Hello Junebearers, and happy Friday!

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

Hey, hey, the Experts are back! Woohoo! Let’s get our Friday action started 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.

Since our Experts have had the last two Fridays off for a mini break, I thought I’d ask them what they did. Here’s this week’s question:

Q. Do you have any stories you’d like to share from your break?

Expert Andy, you’re up first as usual, fine sir:

A. My break was pretty spectacular.  For the 32nd year in a row I attended the Indy 500.  It was fantabulous and I witnessed the last singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana” by Jim Nabors.  I caught it on my trusty iPhone for posterity and promptly sent it to our beautiful moderator.  The race was very fast, with over a 34mph increase in speed over the first 100 laps vs. the prior record!  And the finish was the 2nd fastest, & closest, ever!  I don’t know, but watching near airplanes circle a track at 220+mph turns me on.

I also was able to connect with several of my high school classmates with whom I graduated over 30 years ago.  I caught up with about a dozen of them to be exact.  And we laughed, ate Enochsburg fried chicken, watched the Pacers, went to Carb Day and just flat had a great time together.  That’s how we roll in Indiana…..you can be away from a friend for many, many years and reconnect and the magic ignites yet again.  We have this “Hoosier bond”.  And I love it.

A. I worked. All I do is work. My life is pathetic…

I did get ripped-out-of-my-mind, blind, stinking drunk at the Mayor’s Charity Gala in mid-May. I spent most of my time talking to an off duty police officer about the folks protesting all of the APS shootings. Let’s just say the contempt runs both directions. And he didn’t shoot me for disagreeing with him, so we’ll call that a win.

A. A Navy chaplain told a story of his time aboard a ship at sea. He would escape near the engine room disappearing in the noise. Invariably some one would find him and want to talk. One day a soldier sought him out. He was going home, he told the chaplain. His wife and daughter had been killed in a burglary and he was going home to take care of his surviving daughter. He did not want to talk of grief or angry or guilt. He just wanted to know if someone could pray for him.


This is one of the most horrendous forest fires I have ever seen. This fire was located in one of the riskiest, tough terrains in the area. So many homes and business were at risk!! The management of the fire was amazing. The fire was 5-6 miles north of our home. Fortunately for us, the fire was moving north. We encountered a lot of smoke but nothing else. While it took several days to have the fire under control, the Firefighters managed to save all human kind, structures; all homes, businesses & all other structures. While there was damage to the trails, etc. this can be fixed and the growth regenerated. The Forest Service and the FOF (Friends of the Forest – Forest Service Volunteer Group of which I am on the Board) have already started restoration. These volunteers are amazing!

As soon as the road was open, my daughter Cindy and I drove 89A from Slide Rock to the switchbacks. Almost all of the property along the road was spared. The fire, for the most part seemed to remain high in the tops of the Red Rocks. The firefighters created a barrier with a “burn” a few miles north of the fire, which stopped the fire before it could reach two residential developments. This barrier prevented the fire from growing and allowed the hot shots and firefighters to totally contain the fire.

We are fortunate to have individuals, who are well trained, daring, willing to take on terrific risks and albeit a little “nutso,” to respond to forest fire emergencies.



A. What did I do in between then and now, hell I don’t remember

Guess I woke up in the morning every day looked at the light and thought you’ve been given another day now get your butt out of bed go sh, sh and sh get dressed and go to work

I job at a work I love, take pride and honor doing, and strive to do my best every day as a Safety Compliance Specialist for the City of Albuquerque / Risk Management Division

I think I put in some more stuff in my garden and the high temperature here have the plants growing like crazy and loving it,

Now us poor humans sweating , scurrying and scuttle around crying “ Damn it’s hot”

We also are having a plague of grasshopper, the ground is covered and the sky darkened when they fly and they are eating every thing green in their path

Now maybe I’m exaggerating about a biblical plague of grasshoppers but there is a hell of a lot of them out there

This evening while weeding a flower bed near my garden one of these lovely creatures landed next to me

I instantly went in to my bug killing mode for when bug invade my personal garden space they are fair game and I try with all my might for their demise

I quickly grabbed a large border rock, focused all of my attention on smashing and flatting that damn grasshopper who thought it could come feast on my poor little greens

I raised the rock high gathered my strength to put the kabash on that terrible and ruthless hungry bug

Now to rain death upon bug is justified and my duty to protect my garden,

I ride my bicycle to my beloved work and the roads have lots of grasshoppers laying in my path

I have run over a few, their petty quick but not all are quick enough for my spinning wheels and that is fate

The road hold us for we know not what but that it is a dangerous place to be and we all take our lives in our hands when we step upon this gantlets

That teenage driver that just missed me as she texted (“OMG did u c what that Bth – Mary Lou was wear today”) or the truck carrying porta-potties that turn across my path and never know I was there

I held the rock high and drove it down upon the grasshoppers unsuspecting head, my blood lust on bug guts everywhere, but low and behold we are always held accountable no matter how small our actions

I had over looked the yucca with the thick strong needle shape stalk nonchalantly sitting above the stupid creature

So as my fist delivered death this yucca stood and delivered vengeance as it stabbed and pierced my finger, burying it shape point the equivalent distance into my flesh as the rock drove the grasshoppers body into the soil

As I try not to bleed all over the keyboard and gently use that sore swollen injured finger to write this tale the words KARMA and idiot comes to mind

Now grasshoppers are not green caterpillars that turn to pretty butterflies, but I will not use a another rock as a greeting

My, my, those sure were interesting and varied answers from ya’ll. Interesting indeed. Thank goodness you each survived and managed to live another day! You seem to have fared better than certain grasshoppers.

Well done, everyone. I enjoyed reading those responses. Thank you so much for sharing with my readers what you did on your break – we appreciate it!

And long live Jim Nabors!

That’ll do it for this week’s Panel of Experts. Thank you again to each of you for being here.

The Experts will return next Friday. They hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to the current puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this Schefflera was real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Carmen wrote, “Real, looks like a new leaf growing on a Schefflera plant, well that’s what they look like on my plant. I might be wrong about the type of plant, but still looks real to me.”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “Yep, real.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “I’m going with real, as well.”

Marlie Graves wrote, “REAL and a baby besides. How adorable.”

Terrence from Dynamic Gardening wrote, “This looks very real, it looks like my schefflera at home.”

Jospeh Brenner wrote, “So fake looking, it has to be real. Typical Schefflera.(B>{D}”

That’s six votes real, zero votes fake.

What’s the correct answer?

Maybe a wider view will help us see:

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

REAL! (Sorry for the bad photo!) It is a Schefflera plant, and its baby leaf is adorable! Way cuter than any plastic plant could ever hope to be.

Nicely played, everyone!

Carmen! You were the first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Great job! For being so speedy, this week you’ve earned the following epithet: Hotdiggety Doggone Quickest Draw this Side of the Mississippi, Plant Goddess, Lickedety Splitter, Supersonic Speedstress, Fastest and Keenest of Eyes, Most Admirable with Nice Hair and Grandest Championette of Houseplant Blogs throughout the Universe and Beyond.

For example, if you go to a pool party this weekend, you should introduce yourself as Carmen Hotdiggety Doggone Quickest Draw this Side of the Mississippi, Plant Goddess, Lickedety Splitter, Supersonic Speedstress, Fastest and Keenest of Eyes, Most Admirable with Nice Hair and Grandest Championette of Houseplant Blogs throughout the Universe and Beyond. I’m sure you’ll form lifelong bonds.

Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by four chocolate-covered seashells as my thank you to you.

Everyone’s a winner, well done! To show my appreciation for your playing, I’d like to award you each the following prizes: June 7th, three medals, two brass instruments, 14 1/3 extra credit points, your own cheering section, one treasure chest, seven fried grasshoppers, five hurrahs, sustainable acclaim, a couple of back-up dimples, hibiscus tea, a new mantra, Santa Rosa, pocket-sized kale, a coupon good for a voucher, a lamp shade, six rancheros, two bonuses, five warm summer evenings, pico de gallo, nine hummingbird kisses, one silver-lined trophy, four pepper plant starts, half a cheese tower, a moonlight dance party and 16 lemon candies. Congrats, and thank you so much for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler for you:

???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. You have until midnight MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) next Thursday, June 12th, to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. The prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

I’ll be back tomorrow, hope to see you here.