Hi clams, and happy Friday!

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

Let the Friday silliness ensue. Hello experts!

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You guys are so cute! From left to right, that’s Tina, Thack, EZ, Dottie and Lewis. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

Last week, I asked if any of my Experts were making handmade gifts for Valentine’s Day. This week, the follow-up:

Q. Ok, what actual gifts, if any, did you manage for Valentine’s Day?

Expert Tina is normally up first, but she’s unavailable this week. So let’s admire her sweet sunflowerness:

And move on.

Expert Thack, here’s the question to you:

Q. Ok, what actual gifts, if any, did you manage for Valentine’s Day?

A. As I mentioned in my last post, it’s all about the jewelery in my world; to that end, I have picked out a lovely necklace for my…I’m not sure what to call her. Lover? Paramour? Friend with benefits? Person for whom I buy Valentine’s Day gifts? I’ll let you decide.

On an unrelated note, my 7-year old daughter LOVES Valentine’s Day! She makes little valentine’s for all of her classmates and her teachers, and has absolutely no issues like “I’m not sure if I should get him one.” I think it’s awesome, and I envy her the simplicity of it all.

Let’s see, Valentine’s Day colors are pink and red and your daughter is 7. Hugely shocking that she’d be so into the holiday. You may want to be on guard for Easter – purples, pinks and yellows. Not even the strongest 7-year-old can resist those colors.

Thanks again for being here, as always, Thack. This week, you’ve earned a pair of rose-colored glasses so you can see the world the way Samantha does, as many candy hearts as you care to eat and a jewelry store full of bragging rights. Go crazy!

Up next, Expert EZ Ed Johnson. EZ, here’s the question to you:

Q. Ok, what actual gifts, if any, did you manage for Valentine’s Day?

A. Trust me on this. Valentine’s Day can only bring trouble.

Well, it is pretty much a racket. I’ll grant you that. I don’t why there’s so much pressure to say “I love you” on just one day out of the year. We should celebrate our love for one another all the time.

Fellas, I think you bear the brunt of this holiday, so I’m going to give you some unsolicited flower advice. Some women love roses, and if your lady does, that’s fine to get her roses. But a lot of women would love you to be creative. Buy a bouquet of Gladiolas, or Lilies. They won’t be as expensive as the roses, and they’re every bit as beautiful.

You’re welcome.

EZ, thanks again for being here. This week, you’ve earned my trust, a month’s worth of extra credit points, and more glory than you can shake a stick at¹.

Dear, dear sweet Dottie is battling a nasty cold right now, so she can’t make it today. Let’s admire her adorableness:

Dottie told me that she feels like a slacker when she can’t make an appearance on Fridays. Sweet lady, you are anything but a slacker. You’ve dedicated your whole life to making the world a better place. You’ve raised a family of wonderful people and you have a light that shines brightly. Definitely not a slacker.

Readers, you understand, don’t you? Dottie’s 84 years old – growing older ain’t easy! Sorry, that’s just life. Let’s let her know that you appreciate when she’s here, and understand when she’s not. You can leave a comment for her to read.

Let’s move on to Lewis, who’s also dedicated his life to making the world a better place (as evidenced by his response to this week’s question). Here ya go, fine sir:

Q. Ok, what actual gifts, if any, did you manage for Valentine’s Day?

A. Valentine is a special day for a special someone and me and my love share many special days and gifts in our lives. Please read on about a special gift we both share with our community.

As I lay there my life’s blood drains from my body, I think of what I have done and how I have lived my life.  Will what I do today help repay the sin’s of my past, will the Pearly Gates be open enough that I’ll be able to squeeze through while no one is looking. Blood continues to flow down my arm, but I feel no pain, this will all be over shortly, I can rest, my duties done I have tried to do my best. May my action help someone less fortunate then myself. I look to the light, a figure in white approaches, smiles and asks “Are you ok, how do yo feel”.  I’m fine, is this heaven, I ask, No she replies, it’s not.

Oh boy I think am I in trouble now.

She tells me, you’re finished, please don’t move, now hold your arm up high and press this tight, no heavy lifting, eat a good meal and wait 15 minutes before you leave.

Please help yourself to a juice and snacks and United Blood Services thanks you for your donation.

Forty two times over the years I have laid on my back and watched my life’s blood flow down my arm and collect in a clear sterile pint bag.

My first donation was while serving in the US Air Force, stationed on Anderson Air Force Base Guam, my squad was standing in formation ready for duty, the First Sergeant stops roll call and says “Everyone with B-Positive Blood step forward”, myself and 15 other did.  You all are going to donate blood. There has been a terrible motorcycle crash and a Guamanian policeman has lost a leg. He needs a lot of your blood type.  Several people said that they had never given blood. Good said the Sergeant “Now shut up and get on the bus”.

The policeman lived and a new chapter in my life opened.
Have you ever seen a bag of dark red life it is a beautiful sight even if that sounds a bit weird. Every pint is used as whole blood, plasma or platelets and helps save a life.  Who needs blood, how about your aunt when she had a knee operation, your cousin after that horrible car crash, your friend terribly burned in a work accident, your uncle/nephew wounded in a battle in Vietnam or Iraq, your fathers heart operation and your sister and her new baby because of complication during child-birth.

Everyday many people strangers, families and friends need blood during life saving operations or because of life threatening accidents.

Where do you think that blood will come from, mostly from people willing to give the most precious gift we have, the blood that runs through our body.
Is it an inconvenience or painful (small ouch), no not really just lay quietly contemplating you role in the cosmos, I pick the lint out of my bellybutton sometimes.

Life is not about about what we gather, but what we give away. Please roll up your sleeve, lie down and look to the light, the need is great the need constant.

January was blood donor month so this is a little late.


PS.  Be careful and safe in the cold Brrrr, and extra cautious with fire.

Fire has visited death and destruction upon many families in New Mexico recently.

See? I told you he’s a fine man.

I’m definitely calling that a correct answer. Donating blood is a kind act, and a necessary one. I know a lot of people have problems with needles, but honestly that’s a lame reason not to donate. It doesn’t hurt that much and the good it does outweighs any personal discomfort.

I used to watch Mom donate blood as a kid, so I didn’t think twice about donating my own. I actually have an appointment next week at Kirtland Air Force Base. I like to donate at the base because our military is bleeding profusely. Plus the Air Men are nice, haha!

Great job again this week Lewis. For being here, you’re awarded another halo (I’m assuming the one you earned back in November has worn out by now), the gratitude of a nation, and my eternal thanks.

That does it for this week’s Ask the Experts panel. The Experts will return in exactly one week. Thanks everyone for being here. Let’s get to last week’s puzzler.

Name that Plant Problem!

Last week, I asked what was wrong with this Pothos (Scindapsus aureus, Epipremnum aureum):

Let’s see how you guessed.

First time playah, Albuquerque’s own Christine Salley guessed, “My best guess: Is the plant too cold?”

Oooh, Christine, I’m sorry, that is incorrect. We have been blasted with Artic conditions lately, so it was a fair enough guess. Usually temperatures indoors don’t vary enough to cause a plant problems. Last week around the state, however, natural gas was shut off and lots of people had no heat in their homes. Plants in those homes are surely reacting. This plant was not one of them. 

Martha, from Plowing Through Life guessed, “I’m not really sure, but… There’s some yellow mixed in with the green on the leaves, so I think the plant is being overwatered.”

Thank you, Martha, for spelling it out – yes, that’s exactly the answer. Pothos plants are usually very easy to read. When they have too little water, the leaves turn a solid yellow, then they get brown and crunchy. Too much water, and the yellow gets mixed with green, as pictured above. It’s textbook Epipremnum behavior. Congratulations!

Ivynettle, from Letters and Leaves guessed, “Looks like overwatering to me too, from what I’ve learned… wouldn’t know from experience, overwatering is not something I tend to do… *looks guiltily at her poor thirsty plants*

Haha, you’re funny, nice lady! The reason this plant got overwatered is simple. It lives at my friend Tiffany’s apartment, and she was going out of town for a few weeks. She usually waters them a little every few days. In anticipation of being gone, she gave them an unusually large dose of water. Which I told her not to do, because I was going to check on them and make sure they were ok, but she did anyway.

Hence, the Pothos reacted to the extra water. Too bad, so sad. The overall plant is fine.

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People, guessed, “To me, it looks more like underwatering, though I guess overwatering is more likely in an office environment. So it’s probably overwatering, like Martha and Ivynettle have already said.”

You’re right that overwatering is more likely in an office environment, but since I just explained that the plant is at Tiff’s apartment it’s a moot point now. Still, I’m glad you played.

I’m glad you all played. You’re all winners in my book. For playing this week, you’ve earned a coupon good for a very merry Valentine’s Day, a spring that starts sooner rather than later, and a hundred heart-shaped bragging rights. Congratulations to you all, and thanks!

This week’s puzzler is a good one!

???Real or Fake???

Is this tree real or fake?

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section. You have until midnight next Thursday, February 18th, midnight MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner after next week’s panel of Experts.

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


¹ Not really – why would anyone shake a stick at glory? Or shake a stick at anything? I’m questioning why I liked the phrase in the first place.