From say since mid-2007 or so, I've been off AIM, stopped most of my projects, a lot of the places I used to frequent I only now visit sporadically. I don't even post at GTF with the same enthusiasm as I used to have.
Here's an encapsulated timeline about what's been going on.
August 2007 -- Explosive device knocks out the downstairs window. Between the cleanup and the security measures taken place taken place, it was until November before things went back to normal. Oh yeah, the night of the explosion, my mom quit her job and never went back to work.
November 2007 -- My grandfather had to get a biopsy in his lung. The official diagnosis wasn't made until December 2007, but even before then the family feared the worst. From then up until his death in 2008. Oh yeah, and he had no life insurance! Yep, all funeral and burial expenses were paid for out of any savings our family could get our hands on.
April 2008 -- The demise of my grandfather necessitated in me taking over my grandmother's affairs, as my grandmother is partially blind and has great difficulty speaking. However, my grandmother had rental property that was managed by an individual with whom I quickly discovered was not trustworthy. From then until the end of the year, I had to worry about various legal matters concerning property and estate management.
June 2008 -- My dad breaks his back...seriously, a disk slipped, then ruptured, splintering and piercing his sciatic nerve. He had to have surgery, which immediately relieved the pain...but he had to be home for three months. Guess who had to pay the bills in the interim.
January 2009 -- I had to kick the tenants out. This resulted in a months-long legal battle. I won, but damage was done to the property and various bills went unpaid. Since I can't actually sue for damages until I fix them (since no contractor will give me an itemized estimate/cost until I actually commit to them doing the work -- and at the time I didn't have the money to fix them).
June 2009 -- I had to actually go through the process of getting a loan. I had to settle for literally half of what it would conservatively cost to fix up the houses. And yes, I did shop around, and even tried to bring on co-signers to no avail.
Present -- Got the loan, now looking for a contractor who will actually do the work. Most refuse to call back (even after I call them several times), some have said they would do it, then backed out. Heck, a couple simply no-showed.
Once I get these houses in order and rented out -- assuming my grandmother doesn't kick the bucket before then -- then things can get back to some sort of equilibrium. There's actually waaaaaaaaaaaaay more than what I outlined, but these are the basics.