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Thursday, March 28, 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.

“Shane, I don't recall having a piggy bank when I was growing up (Piggy banks, March 19, 2024). I had something even better — a bank book! Remember the passport-sized book the bank gave you when you opened a savings account? It had a blue cover with the bank's name and logo on the front, and every time you made a deposit (or withdrawal, but Dad didn't allow those), the bank would write it in your book. And, on top of that, the bank would occasionally add some of their money to it — something called interest — and I didn't have to do anything at all. Those trips to the bank were a big deal for a little kid — made me feel grown up. Of course, most of the money for those deposits came from Dad. He owned his own business and periodically would give me a ‘paycheck’ to deposit and then use my ‘salary’ as a business deduction (don't tell the IRS). I'm grateful he taught me to save money from an early age. The only disadvantage to having a bank book was that, when you shook it, it didn't rattle.” - Bob

I was digging through some old boxes the other day and came across my first bank book. The edges were curled, and the plastic sleeve it came in was crumbling, but it was there. I still smile when I think of my first deposit of $16 that came from selling many of my toys at Mom’s garage sale. Thanks for the memory, Bob, and keep rattling! - Shane

“Good afternoon, Shane. I have a steam locomotive pottery bank my grandson made me that I put any money I find in the street (Piggy banks, March 19, 2024). Then I have a German Shepherd dog that I put loose change in. It represents my K9 days.” - John

That steam locomotive pottery bank sounds interesting, but I really want to see how you put loose change in a German Shepherd. Or maybe not. - Shane

“The old saying goes, if you don't like the weather in Iowa just wait a minute (Weather talk, March 20, 2024).” - Brent

I don’t like to wait. - Shane

“You might just happen to be a farmer whose livelihood depends on the weather and what he is going to do today, tomorrow, next week (Weather talk, March 20, 2024). Have a bright, sunny day.” - Larry

That’s a good point, Larry. The actual weather may dictate what jobs do or don’t get completed that day, especially for farmers. My point was that you can’t change the weather, so what good does it do to continually talk about it? - 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.


Your Clear Mortgage forecast

We have a warming trend into Friday, with mild temps on Saturday as well. Rain chances return Sunday into next week.

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 Caterer

1. Cyd’s Catering

2. Taste! To Go Catering + Events

3. Great Caterers of Iowa

Read all the results now!


The Pa'akai We Bring (11 a.m. Saturday): This show in the Family Series at the Des Moines Civic Center uses music and hula to tell a story about a Native Hawaiian family who has farmed salt (pa’akai) for generations on the island of Kauai. 

Final Botanical Blues of the season (1 and 3 p.m. Sunday): The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden hosts its final blues concerts of the season, featuring Bob Dorr and Jeff Petersen, two members of the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Remix Trivia (6 p.m. Tuesday): Join the Des Moines Symphony for a night of classical music-inspired trivia at SingleSpeed Brewing. A tip: This week’s categories could include nursery rhymes, strange foods and famous dreamers. 

Central Iowa Blues Society - Iowa Blues Hall of Fame Induction Celebration. Sumpin’ Doo will be the host band. Dinner by Flying Mango and dessert by Steve “the pie man” Vasquez. All tickets include free parking! The Iowa Blues Hall of Fame 2024 Class to be inducted is Tony Brown, Jeff Wagner, Don “T-Bone” Erickson, Lynette Webster, Tom Gary, and Tina Haase Findlay! 

— John Busbee, The Culture Buzz

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

$479,500                                                           5826 N.W. 51st St., Johnston, IA 50131

This 5 bedroom, 3 bath ranch is dressed to impress with almost 3,000 square feet of total living space including the finished lower level. The backyard is set up perfect for entertaining with a deck that leads to a patio with firepit. Situated in a quiet Johnston neighborhood. Beautiful woodwork throughout the home gives the homey vibe feel.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
From the March issue of Indianola Living magazine

Trip of a lifetime
Residents share stories of their dreams-come-true vacations.

By Becky Kolosik

For some people, vacationing is a part of their routine. They plan, take and enjoy numerous trips to see the sights and “get away” from the usual hustle and bustle of life. They enjoy good times and make fond memories. They share photos and stories, but it isn’t long before they are looking forward to their next excursion. For some others, a vacation turns out to be much more than that — it is a dream come true, and, no matter how many vacations may follow, none will ever compare. It is a trip of a lifetime.

Around the world
Family is important to Loren and Linda Meyer. Having two children of their own, little did they know they would have the opportunity to gain four “bonus” kids through their involvement with the Youth for Understanding Program (YFU) as hosts of Indianola High School foreign exchange students from Germany.

Starting with the 2003-2004 school year, and every three years after that until 2013, the Meyers welcomed students into their home and helped them become involved at IHS, as well as the community of Indianola.


Apples are down with climate change. Weather has wreaked havoc on peaches, tomatoes, hazelnuts and citrus crops in the U.S. recently. Apples are thriving. The total number of apples in storage on March 1 was 34% higher than last March 1 and more than the five-year average for that date. All major producing states (Washington, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, California) reported overall fresh and processing storage increases in March compared to the previous year. (Fruit Growers News)

Bad pears. Bradford pear tree sales and plantings will be banned after October in South Carolina. The trees, indigenous to Vietnam, have become the darlings of Palmetto State landscape architects this century because of their gorgeous white flowers, similar to dogwood blossoms. Problem is that the fruits are loved by birds and bees who pollinate their seeds. Now they are taking over wetlands. Plus, it turned out that those beautiful flowers smell awful. (TNWD)

Thursday deals.Thursday’s special at Bianchi’s Hilltop (2829 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines) is half of a deep fried chicken dinner with mashed potatoes for $16... Eastside Eddie's ( 3517 E. 26th St., Des Moines) soup special today is Italian potato... Whatcha Smokin? (403 Iowa St., Luther) has a 6-ounce pork belly burnt ends special today for $16 with two sides and bread.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Blank Park Zoo's oldest resident gets a new set of wheels

DES MOINES, Iowa — At over 85 years old, it's understandable that Barnaby might have some difficulties getting around. Add to that his shoulder's propensity for dislocating while he walks around and his nearly 500-pound frame, Barnaby's caretakers have had to think outside the box to find ways to improve his mobility and quality of life...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Gov. Reynolds signs AEA overhaul, teacher salary increase bill into law

DES MOINES, Iowa — Just six days ago, Iowa House Republicans dropped a 49-page amendment which would end up being the final version of the bill lawmakers would send off to the governor. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed HF 2612 into law on Wednesday afternoon with Republican lawmakers, appointed Department of Education officials and some rural superintendents in attendance..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Iowa attorney general not finished with audit that's holding up contraception money for rape victims

Her office said the audit, which Bird announced when she took office 14 months ago, is in its “final stages” and that a report would be released soon.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Weekly Fuel Report

• The price of regular unleaded gasoline rose 2 cents, averaging $3.33 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices are up 16 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.54, up 2 cents from last week’s price.

•Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 1 cent this week with a statewide average of $3.78. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $3.85 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 27 cents lower than the national average of $4.05.

•Wholesale ethanol held steady and is currently priced at $2.16.

•Propane prices averaged $1.58 per gallon statewide.

•Home heating oil prices averaged $3.20 per gallon statewide.

•Natural gas prices rose 2 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $1.72/MMbtu.

Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Alexandra Billings, Bart Conner, Charlie McCoy, Julia Stiles, Lady Gaga, Matt Nathanson, Reba McEntire, Rodrigo Duterte, Vince Vaughn, Dreezy, Derek Carr, Lacey Turner, Jonathan van Ness

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

How do you avoid getting swallowed by a river while white water rafting? STAY AWAY FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIVER! - Rex Post, Gail Tomlinson. Or, from William Snyder: Paddle faster and don’t listen to the banjos. Or, By not letting it "gorge" on you! -Carolyn Rogers

Today's riddle

Which journalist covered the story about the baby lions at the zoo?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or Winterset Living magazine, contact:

Kristine McDonald
Account Executive
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 321
Mobile: C: 515-975-3543

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