Hello hipsters, and happy Friday!

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

It feels good to be back, and it feels good that it’s Friday. Thank again to everyone for your patience with this blog.

Let’s get straight to Friday’s festivities, starting with saying hi to the Experts. 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.

Being November, I decided to ask the Experts about the holidays. Here’s this week’s question:

Q. Would you please share tips for how to handle stress during the holidays?

Expert Andy Williams, please get the ball rolling:

A. Frankly, I have never understood what is stressful about the holidays to begin with aside from two things;

1)  Obnoxious family members & issues swept under the carpet and festering.

2)  Going about your normal business only to be thwarted by the hustle and bustle of everyone else.

As for dealing with 1), I would advise to try to look into the heart of the others with whom you may have anxiety.  Treat that anxiety with a hug that you initiate.  Too many times I hear people use the excuse that the other party did not reach out to them as the excuse for not reaching out to that person.  Be the better person, put differences aside, and exude the love you have within you.  If you don’t have love within you, just drink I guess.

Regarding 2), I absolutely despise not being able to go to the store or go get something I need during the holiday season.  I’m not a shopper by any stretch, and I don’t want to spend any more time in any store than I have to.  And here in AZ we have the pleasure of hosting about 100,000 “snowbirds” that descend upon our awesome Winter weather, golf courses, stores and Lubys’.  I hate driving into a parking lot and having to wait 5 minutes for ‘dear old Betty’ to get out of her parking space.  I hate long lines at the grocery stores.  I hate long lines at stoplights.  You can see by my use of the word “hate” that I don’t really know how to deal with this at all other than to avoid it.  And the only trick I know of is to get out and about either very early in the day or very late in day.  Avoid the crowds by avoiding the times the crowds assemble.  That is damn good advice I think.

Happy Freakin’ Holidays Everyone!

A. Drinking a lot always got me through the holidays, but that’s no longer an option, so I’ve got nothing. I’m anxious to read the responses of my fellow experts so I can get some ideas!

A. I’m trying to remember an old slice of advice. It’s something like this:
Take two pieces of paper. On one, write

I am made of ashes and dust.

On the other, write

The world was made for me.

Carry both with you.

A. Probably the easiest thing to de-stress the holidays is to “leave town” “Leavin on a Jet Plane—don’t know when I’ll be back again!”

Seriously, I am a holiday “Groupie” – a sucker for the sentimental!!!  I really used to stress out trying to be super Mom!, Grandmom and Great Grandmom —mailing over a hundred cards, baking Holiday cookies, candies and breads for all, sweating out finding just the right individual gift — and I suddenly realized that people are so busy stressing out themselves that they barely notice or remember what you gave them but they do remember if you forgot them!  So last year, I changed my “modus operandi”.   First the cards.  I made a single donation in everyone’s name on my list to an organization I love and have supported for years, that teaches individuals and families all over the world how to help themselves, earn a living, and learn how to “pay it forward”.  I sent simple holiday E mails, advising everyone on my holiday list of this.  To my family, instead of individual gifts, I elected to give gifts of an Old Fashioned Family Holiday with “Family boxes” – filled with items that encouraged shared family activities; such as games, DVDs, tickets to events, Funny old pictures, etc.   It was fun for me and unexpected joy for my family and friends.  Families have almost forgotten how to have fun together without the distraction of electronic gadgets and TV!   

For me, it simplified the holidays and allowed me to once again spend time doing the important joyful activities of the season with family and friends.  

This year will be much the same.  You can’t beat success!  Look for me riding the “Polar Express” and I’ll be the big kid sitting on Santa’s lap!  Happy Holidays All!

A. STREESSTRESSSTREES WHO SAYS I’VE GOT STRESS,

\IGOT NO DAMN STRESSS THEIR LIEING

WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINKS THEY ARE SAYING I’M STREESSSED

I’M NOT SYTRESSSED, I,M NOT STRESSSED I JUST GOTS  A HIGH METABOLISM

IF I WAS SSTREESSSED,DON’T YOU THIINK I WOULD KNOW IT

I DON’T NEED PEOPLE POINTING, LAUGHING AND TALKING ABOUT ME

PLOTTING TO GET ME WHEN I TURN MY BACK, I GOT MYT EYE ON YOU LITTLE LADY,

YOU’RE ALWAYS CALLING ME A EXPERT AND THEN LAUGHING AND MAKING ME WEAR A SILLY FLOWER HAT

YOU WITH YOUR INSANE LIST OF PRIZES,

WHO NEEDS NINE RUBBER CHICKENS OR A COUPON FOR A HALF OFF BATHROOM BREAK,

OR A PHOTO OF THE INSIDE (OH HOW BEAUTIFUL) OF A DOG’S SLOBBERY CHEWTOY

YOU KNOW STRESS AND INSANITY ARE VERY GOOD FRIENDS

SO WHEN I GET STRESSED AND I’M NOT, PARANOID MAYBE OK, IWRITE STUFF

and then All is right as rain, but don’t be calling me names

or make me wear silly hats

Cause I got some good friends Ican call

Ok ok, I promise – I won’t make fun of you, Lewis. But you still have to wear the silly hat! Them’s the rules!

Dottie, I loved your suggestions – well done! Yours too, EZ and Andy. Thack hopefully the others’ tips will help you.

Thanks to each of you for sharing your thoughts, I appreciate it and I’m sure my readers do, too. Right readers? (They’re nodding.)

That does it for this week’s Panel of Experts. Thank you again for being here. I’ll see you again next Friday.

Up next, the puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Previously, I asked if this plant was real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “I’m going to guess this one is also fake.”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “It’s fake, but it’s amazing how they matched tje color of an outdoor plant brought indoors and suffering from lack of light… or maybe I’m over thinking it. Anyway… fake…”

That’s two votes fake, zero votes real. So what’s the correct answer? Let’s take a wider view:

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

Fake! Not terrible looking either, for fake plants. They’re still not worth the money, in my humble opinion. But that’s just because I’m against all fake plants. Why would you buy a fake one when you can have a real one? Real plants are always prettier.

mr_subjunctive, you nailed it in the speediest of fashion. Good job! For being so swift, this week I’d like to award you the following epithet: The Bestest, Fastest, Quickest, Most Dashing, Scale Destroying, Of High Moral Character, Most Enthusiastic Plant Lover and Puzzler Winning Grandest Champion of All the Universe. Congratulations!

If you’re at a holiday party this weekend and meet someone new, you should introduce yourself as mr_subjunctive The Bestest, Fastest, Quickest, Most Dashing, Scale Destroying, Of High Moral Character, Most Enthusiastic Plant Lover and Puzzler Winning Grandest Champion of All the Universe. I’m sure it’ll help you to forge lifelong bonds! Also for being so speedy, you may multiply all the prizes by one pumpkin pie.

For playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: One upcoming weekend, three pinky fingers, six noodles, 13 extra credit points, two tidy seahorses, grapefruit, four November moments, a trombone player, a coupon good for one voucher, an A+, two smooth moves, 18 additional points, one Unser Boulevard, a grip of stars, a bevy of good cheer, root beer, one Aeschynanthus plant, and my sincere appreciation. Congrats, and thanks again!

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, November 21st, 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 Monday, hope to see you here.

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