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Good Wednesday morning to you!

With winter weather in the forecast, I can’t help but think of the countless hours I spent as a child playing in the snow. Sledding down hills. Having snowball fights. Making snowmen. But there was one snow activity I could never seem to master — igloo making.

Sure, like many of you, I could dig long tunnels into snow piles. I could create makeshift forts that would last… for a while. I could even create really good snow walls. But a domed igloo? Forget it. My many efforts resulted in the same disappointing collapses.

As a child who watched way too much television, I was intrigued by a commercial for the Sno Bloc Maker by K-tel. “Scoop it, pack it, block it.” Sounded easy. And the igloos on TV looked absolutely amazing.

“Big kids. Little kids. Moms and dads. Everyone is having fun in the snow.” They sure looked like it. The advertised price was only $2.99, and it even came with an aluminum shaping shovel. What a deal!

I wanted some of this “healthy outdoor fun” and to turn our yard into a “winter wonderland.” Who wouldn’t? So I begged Mom for one, and, lo and behold, it was under the tree on one of those Christmas mornings. My brother Steve and I bundled up and prepared for the snow-building task. We were going to create the biggest, fanciest igloo this side of the East Fork of the Des Moines River. What we were not prepared for was the variance in snow. The light stuff would not pack well in the Sno Bloc Maker. The wet snow would stick to the plastic. The slushy snow would fall out like potato soup. This was not the winter wonderland that I saw on TV.

We were patient, and, one day, we had perfect packing snow. One by one, we produced those snow blocks factory-style and stacked them up, carefully tilting each layer inward so we could properly form the dome until… you guessed it, another collapse.

“Scoop it, pack it, block it.” Right. More like “Scoop it, pack it, crack it,” as that’s exactly what happened to my Sno Bloc Maker by New Year’s Day.

All has not been lost, though. Decades later when playing in the snow with my kids, we came up with the idea of using the green recycling bins to create snow blocks — and they worked quite well, at least for the first row or two. The weight was a bit much for the upper layers, and the attempts at doming still resulted in the same collapses. It was still a lot of fun and another simple reminder that, despite all our generation differences, some things never change.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and thanks for reading.

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


Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

We'll see light snow this afternoon with an inch or more of accumulation, so the PM drive could be slick in spots. Colder for the rest of the week and especially colder this weekend. Saturday will bring accumulating snow for which you may need a shovel.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

Things To Do

Wednesday, Dec. 29
 Iowa Wild vs. Colorado Eagles, 6 p.m.
At: Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St., Des Moines
Info: Just a step below the NHL, the Iowa Wild ice hockey team plays in the American Hockey League and supports the Minnesota Wild. www.iowawild.com

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact pat@dmcityview.com for details.
299 G40 Highway
Pleasantville, IA 50225
One story brick Berm home w/ 1538 sf & heated oversized 2 car attached garage on over 3.5 acres +/-. This home was well thought out when built...not a stair in the home & most all doorways are extra wide for wheelchair accessibility. Featuring an open floor plan w/ 2 large bedrooms both w/ daylight windows & 2 baths including master bath w/ whirlpool tub...
Find Out More!

FROM KCCI: Shootings skyrocket in Des Moines in 2021, homicides drop

DES MOINES, Iowa — The number of people shot in Des Moines jumped incredibly in 2021, but fewer people were killed by gunfire, according to numbers released by Des Moines Police. The number of people shot in the city, as of Dec. 28, sits at 86, compared to what police call an average in 2020 when 49 people were shot. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Des Moines prepares for winter weather inbound this weekend

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines Public Works Department is preparing for winter weather that could make its way into the metro over the next several days. READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Fairfield teenagers ambushed teacher before killing her, prosecutor says

FAIRFIELD, Iowa —  The county attorney prosecuting the case of two southeast Iowa teens charged with murder in the death of their high school Spanish teacher says they surveilled her pattern of life, ambushed her along her daily walk and dragged her into the woods, returning later to better hide her lifeless body. ... READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines 2021

Nearly 14,000 votes were cast in the 2021 CITYVIEW Best Of Des Moines readers' poll.

Best Local Orthopedic Clinic
1. DMOS Orthopaedic Centers
2. Iowa Ortho
3. Capital Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine


Read more

One a week: Rudisill nears completion of his song-a-week goal

By Darren Tromblay

Jon Rudisill is a guy who “scratches where it itches,” as the legendary former Iowa Hawkeye football coach Hayden Fry once said.
Rudisill’s “itch” is art. And when it calls, he scratches. Lately, that’s been often.

After making a New Year’s resolution to write one song per week, the 41-year-old Norwalk resident has bucked the trend of nearly all resolution makers — he’s actually stuck to it. As of this writing, he’s at 47 weeks straight and counting.

“Basically I wanted to encourage myself to be creative,” he says. “I wanted to get better at recording, better at making videos, and re-accustomed to playing and performing. I wanted a measurable goal I could fulfill.”


Read more

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A Christmas tree decoration with the children's library section behind it. Photo by Tammy Pearson


Email to tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com to be included in an upcoming Daily Umbrella!
Digital Editions

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Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday to Connor Elmitt!

Happy Birthday to these celebrities: Jude Law, Alison Brie, Jon Voight, Ross Lynch, Dylan Minnette, Ted Danson, Kei Nishikori, Danny McBride, Katherine Moennig, Patricia Clarkson, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Cudlitz, Christen Press

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

Poll of the Week

When do you take down your Christmas tree?

The day after Christmas
A week after Christmas
Two weeks after Christmas
Three weeks or more after Christmas
Don’t have a Christmas tree


What is atop your Christmas tree?

An angel - 40%
A star - 33%
A bow - 12%
Nothing -15%

Morning Chuckle

What happened when the woman accidentally swallowed a bunch of Scrabble tiles? 

HER NEXT TRIP TO THE BATHROOM SPELLED DISASTER! Thank you Gail Tomlinson and Rex Post. Rex also suggested she might need surgery to unscrabble her bowels.


Where is the best place to practice math on New Year's Eve?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com 


If you would like to advertise in this daily newsletter, please contact Pat Checketts at pat@dmcityview.com, or call 515-953-4822 xt. 311.

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