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.