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Friday, February 15, 2013

Getting to Know Your Co-Hosts - Tina, Life is Good


Name: Tina Downey
Blogs: Lifeis Good
Publications: Until They Have Faces, an anthology of stories of the homeless, a fundraising coffee table book
Other Places to Find Me: Twitter: still can't believe I did it...@TinaLifeisGood. I don't do other social media, it's just too much to keep up with. I'd rather write...


1. "Where do you hail from?"
I'm a first generation immigrant, born in Sweden. In 1974 when I was almost nine, we moved to America for “just a year”. We lived in Silver Spring, MD. However, for my senior year of high school, The Swede got a big promotion and we moved to Colorado. Well, he dragged me kicking and screaming across the country is more like it... I shouldn't have wasted that energy, though. Colorado is my dream home. I love almost everything about this state except the hot summers. The smallish community (formerly farming, now high tech silicon valley stuff everywhere) with the magnificent view of the foothills and Longs Peak/Mt. Meeker is a wonderful place to raise children. They're living my childhood in Sweden – go knock on a door and see who's free. Or what happens more often, there's the knock on OUR door. We're THAT house where everyone gathers and I love that.

2. Would you ever join a team that was headed off to colonize Mars?
Yes, I actually would. I'm a die-hard sci-fi fan, and The Engineer is an inventor, and dreams of doing this. So how could I say no. It's a pretty safe “yes” though...I can sound like the supportive, adventurous wife, but with little risk of ever leaving my beloved Colorado. There are parts of this adventure that DO appeal to ME too though: the whole fresh start thing...and space travel...

3. "Who is your favorite fictional character and why?"
I should probably pick some Jane Austen or Mark Twain or other “classy classic” character, but I like Eve Dallas of JD Robb's futuristic cop series. She's my exact opposite, so that's probably why. When I need a break, I splurge $7.99 and buy the next book in the 35+ book series. I think I'm seven behind...good mind candy, and since I'm hypoglycemic and can't eat REAL candy, it's my justification.

4. "If you were a contestant on the CBS show "Amazing Race" and could pick ANY movie character to be your partner, who would it be and why?"
James Bond. Let's be more clear, Daniel Craig's James Bond. C'mon, who else could do ANYTHING they'd throw at us? I love this race. It is amazing (haha) to see places and cultures I might never, ever see. I don't have much time for TV anymore, and we don't have cable (got data plans for smart phones instead, something had to go...) so I haven't seen it in a while. I'm confident he could “carry” me, and I love martinis, too. We'd both be seeking the same thing at the end of the day.

5. What's your biggest frustration in blogging?
Not enough time. I'm a schedule woman, so I try hard to carve out my time for it, but I'm also a wife, a mom, a volunteer teacher, and there are only so many hours in a day. Setting priorities is hard, but it's life.

6. "Have you ever wanted to be a rock star?"
No, but I wish I could sing on key. What I REALLY want is to be a best-selling author...sigh.

7. You're house in on fire, assuming your kids, pets, and other living things are safe, what do you grab as you head out the door?
My mom has made me some amazing Creative Memories photo albums, and I've made some myself, waaaay before the blogging bug infected me permanently. I'd grab those. Two of them are the boys' baby books. Of course, they're not done. The Transporter is 6 months old, and OYT has ONE picture affixed in it, the rest lying loose on the pages...some day...

8. "Where do you go to "Get away from it all"?
We go camping in our 1968 Forester camping trailer. The Engineer has redone all the systems, so it's still peddling along despite its need of another new paint job. We pull it with our prison van. Not kidding. The van still has the outline of the “Colorado Department of Corrections” logo that adorned both front doors. It seats twelve and then has a huge cargo area behind it. Nothing like having two teenage boys separated in the car by an entire bench seat...We prefer state and national forest parks with bigger sites, no hook-ups, and more privacy. The only thing I don't like about camping is pulling out of the site and heading home...I could seriously be a campground host.  I think. I've got enough bossy in me to do the job...

Thanks for making it this far. We're supposed to do 10 questions, but I'm so far over the word limit you get 8. I promise to be more brief during the challenge, but it's hard to get to know someone in a few words. Especially a wordy, talky person such

I'll be writing about “Adventures in America” - what it was like my first year as a Swedish immigrant. Last year's #atozchallenge I taught a word or two of Swedish a day, included a picture and a childhood memory. I'm thinking this will be similar, but you won't be learning a foreign language...hope to see you then!

~Tina, and yes, Life really is Good


  1. A wonderful post Tina and most enjoyable to read.


  2. You are one interesting woman, I have to see photos of this camping trailer... and wait we have a word limit? You are the best sister I guy could ever have and never met!


  3. Visited Colorado as a child & always wanted to live there. And as for Mars - I'd be right there with you! Always wanted to space travel.

    Great interview & looking forward to your A-Z posts.

  4. Look at you!!
    That is one old camping trailer.
    And I'll come cheer you on as you blast off to Mars. Sorry, I'm not that adventurous.

  5. Hi Tina, thanks for those answers and it's good to learn a little more about you. Looking forward to the A-Z challenge!
    Duncan In Kuantan

  6. Well, we've chatted and we've done A to Z stuff together and now I get to meet you. Fascinating :-)

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

  7. I want a camping trailer like yours! I want to drive around the country and see places and meet people. I don't need a big fancy RV thingy - don't WANT that style of travel - but a funky travel trailer that will keep me out of the rain? Yes! Looking forward to reading more from you. :)

  8. Soooo you like Daniel Craig too?! I knew you were cool!!!

  9. Yvonne - thanks. I'm still in awe of you as the only blogger I know (besides Lee) who has done all the challenges. Surely we must feature you one game?

    Jeremy - Life is Good has a lot of stories of the trailer...but I guess my next one needs pictures of the whole rig...thanks for the idea. Will add it to the jotbook, best non-met bro on planet - hey, you coming to Mars?

    Terri - glad you'll be on the Mars trip. Wasn't sure how many other women would go~ looking forward to reading your A-Z as well!

    Alex - you'll fly a cosbolt into certain death but won't cryo-sleep? Not very ninja like...

    Duncan - nice to meet you! Today will be a crazy day of comment responses, but I'll be by to visit you ASAP.

    Rosalind - oh yes, my new friend, this is EXACTLY what we mean about meeting new people and getting to know them!

    I'll be answering comments in the chain today, until The Engineer and I leave this afternoon for our weekend get-away. I'll visit you back next week when we have our kiddos back...have a great weekend!

  10. Gracie - I don't want one of those big rigs, either. Why camp if you're still in your living room with satellite TV???

    Jolie - yes, I knew we'd be buds. Could feel it ;-)

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  11. Jeremy - PS VERY IMPORTANT. THERE IS NO WORD LIMIT. I GIVE MYSELF A WORD LIMIT. I HAVE A CARD IN FRONT OF ME THAT SAYS BREVITY. Anyone else can do what they want...I can just go on forever...

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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  13. I agree that all the social media is a bit much--where do I start and where do I stop? It's getting ridiculous, but seemingly vital.

    Thanks, Tina, for all you do for the A to Z. What a team player! You are one of the all-stars.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog


  14. Hi Tina!
    This is really wonderful!! A bit more about “Tina” the amazing blogger behind “LIFE IS GOOD”

    Nice to know more about you, thanks for sharing those thrilling experiences from Sweden to Colorada springs. Indeed an amazing journey, as the title says, "10 Getting to know you questions" but it stopped at 8 due to the restrictions behind the scenes. But, I am so happy to note that the rest will follow shortly thru your upcoming postings at #atoZChallenge or other posts.

    Waiting to read more on this line. Keep blogging.
    We wish you a wonderful life ahead as the blog title says “Life Is Good”

    If possible, please change the present font to some other fonts like the one you use quite often in your blog posts.

    Have a wonderful, informative, useful and purposeful blog posts ahead.

    Best Regards

  15. Nice to put a name to the face and to know a bit more about you, Tina.

  16. Hi Tina. Nice to meet you here. Very interesting post. Have always wanted to visit Sweden.

  17. Al - very nice to meet you, too!

    Lee - wow, thanks. That made my day! None of us could do anything without you, though! :-)

    Phil - Thanks for stopping by even though we've been talking so much...funny though, this IS my font from my blog. It sure looks different here though...will have to remember that for future posts, though.

    J.L - thanks. I always enjoy putting names and faces together. It's one of those "ahHA!" moments for me. I just tend to use avatars that are NOT pictures of me. I took 47. FORTY SEVEN self-portraits with my iPhone before I found one I could stand...

    Sylvia - Sweden is a beautiful country and well worth the visit if you ever have the chance. Thanks for visiting!

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  18. Nice to meet you. I will be doing travel also for my AtoZ, but the opposite of you - we went around the world in 2012 and skipped the Americas.


  19. If there's a sign up list for Mars, please, let me know!

    I really enjoyed your post!

  20. enjoyed learning more about you; heading over to your blog right now to add myself as a follower; looking forward to reading about your adventures in Sweden; sound fascinating!! I too think the biggest challenge for myself as a blogger is time.


  21. Tina,

    I, too, have difficulty carving time to blog, visit blogs and still complete all my responsibilities as mother, wife, teacher, daughter, granddaughter, etc. How do you manage to do it all?

  22. Hi Tina .. life is good and full!

    Love the answers to the questions .. really I couldn't think of going to Mars .. I'd be so old and crinkly and probably frazzled by the time I returned -there's too much here to do ...

    Camping if I could just teleport in and out! ... sounds fun though .. and I'd love to see the makeover on the vehicles ...

    Cheers Hilary

  23. Nice to learn more about you Tina!
    You are one ultra cool lady... and I agree with your slogan - Life Is Good!

  24. Great to know you a little better Tina! I agree not having enough time is frustrating. Set priorities and let the smaller things go is my motto. Sure, sometimes the house gets cluttered though.

  25. Rhonda - totally jealous! Would love to go around the world. Can't wait to read your series!

    Elaina-Adriana - how about we both keep our eyes open and let each other know if we find it...nice to have another female along for the ride...have a feeling it will be a lot of engineers. But someone had to document, so they do need a writer ;-)

    Betty - nice to meet you too. I will return your follow as soon as I can get over there...swamped co-host here...Glad to know I'm not the only one with time issues!

    Shararizan - I don't do it all. My house is a mess...but I do what I can each day and try to be content with that...

    Hilary - would love to have you teleport in. We'd take good care of you as our guest. You wouldn't need to lift a finger, just enjoy the Rockies in their splendor.

    Michelle - what a really sweet compliment. I'm working on contentment as my word for the year...

    Stephen - cluttered house? I think I win. It's Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang with The Engineer/Inventor...


  26. I enjoyed reading this. I would like to be a part of a Martian colony, but we'd have to have an orchestra come along. Otherwise I would miss playing my violin!

  27. Funny how you land where you need to be in life, no matter how awful it might seem at first. I look forward to your A-Z posts!

  28. Verrry cool stuff, Tina!

    I love the questions asked here, and the answers even more :)

    As for the "rock star" part, being an accomplished author is something similar to being a rockstar, in my experience -- just ask Stephanie Meyer, EL James, that Harry Potter chick ( :P) or Neil Gaiman.

    And I believe you have a "best-selling author" inside you, showing itself to peeps more and more every day.

    Just look -- you've been interviewed!

    Keep ryzin'!

  29. Now that I've read this post twice in the last few days, I'm finally carving out some time to comment...which is probably an example of what you said about frustrations on there not being enough time to blog. I guess we just have to make the times that we do have count when we have them.

    You lead such an adventurous and interesting life...a family of explorers, which is cool! I get to live vicariously through your camping trips :)

    Although Survivor hasn't been one of my favorite shows (living out in the woods? No thanks! Lol), I'm with you on the Daniel Craig/James Bond partnership. I'd gladly form an alliance with him any time.


  30. Everyone who wants to go to Mars DOES know there is a signup for it now by a Europoean nation, I believe it is, right?! It's a lifelong commitment, though, no coming back! And you have to train for years first.

    Silver Spring, huh? I lived in Columbia, MD before we moved here. It was lovely, but I still prefer Colorado.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  31. I lived in Silver Springs MD for two years when I was 13-14 years old. I loved that place! :)


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