Hello winterests, and happy Friday!

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

It’s the last Friday of January, woohoo – we’ve made it this far! [Insert celebratory applause.] Who else thinks this year is racing by? Haha, some jokes are just so hard to resist!

We’ve got our eye on February. Before we get started, let’s say hi to the Experts. 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.

As I said, we have our eyes on February, so in that spirit, here’s this week’s (long-winded) question:

Q. We’re on the verge of February, which is a month full of contradictions. On the one hand, it’s packed with festivities, like the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, all the President’s holidays. On the other, it’s associated with depression and people getting the winter blues. It’s a short month that feels very long. What’s your take on February, or what advice do you have for people entering into this roller coaster of a month?

Expert Andy, since you missed our Super Bowl question last week, why don’t you say something about that, then February:

A. Sorry, I missed it last week.  But I’m hosting a massive annual chili cook off Super Bowl bash with friends of many years this year.  Somehow my crawdad boil of last year’s New Orleans Super Bowl was voted “best chili”.  And the winner hosts in the following year.  So I’ll be trying to be the host with the most and rooting #18 Peyton Manning to his 2nd Super Bowl win.

It is amazing to me how those 2 – 3 less days in a month make February go so quickly.  I’ve never been to Marti Gras, and I’m a bit scared to go at my age.  If I do go, it’ll be on the guidelines to get me out of there by Monday I can tell you that.  It’s still on my bucket list.  Every year Feb. just flies by and we are into March Madness and Spring already.  So unlike me, I would wish to our readers that they leave some time open to enjoy themselves.  Turn on the Big Ten Network, grab a beer and watch the Hoosiers beat purdue again on the 15th.  I have ended up with things to do each weekend.  Which is the case again this year.  I’m literally away from my home every weekend, except this coming up Super Bowl weekend.  And none of it is in China this year which is a blessing.  I’m booked with fun, enjoyable trips in Feb. this year.

A. I actually kind of like February because it means Spring is almost here, and it’s a short month so it goes by quickly. When I lived in the Midwest, it meant we could almost go outside again, so it definitely had a tinge of optimism for me. The change in temperature is not that dramatic here, but it does start to warm up, which is awesome.

Overall, I give February a C+/B- as a month.

A. Poor February, dreary, gray month, slipped in as an afterthought between the holidays and the notion of spring. It is winter’s old age. Even the cheer of Mardi Gras is brief and quickly gives way to Lenten sacrifice. Winds howl cold.

Still, each day is its own. The grayness allows the mind to slow, the imagination to hibernate. There will be days to break through the hardened earth soon enough. Enjoy the quiet and cut an extra large slice of cherry pie.

A. Our family found February a delight!  It was a short month with several holidays with days off from school—Presidents’ Day, Teacher’s meetings and best of all Valentine’s Day and then boom it was the edge of SPRINGTIME and everything was budding and ready to burst forth with color.  Having a large family with 6 children, every holiday was wildly celebrated with special food, creative cakes, games and special stay up late, TV privileges.  

Next to April Fools’ Day, Valentine’s Day was the most fun!  Several days prior, the children would start making their Valentines’ to take to school.  The girls were very creative with construction paper, hearts with lace and lovely sayings while the boys preferred the special CANOE valentine.  They made canoes out of construction paper with the phrase “Can=oe Be my Valentine?” (corny elementary school humor) and they put flat shaped lollipops on the sides for oars.  They were the hit of their classes’ Valentine Party.  Such are my thoughts of February’s past!  Delightful memories to savor!  A great segue to wash away the winter blahs of January and welcome Spring.  Yeh! we’re on the UPSIDE!

A. In the days before electronic madness over ran the world,
Our lives were filled by the love of others and simple thoughts from simple minds for the simple live lead we

Then the curse or savior of X’s & O’s or is it x’s & 1’s poured forth out of
tiny little electronic demons that made the computers live or so it seems.
Computers replacing  hearts and brains and souls

While growing from room size monsters to grains of sand

I remember a sweet saying
That children use to know

Thirty days (30) has September,
April, June and November
All the rest have Thirty one (31)
Except for February which has Twenty eight (28)
Unless its a Leap Year and then it has Twenty nine (29)

When was the last time you visited the past
We did not need a phone that’s Smart, or a drone that will follow you home

Or a service using the voice of woman and a name that I have known and loved (My spouse is Siri and has been all her life)

I think they belittle it by all the fools who call and ask for Joe’s Pizza or how long is a waters fall

Mail with an e-

Inter nets that never held no fish
Phishing that used no pole but stole away your name, your money  and left you with no honor
Books with Faces, and Twitters for twits,
My friends were my friends and I did not needed to be Friended

What’s any of this have to do with February you ask, read on and learn

February greets us with a prophetic Ground Hog with a myth of winters demise and
Springs arrival
Or Six(6) more weeks of snow and ice
We love to be fooled by animals who play us for the fools we work so hard to be

But the new Old Farmers 2014 Almanac says February is a excellent time for Turkey Potpie, star gazing and
Sky Fires aurora borealis only not in ABQ night sky at least not often.
A full moon greets us on Feb. 14, 18th hour, 53rd minute, Valentine Day for lovers
Venus the morning star shine (4:15 rise) at its greatest brilliancy also on this lovers day

Did you know that the sun returns, the

day lengthen by the stride of a walking fowl

Sit with your seed catalogs and thinkful wish, dream of sweet corn, fresh greens and proud tomatoes,

Plan your quest with flowers, your victory with dirt, soon the winter will be a thing of past and you will stand in beauty

Spring is not far, but pray for RAIN again

Leave your dumb ass phone on the couch, turn off your High D boob tube, arise, move, breath deep, smile at yourself and your others

Your I-fad let the dog send his blog and make a deposit on it taking care of this electronic madness on this roller coaster called February

Fantastic! All of you! I enjoyed reading each of those. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and February memories. Can-oe believe it’s almost February? Yes, we can!

You Experts never fail to impress and delight me. Thank you for being here once again, I’m sure my readers appreciate your efforts as much as I do. You’re awesome!

The Experts will return in one week, they hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to the current puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this bright green plant was real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Looks really fake to me. (B>{D>>”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “Definitely fake. Took me a few minutes to figure out what it was pretending to be. (Peperomia obtusifolia, I think?)”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Painfully fake. My poor eyes!”

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “Fake”

Stephanie from Indianapolis wrote, “Looks fake but isn’t that dirt in the pot?”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Fake. So fake, it left me speachless”

Jude from Bloomington wrote, “I’m going Fake ’cause it looks too perfect”

Stef from the ThisIsJanosik blog wrote, “FAKE”

That’s eight votes fake, zero votes real.

So what’s the correct answer?

Maybe a closer view will help:

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

Fake! Comical looking! This faker was for sale at the Ikea in Denver, which sold a selection of both real and fake plants. All the fakes were priced about the same as the real ones. Which makes no sense to me. Real plants are prettier and have health benefits. Fake plants attract dust and apathy. To me there’s no choice.

Joseph, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. For being so swift this week, you’ve earned the title of Champion Coleslaw Master, History in the Making, The Hostess with the Mostess, Cockle Doodle Do, DJ Magnifico, Best Bagel in TexasThe Host with the Most, Super Awesome PlantMaster Flash Dance of the Plant Titans of All the Known World. Congratulations. You may multiply all the prizes by Peyton Manning.

You’re all winners this week – well played! To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like you each to have the following prizes: One new month, four bolillos rolls, a Chinese New Year, five February fancies, 12 extra credit points, seven multigenerational ages, three yays, one Super Sunday, a paper airplane, one all expenses paid trip to February, 17 1/4 blessings, winter’s pinata, six cartoon drawings, half off your next chicken, one super sundae, the Mighty Oak, several compliments, terminal football, 11 winning smiles, Isleta Boulevard, two cosmic legacies, and one sneak peek. Congrats, and thanks for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

This week’s puzzler was submitted by Claude from Texas, author of the blog Random Rants and Prickly Plants. He thought this one would be tricky for ya, and I agree with him.

Is this flower 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, February 6th, 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.