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Thursday, Dec. 21, 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.

“My wife's favorite Christmas movie is ‘It's a Wonderful Life.’ One of the things I told her when we met was that my major in college was business, and that I wanted to be a banker (Favorite Christmas movies, Dec. 11, 2023). Many years ago, I asked her if she would have married me if my name was not George and if I had said I wanted a completely different line of work instead of banking. Her answer was a weak ‘yes,’ so I never asked that question again.” - George

Unless you married Donna Reed, I would ask her to firm up that response. - Shane

“Shane, you left out an entire category of Christmas movies: Hallmark Christmas movies (Favorite Christmas movies, Dec. 11, 2023). Yes, they follow predictable plot lines. Yes, the leading men are always handsome, and the female protagonists have impossibly gorgeous hair and make-up. BUT ... you can always count on a happy ending. That's the main thing. The movies are so popular, they also run them an entire month during the summer for ‘Christmas in July.’ And, in recent years, they have expanded their holiday repertoire to include Hanukkah-themed movies. You can even buy special Hallmark movie merchandise to wear while watching! (See attached.)” - Carolyn

Now, that’s passion! - Shane

“Very good question, Shane (What brings you peace? Dec. 12, 2023). For my wife and I, peace is always attained, however fleetingly, either in our boat on a river or gliding through the air aboard her hot air balloon.” - Brent

Peace is not a word I would come up with when being in the air or in water. I prefer to have my feet on the ground, but I am glad you find peace there. - Shane

“Your paragraph on the birth of Jesus matches my emotions exactly, and I cannot think of a better way to say it (What brings you peace? Dec. 12, 2023). It has been 70 years for me.” - George

’Tis the season. Merry Christmas! - 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

Temperatures stay mild. Slim rain chances are ahead tonight and Friday, but better chances come Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

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.
17883 Creekside Drive
Clive, IA 50325
Nestled in a prime Clive location, this stunning residence offers the perfect blend of luxury and comfort. As you approach the property, grandeur French country curb appeal welcomes you, setting the tone for the elegance that awaits inside. As you step inside, you'll be captivated by the 20-foot cathedral ceilings.
See More Homes For Sale

Donabe, the preferred cooking pots of most Japanese chefs and many others, are endangered. Donabe was invented when gas stoves were introduced to Japan after WWII. Their clay is mixed with petalite, a mineral that also yields some lithium. Lithium guzzling car batteries have driven up its price ten fold and more. Potters are desperately seeking a substitute that allows the pots to tolerate direct exposure to high flames.

Limited edition Oreo Black & White cookies will be released on Jan. 1. These were inspired by the iconic cookie that has been a Manhattan bakery staple for over 100 years. Oreo’s version fills a Golden Oreo cookie with half-chocolate and half-vanilla creme. These cookies will only be available while supplies last, so if you try them and love them, you may want to stock up. On Jan. 3, Oreo introduces a gluten-free cookie.

Thursday's special at Chicago Speakeasy is fried chicken and includes the marvelous ice cooled salad bar.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Man credits Iowa National Guard training for helping save coworker’s life

PERU, Iowa — On Monday, Nathan Kessler was working in a field in Peru when he collapsed, suffering a massive heart attack. Kessler was with five other people, including his boss, Nick Darland. ... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Officials warn of new delivery service text scam

DES MOINES, Iowa — The week leading up to Christmas is full of last minute shoppers trying to find deals online or in the store. The increase in packages being delivered opens the door for an increase in scam messages...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Southeast Polk Junior High teacher nationally recognized for commitment to STEM education

The school works with Project Lead the Way, an organization that develops project-driven STEM experiences and exposes students to related careers......READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

From the Iowa Living magazines


A couple and three dogs

By Jackie Wilson

Sarah Goodall is a confessed Christmas fanatic. Her Christmas obsession begins the first week in November when she and her wife, Tonya, decorate their home from floor to ceiling with twinkling lights, multiple Christmas trees, candles and Christmas baubles in every corner of their home.

Tonya sets up the tech devices in their home, so when she gives the command to their Alexa device to turn on Christmas, every light turns on at once.

Besides decorating, it’s Sarah’s job — and one of her favorite Christmas traditions — to put together a photo Christmas card and put it in the mail to all their friends and family.

She and Tonya take photos throughout the year with the family including River, their son. They snap numerous photos of their three dogs, Joker, Red and Sookie. However, it’s rare to get all three dogs to pose in the same photo.

Read more in the North Polk Living magazine.

Birthdays and notables!

These celebrities were born on this date: Andy Dick, Anna Bulbrook, Brett Scallions, Carla Thomas, Chris Evert, Jane Fonda, Jane Kaczmarek, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Julie Delpy, Kaitlyn Dever, Karrie Webb, Kiefer Sutherland, Lukas Rossi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Michelle Hurd, Natalie Grant, Phil Donahue, Ray Romano, Rutina Wesley, Samuel L. Jackson, Steven Yeun

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

Weekly fuel report

The price of regular unleaded gasoline rose 3 cents, averaging $2.85 across Iowa according to AAA, which is steady from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.10, down 2 cents from last week’s price.

Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 12 cents this week with a statewide average of $3.73. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $4.35 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 30 cents lower than the national average of $4.03.

Propane prices rose 1 cent with a statewide average of $1.56 per gallon.

Home heating oil prices rose 2 cents, with a statewide average of $3.15 per gallon.

Natural gas prices rose 17 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $2.51/MMbtu

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Which pet animal is small, furry, and smells like bacon? A HAM-STER! - Judy Anderson, Gail Tomlinson. Especially if the hamster is wrapped in bacon, says Rex Post.  Or, a Guinea PIG! - Carolyn Rogers. And, Brendan Comito also got yesterday's riddle!

Today's riddle

Which pet animal is small, furry, and smells like bacon?

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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