Hello raindrops, and happy Friday!

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

It’s Friday, so that means I’ve gathered my panel of Experts for another round of wisdom dispensing and life lessonry. I’m glad to have you all here.

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


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re all 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.

In my continuing quest to help you get to know the Experts a little better, this week, I asked them this question about where they live:

Q. Would you please tell us a little about where you live – describe the state, tell us why you enjoy living there?

Expert Andy, would you please go first?

A. Although I hail from the great state of Indiana, I relocated to Arizona out of college in 1988.  I have now been in AZ more than half of my life.  I moved here to escape the rapidly changing weather and lingering Winters.  I figured I would come out here, work a few years for Motorola in their training program and take it from there.  Here I am 25 years later!  AZ is full of over 300 days of sunshine per year and fantastic Falls through Springs.  The summers are God-awful, but we have mountain towns above 6,000 ft. elevation that tame the heat and provide ample stress relief.  Our mountains are beautiful and full of pine trees and wildlife.  It looks like Colorado here in the high country.  The state is full of every outdoor activity that is worth human enjoyment.  If I have one complaint it would be the existence of lakefront property.  There’s a severe lack of that here and for what does exist the prices are untouchable.  Our deserts are full of beautiful flowers and cacti of all varieties.  We are also within driving distance to San Diego (BEACH!), Mexico (BEACH!), and Las Vegas offering further fun.  And then there’s fellow panelist Dottie who gets to enjoy one of the crown jewels of AZ, Sedona.  Sedona is a magical, sometimes mystical, town in central AZ.  If you ever make it here do yourself a favor and spend at least 1 day in Sedona.  It is on the way to the Grand Canyon, which is the spectacular attraction in all of AZ.  It offers superior views, vast landscape and breathtaking ambiance.  In addition, we have Lake Powell.  Lake Powell is at the northern border of the state.  One of my favorite things to do is to rent a houseboat for a week on Lake Powell.  It is like Sedona filled up with water with majestic rock formations, spires and beaches that stretch for miles.

Oh, and did I mention Beerfest in Flagstaff in mid-June?

A. I have lived in Albuquerque, NM for nearly 15 years now. It’s hard to describe New Mexico, except to say that it’s wide open; that is, you can see for miles almost anywhere you are. I have gotten used to that, it makes it hard to go back anywhere else, where your view is usually limited by trees and buildings. No place for an an agoraphobic person, that’s for sure!

Beyond that, I don’t know that I can say anything about this city or this state that hasn’t been said elsewhere many, many times. It’s comfortable for me now, and I’m ambivalent about that fact now. This is the longest I’ve lived anywhere except for my hometown of Houston, TX, and I guess I’m feeling a bit of wanderlust. I’m ready to go and try somewhere else.
Not exactly tourist brochure copy, is it?

A. I live in a land of little water under skies of light blue. The winds carry memories of the past, mostly pleasant, but certainly not all. Prayers come in many forms, in languages born here, and from across oceans. We are tolerant, mostly. We are diverse, certainly. We have mountains you can ski, waters you can fish and October skies you can sail through in balloons filled with hot air. Our land is both sacred and scarred. So, too, are we.


Expert Dottie is traveling and not able to be with us today. Let’s admire her adorableness:

And move on to Expert Lewis Casey. Lewis, you’re up, fine sir:

A.  I live in the little state of Confusion which is bordered by the great states of Insanity and Madness

In the county of Muddled

The city of Despair

MY house is at the corner of Misfortune and Anguish

My neighbors are Grief and Sorrow and Suffering is close by

The elders down the street have no friends but loneliness, hunger and occasional bout of fright and terror

The children who venture out watch out for the grabbers, the snatchers, the takers of innocence, the killers of child hood joy

The School teaches fear, anger and hopeless if you are different in thought, size or soul

My church of Perpetual Sadness sings of the woe is me and I got an front row seat on the road to hell

I stay in my house locked in the closet covered by a blanket

holding my gun for trepidation, danger and peril lay beyond my door

In darkness alone I stand my eyes to the zillion, trillion, million twinkling stars, of a New Mexico night

In wonder I behold the past and the future spread across the vast Milky Way

Fear hold me not for the essence is upon me cast from a distance star

A single single solitary star blinks at me, winks at me, calls to me

“Hey you buddy”,  I look around, “Yes you, you’re not alone”

Sol lightens the world, darkness fades the state of Confusion recedes and hope rises

Welcome to my home

Lewis had this great formatting where his first few sentences were in teeny tiny script, and the following sentences gradually grew bigger. But WordPress will not let me preserve that formatting – it insists on making the letters uniform – so I apologize for that, Lewis.

Andy, it was nice to hear some positive aspects of Arizona. I think we’re used to hearing lots of negativity in the news about your state so a different perspective is good.

Thack, I agree, you won’t invited to serve on New Mexico’s Tourism Board, but it was an honest answer and therefore a good answer. Thank you for that.

EZ, I love your take on New Mexico and the way you emphasize what makes this state different from others. Thank you so much!

And Lewis, your view on life is always appreciated! I love it!

Dottie, as always, you are missed when you are not here, but I’m tickled to think that you’re enjoying your time with friends and family. That’s much more important than being here with us online.

Thanks to each of you for your hard work. That’ll do it for this week’s 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, I 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, “Since it doesn’t look so much like a cactus as a bell pepper overrun by creepy white spiders, I will have to say “fake”.
Got the colour wrong a bit, didn’t they?”

Charlie Hebert wrote, “Hi .. I’m really hoping Fake! No self-respecting cactus would want to look like that”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “I also see a bell pepper! So…I vote fake.”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Well that’s a … um… ahhh… it’s definitely a genuine…. hmmm… well… outs a fake whatever it is…”

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “Fake, though at first I thought it was one of those grafted Gymnocalicium…clearly I need to go to bed.”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “The cactus is fake. The Bell Pepper is just a figment of your imagination, guys.(8>{D>>”

That’s six votes fake, zero votes real.

What’s the correct answer? Let’s take a closer look:

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

That’s a terrible photo, but it’s pretty obvious from the glitter that it’s FAKE! And ugly (although I’m generally a fan of glitter). This “cactus” was at a restaurant here in Albuquerque, the tables would’ve looked better with nothing at all on them than ugly plants like these.

You guys all nailed it. I’m not surprised – you’re very plant savvy.

Ivy, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Well done! For being so speedy, you’ve earned the following title for the weekend: “Lalalalala, I’m Awesome, Lalalalalalala, I’m the Greatest, Lalalalalalala, I Am Queen of Houseplants, Lalalalalala, And Oh Yeah, I Have a Giant Brain, Lalalalalala.”

So if you’re at a gathering this weekend and meet someone new, you should introduce yourself as Ivy Lalalalala, I’m Awesome, Lalalalalalala, I’m the Greatest, Lalalalalalala, I Am Queen of Houseplants, Lalalalalala, And Oh Yeah, I Have a Giant Brain, Lalalalalala. I’m sure it’ll lead to lifelong bonds.

Congrats to you. You may multiply all the prizes by three ice cream cones. Thanks for playing!

Everyone’s a winner! To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: Four September nights, two umbrellas, 13 bonus points, six pinon nuts, one San Pedro Boulevard, a cheerful duckling, a tray of biscochitos, one extra elbow, gravy, one hoedown, five doowaps, cherry lemonade, one revival period, 11 extra credit points, a serenity pool, a bouquet of fall flowers and one giant hurrah! Congratulations, and thanks for playing!

Up next, the 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, September 19th, 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.