Constance Spry – The Rose and The Mother of Floral Design

Constance Spry

Constance Spry, introduced in 1961, is one of the first English Roses hybridized by David Austin and its success contributed to the founding of the English Roses. David Austin Roses is a flower arranger’s dream. They can be used to make wonderful floral arrangements either on their own or with other plant materials. With its voluptuous blossoms and dainty habit, you can duplicate the beauty and charm of an Old Dutch floral painting. 

Constance Spry Climber by DARPhoto Credit – David Austin Roses

Constance Spry can grow to a height of 6-12 ft. with a width of 6-8 ft. or 10 to 18 ft. as a climber. Bloom size is 3” with a petal count of 80+. It has a lovely pink color and very fragrant. The only drawback is it only flowers once in the spring but it blooms profusely.

 

Constance Spry by Flower Magazine
Photo Credit – Flower Magazine

Who is Constance Spry?

Constance Spry is the mother of modern floral design. She would have loved to use David Austin Roses for her floral arrangements. After World War 1, she changed the formal, rigid composition of floral design with unconventional pastoral compositions; flowers arranged asymmetrically with assorted shapes of foliage in various types of containers. She used all kinds of wildflowers, grasses, pods or practically anything the Victorian ladies shunned. Her style was full of drama and a refreshing reprieve from the more stiff floral design of her contemporaries.

Constance Spry PinterestPhoto Credit – Pinterest

Connie, as she was known to her friends, was born in Derby, England, in 1886 and raised in Ireland. She found refuge from her domineering mother in the gardens of her childhood, where she began to take note of what would become her favorites: old garden roses, lilac, mock orange, laurel, buddleia, and evening primrose, as well as grasses, weeds, and other typically overlooked plants and materials.

 

Though flowers and gardening would be her lifelong passions, under her father’s direction she began her early professional life as an educator and social reformer. Traveling by horse-drawn wagon through the Irish countryside, she became a proponent of healthy living, educating housewives on the benefits of fresh air and nutritious food as part of a “War on Consumption” campaign. After a disappointing marriage to a coal mine manager, she took her only son back to England to begin life anew. It was there she met and fell in love with Shav Spry, a colonial civil servant who would be her lifelong companion.

It wasn’t until the age of 41, that Spry’s amateur talents as a floral designer were noticed by an influential lunch companion, leading her to Norman Wilkinson, a theater designer whose encouragement would launch her meteoric design career. With a commission to do flowers for cinemas and a perfume shop, Spry took her unorthodox visions of gathered materials and artful references out of the homes of friends and into the public eye, where she was praised for displays that in an incredibly modern twist included leaves, berries, seed pods, wild clematis, and golden hops mixed with exotic orchids.

Suddenly this middle-aged woman found herself thrust into the social scene, befriending legendary decorator and fellow entrepreneur Syrie Maugham and an exuberant crowd of theatrical personalities and social luminaries. She became the florist of choice to London high society organizing the flowers for royal weddings. She designed the flowers for the Queen’s wedding and Coronation. Her books on flower arranging made her a household name.

Constance Spry Cookery Book by antique-atlas.com
Photo Credit – Antiques-Atlas.com

 

Besides being an influential floral artist, Constance Spry is the founder of the Cordon Bleu cooking school and an author of a bestselling cookbook bearing her name.

 

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

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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

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

A Rose (Rosa Banksiae) and a Tip for a Happy and Healthy Lifestyle

Rosa Banksiae

Class: Rose Species

Syns:   R. banksiana, Banksian rose, Banks’ Rose, Lady Banks’

Cultivated since 1796

 

Rosa banksiae is one of the best shrubs for a wall and in a few years will reach the top of most houses. It produces an abundance of pretty small roses with the sweetest fragrance you can imagine. The flowers are borne on last year’s wood and so it is well-advised not to prune in the spring. Only dead or useless branches have to be trimmed. The date of introduction is not known but the double white form was first described in the Botanical Magazine for 1818 as Lady Banks’ Rose and one of the sweetest of roses. It has also been known as a native of China and had been introduced in 1807 by William Kerr. The double yellow was introduced in 1824.

 

Definitely not for the small property, this vigorous species rose offers a spectacular spring show in warm-climate gardens that can accommodate its rampant growth habit. There are four different forms of R. banksiae, varying by flower color and flower form.

·        R. banksiae normalis is considered to be the “wild” form, with single white flowers.

·        R. banksiae banksiae (also known as ‘Banksiae Alba’, R. banksiae alba, R.banksiae alba-plena, White Banksia, or White Lady Banks’ Rose) offers exceptionally fragrant, double white flowers.

·        R. banksiae lutea (R. banksiae lutea-plena, Yellow Lady Banks’ Rose) is the most well-known form of Rosa banksiae in cultivation with small, fully double, bright yellow flowers that come in clusters. They are only slightly fragrant.

·        R. Banksiae lutescens has single light yellow blooms.

 

All four have small, oval buds that open to clustered, 1-inch wide, rosette-form flowers, usually blooming in early or midspring to late spring. Slender, thornless canes carry semi-evergreen to evergreen, shiny, dark green leaves with narrow leaflets. They are rarely bothered by diseases.

 

All four forms of this specie rose have a vigorous, rambling habit and can grow up to 30 ft, so they’re usually used as 20 to 30-foot climbers. They need a sturdy support, such as a well-built pergola or arbor; they also like to scramble into trees. It is a great rose for zone 8 to 10.

 

I saw Rosa banksiae in Charleston, SC on my first visit there in 1989. We went on a House and Garden Tour and at one of the gardens we visited, ‘Yellow Lady Banks’ was growing almost to the roof of the house against the wall. We wandered along some tiny street and I saw ‘Yellow Lady Banks’ rose by the gate and I took the above photo. Fast forward to 2011 – when I joined the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society, I discovered the owner of that rose is one of our members.

 

Tip of the Day – Learn to be cheerful even if you don’t feel like it.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

 

Rosalinda

 

Chronic Kidney Disease

 

Dialysis Machine
Photo Credit – Fresenius Medical Care

 

 

Two years ago to the day, Feb. 1, 2016, my husband was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. He was not feeling well for months and his doctors could not figure out why. He was so sick that day, that I insisted I take him to emergency.

Within half an hour after he was wheeled to emergency, I was told he had to go to ICU. All his numbers at all tests were out of whack. That’s how bad he was. Long story short, he has been on dialysis ever since. I opted for home dialysis because I could not take it going to the clinic three times a week. This way, I can hook him up to his machine at night for 12 hours straight and I can still have my day free.

There are five stages of chronic kidney disease and unfortunately, he has Stage 5 End Stage Renal Disease. It sounds terrible but it’s the fact. He has no kidney function whatsoever. Death is such a morbid topic but I’m realistic. I told him he cannot go yet. I’m not ready. I stay positive. We used to joke about it. He said he did not think this was part of the deal when we got married. Well, for better, or for worst, in sickness and in health. .  .

Here are some facts about Chronic Kidney Disease per the National Kidney Foundation:

  • 26 million American adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk.
  • Early detection can help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
  • Heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with CKD.
  • Hypertension causes CKD and CKD causes hypertension.
  • Persistent proteinuria (protein in the urine) means CKD is present.
  • High risk groups include those with diabetes, hypertension and family history of kidney failure.
  • African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Seniors are at increased risk.
  • Two simple tests can detect CKD: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine.

 

When we go to the clinic for his monthly check up, I’m amazed at how many people are undergoing treatment. Help us battle kidney disease. Many Americans know nothing about kidney disease until it is too late.

Stay healthy, eat the right food (stay away from salty food), exercise and have a positive mental attitude.

Until next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda

 

I am a 2017 NaNoWriMo Winner

NaNo-2017-Winner-Badge

I made it to the finish line. I am a 2017 NANOWRIMO WINNER! 

This year was tough. I didn’t think I could make it. Back in October, I was not even sure I’d do the challenge. With encouragement from some friends, I took the challenge. I knew if I joined, I would finish. I knew if I stayed focused, I could do it again and I did. My final count is 52,543 words. Not bad when I started from nothing at the last minute. I’m glad I took the challenge and jubilant that I finished.

It’s a first draft. It needs some editing. But for now, I’m taking a break and putting it away till January. I saved my draft in two places in case my computer conked out which it does every so often. I also made a hard copy. I find it easier to read than staring at my computer for hours. The easy part is over. The next step is harder when I start editing.

Now, I have to catch up on a lot of things I neglected while concentrating on NaNoWriMo challenge. My neck and my back hurt and my brain needs a break.

I’m proud of myself for achieving my goal. 

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

 

 

How to Stay Debt Free While Living on Social Security and Stay Happy

IMG_2477

Are you one of those people who can’t seem to keep up with your expenses? Keeping up with the Joneses will put you in the poor house. We had, even while my husband and I were both gainfully employed at that time. I was making good money and more so than my husband. But in spite of that we could not keep up with the expenses. We didn’t live a lavish life, just comfortable. We were the typical suburbanites but living in Long Island, New York was expensive.

It was time to sit down and evaluate our finances. I have learned my lesson the hard way and don’t want to be in a financial quagmire again. I’m a seniors living on social security and if I am not careful, I’ll be back in the same quandary as before. Here is how I cope with living with a tight budget.

 

Credit Cards – For years, I was living in a rich community but using my credit cards to the hilt to keep up with the Joneses. I had to admit that I was in deep debt all the time. I had a whole bunch of credit cards. Name me a store in New York at that time and I could tell you I had that store’s credit card except Bloomingdale. I had no idea why I didn’t have Bloomingdale’s card, maybe because it was my husband’s ex favorite store. I even had Bergdorf Goodman’s credit card. At some point, I had a substantial balance on each of them.

Now, I only have three credit cards but I only use one card that gives me cash rewards.

 

Car Payments – I also had four car payments at some points in time. I used to own four cars. Before my kids turned 26, all four cars in my house were under my name and I paid all the car payments, insurance and maintenance on all of them. Finally, I told my husband to transfer the two cars’ title to my kids. I was afraid if the boys had an accident we could get sued and we ‘d lose our home. He finally agreed.

When my husband finally retired, we gave up the lease on his car. Since he was not going anywhere, we opted for one car. I was selling real estate at that time (finally retired from accounting) so we worked out a schedule that he could only use my car when I didn’t have to go to work. It worked fine. We used to drive two Volvos. He had S60 and I have XC70. My two boys had a Blazer and a Jeep Cherokee Laredo.

Now, we only have one car and save money on car payments, insurance, gas and maintenance and repairs.

 

Home Mortgage – I did not realize how bad the situation was until about ten years ago when my husband got sick and retired finally and at that time we owned two houses. One was a vacation home which we used four times a year for two weeks at a time. I was getting very nervous and no matter how I calculated it we would go broke soon. I was paying bills out of one pocket into the other pocket so to speak. The Home Equity loan we had was fully used up and I was afraid we would lose our primary home. It was very stressful.

We were debating on which house to sell. Since we could not tolerate the winter months anymore, we decided to sell the house in New York and moved permanently to our vacation home in the South instead. Also living in the South is cheaper than living in New York. I would also get more money selling the New York house since at the time, the real estate market was down. We had lived in our NY home for 32 years and had big equity on the house. Meanwhile, our vacation home was under the water and we did not want to lose money on it. We had since recovered and we are now above the water and building equity.

Moving costs drained our budget for a good amount. We moved in three stages. When we bought the vacation home, we moved some stuffs to furnish it. The following year, we moved more stuffs. Finally when we sold the New York house, we moved stuffs for the third time. On all these moves, we used a moving company. That cost an arm and a leg. We also hired 1-800-junk for the final move to dispose the stuffs we could not move and to clean up the house after the moving truck finish their job. They junked three dumpsters and cost me $550 per dumpster. In spite of the moving costs, moving south is worth it.

Now, we’re down to one mortgage and we own a beautiful home with 3 bedrooms and 3-1/2 baths on a lakefront property.

 

Property Taxes and Home Maintenance

Living in New York and living in the South are night and day. Living in our townhouse now is much less expensive than living in New York. New York taxes are prohibitive. My taxes at the time we sold our NY home was about $8,000 a year and by this time could have gone up to maybe $10,000 or more. Our current property taxes in the South is $570 a year. That is quite a difference. My utilities are also down quite a bit from an average of $1,200 a month to about $250 a month. Our home exterior maintenance is paid by us in New York. Now HOA takes care of all that. Our HOA of $1690 a year is not bad at all since it covers exterior building repairs and maintenance including roof replacements and maintenance of the common area. I spent about $3,000 a year in New York just on ground maintenance alone.

Now, downsizing to a townhouse in South Carolina saves us plenty of money for home maintenance and taxes.

 

Clothing – Since we have a very mild winter, we do not need those heavy winter clothes. Our winter is so short, we could stay in our summer clothes with a few sweaters to stay comfortable. Winter outfits could put a strain on seniors’ finances who are in a tight budget.

Now, with a few winter clothes saved when we moved south, I don’t have to invest on more heavy winter clothes.

 

Community Involvement – While we were in New York, I was very involved in the community where we were constantly invited to fund raising events. Since I was an officer or board member on some of them, we had to go. They were expensive and in December, there were plenty of them. I’m still involved in the community here but the group I belong to does not go for expensive parties like in New York. We still have lots of fun. I chaired the Social Committee of my community for four years and we had a lot of fun activities without breaking the bank.

Now, I don’t go to expensive parties. I changed my lifestyle.

 

Entertainment – A year and a half ago, my husband was diagnosed with end stage kidney disease. He has to be on dialysis every day so we don’t go on vacation anymore. My relaxation outlet is gardening and reading. I have acquired more roses this year than at any time in my gardening years and I have also acquired more books to read although I purchased my books at a bargain bookstore on line for less than $5.00 for hardcover books. I also foray at book sales around the area. My church sells a grocery bagful of books for $5.00. That is the biggest deal in town. I usually get about 7-8 books per bag and I always bring home 2 bags. I don’t go to movies anymore. I can’t find a good movie worth the money nowadays. Once in a while, I watch TCM movies. They had better actors/actresses years ago. I also don’t watch TV. I turn on the TV only to see the weather forecast if there is a storm. My indulgence was watching Downton Abbey while it was on. I do read a lot.

So now, I save money on entertainment by reading. Lots of it. It enriches my knowledge and broaden my horizon without spending a lot of money.

 

Food – We don’t skimp on food. Since my husband got diagnosed with end stage kidney disease, we don’t go out to dinner anymore. My husband is on a very strict diet – no salt, less potassium, less phosphate. I learn how to cook with no salt. Everything restaurants serve now are too salty for our taste so we avoid restaurant food. We watch the food we eat. I buy quality ingredients and cook nice meals for us. Once in a while, I indulge myself with a rich dessert which my husband can’t eat. Wine is only for special occasion which my husband is not allowed so I don’t stock wine anymore. I can only drink half a wine glass for the whole evening so it’s basically nothing.

Now, our food cost is down because we don’t eat at restaurants anymore.  

 

Barring illness, I need not worry about my finances. I pray I can stay healthy for a long time. I eat right and don’t drink or smoke. I don’t take medication because I don’t have health issues. I’m very healthy. Knock on woods.

Out of the proceeds of the house sale in New York, we paid all our debts. We paid all the credit cards. We paid the balance on the car payments so now we own the car with no more car payments to worry about every month. We only have 71,000 miles on my 12-year old Volvo. We don’t intend to buy a new car for the near future. I’m happy with my Volvo. Our debt is just the mortgage on our house.

We pay my mortgage on time. We have no debt except the mortgage which I accelerate my payment to shorten the term. I pay my credit card (yes, one card) in full except on months that I have to pay life insurance (semi-annual) and car insurance (annual) but I catch up quickly and be on schedule in no time.

I don’t consider myself poor nor am I rich. I’m debt free and happy and contented with what I have. I have plenty of books to entertain me for the rest of my life and visit other places by reading. My garden keeps me in shape. It’s my exercise without paying the gym fee and I get beautiful flowers to enjoy. I don’t think I’m deprived of anything. I have what I want. A lovely lakefront home with gorgeous sunset, a fully paid reliable car, a beautiful garden, a library with 3000 plus books, a wonderful family and a few volunteer works I enjoy. What else can I ask for? Life is good!

 

Until Next Time. Stop and Smell the Roses

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer