Hello balloonistas, and happy Friday!

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

It’s been a super fun week, with all the hot air balloons – some of them in crazy shapes – dotting the Albuquerque skies. But still, it’s good to have arrived at Friday. We love Fridays not only because they signal the end of the work week, but also that’s when we have our Panel of Experts.

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


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You guys 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.

With the government shutdown in its second week, tempers are flaring and it seems like no one in Washington is working. Certainly not working for the American people. It’s frustrating for the likes of us. Curious, I decided to ask the Experts this question:

Q. If you could spend two uninterrupted minutes with the President, what would you say to him?

Expert Andy, you’re up first:

A. Let’s go play a game of basketball on that court of yours out back and put this Obamacare thing to rest, shall we?  One on one to 21.

A. Great question! If I had 2 minutes to ask him a question and unlimited time for him to answer, I guess I’d ask him where he thinks the United States will be as a nation 10, 25 and 100 years from now. The answer(s) would be absolutely fascinating!

If the entire interaction has to be contained in 120 seconds, I’d use the time to tell him that the country is better served when there are 2 distinct political parties, and that I am enormously appreciative when he is, you know, a Democrat. I’d ask him to continue that for the remainder of his term in office.

Of course, I’d have to have a couple of drinks to work up the nerve to talk to him, which means I’d probably get tipsy and accidentally hit on Michelle or something. It would end badly for me, most likely culminating in my deportation to Afghanistan.

A. Mr. President, I know there are a lot of demands on you. I ask only that you hold dear the faces of your children, that you carry the echoes of your mother and grandmother. Whatever words you deem holy, whatever words you consider wise, lend your feet to them. Be the voice of the voiceless, a vessel of hope to the thirsty. Peace asks more of us than war. Mercy requires more courage than vengeance. It is in the loneliness that visions are given seed.

A. After many times of finding myself in “hot water” and speaking out about Politics or Religion at the wrong place at the wrong time, I have learned it is a useless exercise.
However, using song titles seems like a fun

“Who Are You?”
“I Did it my Way”

“Wasted Time”
“All Shook Up”

“I’d like to get you on a slow boat to China”

“Thank God, I’m A Country Boy”
“Simple Man”

“Dust in the Wind”
“I heard it through the grapevine!”

“Does anybody really know what time it is”
“Dream On”
“Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves”

“Taking care of business”
“Killing me softly”

If  October 17th arrives and all else fails, Mr. President:
“Fly Me to the Moon” and  “Run for your life”!

A. Good morning Mr. President nice office, rents cheap huh,

I think you have been doing a great orrrr at least a good job that is until recently, I think everyone has a bit of egg on their face

We the People are going down in droves, little guys are always hurt by the Repulsions or the Dumbacrates don’t matter when your under foot

I know those foolish SOB on the other side are causing you problems, but you and your gang of fools and misfits aren’t doing much better

Yea I know their picking on you and calling you name like Skinny Book Mark, Sail Ear, or Sweet Tongue but your tough just tell them to shove it, if you want

Me and a couple of will come over and take some of the cretins from both side, back of the Capital and give them a lesson in cooperation.

Ok you can watch

Iran their a nut case but good job opening that door, maybe you can bring them into  the 21 Century

We’re cool with Israel, tell’em we always got their back

Drones, drones, drones seems like the best thing since sliced bread, but NIMBY please

Do you remember those coal miner guys in South America, Chile I think,

Yep the ones that were trapped underground for several weeks then rescued to the worlds delight

Do you think they got along and cooperated, maybe We the People should hire them to run the country

Can’t do no worse than you guys are doing now

Ok, ok I know it’s time to go,

Hang in there, hopefully this madness will end soon

We will say a prayer for all of you poor fool politicians in DC

SMILE more you got a nice smile

It helps make friends


Oh yah one more thing Where’s the bathroom?

Haha, those are great answers. Thank you. Too bad no one in Washington will listen – you guys could teach them a thing or two.

I appreciate you taking the time to be here, thanks again for your answers. I enjoyed reading them. I hope the readers did, too.

That’ll do it for the Experts. They will return in exactly one week.

Up next, the puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants sent in this pic of a Bromeliad, and asked if it was real or fake:

Good To Grow, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

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

Joseph Brenner wrote, “And, also, fake!(B>{D>>”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “Definitely fake! The leaves look like paper.”

Nancy Popp Mumpton wrote, “Pretty fake looking to me!”

That’s four votes fake, zero votes real.

So what’s the correct answer?

Let’s hear from Claude:

“At the flea market where I work, my neighboring vendor had this and several other FAKE plants for sale. Which I don’t actually mind because it makes my real ones look better… anyway, after about a dozen people wandered up and exclaimed, “isn’t that beautiful! I thought it was real!” I was seriously considering tossing lit cigarettes at it, but instead I took a pic and sent it to you. Enjoy!”

Fake! You guys nailed it. I’m not surprised at all!

Ivy, you first again this week with the correct answer. Well done! For being so speedy, you’ve earned the following title for the week: “Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Houseplant Knowledgeable and Very Cute as Well.”

So if you go to a dance this weekend, you should introduce yourself as Ivy Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Houseplant Knowledgeable and Very Cute as Well. I’m sure that won’t seem strange at all. Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by one government reopening.

Claude, for your contribution, you may multiply all the prizes by West Texas. Thanks so much!

I’d like to show my appreciation to each of you for playing by awarding you the following prizes: All the National Parks opened, 58 special shapes balloons, chile rellenos, one Paseo de Peralta, 13 3/4 extra credit points, one furloughed House of Representatives, a ponytail, a dozen feathers, one baby elephant, a platter of cold cuts, 15 bonus points, watermelon agua fresca, a sparkly comet, a back-up eyebrow, a coupon good for a voucher, four tickets to the Monday Night Football game (redeemable Tuesday), a brisk morning, one medium-sized Chlorophytum, a winning smile, and all of my love. Congrats, and thanks for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

This one is tricky. Is this Aloe 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, October 17th, 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.