Christmas odd and ends - Empty Nest by Curt Swarm


This is too uncanny to not share.  Ginnie and I made a special trip to a seasonal market that has great chocolate, for the express purpose of buying some chocolate peanut clusters.  When we got there the market was completely out of all chocolate except for chocolate covered orange slices.  Grr.  Our fault, we had waited too long.  On the way home, however, we got a text message from a friend that said she had left some chocolate candy on our doorstep.  Yep, you guessed it—chocolate peanut clusters, only these were the homemade kind.  Delicious!  I believe this is what they call Christmas Magic. 

            One of my readers called to tell me that upon visiting her father's grave at the cemetery, she noticed a squirrel nest in a tree, where the squirrel had robbed Christmas decorations from tombstones to decorate its nest.  I decided to see for myself.  Sure enough, I found the nest and there were bits of Christmas decorations adorning the squirrel nest.  Not only Christmas decorations were in the nest, but a small American flag was also woven in.  This squirrel loves Christmas and is patriotic.

            I like to make sculptures out of junk.  Having an old combine corn head, I decided to turn it into a “Jet Ski.”  Ginnie made a scarecrow figure by stuffing old clothes full of sheets and pillowcases.  We put the figure on the “Jet Ski.”  The sculpture was quite attractive and drew lots of attention at an art show.  However, I decided a mannequin would look better on the “Jet Ski.”  But where to find a mannequin?  I advertised on social medial.  Bingo.  Someone had a mannequin they would sell cheap.  I went to pick it up.  It was a female mannequin.  I sat her in the back seat of my car, put the seat belt on her so she wouldn't fall over, and headed home.  I was worn out so I drank one of those little bottles of high-energy drink that I carry in the car.  You can probably guess where this is going.  Ginnie got a call from a “friendly informant” saying she had seen me with another woman and that I was drinking.  Ginnie was quite amused and said she would have a talk with me. 

            Going to church last Sunday, I went to open the door for Ginnie.  There was an old man coming at me, so I stepped aside.  It was me!  I had seen my reflection in the glass door.  For heaven's sake!  Is that what I look like?

            Ginnie and I saw the movie, “American Underdog” at its premier opening.  It's the story of Iowa's own Kurt Warner and his unlikely climb to fame in the NFL.  Ginnie and I highly recommend this movie.  I had read Kurt Warner's book, “All Things Possible,” years ago after he was named MVP of the NFL and MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams.  If you need to be motivated and inspired, see this movie.  What stands out for me is Kurt Warner's faith, he never gave up, and he always knew he could do it.    

            We don't have a Christmas tree this year because Stormy, our cat, is too stormy, like his name implies.  However we do have a 3-foot tall Santa Claus.  He was in need of a coat of paint so Ginnie, her granddaughter, Aria, and I went to work.  He was so pretty, we decided to use Santa for a Christmas tree.  How appropriate, a Santa bearing gifts.  Christmas is alive and well on the Empty Nest Farm, in spite of Stormy the cat.  New Year's Day is pretty much his birthday anyway, since he came to us as a kitten on our doorstep last New Year's Day, in a snowstorm.  Stormy is one year old. 

            Here's hoping you had a merry Christmas and will have a happy, healthy, prosperous new year.  Be of service, be of good cheer, be grateful, be forgiving. 

Have a good story?  Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, find him on Facebook, email him at, or visit his website at   

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