My Day in Court

charleston law net

Today is my court appearance for traffic violation. I am a bit nervous not knowing what to expect. Do I get fined $232.00 or something worse?

Two months ago, I got stopped by a cop on my way to take my husband to his kidney doctor. I saw a cop on my left waiting for the light to change. When it turned green, I followed the cars in front of me and crossed the road. Then I saw the cop behind me in my rearview mirror. I kept on going and then turned left to where the doctor’s office was. Then I saw he was still behind me and then I saw his blinking lights. I pulled over. I opened my window as he approached my car. He said my car tag expired. I said I did not know. 

I never checked my license plate. I told him my husband took care of that and he got sick and pointed to my husband sitting on the passenger side. He asked for my driver’s license. I had to get out of the car because it was in my purse which was in the back seat. Then he told me to get back inside my car. It took him a while before he came back with my license and a ticket. He told me to report to the court and if I bring my new registration, he’d cancel the ticket. He let me go and told me to drive safely.

The last time I got ticketed was 18 years ago when I was a real estate agent. I was driving very slow checking on houses to show my clients. That was before GPS. I did not see a stop sign and the cop followed me make a left, then right before he turned on his siren and blinking lights. I pulled over. He gave me a ticket. I went back the next day looking for the sign. It was hidden behind a tree and if you did not live in the area, you’d not know it was there. That ticket cost me $75.00. That was the only time I got ticketed before this one.

When I told my son I got a ticket, he said, “For driving too slow?” I remember years ago, we went to Vermont and he said, “Mom, the farm tractor passed you”. Both my two kids think I drive too slow. Not really. I have seen some drivers drive slower than me. I just follow the speed limit. That’s all. I think if I get a ticket for speeding, my family will cheer. 

Well, today my court appearance was at 10:00 am. I left the house early just in case there was traffic or accident on Maybank Highway. In our nick of the wood, it takes hours to clear traffic once there is an accident. I got to the court house plenty of time so I just sat in my car until I saw the Deputy Sheriff’s car drive in.

When I went inside, I was told to leave my cell phone in my car so I had to go back out and left my cell phone in my car. Apparently no cell phones allowed in the court room.

The court room was small. There were about a dozen people sitting and waiting for the judge to appear. At exactly 10 am, the judge and the sheriff arrived. I was called near the end. I had my ticket and my new registration ready and handed them to the sheriff. He said the plate number is different. I told him DMV gave me  a new plate. My plate expired two years ago, in April 2017 so DMV had to make it a new registration instead of renewal. We might have received the registration renewal form in the mail but I don’t remember seeing it. It was about the time my husband had kidney failure and was sent to ICU.

The sheriff went into his computer and punched some keys. I waited anxiously. The judge and I never talked. After a few minutes, the sheriff handed me my ticket and the registration papers and said, “That’s it. You’re done.” I thanked him and the judge and left. That was it. I saved $232 and the ticket was cancelled.

I learned a lesson not to depend on my husband anymore. He is not well and I have to take care of everything now especially since the car is in my name.

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan

Florence Gave Us Glorious Sunset Instead of Rain

I took these sunset photos yesterday and today in front of my townhouse. As you can see Florence missed us. We are extremely lucky. We did not get a drop of rain. Street scene was taken from the front porch. Those with the pergola on the left were taken from the second floor closet window. My terrace was boarded so I could not go out but my husband’s closet has a small window and it was not boarded. Those with unobstructed view were taken from the third floor window. Although the pictures do not do justice to the wonderful sunset, you can still see the changes by the minutes.

 

IMG_3154 This was taken on Thursday, 9-13-18 at 7:04 PM. Florence was to make a landfall that night. Not a drop of rain.

 

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Two minutes later, the ground was still dry. Thursday, 9-13-18 at 7:06 PM.

 

The following photos were taken this evening, Friday, 9-14-18.

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Friday, 9-14-18 at 7:05 PM. Dark clouds above Whitney Lake.

 

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Four minutes later, 9-14-18 at 7:09 PM. The clouds were not so dark.

 

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As I was going downstairs, I saw a huge ball of orange glow so I went outside and took more shots. Friday, 9-14-18 at 7:28 PM.

 

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More of the same at 7:28 PM.

 

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A minute later, at 7:29 PM.

 

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Ran upstairs, took this at 7:32 PM.

 

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Two minutes later: 7:34 PM. The sky turned purple.

 

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Final shot – 7:35 PM.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

 

Rosalinda Morgan

 

Remembering 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane as Florence approaches Charleston

1944 Hurricane tracking map by wikipedia
Map plotting the track and intensity of the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane, according to Saffir-Simpson scale

This is my husband’s recollection of the 1944 hurricane that hit Long Island.

I was 17 at that time and just enlisted with the U.S. Navy in New York. Having enough time left for the day, (it was only 2:30 pm) I decided to see my friend, Harry Knapp who had an apartment on the East Side in the city. I thought I’d catch the 6 PM train to East Islip which I did. However, the hurricane of ’44 was already on its powerful trek going up north. As the train chugged along, the passengers were wondering why the train was going too slow. We were told we were going through a hurricane. The train did not make it to Babylon till midnight. Usually it only took an hour.

At Babylon, I got on a taxi but when I told the driver to take me to East Islip, he said no way he was leaving Babylon. The road was too hazardous. So I waited for another train. At 1 am, a train came in doing shuttle from Babylon to Patchogue. I hopped on the train and made my way to East Islip. I got to East Islip from Babylon at 2 am. When I got off the train, the place was pitch black, I could not see my hand in front of my face. That’s how dark it was. There was no car or taxi to take me home which was about a mile and a half from the train station. Having no alternative, I decided to walk. Luckily I knew the way by heart.

The train station in East Islip was north of Montauk Highway. So I crossed the highway to Suffolk Lane. Half way on Suffolk Lane, I felt something grabbed my arm which scared me to death. I then found out it was a broken limb just hit my arm. I proceeded down the road. A few feet away, I hit another tree branches. I found my way around it and jumped over it and kept on walking. It happened three times. I stayed in the middle of the road. I felt I was safe in the middle of the road instead of the sidewalk.

I finally reached home on Meadow Farm Rd. The door was unlocked so I walked in. My parents never locked the front door. My father said it kept their friends away. I went up to my room which I shared with my brother. I was surprised to find him home. Bobby was apparently on leave from the U.S. Army. He told me to go see Mom. He said Mom thought I might be already on my way to Tokyo Bay.

I went to my parent’s bedroom and knocked on their door.

I said, “Mom, I’m home.”

Mom asked, “Are you OK?”

I said, “Yes.”

She said, “Go to bed.”

Few weeks later, I was called to report for active duty.

The 1944 Great Atlantic hurricane was a destructive and powerful tropical cyclone that impacted the entire United States Atlantic seaboard in September 1944. Impacts were most significant in New England, though significant effects were also felt along the Outer Banks, Mid-Atlantic states and the Canadian Maritimes. Due to its ferocity and path, the storm drew comparisons to the 1938 Long Island Express, known as one of the worst storms in New England history.

The origins of the 1944 hurricane was first identified well east of the Lesser Antilles on September 4. Over the next few days, the disturbance slowly traversed west-northwestward without producing any significant weather. On Sept. 8, the barometric depression became more well-defined, prompting the Weather Bureau in San Juan, Puerto Rico to issue advisories on the tropical disturbance. As a result of the sparseness of available surface observations east of the Lesser Antilles, a reconnaissance flight was dispatched to investigate the storm late on September 9. The flight reported that the disturbance had fully developed into a fully-fledged hurricane northeast of Puerto Rico.
As the storm moved west-northwest, it steadily intensified and reached peak intensity as a Category 4-equivalent hurricane on September 13 north of the Bahamas after curving northward and was named “Great Atlantic Hurricane” by the Weather Bureau in Miami, Florida to better convey the life-threatening risks associated with the powerful hurricane. After taking a northward turn on September 14, the center of the storm passed just east of Cape Hatteras, NC around 9:00AM. The hurricane then turned slightly to the northeast and accelerated to a forward speed of about 40 mph.

At 10:00 PM on 14 September, the hurricane passed over eastern Long Island, NY as a Category 3 hurricane. On September 15, the hurricane made landfall near Southampton in eastern Long Island with winds of 105 mph. The storm then crossed the island and Long Island Sound before making a second landfall two hours later near Point Judith, Rhode Island as a slightly weaker storm with winds of 100 mph. After crossing Rhode Island, it moved northeastward, passing just southeast of Boston, MA and out to sea. After weakening into a tropical storm, the system skimmed coastal Maine and moved into New Brunswick, Canada. Late on September 15, the system became extratropical, and shortly after, merged with a larger system southeast of Greenland on September 16.

As the storm moved northward along the eastern Atlantic seaboard, from North Carolina up to Newfoundland, it caused widespread damage. The hurricane cost over $100 million (1944 USD, $1.2 Billion 2010 USD) in damage and killed 390 people. Mainland evacuations and careful warnings, however, allowed the death toll on land to be fairly low: 46 persons.

The storm wreaked havoc on World War II shipping lines. The storm was also responsible for sinking the Navy destroyer USS Warrington approximately 450 miles east of Vero Beach, Florida, with a loss of 248 sailors. The hurricane was one of the most powerful to traverse the Eastern Seaboard, reaching Category 4 when it encountered Warrington, and producing hurricane force winds over a diameter of 600 miles. The hurricane also produced waves in excess of 70 feet in height. In addition to Warrington, the Coast Guard cutters CGC Bedloe (WSC-128) and CGC Jackson (WSC-142) both capsized and sank off Cape Hatteras (48 lives lost). The hurricane also claimed the 136-foot minesweeper USS YMS-409 which sank with all 33 on board lost. Further north, it also claimed the lightship Vineyard Sound (LV-73), which was sunk with the loss of all 12 aboard. It also drove SS Thomas Tracy aground in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

At the Carolina coast, the hurricane’s storm surge pushed 50 ft inland along unprotected coastline, destroying hundreds of boats, damaging boardwalks, and depositing debris along the Carolina beaches. Coastal farmland was inundated, with damage to corn and other crops initially estimated at “thousands of dollars.”

The hurricane was infamous for the amount of damage it caused along the New Jersey coastline. Long Beach Island and Barnegat Island both lost their causeways to the mainland in the storm effectively cutting them off from the rest of New Jersey. Additionally both islands lost hundreds of homes, where many homes in the town were swept out to sea. In Atlantic City, the hurricane’s storm surge forced water into the lobbies of many of the resorts famous hotels. The Atlantic City boardwalk suffered major damage.

During the storm, New York City saw sustained hurricane force winds of 81 mph with gusts up to 99 mph. Damages consisted of power outages, some lasting 10 days, and downed trees throughout the city. In nearby Long Island, damages totaled $1 million (1944 USD) on the eastern half of the island alone. The beach eroded up to 20 ft. in some places, causing houses to be taken by the sea. Tobacco and fruit damage in Connecticut totaled to about $2 million (1944 USD) with similar overall damage costs occurring in Rhode Island. More than $5 million (1944 USD) in damage which occurred on Cape Cod can be attributed to lost boats, as well as fallen trees and utility damage.

The Great Atlantic hurricane affected New England just six years after the region was ravaged by the infamous 1938 New England hurricane. While both storms greatly impacted New England, the 1944 hurricane was of weaker intensity at landfall, and hit the coast from a direction that produced a very low storm surge. Overall the Great Atlantic hurricane was estimated to have done one-third the damage of the 1938 hurricane.

Hopefully, Florence which is now Category 4 will spare Charleston. In the meantime, we are busy preparing for the worst and hope for the best. We’ll be boarding the first and second floor windows tomorrow. We are not boarding the third floor windows since they are much too high for flying debris.

If you are in the path of Florence, stay safe.

 

Sources:
Great Atlantic Hurricane, September 1944
http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/greatatlantic1944.html
NHC Hurricane Preparedness Website
Hurricane History- Great Atlantic Hurricane 1944
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml#great
“1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane.” Wikipedia.

Rosey things to do in September and October

 

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Twilight Zone

 

 

Warm, sunny days and cool nights make our roses bloom larger and more brilliantly colored. However, we still have to do our part to make it happen.

The summer heat typically continues into the month of September in the Charleston area. Up north where I came from, the temperature usually cools off after Labor Day weekend. Regardless of where you are, to prepare your roses for the coming winter, if rain does not come, you have to supplement the rain. Your roses will need daily watering in order to avoid stress. Water deeply, often and well. If you plan to exhibit or showcase your roses in any of the fall rose shows, you have to water daily as this will increase the substance of your blooms. Deep watering is needed, or the little feeder roots on the plant will grow toward the surface seeking moisture. Well-hydrated roses fare better during the winter months.

To get your roses growing for the fall flush, a variety of fertilizers can be used. Granular fertilizers, if used, should be discontinued after early Sept. A balanced water-soluble fertilizer should be applied every two weeks through the end of September. Fish emulsion can be used along with the water-soluble fertilizer. After the initial growth spurt, the roses will benefit from the reduction of nitrogen with the use of a bloom booster formulation, one with the high middle number to get larger blooms of intense color. Discontinue fertilizers from October through mid-March.

The fall “pruning” is better described as a cutback because the bushes are not taken down as far as the spring pruning. The growth should be reduced by ¼ to 1/3 depending on whether it is a very large established bush or a new bush planted in the previous spring. Do remove any spindly stems, blind eye clusters and dead stems or canes. The cutback should be done in late Aug. or early Sept. for gorgeous fall blooms. It will take about 6 weeks for the large roses to recycle and between four to five weeks for minis and minifloras.

Continue the spray program through the entire fall to keep leaves free of disease. Choices of spray material should include a systemic and a contact material used together. The systemic should be alternated. In order to treat blackspot, spray every other day for three or four times and then go back to your regular spray program. If insects become a problem, a spray program will need to be initiated for control. Premixed Bayer Advanced Garden Rose and Insect Killer is an excellent choice for control of aphids, leafhoppers, scale and thrip.

Continue to cut roses for bouquets through the end of October. Some growers prefer to let rose hips form by removing only the petals of spent roses. This signal the plants that the dormant season is coming. The plants sense this as the days become cooler and shorter.

Fall is a good time to test your soil in order to be sure that your soil pH has not been changed in a negative way before winter and its challenges to your roses begins. Directions for testing: Take samples from several spots in the garden using clean plastic shovel and bucket. Combine the samples, mixing well. Send a sandwich bag of the composite sample to your extension agent’s office. Be sure to tell them that the test is for roses and request recommendations with your test.

Start thinking about new roses for the coming year. Check the rose catalogs and order your roses now to get the best selection.

Prepare your Christmas wish list. For the special person on your Christmas wish list who loves roses, give that special person “Stop and Smell the Roses”, a beautiful book full of roses in full color, over 80 photos with 101 motivational tips for a happy and healthy lifestyle. You can order the hard copy at Barnes and Noble. Paperback and Kindle are available at Amazon. Order “Stop and Smell the Roses” today.

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

The Pink Slip, A Short Story

 
pinkslip

I thought I’d start August with a great story. This is a true story that happened to me 30 years ago and was entered and won an award at the Writer’s Digest short story competition a few years ago. It was one of the most memorable experiences I had in my business career.

Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I knew it would happen. It would just take time. The steam was slowly building and it was getting near its boiling point. When it received too much pressure constantly, eventually it would explode like an ancient volcano lying dormant for so long. I was not aware it would happen soon.

I parked my car in front of my office building. It was one of those muggy days in August 1988. The sun was shining brightly and as the wind shifted, I could smell the stench coming from the recycling plant a quarter mile away. It was giving me a headache already and it was only 9:15 in the morning. I was late already but that was not new. I never came to work on time. I usually got there at about 9:30 am. But I made it all up by staying late every night. Whether I came in early or not, I would stay late anyway so I decided to go late to avoid the traffic.

I got out of the car and picked up my briefcase which was full of worksheets I took home the night before. I had been working for three years then as a Controller in a company in Roslyn, a couple of miles from the historic town. In spite of my working late, I still took work home every single day. Work seemed to pile up. The faster I worked, the more work my boss gave me. I stayed late every night and worked weekends too yet my boss went home at 5 pm every night while I stayed late catching up on things I could not do during the day. I put in a 70-hour week all the time, working till 7 at night, sometime till 8 pm and a couple of time till 10 pm during the month-end closings. I also put in a day’s work on Saturday and half a day on Sunday. It was a grinding work schedule. My boss was constantly calling me into his office and we worked on schedules after schedules all the time. He kept thinking of making more schedules every day and of course more works for me. I did all the ledgers and the financials together with tons of supporting schedules and my boss reviewed my work before we released the financial statements every month. All these paper trails were wearing me down.

I barely made it to my office and the phone was ringing already. “Good Morning, how may I help you?” I answered. I knew it was Howard. He must have seen me walk in. His office was near the front door.

“Can you come to my office?” Howard would say.

“Sure. I’ll be right down,” I said.

I grabbed my yellow pad and my pencil and walked to Howard’s office which was three offices down the hall. All schedules had to be done in pencil. That’s what Howard wanted. I passed Gloria’s and Bob’s office. Gloria would wave her hand as I passed her open door. Bob would smile as I stepped into Howard’s office. They knew my day started already.

It would be like this all day, walking back and forth to Howard’s office. I got my exercise everyday just going to Howard’s office. It would be less than an hour and my phone would be ringing again and it was Howard again wanting me to go back to his office. Few times, he would just want to show me some new forms he made or how he arrived at some numbers. Politely I nodded and then would walk back into my office. I could not get much done with all these trips to his office all day.

I remembered one Christmas and we had an exchange gift. I had the most unusual present and it was from Gloria. She gave me a pair of small roller skates as a gag present. She said I needed them to go back and forth to Howard’s office. Everyone started laughing. They all knew how I spent my day.

I was so tired that day. It was a Friday and all week I was working like a dog and I must be so exhausted that day. It was not even 11 am and I had gone to Howard’s office three times already. He was giving me more work to do and telling me that I did not do what he wanted me to do the last time. I knew I did it right but he kept on nagging me. I must have been too tired but for the first time in my professional life, I stood up and yelled at him. I told him I did what he wanted me to do and I was tired of him giving me more work to do and he never appreciated what I did.

I stormed out of his office, walked past Bob’s and Gloria’s office in rage and banged my office door shut. I was furious. I was out of control. I called the Personnel’s Office and told Pat, “I need a new boss. I can’t take it anymore.” I’m sure Pat heard the commotion. Her office was next door to Howard.

I started crying and could not stop. I was in hysterics. What had gotten into me? I did not know. All I could think was I was fed up. I could not stand his nagging anymore.

A few minutes later, I heard a soft knock at my door. I heard Jerry’s voice, “May I come in?” Jerry was the Vice Chairman of the company. His office was across the hall from mine. I was sure he heard me bang my door shut. I got up and opened the door. Jerry walked in and locked the door. He was a towering figure, a six and a half foot man and everyone was afraid of him. I was not. I knew he liked me. Pat said so because he knew I worked my tail off. He was always my mentor.

“What happened?” Jerry asked.

I stood there by the door. I could not speak. I started crying again. I felt like a child and could not stop crying. Jerry put his arms around me and tried to calm me down. I finally did. I went around and sat at my desk and he sat at the chair across my desk. I tried to compose myself. I told him what happened. He had to be told. Whether I was wrong or not, I probably was wrong acting the way I did, but I could not help myself. I did not know what got into me to act that way.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I should not have done that. It was unprofessional the way I acted. I’ve never done that kind of thing before.”

“I understand. It’s all right,” Jerry said.

“I’m really sorry I lost my temper. I promise I won’t do it again.”

“I know he is difficult. I’ll talk to him. Don’t worry about it,” Jerry said and left.

I locked the door as soon as he left. I didn’t want to see anyone. A few minutes later, I heard another knock.

“It’s me. Pat.” I heard from the other side of the door.

I got up from my desk and opened the door. Pat, our Personnel Manager, walked in. “Sorry to hear about that,” she said.

“I should be the one to say I’m sorry,” I said.

“No. Jerry came to see me. He and Bert will talk to Howard,” she said. Bert was the Chairman of the Board.

“I really want another boss. I can’t take this thing anymore. You know I work hard here. Probably more than anyone else but he does not seem to appreciate it. I’ve had it with Howard.”

“I know you work hard. Everybody knows,” Pat said.

“He was impossible. But I don’t know why I acted so badly.”

“You must be so stressed out.”

“Maybe,” I said lamely.

“Why don’t you and I go out to lunch?” Pat suggested.

“No, I can’t. Not in my condition. I’ll work through lunch. I want to be alone.”

 She left and I turned on my computer. I hadn’t turned it on all morning since I had been going back and forth to Howard’s office.

It was almost noontime. I grabbed my brown bag although I didn’t feel like eating. I couldn’t seem to stop crying. I couldn’t concentrate on my work. I took a few bites from my sandwich. Finally I calmed down. I started to do my work. No one seemed to bother me now. I had no idea what was going on outside my office. My door was locked. I didn’t want to see any one.

By 2 pm, my phone rang. I barely said hello and heard Mike, the President, on the other end of the line. “Would you come to my office please?” Just like that.

I said, “Sure, I’ll be right over.”

I powdered my nose and looked at my compact mirror making sure my eyes were not swollen. They were a little red but I composed myself. I opened my office door and walked through the corridor to the right passing all the offices. Howard’s office was closed. I went straight to the corner office where the President’s office was. I knocked lightly on the door.

I heard him say, “Come in.” I walked and tried to smile. He motioned for me to sit. There were two chairs in front of his desk. I sat down on one on the right next to the wall.

I sat solemnly and waited. He said, “I heard about you and Howard.”

I tried to apologize. “I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to get so upset. I don’t know what happened?” I was on the verge of tears but I controlled myself.

He looked at me and said, “We know you work very hard and we also know Howard. Thanks for being such a good sport.”

I tried to smile. “It’s okay. It’s part of the job.” I shrugged. I was waiting for him to tell me I’m fired. I waited.

He opened his drawer. I was very nervous. I saw he pulled an envelope. I saw something pink. My heart sank. I knew this must be it.

He handed me the envelope after taking out a pink note. I stared at it. My hand was shaking. I knew I was getting fired and this was the formal letter. I looked at him.

He said smiling, “Open it.” I opened the envelope. My eyes popped out. I saw a check. I looked at it and at him in disbelief.

“We want you to know we do appreciate your hard work. Bert and Jerry talked to me. It’s the least we can do. We want you to stay.” They probably thought I would quit which really crossed my mind. They also knew it was hard to replace me at that point because I did most of the work in my department.

I was looking at the envelope and said, “You don’t have to do this. Dealing with Howard was part of the job. Although I would rather have a new boss.”

“We know. We’ll talk to Howard and hope things will be different from now on. You can put that in Miscellaneous Expense.”

He got up from his chair and I knew the meeting was over. I stood and shook his hand and said, “Thank you.”

I went to my office and closed the door. I called my husband and told him the story. Then he asked if I was fired.

I said, “No! I got a bonus instead.”

“What bonus?” he asked.

“A check for a thousand dollars.”

He said, “Whoa! You have to do this more often.”

In a few months, I got what I wanted. They hired Kevin, our new Chief Financial Officer and Howard was out.

 

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda

Traveling the World through Reading

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Reading takes you places. As Dr. Suess said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Where in the world will your next book take you?

When I was young, I dreamt of seeing the world. Coming from the back country of the Philippines, I was curious to know what other places look like. I did not get out of Batangas, my home province till I went to college in Manila. I always had that nagging feeling to go abroad and widen my horizon.

When I went to college, I thought of majoring in Foreign Service or Journalism so I could get out of the country. But Dad got a different idea and I ended up in Accounting. He needed an accountant in the family. But that did not thwart my dream of going abroad. I pursued my dream and in 1966. in spite of my fear of flying, I left the Philippines on my first trip abroad when I went to Hongkong and then Japan. There’s an interesting story about that trip which should be an interesting post for later. A year later, in 1967, I left for New York.

While working in the business world, I had no time to read. So fast forward to 2011 when I retired to South Carolina. I started reading in earnest. Here are a few of the books I read which took me to interesting places:

1.      Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd – United Kingdom

2.     Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – 12th Century Feudal England

3.     A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford – England

4.    At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen – Scotland

5.     A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt – Ireland

6.    Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella – Paris and Troy

7.     The Bells by Richard Harvell – Switzerland, Austria, Italy

8.    Raised from the Ground by Jose Saramago – Portugal

9.    Winter of the World by Ken Follett – Germany, England, Russia and Washington DC.

10.  The Amber Keeper by Freda Lightfoot – England Lake District and Russia

11.  One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – Russia Federation, Soviet Union

12. The Archimedes Codex – Constantinople, Greece, England and New York

13. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – England, Africa

14.Through a Glass Darkly – Karleen Koen – England, France

15. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre – England, East Germany

16.Hawaii by James Mitchener – Hawaii, Bora-Bora

17. Day of Infamy by Walter Lord – Pearl Harbor

18.   The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck – China

19.The Fall of Japan by William Craig – Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan

20.   Rescue at Los Baños by Bruce Henderson – WWII Philippines

21. Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder – Peru

22.  The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers – Iraq

23.    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – Afghanistan

24.    Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande – India and New York

25.   Don’t Fall off the Mountain by Shirley Maclaine – Virginia, New York, California Africa, India and the Himalayas.

26.   Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill Tippins – New York

27.   Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – New York and Ireland

28.   A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert – Wisconsin, Kansas and New York

29.   The March by E.L. Doctorow – Georgia to the sea and up the Carolinas (Civil War)

30.  The Only Way to Cross: The Golden Era of the Great Atlantic Liners – From the Mauretania to the France and the Queen Elizabeth 2 by John Maxtone-Graham. – Atlantic Ocean Voyage

 

There you have them – 30 of my most memorable books that I read and travelled worldwide. I hate plane rides and ocean voyages but I have travelled the world through books, experiencing new authors and cultures along the way. I will keep on reading because as Irwin Shaw said, “There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.”

 

Until next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda

 

 

Limited Time Offer for Stop and Smell the Roses – One Week Only

Stop and Smell the Roses Front Cover

 

Starting Monday, July 16, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. PDT and ends on Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. PDT when it goes back to its regular price of $4.99. you can order the kindle copy of Stop and Smell the Roses for $1.99 at Amazon.com. Click here to buy now.

 

Feeling stressed out? Stop and smell the roses and 100 other tips in a new motivational book to help you get inspired to make positive changes in your lives to make you happy, healthy and successful. In a frenetic world we live in, we find ourselves overwhelmed, overworked and stressed out. Isn’t it time to change our bad habits? Most of our health problems are due to our unhealthy lifestyle. Studies show that stressful living causes health problems.

 

Inspire yourself into a healthy lifestyle! Stop and Smell the Roses!

 

Do you know that roses have curative powers? In the olden days, roses were used to make all sorts of medicinal potions to cure maladies and drive away bad spirits. A bouquet of roses uplifts the spirits any day of the year. Even a single rose in a room will liven it up on dreary days. When we are in distress, a rose will cheer us up.

 

“Stop and Smell the Roses” includes some of the roses I grow in my garden. There are 33 roses featured in the book in full color. If you are unable to visit a rose garden, this is the next best thing.

 

Find out how you can improve your well-being by following simple tips for stress-free living. I invite you to my garden. So take a break and stop and smell the roses.

 

Take advantage of the Limited Time Offer. Get your copy today!

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan

Have You Filed Your Income Tax Return?

Income Tax

You only have six days left to do your tax return. So get going. Deadline is April 17. I just did ours.

On April 1, my husband told me he could no longer do our tax return this year. Since the deadline is fast approaching, I then volunteered to do it. My husband, being from the old school, had this puzzled look on his face. Somehow I had this funny feeling he did not think I could do a tax return, not having done it for almost 50 years.

Well, well, well… There goes the challenge and I love being challenged.

I told him if a friend of us who has no accounting background can work for H & R Block to do taxes, I believe I can do my own income tax return.

I did my own tax return before I got married. My husband’s accountant took over after we got married and when we moved from Manhattan to Long Island, my husband handled the tax returns although I handled the household finance. I handled our bank account and paid all the household bills. Do I know how to do a tax return?

I had less than three weeks to do my son’s return and ours. What makes you think I can do two returns in less than three weeks when I have not done it for 48 years? Lack of practice. I could have forgotten how to do it. Besides I’m busy with other things all day long?

Well. . .

For starter, I have a degree in accounting. I passed the C.P.A. board examination on my first try at the age of 21. That was moons ago. I worked in the accounting field for 32 years and I was a company controller when I retired. That was 18 years ago. I retired early so don’t even start counting my age. I’m 102. OK? Really? Funny!!! I’m one of those accountants with a sense of humor. Not many of us do. Believe me, I found most of them boring especially at parties. All they talk about is office talk and numbers. How about some other topics like art? Maybe even dogs or gardening? How about history like WWII?

While I was working as an Assistant Controller and then as a Controller, I prepared Form 1120, the Corporate Income Tax Return and as a treasurer for non-profit organizations, I did Form 990, the Tax Return for Non-Profit Organizations. Also, while I was an Assistant Controller for an insurance company, I also prepared the quarterly and annual financial statements filing for the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) for various states that we were doing business with and they were more complex and had more schedules because of our stock holdings and other investments. Now, I’m really talking about boring stuffs!

Do I know how to do a tax return? It’s like asking me if I forgot how to breathe. Form 1040 is nothing compared to Form 1120.

And so I gathered all the documents I needed for my income and expenses and went to work. I did my son’s return first. That was a snap. Then I did ours which involved more schedules to be attached to the 1040.

During all those years that my husband was doing our tax returns, I never read our tax returns. I mean he told me to sign the dotted line and so I just signed the return. I wanted to read it but he insisted I didn’t have to. Fine with me! I don’t argue with him. Not all the time anyway. That’s why I’m still married. We don’t argue. We just have different opinion. Anyway, he prepared our taxes with the help of Turbo Tax. I’m sure a lot of people use Turbo Tax to do their taxes. I refuse to spend money on things I can do myself.

I started filling up the form with the data I had on hand. Then I reviewed all my entries. When I got stuck with a question, I read the instruction. If you have to do various schedules, I can understand it can get complicated so unless you have an accounting background, guaranteed you’ll get too discouraged to do it. But trust me, you can do it. It just takes patience and understanding on what the instructions say. It needs concentration. I did our taxes in the afternoon when my husband was taking a nap. The house was quiet and my brain could concentrate.

By the way, at some point in our marriage, my husband worked for H & R Block part time. That gave him the confidence he knew about taxes. He also has a business degree major in Finance. I have a business degree major in Accounting. He worked on Wall St. for 25 years and then switched to accounting later on because it was too stressful working on the Big Board especially on a down market. I worked in the accounting field for 32 years until I retired. So who was more qualified to do a tax return? You be the judge.

The key to making your job easy is to keep your tax papers organized. All receipts and expenses that are related to your tax return should be kept in one place. As a former accountant, I have the habit of keeping all my receipts, both income and expenses. I also charged everything on one credit card which itemized my charges for the whole year. All your doctor’s visits should be on your calendar so you can figure out the mileage which is part of your medical expenses. 17 cents per mile can add up since during your golden years, you spent lots of time in the doctor’s office. Stock transactions might have to be itemized so you have to have that handy in a spreadsheet in case your stockbroker does not supply you with the Capital Gains/Losses schedule.

Well, I finished my tax return a week before the deadline. I saved money by not using Turbo Tax or a tax preparer. Both state and Federal returns were mailed this afternoon. Most importantly, I feel good that I’m back at my own game. However, I will only do tax returns for my family. I’m retired you know.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

 

Welcome Spring, A Time of Renewal

 

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I love living in the South where spring comes early. While NY where I came from is still having freezing weather and snow storm is still the norm in March, here in Charleston, the days are getting longer and warm air is creeping in. As I walk the dog this morning, I heard birds singing and frolicking in the lake.  There are so much colors around me. The azaleas are in full bloom. Pansies are smiling with their happy face. The tulips are practically done. Daffodils are still in bloom and this year, my hyacinths are just glorious. I had them once in New York but mine usually grew so tall there, then plopped down so I gave up on them. Last fall, I decided to plant some here and I really love it. They are gorgeous and very fragrant. I can smell the wonderful scent as I open my front door.

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Since we had some icy weather last winter, I lost some of my plants to ice. I replaced some of them and tried some new ones. I miss Shima-Nishiki peony that I had in NY with its stunning striped blooms so when I saw it in a catalog on sale, I bought two.

Shima-Nishiki Peony

 

I have always wanted to plant grapes but never did until this year. I bought RazzMatazz, a breakthrough in grape breeding. It tastes like Muscadines yet has a tender-crisp texture of a regular table grape and it is seedless. It also bears continuously and it does not have to be sprayed for diseases and insects. We’ll see how it grows. I wish I have a bigger yard so I can really go to town with my gardening.

 

Some of the roses are showing some buds already and some of the old garden roses have started to bloom. I hope to have plenty of blooms in May because I’m doing a rose display at Johns Island Public Library for the whole month and I need a fresh bouquet of roses twice a week for the whole month. I have done most of my spring cleaning in the garden and now am delighted to see new growth coming up.

 

Inside the house, spring cleaning is a rite of passage. Winter clothes have to go up in the attic for storage and spring and summer clothes come down. You feel tired looking at those dreary dark-colored drapery. There is this urge to change the look to spring with light flowery curtains. I must admit, I did not change my curtains last winter. I like my yellow curtains with roses on them so I kept it year round.

 

I kept staring at my wall. My husband looked at me askance. I said, “I’m thinking.” He said, “So I see. I smell something burning.” Funny, ha? I wanted to paint the wall but could not decide whether to stay with the “developer’s” boring beige or go for light green. Green is my favorite color, the color of nature. That is a no-brainer. I am a gardener.

 

Regarding my writing, I’m determined to publish my nonfiction this spring, most likely early May. I’ve been doing a lot of blogging lately trying to sharpen my writing skills. I still have a lot to learn. After I publish my nonfiction, I want to edit my next fiction about a white-collar crime. I’ve never written a mystery/thriller before but I love to challenge myself. I like historical novel but as an accountant, I love the plot on this book. So things are looking up again in my writing journey. In the meantime, check some of my blogs. I have several blogs going on. I will try to reblog some of my posts from the other blogs into my website – www.rosalindarmorgan.com so check it out.

 

After a slow winter, there is that energy that invigorate us to spring forward. There is the spiritual renewal in spring too. With Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. For a practicing Catholic, it is the most sacred of Holidays and it means a lot to me. On Easter, we renew our baptismal promise. The church always looks splendid with Easter lilies and spring flowers, giving us a sense of rebirth.

Easter Morning 1

 

Happy Spring. Enjoy the warming weather.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda