Hello dolls, and happy Friday!

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

Yay for Fridays! It’s been a long week for everyone, so let’s get straight to our Expert of Panels. We’ll start by saying hi to our 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.

Here in Albuquerque, the International Balloon Fiesta gets underway this weekend. It’s a great time to visit the city – even if it usually signals a shift in the weather (hint: brrrrrr!). But instead of talking hot air balloons, I wanted to you to continue to get to know the Experts a little better. So I asked them this question:

Q. Who (or what) was the best teacher you’ve ever had?

Expert Andy, would you please get the panel rolling?

A. I have been blessed by a great history of math teachers since grade school.  There was Mrs. Livingston at St. Joseph’s.  She was the resident math expert and taught me math from what I remember to be about the 4th grade.  She was awesome and she made math fun and she taught it well enough to sink in.  That paved the way for me to love math the rest of my days all the way through college.  In high school I was blessed to be taught by Mr. Chaney.  He taught algebra I and II.  He made us keep a very organized notebook which I kept for at least another 10 years.  Algebra paved the way to geometry, trigonometry and then calculus.  The great Mr. Murphy taught me trig and calculus in high school.  He was awesome.  He was an IU grad and he knew his stuff when it came to his lessons.  His great teaching prowess led me to excel at calculus and differential equations in college, all fundamental to physics and electrical engineering.

All of these math teachers taught me a fundamental base that allowed me to succeed in the follow up math class and then my career.  I owe them all a strong debt of gratitude, which I have had the joy to tell Mrs. Livingston and Mr. Murphy in person in the last 5 years in person.

And on a side note; teachers should be the highest paid profession in the U.S.A.  Name a profession that has more influence and adds more value to America’s youth, and therefore, America’s future!  Teachers are teachers, counselors, security guards, emergency responders, medics, psychologists and the eyes and ears of a community.  They often are the first to notice children in harms way by noticing the warning signs of abuse, predator or when things just aren’t right at home.

All Hail to the Great Teachers!

A. Getting my ass handed to me by life was the best teacher I’ve ever had. I’ve learned nothing in a classroom or a lecture hall with more value than the extremely powerful lessons imparted by that lengthy process.

A. When I was 7 I had a teacher named Miss Gully. She was young and fair-skinned with shocking white hair she would dye red for Valentine’s Day and green for St. Patrick’s Day. She told me there was a world beyond the mountains and showed me what it meant to live with grace. Some 11 years later I had another teacher. Margaret Hyman was a blunt, chain-smoking woman who taught me to be curious, to not be afraid to ask questions.

A. Oh my, my favorite educator by far is my seventh grade English teacher, Miss Snyder, a statuesque lovely redhead!  She drew me out of my shyness and sent me on the road to enjoying words, phrases and writing in general.

I had been writing stories since a little girl but never showed them to anyone.  Some how Miss Snyder discerned that I had some talent and encouraged me to develop my interest in writing. 

She was the sponsor for the school paper, “The Harding Times” and asked me to do celebrity interviews for the paper.  Needless to say I was thrilled.  Celebrities usually stayed at the Carter Hotel in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.  Most were kind enough to host an interview time for school publications.  I interviewed many notables of stage and screen.  Some of my favorites were Roy Rogers and Dale Evens, John Wayne, Gene Autrey and Eddie Garr; star of Hellzapoppin, etc.  Later on she asked me to write the humor column for our little school paper as well.  She is responsible for my “coming out of my shell” and just bursting with ideas and discovering the joy of words and writing.  She changed my life.

I am currently working on 2 books—they may never be published but the satisfaction comes with the fascination of words and the creative writing.

A. Now I think that I have spoken of this fine teacher on other days in this most excellent of venues  “Ask The Experts”

St. Mary’s Catholic School was an elementary school in a small Kansas town established to educate young minds in Catholic doctrine

Many fine and eager to learn young people went to this school and went forth into the world to make their mark

I was not one of them

From Sister Mary Hardass I learned after the third or fourth time not to hold out my fingers to receive metered discipline

A whack on the knuckles goes a long way, so you learn not to get caught making faces at Sister H, or throwing rocks at the Parish house

From her I came to learn and take to heart the very factual meaning of the word “Duck”

A chalk board eraser makes a special whirling sound as it fly’s through the air

and my best friends look of surprise as a cloud of chalk dust envelopes my head, taught me a lot

After the third or fourth eraser I learned to Duck and weave really good,

I learned not to talk so loud and keep the cusswords low when I’m telling Dale a good joke, I learned other things could also fly

I learned that some people have ears and eyes everywhere mostly Nuns

In front of St. Mary’s Catholic School stood the flagpoles and the good kids got to put up and take down the flag, in spite of that I got a chance sometimes

In the mornings we learned to raise the USA and state flags on the flagpole and what a honor it was to have that privilege, I wish more children had that honor

Sister H. learned after the third or fourth time when we didn’t return to class that we were on the swings in back of the school

I learned that the higher you swang the harder it was to stop you, she learned that yanking on the side rope was an excellent way to cause a crash

I learned that the ground was hard and my face not

In St. Mary Church to which we had to go daily mass we went as forced labor or so it seemed to a nine year old

While the Sisters led us in prayer, I and a few other learned heathens were climbing and slipping under the pews

Sliding down the back aisles on our knees, making faces, splashing each other with holy water and having a great time in prayer

Until we was observed by Sister Hawkeye and had to face an Inquisition and possible burning at the stake

I learn Sister Mary H. had a heart and did not want us to be burned

we only had to write the Hail Mary a thousand times and suffer a hundred lashes

ABC’s and 123’s  never got my attention as well as a soft pitch, hard hit and a good run to third, RECESS was my game and I excelled

Sister Mary H. had a mean side arm pitch and I learned how to lean and twist and knock it over her head

I learned the Sister H. could kick a soccer ball just a hard as a guy even with all that habit stuff she wore, my face told me so

I learned to stand proud and to shut up while acting as a Roman solider in the Baby Jesus play,

we learned how to make cardboard swords and shield

We used them to chop off all the other baby boy’ dolls heads

After the play Sister Mary H. said to all the Roman soldiers “ Be glad you didn’t live and die then”

I learned to say my ABG’s and count my 124’s in spite of my wandering out the window, down the block, across the world

My ears grow longer as I learn to keep my mind indoors Sister H. knew where and how to pull an ear to bring a wondering soul back to the classroom

My poor mother she tried to help, and her and Sister H. talked a lot

But it is hard to hold the wind, stop the rain, control the lightning and that is how I felt

There are thing that can be done to slow the wind, trap the rain and catch the lightning

And a Mothers love, patience, and more love and a net was a helpful guide to a wondering mind

Sister Mary Hardass pulled, pushed, struggled, wiggled, and thrust me kicking and screaming into the world of knowledge for I was a free soul bound not to learn

And I will not forget or forgive her for it

My dear Mother held my hand as she gently spoke to me at the school house door

“ My son get your butt in there and learn for the world is a large and beautiful place and it awaits you”

I have tried to make her proud

You all blow me away!

Andy, I didn’t go to St. Joe’s school like you did, but I sure remember Mr. Murphy from high school. He was wonderful.

Tim, I agree wholeheartedly. There’s nothing like being down on your luck to teach you everything you need to know about getting back up again.

EZ, I love that you had a teacher who dyed her hair for holidays – she must’ve been so awesome!

Dottie, I hadn’t heard of your glamorous writing past. I hope we will one day all get to see the works you’re currently writing. Keep up the good work, sweet lady!

Lewis, that explains A LOT. Thank you for the insight! Haha, you make me laugh!

I enjoyed all of your answers. Thank you so much for sharing your teachers with us, we really appreciate it!

That does it for this week’s Panel of Experts. Our beloved Experts will return in exactly one week. They hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to the current puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this flower 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, “And once again, fake!

Pfff… even the ratty, half-wilted sunflowers I was deadheading at work today were prettier than this.”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Fake!(B>{D>>”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Fake, but as fakes go, I’ve seen worse…”

That’s three votes fake, zero votes real.

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

Good To Grow, real or fake plant puzzler

It’s fake! Not the worst fake ever, but still a waste of money. Why not grow pretty sunflowers and pick those for a bouquet instead? Or buy fresh flowers from your local florist? Ugh, fake flowers and plants are expensive, they collect dust, and they’re never going to be as beautiful as real ones.

Ivy, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Nicely done! For being so speedy, this week you’ve earned the title of “The swiftest, the bestest, the fastest, the numero uno-est, the premierest, the most knowledgeable of houseplants and I feel like dancing, dancing, dancing the night away.”

So if you’re at an outing this weekend and you meet someone new, you should introduce yourself as Ivynettle The swiftest, the bestest, the fastest, the numero uno-est, the premierest, the most knowledgeable of houseplants and I feel like dancing, dancing, dancing the night away. I’m sure you’ll forge lifelong bonds. Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by one hot air balloon ride.

You’re all winners this week – great job! To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award you each the following prizes: One balloon fiesta, 700 hot air balloons, four October Saturdays, six pecan sandies, one pink plaid shirt, 18 bonus points, a pair of bedazzled tennis shoes, hot apple cider, one bottled scent of roasted green chile, 4000 white sands, a snazzy haircut, two extra toes, Gold Street, an optimistic raccoon, one hacienda courtyard, fall flowers, an A+, three high fives and a giant hug from me. Congrats, and thanks so much for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

This week’s puzzle was sent in from Texas Claude at Random Rants and Prickly Plants. He asks if this plant is real or fake:

Good To Grow, 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, October 10th, 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.