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

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; but they were repairable. The dishwasher crapped out and was not to be revived. The disposal that was supposedly at the heart of my house stinking had in fact been properly installed and responded to a cheap repair. It took just weeks for the refrigerator to need repairs. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon my mood, it was repairable and clangs away in all its unsightliness to this day. I reattach the door handle on a regular basis and have learned to live without an interior light. A flashlight is indispensable to home ownership is a motto I need to have made into a needlepoint pillow for my home. It is most certainly one of my mantras.

I have never regretted that overhaul of my heating and cooling system. Even though it ate up way too much of my budget and left me living with an elephant and palm tree border in my living and dining room and other bits of ugly from the 1980s. And I did run either heating or cooling continuously for well more than a year. Climate change was upon us and I ended up desperately needing my new air conditioner. I ran it almost constantly that first summer. What I did not realize was that the hydraulic-like pounding on my old cottage during the radiator removal and duct work install would overwhelm my pot-wired electrical system. By the time the new HVAC was installed, 50% of my home was now without electricity.

christmas by candlelight

Every dinner is candlelit at our house.

I was beyond discouraged. Not only was I facing yet another major overhaul to my home, I couldn’t even get anyone willing to take on the job. As one really nice electrician said, and I had interviewed quite a few, “Mary this is the kind of job a guy would only do for his sister or his mother. And you’re neither to me.” Okay and thanks. I finally gave up on getting my own electrical guy and having the repairs made. I settled into my new life of elephants on parade and extension cords running everywhere and lots of romantic meals being shared with Annie at my candle-lit dining room table. Well, not romantic exactly; but definitely candlelit as that was one of the rooms hardest hit by the big electrical wire breakdown during those exciting first 10 days of owning my first home.

I looked forward to Spring and my first yard and just kept unpacking and creating my new home and my healing center. Cozy and warm and dark and dry until the Spring brought bright new light and the need for lots of rags and great big buckets.


To continue to Post 5, click here.

Mary Duggan is Co-Founder and President of the Duggan Sisters.

The Duggan Sisters cracked the code and created a natural deodorant that actually works: lifestinks. And that was just the beginning. We hope you will spend a few minutes exploring to experience their spirited approach to wellness through their natural products and healing stories.

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6 Responses to “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage: Post 4 of 9 – Cool, Dry and Dark”

  1. Debbie Tesnow says:

    Stewart’s profession is building maintenance, so your story is particularly interesting to us. Can’t wait to read the next installment….

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Deb – great to see you and Stew at OOAK. Wish I could have taken more time to talk. But it is insane there ALWAYS. But seeing the smiling faces of Boomer’s “Fabulous Foster Family” in the crowd meant the world. Boomer got an A+ on his report card from the pet resort and is doing well. Stay tuned for the next 5 posts. Hope you enjoyed the first 4. Mary

  2. Colette Fitzgerald says:

    Mary: J ust wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your little story of “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage.”

  3. Maripat says:

    I feel bad that you had a poor house inspector who did a bad job. You could probably sue.

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Maripat, I hope you have enjoyed the first four installments of our holiday story. Part 5 goes out today. Re: the inspector. You can’t sue an inspector for more than the $400 they charged. You can sue the despicable homeowner who sold but withheld information. A good lawyer knew we could win our claim for the $30,000 in damages. However, the cost of his down payment was exactly the same number of thousands of dollars needed to hire our website developer – and the last dime I had. Annie and I chose the future and invested (as we have continued to for the next 7 years in our future instead.) Of course the web developer screwed us, “lost” the website and refused to return our money! And on we go….the birth of lifestinks deodorant…and the empowerment of the endlessly screwed Duggan Sisters. Stay tuned.

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