Hello beachbums, and happy Friday!

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

Ah, good ol’ summertime. Happy Solstice everyone! Here’s to the season of swimsuits and ice cream, of family vacations and warm nights, of music festivals and home-grown vegetables, lightning bugs and cool lakes.

On this official first day of summer, we’re guessing no one wants to work. So we’re here to pony up some fun in the sun. (Or in your office as the case may be.)

Let’s get our Friday started by saying hello to our 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.

I gave my Experts wide latitude with this week’s question:

Q. People have been celebrating the solstice for centuries. If you were to plan and execute a solstice celebration of your own, what would it be like?

Expert Andy, please start us off:

A. I love the solstice!  It is a day of sun worship for we are as close to our closest star at this point in our annual lives.  I was thinking the other day how awesome a force it must have been to have that Japan earthquake (which I was in) move the Earth’s axis, with all of that spinning momentum, by a few inches momentarily.  I suppose some physicist somewhere calculated that energy which we all could not comprehend in units of Terawatts or Terajoules.

Regarding a potential celebration for the solstice;  I am a planner but I’d probably keep the solstice on the down-low and just open it up to the most intimate of my great friends.  Reason is, a lot of people don’t get the celestial significance of it.  And I’d like to just sit outside with some flavored vodka in the AZ heat and ponder what is up there and how it all works.  Ponder for example, how much of a perfect event must have occurred to put a perfect sized star, the perfect distance away, from a spinning planetary mass with just the right conditions to produce life on this thing we call Earth.  Although it is an event that should be celebrated, I’m not sure the solstice is the perfect day to do it.  In fact, I’d like to know THAT DAY of each year such that we could really let our hair down and do some soul-searching.  Some may say THAT DAY is Christmas.  Some may say many other days of significance to their own religion.  But my point is that the solstice has significance, but there are other potentially more significant days in our lives each year that we should probably pay a lot more attention to.  Perhaps Earth Day is more appropriate.  What if we took that made-up-day and called it the Earth’s birth and really tied one on?!?!??!  Maybe that is what the purpose of Earth Day is already, I don’t know, but I don’t think so.

Another reason I personally like the solstice is that it marks the day when the Earth’s rotation starts to spin back away from the sun in our northern hemisphere and turn the God-forsaken heat down a few hundred degrees here in AZ.  I enjoy it every year for that sole purpose.  TURN OFF THE HEAT, DAMMIT!  I’m going to go outside and yell that when I’m done writing this down, and know from experience that it will happen…..eventually….as in September when the equinox finally gets here.

A. It would be a community-wide bacchanal if I was in charge of planning the celebration of the Summer Solstice. Pagan fertility rituals, lots of pagan fertility rituals, would be at the center of everything…so this isn’t a family gathering. I’m picturing a lot of drinking and people dancing around enormous bonfires in ass-less chaps, chanting incantations in obscure languages.

I haven’t really thought this all the way through, but I think you get the gist of it. Happy Summer Solstice everyone!

A. For four hours beginning at sunset, all power on the planet would cease. People would gather, in intimate groups or in community, with light from small candles or bonfires or only the fires of quiet stars. Some would sing and dance, others would tell wild stories. Some would pray, some would sit silently. After four hours the power would slowly return and the people would forget the interruption and the noise of life would take over again.

A. Joy, Joy, Joy — time to celebrate the Summer Solstice. The Summer Solstice has been commemorated for centuries with all sorts of tradition – so who am I to break the chain of fun. Some of the past suggested ways to celebrate — You can:

1.  Seek fulfillment from your life!:
I’ve had more than my share of fulfillment – after all I have 6 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Can skip this one.

2. Sit outside and read a book.  Good way to connect with sun and nature:
Made too many connections with nature and I have the freckles to prove it.

3.  Start lo0king for a new job on this day if your current one is not fulfilling you:
Hey I’m 87 and retired and “stuffed”!  No more fulfillment  Looking to be on “Easy street” (What is it with this fulfillment?)

4.  Consolidate your energies:
Before “Old rockin’ chair” gets me. Get Thee ready to dance the “fandango” or race around the Maypole.

5. Renew your wardrobe:  
Not so much!  Been collecting clothes for 87 years — Time to cut back –not add or renew.

6.  Consider flexing your healing muscles:  
Time to find that “magic potion” so I can find those “muscles”—never mind the flexing!

7.  Dance around a maypole:
Now we’re talkin!”  Get a little action going.

8.  Throw a party with a bonfire:
Playing with fire is a “NO-NO” in dry-powder keg, Arizona.

9.  Go on a naked run!: (this actually was a yearly tradition in Riga, Latvia)
Oh this really appeals to my wicked nature — The shock value would be worth it!  This goes on the “To do” list!

All irrelevance aside, if this time of year excites you – Do celebrate –travel –do whatever makes you happy – it is such a short season-
Let the little kid in you play
“Don’t worry –Be happy”

Lewis may be joining us later (if he does, I’ll update the post), but for now I believe that does it for our panel’s responses.

I really enjoyed all of those! Dottie, I’m humbled that someone of your longevity and respectability would take her precious time to join us each week. Thank you so much! Your terrific sense of humor and your grace charm us all, we appreciate you being here!

If you decide to begin an annual Naked Solstice Run, we’re going to need to the know the time and date, haha!

Easy, when can we start? That would be pretty awesome, wouldn’t it? Someone out there should start planning it so we can make it a reality this time next year. Or better yet, find a way to work purposeful power outages into various times throughout the year instead of just once. Lovely.

When I first read Thack’s response, I told him I couldn’t believe we’d gone all these years on this Experts Panel without the phrase “ass-less chaps” being mentioned. And of course I thanked him profusely. He said, “It was a toss-up between “ass-less chaps” and “furry goat leggings” and I decided to go a little blue.” I’m pretty sure our readers agree you made the right choice.

Andy, shoooooooeeee, I hear you – it is hot, hot, hot out there. You may complain about your scorching Arizona summers, but I know you love it or you wouldn’t live there. It’s like yesterday when I walked outside and felt like I’d stepped inside an oven – I had to remind myself that I like summers in the Southwest. We signed up for this!

Thanks so much to each of you. It was a pleasure to hear from you. I hope you have a sunny solstice, and a wonderful summer.

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, I asked if this Pothos was real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Real live pothus. Marble Queen variety, if I’m not mistaken.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “That is real. And one of my favourite plants. So pretty…and reliable!”

Terrence from Dynamic Gardening wrote, “This pothos looks very real, these are excellent plants!”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Real. My first houseplant was one of these.”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Real.

(And have I ever told you how much I love your titles and prizes? That just needed to be said!)”

*Blushes* Thanks, Ivy!

Gennafer wrote, “Real!”

David from the Desert’s Edge wrote, “That garden has simple lessons that can be adapted for less pricey ones…simple foliage, edges vs. softening, colored pillows, and a focal point. Wish I could uncoil there right now…


That’s seven votes real, zero votes fake.

You guys think you’re sooooo smart, don’t you?

Let’s see the correct answer:



You guys are sooooo smart! Well played! Real Epipremnums, or Pothos Vines, are much beautiful than their fake counterparts. More colorful, more fun to watch as they climb around the room. I don’t know why anyone would choose fake when they could have one of these awesome plants in their home.

Claude, you were the first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Nicely done! For being so speedy this week, you’ve earned the following title: “My Hands May Be Covered in Dirt from the Garden, and Cacti Call Me Their Friend, But Don’t Underestimate This Cowboy from Texas, Because I’m Also Smart as a Burr, Keen-Eyed, Kind-Hearted, and I Kicked the Houseplant Blog Universe’s Ass with My Supreme Knowledge and Swift Typing Fingers and Now I’m Going To Have Pie for Dinner.”

So if you go to a BBQ this weekend and meet someone new, you should introduce yourself as Claude My Hands May Be Covered in Dirt from the Garden, and Cacti Call Me Their Friend, But Don’t Underestimate This Cowboy from Texas, Because I’m Also Smart as a Burr, Keen-Eyed, Kind-Hearted, and I Kicked the Houseplant Blog Universe’s Ass with My Supreme Knowledge and Swift Typing Fingers and Now I’m Going To Have Pie for Dinner.

I’m sure it’ll help you form a life-long bond!

Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by three celestial bodies!

Everyone’s a winner – good job! To show my gratitude for you playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: One Summer Solstice, six movie passes, 37 blessings, the right of way, four sopapillas, one house call, 12 1/3 bonus points, a spiritually evolved Roadrunner, three earlobes, strawberry agua fresca, a coupon good for a free voucher, an adult-sized Big Wheel, five past the hour, summer fun, and one mini roller coaster. Congratulations! Thanks so much for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this flower 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, June 27th, 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.