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Jessie Raymond: One rooster can spoil the flock

Posted on June 19, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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I got a new batch of day-old chicks in early May, and I’ve been watching them carefully — like a hawk, you might say, although I try to avoid such imagery around chickens — for signs of roosterishness.

When you order chicks for a flock of laying hens, you are told you have a one in 10 chance of ending up with a rooster. 

I’d say the real odds are considerably higher.

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Jessie Raymond: How much gardening can I take?

Posted on June 6, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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All spring, I looked forward to putting in my vegetable garden. After years of planting way too much — biting off more than I could hoe, you might say — I decided this year to embrace a “less is more” philosophy.

In early April, I started just four tomatoes, along with a few other veggies, from seed, and set them in the kitchen window.

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Jessie Raymond: Finally solving the purse problem

Posted on May 23, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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I don’t know the correct name for it. Younger people call it a purse. Retailers call it a handbag. I think I call mine a pocketbook, although the word makes me think of my grandmother. Whatever you call it, mine is not working for me.

I throw my car keys into my bag without thinking, and I have yet to own a bag that will allow me to find them easily later. (Call me self-conscious, but I’ve reached an age where it feels undignified to dump the contents of my pocketbook on the blacktop every time I need to unlock my car.)

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Jessie Raymond: Me and my computer, groaning and whining

Posted on May 9, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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In case you were worried, my computer is fine.

This is not a tale of sudden tragedy in which, for example, my PC crashes and I lose a year’s worth of business records because my rewritable CD backup fails. (That was almost 20 years ago. The recurring nightmares have all but stopped.)

But the computer I have now is old. How old? No idea. I don’t remember where I bought it, or when. I don’t think we owned it when we last moved, 13 years ago, but I can’t be sure. Maybe it came with the house.

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Jessie Raymond: 'Basic economy' isn't what it used to be

Posted on April 25, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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I’ve got a notion to open a bed-and-breakfast, with a twist.

Get this: You book a room in advance, but when you get here, I inform you — with an unapologetic smile — that I may have sold your room to someone else. To make it up to you, I’ll let you stay here on a different, less convenient night for the same price.

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Jessie Raymond: Some books' popularity a mystery

Posted on April 11, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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I recently started thinking about writing a murder mystery set in Vermont.

I know nothing about writing mysteries, or fiction of any kind, for that matter. And I really only read classic British “cozies” — Agatha Christie, P.D. James and that crowd. I’m not sure my familiarity with early-20th-century English villages, with their glut of vicarages and parlor maids, would help me write a contemporary New England mystery.

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Jessie Raymond: Winter again proves to be a hot topic

Posted on March 28, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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Please believe me: I didn’t want to write about the weather.

You may recognize it as a theme I revisit throughout the year. July: “It’s too hot.” December: “It’s too cold.” January: “It’s even colder now than the last time I wrote about how cold it was.”

And I know what you’re thinking: “This again? When is she going to get back to how incompetent she is as a gardener?” (Patience: Summer is coming.)

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Jessie Raymond: Taking a trip down memory lane with old pals

Posted on March 14, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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Last weekend, while back in my hometown for a family gathering, I caught up with a couple of old friends. This year, the emphasis was on “old.”

At 51, I’m in good health. I don’t have a fear of aging (although those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials are starting to make me a little uncomfortable).

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Jessie Raymond: Triggering euphoria is no science

Posted on February 28, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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Listen to this: scritch, scritch, scritch; tap, tap, tap; tick, tick, tick.

Do those sounds give you chills? If they were actual ASMR triggers, they might.

Let me explain.

The first time I heard the phrase “ASMR trigger,” I frowned; I thought that only kicked in once I had met my deductible. As it turns out, ASMR has nothing to do with insurance. It stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response,” and all the cool people are looking to have theirs triggered.

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Jessie Raymond: Fear, self-doubt and a kitchen easel

Posted on February 14, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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I’ve always heard the phrase “tortured artist,” but I never quite understood what it meant until now.

I just finished my first painting.

Unlike many artists, who I assume express themselves to work out inner turmoil, I just needed something big to hang on the blank wall over our bed.

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