Hello squashbuttons, and happy Friday!

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

Here we are at the end of another work week, albeit a short one here in the States. We love our Fridays around here. We are glad to have you with us.

We’ll get the action 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.

So last night in Santa Fe, they had the annual burning of Zozobra, or Old Man Gloom. The idea is that you write down your worries or problems from the past year, attach them to the giant puppet, then watch them burn as the puppet is set on fire. (Technically, organizers receive problems from people around the world and use those to stuff the puppet, rather than attaching them on the outside.) As Old Man Gloom burns and moans, as ghost dancers parade around and fireworks explode, your worries evaporate into the night.

Pretty cool, right?

Here’s a photo of Zozobra before they set him on fire:


(This photo is courtesy of my good friend Amy Bishopp, of Santa Fe, NM – thanks Amy!)

And here’s a photo from the official Zozobra facebook page of him burning:


(Thanks official facebook page people!)


It’s a great tradition that cements Santa Fe’s reputation as the City Different. Well done, Santa Fe, well done!

When I prepared this week’s question for the Experts (weeks ago), I wasn’t even thinking about Zozobra. That my question and his burning are related is a happy coincidence.

Here’s what I asked the Experts:

Q. If you could magically eradicate one human disease/condition/plight, what would it be and why?

Both the burning and my question concern eliminating doom from the world. Let’s see what our Experts have to say.

Normally Expert Andy is up first, but I believe he’s traveling and unavailable (if I’m wrong about that and he wants to submit an answer, I will update the blog asap). Let’s admire his adorableness:

And move on to Expert Tim Thackaberry. Thack, what do you say?

A. Wow, this is a really hard question. There are so many diseases/conditions/plights in the world from which to choose. I guess the one to get rid of is poverty, because that is the root of so many other problems. If people had money, they’d be able to get food, water, shelter, and medicine, which takes care of all of the basics. So yes, I choose to eradicate poverty. Let it be done!


Expert EZ Ed Johnson, you’re next:

A. There are some diseases that we await science to cure. There are conditions beyond our control. But when it comes to starvation there are no excuses. There’s a lack of political will, a failure of imagination and an apathy.


Expert Dottie is also traveling and will be unavailable the remainder of the month (waaaaahhh!!!). Let’s admire her adorableness:

And move on to Expert Lewis Casey. Lewis, fine sir?


The old man, young man, black man, white man, native man or woman stands on the street corner,

smiles, frowns, glares or grimaces

they hold a sign that tells their life story or simple say “Help”

I am homeless, helpless, hopeless, lost or traveling to where I know not

I am hunger, thirsty, need a beer


My spirit is broken, I am but trash upon the road side

I see the contempt in your eyes


“Get a job you bum, I work hard for my money and you cannot have any” says the angry car guy


My clothing is dirty, soap is no friend when a bath is a pipe dream

I had pride once, I was strong once, I knew love once

Work I did and can do again my sign say so

But the monkey on my shoulder is stronger,

The voices in my head louder

The hole in my heart larger

Hurray save the dogs, the trees, the children you must,

but you won’t look me in the eye as I do not matter

My road is long, my shoes are worn, my heart empty

I would cry and beg but it would fall on deaf ears  and closed souls


I long for a place to rest my head, my soul and shelter from the winds

My bones are tired, my spirit down trodden

Your change helps get a coffee and a brief hope that people have heart

But it will not take me home or restore my soul or take the devil off my back


As a people we must rise up and say “No more this is enough, we are better than this”

The forgotten must be remembered, downtrodden offered a hand up

The hopeless given hope

The helpless bestowed help

The homeless a home

Good people and good programs are at work against this tide but it will take us all

To stop this discard of people whose fortune has failed


From the youngest to the oldest life is the gift we have been given

The glories, treasures, the comforts bestowed are for all

not just those with a quicker hand and a sharper tongue or wit


Look not on those befallen as burdens but our chance to shine, dance and smile

as we lift them up and share our glory

You guys are amazing. Poverty, starvation, homelessness. I can understand that the science isn’t there yet to cure cancer, but I can’t understand how we continue to let our people starve or live on the streets. It’s shameful.

I believe all of you are correct. Poverty is responsible for so much damage in the world, and it’s the lack of political will and closed souls that allow our brothers and sisters to suffer like they do. As Dottie says all the time, every human being deserves compassion. We are failing them in today’s modern society.

This blog doesn’t have a huge audience, but maybe my Experts’ thoughts will touch the hearts of the readers it does reach. Maybe someone will be inspired to buy a meal for someone who’s hungry, or give a free smile to someone who doesn’t have one. It’s not a cure for cancer, but it’s better than nothing.

Thanks, fellas, for all you do and for your thoughtfulness.

That’ll do it for this week’s Ask the Experts panel. Thank you again to everyone for being here. The Experts will return in exactly one week.

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

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if these plants were 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, “Oh, they’re real…. um… morning glory that accidentally sprouted in an aloe pot?”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “I wondered why I didn’t recognize the vine. I’m going to go with claude on this one.”

Charlie Hebert wrote, “Gotta say Real also..”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Real.(B>{D>>”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “I vote real!”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Odd combination of plants, but real.”

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “Real”

gennafer31 wrote, “real!”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Still real, almost a full week later.”

That’s nine votes real, zero votes fake.

So what’s the correct answer?

Let’s take a wider look:

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

They are real! That is a Morning Glory vine growing indoors with an Aloe plant. Which goes to show you how cool Morning Glories are.

I took this photo at my friend’s cabin in Jemez Springs, NM. She didn’t know how the Morning Glory got into the pot, but since she thought it was so cute, she let it stay. I’m glad she did, because I got a kick out of it, too.

Claude, you nailed it. You were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. For being so swift, I’d like you to use the following title for the weekend: “I’m the Cure for What Ails You, Try Me.” Not to give you more responsibility than you can bear, but in the spirit of Zozobra, I think you can handle it. You’ll be the go-to problem solver for the weekend (or, you can ignore your title, that’s cool, too). In exchange for your trouble, I’d like you to multiply all the prizes by one halo, three chocolate donuts and two movies. Thanks, Claude, and congratulations!

Everyone’s a winner this week. To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like you each to have the following prizes: All your worries up in smoke, a pocket full of wonderful, four purple songbirds, que viva la fiesta, six smiles, a parade in your honor, two rainbows, a coupon good for happiness, five loving moments, an evening in concert, 13 3/4 blessings, the world’s adoration, a sense of accomplishment, nine victories and a giant bear hug. Congrats, and thanks for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this cactus 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, September 12th, 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.