Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's a Miracle!

Marilyn and I have been remodeling our bathroom. The shower surround was the main part. To that we added painting everything, and had the tub professionally refinished. All of that is done and is looking good. Our problem was, the upgrades, all made our sink look like a rusted out '69 T-bird sitting with the new cars in a dealership. So we made the decision to get a new sink.
We made the fifty plus mile trip to Mennards. We had decided to go with porcelain to avoid all of the problem we had with the finish on our old plastic one.
We had measurements of the old sink and base cabinet. Then one of us said something like, "well if we could go a bit bigger, the selection is much better." "Yeah, this one would only be 8 inches longer, on each side, and look, this marble top with the back splash and this Porcelain sink that mounts underneath, neat huh." Okay then, we had a deal. I said I could install it. The fact that I have never done this before didn't bother me. I tried to avoid the vision that kept popping up in my brain. The one where I'm laying on my back, trying to reach into a cavity that isn't big enough for me to reach into. The one where, with a red face, I yell "MARILYN, CALL THE @#!*#* PLUMBER!"
A side note here: Doing things I know little about doesn't usually stop me. People often say to me, "Cliff, how do you do it, if I got up in front of a crowd to speak, I wouldn't know what to say". Well my fellow bloggers, not knowing what to say has never stopped me from saying it.
The same applies with a new and bigger vanity and sink. How hard could this be?
On our trip home is where the magic comes in. While visiting, driving, and minding our own business, the vanity and marble top, began to grow. And when we measured it at home, in the hallway outside the bathroom, it had become so large that it obviously wasn't going to work. I thought it might, but Marilyn doesn't want to have to lean to the right while sitting on the toilet. I opined that in the grand scheme of things, we aren't sitting there all that much. She explained it to me again and it turns out we do.
So we have returned our $500 remodel of the vanity and sink, and we came home with an $89, plastic upgrade of the sink only. Thankfully, all I'll have to do is replace the sink. How hard could that be? MARILYN!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I was awakened this morning by the soft caress of my wife Marilyn, she gently said, (in her best morning voice and Marge Simpson imitation) "You're how old?" Then she blurted out an uncontrolled giggle. This began my birthday.
Turns out it's harder to strangle people than they make it look on TV. She escaped to live another day. She really has an irritating, evil, giggle.
We went to celebrate with our kids in Lincoln last night. A great night. I got to play with Madilyn Rose. (grandaughter) She likes me. A lot of times, kids like adults who are always excited to pick them up and love them, and then willing to set them back down when they've decided it's time to get down again. Sometimes this only takes a couple of seconds. Kids who are raised under this theory of 'watchful' freedom, seem to continue coming back to be 'picked up and held for a while', even into their twenties and thirties. That's as far as my experience goes.
My beautiful daughter in-law, baked me a great cake with only one candle in the middle. She said the fire marshall in Lincoln won't allow the sale of THAT many birthday candles to one person. Yeah, me and Rodney Dangerfield!
We dined on blackened salmon and grilled steaks. They are great cooks and already have mastered the art of entertaining large groups.
Our son Tom, and his Bride to be, were there as well as my daughter and family. Their wedding is in September.
In the afternoon we got to go with our son Tom and his soon to be wife, and help pick out the reception hall. It's a neat hall. The brides parents were there, also. Her Dad is a funny guy. He and I wondered aloud why anyone would cover these nice big, tan, plastic, round tables with table cloths. They looked good the way they were, we thought, because they matched the chairs. The bride and the two mothers then looked at different 'set up' pictures with the manager of the building, and sent Roger and I to check to see if the parking lot and restrooms seemed big enough. These women know talent when they see it. But all of the decisions were already made and the contract signed by the time Roger and I came back to report our findings. How did they know everything would check out?
Note, two days ago, we set the record for highest, minimum temp, for that date. Forty two was the low for the day. January 27th, unbelievable. However, the bad news is that the old record was set in 1934. A very bad drought year. This is too long but I wanted to get all of this said while I was still young enough to type.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Blair, Nebraska

If you come visit me, you might well travel thru Blair, Nebraska. It's a small town of 7500 people. It's located about 25 miles from my house. Blair is 20 minutes from Omaha and so, is a bedroom community for Omaha, but it has a couple of noteworthy businesses.
Cargill built a plant there several years ago that continues to grow.
Most of Marilyn's boarding and grooming business comes from Blair.
But the most incredible business is the Woodhouse Auto Group. They employ 680 people. They have Ford, and Chrysler products in their Blair location. They actively sell and deliver cars to all states except Hawaii. And I don't know but maybe there too. Wherever you live in the U.S. you can call them up, order a car, and have it delivered to your door. And they'll probably beat the best price you can find. Their dealerships in Blair are in a valley, and as you drive by, and if you are observant, you start to notice cars. Cars EVERYWHERE. On the hilltops, hillsides, car lots here and there. Get This! (This is why I posted this) They have over 5500 cars in stock at their Blair stores.
If you've found the car you want, but it doesn't meet your specification because of options or color, they'll get it for you. In about 5 minutes. It you want a fleet of cars or trucks, in a certain color... they probably have them in stock.
They've been very, very, hard on the small dealers around the region. Just as Cargill was hard on the small elevators. But good business people, are good business people because they know how to adjust to the circumstances. Local, personal service, still wins in the auto business. The locals do their best to please. The competition from the big guys, only served to strengthen the resolve of the small dealers to do better. Local elevators who can take your corn at harvest, without delay, will win over a conglomerate with 4 hour truck lines. The small elevators now fill up at harvest and hold the grain until one of the big processors are ready for it. Most have remained open and are doing well in spite of predictions to the contrary.
I guess we all have to be able to adjust to our circumstances to survive and prosper. At what ever we do. Game on.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Moms Sound Effects For Prayers

On a Sunday morning, back in the late 1950's, my Mom was sitting at the old Hammond organ that adorned the northeast corner of the sanctuary in our old building. Mom tried to do everything exactly right, musically speaking. She would go in on saturdays and practice. Mom would go over every hymn, postlude, prelude, the offertory and on and on. When someone was moving, Mom would play until they got done moving. She would practice the chimes. The chimes had been added to the keyboard, underneath the bottom rank of keys, and off to the far right. They were loud, or at least she usually had them turned up.
Dr Harbaugh, our Minister, was a short, old, gentle man yet a fiery speaker. He awoke me many times by his slapping of the pulpit, to enforce a point he was making. He was known for one other thing. Long, pastoral, prayers. Ten minute long pastoral prayers. He would start with our relationship with God and on into all of the church boards and committees and then the local, state, and national leaders. We knew when he mentioned the President and his cabinet, it was almost time to sing the Doxology.
One particular sleepy summer Sunday, my Mom apparently opened her eyes while at the organ, (I'm sure in a reverent manner) shifted some music on the organ and closed her eyes again. Not knowing that she had pushed her hymnal near the right edge of her music stand. So as we reached the middle of the prayer, the Governor of our state, I believe, the hymnal fell on to the top keys of the organ. And then they fell onto the bottom rank. An organ that was Full Great, and ready to play the Doxology I might add. Did I mention the octave and a half long chime keyboard? It's volume was wide open. To this day I'll never understand how one book could hit that many keys on it's way to the pedals. It had to have hit every one of the keys on the chimes also. Because of their volume, the chimes started to reverberate as only chimes can do. I can't really describe what that sounded like. The book came to rest on the foot pedals which emitted a smooth even tone like a loud set of bagpipes. This continued for what seemed like an eternity until Mom could shut them off and retrieve the book.
Nothing said by a minister or evangelist or sung by a soloist, in the history of that church, ever moved the congregation like my Mom's solo that Sunday.
I was in the choir loft and felt so sorry for Mom. I knew that she would have been so mortified that she wouldn't be able to breath. I looked over expecting to see someone bright red and embarrassed. What I saw instead, was a woman with her hand over her mouth, trying to hold back the laughter, and shaking like jello. Let's say she took it well.
My daughter has hit a few errant notes whilst in the non-playing mode, as our Church organist. That stuff happens. But I doubt seriously she will ever equal her Grandma's splendor of that Sunday morn so long ago.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

If a Woman Were President

I overheard one side of a telephone conversation tonight. My daughter was here, talking to her soon to be married little brother on our phone. I wasn't listening until I heard this in the middle of their exchange.
She said:
...well if a woman were President, there would probably be no more wars, but instead there would be intense negotiations every 28 days. (laughs, pause)
whad'ya mean you don't get it,,, well you will.

Someone make them stop.
One more thought. Eagles may soar....but weasels never get sucked into jet engines.
p.s. no original thought here, no siree.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

From the Mail Bag...

Ol Blue, emailed me with the following message. I think he's onto something here, and it appears that he and I are both REALLY smart.

Dear Cliff,
We all get heavier as we get older because there's a lot more information in our heads. So, I'm not fat, I'm just really intelligent and my head couldn't hold anymore information, so it started filling up the rest of me.
Ol Blue

Yep, I like the way he thinks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Merna, the chickens will be late.

It was a warm fall Saturday morning and we had just finished loading the last of 125 chickens into crates to send to the processors.
My boys had fed, 'farm raised' fryers, for a little spending money. They charged and got a good price for them. The chickens are much different and better tasting than those raised in confinement.
We had delivered the first half an hour earlier. We told Merna, we would go get the others and be back in an hour. Well, we sweated, got dirty, smelly, miserable and showered. It was already an hour and a half later and we were still at home. I told the boys to go with the pick-up, and I'd call Merna and tell her they were on the way. C = Cliff M= Merna
C-Hi, is this Merna?
M- Yes
C- The boys will be there in about twenty minutes with the rest of the chickens.
M- No response.
C-Sorry, we uh, had a little trouble.
M- Uh, who is this.
C-Cliff, Cliff Morrow
M- I'ya think you may have the wrong number.
C-This is Merna, right?
M-Uh yeah but I don't know about any chickens that need dressed.
C- Is this 402-456-@@@@
M-No, this is 405-456-@@@@
C_Oh I'm sorry, I've dialed the wrong number.
M-Don't worry about it. I'm getting ready for a Halloween party and I've had some really strange phone calls today. Your call fit right in, that's why it took me a while.
We talked for at least another ten minutes about her party and about life in general. She was from Oklahoma. A very nice gal. I finally said I had to go.
C- Well sorry again but good to talk to you.
M- Does this mean you won't be bringing 70 chickens over.
C- Sorry, guess not.
M- Probably a good thing, the party and all... well you know.
I suspect that if she lived in the Tekamah area, our family would be friends with her family. Isn't it curious that you can tell pretty quickly over the phone what people are like.
Some people are driving thru life with both white knuckled hands on the steering wheel except for the times they need to make an obscene gesture. Others seem to be going the same direction at about the same speed but they're smiling and taking in the sights. I think Merna is like that. Both Merna's are. Open the windows folks, and have a gander. LOOK AT THAT, ah you missed it!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

You Never Know

It was 1991, the kids were in the backseat. Marilyn and I had just attended our 20th year college reunion. I had agreed to take US 30 home from Kearney Nebraska. The purpose was to look for a rebuilder car for our son, Dan. He was fourteen. We wanted something we could work on together. We went about twenty miles toward home and spotted her. Sitting in a vacant lot in Gibbon, NE. A 1957 Ford Fairlane. She would run, but barely. She was black, just what we wanted. Back then, they searched for the straightest cars from the assembly line, to paint black. The black paint would show any bad body lines, and so the black cars were the best of the best. This one had rust but was still straight.
When Dan started to work on that car, he barely knew anything about using wrenches. He just had a desire to have a nice, old, car. Let's call it driven to have a nice old car.
We couldn't do the body work but we did the rest. Turned out better than we had hoped and the fresh rebuild on the motor, was perfection. Well, that project, shown here on the left, lead to quite an interest in auto body work, which lead to auto collision repair school, which lead to this Ford Probe.
As he finished college, he rebuilt this car from a total wreck and went on to win several "Best Paint in Show" trophies and it was featured in the PPG Magazine.
All of this lead to marriage, (he married very well) starting his business, buying the building, and hiring his brother.
See Morrow Collision Center here.
He loves to make customers happy.
He loves his family.
He loves building this business from scratch and making it grow. He's good at it. He's more driven to succeed now than he ever has been.
My point here is, even when your brain says why bother, it's just a passing fancy from a child, or this might get into too much money, or man, what a pain, you never know where broadening a childs horizons may lead. Go for it. See where it leads.
One more thing! When you get old, it might just get you some top grade body work at cost.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Rachel is posting about gardening and she even has a picture of horse manure in a bag, for sale. It got me to thinking about what my Dad always said about manure on gardens. "Some folks put a heavy application of manure on their strawberries,,, I prefer cream and sugar".
If someone would mention, "Did you see her, the whole church was laughing and she never even cracked a smile". Dad would say, "She can't smile, face'd break".
Marty is blogging about pigs that have been bred to glow bright green in the dark. Brought to mind Dad's saying about some gals in tight fitting jeans. "When she walks, it looks like two pigs fighting in a gunny sack".
I'm off to find that picture of the lit up John Deere combine.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tekamah had a light parade around Christmas time. It lived for about 3 years until it died for lack of leadership. People turned out for it. A lot of people turned out for it. This is the what my boys entered last year. They drove this old 4 door Ford pickup, up from Lincoln, and spent a Saturday afternoon mounting the generator, Christmas tree, (on back end) and enough lights to fairly blind onlookers. It took first place. There were probably only 7 or 8 entries, and I would guess 7 or 800 people sitting in cars, and standing along mainstreet. They didn't have anyone to take charge of the parade and run it right. If they had, it easily could have been a huge event. If I can find a picture of the combine son Tom decorated the year before, I'll put it up on this blog. Small town kind of fun. Not pictured is the lit up camel. No not a cigarette.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My Dad Used to Say...

When moving an awkward mattress, up a narrow flight of stairs, my Dad said, "There's only one thing worse than having to move a mattress upstairs, all by yourself, and that's having help".


This pic of my Grandson always cracks me up. He was trying to strike a gunfighters pose, but I can't help but think it looks more like he's being held up against a wall with a very high wind. Or he kind of looks like a decal.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Things My Dad Used to Say

Dad's been gone for many years now. He wasn't prone to outbreaks of laughter. He had a very dry sense of humor. I think I'm going to do some on again, off again blogs about stuff he used to say.
If he knew you had to be somewhere early in the morning, say in Lincoln, by 7 AM, a two hour trip, he'd say something like, "well, you're going to have to get up before breakfast to get there by seven".
One night back in the late 1950's, I recalled my sister, sitting at the kitchen table and writing definitions for her homework, she called out to anyone who would answer, "Hey, does anyone know the definition of a commentator"?
She knew my Dad could sit down and work most crossword puzzles without hesitating much, so she hoped he would answer, and he did.
"A commentator is just a plain, ordinary potato. I'll guarantee that my Mom would have known better than to ask.

PS. Okay bloggers. If you are like me and use to using the words used and use and sometimes think we use them incorrectly, and have gotten used to the fact that use is going to be used where used should have been used. THEN LOOKY HERE!

On The Defensive!

Ralph's lovely daughter plays college basketball. Ralph is a big fan. This picture was taken at last summers Morrow Family Reunion, at one of the several parties that occured. Ralph is showing Tiffany how he would play defense, if he were to ever play basketball. He was saying "moving your feet is overated, it's how you hold your hands".

Saturday, January 07, 2006


This is our only full bath. (I had already started taking tile off of the walls when I remembered to take this picture) We have a shower in the basement and another stool, but as you can see, the problem was no shower in here. I've heard about that from time to time. "Cliff, I hate to send company down to your shower in the basement". Well, I like my shower in the basement. But since I'm the sensitive kind of guy, it only took about 15 years of prodding by Marilyn to get me to do something. I tried suggesting putting a heater by the shower in the basement, or I could paint the floor, or maybe put up a shower curtain. (okay we did have one of those) But no, we wanted a shower upstairs. The results of my last weeks activities are below.


This is how it turned out. The curved shower curtain rod gives a lot more room in the shower. An idea we got from my sister in-law.
When the idea to use cedar, came to me, I had some pressure from Marilyn to do something else. Pressure meaning she lead me around Mennards showing me other possibilites. Turns out she likes it. Now, when you city folks come and spend the night, you won't have to shower before you visit.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Is It Me??

This is the tree in the middle of the road at Village Pointe Mall in Omaha, Nebraska.
Is it me, or are they making christmas light bulbs bigger than they used to.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Why Don't You Try....

Stopping at a Chili's Restaurant and ordering the Crispy Chicken Salad. It has a gingered dressing of some kind, and it is really, really, good. It is a bit large. Now when I say it's large, remember who is telling you this.
Right here Benny Hill, in his white cowboy outfit, and speaking in his biggest Texas voice would say, "She's big, I mean she's really big. We used to like to make her laugh, cuz when she laughed sooo much of her had a good time".
Stay with me here folks.


It's always been a pet peeve of me and da boys to see someone walk a half a block from their car, turn ceremoniously, point theirs hand at their car and lock the doors. This honks the horn and flashes the lights.
Now, when I have to wait in the car for my wife (I'm not allowed to enter a store with womens clothing in it, says I whine too much, JUST BUY IT OKAY) and I hear a horn beep, I honk back and flash my lights.
It's my way of saying "Buddy, if that was my car, I'd lock the doors with the switch on the door". Keep your beep to yourself.
I'm just saying.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Now Wireless.

My grandson went to a party and recieved this nifty little gift. A fast little car with a hard wired remote. The wire is very delicate, and 12" long. Upon calling for movement with the remote. The car took off and broke the wire on the first try. I have a lot of questions for a lot of people.
Did I mention that the little wire attaches to the car underneath?

Sunday, January 01, 2006


New Years Day--2006
Thirty Seconds prior to this photo, Tom said: "Mom, Dad... Stephanie and I are going to get married." Mom and Dad are happy and proud and might stop smiling sometime this week.
It's nice to see a couple so happy.
Tom and Steph are happy too.
Congratulations Kids! Welcome to the family Stephanie.