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Monday, February 3, 2014

Boldly Going Where no Swedish Immigrant Has Gone Before! #AtoZChallenge

Today I have the honor of interviewing a dear friend and fellow Challenge co-host, Tina from Life is Good. Trust me, she rocks, and Tina makes the behind-the-scenes stuff a lot of fun!

Her theme for the Challenge was Adventures in America, and she told personal stories about her first year as an immigrant.

As she stated on her blog – “These are the continuing adventures of a Swedish immigrant during her first year as an American. She boldly went where she'd never gone before...please come along on Adventures in America.”

1 – Your first year in America was quite the adventure! Did it hurt your head trying to remember everything from that first year?

Funny you should ask. It WAS hard to remember some of it, but I had several good sources. First, my mother, known on my blog, "Life is Good," as "The Nutritionist", could easily have been nicknamed "Momarazzi". Every, and I mean every, moment of our lives was documented in pictures. I didn't know that what irritated the living daylights out of me then, would be such a treasure today. "Honey, will you kids do that again? It will make such a cute picture!" was the refrain of our childhood. However, looking through those albums sparked a lot of memories.

Of course my little sister, nicknamed Swissie, has a fantastic memory and I relied on her to straighten out a lot of what I only sort-of remembered. Then of course there was The Swede to straighten us both out on misconceptions that kids get about adult matters. So the stories you got were the truth as the three of us were able to piece it together from 38 years before.

2 – What fun story DIDN’T make it into your Challenge posts?

There were several, but I'll keep this to two. I didn't write about the more intimate details about taking care of a person in a body cast. It was going to be called, “Sponge Baths and Bed Pans” but I decided even I didn't want to go there.

Also, we built these awesome hide-outs in our massive forsythia bushes, but it didn't make the cut either, just because I felt other stories told more of the differences I experienced. Building hide-outs was one of our favorite activities in Sweden, so it wasn't really something new.

3 – How many players from the Washington Capitals did you meet?

I'm going to need Smooshie for an accurate answer on this one, but conservatively, I'd say between 15 and 20. We were total groupies, but young, so we actually got more attention because the players knew we were harmless. We were only hoping for a picture, whereas some of the adult female fans were looking for...other perks.

4 – What’s your opinion on flame retardant pajamas?

They ought to be burned! Seriously. Have you touched that material? If you have the slightest snag of dry skin anywhere, it adheres to your pajamas and it might as well be fingernails on a chalkboard. I know the government means well, but what about all the kids who don't wear pajamas? My nephew for example, always wore tomorrow's clothes to bed to save time in the morning. Yes, he's eccentric, but brilliant and was just being logical. The PJ police would have gotten him for sure!

5 – Are you a Swede or an American?

I'm a proud Swedish immigrant who now calls America her home. I'm a Swedish-American.

6 – Do you still watch Scooby-Doo?

Yes, of course. Scooby is the best! I of course introduced my kids to Scooby-Doo! They wanted to watch some of the movies that came out when they were in elementary school, so I made them watch some original episodes first. I mean, how can you appreciate the movies fully if you've never seen Shaggy and Scooby run from room to room down a long hallway, being chased by The Ghost? Or have the authorities pull of the mask and find “old man Jenkins” complaining about “those meddlin' kids.” A true education is valued in our family. We still watch it together, when I can drag them away from their XBOX headsets...

7 – Your hit-by-a-car story was rough! What was something good that came out of that?

I believe something good always comes out of what we see as bad. We don't have the advantage of an eternal perspective. As a kid, I remember thinking that going through all this was going to make me more popular at school when I returned. That didn't happen, but a girl can dream.

Looking at it as an adult, I see the lessons as patience, the need to ask and accept help, and the realization that we are in God's hands no matter what happens. THAT lesson I apparently wasn't done learning then, because medical disasters have continued to follow me to this day.

8 – Any more stories this year for the Challenge or are you planning something different?

I'm still going Swedish, since I find it fun to make each year's theme part of this larger, ongoing theme. This year I plan to...have you come visit me and see what I've cooked up. I think you're going to like it. After all, “It's very Swedish to...”

Thanks Tina, and looking forward to your Challenge posts!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of Amazon Best Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm. He is the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and his blog can be found HERE


Anonymous said...

Great interview Alex and some wonderful answers.
Been working on my A to Z this morning , golly this will be the fifth.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again for doing the interview, Tina!

Jo said...

Great interview the pair of you. Will look forward to Tina's A to Z as well as yours Alex.

Tina said...

Thanks for having me, Alex. Good questions!
@ Writing for Pleasure - glad to have the original back!
@Jo - looking forward to yours as well!
Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Anonymous said...

I always have fun learning more about you, Tina. Can't wait to see what you're cooking up this year :)

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Just when I think I know someone about some more comes out. Got love the Scooby Doo... I just watched a film this weekend, it's a live action prequel to how they met. You guys are awesome... great read and interview.

Anonymous said...

This was a fun read! I enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about you, Tina. You met the Washington Capitals? That's so freakin cool! When was this, the pic looks kinda 80's so I'm guessing Alex Ovechkin was not one of them, lol.

It's amazing to me how so many people can take a specific subject and write 26 posts about it - esp. one for every letter. I don't do well with prompts and limits but I shall try. That's what challenges are all about.

Thanks for the interview, Alex. Great questions!

The Pedestrian Writer

Silvia Writes said...

Couldn't agree more on the flame retardant pajamas.:) Lovely pictures. Excellent interview.


Rob Z Tobor said...

flame retardant pyjamas . . . . . . . . . . WHAT?

Andrew Leon said...

Is it going to have to do with meatballs?

JoJo said...

Awesome interview! I knew a girl in 3rd grade who was in a body cast for awhile due to hip surgery. It never even occurred to me back then how personal hygiene matters were tended to!

Tina said...

@ MJ - cooking will definitely be included ;-)

@Retro - oh yeah, hook me up with that movie!

@ Chris - um, that was 1982...

@ Sylvia - thanks. Alex is a great interviewer. Death to flame retardant PJs!

@ Rob - I don't think you Brits are subjected to as many ridiculous "protect the public from themselves" rules as we are here...count it as a good thing.

@ There will be meatballs. And it will be cloudy, 2.

@ JoJo: yeah, there's a lot you don't think about at first. I didn't get into the itching or stinking thing either...

Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Anonymous said...

I love your perspective on your accident, Tina. It really does help to see what we can learn from the challenges presented to us in our lives. Great interview!

Anonymous said...

did you say Swedish and cooking? you know i'm dying to know about their cakes.

Tina said...

@ Elsie - thanks, thanks a lot. That was a nice comment.

@ Pam - oh yes, there will be cake. Lots of cake. Cake is a big deal. I just won't be eating any of it ;-)

Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Anonymous said...

Interesting interview. I still watch Scooby-doo once in awhile.
: )