Hello windchillers, and happy Friday!

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

Is it still freezing where you are? Or are you slowly coming out of the polar express bear opposites vortex? Haha, hopefully everyone’s staying warm.

I’m feeling pretty warm and fuzzy about having my Experts back with us. Let’s take a sec and say hi to them. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re 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.

It’s great to have you back! I hope you had a wonderful holiday break. I’m curious to know whether you’re hopeful for 2014, so here’s this week’s question:

Q. What are your hopes/dreams/aspirations for 2014?

Expert Andy Williams, why don’t you get this show on the road for us?

A. Happy New Year everyone!  And welcome back!

In 2014 I aspire to be a more communicative and sensitive person.  The opposite, apparently, is what caused my 2013 to be the worst year of my adult life.  I also aspire to be a better friend to all of the great ones that got me through a very tumultuous year in 2013.  I was happy to see 2013 end and a new era begin in my life.  With that comes change, and with change comes the need for me to be more open, honest and sensitive about how I feel.  I am a deeply sensitive person, but apparently that doesn’t come across enough. And I don’t spew out my feelings enough until they overflow within me.  And when that happens it usually a result of frustration.Also in 2014, I plan to do what I want to do more.  No more encumbrances for me.  Look out world, here I come!

Expert Tim Thackaberry:

A. This sounds suspiciously like resolutions, which I avoid assiduously (alliteration alert!). And I have been accused, by my ex-wife and others, of not having any dreams or aspirations, of being content just making it through the night. There’s some truth to that. I don’t do long-term personal planning all that well. So let’s make that my aspiration for 2014: to find & develop some hopes/dreams/aspirations!

And world peace. World peace would be awesome.


Expert EZ Ed Johnson:

A. I hope to get more sleep, read more books, eat more ice cream. I dream of faraway places, forgotten faces and stories unwritten. I aspire to be kinder.


Expert Dottie isn’t available to be with us today. Sad face! But she’s fine, and she’s here with us in spirit. Let’s admire her adorableness:

And move on to Expert Lewis Casey. What do you say, fine sir?

A. In 2014 I am going to learn to fly, no well but wait I already fly to work, fly through meetings, fly through lunch, fly through traffic so maybe not that

I am going to run a marathon and get fitter, hum but no wait I did lose 25 lbs. of ugly fat in 2013, no they did not sew my mouth shut, I walk and walk and walk a lot and I was planning to set in front of my boob tube and watch the SOCH Olympics, and I won’t but butter on my popcorn so that counts right,

When I ran I kept getting lost so I would have to call for a ride home so I stopped running, sound believable right

I’m going to be a race car driver, the thrill of the cheering crowds, the power under foot, the controlled slides, the fight to the finish,

but wait again,

I already get a thrill from the Crossing Guards as they blow their whistle, shake their signs and scowl at me as I race through their school zone in my turbo powered Corolla on the racetrack to the next red light

I’m going to write a great novel, inspire the people, bring hope to the downtrodden, enlighten the masses, admonish the wicked, banish the greedy, lay low the corrupt be they politician, lawyer, banker or big business demons

But wait I already do that, I have access to the masses, I can inspire, raise hope and enlighten, there is a shiny torch that is fanning the flames I help carry, bring smiles to peoples weary hearts, raising their knowledge and ability, putting them on the path to self-worth, trust in the future and a life filled with simple truths, satisfaction, and a vision that from a little can come a lot


Thank you Liza & Good to Grow

From your struggles we grow

Making the world a better place

Aw! That’s so sweet, Lewis. Thank you!

Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful, considerate answers, and for making us laugh along the way. You’re awesome!

Readers, if you have any questions you’d like to see the Experts tackle, please let me know, either by shooting me an email or leaving your question in the comments section.

Experts, thank you again for being here. I sure appreciate it!

The Experts will return next Friday, they look forward to seeing you back here.

Up next, the answer to the puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this Ivy plant 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, “It’s a bit hard to see, but I’m going to say fake.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “Yup, it is hard to see, but I’m also going to vote fake!”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Definitely fake. But the poinsettias look real.”

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “i’m going with fake”

Ginny Burton of Burton Optician in DC wrote, “Fake ivy.

I have been envying Liza’s fragrant and fruitful citrus trees and finally googled around and found some for $6.99 at Michigan Bulb Company. They’re having a January special, so I bought a lime and a lemon. I don’t know how big they’ll be at that price, but it’s worth a shot. I’ll let you know what they’re like when they arrive. (I hope you don’t mind my mentioning an online seller. Feel free to delete this if it’s not acceptable.)”

I responded, “Ginny, I don’t mind at all about mentioning the seller. I can’t wait to hear how they grow for you. They do drink a lot of water (it must be hard work producing all those blossoms and fruits) but they are worth the extra effort.

Now that the lemon tree is in full swing of its blooming, the whole foyer smells incredible! You won’t regret your purchase!”

Alissa, last week’s champion, wrote, “Thank you very much Liza :) I quite like those prizes.
My guess, fake.”

Steph from Indianapolis wrote, “nope no way that’s alive”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Fake!(B>{D>>”

That’s eight votes fake, zero votes real.

What’s the correct answer?

Let’s take a closer look:

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

FAKE! Ugly! Dusty! Ew! Gross! This is a terrible thing to have in a restaurant! It’s probably greasy, too, underneath that dust. (Nice eye, Claude, the Poinsettias were real.)

Eight correct votes. I didn’t fool a one of ya! What the heck? I know your plant knowledge is super sophisticated and all, but seriously? I can’t stump you, even with a bad photo!

I begrudgingly say good job. Haha, I’m just kidding. You guys all nailed it, congratulations! I may be a little stung, but I can’t say I’m surprised.

Ivy, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Well done! For being so speedy, you’ve earned the following musical epithet: I’ve Got a Big Brain, and I’m Not Ashamed, ah, ah, ah, And I Like To Dance, oh, oh, oh, And I Could Probably Beat You at Armwrestling, da doo da da, Ok Maybe Not But I’m Still Smarter Than You, oh yeaaaaaaahhhhhh. You have to sing it.

Let’s say for example this weekend, you’re at the grocery store and happen upon a kind looking stranger. You should introduce yourself as Ivy I’ve Got a Big Brain, and I’m Not Ashamed, ah, ah, ah, And I Like To Dance, oh, oh, oh, And I Could Probably Beat You at Armwrestling, da doo da da, Ok Maybe Not But I’m Still Smarter Than You, oh yeaaaaaaahhhhhh. If you could throw in some dance moves, I’m sure that will help you forge lifelong bonds. Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by glitter.

Everyone’s a winner this week. To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: Seven stars shining for you, three Januaryisms, four kisses on the cheek, one cd containing the melodic grunts of an aging cat, two replacement cheek bones, an extended foot massage, six goldish coins, 12 1/3 blessings, a bouquet of ornamental grasses, nine apple-blueberry empanadas, Montano Blvd, earl grey tea, 14 extra credit points, three peacock feathers, parsley, a bowl of socks, one all expenses paid trip to there and back, 40 woohoos, and a grip of thanks from me to you. Congrats, and thanks for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

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, January 16th, 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.