Archive for December, 2014

Bourbon sign

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014


Here’s an embedded street sign we saw during our recent trip to New Orleans. As I understand it, Bourbon Street is a rather famous place. All I know is that it was a madhouse the day we walked down it. A fun madhouse, but definitely a madhouse. I can only imagine how it must be during Mardi Gras. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken on the afternoon of December 13, 2014 on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, and part of my famous Vacation series.

Well, Christmas is over. The decorations have gone up and come back down. The presents have been bought, wrapped, and unwrapped. Andy came, stayed, and went home. I’m not feeling disappointed by any of that. In fact, I remarked to Joanne today that it feels great to put the Christmas decorations up and then it feels great again to take them down and put them away for another year. So there’s that.

But Christmas was very nice. We went to the Mob Museum as our Christmas Eve activity, preceded by a delicious lunch at the Triple George Grill. The museum was very interesting, if perhaps a bit bloodier than I would have liked. Then again, the mobsters were much bloodier than I would have liked. It was a bit short on artifacts and long on photographs, but I can forgive it for that. There probably aren’t a whole lot of artifacts to be had. And the pictures were fascinating. Those people committed lots of violence, mainly against each other. There were lots of pictures of happy families, followed by pictures of the family patriarch trussed up, shot, burned, and thrown in a lake. That sort of thing. Really got us in the Christmas mood.

Christmas day, the boys and I opened gifts in the morning, followed by a nice breakfast. In the afternoon, I went over to Joanne’s house to meet her ex-husband Hal and his girlfriend Rhiannon. They’re both very nice people, and I admire the good relationship Joanne has with them both. Later, she came over to our house so Hal and Rhiannon could spend the evening with the kids.

The day after Christmas, the boys and I went shooting with Ken. We went to the Clark County shooting facility, which is on the far north end of town and is very nice. Extremely nice, in fact. Sadly, it was kind of cold and windy, so we weren’t quite as  comfortable as we might have liked. It was great fun anyway.

And that pretty much brings us to today. We may be getting some snow tonight and tomorrow. It ought to make things in Las Vegas pretty interesting. They have no snow removal equipment. Joanne and I are scheduled to go to a fun New Year’s Eve party at the Westgate hotel with several friends. Let’s hope we can get there!

Probably no post on New Year’s Eve because of the party, so I’ll finish 2014 with this post. It’s been the most horrible, difficult year of my life and it’s also been a year full of exciting discovery and love. I’ve grown, I’ve learned how to take care of myself, I’ve learned how to lose myself in service to a loved one, I’ve learned what it means to love, I’ve learned how to survive. I miss Shannon. I miss my mother. I love my children. I love Joanne. I love Joanne’s children. I love my brothers and sisters. I love my extended family. I love my friends. I love my life.

Happy New Year.

I’ll finish with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: tormenting frog!

See you in January.

Happy anniversary

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Today was my 36th wedding anniversary. There have been lots of important days in the nearly eleven months since Shannon’s death. Many of them go by without much difficulty for me. Maybe there’s a brief pang or a sad thought. Sometimes there’s a mental or even vocal monologue with Shannon. Other times there’s a happy thought or memory.

But our first wedding anniversary without her was a fairly difficult one. When I face a hard day, I often find it helpful to sit down and write. That’s what I did at about 12:30 this morning. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook:

Today’s the 36th anniversary of my marriage to Shannon Morrow and I’m feeling the sting of her loss a bit more than on most days. [A] wonderful little article on motherhood posted earlier by my niece Jessica Morrow really touched my heart.

Jessica started the adventure of parenthood relatively recently. I can tell by her Facebook posts that she’s crazy about her little boy and I can see that she has become a devoted, wonderful mom.

How I love and miss my mother and, today even more than usual, how I love and miss the mother of my children. It seemed like she always knew just exactly what to say and do to help our kids feel loved and happy and to keep them moving in the direction they needed to go. She was their friend and mentor and, for Andrew Morrow and Mark Morrow, their schoolteacher from the very beginning right through their graduation from high school. She never stopped teaching, she never stopped encouraging, and she never stopped loving each child. Her influence on them is immense, as I know it will remain through the rest of their lives. We talk about her frequently, we think about her constantly, and the aching in our hearts goes on and on.

I am so grateful for the wonderful life Shannon gave me, for the wonderful children she gave me, and for the endless, tireless labor of love she freely gave as my wife and our children’s mother through her entire adult life. She was devoted to each of us and put her whole heart into making us happy. I know she was proud of the kids and would remain so today. I am who I am today because my mother gave me a great start and then my wife stood by my side and strengthened me and taught me how to love.

I promised Shannon I would move forward happily, and that’s what I’m doing. I am deeply grateful to have the companionship of a wonderful woman, Joanne Marie Richards Parsons, as a big part of that happy life. We’re both recovering from the loss of our spouses this year. Our relationship is fun and exciting, but we’re also there to comfort and understand each other as we go through the difficult, seemingly endless grieving process. Thank you, Joanne, for making it so easy to love you and for accepting me as I am. And thank you, Shannon, for loving the children and me deeply enough to give us the strength to go on without you. Happy anniversary.

Life’s good and it’s getting better. I can feel my heart get stronger and happier all the time. So the bit of grief I felt today wasn’t a setback. It was just a natural, normal part of my healing.

I love my life.

Bowtie blogger

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014


Here’s a much younger version of me, sporting a classy bow tie and sweater. Check out the family coat of arms there! Great Art courtesy of some photographer and copied by the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken when I was maybe five years old or so, and part of my famous Event series.

Yeah, I know I’m kind of pushing it by calling it an event, but having my picture taken was technically an event. Besides, none of my other famous series relates in an way to this Great Art, so it was my only choice. Don’t like it? Get your own blog. Tough love.

We had a very nice weekend in New Orleans! We didn’t try to do too much, so it was relaxing and peaceful. There were millions of things we would have enjoyed doing, but maybe there will be other trips there, possibly longer than a weekend. As it was, we managed to get to the French Quarter on Saturday, where we ate some very good Louisiana-style food and walked down Bourbon Street, which is just as insane as they say; and we visited a Creole plantation on Sunday, where we had an interesting tour. Sadly, even though the plantation is on the Mississippi, we were unable to see the river due to the levee. Darn flood control! It’s simply not good for tourism. Except for the fact that it keeps everything from being washed away, that is.

So anyway, the only glimpses we got of the actual Mississippi were from bridges. Next time, we’d like to take a riverboat cruise while we’re there. Then we’d see the water for sure.

Our flight out to Louisiana was delayed in Las Vegas for about two and a half hours. On the good side, we had no connection to make. On the bad side, it meant we arrived at the New Orleans airport at about 2:00 AM. Then we had to get a car and get to the Worldmark resort in the Garden District. We were checking in at about 3:00. Fortunately, we had no early plans on Saturday morning. Our departing flight had a one-hour connection in Houston. Fortunately, the first flight was just a few minutes late, as was the second. We arrived home in Vegas pretty much exactly on time.

Weekend trips can be exhausting and frustrating because of the lack of time. I’m very happy to report that traveling with Joanne is just the opposite of that. We had a lovely time.

I have a few work-related things to accomplish this week. Our annual forensics conference is in February, which is fast approaching, and we need to be ready. Better get my eye on the ball, my ear to the tracks, my shoulder to the wheel, and my nose to the grindstone.

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: bad cookie shooting threat!

See you tomorrow.

Corner dog

Thursday, December 11th, 2014


Here’s a statue of a dog looking around a corner. Scary! Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during our June trip to Laguna Beach, and part of my famous Statue and Vacation series.

Extreme Short Shrift today. It’s very late.

Joanne and I went to our friend Kelly’s organization’s awards banquet and silent auction tonight. We had a very nice time, although we didn’t know who any of the people were, didn’t understand what they were talking about, and didn’t really feel a need to learn any of it. It was still interesting, the food was good, and the people we sat with were very nice. So I’m calling it a win.

I was busy all day long, but I’m not entirely sure what I accomplished. I did manage to wrap a very large box for Joanne. I also found the one additional gift I’ve been hoping to find for her. I ordered it and now I’m happy. I think. I also did a bit of work, with much more ready to be done now. I made a quick trip to the pharmacy during the day. Tomorrow’s trips: the bank and Best Buy (shudder) to pick up a gift I already ordered and paid for.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: Aston Martin-eating dog!

See you tomorrow.

Aztec love

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014


This rather racy picture was on the wall of a Mexican restaurant in Michigan where I had lunch with my mother last July. We were just a bit scandalized, but the food was good, so we stayed. Those Aztecs were certainly snappy dressers. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at an unknown Mexican restaurant in Canton, Michigan, and part of my famous Architecture, Food, and Vacation series.

Had a nice day, although I didn’t accomplish much. Went to see the doctor  who will be performing my first ever colonoscopy this morning. It was a bit of a pointless visit, but I didn’t get charged for it, so I have that going for me, which is nice. They tried to get me to come in for the procedure on Christmas Eve. Umm . . . no. So I’m going on the 28th of January.

Went with my friend Bob to the park this afternoon to fly our quadrotors. I went through all my batteries before his were all gone, so he gave me one of his to fly. His quads cost about $120 more than mine, and now I know why. It’s WAY better than mine. It is infinitely more controllable than mine and just outperforms mine in every way. Mine was an excellent, durable trainer, but now I’m ready for one like Bob’s. I’ve put it on my Amazon wish list and I’ll buy it for myself after Christmas when nobody gets it for me. I’ll also buy a few spare parts. Apparently, that quad is notoriously hard on motors.

This evening, Joanne and I went to a local sushi place with the sushi meetup group. We had a nice time with friends, as usual, and really enjoyed the food too. I overate just a little bit, but not too badly.

Speaking of which, when I weighed myself this morning, I was 0.8 pounds lighter than my last weighing. That’s possibly the start of another good trend. On a sad note, I strained a muscle in my lower back while I was lifting weights this morning. I think I should probably rest it a day or two and maybe even lower the amount of weight I’m lifting for a few days after that. I want it to heal quickly.

I’ve been busily buying Christmas gifts the last few days. I really want to do a beautiful job of Christmas for the kids. And myself too, come to think of it. I have the house reasonably well decorated, I have a date designated to bake cookies, and I’m buying gifts for everybody. I’m nearly done, but I don’t have anything for Mia yet, and I don’t think I have the right things for Joanne yet. More thought is needed in that area.

And that’s about it for today. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: French frozen chicken attack!

See you tomorrow.