Archive for the ‘Stories from the Rose Cottage’ Category

Auntie Vi and the Wise Guys

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

My Mom was not the tender type. She was more the life is rough so you better toughen up missy type. She came by her stern life guidelines authentically. Orphaned of both parents and half her siblings by the time she was seven and auctioned off to a less than loving new family, she knew of what she spoke. But I resisted her take on life and held tightly to romantic notions of happiness for myself. Turns out, she was right. Did she prepare me for the life I have encountered? Or did she set up a prophecy that I merely fulfilled? I suppose I’ll never know. What I do know is she built me a tool box of entrepreneurial must-haves that I draw upon daily. She pimped me out constantly to needy Moms all over the neighborhood and taught me just how strong I could be. For better or worse, she made me who I am. (more…)

Share

All wrapped up in love.

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Mary Duggan

By Mary Duggan

If I had known six years ago how rough and tumble the deodorant business was going to be, I would probably not have jumped into the fray. Good thing I didn’t know. I stand here now bruised and banged up and sucker-punched in ways I could never have imagined. Business can be a tough experience. If you make the brave choice to launch a brand, you need to expect to get lied to and lied about. You will most certainly work too much, lose all sense of  balance, damage your health, gain incredible amounts of weight and discover that all sorts of people you thought were on your side in life plain and simply aren’t. If you aren’t careful you might even get to a place where you wonder if your dream is worth all the worry and disappointments. That’s when you need to get all wrapped up in love.

OOAK14_CORNER_IMG_1301

Chicago’s One of a Kind Show and Sale, Merchandise Mart, December, 2013, the wall of love prototype. HUMANS OF LIFESTINKS. Few got the New York reference. But it worked.

At least that’s what we did when we decided (more…)

Share

Santa and the Silver Stole

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

By Mary Duggan

 

My folks did it up right at the holidays with their Christmas Eve gathering of cousins, aunts, uncles, assorted friends, their own eleven children and yes, at the appointed hour, a live appearance from Santa. It was magical. When cousins gather now, a half century later, we all still relive those memories.

But the winter of 1960 found me sick. Really sick. I am only going to give this a few more days, was the prognosis from Mom’s cousin, the doctor.  If she doesn’t make a turn-around I am going to hospitalize her. Pneumonia. I would not be in attendance for Christmas Eve. I was 7 years old and crushed.

xmas 61 card

Dad used his skills from a career in advertising to create our Christmas Cards. 1961, with Annie, Jim and Clare still on the horizon, baby Patrick’s arrival was the big news.

(more…)

Share

First Christmas in the Rose Cottage: Post 9 of 9 – Celebration

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Just joining us? Did you miss the start of Mary’s “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage” series? Click here to start at the beginning.

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

Finally my home and healing center were bone dry and fresh smelling and all that was left to do was complete plans for the holidays and Clare’s arrival. But first I had to call a lawyer (more…)

Share

First Christmas in the Rose Cottage: Post 8 of 9 – Decontamination

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Just joining us? Did you miss the start of Mary’s “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage” series? Click here to start at the beginning.

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

My now completely hideous but heated and cooled and sealed basement still had one redeeming feature: a full-blown white ceramic bathroom complete with a kick-ass steam room. Go figure.

Not having been a pot smoker myself (more…)

Share

First Christmas in the Rose Cottage: Post 7 of 9 – Infestation

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Just joining us? Did you miss the start of Mary’s “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage” series? Click here to start at the beginning.

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

I had never in my life lived with ants. Never. Ever. Ever. (more…)

Share

First Christmas in the Rose Cottage: Post 6 of 9 – Wedding Respite

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Just joining us? Did you miss the start of Mary’s “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage” series? Click here to start at the beginning.

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

The frustrations and of course, the joys, of my new home had to share space with Clare’s September wedding in Rome. Every time I turned around Annie was reminding me of yet another shopping expedition required. A dress and shoes and all the trimmings. With two weeks in Italy and all the clothing changes for wedding and rehearsal dinner and travel excursions it seemed that all I did was shop AND SPEND MORE MONEY. (more…)

Share

First Christmas in the Rose Cottage: Part 5 of 9 – Seepage & Settling

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Just joining us? Did you miss the start of Mary’s “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage” series? Click here to start at the beginning.

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

With the first and most gentle rains of Spring, I watched my sweet new yard come budding back to life and my basement walls gush water. Not seep – gush. When I’d purchased my home, just a few months earlier, the contract had stated that there was some minor seepage along the Western wall of the basement – but only following VERY severe rains. But as soon as the first gentle rains of Spring arrived, I realized I did not own enough towels and buckets to stanch the flow. (more…)

Share

First Christmas in the Rose Cottage: Post 4 of 9 – Cool, Dry and Dark

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Just joining us? Did you miss the start of Mary’s “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage” series? Click here to start at the beginning.

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

And so I settled in with my new furnace purring and my air conditioner ready for summer and my appliances turned back on and a sea of boxes to unpack. Annie was still much too sick to be of much help; and she would lie on the couch and keep me company, apologizing repeatedly for being too sick to help. I was just glad to have the company and pushed ahead. I put things quickly in order and got my little healing center up and running ASAP. I had already made too many unanticipated withdrawals from my rapidly dwindling decorating resources. Money was going fast and yet I hadn’t done a thing to update the hideous 25-year old interior design.

In short order the washer and dryer went on the fritz; (more…)

Share

First Christmas in the Rose Cottage: Post 3 of 9 – It’s A Boiler, Ma’am

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Just joining us? Did you miss the start of Mary’s “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage” series? Click here to start at the beginning.

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

The first call from my new home was to a heating and cooling outfit that came highly recommended by my Uncle Frank. In my prime as an interior designer I had a treasure trove of GUYS that I could depend upon. I prided myself on having nothing but the finest of tradesmen and my clients appreciated and respected the team I had assembled. I had the absolute best for paint and wallpapering, for upholstering, for tile work, for drapery fabrication and installation. I had faux finishers and carpet layers, purveyors of Oriental carpets and appliance guys. I had consultants for lighting and antiques, artwork and handicrafts. What I didn’t have were homeowner tradesmen: plumber, furnace guy, roofer and the like. So I turned to my Mom (more…)

Share