Hello Motherlovers, and happy Friday!

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

We love Fridays around here, because it’s our goofin’ off day. It’s the day that I gather my panel of Experts and ask them about whatever topic happens to be on my mind, then they wow everyone with their varied and interesting answers.

After that, we move on to puzzler action.

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


“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.

Mother’s Day is this weekend, so I decided to ask the Experts to share with us a little about their Mom. Here’s this week’s question:

Q. In honor of Mother’s Day, tell us something about your Mom or someone’s Mom you admire.

Expert Andy is going to start us off as usual:


Hello mother’s all and Very Happy Mother’s Day to you!!!  Thank you for bringing us all into this art form we call “life”.

My mom is the person I admire most on this planet.  She is a young 69 years old and still filled with the vim and vigor of life.  She stays active and lives life to its fullest.  She was ahead of her time as far as the two household income goes.  She worked 30+ years in the steel industry in Shelbyville, IN.  She still lives there and in the house I grew up in from the age of 11.  Her name is Carolyn Rose, and she hails from the Jackson clan which migrated during her high school years from Bedford, IN, home of Indiana basketball legend Damon Bailey.  My mom is a lively Indiana basketball fan.  When I watch a game with her I still am amazed at how much she knows about the game of basketball.  I would put her up against anyone to analyze a player, referee or a game.  She can look at an incoming freshman and tell you how he’s going to be as a player and even if he is going to stay and contribute for 4 years.  She is a true fanatic for the Hoosiers, which is where I get it.  And for that, I thank her dearly.

My mom has overcome a lot.  For she was the wife of a policeman, who became chief of police, who became mayor, who later divorced her when she was 45.  Although I was struggling with my own mental dealings with that, she had it far worse, living in the small town and being in the limelight that she really never asked for, but supported to her fullest extent.  I admire her for overcoming that, virtually by herself as my sister and I were already out of the house.  You have to have maximum fortitude to do that.  I give her a ton of credit for giving me the genes to be tough and work for all you get.  While my father lived in the public eye and had to be politically correct to get where he was, my mom was the opposite.  She always told it like it is.  She still does.  And I love that about her because she doesn’t care who you are, or who you think you are, she will put you in your place when she feels the compelling notion to do so.  And she cuts right through the bs to do it in a straightforward, factual manner that really cannot be argued.  She’s a pistol like that.  I admire her for being tough and doing her very best to raise a riled up young man such as myself.  Somehow she did it, got me through high school and college with minimal arrests (some of which she still doesn’t know about) and put me on a path that was straight enough to provide the guidance I needed to contribute positively to society.

I love my mother to an extent that is inexplicable.  She’s awesome.  And she puts on a helluva homecoming for me and my buddies each year for the Indy 500.  I can expect homemade chicken and noodles, fresh veggies, homemade spicy dip, fresh lunchmeat, chile, and a variety of other specialties that only she can provide.  There’ll be fresh sheets, towels and pillows.  She’s opened her home to about 15 different friends over these years and she’s the best Indy 500 host ever.  Gilly Johnson, Liza’s sister, is a close 2nd for putting up with us too.

Hail to all the great mom’s and thank you for making us, and the world, better!!!

A. My mom owns her own restaurant and is a Cheesehead. It’s hard to reduce someone to a single sentence…

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, I love you!

A. I remember the tortillas she rolled, the pots of red chile and pork she stirred. She grew yellow roses and preferred to eat her apricots when they were still green. She liked ballet music and rock n roll. Her hands tended to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She moves at a slower pace now, no longer does much of what she used to do. But she’s done enough, as much as love can carry any woman through.

A. Ah, Mother’s Day brings delightful memories of an engaging, enchanting, creative and delightful individual:  my mother, Ruth Young Dutton.  She could dance the Highland Fling in full costume, bobbed her hair when all women, who purported to be “ladies of style”,wore long hair, had an artistic flair that evidenced itself in all of her life pursuits and in many creative media; including leather tooling handbags, wallets, etc.; masterpieces of pastries and bake goods —-especially birthday cakes, to the delight of her grandchildren; as beautiful doll cakes with sweeping gowns for the girls and locomotives that pulled long trains with many types of cars, for the boys; entertained at the drop of a hat with her witty songs accompanied by her Hawaiian Uke; held a position as a top executive of one of the largest banking institutions in the country and owned and managed a small farm upon which grew beautiful vegetables, which she generously shared with all. 

Then there was me; always a child raising challenge —- a 7 year old daughter desperate to do something sensational for this amazing mother for Mother’s Day.  While my mother was at work, I took out my Mother’s prized Chocolate cake recipe and proceeded to make –if I must say so myself—- a beautiful two layer chocolate cake –(I thought) with creamy, luscious chocolate frosting.  I was so proud!  My mother was amazed at my 7 year old skill, that is, until it was served up with much ceremony on Mother’ Day.  As my mother took her first bite of my “masterpiece”, her face writhed in distaste and true agony.  She turned to me and said, “How did you make this cake?”  I told her I followed her recipe exactly. – I had only one problem, I couldn’t find the quarter teaspoon measure for the salt but I found the quarter cup so I used that.  To my 7 year old mind, “ a quarter was a quarter.”  My mother moaned and said other expletives that I shall not repeat.  She made me taste it.  I still remember how horrifying that experience was. When put out in the back yard — even the birds wouldn’t touch it.  I was devastated!  My mother was kind and said at least we had pictures of my beautiful cake even if it didn’t taste right – it looked fabulous!

My mother was a focal point in our family’s life.  She added verve, color, excitement, always found a kind way to meet adversity and most of all represented and lived the values that my family espouses to this day of honor, loyalty, personal responsibility and individual respect—-all with a wicked and rousing good sense of humor—never taking herself too seriously.

We all think our Mother is the most amazing woman and the very best!  That is as it should be!!!



Would I / you make our Mother proud

As a child I crashed and wrecked my bike, I limped home crying

Mother gave me a hug and dried my tears

“Who’s going to fix my bike” I complained

“I imagine you, cause you can do what must be done”

With toll, labor, and mistake aplenty, old bike parts made my wheels turn

Mother stood on the porch watching a slight smile, twinkle in her eyes

Calling out to me “Ride safe my son, Watch Out for that rock

Every day as I wonder my part of the world I try to live my life

As if  my Mother stood on the porch watching over me

Do my actions / words in my life reflect honor, compassion, honesty, truth

As I inspect a work site, playground or office

I envision Mother calling out to me, “Watch out for that rock”

So I clear rocks from the path of the people who may pass this way

Do we all in our life

Work / live with honor, compassion, honesty and truth

Be I a Mechanic doing a honest repair

An Accounting writing a honest report

A Bus driver driving with compassion

A lawyer speaking from a heart of truth

A banker banking with honor

A politician and all of the questionable associated characters

do they perform their duties with honor, compassion, honesty and truth

Would their mothers be proud of them not for their fame and fortune but

for good heart

So remember your Mother’s love is forever, be you two or eighty two

Never should we ever

Even for a moment bring shame, disgrace or dishonor

Upon our Mother,

For she is standing on the porch, watching out rocks

Mother if  you happen to see the Big Guy up there

Please drop a little message in His ear and ask Him if we could

Have a little rain

Thank you / Love you


Amazing! I’m not surprised at all that you each have such wonderful Moms, because you all turned out to be charmers yourselves. Well done, Experts’ Moms! Thank you for your contributions to the world.

Of course, my Mom is also smart and funny and loving and strong. I love you, Mom!

And I love all you Experts, too. Thank you so much for your continued support and efforts. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

That does it for today’s Experts panel. The Experts will return in exactly one week, they hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to last week’s puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves submitted this photo for our real or fake puzzler:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Steph from Indianapolis wrote, “Real! How nice.”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, Real… and no sooner than I post I need an aloe than someone gifted more a half dozen babies. That worked so… I need a million dollars….”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “Real and pretty!”

Jason from Garden in a City in Chicago wrote, “I’m going out on a limb and saying fake.”

Gennafer wrote, “I’ll say it’s fake unless it was just moved indoors or is under a sky light. Generally I don’t see leaves turned up like that in a indoor house plant and that spot seems to be a very dark one (unless the pic was taken at night).”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “There were a few things bugging me about this one, too. But, overall, I have to say real.”

That’s four votes real, two votes fake.

What’s the correct answer?

Let’s take a closer look:



It’s real!

Says Ivy:

“My medieval dance group recently started using a new room to practise in (the wedding hall at a local castle). Instead of the granite pillars and vaulted ceilings that fit so well with our garb, we now have a much more modern looking room, and a plant that confused us all!

The picture isn’t as good as I’d have liked, because the lighting wasn’t good enough for my camera, but it should do. I’ve taken a couple of close-ups of damaged leaves, too, which are the only visible proof that it is in fact real (the first time we danced there, we all had to go and touch the plant to convince ourselves that it wasn’t fake!)

Impressive work, Ivy. That was a great puzzler because it was hard! Usually, it's easy to spot fake plants because they are so much uglier than real plants. But some real plants appear so perfect that they can seem fake until you peer closer. There will almost always be flaws on a real plant, which I think adds character to them. I'll take flaws over "perfection" any day.

Steph, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Congratulations! For being so speedy this week, you've earned the title of "Fastest, Firstest, Swiftest, Bestest, Of High Intellect and Moral Fiber, Beautifulest, Funniest, Premierest, and Grandest Championette of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Beyond." Good job! You may multiply all the prizes by toffee.

Everyone who plays wins. I'd like to show my appreciation for your participation by awarding each of you the following prizes: One Mother's Day weekend, two loaves of farm bread, 16 1/3 bonus points, a baby goat, four extra days, one laugh-o-meter, six peppermint cookies, pleasing yodels, a voucher good for three coupons, cream soda, a box of stars and the pick of the litter. Congrats, and thanks so much for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this Orchid 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, May 16th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. 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 tomorrow, hope to see you here.