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Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024
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.

“I read your column about your mom and your love of meat and taters (Guthrie Center Times, Meat, potatoes, bread and butter, December 2023). My husband could have written that exact article. His mom always told him and his siblings, and I quote: ‘Food is not supposed to taste good; just eat it!’ Apparently, the gift of cooking wasn't my late mother-in-law's gift either. My husband can cook and survive whenever I'm out of town. He can smoke and/or grill steaks, ribs, brisket, chops and burgers like it is nobody's business. However, I'm the overall culinary gifted one, as I can make a plethora of yummies and managed to open his horizons beyond those he grew up with. I managed to get him to try sausage and sauerkraut when all he envisioned upon my request was his mom’s idea of that dish consisting of a can of sauerkraut (not drained) and whole hot dogs. Just heat and serve. Ask your wife what she thinks of that one! He still didn't like mine, but at least he tried it. Thank you for the laugh, and know that you are not alone in that childhood memory.” - Natalie

Heat and serve. Hmmm. That sounds familiar. - Shane

“Shane, I have read this traditional waterbug and creatures story you have printed in other editions that you are publisher of and always look forward to it (Our Christmas Classic, Dec. 25, 2023). Maybe a few years have gone by and I have missed it or didn’t read it, but this year, as I just read it out loud to my husband, it had a rather sentimental emotion — along with a few watering eyes. Could it be that I am the old waterbug?” - Randi

I resemble that comment. - Shane

“Shane do you think we would even be talking about a white Christmas if Irving Berlin had not written the song of the same name in 1941 (Green Christmas, Dec. 26, 2023)? It debuted on NBC Radio and then became a popular hit from the 1942 movie ‘Holiday Inn.’ I am glad Berlin wrote and Capra made the movie and Bing Crosby popularized it, but in 1940 was anyone talking or thinking about a white Christmas? I have probably watched the ‘Holiday Inn’ movie as many times as I have watched ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ which was long thought to be the Christmas movie of my generation. Happy New Year!” - Chuck

I imagine that World War II was on the minds of most in the early 1940s, but “White Christmas” might have brought about a few smiles. At least I hope so. - Shane

“What comes after size 36 blue jeans (Ripped jeans, Dec. 28, 2023)? Bibbies!” - Alan

Now it all makes sense. - Shane

Have a thoughtful Thursday, and thanks for reading.

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

See Shane Goodman's previous columns 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

Highs in the 30s are ahead into the beginning of next week. We could see flurries Saturday and Sunday, a rain/snow mix Monday, and snow and wind Tuesday.

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


Check out this month's "Center Stage" column about satisfying your "I wonder what it's like" curiosity: Getting involved in a performing arts production or run.

Audition – Des Moines Community Playhouse. “ Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” Monday, Jan. 8, 6 p.m.

Audition – Iowa Stage Theatre Company. General Auditions, Saturday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m. 

— John Busbee, The Culture Buzz

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
7409 N.E. 108th Place
Bondurant, IA 50035
Serene and peaceful 1.5 story located at Woodland Lake Estates with association-owned lake. Bondurant schools, paved roads, fantastic location! This adorable 4-bedroom 3-bath home is uniquely designed to provide beautiful design and functionality. Walking in, you will be wowed by the floor-to-ceiling slider windows that open up to the private backyard. This home is move-in ready with updates throughout including remodeled kitchen, new trim and paint inside and out, new windows, new roof, and many more.
See More Homes For Sale

Nauru topped world obesity rates at 59.85%. American Samoa, Cook Islands, Palau, Marshall Islands, French Polynesia, Tuvalu, Niue, Kiribiti, Tonga, Micronesia, Samoa and the US (36.47%) followed according to World Obesity Federation. Oh, oh, oh Ozempic.

Charles River Labs, a biomedical research company out of Massachusetts, has purchased 500 acres of land in Brazoria County, Texas, with intention to raise 43,000 monkeys in the sleepy coastal county west of Galveston and south of Houston. Neighbors are trying to evict the Yankees' monkeys, worried about how much noise 43,000 monkeys might make. Maybe Governor Abbott can bus them back to Boston. (WSJ)

Rick Alviti's Tribute to Elvis comes to Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Casino & Hotel Saturday, 7 p.m.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Perkins Elementary names school library after Des Moines' first Black teacher

DES MOINES, Iowa — Perkins Elementary School in Des Moines is naming its library after the district's first Black teacher. The library will be named after Harriette J. Curley, who taught kindergarten at Perkins from 1946 to 1954. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Des Moines Fire Department responded to a call every 16 minutes in 2023

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines Fire Department announced on Wednesday that the department responded to a call nearly every 16 minutes in 2023 — setting a new record number of calls. According to the department, the 11 fire stations across the city responded to a total number of 33,351 calls, which is an increase of over 800 calls from 2022. About 63% of those calls were for emergency medical services...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Several Midwestern cities are going to be counted again like it's 2020

The fast-growing Des Moines suburbs paying for a Census Bureau-run second count in 2024 are Altoona, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill and Waukee. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Weekly fuel report
The price of regular unleaded gasoline fell 1 cent, averaging $2.79 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices are down 22 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.09, down 3 cents from last week’s price.
Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 4 cents this week with a statewide average of $3.65. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $4.21 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 33 cents lower than the national average of $3.98.
Wholesale ethanol held steady and is currently priced at $2.16.
Propane prices averaged $1.56 per gallon statewide.
Home heating oil prices averaged $3.01 per gallon statewide.
Natural gas prices rose 16 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $2.67/MMbtu
Tips for saving energy on the road or at home are available at energy.gov and fueleconomy.gov.
Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Jaeden Martell, Coco Jones, Victor Wembanyama, Charles Melton, Liza Soberano, Emma Mackey, Dafne Keen, Tina Knowles, Derrick Henry, Peyton Kennedy, Kris Bryant, Nico Hischier, Till Lindemann, Toni Kroos, James Milner, Collin Sexton

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What was wrong with the broken skunk? IT WAS OUT OF ODOR! OR, IT HAD A CLINKER STINKER! - S. Hill Watkins. Or The instinkerator was out of commission. - William Snyder. Or, It's sprayer was dys"skunk"tional! - Carolyn Rogers. Also participating: Rex Post, Gail Tomlinson

Today's riddle

Which movie was about a city in Washington where everybody wears tank tops?

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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