Jessie Raymond: Radiator purchase leaves me cold

This past spring, I fell victim to a diabolical scheme. All because our kitchen table now sits near a glass door, far from our woodstove.

Jessie Raymond: Bright lights ruining restful nights

I thought for the holidays I’d get us a 30-foot strand of solar-powered lights — the kind with golf-ball-sized clear bulbs set a foot apart, like you might see strung across barn rafters at a country wedding reception or illuminating a Christmas tree lot … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Some of us prefer to be cooler

According to social media, we have just wrapped up “Hot Girl Summer.” I am not a hot girl and consider summer the season of sweating and bugs, so I skipped the trend.

Jessie Raymond: Getting in synch with a new sink

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, when it comes to style I’m no wild mustang. I’m more of a sheep, tagging along at the back of the flock.For our recent kitchen renovation, therefore, it’s no surprise that I went safe and traditional: Shaker cupboar … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Left alone, the garden thrives

Around the second week of June, Mark said, “Stop whining. If you don’t have time for a vegetable garden this year, just skip it.”The absolute nerve.It’s not a choice. My garden has become part of my identity. I struggle. I complain. I get stressed. But I … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Less is more… annoying

I recently came across an unusual YouTube video on decluttering, a task I enjoy vicariously, if not in real life. A cheerful woman with a spotless, almost empty kitchen opened the cupboards to show that each family member had only two cups, two plates, an … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Nice canoe trip down memory lane

Twenty-nine years ago, on one of our first dates, Mark took me canoeing. This was before we discovered our favorite pastime as a couple: staying home. We were always off doing things back then, but only because we didn’t know better.Blinded by infatuation … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: A ‘great kitchen reckoning’ awaits

“So, did Mark get your kitchen done?”People say this to me all the time. They love to goad me into a rant about how it took him four years to finish the pantry (as if I wouldn’t bring it up unprompted within five minutes anyway).Mark started the kitchen m … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Hosting is a challenge post-COVID

Last weekend we did something we haven’t done in well over a year: We had friends over for dinner.I am so out of practice.Pre-COVID, we regularly had company. But in the intervening time I lost all memory of how to entertain anyone other than immediate fa … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Rusty bolt won’t trip up to-do list

In our marriage there’s a division of labor. Mark is good at things that require brute force and power tools. I’m good at cooking and telling him when he’s using words wrong.We complement each other.Now, I had last week off. Mark, being a contractor at a … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Some plants only seem harmless

I’m starting to think I’m too naïve to be a gardener. I tend to assume that whatever flowers I find growing are meant to be here, but it turns out there are plenty of nonnative plants that have moved to Vermont and now think they own the place.I thought I … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Summer and the fear of sleeping in

I am what some people would describe as a “morning person.” That’s a stretch. The phrase implies that I wake up early, spring out of bed and immediately begin singing, relishing another day on this beautiful planet while scrubbing the baseboards with a to … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Sneak and you shall find (eggs)

Three weeks ago, on a rainy afternoon, you could have found me sneaking across our property, the picture of stealth. Like a phantom, I flitted from tree to truck to barn, swift but silent, waiting and watching. (I probably didn’t need to wear a cape, but … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Renovations and a shot in the arm

Two exciting things are happening this spring. The big one, which you’ve surely been thinking about nonstop, is that our kitchen renovation is moving right along. Also, COVID vaccinations have begun. Now, if you’re one of the few readers who are sick of m … (read more)

Jessie Raymond: Home improvements test one’s will

Two weeks ago, I was complaining that the early stages of our kitchen renovation had left me disoriented. I was certain I’d never face a bigger upheaval than the silverware being moved to a different drawer. A lot has happened since then. Happily, the ren … (read more)