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Monday, March 18, 2024
Good morning to you!

We made a family trip to Colorado this past week. Six peas in the proverbial pod that motored down I-80. These types of trips have changed with Jolene and I now being empty-nesters. No more diapers, car seats or strollers. And no more minivans. Meanwhile, our SUV and the rooftop cargo carrier are packed full of stuff from us and two of our adult children and their spouse and boyfriend. Different stuff, but still stuff.

The cargo carrier is helpful with additional storage, yes, but I have come to really despise that thing — and not just the two prior ones that we smashed into the garage frame. Mounting and unmounting that giant plastic box on top of the SUV is like using an Erector Set to attach a plastic sled on top of your house. Each different vehicle we have owned requires different bars and bolts, and I don’t seem to remember this until the night before the trip. The holes don’t line up where they should, the bolts fall through my fingers, and the rooftop bars continually poke me in the sternum while balancing with one leg on a tire, but I eventually get that monster mounted. Loading it in 70-degree weather in Iowa wasn’t bad, but having it stick shut in 30-degree weather in Colorado has become an annual annoyance.

Prior to being married, Jolene and I would join other young couples for ski trips to Colorado. The priorities were different back then. Four days of skiing were painless, and we consumed many adult beverages. Maybe those two were connected. Today, I have to search for my knee compression pads to keep my ligaments in place for one day of skiing, and bottled water is the drink of choice. I am more interested in the hot tub than a hot toddy. So, life changes, but we still enjoy the serenity and fresh air of the mountains, and our adult kids do, too. We also now make time to see friends in the area on our vacations, as we have learned that time spent with those we care about is some of the best time spent.

Getting away from work is never easy, especially when you operate your own business. The work still needs to be completed, and we don’t have people standing around waiting to fill in for people on vacation. Taking time off is stressful before a vacation and after it, but it sure is enjoyable in between, especially in the mountains.

Most anyone who drives to Colorado knows that the drive through Nebraska can be mind-numbing. I used to tease my Nebraska friends about this until they reminded me that western Iowa isn’t exactly a scenic adventure. That may be true, but we don’t have tumbling tumbleweeds blowing across our roads.

We are having a great time on our family vacation. Skiing. Snowmobiling. Food. Drink. Family. Friends. And fresh mountain air. We will soon be back to reality, unloading all that “stuff” and stowing the cargo carrier away for another year, assuming we don’t smash it into the garage.

Have a marvelous Monday, 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.


Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Chilly and breezy conditions today. Tuesday gets warmer. Rain chances Thursday and Saturday.

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

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The results have been tallied and published in the February issue of CITYVIEW and online!


Best Local Tenderloin

1. Smitty’s Tenderloins

2. Jethro’s BBQ

3. Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe

Read all the results now!

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

$709,990                                                           3764 River Oaks Drive, Des Moines, IA 50312

Nestled on a spacious lot adorned with majestic, mature trees, this charming home offers the perfect blend of tranquility and convenience. Picture yourself unwinding in the sun-drenched sunroom, surrounded by the greenery of your expansive backyard. But the allure doesn't stop there. This home boasts a multitude of major updates designed to enhance your comfort and peace of mind. From the newly installed braces and insulation in the attic to the fresh coat of paint adorning the entire exterior, every detail has been meticulously attended to.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
From the March issue of CITYVIEW

Remembering Ron ‘Busby’ Burnell

By Kristian Day

Iowa film industry lore is a niche topic that captivates my interest. If I hear anyone telling a story about the old days of film production, I stop what I am doing to join the conversation. My early Des Moines Forgotten articles included stories on the Varsity Theatre, filming a TV show inside Video Warehouse, and one that will be directly referenced here, Iowa’s era of producing religious features about the end of the world.

Whenever I am on set with some of the old guys, I often hear them mention a man named “Buz” or they refer back to the “Busby” days. Ron “Busby” Burnell is a legend among people who came before me. “Busby” was his nickname, but he preferred to go by “Buz.” He got the name because he would turn any shoot into a gigantic production like Busby Berkley from the depression era of American cinema. He would suggest big things that might be outside of the project’s scope, much like the man he was named after. Buz was born in Carroll County just after World War II and then moved to Paton where he attended Jefferson High School before moving to Des Moines in 1971.


Busy restaurants are discouraging large parties. In a story by Alina Dizek, Wall Street Journal explained that staffing shortages are making it unprofitable for restaurants to accommodate parties of six and more people. They take too long ordering and eating, get too noisy for other customers, and suck up staff time, which is more expensive that ever. Busy restaurants need to turn tables. That's why tables are mostly two or four tops now, and reservations are no longer open ended - 90 minutes is often firm. In Des Moines, Tumea & Sons (1501 S.E. First St.) is advertising that they still take reservations for "six or more."

Denny's and Wendy’s told investors that their guest counts fell last year compared with 2022 levels because consumers, in particular those with lower incomes, feel the financial pinch.

SPECIALS: Mondays bring all you can eat wings to Tito's Lounge (3916 Urbandale Drive, Urbandale) where pljeskavica is made with veal and gyros are made with lamb... Monday brings half pound steakburgers, with fries or salad, and a bottle of beer for $14 at Trostel's Greenbriar (5810 Merle Hay Road, Johnston) where the "culinary gunslinger" is gone but the gunpowder rub still packs a walloping recoil.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Keep Iowa Beautiful photo contest winners

ABOVE: Iowa Wildlife, third place, “Sunset Buck,” by Eric Williamson of Des Moines.

Keep Iowa Beautiful has announced the winners of the 14th Annual Keep Iowa Beautiful Photography Contest, aimed at raising awareness of Iowa's natural and environmental beauty.  To see all the winning photos, visit Keep Iowa Beautiful.

Send your photos of beautiful sights in Iowa to tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com.

College hoops

Iowa State and Drake men both earn spots in the East Regional: The Cyclones and Bulldogs could end up playing for the first time since 2018. READ MORE at WOI-DT Local 5.

South Carolina, Iowa, USC and Texas are the top seeds in the women's NCAA Tournament. READ MORE at KCCI.

Cyclone women heading to California as 7-seed in NCAA tournament. READ MORE at WHO-TV

Drake women open NCAA Tournament against Colorado as 12-seed. READ MORE at WHO-TV


FROM KCCI: $3.3 million Ingersoll Avenue project starts Monday

DES MOINES, Iowa — The $3.3 million Ingersoll Avenue construction project will kick off Monday with a water line replacement. The goal of the project is to make the street more walkable. The Des Moines City Council approved the plans last month....READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Firefighters fight three-alarm fire at Urbandale hotel

URBANDALE, Iowa — An Urbandale hotel set off a three alarm fire before 8:45 a.m. Sunday on Douglas Avenue. Econo Lodge in Urbandale had multiple crews responded shortly before 9 a.m., with fire crews getting reports from hotel occupants that the inside of the building was on fire...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: 'We're losing money'; Declining prescription reimbursements hurting independent pharmacies

Mahaska Drug in Oskaloosa is one of the many independent pharmacies struggling to make a profit. "We're losing money," said co-owner John Nicholson.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Adam Levine, Ciara Bravo, Cornelius Smith Jr., Geoffrey Owens, Jerry Cantrell, Lily Collins, Philip Sweet, Queen Latifah, Sutton Foster, Vanessa Williams

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Why do strawberries look down on blueberries? BECAUSE THEY ARE GOOD FOR MUFFIN! Thanks for the other answers: Gail Tomlinson, Carolyn Rogers, several co-workers.

Today's riddle

What do you get when you combine Blue Agave and literature?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or the Grimes/Dallas Center, North Polk and Adel Living magazines, contact:

Dan Juffer
Senior Account Executive
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 303
Mobile: 515-371-2290

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