Sunday, March 8, 2015


It is once again time for my semi-annual blog post.  My lovely wife is a word lady.  Denise is an excellent writer.  If you have absolutely nothing better to do than to read some poorly crafted words and drivel, then read on.  If you want to read some excellent writing, thoughtful, encouraging and moving, take a look at Denise's blog.  She plays with words in our four concurrent "words with friends" games.  At first she was nice, letting me win so that I would feel good, but now she is beating in many of those games. I tried to institute some rules in those games, like saying that she could only use words that I had heard of, but she continues to use words from the farming communities that she has lived in, like heifer and shoat.  (some kind of cow and something to do with pigs)

 Denise also decorates parts of our home with words.  Sayings, encouragements, signs, mugs, words in many shapes and sizes.  I am finding these to be most interesting.  Some I agree with, some are thought inspiring, some seem a little off putting, and some are just downright confusing. (Now the decorating that was here before Denise and I married was wonderful, and had been perfected over time by my sons and myself.  We had decided to go with an early dorm room style, which has worked at colleges across America for generations.  Decorations, the few there were, were designed to not match, to have no scheme and to not generate any thought.  Color and shape was never thought of in adding to our collection of art.)

Denise has changed that, bringing in color, light, thoughts and fun.  It is a whole new world here.  Each day now I compare my life against the sayings in our home.  Am I being happy enough, am I living my life to the fullest, do I like people???  It is probably best to give you some examples.

This one is simple enough.  Think happy, be happy.  Makes sense, enjoy my life.  Think about happy things and be happy.  It does not quite fit with the curmudgeon lifestyle I was working on, but then things are different now.

Embrace the moment.  Carpe the Diem.  Grab onto this moment and live life.  (I think fishermen have one that says "Carpe the carp", something about grabbing onto the carp, but i am not really quite sure)  Again, simpler, make sure that you live your life by living the moments.  I turn this one around when I feel like taking a nap, it makes me feel guilty.

This one made me wonder.  "I don't like morning people, or morning, or people"  Denise really enjoys the calendars that Mary Engelbreit puts together.  The pictures are cute, the colors bright.  But the words on here just plain make me uncomfortable.  Denise is one of the most caring people I know and likes people, and morning, very much.  This one would have worked better in my old curmudgeon days.

Love the life you live the life you love.  This is the "Row, Row, Row your Boat" of the saying industry.  It can go round and round and round.  Love life live life love life live life love......  No beginning and no end.  I once spent two hours stuck in the endless loop of reading this saying.  

Ok, this is not a saying at all, just a gratuitous triptych that Denise made from a photo that I took in the smoky mountains.  I just like it.

This is one of my favorite additions, because all of the words on here relate to us.  Denise is a fan of word clouds.  She made this one for us, and then has done some for each of the kids as well.  Photography, smiles, Chuck (me), Denise, words, Illinois, Love.  All words that help describe our life together.  (There is a special reward for the first person to find "instrumental" in the word cloud.  It is my favorite style of music)

This is the sign that is up in the kitchen.  It give me something to think about when I see it.  There are some items on here that I really agree with, such as Living with Intention.  Don't just float, but have purpose.  Show Gratitude.  I appreciate so many things and do try to express my gratitude for them.  I thought about living fearlessly, but I am afraid to, so I left that one alone.  I asked Denise if we could just cross our the bottom one, "Trying New Things", but she said no.  Those of you that know me know that trying new things is definitely NOT what Chuck does best.  I tried one new food item this year, well, this decade.  Sure, it is ok, but that is about my quota.  I am 55 and content in life, I don't feel the need to try new things.  I have certain favorite restaurants that I go to, and there, I order the same things that I have been ordering for years.  When Denise is not around, I just cover that suggestion with a post-it note.

Now, here is the tough one.  "Just be".  Just be?  I am willing to consider what these sayings say, but what is this telling me?  Just be what?  Just be happy?  Just be where?  Just be in St Charles?  In Utah?  Just be on time?  Just be late?  Just be myself?  Just be something different?  Just be quiet? (I hear that one a lot).  I am trying to figure out how to "do" this one.  It is making my brain hurt as I search for the meaning behind it.  I want to understand just what I am to be.  Sometimes I just sit in front of it and just "be", but i don't really get very much done that way, and I often fall asleep when I try that one.

I have come to the conclusion that this is part of Denise's master plan, that she will start putting words under it to help me.  Things like "Just be a fruit eater", "Just be a husband who takes his wife to dinner tonight", or "just be more helpful with the dishes".  I will watch carefully for these changes in the sign.

Anyway, that is it for today, I will be back for my next blog installment when I next "just be writing again"

Oh, and by the way, instrumental is not in the word cloud. I was "Just being" funny.


  1. And you were funny. This was an enjoyable post, Chuck!

    1. Chuck just noticed the comments section of his blog. Lol. Wasn't this great? He makes me laugh!

    2. Chuck just noticed the comments section of his blog. Lol. Wasn't this great? He makes me laugh!

  2. I've just wasted ten minutes studying the proper placement of the word carp in all of these things (well, not the triptych, that would be silly). Now I must go to Canva and create something that says "Carp just be." Thanks for the laugh.

    1. Hi, Deb! Thanks for reading his blog. Chuck didn't realize until last night that people had commented. You two would like each other. Yii're both so funny!

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  3. Thank you all for reading my thoughts

  4. Just be... Denise's everything!

  5. Very entertaining! My favorite sign you showed was the one in the kitchen. Trying new things is hard, but so rewarding! -your neighbor Katie