Remembering Tina Downey

I've already said a lot about the loss of Tina, so am not going to post many more words today.

These sunflowers grow all over the place in Colorado. They've been in full bloom for the last several weeks. Tina loved to hike and camp in the mountains, so I made sure to get those too.

Did you post sunflowers today? You can add yourself to the Linky List here:


IWSG - September

It is IWSG day, and I totally forgot. Sorry, guys! I have an excuse - we're in Spain.

Here is my 'dog ate my homework' picture:
At the Arc de Triomph in Barcelona
We leave for the mountains tomorrow, where my schedule will pretty much be: eat breakfast, hike, siesta, write, eat dinner. For six days. Wonderful :)


Tina's Sunflowers

In memory of Tina Downey, the A to Z Team is hosting a sunflower tribute on September 8, 2014 – Remembering Tina Downey.

 Prior to that date, purchase or plant a sunflower in her honor. (If you have to resort to plastic, that’s cool.) Take a photo of your sunflower and post it in her memory on Monday, September 8.

 Tina loved her sunflowers, and we want to splash the blogging world with sunflowers that day and honor a truly amazing woman who was friend and family to so many. You can sign up now or add your link when you post your sunflower. Please help us spread the word!

Let’s brighten the Internet with sunflowers the way Tina brightened the lives of so many.

We will also be helping her family pay for her sons' college with donations to the Downey Education Fund. If you are able to help, just click that link and you can make a donation to them through Paypal. 

I am on vacation for the next couple weeks so posts will be sporadic (and might be limited to my sunflower post next Monday) but I do hope you all will help us remember Tina on the 8th!


In loving memory

Words are generally something that come easily to me. But since yesterday afternoon I have been rather short on them. I've been choked up, and so very sad.

My dear friend and fellow A-Z co-host Tina passed on from this world on Saturday.

Tina was one of those rare people who could ask blunt questions that might be too forward coming from anyone else. She had uncanny timing, almost like a sixth sense, for when people needed her, or needed to talk. She was funny, genuine, and most of all loving. Our friendship really started when she sent me an email with some of those blunt questions, at just the right time, before the Challenge in 2013. I needed support, and it turned out that she was just the right person to provide it. From there and through the craziness of the Challenge, our friendship grew. We discovered that we lived only about 30 minutes apart, and vowed to meet at some point. I am so sad now that we only succeeded at hanging out once, but so grateful that we managed that.

Tina has been sick for a while, but has maintained the most incredible positivity through it all. She even managed to continue wrangling the co-hosts while not feeling well. She often spoke of the transformational work she did, writing articles about folks who had come through hardship, working with her church, and of course maintaining her blog for all of us to read. She was an incredible woman and I'm sure that her loss will be felt in her community just as it will be in our blogging world.

We often joked about me smuggling her some red wine at the hospital. I imagine her sitting up in heaven (which of course is fields of sunflowers) looking down at us all, with a glass of wine in her hand and endlessly quotable movies for her viewing pleasure. She's probably talking god's ear off. She's closer now, so he won't have much of a choice but to listen :)

My dear Tina -
Life is Good, and yours was a good life, my friend.
All my love,

We will be posting soon at A-Z about what the blogging community can do to help remember Tina.


Life lately, in pictures

So these..

Got made into these..

And we went here (Pawnee Pass near Brainard Lake)

Lake Isabelle on the way to Pawnee Pass

 In preparation for our hiking trip to here (the Spanish Pyrenees!!)

pic courtesy of hikepyrenees.co.uk
The school year has started, the students are back! And, I finally got my CSM Hardhat (it's purple!!)

How are you all? What have you been up to?


IWSG - August

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a bloghop dedicated to writers supporting one another through this crazy thing called 'being a writer'. 

If you scroll down a little bit, you'll notice that I haven't posted much since April, because, well, life. But! Sunday marked the last day of my super-crazy work season (no 60 hour work weeks until next year!), so right now I pretty much look like this:
gif credit: pandawhale.com
My clients have all left, I'm not on call at night because even the Union is closed... (to borrow a mantra from a good friend) Life is good. That means... I can write again! Hooray!

So my post for IWSG today is not so much about feeling insecure as it is celebrating getting to return to my introverted writerly existence. Ohh laptop, tea and wingback chair at 6am on a Saturday, how I've missed you!

What is making you do a happy dance right now?