Hello sparklerias, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

It’s the weekend, and that’s the perfect time to goof around. So we’ve got an all-new Panel of Experts for you, as well as a new plant puzzler. Good times, people!

(By now it’s nearly the end of the weekend – sorry for the delay, I’ve been working lots of hours.)

Let’s get things started by saying hi to the Experts. Hi everyone!

 

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re so cute! From left to right, that’s Andy Williams, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

In our continuing quest to get to know our Experts, here’s this week’s question.

Q. Do you have any plans for the summer? Travel? Fun? Family?

Expert Andy Williams, you’re up first!

A.

Normally I don’t have many summer plans.  But this year, I have a few things on the agenda.  I’m off to New York City for my first ever visit there next week for work.  I plan to go to Ground Zero and pay homage to the innocent and brave souls who lost their lives or were injured there.  Then in May, I will make my 33rd consecutive Indy 500, an annual pilgrimage to my roots of adrenaline filled entertainment.  In early June I will then make my annual Circus Mexicus trip to Rocky Point, Mexico to see the best rock and roll band on the planet; Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.  In late June I’m off to Kauai with my honey before and including the 4th of July.  After that China, for work.  Yuck!  Then beyond that, in early Sept. I’m off to Canada to go fishing at Nestor Falls Fly In Outpost with my father and few friends.  No TV, cell phone, nothing.

I’m a busy boy.

A. Do I ever! We start this weekend with 4 days in Madison to visit family. Then it’s off to Phoenix in mid-May to see U2 (twice), the second time with my 12-year old daughter. I assume she’ll enjoy it about as much as if my father dragged me to a Peter, Paul & Mary concert in 1983, but I don’t care! Some things are about dad, and only dad.

A wedding for D-Day in Denver, followed by a 3-day conference in Vegas. Let me tell you something about insurance technology professionals: we know how to party! At least the sales guys do, find the sales guys and you won’t buy a drink the whole time.

The main course of this travel smorgasbord is my 2-week excursion to London and Scotland in July. To summarize that one: I will be drinking ale (and Scotch) and visiting old places. I may take pictures of myself in a bowler hat and/or a kilt at many of them.

Finally, we end with a quick hitter to NYC to see U2 at Madison Square Garden at the end of July. All of this is followed by years of staggering debt, but no regrets!

A. Blessings to you dear Dottie. You are the best of us. Be well.

Summer seems so far away. There is still much spring left. When the days grow hot and the hours longer, perhaps there will be long walks and longer drives. Maybe there will be music under stars and visits to the ball yard. Fireworks and ice cream. Books on lazy days.
——————
Liza here. Thank you, EZ, for your poetry. And Tim and Andy for your optimism.

Normally our wonderful, amazing and lovely Expert Dottie would be up next. She’s unavailable this week. She’s hanging in there, her sense of humor is perfectly intact, her mind is sharp as a tack, but she’s still not feeling so hot. This is what happens when you’ve graced the planet for 88 beautiful years. Please send lots of prayers and good vibes her way. I will keep you updated on her journey. I think everyone knows how much I adore this woman – she’s devoted her entire adult life to helping others, and she has succeeded with enthusiasm and laughter. And she did all that while raising her own amazing kids. I’ve said this many times before because it’s true – she should be declared a National Treasure.

If you’d like to leave well wishes for my dear friend, please do so in the comments section, and I’ll pass them along to her.

Let’s admire how adorable she is…

And then move on to Expert Lewis Casey. Expert Lewis, please make us smile:

A.

I have my name on the Albuquerque Bee Keeps (ABQBeeks)  Swarm response list,

Individuals waiting to render aid, summoned to bring calm to chaos,

Advance the struggle to halt a maddening malaises upon an essential and vital entity of our world

Bees are in crisis, their life jeopardized,

Stupid humans feel threatened, intimidated by this mighty but gentle creature

My phones rings Thursday 4-23-2015, it’s  about Noon I spring into action.

“Hello Bee Keepers” a little ladies voice ask.

In my most deepest and manly’ s voice I reply  “YES this is a Bee Keeper”.

“Oh good! We have a problem, some bees have come into my husband’s shop,

he’s worried about his crew and customers”. “Can you help” she ask.

Can the Pope float, do dags have ears, can the Sun shine, is a bear Catholic.

“Why for sure we can help” I replied. She gave me the address, “Please hurry”

Unfortunately I’m not known for my speed, but I always get there.

A swarm has gathered in the top  corner of this small automotive repair shop near Yale Blvd  and Caesar Chavez Dr.

Dot, datta, dal,  I grab my cape, no I mean my gear, white coverall, long gloves, my smoker and fuel, and the crucial helmet and veil,

(a bucket, a large plastic bin, a large box, to hold the bees), (ice chest with ice, water and two beers for medicinal purposes in case I get stung)

A ladder if their up high, a long stick to hold the bucket, and a first aid kit in case I fall off the ladder.

So 30 minutes later I’m loaded to go, Now where the hell did I put the directions and address,

I’ll just look for a giant swarm on the side of a shop on something-something Yale.

God watches over fools and little children and I was going for a just cause

Also helps when the little lady calls me back and wonders if I coming or not, got the address written right there on my hand now.

When I got there I looked for the giant cloud of bees, reconnoitering the place, I talk with the owner,

He shows me where they were at, only a dozen bees or so are still there flying around the corner

Shoot or something like that I say, Their all gone I think,

But then the owner points to a large 5 gal. shop vacuum setting about a 100 ft. away from the shop.

He said that morning when he open the shop there was a bunch in the top corner , A swarm in Bee Mans terms.

He left them alone, cause he didn’t want to hurt them “Good man this David”  later in the morning someone told him about the hot line or so to call.

So his wife had given me a ring, as I have said.

After the call he went to look at the bunch of bees, but they were mostly gone, through some were flying around this old vacuum setting on a top shelf close by.

He was not sure where the bees were but took the vacuum off the shelf, walked outside into the parking lot, he saw a few bees fly out, he set it down and skedaddled.

I got there a little later and the vacuum and bees were just waiting for me, I watched as a few bees hovered around the exhaust.

I got a small blanket from the storage area behind the seat in my truck, had to move a bunch of stuff out of the way.

I tossed the small blanket over it and tied it down. Yeah bees

Took it home where I had my cleaned and empty hive box setting since my hive froze in the March snowstorm.

It still had honey left over from the last guys.

I enveloped myself in my bee gear, ready to great my new boarders

I carefully as a man who has never done this before, took the vac apart, set the top off the side and tried to pour the bees from the vac in to my cleared  top box,

Nothing ever goes as easy as you think it might, there was a lot of trash in that old vac.

So I pick out as much of the trash as I could, then I scooped them out by hand in to the box, several large handfuls of bees went smoothly into the box.

Have you ever held a handful of bees, Quite interesting most of them just sat right there for the move, I figured maybe the Queen was in one of the scoops, I was very careful.

Hundreds went in to the box but hundreds more took flight also which was still ok.

The lid where the motor is at, I had set to the side and when I picked it up it had hundreds and hundreds clustered around the motor.

I could not scoop them, so I used my little yellow hand brush and carefully sweep most of those too into the box.

Mostly they went peaceful, I covered the box but left a small opening on one of the sides because the air still had lots and lots of flying bees.

After standing there for a while fascinated by this most marvelous adventure I have ever had

I looked inside the empty top hive box and it had few bees there, the majority (thousands) had made their way down into the frames below

and were busy setting up shops, homes, schools, playgrounds, recreation centers,  paths, bars and restaurants.

After about half hour the air was clear, the rest had come home.

I think they like it here for when I checked two days later the hive was a humming

and my big beautiful Sage in bloom was covered with happy campers.

Welcome Thanks for coming

That is an excellent tale, Lewis. Bees in a shopvac, who would’ve thought? Thanks for sharing!

And thanks for being awesome. Not just Lewis but each and every one of you. You hit it out of the park once again. Great job!

That’ll do it for our Experts Panel. The Experts will return next week. They hope to see you back here.

Let’s move on to the puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this plant was real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

Dan, from the CastIronDan site wrote, “Look like a real nice red ti plant!”

Oreothing wrote, “I feel like It’s fake because it looks too perfect”

Joseph Brenner from Texas wrote, “Nope. Not perfect enough to be fake. It’s Real!)B>{D}”

Chris Gonzales wrote, “It looks like it’s outside receiving natural sunlight. Looks too nice to be fake. Real.”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “Real.”

Claude from the Prickly Plants and Random Rants site wrote, “Thats a Hawaiian Ti plant… pink princess if im not mistaken. So real. And howdy! Long time, no see…”

Darryl Cheng who has this awesome houseplant tumblr wrote, “Looks quite real to me!”

Jason from the Garden in the City website wrote, “Real.”

Frackoon wrote, “I know I’m very late but I still want to play! Looks like a very real Cordyline terminalis?!”

That’s eight votes real, one vote fake.

What’s the correct answer?

Let’s take a wider view:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

REAL! And yes, you guys were right – it’s a Ti plant. They can be chopped into pieces and they’ll grow. This one was growing happily outside in southern Florida. Really enjoying the humidity!

Well done, everyone! Once again you amaze me with your keen plant eyes.

To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award you each the following prizes: The first May weekend, two parallel lines, six ping pong balls, one May pole, four butterscotch candies, a billboard advertising your awesomeness, 15 1/3 bonus points, one local convenience store, three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, five harmonies, a crown made of yarn and glitter, San Pedro Boulevard, one pair of capri pants, four new dance moves, paprika, two spare index fingers, neon green, Anchorage, one Dieffenbachia houseplant, three irresistible offers, a legacy of winning, new kitchen cabinets, Linda, five gold stars, 11 more points, one artichoke and ricotta pie, three cheers, apple juice, one wrench, four winds of change, six baby chickens, and a dessert fork.

Congratulations everyone, and thanks for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Are these plants real or fake?

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section. You have until midnight MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) next Thursday, May 7th, to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winners after next week’s panel of Experts. The prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

I’m not going to have time to do the Experts Panel today, so in the meantime, here’s a photo of some pretty flowers:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Mexican Evening Primrose

So cute!

Smells divine!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Spanish Broom

If you haven’t already done so, you still have time to guess the current puzzler, in which I asked if this plant was real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Leave your best guess in the comments section. The deadline is tonight at midnight MST (that’s 2am EST). There will be imaginary prizes galore for all who play. I’ll reveal the answer and winners tomorrow after an all-new Ask the Experts Panel. I look forward to seeing you back here!

Due to a recent spurt of decluttering parts of the house, I moved Peach, a Norfolk Island Pine, to a new location. A few days after that, I noticed something weird about her.

Here she is:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Peach's little secret

Can you see it?

Maybe a closer look will help:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Peach's little secret

Anything yet?

No?

Let’s get closer still:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Peach's little secret

A leftover Christmas ornament!!!! Found in April. Go figure.

What a dork!

Hey, since we’re on the subject of Peach, because of her new location, I won’t be able to admire how pretty she is in the late afternoon sun…since she won’t be in the sun anymore. But a few weeks ago, I was admiring her beauty, and took this photo:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Peach's little secret

Handsome tree. She’s come a long way from her scrawny beginnings.

I’ll be back tomorrow, hope to see you here.

Because it’s so cute!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, chlorophytum comosum flower

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Liza's plants

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Quirky Albuquerque

Hello twinklearies, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

Another work week meets its demise. Shew! I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s happy about that!

Today we’ve got a brand new Ask the Experts Panel, as well as a new puzzler for you. Let’s get the festivities started by saying hi to the Experts. Hi everyone!

 

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re so cute! From left to right, that’s Andy Williams, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

Just for the fun of it, I decided to ask the Experts about their childhood for this week’s question. Here it is:

Q. Would you please share a childhood memory?

Pretty open-ended. Let’s see how they answered. Expert Andy Williams, you’re up first:

A. My most memorable days as a kid typically involve fishing.  In my early childhood I used to ride my bike with the neighborhood kids and go fishing in the Big Blue River at Sunset Park.  It was famous for smelling polluted, so we never ate anything we caught in there.  Then as I grew older, in my junior high years, we moved and as I started hanging with my new friends on Van Ave.  We’d often spend our nights looking for night crawlers for the next day’s adventures.  We eventually would be the envy of many kids in surrounding neighborhoods because we had a really cool nickname; the Van Halens. We would often go to Kennedy Park and fish the Blue River falls during summer days and we’d ride our Schwinn Mag Scramblers out to Shelby Lake and try our luck on largemouth bass and crappies at night.  We had quite a bit of luck actually, just young boys focused on fishing.  Props to all of my fishing friends who felt like brothers back then; Greg Neeb, Todd Amos, Eric Gordon, Jeff Pleak, and Greg Pence to name a few, for all of that good time and innocent fun with a fishing pole.

A. Childhood memory, huh? This seems like dangerous turf for some of us, like it might lead to my accidentally dredging up a long-suppressed memory of my being assaulted by Mickey Mouse in an alley off of Main Street, USA at Disneyland.

Wait, did that happen? Ah, no, never mind, that was my cousin. It was weird.

Anyway, one of my favorite childhood memories is not a specific one, but a general one of summer road trips with my Dad and my brother. Here is what sticks with me: we always stayed at Holiday Inn, and it was always one that had indoor mini golf and a pool. There was a special name for them, and we always picked that kind out of a Holiday Inn guide we had in the car. An odd thing to remember, but it’s one of those I recall clearly.

A. When I was a boy, my summer chore was to irrigate our garden, our peach trees and corn, the carrots and peas. I would open the acequeia gate and guide the water along the chosen rows with an old but sturdy hoe. One day I came upon a rattlesnake slithering under the shade of the corn stalk leaves. It frightened me so I killed it, chopping its head off with my  hoe. I did not know it but the mayordomo, the man in charge of the ditches, had watched me kill the snake and saw that I was shaking. He took my hoe and gathered the dead snake, taking it to the edge of the garden. He burned the snake, telling me that would tell other snakes to stay away. The summer passed. I never saw another rattler in the garden. When I went to the mayordomo’s funeral, I thought I saw a rattlesnake sliding away from the graveyard. I may have been mistaken.

————————

Liza here. The ever-charming and wonderful Expert Dottie is unavailable to be with us today. Waaaaaahhh! She’s ok, but not feeling great. So if you could send her some good vibes, prayers and/or well wishes, that would be lovely. Let’s admire how cute she is:

And move on to Expert Lewis. Lewis, what say you, fine sir?

(Before getting to Lewis, I should mention that I don’t think he meant for the following to be his Experts submission, because it’s a recent occurrence and not a childhood memory. It’s quite possible he meant for me to see this, and not all of you. Still, it’s the only thing I have from him so I’ll use it for now because it’s cool. If he wants to send something else in, I can always swap out his “real” submission sometime this weekend.)

Lewis?

A. BeesBeesBees
They came in that shop vac from a little mechanic’s shop on Yale, made themselves right at home in my humble hive. There was a lot of bees.

FullSizeRender-10

FullSizeRender-11

FullSizeRender-12

Yay, new bees! Good for you, Lewis. Like I mentioned, if you still have a childhood memory you’d like to share, I’m happy to update the blog. So readers, you may want to check back.

Andy, Tim, EZ, I really enjoyed your entries. Andy, yours brought back lots of memories from the small Indiana town we grew up in together. Tim, your family is weird, haha! That’s a good thing. And EZ, wow, what a pure New Mexican story – I loved it.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories and/or photos. You’re amazing people.

Readers, as always, you can leave your thoughts about the Experts in the comments section, and I’ll pass them along for you.

That’ll do it for today’s Experts Panel. The Experts will be back next Friday. They hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to the current puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if these plants were real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

Joseph Brenner of Texas wrote, “Fake! And ugly too. I can see why it’s hiding in the bathroom.(B>{D}”

Darryl Cheng, who has this cool houseplant tumblr, wrote, “This looks quite fake!”

Chris Gonzales wrote, “The plant is real but the planter is fake…no seriously. I think the plant is fake. It appears it’s in a location where it doesn’t receive much light and I don’t like the leaves touching the wall.”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “Oh yeah. Fake.”

That’s four votes fake, zero votes real.

What’s the correct answer?

Let’s take a closer look:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Ugh – FAKE! And soooo ugly! And dusty!

To be fair, I should say these fake plants live in a vacation home, so the owners wouldn’t be able to keep any houseplants alive there. And I’m sure they just wanted some sort of splash of green. But given how ugly the plants are, they would’ve had better luck with a nice piece of artwork or something.

When possible, real houseplants are always better than fake ones.

So congrats everyone, you nailed it again this week. Well done!

To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: Waning April, four cinnamon sticks, a plaque that says, “You’re the Best!”, six polka dots, three compliments on your outfit, 14 green beans, a new rug, one bouquet of Boronia flowers, five celebratory exclamations, Paseo del Norte, seven safety pins, pale yellow, one viking hat, 11-1/2 bonus points, a spare earlobe, four meteors, a toaster oven, a village named in your honor, three baby llamas, one all-new sunset, Philadelphia, six peppercorns, one bowl of glitter, a notepad, two circles, one hairdryer, Janine, a glass of grape juice, three glances, seven accolades, origami, two woven baskets, one Dracaena marginata, eight raspberries, six hair ties, and a new sofa.

Congratulations! And thanks for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this plant real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section. You have until midnight MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) next Thursday, April 30th, to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winners after next week’s Panel of Experts. The prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

You still have time to guess the current plant puzzler, in which I asked if these plants were real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Leave your best guess in the comments section. The deadline to guess is tonight at midnight MST (that’s 2am EST). I’ll reveal the answer and the winners tomorrow after an all-new Ask the Experts Panel. Imaginary prizes will abound for all who play. Good luck, and I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow!

I pretty much feel like I celebrate Earth Day every day – it’s inherent in my love of Nature – but I don’t mind the extra ceremony a day like today brings.

And lookee – a pretty purple Iris!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty purple Iris

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About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have a plant care business here in town called Good To Grow. I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

Plants are living, breathing creatures, and if they're indoor plants, they are 100% dependent on human care. They cannot water themselves.

Please let me know if you have questions or if you would like help with your plants or garden. You can reach me at lizatheplantlady (at) gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter, Lizawheeler7.

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted. All content is also entirely my hard work. If you'd like to use any content or photos, all you have to do is ask. If you take without asking, you are a thief. And thieves suck. So don't suck. We have a deal? Good.

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