Hello friendsters and friendsteristas, and happy Friday!

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

It’s been a busy week, so it’s time for some Friday fun. Let’s start it off by saying hello to my Panel of Experts. Hi everyone!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re so cute with your sunfloweryness! 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.

Because we have a holiday coming up, I decided to give our Experts a break. They work hard (with no pay) to be here each Friday, so they have earned a break. Before they go, I asked them the following question:

Q. Thanksgiving is next week. What are some things you’re thankful for?

Expert Andy, please start us off this week, fine sir:

A. I love Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday because of what it represents, which in my world is peace, family and a communal feast.  Of course, as we all know, it was created by a group of Pilgrims and Indians who got together and threw one helluva feast together.  Now, it is a time for family and friends to unite, put aside inconsequential differences for a day, and act like we all love each other.  There’s a lot to celebrate amigos such as life itself.  Be glad that you are alive and experiencing this rock-n-roller coaster we call “life”.  It is to be enjoyed, cherished and celebrated at every opportunity.

Now, back to the actual question posed…..I’m thankful…..

…that my parents are still alive and in good health.

…that I have a great life, made possible by the watchful eye and instilled discipline of my parents and grandparents.

…that I have such a loving, caring wife, family and in-laws.

…for the teachers at St. Joseph’s Elementary, Shelbyville Jr. High, Shelbyville Sr. High and Rose-Hulman who gave me the opportunity to learn things that would provide for me and my family and present the opportunity for me to give back to those less fortunate.

…that God has answered my prayers with a Colts team in playoff contention and for bringing the Hoosiers back to where they belong in the basketball world, #1!
…for baseball, in general, because it is the single-most strategic game of chess played on a field in the world.
…for my smoker and my fryer, both of which will be used to prepare turkeys next week
…for my existence during an era of Bob Knight, Peyton Manning, the internet, a Diamondbacks World Series victory, 3 IU national titles, a Colts Super Bowl win, and 30 straight Indy 500s that I’ve attended.
…for great Belgian, German and micro-brewed beers
…& brilliant Napa and French cabernets
and last but first….
…for 10 humbling years of marriage to Colleen, who has put up with my so many imperfections, errors and insensitive male moments.
Yes, Thanksgiving Day, 11/22/12, is our 10 year anniversary.

A.  We’ll get right to it, it ain’t a real long list:

My daughter. My family. The fact that I enjoy my job. Really good music. Really good Irish whiskey. Really good music combined with really good Irish whiskey. Cheap, domestic beer. The occasional bender. Golf. Soccer. Smart, funny women who don’t expect too much from me. A small number of very good friends.

Finally, the rare moments of joy and transcendence you experience in a lifetime mostly filled with loneliness & despair. Like the one, pure golf shot  you hit in 5 hours of hacking your way around the course, it’s these moments that keep you coming back.

A. I’m thankful for sunshine that falls across my face, for the warmth of the quilt my grandmother made me, for occasional laughter, for the sound of my mother’s voice, the lessons of my father, the kindness of my sisters, the written words of Liza’s friends, gray moonlight, yellow roses, red cherries, smells from the oven, the taste of green chile, and the promise of another morning even on a cold night.

A. Thinking about what I am “Thankful for” really started a miasma in my brain!  I thought of the usual family, friends and country but there is so much more!  Hundreds!  Overwhelming thankfulness for:

Blessings, fulfillment, inspiration, visual beauty, being positive, being independent, relationships, praise, a sunny day, a rainy day, contentment, a sense of humor and on and on!

How can we not be thankful every minute of our life?  I am thankful for the adversities as well as the successes for without them I wouldn’t have the successes! Huh?  Being thankful exercises my spiritual life  — that’s the clue –lifting the spirit – that “soaring over the clouds” feeling when the spirit is engaged.  That spirit has kept me “ flying”

For 87 thankful years!

Some of my favorite Quotes:

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out my nose!

Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for!

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  Bless those who rekindle the inner spirit.

Be thankful for problems.  If they were less difficult someone with less ability might have your job!

Thankful for the wonderful gift of seeing the world thru children’s eyes.

And finally:  May the Lord make me truly thankful for what I have received, AND MORE TRULY THANKFUL FOR WHAT I HAVE NOT RECEIVED!!! (Whew! many close calls)

A bountiful Thanksgiving to One and All.


When the air outside carries a cold breeze I am Thankful for the love of my life that warms me

When I hunger I am Thankful for the dried tomatoes, chiles and fruit that grew in my garden that I nibble on

When I am thirsty I am Thankful for the hard work that the Water Utility Authorities personnel do to make my glass full

When I see the smile on my son’s Roberts face from a dumb joke I just told I am Thankful for the vision I have

When I hear the tale of the creation of another artful master piece of my other son Chris artistic blessing I am Thankful for the teachers that have taught him so

When I ride my bicycle down a paved street and bumps are few I am Thankful even when the 80 year old grandma on her three wheeler

blows by me uphill like I have lead wheels  “ Damn it Grandma slowdown ”

When misfortune and peril are visited upon unfortunate ones I am Thankful that I have been called to help  

When we gather for the feast be Thankful for those present and not we love all

When I can I remember those less fortunate who have little or none and give what you can, we need not the second pie

When cold winds blow through the concrete canyons of downtown I am Thankful that I have a warm office to sit and write nonsense rhyme in

When I stand in my friend / co-worker  Grandparent’s house and meet his dear Abuelo and Abuela /Grandfather and Grandmother I am Thankful to stand in their presence and feel their love for him

My we all be blessed to have the love of others to be Thankful for, Thanksgiving is not just one days feast but a life’s journey   


Nice! I enjoyed reading all those answers! Andy, congrats to you and Colleen on your anniversary. (And Go IU!) Dottie, we should all be so thankful to make it on this earth as long as you have – you are a National Treasure. Tim, EZ, Lewis, I’m thankful for your friendships and to have you here on this blog – you continue to delight us all. Thanks to all of you for being here.

No one asked me, but I’m thankful for one more day. I’m thankful for my family and friends. I’m thankful for my health and well-being. I’m thankful to live in this gorgeous country, where we can have differing opinions but still (mostly) get along. I’m thankful to the Indiana public school teachers who inspired me, and the university professors who continued that trend. I’m thankful to all the creative people I’ve met who have also inspired me and taught me. I’m thankful for the deep blue sky, the stars, the humbling mountains, the tiny birds and animals whose innocence moves me. Again, I’m simply thankful for one more day on this wonderful spinning globe.

That does it for this week’s Panel of Experts.

The Experts will be on break for the next couple of weeks. I thank them for their selfless service and charm. They will return in three weeks, they hope to see you back here.

I’ll continue with the plant puzzlers in their absence.

Let’s get to last week’s puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this Epipremnum ‘Pothos’ plant was real or fake:

Let’s see how you answered:

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “That just has to be real. It looks too nice to be a fake plant.”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “I agree, it’s real.”

Tom from the Midwestern Jungle wrote, “Real”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “So real, I had to see if my neighbors plant was still in its basket on the porch across the street. They must be twins, separated since early childhood.”

Kathy Brown from Ponder Deeply wrote, “Absolutely real. The little dark knobbies on the stem are a sure giveaway! :~)
P.S. Always enjoy reading your blog, Liza — just haven’t been online much this past year.”

Charlie Hebert wrote, “Real, and one of my favorites!”

Terrence from Dynamic Gardening wrote, “Real, and one of my favorites!”

That’s seven votes real, zero votes fake.

So what’s the correct answer? Maybe a wider view will help:

It’s real! This Pothos plant is on Lilia’s desk at KOBtv, Channel 4, and it greets all visitors as they arrive.

So you’re all winners! I knew I couldn’t fool you on that one – you’re way too smart. Good job everyone!

Martha, you’re the first answerer, so that makes you the best answerer. For being so quick, you’ve earned the title of “Being Canadian Doesn’t Make Me Fast, But It Makes Me Awesome and a Winner on Liza’s Blog and in Life in General.” Be sure to use the title for the whole week. Congrats! You may multiply all prizes by two ooh oohs and an ahhhh.

You’re all awesome for playing, so I’d like to thank you by awarding you the following prizes: Thankfulness, a coupon good for one holiday (redeemable for one week), 14 bonus points, two soft pretzels, a pretend carnivorous but cheerful plant, one glass of orange juice, three nearsighted squirrels, 17 extra credit points, four acts of hospitality, an embroidered blouse, delicious soup, one pardon, and an imaginary vacation built for you (redeemable anytime). Congrats, and thanks again for being here.

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this cactus real or fake?

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section or on my facebook wall. You have until midnight next Thursday, November 22nd, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) next Friday. Remember, the prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

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