Hello delicate flowerbolts, and happy Friday!

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

Friday, Friday, Friday, we thought you’d never arrive. We shouldn’t have doubted you.

Our beloved Experts have gathered for another round of Friday Fun. Let’s start by saying 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.

Q. The Super Bowl teams have been set – it’s Denver vs Seattle. Who are you rooting for and why? If you don’t like football, do you have an alternative tradition in your house for Super Bowl Sunday? Or do you watch just for the commercials?

Expert Andy usually starts us off first, but he’s running a little late this week. I’ll update this post when I hear from him. In the meantime, we’ll admire his adorableness:

And move on to Expert Tim Thackaberry. Thack, what do you say, fine sir?

A. Denver & Seattle are 2 franchises for which I can summon absolutely no feeling, positive or negative. The pre-game hype is predictable (1. Manning vs. Sherman, with all of the ugly racial undertones contained therein, and 2. #1 offense vs. #1 defense), and I’m just SO tired of Peyton Manning. He seems like a decent guy, and he’s one of the best we’ll ever see, but there is just nothing left to learn about the guy. His childhood home movies are all over TV. Before the game even starts, we have 2 weeks of pundits telling us how great he is, and how historical the season he’s having is, and how amazing it is a guy his age is doing so well, coming back from neck surgery…Holy Mary Mother of God, I’m already tired of it and the game isn’t for 9 more days!

On top of that, the commercials. So many freaking Peyton commercials. Pizza, cell phones, sports drinks, cookies, beer, credit cards, TV services…I’m waiting for Peyton Manning endorsed sex toys at this point.

And 2 weeks of Richard Sherman based race-baiting from fat, middle-aged white guys on ESPN and Fox. I’m nauseous with anticipation.

Consequently, I’m rooting for bad weather of biblical proportions. I wanna see Captain Commercial try to throw the ball into gale-force winds with sleet & snow blowing sideways.

A. We’ve got the best offense against the best defense. We’ve got the cagey future Hall of Fame quarterback against the young kid few saw coming. It’s Mile High vs. the Space Needle. I’ve got no dog in this fight (my dog, the Cowboys, never got an invite to the party). So I am hoping for a classic, a game that goes down to the last play. And snow. Lots of snow.

A. While most households are preparing for the big “games on TV”, we are dealing with a very frustrating “game” going on in our own home – caused by a very clever and annoying 4 legged, furry player.  Two weeks ago, our dear Kerry Blue Terrier, better known as Riley, actually Pawsitively Devilish Riley McGregor.  (His pedigree name suits him well.)  He had a condition that required surgery on his tail.  As the surgery left him with many stitches in his tail, it necessitated heavy bandaging of said tail.  Riley took exception to this and managed to remove the bandage almost immediately upon returning home.  There lies the tale of the tail!  It became a game of: “ is the bandage on or off and where is it?”  Usually he leaves the bandage in a very conspicuous location that is easy to find  — as to say. “ So there – You’re not so clever – I took it off again. “(by the way don’t mention  the dreaded “hooded collar” that’s a horrible tale for another time).

Monday, we had to take Riley to see the Veterinarian to have the stitches removed.  Surprise!  Surprise!  Riley had taken care of that function as well – no stitches to be found.  The Vet said, “Oh I’ve seen them where they bit part of their tail off!”!   After the re wrapping of Riley’s tail by a very skillful Medical assistant, she remarked:  He’ll never get that off!  Oh dear never give a Kerry Blue a challenge!

Tuesday, I watched his every move –made him go everywhere with me, even the shower so I could protect that tail.  (I know this is starting to sound like a Shaggy Dog story – almost there!)

Wednesday morning he was alone for two seconds and boom it was off and gone again.  We looked high & low –tore the beds apart, went from room to room, looked under all the furniture –could not find that bandage anywhere.  “Oh my, do you think he could have eaten it?” Now I was really worried. That would mean instant emergency surgery.  Finally one last round of every nook and cranny in our home & an hour later, revealed he had secreted the bandage in a bag of decorations —Who would have thought? Never under estimate the zeal of a determined Kerry.   And so on it goes.  You know what game we will be watching! 

Riley:21 People: 0

A. On a Sunday in February a madness will sweep across this county, tens of millions of people will lose their minds. Ready to cast to the winds their minds, bodies and souls for a short period of insanity called football.

They will dress in funny clothing emulating horses and birds, gathering to pay alms and homage as they bestow their loyalty and patronage upon their temporary idols. The masses cheer and cry as the decorated fools in funny dress gather, run, jump and fall in pursuit of a odd shaped ball. Tightends, Splitend, Guards, Centers and Tackles, Receivers, Kickers, CornerBacks and QuartersBack, Boys of Fall, all governed by Striped Men with whistles and a Silver Dollar. Back and forth, Back and forth, Back and forth, the dressed fools go with fever abound and the masses groan or cheer when the funny fools fall across contested lines written on the ground.

So on this day of MADNESS many will lose their minds and cast their lot to cheering birds and crying horse

Some of us will not go insane but will walk in sunshine, sit and talk, look their lovers in the eye,  break bread with friends and stay clear of the malady

Enjoy your MADNESS or your bread
Remember though there are cost far beyond this day
and sometime they will come due

My, my, none of you Experts are shy, are you? I love these answers. Dottie, your story about Riley had me in stitches, especially since I’ve had the pleasure of meeting your handsome hilarious dog. Thack, I will love Peyton until the day I die, but I hear ya on the overkill – he’s pretty much everywhere you look. EZ, I agree – snow, snow, snow! And Lewis, we will enjoy our madness, thank you very much!

Thank all of you for sharing your thoughts this week. You’re awesome!

The Experts will be back in one week. They hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to the current puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, the ever-charming Nancy Popp Mumpton of Phoenix submitted this photo and wanted to know if this cactus was real or fake:

Good To Grow, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “That is a real live mutant cactus.

The Astrophytums are highly mutable… and for a variagated cactus this ones pretty handsome.”

Then he added, “And I have to add… when real plants do stuff like this, why bother with fake ones? Leave the plastic for Tupperware.”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “It confused me a little, because I don’t think I’ve seen a variegated cactus before, but yeah, I also think it’s real.”

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “I’m going to go with real but I did have to enlarge the picture and stare for a few moments”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “I’m glad I didn’t jump in with my first impression. It was something like, “They’re doing interesting things with foam rubber these days.” But I’m going with real, as well.(B>{D>>”

That’s four votes real, zero votes fake.

What’s the correct answer?

That was the only photo Nancy had, so you’ll just have to take her word for it when she says it’s REAL! Real and gorgeous! The new growth was the giveaway – most fake plants don’t have that nice little touch. Such an unusual looking cactus. Well played, Nancy, thank you!

Nancy, I’d like you to enjoy a hot chocolate with whipped cream as a token of my appreciation. Thanks again, lady!

Claude, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. For being so speedy, you’ve earned the following title: I’m so pretty, oh so pretty – oh wait, that’s not right. Claude, your title is “The Swiftest, Numero Unoest, Fastest, Meow, Meow, Most Knowledgeable, of Slightly High Moral Standards, Most Texasy, Meow, Premierest, Quickest and Grandest Champion of the Houseplant Blog Universe and All of North America, Most of Europe and parts of New Zealand.” Nicely done! You may multiply all the prizes by strawberry jam.

Everyone’s a winner! To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award you each the following prizes: What’s left of January, one salad spinner, 13 1/4 bonus points, green chile stew, three lofty notions, a polka dotted gerbil, two hand crafted feet, one bowl that is super, another bowl that’s only mediocre but has high aspirations, new cabinets, four avocados, silly string, an astronaut’s autograph, five spatulas, a blue wallet, flamenco dance lessons, one hairy orange, Hazeldine Street, a glittery unveiling, an extra set of sideburns, and one careful whisper of a good friend. Congratulations, 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 30th, 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.