not Johnny Optimism, but there's enough overlap today that it didn't seem to make much difference.  Today is Kathy's birthday and I don't yet know how that's going to affect me today. Or to be more specific, I don't yet know if her birthday will make today suck even harder than usual.

So why the heck would I call today's post "Ketchup Day?" Because that's sort of how I'm thinking of it (admittedly, my thinking equipment is a bit the worse for wear these days). Because Kathy and I liked to joke about her being an "older woman" since she was one year older than me for nine months of the year. But today, her age isn't changing and I "catch up" (get it?) and will stay caught up until my next birthday, when I'll be older than she ever got to be. Dammit.

But there IS some good Kathy-related news today! The book project I've been talking about has come to fruition and is now a Real Thing. I'll be doing a full post about it soon; I'd hoped to do it today but couldn't quite pull it off. But in the interest of giving you a sneak preview, here's what I have in mind: probably within the next week, I'll set up a promotion on Amazon that will let all of you (and everyone else) download the ebook version for free for a limited time, and I'll also have the paperback on sale for the lowest price Amazon will allow ($3.58) which translates into $3.58 for them and $0 for me. Afterward, the price will likely be $4.99 (with any profits on my end going straight to Leukemia research and support).

Once I've gotten the book into your hands, I'll be requesting honest Amazon reviews so that the algorithms will have to concede that the book exists. But those details can wait - I just want you to know that this funny little celebration of Kathy has turned out great and will be available to you soon. So Happy Kathy's Birthday to us all!


Anonymous said...

All of us out here are thinking of you. Be at peace.

Julian said...

My love and prayers for you both.

Mike aka Proof said...

Happy Kathy's Birthday, Stilton!

Jee said...

I continue to pray daily for comfort for you and your daughter. Kathy must have been such a fun and dear woman.

DarkwingDave said...

Even in the midst of loss, you inspire us and help us laugh and cope. Thank you, sir.

NVRick said...

My daughter was born on Dec 3, 1968.
This year she should have been 54 years old.
She died this year.
We are not supposed to outlive our children.
There is something terribly wrong about that.
Every day I look at her picture and my heart still hurts.

Dammit. Just dammit.

NVRick said...

I'm sorry. I completely forgot to convey my sympathy for you and your daughter.
I hope all of us can find some peace of mind remembering how these ladies made our lives better.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Kathy.
Understand your feelings. I, too, went through theses same feelings on the
first birthday without my sweet Gloria. She was always 6 months older than me
on her birthday. And, like you, I'm now older than Gloria.
It's a grieving process but it does get easier. It's been 2 yrs & 9 months for me.
Y'all celebrate in style and miss your mate.

Bobo the Hobo said...

Happy Kathy’s Birthday, Stilt! I like the positive spin on the day.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the book 📖!!!

Elbarto said...

Stilt, you are a stronger man than me. Looking forward to the book.

Fish Out of Water said...

Not to be flip about your endeavor, but what pricing do you have in mind for those who voted for Joe Le Petomane/democrats?


Anonymous said...

My prayers for you and your family. I hope your day goes well.

Patrick said...

Happy heavenly birthday to Kathy, and peace for you, Stilton, in happy memories.

Snark said...

Peace to you, Stilt. Time heals all wounds, but yet the scars remain. I lost my brother last Thursday, so the season isn't as joyous as it has been.

Be well. All this too, shall pass.

Phil said...

Happy Birthday to Kathy up there.

"All Things Must Pass". A fine song for a bit of solace from George Harrison. Well, IMHO, of course.

Best wishes with your book too.

Buck said...

Stilt, good morning and I wish everyone a very Happy Kathy's Birthday!!!!!

Keep Moving!

Semper Fidelis, Buck

Chuck said...

Happy Kathy's Birthday, Stilt! She was a lucky lady to have had someone who loved her as much as you do.

Kent Neal said...

Today is also my wife's birthday, and I realize how fortunate I am to have her with me.
Your loss reminds me not to take that for granted. I will think of Kathy every year as I celebrate their birthdays.

TrickyRicky said...

Peace be with you and your daughter. I suppose the flip side of being deeply in love with someone very special is that the loss is exponentially worse than the loss of someone mediocre.

Sharon D. said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATHY. I am sure you want your husband and daughter to celebrate and not be sad because you are in such a better place. But Kathy you will never be forgotten by them just as my son is never forgotten by me. My son was a Dallas Police offer that died in the line of duty 22 years ago. I can feel your family's pain. Watch over them and let them know by the little sighs you send them. Dammit dammit dammit is a very good word.

JohnF said...

Glad you made it through Thanksgiving OK. How was dinner w/ brother-in-law? Hoping you make it through all of the firsts relatively unscathed.

BTW - Didn't you ketchup 3 months ago?

KellyfromWI said...

Happy Heavenly Birthday to Kathy, looking forward to your book!

Colby Muenster said...

Praying in Jesus' name that God will heal that hole in your heart and give you comfort.

Looking forward to the book! We will give it rave reviews, as well as honest reviews because I have no doubt it will be great.

The Overgrown Hobbit said...

A very hobbit-y birthday celebration.

Unknown said...

You're the best! Looking forward to Kathy's book. I know it will touch a lot of hearts.

John the Econ said...

I'm celebrating the joy that your time with Kathy gave to your life.

Good luck with the book launch.

@NVRick, I pray for peace for you as well. You're right, parents should not have to endure the loss of their children. I can't imagine.

Shelly said...

I hope writing this book has given you some relief from your pain. I know there's no way to get over it but hopefully it will help. We buried my grandfather on Christmas Eve 54 years ago. He was one month shy of his 65th birthday and the retirement he had long been planning. An aneurism burst in his brain and basically he died then but they kept him on life support for a couple of days. Needless to say, Christmas was hard every year after that but eventually the memory fades.

mamafrog said...

That's a lovely way to remember her birthday and celebrate her life. I'm sure she would have agreed with your "ketchup" idea! Hubs birthday didn't upset me as much as our anniversary the first year, but I did have to leave the house and the kids and I had a nice time at the oldest daughter's house instead, food and good company!

jayjay said...

Happy Heavenly Birthday to your dear Kathy.

JRMD said...

Hang in there buddy. Time WILL eventually help.

4sleiborg said...

I'll wait for the $5 opportunity...and my best wishes to you...I can't really add anything to the last 3 posts.

Brian F. Bennett said...

My mom's birthday is in two weeks. She was also a Kathy and we lost her in July to the same thing your Kathy suffered from. For once, I'm kinda thankful to have that scab picked.

Graham McDonald said...


Do you have a regular mailing address for donations to the "Leukemia research and support" outfit? I think the wife will spring for more than one dollar.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful!! Today is my first grandson’s 3rd birthday. I will now remember Kathy’s, too. Grandson’s name is Michael Maverick (Mav) D. Yes, his daddy is an U. S. Air Force Iraqi war vet. and in the Reserve. Proud of him and Mav.


Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- It's a bit after 8 pm and it looks like I'm going to get through the day relatively intact, in part because so many of you have reached out with encouragement and sharing stories of your own. Thank you, deeply, for that. I'm too pooped to write much at the moment so my apologies to anyone I don't address specifically - it's only because of laziness, not lack of appreciation!

@NVRick- I am so very sorry for the loss of your daughter. Having a child pre-decease you (as the lawyers say) is a travesty, an insult against nature, and the definition of heartbreak. What a year this has been.

@Anonymous- Thank you for sharing. I'm hoping in a couple of years I can perhaps tell someone that "it does get easier." It sounds like holding Gloria in your heart is part of what's helping you.

@Elbarto- I very much doubt that I'm stronger than you or anyone else (wry grin).

@Fish Out of Water- That's a good question. Should I charge Dems more to deny them the pleasure of the book, or charge them less because they're the ones who most need to get a (insert obscenity here) sense of humor?

@Snark- Oh, Snark. You've put tears in my eyes and I hope you'll accept a long-distance hug. Of my original family, only two brothers and I remain and I worry about both of them. Thank you for offering me support even in the midst of your pain.

@Kent Neal- I was told many times but never really, really listened. So be smarter than I was and take no day for granted. You don't get another chance to go back and do things better after Life teaches you how and why.

@Sharon D- Thank you for your kind thoughts and know that my heart goes out to you for the loss of your son. He was clearly a hero, not because of the way he died but because of the way he lived and served.

@JohnF- Thanksgiving dinner was very nice and it was good to catch up with family who, despite living in the area, I hadn't seen since Fauci's taxpayer-funded Pandora's Box popped open in Wuhan.

As far as "Ketchup Day," you're right about the actual math but I'm looking at it in a different way. I'll use the analogy of a foot race; I was always trailing Kathy but most of the time we were on the same lap. On my birthday this year, I entered Kathy's lap but still trailed behind. But on her birthday, today, I caught up and will slowly pull past her. Illogical? Probably - but you'd be amazed how accustomed I've become to being illogical.

@Shelly- The book has been a godsend for me. I needed to write SOMEthing on pretty much any topic but had no creative ideas. I sure wasn't going to write something schmaltzy about my grief experience or a too-solemn memorium about Kathy. But this project allowed me to spend time "with" Kathy in the way we most enjoyed: laughing.

@mamafrog- Right now, Kathy would tell you "Our anniversary might be hard for Stilton if he could remember what day it is."

@4sleiborg- No need to wait on the $5 price if you're thinking about me! This is in no way intended to be an actual profit-making enterprise. I'll only be raising the price so people don't think it's too cheap to be good.

@Brian F. Bennett- I'm sorry, brother. When I lost my Mom 10 years ago or so, I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that a 60 year old man could suddenly feel like an orphan. I hope your Mom's birthday will be filled with good memories.

@Graham McDonald- Donations can be made at (you'll have to cut and paste the address as I'm too dumb right now to make it a link). And this is also a good time for me to ask people to donate blood. Sadly, my veins aren't cooperating very well so I've given less than I'd like.

@Bobo- Cool name and cool birthday!

jackjr said...

I'll keep an eye out for it when it comes to the "full price" I have a couple of books to finish first any way so there is no hurry.
It is sad around our house as my wife's step father just passed away and her mom needs someone with her 24/7.
I hope things get better for you and your daughter.
Prayers for you both,

Anonymous said...

I wish dying was the only thing I had to worry about.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@jackjr- That's a hard situation you're describing and I hope your family finds the best possible way to work things out. And thank you, as always, for the prayers!

@Anonymous- These days, dying is probably the one thing I'm not worried about. It sounds so...restful.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

(thumbs up all around)

Anonymous said...

My Mom died early Spring this year from dementia and my Dad still mourns, though he tries to keep a stiff upper lip. Fortunately, he lets himself cry when talking with my wife and me. It's okay to express grief to us and so he has a sort of pressure relief valve. The fact that my Mom is gone will hit me the next time I visit and she'll be nowhere in sight.

Anonymous said... is a great charity.
97% of all donations go to research and patient care.
I am a long time donor (20+ years)