Hello Valentinerelles, and happy Friday!

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

Here we are at another Friday. Here we are with another Panel of Experts. Let’s say hi to the cuties. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

Bueno, bueno! 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.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all. I hope everyone’s been having a good holiday.

Instead of sappy Hallmark Valentine’s Day stories, I decided to ask the Experts the opposite. Here’s this week’s question:

Q. Would you please share a Valentine’s Day disaster story?

Expert Andy, will you please get us started?

A. A recent “disaster” comes to mind.  I was married in 2002.  My wife and I never really celebrated Valentine’s Day other than to maybe get each other a card and go to dinner together.  That was about the extent of our celebration of it, which seemed to suit us both fine.  My mantra is to celebrate every day as if it were Valentine’s Day.  I wish I could live by my mantras.  Last year was the first year in our marriage when I was out  of town on Valentine’s Day.  I never heard the end of it!  A year later, I am divorced.  Live and learn I guess.

Lesson to all men:  “It’s no big deal….” or an interpretation of that phrase is a WARNING SIREN! Don’t fall for it.  Like George Costanza (circa Seinfeld), think and act the opposite when you hear such a phrase uttered from your lovely’s lips.

A. It’s impossible for me to select a single Valentine’s Day disaster. My cold, cynical heart just won’t allow me to get it right, and any effort on my part at being romantic falls flat and results in shame, degradation and humiliation for both parties.

I’m in my 40s and single, a state of affairs which results in strange looks and pity from strangers on a normal day; on February 14, it’s just awful. How I feel on Valentine’s Day now is how I felt growing up as a liberal Democrat in East Texas: nobody understood why I wasn’t like them, and they were oddly angry about it. And, in both cases, people tell you you’re gay.

A. We had gone on vacation even though we knew it was over between us. Perhaps it was our way of saying a peaceful but lasting goodbye. When we got back to her place it was a cold morning, a cold Valentine’s Day morning. We had lost track of the day, but waiting for us on her porch was an orchid I had ordered weeks before. She rushed the plant inside and we said a quick goodbye.


Expert Dottie is normally up next, but she’s unavailable this week. Let’s admire her adorableness:

And move on to Expert Lewis. Lewis, you’re up, fine sir:

A. Willie Gee and Big Red

Willie Joe was a young man, but he had seen his years and they were not all easy or rich.

He had lots of family and many close friends but no one special

But Willie Gee was special himself in many ways and not the brightest tool in the shed

He never had a girlfriend, but he did have a crush on Becky Sue when he was nine

till she gave him a shiner when he dropped his pencil by her desk and tried to look up her skirt

He stumbled and bumbled through life

Always smiling and greeting everyone

Wishing someday to fall in love or at least to be in like

Upon this earth there is a spirit, a match, a mate for every soul

There is no promise that your paths will cross but if fortune is your’ s

Then love will come to you

Willie Gee met his love on a cold winter day in a most unlikely place

She was small and young, but had a glow of Red that only he could see

She went home with him to live in the little apartment

above Joe’s Pawn shop and Bakery where he worked

He was  always bringing her treats and so she grew and became a fine and beautiful female

They went everywhere together, enjoying talks he did most of the talking, and walks and sharing a meal

He looked lovingly into her eyes and she into his as they snuggled on the couch

He called her Big Red and she always came when he called

Grandma Dee loved company and when Willie Gee and Big Red came to visit she was always happy

While Willie talked and visited with Granny Dee, Big Red spent time with the girls and she was always happy too

On the day of Love / Valentine’s Day, Willie Gee and Big Red went to visit Grandma Dee

Now cousin Gee Willie lived with Grandma Dee cause his had lose most of his marble in the game of life and she took care of him

But he was the dimmest light in the shed,

Grandma Dee went to Gee Willies room in back under the stairs and she said to him

“ Get off your lazy ass and go out back and bring one of those chickens in,

clean it up and make us a meal or I’ll give you a good thumping”

Now Gee Willie was not much of a cook but he liked less getting a thumping.

Now he got that chicken cooking, them taters boiling, those greens, onions and bacon frying and Lordy even some biscuits baking

A feast Gee Willie did and when it was done the whole family set down to eat

Uncle Jim and Joe Bob too, Mary Ann and Mary Lou, Grandma Dee, Gee Willie and Willie Gee

“Pass me the Taters” says  Uncle Joe, I’ll  have a biscuit and some more of that fine chicken says Gee Willie

Now in this world surprise are mostly that and Willie Gee complimented Gee Willie on his cooking skill

“Cousin Gee this is some fine cooking you made for us, as he chomp down on a big bite of chicken.

“Well” says Gee Willie to Willie Gee, “ That was such a fine Red bird you brought us, It such was delicious”.

It is hard to weep for love lost with your mouth full

Ohhhhhhhhhh snap! That’s a whole lotta holiday darkness. I love it!

Once again, you Experts have wowed me. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Your scary, heartbreaking thoughts. Haha, good times!

That’ll do it for this week’s Panel of Experts. Thank you again for being here, I appreciate it!

Now, let’s get to that tricky puzzler from last week:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if these succulents were real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Either this one has a broken arm, or the side shoots are made of genuine(wire reinforced) plastic. I say Fake.(B>{D=”

Steph from Indianapolis wrote, “REALZ”

Cyd from Bloomington, Indiana, wrote, “Real. The echeveria does appear almost too perfect and waxy, but not unusual for a healthy specimen. And then there is the moss, the moss looks real and who would use real moss with fake plants. Def real.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “Well, Liza, I can honestly say that I’m stumped! I’m really not sure with this one, so I’m going to flip a coin, take a guess and hope for the best. Hmmm…I’ll go with fake!”

Liz from New Mexico wrote, “Real!”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Im going with fake.”

Ooooh – what have we here?????

A tie???

That was three votes real, three votes fake.

A readership divided???

Did somebody use the word STUMPED?????

Could it be that I’ve finally tricked at least some of you?

Dare I hope?

Are you ready to see the correct answer?

You sure?


Let’s take a wider look:

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

Oh burn – they’re FAKE! Not bad looking fakes, but did you notice the price tag? I’ll never understand why someone would pay for fake plants when they could have real ones instead. Fake plants are pricey! And maybe they look ok in the beginning, but they quickly get dusty and gross. That’s not worth it in my book.

Clearly, the big winner here is me, for stumping half of you (although not the one who felt stumped). Woohooo – yay for Team Liza! *Pats self on the back.* Well played, girl, well played.

Joseph, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Congratulations! For being so swift, this week I’d like you to have the following epithet: Plants Love Me Yeah Yeah Yeah and I Love Them Yeah Yeah Yeah, and With a Love Like That We Know We Should Be Glad and We Are Glad and We’re Houseplant Blog Champions Yeah Yeah Yeah.

So for example, if you’re out this weekend and meet someone new, you should introduce yourself as Joseph Brenner Plants Love Me Yeah Yeah Yeah and I Love Them Yeah Yeah Yeah, and With a Love Like That We Know We Should Be Glad and We Are Glad and We’re Houseplant Blog Champions Yeah Yeah Yeah. Be sure to sing it – it’s catchy, you’ll see. I’m sure you’ll forge lifelong bonds. You may multiply all the prizes by rose petals.

Everyone’s a winner this week. Good job! To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award you each the following prizes: Four Valentine’s Day wishes, one full moon serenade, a half dozen love muffins, a bejeweled cupid, 13 1/4 dance moves, six tablespoons of glitter, gravy, three smooches, eight extra credit points, a bouquet of red tulips, 17 pink heart-shaped frosted sugar cookies, reservations for romance, seven minutes of champagne, one coupon good for an ever-lasting voucher, nine caramel-dipped raspberries, and celestial love. Congrats, and thanks for playing!

Up next, let’s try a new puzzler this week:

???Name That Species???

This should be a fun game. What type of trees are these?

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

Leave your best guess in the comments section or on my facebook wall. You have until midnight next Thursday, February 20th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. Imaginary prizes will abound for all who enter.