Coastal Maine

Not all trolls are scary, some are just darn cute

Roskva, the strongest of the trolls protecting our family. Author’s collection.

The phrase Giant Trolls does not show up in my conversation very often — that is until a recent visit to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Now I can’t stop talking about them!

The Giant Trolls are part of an exhibit titled Guardians of the Seeds by Danish artist and recycle activist Thomas Dambo. Dambo is the creative genius behind the Giant Trolls. According to info on the trolls page of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens website:

He was one of those kids that scavenged the neighborhoods for discarded wood for his projects and carted it home on his bicycle.


More than we expected on our first Harvest Host experience.

Point Labaddie Brewery. Author’s photo.

Hubs and I recently had our first Harvest Host experience. Harvest Host is a collection of breweries, wineries, distilleries, and farms joined together to welcome campers overnight.

Campers are known to appreciate beer, wine, spirits, and grub. What could be better? And since we have recently returned to camping in our Wonder LTV, Leisure Travel Van, also known as our Mini Rig, we decided to try it out.

Our first Harvest Host was a brewery in Labadie, Missouri. It’s called Point Labaddie Brewery and is a family-run business. The primary brewmaster is Rob Grimm.

We arrived unsure what to expect…


Our new adventure feels familiar

Our Leisure Travel Van, the Mini Rig. Author’s photo.

We’re back!

After four years, we’re finally back on the road. We’re traveling across the country, literally from California to Maine, in our new-to-us Mini Rig. We haven't officially named it yet, so for now we’re going with the Mini Rig. The name fits since it’s definitely mini. It’s 25 feet of coziness.

The Mini Rig is a 2019 Leisure Travel Van, LTV for short. The model is a Wonder, as in we wonder if we’re ready for this level of togetherness. We’re not too worried after 4+ decades of togetherness, we're good.

Our plan with the Mini Rig is…


Fuzzy Butt Love

Pride and joy, fuzzy butts, and goofy names

Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash

Recently I found myself standing outside in 100+ degree heat with a woman excited to talk about her Teddy Bear. I also have a teddy bear, but to be honest, the urge to talk about Ted hasn’t hit me in a number of decades.

The conversation started when I walked up to my designated standing circle which was six feet from her designated sitting circle just as she was finishing an animated phone call. She must have assumed I was eavesdropping and felt the need to explain.

She started right in.

Teddy Bear is her pride and joy. His fur…


This Happened to Me

A most unexpected BFF

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

I’ve never been a fan of bathing suits, at least not if I have to wear one.

Of course, no one can make you wear a bathing suit, but there are situations where not wearing one draws more attention than stuffing your keester into one and pretending to like it.

Every year I tell myself it’s the year to get over it. What the heck? I’m in my sixth decade of swimsuit season; you’d think I’d have let go of swimsuit angst by now.

Since I now live in the desert of Southern California, swimsuit season is a tad longer…


Thank you for your service

Not allowed to ask

My Dad, center first row. Author’s family collection.

My Dad had some ugly legs, at least that’s what I thought as a kid. His calves were misshapen and definitely didn’t match. Multiple large oval-shaped scars stretched across deformed sections of what used to be below his knee. Both of his calves were scary.

As one of the older kids in the family, and the most observant, I was the first to ask Dad what happened to his legs. I was probably about five years old. Out of nowhere my Mom swept in and said “We don’t talk about your Dad’s legs.”

At the time I remember accepting that…


Baby Boomer Travel

We’re about to find out

Taking delivery of our new-to-us 2019 Leisure Travel Wonder RTB. Author’s collection

We recently took delivery of our second home, at least as far as the IRS is concerned. Our second home is a 2019 25' Leisure Travel Van, an LTV for short. Technically, it is an LTV Wonder RTB, that’s camping lingo for very small with extra narrow twin beds. Oh, and they’re in the rear, versus FTB, which would be extra narrow twin beds in the front.

Hubs and I are very excited to get back into camping. We officially got out of it four years ago. We had been living full-time in our 40' Tiffin Allegro Bus when Hubs…


Doofus etiquette advice

The latent embarrassment isn’t worth it

Photo by Rachel McDermott on Unsplash

If need be put the following on a post-it and attach it to your forehead. You’ll thank me later.

No matter how hungry you are, no matter how long it will be before your next chance to eat, no matter how tempting it looks or how great it smells — Never ever eat an ‘everything bagel’ in public.

In case you’re unclear what public means in this context, it means anywhere there is anyone with peepers that might peep in your direction. It also, and especially, means if there are peepers sitting across the table from you.

Here’s why. An…


Fuzzy Butt Power

When you least expect it, you turn into a sap

A collection of Fuzzy Butts ready to control your life. Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

I am a dog lover, which means I am a dog owner, which means, like most dog owners, my life is controlled by a fuzzy butt with bad breath and a stubby tail. How did this happen?

I never envisioned myself all sappy over a dog. In fact, prior to becoming a dog owner, I’d even been known to say things like, “It’s just a dog, not a kid for cripes sake.”

“Dog kisses? I don’t think so.”

My philosophy was, and in theory, still is, anything that licks its own butt is not licking my bazoo.

“I will NEVER…


Personal Clapping Rubric

This is my take on the single clap, I get it if your take is different, albeit wrong

Photo by Guillermo Latorre on Unsplash

If you’ve ever worked as a server and received a one penny tip you get what I mean. A single clap feels like a one penny tip. A one penny tip means you suck, at least that’s how I interpret it.

I cut my chops as a waitress, now known as a server, at Bill Knapp’s Restaurant in Toledo, Ohio. Bill Knapp’s was a family place famous for its chocolate cake.

It was the mid-70s and a great place for a college kid to work. I chose it specifically because of the chocolate cake and the fact they didn’t serve…

Kris Downey

Kris Downey is a woman who pays attention and fills up journals in barely legible cursive. Among her favorite topics are life lessons, travel and humor.

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