Hello corndogs, and happy Friday!

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

Yay for Friday. It’s been a great week, a long week, but it’s still nice to see another weekend on the horizon. Friday is the day I gather my Panel of Experts and see if I can find out more about them. They’re charming and funny, I hope you enjoy them, too.

Let’s get the action started by saying hi. 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.

A timely question this week:

Q. In honor of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) this Sunday, do you have any stories of someone passed you’d like to share with us? (Or just general thoughts on the tradition of honoring the dead.)

Expert Andy, please get the ball rolling:

A. Whether it be Halloween, Dia de los Muertos or All Souls Day, both honoring and celebrating those passed is part of every one of us.  Sometimes it is in celebration, such as Halloween.  Sometimes, more formalized.  Sometimes, it happens on a random day when you see a picture of a lost family member or friend.  And upon other days, the mannerisms of a descendant of a lost soul, or even a small child.  The point is, the dead are amongst us, and present in our thoughts at a minimum.  Of course there are others who may believe that souls transition through lives, leaving in their known human form and returning as a new person or living thing.  Regardless, we are all affected by the lost souls of our past, and perhaps on this Sunday we can recollect a few that mean the most to each of us.

A. Any recollections of the departed invariably turn me to thoughts of my father, who died a little more than 10 years ago. After all this time, I think I’ve tapped every possible thought & emotion about his passing, so I’ll take “general thoughts on on the tradition of honoring the dead” for $200, Liza.

Honoring the dead, and by extension remembering where we came from, is enormously valuable. The future is little more than the past rehashed, reconstituted & replayed, so looking back helps you look forward. Honoring the dead allows you to fully honor the living, which is the only reason you need to do it.
So endeth the Tao of Thack on honoring the dead…

A. They found the man hanging by his neck in his own garage. I knew him only as the man who cleared the irrigation ditches. The night he died, everyone gathered at his house. The men stood around fires in old trash barrels, sipping beer. The women huddled inside, chanting the rosary in hushed voices. I stood outside the window watching them. I was a boy and had not seen such grief. I heard a slight rustling in the bush. The man’s boy sat hunched, his face buried in his knees. We were the same age. I sat on the ground next to him. We did not speak. He did not cry.


Dottie, the busiest retired person I’ve ever met, is not available this week. While we wait with bated breath for her return, let’s admire her adorableness:

And move on to Expert Lewis.

A. That bug on my windshield met its death at 80 miles per hour

My beloved cousin Joey greeted death laying in a hospital bed, his loving family close

My beloved Mother Josephine was met by angels when death became her, we cried

My friend  Claude found death at 100 mph and it was swift

My friends uncle was taken by death in a jungle thousands of miles from home

My beloved cousin son JR. nearly missed death from a IED hidden in the sand, thousands of miles from home

A poor child caused her/his own death because of mean spirits, cruel souls, vile and hateful words spoken or on a stupid screen,

because they think and feel there is no love for them,

how shameful for us that they should ever walk the path of hopelessness and despair

Yes I honor my dead but I tell my living that I love them

For death’s door is easily opened and words unsaid go forever unspoken

Let not these truths be silent but shout it to the world

You guys blow my mind. Thank you so much. I enjoyed all of those. Especially EZ’s story, it had the good creepy factor.

Dia de los Muertos is a big deal in Albuquerque, as you may expect. So I was interested to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing them.

That does it for this week’s Panel of Experts. The Experts will be back in exactly one week. They look forward to seeing you here.

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

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this tree was real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Tom from the Midwestern Jungle wrote, “Fake!”

That’s one vote fake, zero votes real.

Only one person brave enough to vote this week? Alright. Maybe it was too easy. Let’s take another view:

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

Ugh, lousy photo – like the other one – but really, really fake plant. And ugly. And dusty. And not worth anyone’s money. Seriously, how can we make fake plants go away? They are such a waste of money! Never as pretty or fulfilling as real ones.

Tom, you totally nailed it. As I would expect from a plant master such as yourself. You were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. For being so speedy, this week I’d like you to use the following epithet: ‘I Am Tom, Hear Me Rooooooooaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Even though Katy Perry’s songs make me want to stab my eardrums with a screwdriver, I am invoking her lyrics on you for this one particular occasion. Because I can’t get the damn things out of my head – maybe by transferring them to you I can have some peace. Haha, juuuuuust kidding. Imagine you’re an actual lion!

If you’re at the botanical gardens in Chicago this weekend and meet someone new, I want you to introduce yourself as Tom, I Am Tom, Hear Me Rooooooooaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrr! Do a jig, grow a mane, wear some glitter, whatever it takes to make it feel right. Have fun with it. Congratulations! You may multiply all the gifts by 178%.

To show my gratitude for you playing this week, I’d like to award you the following prizes (which you don’t have to share with anyone!): All my leftover Halloween candy, a parka, 16 1/4 bonus points, four chicken tenders with a red chile mole sauce, one weekend of winning, extra cheek, extra chic, a bouquet of fall flowers (pre-frost, of course), one protective gargoyle, twenty-one thousand giggles, several November evenings, six shimmering galaxies far far away, and my unending appreciation. Thank you, and congrats!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

This one may be kinda tricky.

Is this plant 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, November 7th, 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.