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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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Jessie Raymond: No bag limit on bagels this season

Posted on January 31, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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At this time of year, when the temperatures drop below zero and the wind howls, I like to get my gear on and go skiing or snowshoeing, or maybe even do a little ice climbing.

I’m joking, of course.

Really, I prefer to stay inside and bake things. Lately, it’s bagels.

During the warmer months, you might consider me downright outdoorsy. I mean, not hike-the-Appalachian-Trail outdoorsy, but enough so that I have to check myself for ticks every day.

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Jessie Raymond: Dreaming of a good night's sleep

Posted on January 17, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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Lately, I’ve been finding that I go to bed feeling pretty good but wake up needing a cup of coffee with a WD-40 chaser.

It’s time for a new mattress.

When I was younger, I could stay up late and crash anywhere — futon, recliner, floor (my back aches at the mere memory). But over the years, I’ve developed an appreciation for a good night’s sleep. And our aged mattress now does the job about as well as a pile of two-by-fours.

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Jessie Raymond: Stodgy clangers & welcome civility

Posted on January 3, 2019 |
By Jessie Raymond



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While browsing through Netflix over the holidays, I discovered “The Great British Baking Show.”

I’m in love.

Beaten down by the increasingly distressing onslaught of daily news, I have found this show to be the perfect escape. It’s got everything: a gentle pastoral setting, British accents, yummy-looking sweets, witty repartee and a competition so civilized that the contestants sometimes help one another. Really.

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Jessie Raymond: Taking the plunge — on puff pastry

Posted on December 20, 2018 |
By Jessie Raymond



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They say you’re never too old to try new things. Maybe that’s why Australian grandmother Irene O’Shea, 102, recently went skydiving to raise money for charity.

While I’m not likely to jump out of a plane — I have to drop to a crouch on tall escalators — O’Shea and I have something in common. I know the sort of thrill she must have felt falling 14,000 feet toward the earth, because this year I too (figuratively at least) have stretched my wings.

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