Empty Nest Tidbits – by Curt Swarm


With the Pandemic, we’ve been doing a lot of Zoom church attendance.  Ginnie still showers and gets dressed up like we’re actually going to church.  She says it doesn’t feel right viewing church in our jammies.  I point out that the preacher and other Zoom attendees can’t see anything more than our heads, if even that.  She says it doesn’t matter, that God can see us.  How can I argue?  Now me, I’m in my sweats, having just finished a workout on the elliptical and feeling spiritual.  However, I have to agree with Ginnie to a certain extent.  If it’s a “Communion Sunday” and we’re home, it doesn’t feel or taste right using OJ and toast for the Communion Elements.  

Big excitement for Buddy.  We have a potty pen for him right outside our kitchen door.  All we have to do is open the kitchen door and out he goes.  Well, this week, on two occasions, there was a rabbit in his pen when he went out.  They enter through the open gate, and when we shut Buddy in, the rabbit is shut in with Buddy.  Oh, my goodness, what a chase!  The rabbit goes around and around, trying to dive through the fence, to no avail, with chubby Buddy in hot pursuit.  He forgets all about doing his business.  The first time this happened, it was in the evening, right before bed–when you don’t want any disturbance.  The second time, it was 2:00 am (I’m an early riser) and Buddy used the opportunity to go outside.  Can you imagine the ruckus at 2:00 am?  Then Stormy, our Rescue Cat, hearing Buddy’s barking and the rabbit’s squeal, reverted to his base instincts (hackles up) and wanted to join the fracas.  Ginnie came stumbling out of the bedroom and groused, “What on earth is going on?”  I said, “Oh, just Buddy and Stormy thinning out the rabbit population.”  We don’t have trouble “convincing” Buddy to go outside anymore.

Ginnie’s mother died four-and-a-half years ago.  Ginnie has her mother’s Christmas cactus as a keepsake.  It has never bloomed, even though we have it in the shade as we’re supposed to.  Well, this year it bloomed for the first time, right before Valentine’s Day—one pretty little blossom.  Ginnie was so pleased.  It reminded her of her mother.  I put a picture of the bloom on Facebook, and a number of people said their Christmas cactus was blooming, too.  Maybe we should change its name to Valentine’s Day Cactus?

Ginnie received a “grow mushrooms at home” kit for Christmas—just add water, stand back and watch.  Voila.  So, we had mushrooms growing in our kitchen the same time the Christmas Cactus was blooming.  Such excitement!  Ginnie wanted to cook something using our home-grown mushrooms.  I suggested a sausage-and-mushroom pizza.  Ginnie almost went for that, but opted for Chicken Marsala instead.  I’m a lucky guy.  The only problem is: one meal and the mushrooms are gone.  Grrr.  

The Super Bowl halftime performance draws more viewers than the actual game.  Facebook was quick to react: “Best Super Bowl Halftime Performance Ever” and “Worst Super Bowl Halftime Performance Ever.”  I’ll admit, I didn’t care for most of it—but I watched—which the advertisers know.  Kendrick Lamar’s black male dancers, all with gray hair, caught my attention.  What it meant, I have no idea—some type of social statement, would be my guess.  The internet seemed confused by it, too, with several interpretations.

In politics, the buzz words now are “off ramp” and “on ramp.”  “Does Putin have an off ramp?”  Throw in some Winter Olympic’s lingo and we could say, “He’s taking the monobob to the off ramp.” 

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