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This weather must be payback for the temperate and lovely summer we had last year. In my neck of the woods, the temps are reported to be in the 80’s. News flash…try 90’s  (32.2C+). When the evening temps don’t go below 60F (15.5C+) you’ve got the makings for one ugly summer. I’m so thankful (knock on wood) that So Cal isn’t pummeled with heavy humidity like a large portion of the country.

Humidity is just suffocating when combined with temps over 80F (26.6C+). Having grown up in the Midwest, I know. I can’t even imagine living in the southeast. Just looked at temps in the Netherlands where my pen pal of many years lives. 70’s (21.1C+) and rain.

Stopped by Besotted Brand blog and Tristan had a fabulous photo of water. It’s so refreshing, don’t miss it! Seriously, you’ll want to dive right in!

Poor Blue is really feeling the dog days and it’s only July 2! That means we have all of July, August, September and October to go till we see anything in the 70’s. This is when I wish I had the money to own two homes. One for winter and one for summer. Speaking of Blue, I realized I haven’t posted a pic of his sweet little face lately, so here he is…

Look at that sweet little face and those deep chocolate eyes…mwah!

Even the tomato plant is looking stressed by the heat and fruit production is slowing.  😦

The “gardeners” (and I use that term very loosely) for this property (they’re six months new) aren’t exactly the swiftest men on the planet (and I’m being kind). For some unknown reason they removed the screen on the crawlspace of the other house on this property but didn’t put it back. As a result, my neighbors P and A had an opossum nesting under their house which explains why we’ve seen those babies trotting about.

Unfortunately, the opossums are flea-riddled and so P and A have been beset upon by the little blood suckers that have come up through their floor boards. (Have I commented on what lousy construction one finds in Southern California?) Their poor little Pomeranian is now going to the groomer for a bath and flea dip every two weeks and the two of them even sprayed themselves with human flea repellant. Flies are also rampant in the area and one can’t sit outside without the big black things biting.

Talked to A the other day about all this when she called to warn me that their yard and house would be sprayed the following day. A, apparently has been on the phone more than one should ever have to with the “property manager” (landlord’s girlfriend, Nancy*) and landlord (Eric*) just trying to get the yard sprayed. Oh, they also have an overabundance of ants, black widows, brown recluses and some kind of black beetle that’s not a June bug or cockroach.

I must add at this juncture that this house looks like it’s ready for Halloween. Cobwebs are everywhere and I’m not about to sacrifice my broom or get up on a ladder and chance falling to clean them. This had been pointed out to Nancy on several occasions but as of yet no results. But that’s a story for another post.

Eric used to be very attentive to his properties when I first moved here. Now? Not so much. He owns eight two-on-a-lot rentals in town. Each house rents for an average of $,1700 per month which comes to over $27,000 per month if my math is right and here he is arguing with A about why should he foot the $125 bill for spraying. He even made her feel like it was her fault and I can tell you the woman is cleaning obsessive, so I don’t think so.

Let’s see, the saying “penny-wise and pound-foolish” comes to mind. If either of the renters should get bitten after complaining in writing and by email, a lawyer would most likely get involved and so on. Plus the fact that only one house on the property was being sprayed, means the vermin will migrate into my yard…even more than they have previously. Poor Blue is chewing himself to pieces despite an application of Frontline recently.

P and A also had a recent experience with their bathroom toilet not working and leaking at the base as well as the garbage disposal. Nancy hired one of their tenants who was behind on the rent to fix it. When he showed up, he freely admitted he had no experience in either. As a result, the guy went through three toilets before he got it right and flooded their kitchen before he plumbed that correctly. And this is with A printing out “how-to” info from the internet and showing him YouTube videos on the process.

In talking to Eric, A discovered he had no idea about the three toilets or flood. Apparently Nancy decided not to apprise him of the problems. Eric is working on his doctorate in English and so she must not want to “bother” the poor man with such trivialities. But I’m being snotty here.

What’s really odd about renting is that in my opinion, the property owner, not renter is responsible for the building upkeep and safety. The only thing I can think of is that he possibly refinanced unwisely and now is paying dearly for it.

Another thing that puzzles me, is that finding good tenants is as hard as finding good employees so why risk chasing them away with a lack of attention to simple problems. This is exactly what will happen at the rate we’re going. Yep, penny-wise and pound-foolish.

*Note:  these may or may not be their real names.