Hello pistachios, and happy Friday!

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

It’s Friday. Shew!

Let’s start by saying hi to the Experts. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re 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.

From the beginning of this Ask the Experts panel, I’ve joked about how we like to goof off on Fridays, and that Friday is our silly day. That was fine for awhile, but lately I’ve been thinking that it does a disservice to my Experts. I asked them here because I enjoy their unique takes on life, and I think we can learn from their experiences. Plus, they’re charming.

But there’s not much learning going on when I ask them questions like which houseplant would make a good school mascot. It may be a funny question, but I figure we can do better than that.

So I decided to shift the questions a bit. Instead of goofy, now they’re designed to help you get to know a little more about the Experts.

We’ll start with this one:

Q. What human issue is nearest and dearest to your heart?

Expert Andy, you’re up first, sir:

A. Mankind’s closest issue to my heart is probably curing and preventing cancer, although hunger is a close 2nd.  We’ve all seen by now the perils of someone we love battling the dreadful disease called ‘cancer’.  More and more genetics have proven to be the way to help beat it down, albeit in a painstakingly hard process that may involve chemo and/or dreadful drug side effects.  It is a very hard process to see, feel and watch.  We’ve all felt the burden of wanting to alleviate that suffering for that person we love when we are faced with it.  Out of it comes perspective and courage.  But I wish we would have all had that without sending someone we love through such a burdensome journey.  What really annoys me is that our government, and others as well, are all too often caught up in other things such as supporting the rebels somewhere else in the world fighting someone over something that we really have no reason to care about.  And then God forbid we put our own men and women in line to do the same.  Some fights are worth having, to be sure.  Some simply are not and their outcomes affecting ours are so convoluted that pure math would prove them a bad investment.  What I’m saying is “Take some of that foreign $upport and willfully and logically spend it upon something like preventing and curing cancer!”

Think about the ramifications.  More jobs and employment for our own citizens producing products that can be willfully exported and commercialized elsewhere to bring in resource$ from foreign countries to support the best country in the world, the USA!  Cancer, disease prevention and cures of all types are a national security issue that outweigh our need for outrageous amounts of foreign fossil fuel, in my opinion.
Perhaps in a future blog I will expound upon ‘hunger’ in a bit more detail.  But too many people lose their lives because of it, and certainly too many children.  It even happens here on our own soil, so I’m not even attacking the world hunger debate.
Help change the world all, in whatever way YOU can.  Put more into life and the world than you take out and the world will be a better place.

A. Domestic violence is the issue to which I have devoted the most time. I’ve served on the Board of Directors for SAFE House, a shelter here in Albuquerque (and sadly one of the largest in the nation), for the last 3 years and have spent a lot of hours dedicated to helping that organization remain stable and strong. There are so many issues & problems in the world that require attention, but I’ve always felt that ensuring everyone is safe from physical harm is the most fundamental thing we can do as a society.

I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage everyone to visit http://safehousenm.org/ and support the organization any way you can. Financial donations are of course always appreciated, but we also have a thrift store at 1301 San Mateo NE, 87110 (south of I-40 between Constitution & Lomas) where we take donations of all kinds of household goods. Thanks in advance for your support!

A. I believe the greatest condemnation of us by future generations will be our needless allowance of human hunger.

A. Dearest to my heart is that all persons would be treated equally with love and kindness.

I so wish the world would turn away from all the horrendous violence.  I feel we are on a track to permanent ruin.  Starting with the destruction of our environment and our relations with each other.

I know I sound fatalistic.  I am not a fatalist.  I have always had a positive outlo0k and hope that the next generation would see the light and start turning the country around.

Our lousy lifestyle of greed and over abundance seems reflected in every part of our lives – starting with the fracturing of the family unit, evidenced even more strongly in our political structure and movies.

However, Hope Springs Eternal.  I have met some outstanding young people, whom I so hope will become involved in world leadership.  I have grandchildren and great grand children, who are great examples of what the world could be.  They are workers and thrivers and lovers!!!!!  They want to contribute to our world in a good way and are all ready working to that end.

We have been known as the greatest nation
In the world.  Let’s all strive to keep it that way!


Care for other human beings

Open to speak freely, honestly and truth fully

Mercy for those less fortunate then ourselves

Passion to commit and dedicate a person’s life spirit to the cause

Anger at the stupidity, ignorance, intolerance, hate, greed and injustice shown for others suffering, pain and plight

Sympathy for those in duress, till I stand in your shoes and feel your grief

Support upon my shoulder you may lean, my right hand to hold you, my left hand to shield

I stand, I yield not, I shall not fall

On any day we may be called, to be present, willing and able

New, eyes open, spirit set, hopes high, belief it can be done

Wow. You’re all remarkable. I loved the overlap on your answers. Thank you for being so thoughtful with your responses.

Readers, what do you think? If you have any comments or questions for the Experts, leave a comment in the comments section, please.

That wraps up our Experts panel for the week. Experts, thanks again for being here. They will return in exactly one week.

Up next, the answer to the puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

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

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Nancy Popp Mumpton wrote, “Couldn’t be any more fake than that plant?”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “A very real fake.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “That looks very fake!”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Annoyingly fake”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Fake, fake, fake!”

That’s five votes fake, zero votes real.

So what’s the correct answer? Let’s take a wider view:

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

Yeah, I wish I had a better photo for you. I took this at a bait shop in Wisconsin’s North Woods. They had a pond dealio, I think maybe for kids, with real fish and fake plants. No matter which angle I tried, I couldn’t quite capture the glorious fakeness of the trees. The whole setup struck me as a missed opportunity – if they used real plants, the fish would have roots to nibble on, which would make the plants grow more, circle of life, teach your children about Nature, blah, blah, blah. You get my drift.

Anyway. You all nailed it. Fake and ugly. Nancy, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer! Congratulations! For being so swift this week, you’ve earned the title of “I’m Nancy Mancy BoPantsy, Fee Fi Fo Fancy, BaNanaFanaGanaNancy, Grandest Championette of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Beyond by 20 Degrees.”

So for example, if you go to a party this weekend, and meet new people, you should introduce yourself as Nancy Popp Mumpton I’m Nancy Mancy BoPantsy, Fee Fi Fo Fancy, BaNanaFanaGanaNancy, Grandest Championette of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Beyond by 20 Degrees. I’m sure you’ll form lifelong bonds. Congrats again. You may multiply all the prizes by maple-glazed donuts.

Everyone’s a winner this week. To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like you each to have the following prizes: Two adobe walls, an extra earlobe, 11 peppercorn-encrusted bonus points, five aces, three mesa tops, four benevolent hummingbirds, vinaigrette, one laudatory statement, a coupon good for a ticket, 13 1/4 extra points, seven song titles and a hearty Oh Yeah. Congratulations, and thanks so much for playing.

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Are these flowers 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, August 22nd, 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.