Hello dadadadarlinks, and happy Friday!

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

Friday is our Fun Day around here. I’ll have an answer to last week’s plant puzzler for you, as well as a new one. Those will be coming up after an all-new Ask the Experts panel.

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


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

Adorable! 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.

The Experts appear here week after week, for no pay. So they’re going to be taking a nice long break after today’s panel. They have certainly earned it.

I decided to ask them to share a story or joke with us before they go. Here’s this week’s question:

Q. Tell us a tale about spring (you can make one up, or tell a joke if you prefer).

Expert Andy, please start us off, will you?

A. Spring and its unpredictable emergence dictated my westward migration.  During the first weekend in April 1988 I was scheduled for a plant trip to Motorola in Phoenix.  At the time I was finishing up my studies at Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute, IN.  On the Wednesday before, basically a day of 1 class and a lot of time to do homework and relax, I found myself enjoying the sun and 80 degree temperatures from the roof of my fraternity house.  Then WHAM!!!  The prototypical cold front roared through and the temperature dropped over 30 degrees.  I flew out of the Terre Haute airport, which was still open at the time, to W. Lafayette to pick up some purdue students before the flight went on to Chicago.  The tiny commuter plane was all over the place.  After we successfully landed and took off again, the purdue airport closed.  It was as close as I ever came to puking on on a flight.  The day would ultimately spawn a few tornados and eventually some snow flurries.  At that point I didn’t care as I had successfully made my exit and was on my way to sunny Phoenix.

While in Phoenix, I never saw a cloud for 4 days.  The temperatures were unusually warm and over 100 all weekend.  I had a friend, Lisa Hanson, also from Shelbyville, IN, already living in Phoenix and she showed me the city.  I was S-O-L-D!  I had decided that I would move to Phoenix if given a job offer.

After returning to Terre Haute, to dreary, damp and demotivating Spring weather I was contacted by GE to fly up to Erie, PA for another interview.  I remember consulting the Terre Haute newspaper to find the weather.  It was snow and temps in the 30s.  I politely declined, my decision was made.

Thank you Spring for unleashing your wrath at the perfect time and bringing me out west.  I am forever grateful.

A. Found this joke on the Internet, in addition to pure silliness, it’s a grand, metaphysical commentary on God’s sense of humor:

Father Francis McFrancis woke up Sunday morning and realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf. So… he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and convinced him to say Mass for him that day.

As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Father McFancis headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away. This way he knew he wouldn’t accidentally meet anyone he knew from his parish.

Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church! At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed, “You’re not going to let him get away with this, are you?”

The Lord sighed, and said, “No, I guess not.”

Just then Father McFrancis hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin, dropping just short of it, rolled up and fell into the hole. It WAS A 420 YARD HOLE IN ONE!

St. Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked, “Why did you let him do that?”

The Lord smiled and replied, “Who’s he going to tell?”

Happy Spring!!

A. A long time ago I knew a woman and I watched as she gave into the coldness of winter. She sat by our living room window and watched the snows and the winds come and go. Then, quite unexpectedly, a yellow rose appeared. She held her tears. It seemed spring had not forgotten her.


A remarkable young man graced my and my family’s life for twenty years.  To be in his presence was always a new experience.  Blessed with a compassion, caring, daring, and adventurous soul, always seeking new avenues of interest – intricate views and venues of life’s interpretations, being in his presence was exciting.  He possessed an astonishing, quick =silver mind and a devastatingly wicked and mischievous sense of humor.  Loved by all who knew him —especially his teachers and pastors.  They called him: The “Little professor”.

He entertained himself and others with an interpretive, sensual rhythmic beat expressed with his musical talent on drums.
Never to be forgotten, his portrayal of the “Little Drummer Boy”, at Christmas Church services in his younger days.

His close bonding with older brother Kris and their many shared antics; as conning 4 sisters into doing their bidding to achieve a trip to “Cloud Nine”, were legend.  Those were the “salad days”.

He was a loving son and brother and loyal friend taken from us all too soon.  To know Jeff was to love him unconditionally and with unreserved joy.

As we approach the edge of spring, we remember him and the happiness he brought into our lives.  The world has lost a precious soul but heaven has gained a brilliant light.

Here’s to you my son
Happy Birthday
Jeffery Paul Correll,
Know that we all love
And miss you!

A. Last night I stood on my porch and breath deep the scent of moisture in the air,
It was only a little snow that melted immediately but the moisture smelled divine
You who live in areas that get this precious treasure from the sky regularly be aware you are blessed
I choose to live in this land of dry beauty, I do not let the water run I try to be conscious of every drop 
Oh the sun we love of you your energy your rays brighten our days,
Father Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Rain, Mother Earth
All make our lives for we live through their grace and blessing
Snow falls short only a small gift yet our hearts leaps with joy for what we got
Our mountains stand bare only small white area at the tops
Woe be us as we pray for rain or snow, for without the wet we stand in fear of the dry
Yet all is not lost, winter and spring may still hold promise of life giving wet and still wash our dry tears away

In April of 1973 while I was on home leave from the US Air Force before I was to be sent into the belly of the beast of the war in Southeast Asia New Mexico received a snow storm of biblical proportions, In Las Vegas New Mexico 43 inches of snow fell
Needless to say the world came to a halt as New Mexican dug themselves out from this massive snow A state of emergency was declared, the Army came and we fed cow from the air in giant helicopters and drove Army tanks down snow closed ten foot drifted roads and rural home driveways
So never say never, I believe in Santa Clause, the Easter Bonny, Tooth Faily and honest politicians, used car salesman and the occasional good honest insurance agent I meet one once

Pray for snow or rain and turn off the faucet,
Wise water Gardener and grower are great
Our time is near

Wow. You guys do such an amazing job. Thank you so much. I appreciate all your hard work. You will be missed during your break!

Fantastic panel to lead into a well-deserved break. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Let’s move on to the current plant puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

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

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Fake, but at least it’s not even pretending to be real!

Is it greedy of me to want to be first once again? :D But I’m kind of on a roll with earning funny titles this week (just got “promoted” to moderator on my favourite internet forum, and the mods’ official title there is “Mantis” – it makes sense in context!)”

Alissa wrote, “lol fake”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “Hmmm…let me take a moment to think… This is the hardest one so far :) I guess I’ll vote fake ;)

Steph wrote, “Why is that chair being held hostage?”

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “Fake! It sure was a tough one”

Tina wrote, “Definitely a “designed” cactus. It’s SO stiff looking. Way too serious. Love the chair being “held hostage” !! Fake as all get out!”

On facebook, my awesome cousin Heather Hjortnaes wrote, “The cactus is utterly and completely fake! It appears to be wood, but I think even the wood is fake! I think that makes it doublefake.”

Another awesome cousin of mine – I love that we share a name! – Elise Ann Ralph, added, “It’s really something alright.”

That’s eight votes fake, zero votes real.

So what’s the correct answer?

Fake, of course. I don’t have a follow up photo because the cactus is so obviously fake. (It’s at Saggio’s restaurant, for you locals with inquiring minds.) It made me giggle, so thank you for indulging me.

Ivy, yes, it’s ok for you to be greedy about winning so many times in a row! You’re super speedy and you have every right to be proud of yourself for that! For being so fast this week, you’ve earned the title of “SUPERSONIC SPEEDSTER WINNINGNEST CHAMPIONETTA.” Congratulations, and well played. You may multiply all prizes by gravy. Good job!

Everyone’s a winner this week. To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: One spring of hope, four warm weather moments, 14 bragging rights, a baby giraffe, enchiladas, three plastic springs, 12 1/2 extra credit points, one sprung spring, no more snow, crackers, two pinkie fingers and February excellence. Congrats, and thanks so much 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 or on my facebook wall. You have until midnight next Thursday, February 28th, 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 manana, hope to see you here.