Hello fallbibbadidoos, and happy Friday!

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

It’s Friday, and for that, we’re delighted. Not only is it Friday, but it’s the beginning of Balloon Fiesta here in Albuquerque. If that weren’t reason enough to celebrate, today also marks the return of our beloved Experts from their break.

Let’s get our Friday Festivities started by saying hi to our Experts. Hi everyone!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re adorable! 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.

This week’s question is simple enough – here it is:

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

Expert Andy Williams, you’re up first as usual:

A. During the break I was my typical traveling self.  I was able to take in the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival for the 1st time.  It has been on my bucket list.  I saw a lot of great musicians and enjoyed Telluride which is a true gem of the west.  If you haven’t been to Telluride, do yourself a favor and put it on your must-do travel list.  It is phenomenally beautiful all year and boasts one of the U.S.’s best ski mountains.  One of the more memorable experiences of this trip was venturing into a legalized marijuana store.  It was quite surreal walking into a store and seeing shelves of pot and pot infused food and candy on what amounts to a drug store shelf.  I walked in and asked the accommodating young lady for recommendations.  She promptly provided a menu of about a dozen different types of pot, each with a description similar to a fine wine description.  I was surprised to learn that they are putting this stuff in caramels, cookies, gummy bears, chocolates, and many other snacks.  The pure notion that one can walk into a store nowadays and buy this medicinal herb is simply remarkable to me.  Love it!  It’s the Libertarian in me.

A. My break was nice, but I’m disappointed to report that I don’t have any stories to share in the same vein as I have before (European travel, bipolar disorder, etc.). Consequently, I choose to take this time to brag about my daughter. Yes, I will be that guy today. And if I felt comfortable sharing photos of her on a public forum, I’d make all of you look at those, too. With a slideshow.

She is 11 years old, and started middle school this year. She made the volleyball team at school, and also decided to learn to play the cello. On her first report card, she got 4 A+ and 2 A-. She’ll be trying out for club volleyball again later this month. Most importantly, she is a kind and generous person. If she was able to go to, and get out of, bed without an epic struggle on par with something out of Beowulf, I would believe her to be perfect.

Summary: my daughter is awesome.

A. One morning I found myself in the forest outside Flagstaff. I was with my father who has the strength and stamina of a man many times younger, a man who made a life of work in the mountains. We cut some fallen aspen and filled a pickup load. We drank coffee and ate turkey sandwiches and sloppy peaches. We talked of days far gone as green leaves fluttered and listened. It was warm, but an occasional burst of a breeze hit us, reminding us that autumn would come.


Expert Dottie is usually up next, but she is unavailable this week. Waaaaaah! Just kidding! She’s fine, just the busiest retired person I’ve ever known. Let’s admire her adorableness:

And move on to Expert Lewis. Lewis? Oh Lewis???

Oh dear. I’ve been waiting to publish this until I heard from Lewis – he has stories galore to share from his trip (this week’s question was his idea). But he may be having computer problems or something. It’s almost not Friday anymore, so I’ll go ahead and publish without him, and when I hear from Lewis, I’ll update the blog. So please check back!

In the meantime, let’s admire his adorableness:

And call it a wrap.

You fellas are terrific! I really enjoyed those answers. Even when you’re not off doing interesting things, you’re still interesting people. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

That was fast, but that concludes this week’s Panel of Experts. The Experts will return next Friday. They hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to last week’s 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:

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “So fake they’re actually kind of cute.”

Ivy was the only one who ventured a guess this week (presumably because the puzzle was so easy).

So was she correct?

Let’s take a wider view:

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

Of course they’re fake. But they are so darn cute, that I wanted to use them for a puzzler anyway. This bouquet is at the Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe. Sweet, right? They are an exception to my belief that all fake plants and flowers are ugly and a waste of money. These aren’t ugly at all.

Great job, Ivy! To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like award you the following prizes: The first weekend in October, 782 hot air balloons, four congratulatory exclamations, one turquoise trail, five sunny skies, Los Cerrillos, one steam engine, three notebooks, 14 extra credit points, one suede jacket, a replacement bicycle, two more minutes, horchata, one fall flavor, five accolades, two new dance moves, a washing machine, risotto, one Osmanthus plant, four pencils, 32 popcorn kernels, one circle of love, sculpted abs, one dustpan, Alice, a coupon good for one voucher, four appreciative comments, two kittens, nine Agastache blooms, three spare pinky toes, navy blue, el otoño, a backup solar system, Chama River, one bottle of perfume, three chocolate-covered moments, and one brass trophy. Congratulations, and thanks so much for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this tree 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, October 9th, 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!