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Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023
Good morning to you!

Welcome to an extra edition of the mailbag where you will find some of the comments, questions and ideas sent recently by subscribers of this newsletter or our publications. They are edited for space and clarity.

“While working (retired now), I always looked forward to the evening meal on Mondays — always quick, easy to prepare, a given — spaghetti with meat sauce (Habits, rituals, routines, Dec. 4, 2023). We had a Japanese exchange student for a school year who thankfully liked spaghetti. She learned quick and on every Monday when she got home from school it was, ‘Are we having spaghetti tonight?’ Oh, and to this day, it’s still spaghetti Mondays at this house. Wouldn’t have it any other way. So this is habit and ritual and routine.” - Diane

See you Monday. - Shane

“Your column ‘Hats off to you’ reminded me of a time when my mom and I were eating lunch at an Olive Garden in Kansas City (Hats off, Dec. 5, 2023). Sitting nearby were a group of men, most of whom were wearing baseball caps while they ate. A scene like this would have gone unnoticed to most people, but my mom pointed it out to me. It reminded her of her Aunt Rosie when she would prepare a meal for a bunch of farmhands when they came in for lunch. Apparently, if you wore a hat at the table, you went hungry. Aunt Rosie wouldn't feed you until you removed your hat. Times do change, don't they?” - Bob

Yes, they do, but rules with consequences can still be effective. - Shane

“Shane, there are two Christmas songs that hold a special meaning in my heart (Christmas songs, Dec. 6, 2023). My paternal grandmother passed away when I was 5 years old. One of my memories of her was the joy she found in the song ‘Silver Bells.’ Every time I hear it, I think of her. The other song is ‘Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.’ My mom is not a big fan of snow, and I started a tradition of singing this song at the first sight of snow when I was 12 years old. She still hates snow, and I have been singing this song to her for 47 years now.” - Kevin

Keep on singing! I love it! - Shane

“Nat King Cole’s ‘The Christmas Song’ and Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’ (Christmas songs, Dec. 6, 2023). I watch the movie at least once every December.” - Don

That sounds like a great tradition, Don. - Shane

“This line from ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’: ‘Through the years, we all will be together; If the fates allow’ (Christmas songs, Dec. 6, 2023). That really gets me as someone who has lost both parents and a favorite aunt in the last five years.” - Lori

Powerful words. I hope the memories keep you smiling. - Shane

Have a thoughtful Thursday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman 

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The polls have closed and a record number of readers have cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

A chance of rain Friday night into Saturday. Otherwise dry and mild weather rolls on.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
2305 S.E. 60th St.
Pleasant Hill, IA 50327
Discover the ideal mix of country charm and city convenience with this beautiful property on nearly 2 acres near Pleasant Hill. Recent updates include 136 tons of rock, 32 red maples, two apple trees, and a new furnace and A/C . The home features a spacious open-concept living area of more than 1, 700 square feet with 9 -foot ceilings and plenty of light.
See More Homes For Sale

Opening Friday, Dec. 15. Tallgrass Theatre Company created an instant classic with last year’s “Home for the Holidays” and brings it back to their stage with new material, an expanded repertoire, and the same captivating joy of the season that had audiences merrily chatting about it well into the new year. (NOTE: the Sunday, Dec. 17 matinee already is sold out.)
      “Tallgrass Theatre continues to find engaging, captivating fare for Central Iowa audiences, and Home for the Holidays is another fine feather for their well-plumed cap. This show displays exceptional talent whisking audiences back the golden musical days of the 1940s, evoking a heart-warming evening of musical magic.” – The Culture Buzz

The Wiz.” Through Dec. 17 at Des Moines Performing Arts. DMPA initiated a new podcast series with President/CEO JEff Chelsvig interviewing the show's director, Schele Williams, about the magic and appeal of “The Wiz.” This pre-Broadway tour is one of two pending Broadway openings for Ms. Williams. (about 14

Last Call Shopping Event
Answer the welcoming invitation to one of America’s premier enclave of artists, Mainframe Studios, 900 Keo Way, Des Moines. The artists at Mainframe Studios (find them here). Love to shop in person? We do, too. Mainframe Studio has a Last Call shopping event on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 1-5 p.m.

Central Iowa Wind Ensemble – two holiday shows. Central Iowa Wind Ensemble presents Holiday Spectacular on Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. Ames City Auditorium, 515 Clark Ave., Ames, AND Sunday, Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. Franklin Jr. High Events Center, 4801 Franklin, Des Moines. ADMISSION: FREE. Tickets are required for all events. Available at www.ciwe.org

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunity at Des Moines Community Playhouse -
Our Town begins build - we need your help to begin building the set for Our Town. Looking for builders of all skill levels to help bring Grovers Corners come to life.
Dec 19 & 20, 1 - 4 p.m.

— John Busbee, The Culture Buzz


All dynasties eventually fail. Four years ago it wasn't thinkable that Afghanistan could lose its domination of the world poppy market but HNK-Bangkok reported Wednesday that Myanmar now leads the world in supplying the world's pusher men. While Taliban threats have reduced Afghani production by 95% (death penalties work), The military junta in Naypyidaw has been encouraging farmers to grow 18% more each year this decade. Those farms' incomes are up 75% as heroin prices rise.

TND reports that Virginia vintners enjoyed their best year ever for grape harvesting. Climate change is not bad for everyone.

Thursday brings a pop-up farmers market to Wallace House (756 16th St., Des Moines) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: 11 people sentenced after Iowa fentanyl drug ring involving 100,000 pills busted

Federal and Iowa investigators announced this week that 11 people have been sentenced to prison for dealing pills laced with fentanyl. They sold 100,000 pills in both Iowa and Nebraska that directly killed six people... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: 2 hospitalized after being rescued from burning home in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa – Two people are hospitalized after being rescued from a burning home in Des Moines’ King Irving neighborhood Tuesday night. Residents of a home in the 1700 block of Forest Avenue, across from King Elementary, called 911 around 10:15 p.m. saying they were trapped upstairs as the home filled with smoke..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Iowa State Fair adds Thomas Rhett, Ne-Yo to 2024 Grandstand lineup

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa State Fair announced the next two artists who will join what's paving out to be a star-studded Grandstand lineup. Country superstar Thomas Rhett and R&B chart-topper NE-YO will perform on Aug. 13 and Aug. 17 respectively. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


12th Annual Synchronized Lights and Live Nativity
Fellowship Community Church in Norwalk recently hosted their 12th Annual Synchronized Lights & Live Nativity on Dec. 9 and 10. The church property was covered in more than 80,000 LED lights synchronized to Christmas music and drew more than 3,400 community members throughout the two-night event. As guests drove through the event, they also enjoyed a live nativity with real animals. The volunteers from Fellowship served hot cocoa and fresh cookies to the thousands of guests and were blessed with the opportunity to pray on-site with dozens of people during the event. The people of Fellowship invite the community to continue to drive through the church property at 225 North Ave., as the lights and music will remain on for everyone to enjoy through the end of the year.

Weekly fuel report

The price of regular unleaded gasoline fell 5 cents, averaging $2.82 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices are down 9 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.12, down 10 cents from last week’s price.

Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 12 cents this week with a statewide average of $3.85. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $4.51 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 23 cents lower than the national average of $4.08.

Wholesale ethanol held steady and is currently priced at $2.16.
Propane prices fell 1 cent with a statewide average of $1.55 per gallon.

Home heating oil prices fell 19 cents, with a statewide average of $3.13 per gallon.

Natural gas prices fell 33 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $2.34/MMbtu

Tips for saving energy on the road or at home are available at energy.gov and fueleconomy.gov.


Birthdays and notables!

Happy belated birthday to Jeff Lorenz, who celebrated on Dec. 10.

These celebrities were born on this date: Vanessa Hudgens, Jay Cinco, Offset, Tori Kelly, Alex Gaskarth, D.K. Metcalf, Miranda Hart, Ted Raimi, KaDee Strickland, Jackson Rathbone, Brian Dalyrimple

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What do you call a zoo that only has giraffes? GIRAFFIC PARK! Or, a very high brow zoo! - Carolyn Rogers. Or, A zoo to look up to! - Gail Tomlinson.

Today's riddle

A man goes into a bank and he is holding up an uncooked fruit. What does he say?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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