May 17th, 2013
By Mary Duggan
I am deeply touched by folks who meet us in public and inquire after Chester, my service dog. I see the look of disappointment on their faces when they realize he is not with me. Then I see the look of real pain when I update them on his recovery and tell them just bits of what he has been through this past year.
I don’t know if Chester will ever again be able to take on his big job of assisting me through the neurological challenges of my life with a TBI. My sisters are always determined that his working life will be fully restored Read the rest of this entry »
May 10th, 2013
By Mary Duggan
Okay, Facebook followers you guessed it. We took the big leap and participated in the Shark Tank casting call held yesterday at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. And the word for today is EXHAUSTED! Imagine standing in the middle of all those dreams and all that excitement and all that fear and even some desperation. And that was just the three of us!
The rain held off and the air was scented with flowering trees. Check out our beautiful city in the background.
The warnings had been stern from Shark Tank that Read the rest of this entry »
April 24th, 2013
By Mary Duggan
I hate working weekends. It makes me crabby. And I have to do it on a regular basis. This weekend in particular was guaranteed to be a rough one. The week began with the Boston Marathon and tragedy and stress and heartache and loss that will be ongoing. Then the horrific explosion in Texas that wiped a whole town off the map, crushed a nursing home and killed scores of people. Add in tornadoes, an earthquake in China and here in Chicago flooding. If ever a Friday night called for hard cider and gluten free pizza, this was the one. And Saturday would be best spent with multiple pots of coffee and the newspaper in the a.m. and restorative yard work in the p.m.
Granted, the Duggan Sisters fared better than many with the flooding. When I bought this old house seven years ago, I had 11 foundation cracks sealed immediately. The guy did a great job and the basement has been bone dry. Then last year we found one more crack. But it’s small and rarely a problem and always seems to move from the to-do list to the maybe next time list. But this time the rain was different: powerful, relentless and exhausting.
Annie heard the sound of water in the basement below very early on Thursday. She and Clare had clocked in hours of moving furniture, removing rugs, protecting stock, emptying 25+ industrial-sized buckets of water, and sandbagging with towels (which were then relayed for washing and drying) before I even woke up. When I did wake up, I didn’t recognize the sound of the industrial bucket on wheels being dragged across the basement floor. I thought we were being robbed and was tip-toeing around carefully upstairs, trying to get my bearings, and stifling a scream when I realized Clare’s bed was empty. OMG! They’ve taken Clare. Read the rest of this entry »
April 17th, 2013
It is raining torrents. The back yard is flooded and I’ve got my fingers crossed that the rhododendron and astillbe the girls transplanted on Sunday does not float away. It’s praying time again: Lord, please keep the roof intact for one last Spring and I promise you we will find a way to replace it. Yep, it’s April in Chicago, the sky is dark green and threatening, temps are dropping fast, and I want cooked food. Here ‘s what Annie served instead.
Spinach Strawberry Salad pairs perfectly with a hearty and heart healthy Walnut Pate. Chow down
Walnut Pate from a Jenny Cornbleet recipe that tasted, I swear, like meat. I kept taking small bites and saying, wait, WHAT is the taste here? Read the rest of this entry »
April 11th, 2013
EXPOsé: part 4 of 4
By Mary Duggan
There is an energy particular to the final day of any large fair or expo. In some ways it is a little slower, as some attendees have already left town. But the wrapping up loose ends, making trades, swapping wares energy required to bring it on home is actually it’s own kind of stress. At EXPO it involved talking with people who had spent big bucks and traveled far to be there and needed to maximize their investment. Kind of like us. So the last day continued with the intensity of the first two right down to the very last minute, when the lights are promptly and decisively shut off to encourage registrants to vacate the premises.
From Australia to Anaheim, Ashton is seeking the NEXT big thing. No worries mate. The Duggan Sisters are ready to rock the globe!
The last day is also about Read the rest of this entry »
April 6th, 2013
By Mary Duggan
Leaving Chicago I was aware of the publication of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In; but I never imagined the kerfluffle that would ensue. I missed most of it as EXPO held my full attention the week of the book’s launch. Steadily working my way through the week-tall stack of newspapers that awaited my return I got a sense of the debate. That and seeing the author when I turned on the TV to see what Katie and Piers were up to. My favorite moment in the debate was reading a guest writer for the Chicago Tribune who identified herself as someone who had not read the book but wanted to criticize it anyways. Okay. She seemed to find more value in watching the HBO series GIRLS. Really? If you can’t Lean In enough to actually read the book in question, then maybe get out, right?
I am taken with the synchronicity popping up here between the COO of Facebook and the Duggan Sisters – please don’t laugh. As I struggled Read the rest of this entry »
April 5th, 2013
The glam shot that started it all.
By Mary Duggan
When I look back 5 years to the beginning of this deodorant adventure, I am astounded at what I did not know, did not know I would need to know, did not know I would come to know, did not know what I would want to know, and can not believe I now know. Got it? I turn sixty this summer. I know I am supposed to say 60 – the new 40. But actually I think I would have to say 60 – the new exhausted.
Five years ago I was firm in my resistance that we should not spend the extra money to have our photographs on our business cards. Annie won that round and set the date. That appointment led not only to photos on our business cards, but also Read the rest of this entry »
March 21st, 2013
By Mary Duggan
This blog is dedicated to everyone who has ever said, “All the crazy people and ideas come from California.”
I am writing this from my home in Chicago, on March 20th, and it is 27 degrees outside with a wind chill of 9 degrees and it is almost Easter.
I am frugal and minimalist by nature, but I own: tall Dutch recycled boots, medium boots with a fur lining for trudging in snow, UGGs for light weight wear, low boots for warmth but no snow, 2 pairs of spring rain boots, one fancy, one more garden style, a stylish designer light-weight down jacket, an ugly red LL Bean super heavy weight down jacket for big storms, a middle weight down jacket with a fur trimmed collar for dashing from the mall to the car when I am out shopping for sweaters and long underwear and a simple black wool coat. My long underwear collection fills half a drawer. My collection of hats, scarves, and gloves fills an entire dresser drawer and then some.
Last night the dog was edgy and upset at 5:30 AM, so I volunteered to take him out for a walk to give Clare a rare break from dog responsibilities. When I got home she was on the front porch in her robe throwing salt down the stairwell so the Pomeranian and I could get back in the house as an ice storm had blown up in the half hour we were out dealing with Chester’s loose bowels and the front porch and steps had become a sheet of ice.
I repeat, “All the crazy people live in California???”
Leaving home to attend our first Natural Products EXPO West involved pulling an all-nighter and then arriving at the airport at 5 am where the TSA agent promptly seized Read the rest of this entry »
February 7th, 2013
The Duggan Sisters’ Half-Baked Raw concept follows the ageless advice to seek progress not perfection. During the two years that Annie and I maintained a 100% pristine raw food regimen we endured some pretty miserable holidays. We put our best food foot forward and conscientiously towed the line. Holidays stunk, and parties were avoided; but raw foods worked. Health for both of us improved dramatically and we weighed way less than before “going raw.” Especially Annie; she actually got skinny. I mostly got looked at funny with ‘why are you still so chubby if you’re so raw’ glances. Because this is what 65 pounds lost looks like idiot. Yes, raw foods did leave me a little crabby. I had a ways to go.
Our new program, a mindset we call Half-Baked Raw, involves Read the rest of this entry »