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:


Friday, August 23, 2013



Annette Bergman


The tomatoes are ganging up on me in my garden. With my husband being in the hospital I can’t even come close to eating or doing something with all of them.

I picked a colander full of various size tomatoes last evening and decided I would try my hand at making some pizza sauce.  I didn’t even look in any one of my sixty some odd cook books.  I blanch the tomatoes and then chopped them and put them in a pot, I added minced onions, garlic powder and two fresh stalks of oregano to cook on low. 

They cooked and cooked and were not getting thick.  So I put them through a strainer and removed the seeds. Then put the juice back on the stove and cooked and cooked and cooked some more.

I wanted the sauce to be between a tomato paste and a tomato sauce.  I wanted it to be thick enough to smear on a tortilla and not run.  I cook and stirred until the sauce would stay divided, like the Red Sea, when I drug the spoon through the middle of the pot.  When I was satisfied with the sauce I had reduced the original colander full of tomatoes down to half a cup. I let it cool and today I made a pizza with my sauce, mozzarella cheese, fresh Italian sausage, chopped green peppers, fresh from the garden, chopped fresh onions and chopped fresh tomatoes.  Then I topped it with cut fresh basil. Baked it on 400 degrees and sat down all by myself and enjoyed my creation.

It was delicious. I even took a small slice to my husband in the hospital (he is on a strict diet) and he liked it too.

I didn’t tell him how much time and effort it took to create half a cup of sauce.

I know every time I see a can of tomato paste I’ll wonder if it as one or two bushels on tomatoes in the can.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Activity in the Garden


You wouldn’t think a small patch of ground not much larger than a 12 x 15 rug could have so much activity.  I can see the garden from my kitchen window and that is a blessing for me.

Early morning the rabbits are sniffing around, and I don’t think they like any of my crops as they are usually eating clover in the yard.  Yesterday morning I saw a squirrel headed toward the Magnolia tree with an ear of corn and was up there somewhere shucking it as I watched the corn husk raining down from the tree.  I had to smile. 
 My corn crop was amazing, if you are fascinated with miniature ears.  I picked eight ears and shucked them and all eight fit in a quart zip lock baggie. So I wasn’t offended that the squirrel was having his or her meal on my corn.  It was just their size.

Friday evening my friend from church brought me three grocery bags filled with corn that could have taken a blue ribbon at the state fair.  He said he had the best crop he had grown in years.  I had to show him my crop and I don’t think I have ever seen him smile so big and almost laughed out loud. 

So what is left in the garden will stay there until the squirrels have picked it clean.

I had blamed the corn shucking on what I thought was a Badger living under our shed.  I looked it up on the Internet and it looks like a Badger to me.

I was concerned for my neighbor’s dog so I told him about the Badger and he informed me it wasn’t a Badger it was a Groundhog and said he looked it up on the Internet and it had a den under his back porch and he was having animal control come out on Monday to trap it.

I didn’t think Groundhogs would run around a neighborhood like this animal is doing.  I went out the back door just in time to see it wedge itself under the fence. It has been in my garden, under my peach tree and along the south side of our house and hangs out in the yard like he owns the place.

I picked the last peach on the tree today and gave away some cucumbers, some of the cucumbers are bigger than the corn.  I have two more yellow squash about ready and some of the tomatoes I just wipe off on my shirt and pop them in my mouth; it saves on the humiliation of bringing them in the house.


Friday, August 9, 2013



Annette Bergman


I’ve known for some time that I am a food addict and there were times when I sewed like I was a material addict. I think the food made me feel good…for a short period of time and the sewing was a visual thing for me.  Sometimes life doesn’t have a lot of visual accomplishments and when I would get discouraged I would sew something together to see that I had finished a project.

Some times when I was selling real estate and nothing was going together or I was becoming impatience over something.  I would start a new flowerbed, paint a room or make some new curtains or anything else that came to mind.  For some reason I have always felt driven. What for or to what I am not sure and unless someone will step forward and help me figure it out I might not ever know.

My sister asked me once why I couldn’t be happy with one career instead of going from one thing to another.  I was a beautician for over forty years and owned three different beauty shops, and then I bought a dress shop, and then a paint store. Then I started hanging wallpaper for customers or anyone else who called for my services.  Then I designed some patterns for Simplicity.

I managed an apartment complex for a while and after my Mom died I went to take care of my Dad and ended up being a bookkeeper for a larger apartment complex.

 I’ve always managed to keep moving from one house to another fixing them up and making them pretty.  If you want to count every home I have lived in there have been over thirty of them from Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, Utah, I lived in three different homes, two Quonset Huts and a Wherry Housing unit on Okinawa in eighteen months.

I have just realized that Rehab is an addition that is harder to recognize than drug or alcohol addiction.

I believe I am a Rehab Addict and my addiction has cost me dearly.  In the past year I have been involved in redoing four different homes.  Last September we moved out of our home I had set a record in: I had lived there for fourteen years.  My husband and I bought a five bedroom to rehab.  We spend our winter in Florida and I had to paint and redo that home for the three months we were there.  Then come home and finish the house we moved out of and before the five bedroom home was finished I bought another rental. 

My husband is at the end of his rope with me and he had found the best help I have ever had to finish the big house and when I bought the last rental my helper left for greener pastures. He had known me for about ten months and the writing on the wall for him must have been in large neon flashing letters.

Selling real estate for a living for thirty years and becoming a Rehab addict was harder to recognize than alcoholism.  Someone should invent a gadget that will detect the rehab addition and start a twelve step program for rehab as well.

I have a friend who sends me information on the Twelve Step program and one of his emails made me realize that I do have a problem…so I have bought my last house to rehab. 

As soon as I finish the home we live in, I will retire my paint brush, let my Broker licenses expire and quit reading real estate ads.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Garden Report

My Garden Report


Annette Bergman


I picked and ate the first peach of the year from my peach tree.  Actually I split it with my husband for our breakfast and added another peach twice the size and split that too.  My husband’s comment was, “It’s not a cling free peach.  Didn’t you ask what kind it was before you bought it?”

“I guess not.”  I do have three more peaches on the tree so I’ll just eat them myself as they get ripe.  So the total harvest is four peaches this season, for a tree that cost $24.95.  I could have bought a bushel of peaches for $24.95.

My radishes crop was worse than that.  We have so much rain that they produced beautiful flowers, but zero radishes.

I counted twenty nine corn stalks I didn’t have the heart to count the ears.   I thought I had some prize corn until I drove to church one Sunday and saw what the farmer’s corn looked like.  They were at least twice as high and looked a lot healthier than mine.

The ears on mine aren’t as long as a dollar bill.  Some of the silks are turning brown and I’m not sure when I should try to pick them. Unless they start growing at a rapid rate I won’t have enough for a family cookout.

My yellow squash is looking like it is going to take over the east end of the garden and has small squash on the vines.

The green peppers have started blooming and half of the plants do look promising.

The zucchini really looks sick.  Not sure they are going to make it.

The cucumbers are blooming like crazy and if every bloom makes a cucumber I am going to have to give them away.  What can you do with so many cucumbers?

I planted beans twice and thought I saw one bean growing, but it never stood straight up.  So I must have been wrong about the bean.

I encouraged the volunteer tomatoes and I have all kinds from sickly looking to some that have tomatoes the size of my fist and they are still green as can be. I might fry some soon.

When it is all said and done I think I would have been better off taking the money I spent on seeds, plants, and weed preventer and just went to the Pizza Hut with a friend for lunch.  At least I would have enjoyed the Pizza Hut and I wouldn’t have as many mosquito bites.

I think I will give up gardening.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Love what you do and do what you love

                    Love What you Do and Do What You Love


Annette Bergman


 I just saw this statement in a quilting magazine, Love what you do and do what you love, and I had to wonder when it is time to let go of the things you love to do.  Time has taken care of my two favorite things to do. Sell real estate and being a beautician.

The real estate was a surprise for me.  I absolutely love it because I met so many nice people and they were so happy when I found what they were looking for in a home.  I did that for thirty years.  Being a beautician was my life’s dream.  There again, I met a lot of people and it made me feel good to make them look their best.  As a child I would brush my mother’s hair for what seemed like hours.  I was licensed for over forty years.

One thing I love to do as a child was roller skate.  I remember having skates that clamped to my shoes and then there were the skates I wore at the skating rink when I was a teenager.  I love to skate so much that a few years ago I purchased a pair of skates like I use to have when I went to the skating rink.  I could hardly wait to lace them up and see if I could still skate backwards and make turns seem effortless.  I immediately was reminded that I wasn’t young anymore and my balance wasn’t what it used to be.  Maybe if I had skated every few days or weeks all my life I could still skate.  So there went one thing I love to do.

I use to sew like there was a reward for the person who went through the most fabric. I started sewing at the age of twelve and amazed people at the level that I started.  I made my younger sister’s dresses…with some custom design work on them.  I made a slip cover for a big wooden box; mother kept extra linens in, and even put a box pleat around the bottom.  Soon I was making my own clothes and in school I made mine and my best friends sewing project.  We both got an A on our sewing project and at the end of school year my teacher gave me the projects that looked hopeless and I revived them.  

 I had visited my high school friend in Atlanta and on my drive back home I designed a shirt that I sold to Simplicity.  I ended up making nine designs in all for a pattern book called Casual Cut-ups. I was doing what I loved.

Once I made four quilts for my four children for Christmas.  Then I teamed up with a friend and we made over a dozen quilts for our church’s annual auction that helped support the missions.  Our last quilt was a reversible king size quilt made from John Deere fabric, antique tractors on one side and modern John Deere tractors on the other. That was the largest project to pass under the needle of my machine.  However, it did bring a whopping $1350.00 at the auction.

My granddaughter called when she was in high school to ask if I could help her with her Home Economics project and of course I said I would.  She showed up, with three other girls she failed to mention, that afternoon almost done me in.  We made dresses for four different countries…without patterns.  I heard later that they all received an A. Now I find I have to be in the mood to sew.

I always like having the prettiest yard in the neighborhood and after creating a beautiful yard at our last home I have found no humor in the yard signs that say, “Free weeds-pull your own.”  I have to wear rubber covered gloves just to get a grip on a weed.  My hands are about worn out from doing hair and garden work.

Last year we bought another home I had some weeds that were over six feet tall.  I’ve tried to keep them down this year.  I had big plans for this yard and with the help of my son and a friend I did get some things started, one being a flowerbed in front of the picket fence in front of the house.  I haven’t done a very good job of keeping the weeds out of that flower bed and the other one is thriving on neglect, weeds and all.  I think I have transplanted two huge weeds from the former yard.  The reason I’m almost sure they are weeds is because they never wilt. 

 The daisy I planted to remind me of a day I bought my first Shasta daisy for the old house needs water all the time.  Another thing I loved to do has bit the dust.

I have flipped houses before flipping houses was called flipping houses.  I love to paint and paper, make drapes and decorate. Now I have a house that I may or may not flip. I can only work for a few hours a day and I come home hot, tired and sometimes needing minor first aid. I’m waiting for the sun to go down as I write this so I can clean out the back of the truck and make way for tomorrows debris.

 I loved working on houses, but I have promised my husband I would not buy anymore home to work on.  You notice I said, to work on, I pray my next home will be finished and I can relax in my retirement…if there is such a thing. So one more thing that I loved to do is gone by the wayside.

I’m still a foodie and yesterday I baked an oatmeal cake that had chocolate in it.  That was the first recipe I had tried with chocolate and it has a coconut and pecan icing on top.  Talk about delicious, Paula Deen would be envious.  Today I helped myself to a small piece of the cake and added Blue Bells new Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream. Its right up there with one of the best desert I have ever tasted.

Looks to me like time has narrowed my choices for Love what you do and do what you love.  I can only pray that I will always have someone to cook for while I’m waiting on a mood to sew.



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Life Lesson

Life Lessons


Annette Bergman

I attended a funeral last Wednesday morning and I couldn’t help but wonder when my time comes if I would leave the beautiful memories that this lady left.  Along with the memories she had her own art show at her funeral and one of her best painting had been copied and was on the front of the bulletin for her service.

Her service was among the best I had ever attended and the art work displayed was awesome.  From the drawing she did in her senior year I high school of three sewing projects she brought to life in the form of three well designed outfits. I thought she was a class act from the first minutes I met her.

We left the gathering in a hurry because a storm was on its way.  The storm started before we arrived home.  The wind blew and the rain came down by the buckets.  I had prayed for the rain so I wouldn’t have to water the garden.  So I was glad for the rain.

In no time our power was out and the corn in my garden was flat on the ground.  It was the first time I had planted corn and I delighted in watching it grow from the kitchen window.  It has stated to tassel and I could see corn silks on one small ear of corn.  Now, here it was laying flat on the ground.  There were too many stalks to try and stake them all back up.  So I gave up on the corn…just like I do on a lot of things.  I felt beat and I felt flat.

  I had lost a friend a couple of weeks back and I think the funeral, losing power to our house for over seven hours and my corn being the only visible evidence of my lost brought me to tears.  I had been suffering in silence over my friend leaving and the storm brought it all to a head.

Two days later the corn started to lift its self towards the sky.  It was as though a sun beam was holding on to each stalk and helping it to stand up straight again.

That was what I needed to see in order to understand that I needed to look up to God and know in my heart that one friend was in heaven and the other one chose to leave for a reason and God would look after my friend too.  I just pray I wasn't the reason.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shades of Tan by Annette Bergmanwww.annettebergman.c...

Things That Make Me Nuts: Shades of Tan Shades of Tan by Annette Bergman Shouldn't we have some samples of make-up available to try so we can de...

Shades of Tan

Shades of Tan

Annette Bergman

Shouldn't we have some samples of make-up available to try so we can decide which shade looks the most natural on our skin, either in the privacy of our home or with a mirror on a sunny day outside, just in case the light in out bathroom isn't natural?

I know we have all seen the ladies who show up in public looking like they needed a second opinion on their make-up.

Have you ever gone to a discount store hoping to find some make-up that wasn't $1,000 to $1,800. a gallon?  Yes, that is what it sells for per gallon and we don't have the luxury of trying a small sample and some company is collecting so much money and not supplying a small sample for us to try first.

The sad part of it is I try to look at the different shades of tan and there are more than 50 shades of tan.

Then there are at least three to four other ladies right there in the make-up isle trying to discover if one of them will match their skin.  We're all in the same boat because there aren't any samples to try.

Of course, if you're out doors a lot in the summer you need a different shade of tan than in the winter when the sun goes south and all we get up north is a glow.

There we all stand first on one foot and then the other trying to select the right shade of tan, knowing once we purchase a bottle, tube of  some with a pump we can't return it.

It could be the lights in the store or it could be the shadows from the crowd around the make-up section, but regardless of exactly what the problem is, when I get home and apply the new make-up for the first time I always look like I've been embalmed.

I do believe that supplying small samples would probably up the sales of the first make-up company to have them available.  We could take several that were close to our shade of tan and try them in natural light and know for certain what shade to purchase.   I know I would stick to the same brand instead of spending all that time in a store trying to figure it out every few months.