Hello fallbloomistas, and happy Friday!

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

Here we are at the end of another workweek. Shew! Did it seem like a long week to anyone else, or was that just me?

Anyway. We’re here, it’s Friday, and it’s time to gather the Panel of Experts. Let’s start by saying hi. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You are 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 ongoing quest to help you get to know our Experts a little better, I’ve thrown a tough question at them today. Here it is:

Q. Who is your hero and why?

Oooh, not that easy to answer!

Expert Andy Williams, why don’t you start us off, please:

A. Wow, what a question!  This question invokes a variety of thoughts.  And aside from naming my mom and/or dad for the multitude of reasons that I have expounded upon in this forum, I am going to go non-family on this one.  And I can’t just choose one person because I admire so many people.  But I will give this question a shot in the interest of entertainment.

1)  The Unknown Soldier.  Any soldier who goes to battle and gave the ultimate sacrifice, without so much as getting their name etched in stone is a true HERO.

2)  Todd Beamer.  Remember him?  Well, we all should remember him.  Todd was the HERO who boldly exclaimed “Are you guys ready? Okay, let’s roll!” when his plane was being hijacked by rotten filthy animals on Sept. 11th.  Although he and his unknown compatriots gave up their lives they saved countless others by forcing their plane down in the fields of Pennsylvania.  Remember Todd Beamer!

3)  Every single “first responder” who braved their own lives to save others in New York City on Sept. 11th, 2001.  And special extraordinary kudos for the firefighters who were still going into the towers after the first one had already collapsed that day.  THAT, my friends, is true SELFLESS BRAVERY!

4)  Keith Smart, for nailing “The shot” from the baseline off of a feed from Daryl Thomas in 1987 to vault Indiana over Syracuse 74 – 73 in the NCAA National Championship game.  What you likely won’t remember is that Mr. Smart also was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player in 1987.  If I’m not mistaken he scored Indiana’s last 13 points in that title game.

5)  Luis Gonzalez, for wafting a weak pop up over Derek Jeter in game 7 of the World Series in 2001 to drive in Jay Bell for the game winning run over the Yankees in one of the best World Series’ one will ever witness.  This series was, of course, delayed by the Sept. 11th attacks and America going on red alert for almost 2 weeks.  It also featured 3 blown leads by the Dbacks in New York during games 3, 4 and 5.  Mark Grace gets an honorable mention in 5B) for leading off the inning and finding a way to get on base with a single off of Mariano Rivera.  I believe this is still the only save Rivera has ever blown in his vast postseason career in which he has 42 career postseason saves and a 0.70 ERA.

A. You’re right, this is a tough question. I think it’s so hard because there are no heroes when you get older, because you learn that even “great” men and women are just that: men and women. And this is an age and a culture where we build up heroes for the sole purpose of tearing them down again. We insist that people fit neatly into the “rise-fall-redemption” narrative.

All that said, Willie Nelson is my hero. He seems to have life figured out.

A. My hero is someone who works hard every day, bears the burden of raising a family, and does so without losing a sense of humor — like my father and his father before him.
Someone who cares and nurtures — like my mother.
Someone who has been a teacher, who cherishes knowledge — like my grandmother.
Someone who has survived tragedy with grace and courage — like my other grandmother.
Someone who has laughter in his life, even on his death bed — like my grandfather.


Liza here. Dottie is unavailable this week. Let’s admire her adorableness:

And move on to Lewis, fine sir:

As hero’s go there are not many people in my books who would qualify

I hold with respect and honor those who have given their all in the line of duty

Solider, sailor, Marine, firefighter, police, store clerk, Crossing guard or teacher

They and many other regularly place their own live and safety in jeopardy and peril

Risking all for the sake of others, not for reward but because it is the right thing to do

These are the hero’s who make a choice to stand in harm’s way

Then there are the daily hero’s common men and women who live a hero’s life because they serve others before self

One such individual is my friend Big Chris, a big guy 6’6’’ or 6’7” broad in shoulder, big in girth, Big and Tall and then some

Big Chris worked as a Nursing Assistant Attendant at the NM State Mental Hospital Senior Care Home, a place that society

Sends broken, used up, useless and old people to so we don’t have to watch them die

Now don’t get me wrong it was not a terrible place because many of the people who worked there were kind, gentle, good hearted folks that love their charges

Just because the seniors families never came to see their grandmothers, grandfather, moms or dad, sons or daughters or those who had no one

They were not unloved for the staff loved them like family and it showed in their care

Many a kind act or word pleasured a senior and in care they did not lack, but funds to fix old and broken are not wasted here

Bodies grow old, functions cease or run rampage and always

Big Chris was there to gently host a soiled soul from a soiled bed and never show a moment of annoyance because they shit again

Big Chris big hands were always stead as he slowly and carefully spoon fed a sweet old soul who could swallow little and choke easy

Combed hair that was white, thin and pale and had seen distant days and long nights

Listened to story of far gone times of families, loves and friends shared joys all long gone

Or listened as their world, words and reason ran off the edge and into darkness, the rhyme came no more to their song

Hero’s are those who can stand tall and proud and do the right thing for little pay and less glory

Big Chris did not throw a ball, shoot a basket, hit a round, race a car, run fast or sing a song,

Never did someone ask his advice on how to cheat and make a million

Watch his staged heroics, or have him sign a book

Not once did he ever preach to a large crowd or demand that he be heard, run for public office or tell us lies of his great deeds

No! We leave all that to our false gods of sports, movies, politics, religion and business who we worship as hero’s and pay a king’s ransom

They could not stand in Big Chris’s shadow for they are not worthy and we are fool to make them so

Big Chris cannot hear now but he can speak a mile a minute and is a legend for his jokes

He cannot walks his own body has quit his legs work no more,

But his power wheel chair and the bus take him everywhere

His smile and jokes open many a door, friends he has many

Yes Big Chris is my hero, he is far from perfect but he is one of the finest human being I have ever met even if he is crazier than a loon

But that’s another story

Pray for those in the path of the glorious rain


Wow! That was cool!

No one asked me, but two of my heroes are Dottie and Lewis. I met both of them by volunteering through the American Red Cross. They are two of the kindest, thoughtful, most considerate human beings I’ve ever met. They are wonderful, wonderful people.

I think everyone on my Panel of Experts is amazing – thank you to all of you! I’m very lucky to have you all!

And thank you for sharing your thoughts on heroes with us today, I appreciate your insight.

If any readers would like to share your heroes, that would be great. Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

The Experts will return in exactly one week, they hope to see you back here.

Up next, the current puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if these flowers were real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Charlie Hebert wrote, “Ok.. Alot going on there.. Real!”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Definitely real. And quite striking.”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Real!

(And I love your titles, Liza! They always make me wish I had more opportunity to introduce myself to people.)”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Realitus Maximus.(B>{D>>”

Zach from Indiana wrote, “real”

That’s five votes real, zero votes fake.

What’s the correct answer? Let’s take a wider view and see:

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

Very real and very pretty! As if those scenic mountain views weren’t pretty enough on their own! You can’t fake that kind of beauty.

Charlie (yay! Charlie’s back!), you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Way to go! We’re delighted to have you back with us! For being so speedy, this week you’ve earned the title of “Swiftest, Premierest, Bestest, Dashingest, Boomshakalakaest, Debonairest, Most Courteous, Grandest Champion of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Beyond.”

So if you are out this weekend and meet someone new, you should introduce yourself as Charlie Hebert the Swiftest, Premierest, Bestest, Dashingest, Boomshakalakaest, Debonairest, Most Courteous, Grandest Champion of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Beyond. I’m sure it’ll help you form lifelong bonds. Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by moonlight.

Everyone’s a winner this week – well done! To show my appreciation for your playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: One hero’s welcome, four fingers, two charms, one grandiose vision, fried ravioli, an emboldened giraffe, three comets, 14 1/2 extra credit points, six flower petals, a coupon good for one ticket, festivities, a serenade, one flag of your choice, 11 bonus points, a bright sunshiney day, five pianists, milk, and a rousing heyday. Congratulations, and thanks so much for playing!

Next up is 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, September 26th, 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.