Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm still here!

It has truly been way to long since my last post. My life turned into a tornado mid July and I am just now seeing daylight. I’ve cleared up most of the damage and I’m glad that clear skies are shining again.

First, let me say I. Am. Alive. Since the middle of July I’ve been home in Columbus a whole 5 days and except for the past 2 weeks I haven’t had any internet connection. I nearly went out of my mind! But, I survived and now I’m back with some renewed energy and new hope for the future. Here is an update.

Little Sophie (Mallory’s daughter) was put in the hospital sometime the middle of June (I can’t remember the exact date) for semolina poisoning and meningitis. The meningitis stemmed from the semolina which gave her seizures and eventually a small stroke. The semolina came from a strain in Beaverton, Oregon but we will never know where she got that from. To make a very long story short…She is a miracle! She had 2 brain surgeries, was put into a drug induced coma and was in the hospital for a month. Today she is showing some small signs of her trauma and the extent of brain damage will not be known until she gets older. She is healthy, smiling, kicking and being the perfect little angel God intended her to be. She does now have to take anti-seizure medication which makes her very sleepy, but other than that she is perfect! For those who knew this was going on, thank you for your prayers!

So, then I jumped from that into the money pit. Have you ever seen the movie Money Pit with Tom Hanks? If you haven’t you should rent it because it is very funny and mimic’s my life from mid-July to mid-September.

We have rental property in Kentucky, 8 units total, a 6-plex and a duplex. Because we live in Ohio and Victor works in Virginia we have had property managers running the places for us. Since we left Kentucky 3 years ago we went through 4 property managers and were on our 5th one when I arrived unannounced the 20th of July. He lasted 3 days and then he quit, which was good for him because he was going to be fired real HARD and I was more than ready to do it.

When I arrived out of the 8 units 6 were vacant. During the term of the 3rd property manager there was a major water leak and caused damage to the entire 6-plex. We were not notified until property manager 5 came on board, which we set repairs in motion ASAP. However, it seemed we kept getting the run around why it wasn’t getting done and they needed more and more money. This went on for 3 months and then finally Victor had enough and dispatched me to take charge.

When I arrived I was speechless! We had been told it’s almost done over and over again and that other things that were in need of repair were already done. Since we had 6 empty units we were told they were all cleaned, painted and carpets shampooed….NOT! Not a single unit had been touched, except for one unit that had the floor ripped up to repair the sub-flooring. I simply walked innocently into a hornet’s nest and what was supposed to be a week trip turned into 3 months.

On top of that entire nightmare we discovered illegal and unethical practices were being done by the current property manager and money had been stolen and invoices were inflated. Some of the previous property managers were fired for that exact same reason. I suppose they think when the owner’s live out of the state they can take advantage of you and they sure did.

We have learned many lessons from this. One huge one was that we didn’t make periodic trips to Kentucky to check on things. We put our trust into those we hired and that will never happen again. For one, we still haven’t hired a new property manager and won’t. I am running it long distance and have proved to be challenging, but I go there about every 2 weeks checking on things, at least for the time being.

Out of the 6 empty units we had, we now have only 2. The units now look like they did 5 years ago when they were brand new, although it cost around $50,000 to get all that needed to be done completed and correctly. We now have very good tenants in there and not trouble makers that previous property manager put in there. We had one tenant that one property manager put in…I kid you not…who had a python and was breeding cats and feeding the kittens to the python. We have a no pet policy…..I guess they felt a python wasn’t a pet and neither were the cats since they were being eaten ALIVE!!!! H.E.L.L.O

So, I made it home to Columbus for 5 days and then had to go back to Kentucky and from there I came to Virginia where I have been now for about 3 weeks. We’ve gone back to Kentucky once since we have been back in Virginia. I really don’t remember what my home looks like anymore. People ask me where I live and I tell them the Bermuda Triangle. Somewhere between Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia.

Other noteworthy news is Brian’s baby, Emma, is overdue and if she doesn’t come by Friday then they are going to induce labor. Brian left for field training this morning and will be gone for 3 weeks, so he will miss the birth. I fly out the 4th of November to see him and Emma in San Diego and I can’t wait! I haven’t seen Brian since before he left for Iraq and that’s almost 2 years now. It’s been way to long.

So, that’s it in a nutshell. I can now start posting new posts about current events and there is one coming up on Immaturity which I’m sure you will love. Shout me comments and let me know your still there!