Hello Junifers, and Happy Friday!

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

It’s a beautiful Friday in Albuquerque on this eve of the Summer Solstice. Hopefully it’s nice where you are, too.

Let’s get today’s Panel of Expert started by saying hello to our wonderful Experts. Hello Everyone!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

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.

I’m making the Experts work extra hard with this week’s question, just because I was curious. Here it is:

Q. Tell us about a belief or a stance that you used to have, but that you’ve done a 180 degree turn on as you’ve grown older. (Or an opinion that you no longer have.)

Sheesh! See what I mean about not making it easy on them?

Expert Andy, why don’t you take a stab at it first, sir:

A. I used to think my parents were nuts and naive.  But as I’ve aged I realize that they must’ve been on to me all along.  At my ripe old age of 47, for another month, I am keenly aware of what the youth around me are up to. Shenanigans!  Just like I was when I was less than 25….or 30…or 40…ish.  All in all, I think that wisdom does come with age, basically through experiences.  The more experiences one has in their life, the greater their smarts.  The school of experiences and hard knocks is hard to beat.


A. This question immediately brings to mind the famous Winston Churchill quote:

“If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative at forty, you have no brain.”

As far as my beliefs go, I have certainly become much more conservative on fiscal matters. I used to believe strongly that macro budget deficits were no big deal, just something that could & should happen as the needs of the economy dictated. Now I view our long-term, structural debt as an enormous albatross around the neck of generations to follow, and one of the biggest threats to us going forward.

Moving right to left, I used to believe strongly in the use of the death penalty in our criminal justice system, and now I view it as another symptom of entrenched, systematic racism and classism.

Most of all, I used to believe with total conviction that government is a force for good, a place where people can come together and find compromises to the largest issues of the day. That men & women of good faith could find common ground and solve any problem to which we put our collective mind. Now I just don’t believe it’s possible. I’ve given up on the idea of our democracy fixing anything, and have withdrawn from all political activity. No more donations or volunteering on campaigns or election logistics. I’m out. Which brings me to another relevant quote, from one of Richard Linklater’s movies; “Withdrawal in disgust is the not the same as apathy.”

A. I used to think a day would come when man would evolve past a violent nature. I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but I thought it was possible. Now I think the end of time will come and little will have changed. War and the poor we will have with us.


Expert Dottie is unavailable today – boo! But it’s good, she’s out making the world a better place as usual, Dottie-style. If I get her permission, I’ll use a separate blog post to fill you in on what she’s doing that is so awesome.

In the meantime, let’s admire how adorable she is:

And move on to Expert Lewis. Lewis?

A. As I stand and face the setting sun I cast a prayer to the wind,

May I not go blind from staring at the sun?

May we know a better tomorrow, for today was not our best

Let the winds slow, let the fires lie low, enough has burned

Let rain wet our soil, seed and soul or at least give us a little drink

I use to believe life was fair, the good guys won, love conquered all

Santa Clause wore a white hat, the tooth fairy had deep pockets and the Easter Bunny had big feet

The Great Pumpkin hid under the leaves of Rosemary as it holds hands with the Sage

Where did strength of character go, is it hiding with the pumpkin

Where did speaking from the heart go, did we forget the words

Innocence of youth where did it go,

Is it hiding in the drone of the electronic madness that grips and strangles the world?

There is an old saying that he is as honest as the day was long,

There are too many a short day now

As I was walking to work early the other morning I approached a man and his son’s as they were weeding, working in their front yard,

I greeted the man with “Good morning” and a nod of my head, receiving only a hostile glare and silence, a few steps more I pass the sons, the teen looks only at the weeds and nothing more but the little one gazes at me as I pass

I say Hi, smile and give a little wave the little one only stares,

I walk on,

Then I hear the father angrily shout at the child


I do not know when I became the evil one of whom the father spoke,

I thought of going back and saying you got me wrong but I did not want him to fear me more

Poor man and child ‘s innocence s gone

I walk on saddened for the world is a lesser place

Today on the bus a young couple boards with their new born babe in arms, their love and elation

Overflowed, oozed and brimmed to those around them and we smiled for the world is good and hope

lives on

The 180 becomes the full circle again, the Easter Bunny does have big feet and innocence abounds

Nice. Very nice, fellas!

Andy, I agree that the school of hard knocks is quite the teacher. Tim, so sad and so true. A lot of goodwill squandered. EZ, I believe the poor would agree. I know I’m right there with you. And Lewis, thank you, your perspective on life is one of the more interesting I’ve encountered. I sure am glad to give you a platform to share it, because you bring a smile to people’s faces more often than you make them cry. That counts as a win!

Thanks Experts, for your thoughtful answers to my question. I appreciate it! I enjoyed hearing your different takes on the question, that was good!

That’ll do it for this week’s Panel of Experts. 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 these flowers were real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Fake.(B>{D}”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Those are fake. And I’m unanimous in that…”

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “Fake!”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “Definitely fake.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “I’m also going for fake. The flowers look like paper.”

nightflyrwomanAmanda wrote, “Fake definitely!”

Judy from Ohio wrote, “Fake!”

Becky from Plants and Stones blog said, “Flowers fake, leaves worse. Not much of a challenge this time!”

That’s eight votes fake, zero votes real.

Alright, alright, I get it – you guys didn’t think this was challenging as I thought it would be. Fair enough.

So what’s the correct answer?

Well, all I have is this super crappy photo, but hopefully it’s revealing:

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

Sorry, I know, it hurts the eyes. But the flowers are FAKE! Not terribly attractive but also not the worst I’ve seen. Real flowers are always prettier, for sure.

Well played, everyone! You saw right through that puzzler. You’re awesome, congratulations!

Joseph Brenner, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. You’re no stranger to this life milestone – excellent work! For being so swift, this week you’ve earned the following epithet: The Dough Kneader, Coffee Drink Wielder, Toll Booth Owner, Wildflower Admirer, Influential Architect, Snappy Dresser, Heavy Equipment Operator, Grand Champion of Houseplant Blog Puzzlers and Most Things Green.

For example, say you’re at a work function this weekend, and you meet a colleague’s family for the first time. You should introduce yourself as Joseph Brenner The Dough Kneader, Coffee Drink Wielder, Toll Booth Owner, Wildflower Admirer, Influential Architect, Snappy Dresser, Heavy Equipment Operator, Grand Champion of Houseplant Blog Puzzlers and Most Things Green. I’m sure they’ll want to invite you over for lunch sometime soon.

Congrats! You may multiply all the prizes by six donuts with sprinkles as my thank you to you.

Everyone’s a winner! Good job! To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award you each the following prizes: The longest day, 14 giggles, turkey jerky, one plant stand, three Manzano mountains, a tortilla festival, seven benefits, two extra fingers, sizzling savings, 11 bonus points, a new aroma, one free roller coaster ride, 32 chicharónnes, a shiny trophy, four gerbils, Portales, one beach towel, six inspirational quotes, 15 more points, crushed pistachios, a chocolate coating, five moons, several honors, a queen mattress, one duck-shaped pinata, a fire pit, and two parfaits.

Congratulations! Thank you for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Let’s do another round of flowers. 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 26th, 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.