Monday, November 18, 2013

One week later, on Sunday, Nov. 17, a tornado hit the south side of Kokomo, Ind. and this is what my investment now looks like.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Deceptive Practice and Poor Services


Annette Bergman



I recently bought a house that I wanted to remodel and I had a man who said he would do the work and that we would need a dumpster.  He called the Dumpster Company from my house and then repeated everything the person on the other end of the conversation said.  “So it will be $175.00 for delivery and then $100.00 when we have it picked up. That’s it?”  He nodded yes.

So I said, “See when it can be delivered.”

“Friday between 1:00 and 5:00P.M.” the man repeated.

I nodded okay as I knew this man had to work on Friday.

Having sold real estate for thirty years I couldn’t help but think how long I would have lasted if I had told a client, “I’ll meet you there between one and five for you to look at the house.”

With cell phones and tracking devices you would think a business could come a little closer than between one and five.  So I was there just a little early and I waited until 2:30 before I heard the truck.

He asked where I wanted the dumpster and he backed it up exactly where I said.  Then I said, “I believe I need to write you a check.”

“I don’t know I’ll have to call the office.”

He climbed back in the cab of the truck and in a little while he said. “Yea, they said I needed a check for $475.00.”

“I was told it would be $175.00 now and $100.00 when the dumpster was picked up.”

He got back in the cab and called again. “She said that didn’t include the use of the dumpster.  So its $475.00 totals?”

“I tell you what I’m a little sick of the deceptive practices of businesses today so you just load that dumpster back up and take it with you.”

He got back on the cell phone and said, “She’s refusing the delivery.”

Then he apologized for the misunderstanding and loaded the dumpster back on the truck and left.

That would have been like me selling somebody a house and then at closing, “You do know that the ground the house sits on is leased?”

I then called a company that rents totes.  I got an answering machine three times on Friday and left messages for them to call me, but no returned calls.  So on Saturday I called back and the machine said if it was an emergence to call another number.  So I called the other number and got another answering machine saying to leave a message and I did.  “If you would return your calls during the week you probably wouldn’t need an emergency number. Don’t bother calling me back.”

I have found creative ways to dispose of most of the materials, but I did have to call a nice young man with a trailer to haul a load off for me and he was so helpful I had him come by my house and clean out the back of my truck.

Then I had to take my husband to have his eyes examined.  He had a change in his eye sight and need a stronger prescription.   They were having a buy one pair of glasses and get the second one free.  I thought it only made good sense to get his sun glasses too.  The first pair was going to be $173.00 and some change.  He wants the same frames and then she totals up the bill and says that will be $324.00.

“I thought you said it was a buy one pair and get the second pair free.”

“It is, but we have to figure”… and she lost me.  How complicated can buy one get one free get? 

Is this a new way of doing business?  If it is, I can say with one hundred percent honesty that I don’t like it.  Have the times changed so much that you have to be deceptive to get people in your store?

And while I’m at it I might as well complain about the grocery stores and their sales.  The sale should start when the newspaper comes off the press.  I went to a store this summer that had corn on sale.  I asked about the corn that was on sale and the man said. “That sale doesn’t start until tomorrow.”  You know I wasn’t happy and I didn’t go back there for corn.  It wouldn’t have hurt for him to say go ahead and get what you want and we’ll honor the sale price.  Therein is the problem.  There is no honor…or at least it’s difficult to find with the deceptive practices and poor services.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Rehab Moment
Annette Bergman


Working on this final rehab house has me thinking about a time during my childhood when my Grandpa and my Dad was building a house for our family on Tybee Island.  My Dad and Grandpa started the house in 1948.  I remember this only because my mother was pregnant at the time and by the time my brother was born in May of 1949 the house was finished.

My Dad and Grandpa would kid one another about what size putty they needed to make a fresh cut of wood fit.  My Grandpa said he had quarter inch putty, half inch putty and three quarter inch putty.

My carpenter on this final rehab job has used seven cases, (make that eight cases) of caulk.  Each case has twelve tubes of caulk in it and I have to believe that caulk has replaced putty to fill the gaps from the miss-measured boards.

This carpenter wouldn’t use three quarter inch caulk; he wouldn’t use half inch caulk or even quarter inch caulk.  His measurements are very accurate and he works like his butt is on fire.  He goes constantly and the smallest crack has to be filled with caulk.  He has caulked over fresh paint, put caulk in every crack he has come across. I’m get nervous when he has caulk gun in his hand.

Every time I turn around he is caulking a tiny crack and I’m wondering if the house it nailed together or just caulked. He was always saying a little caulk works miracles and it can make this place look like a million dollars.

Today I asked him if he was sure the hot water heater was bad. “I’m sure that it is,” was his reply.

So I bought a new hot water heater and he and the electrician thought they could save me some money by installing it for me instead of me calling a plumber.  We have been working on this house for two months without water and I was sure today would be the day that the cool, cool water would flow.

I was ready to leave and my daughter called out, “Mom, George wants to know if you could come and take a look at this water heater before you leave.”

I went back in the house and down in the basement.  The electrician and George had the old water heater in their grip and holding it horizontal.  The bottom and side of the water heater was crumbling from rust and had disintegrated about fourteen to eighteen inches up one side of the water heater.  I looked at George and said, “Just put some caulk in it.”

Now there is a third way to fill holes and cracks and that is with a product called Dap.  My friend, I’ll call him Sam, could use less Dap and make the whole house look like a million dollars on a fraction of product.  You can paint over it and it doesn’t show.  The caulk dries and it can’t be sanded. I’ve never liked caulk and I dislike it even more now.

Since I’ve given up rehabbing homes I’ll be working on my latest novel, “What I know about Sam.”  Not his real name, Sam stands for Super Attractive Man, and he increased our homes value by eleven percent with his perfection work. You going to  enjoy, "What I know about Sam."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Marjorie Rawlings Home


Marjorie Rawlings Home
Annette Bergman
For years we have driven highway 301 in Florida and each trip I saw the sign that said Cross Creek: Home of Marjorie Rawlings.  I wondered what it looked like and with each trip I became more curious. This time I was determined to stop and find out for myself.
There were no cars in the parking lot when we arrived. We took the dirt path through the orange grove leading toward the house. I saw two ladies dressed in old fashion cloths and ask if the house was open.  “No, its closed on Monday.”  I felt like a balloon that had just had just been pricked with a pin.
“But, you can walk around and look in the windows if you would like to.”
“Thank you so much. I have wanted to come here for years.”
“Take your time and stay as long as youd like.”
I was so grateful to be able to walk the ground of this Cracker style home where Marjorie Rawlings had written so many novels.
Painted white with forest green shutters, the long windows was just perfect for peeping. Several round braided rugs covered the time worn natural wood floors.
The furniture seemed to be the original furnishing in the home. The screened porch had a sitting room at one end with a daybed covered with a chenille bedspread.  The other end of the porch held a round oak pedestal table. A manual type writer was situated on top of the table where the view was to the road in front of the house. The chairs were ladder back and the caning had been replaced with deer hide.  Some of the hide was bear of hair and other spots still had the deer hair on them.  This was the table and chairs that Marjorie Rawlings used to write.
The small bedroom had a crocheted bedspread on the bed. The closet still held her clothes. This was Marjories room, there again with a view of the road. A treadle Singer Sewing machine was opened, a red pin cushion and a Kerr jelly jar, with old buttons in it, were sitting next to the machine.
A second bedroom had a small pieced quilt on the bed and was very neat and sparsely furnished.
The bath room had been added later, the claw foot tub was painted pink on the underside and the floor was covered with rose colored linoleum with yellow and turquoise flowers.
There were porches on all sides of the house. Some screened and some not. The back of the house had a big wooden bench complete with wash tubs, and the boiling pot was upside down in the yard.
A peek into the summer kitchen that was separated from the house by a breeze way, held a wooden ironing board with a pop bottle sprinkler top on it.  A wooden bucket and an ice cream churn were sitting next to a wooden bench.  A homemade clothes pin bag hung on the wall. The kitchen had an old wood stove and small table, along with cooking utensils of the twenties and thirties.
The garden at the back of the summer kitchen was complete with a high fence to keep out the wild animals.
I could see how Mrs. Rawlings had found the peacefulness to write in such a setting.  I was just hoping that by some strange miracle of nature I could experience some type of osmosis, from walking where Marjorie Rawlings had walked and lived, would give me some talent, or just a fractions of the talent, that this Pulitzer Prize winner possessed.
I wanted to stay longer and soak up more of the atmosphere that her beloved home had to offer. It was wonderful to experience a step back in time to tranquility. I somehow think that Marjorie watched the road, as I do, wondering if it lead to magic places of if at any minute a new experience will come from the other way.
I went there thinking The Yearling, was her first and only novel.  It was her third book.  Her first was South Moon Under, 1933, in 1935 she wrote Golden Apples.   The Yearling was in 1938.  She cranked out six more books after that and then three others were published after her death in 1953 at the age of 57. Three of her novels were made into movies. Yet, she chose to never leave her home on the edge of Orange Lake where she had lived in her inspirations to write.

Annette Bergman
Author of:
Things That Make Me Nuts
and Return To Tybee
Web site: