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OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Posted by CEFreeman (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 19, 12 at 12:57

So.
After 5 years I filed for divorce.
Figured since DH never finished anything in his life. As far as I know, he wasn't going to finish this, either. I didn't have the money, and I didn't DO THIS, so I didn't want to have to come up with several $1000s. Yet again, though, I must finish his mess.

Fast forward:
He's threatening to force a sale on my triple underwater home if I hold him to his signed and notorized agreement taking responsibility for 1/2 of our $643000.00 debt. All in my name. Essentially, he's claiming 1) he gave me the house, and 2) he's contributed "substantial sweat equity" in the property.

Since he walked and left me with all this debt (I did mention "in my name", didn't I?), I didn't have any choice in the matter as to where 7 cats, 3 dogs and I should live.

Ok. Since our 2005 fire, and 1/3/07, he did reframe the walls in the house.
He ran wiring & installed outlets in a few places (since scorching up the wall).
He installed a toilet and shower.
When he thought he was going to move into the 2nd bedroom in '08, he did (almost) finish the hard wood floors.

However, it's not like we agreed he should go live with his slimy handicapped,(who suddenly becomes amazingly helpless when he's around or wants his attention) illegal immigrant, client girlfriend and I'd just take care of everything else. Frankly, like I have with everything else in our marriage, I guess.

And I should be [simper] happy to have my construction site, total financial ruin, no retirement (anymore), and the $64300.00 of deliquent debt & judgements. Sure. I got the great end to this deal. And, I have the privledge of being a waitress at 54 years old -- thank GOD I really do love my job, because I'm going to work until I die.

So. After this rant, I'm wondering how much you think it would cost to store:
about 200 lf of cabinetry,
my reach-in freezer,
my butcher block counter tops I built,
my CL kitchen of stove, fridge, DW, & microwave,
32 solar panels and it's electrical components,
a solar water system,
siding for a 2800 sq house,
an HVAC system and its duct work,
millions of feet of electrical wiring, outlets and switches,
plumbing fixtures (I guess I'll leave the copper plumbing underneath -- with the snakes,
light fixtures,
cork kitchen flooring (still in boxes) and underlayment,
a new back porch,
The plywood siding for a 1200 sf barn & its door hardware,
4 patio sliders,
7 windows,
a new w/d,

I won't talk about the 172 trees I've planted since I moved here, nor the 100 Japanese maples I have in pots, nor the landscaping shrubs, plants, trees, etc., I've invested in this property. No, I won't talk about that.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but I'll stop now. If this happens, I'm gonna strip this puppy back down to the studs he left me with and take every single nail, screw, shred of insulation, and speck of dirt. And I'm going to need to ask for help, which also rubs me way the wrong way. (Hey local folks, got a free afternoon in the upcoming year? I've got tools and will rent the PODs. And beer. I'll buy the beer & 'dogs.)

I guess I'll just give him a bill for the labor on all of the installation and repairs I've had to have done on his work, and we can split that, too.
Let's see.
That's redoing all his electrical work, incl. rewiring all the outlets & switches.
Replumbing active leaks (one he just put together with tape),
repairing 4 places on the roof, including installing drip edge left out of the original install,
and drywall work, including plugging the holes in the ceiling where pot lights should be, sealing external walls, (fist-sized holes where I could see daylight along the bottom edges), and other joys.

And I am far from finished. With the electricity, drywall, plumbing (holes in floor, still), porch, and so on.

Ok. Just another day in the life of Christine. I figure if he felt like Googling me all this will pop up under my name, anyway. What the heck have I got to lose? Can't argue with the truth, although it can sure be twisted.

Thanks for listening. As usual. I'll get past this. One way or another.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Hi Christine,

I haven't been around long enough for the whole story, but why haven't you just walked away from the property and filed BK? While I'm not an advocate of doing so, we have those options available to us when we really need them. Sometimes we need them.

From a credit perspective, the sooner you walk away from it all, the sooner it starts to age off your credit history.

Your story sounds terrible and I'm so sorry you're going through this.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Fair question, but not an option.
That's a question I get frequently, but I would have
1) no place to live with now, 4 cats and 3 dogs,
2) lose a source of $500s' worth of income I can't sell, either, because it's 2 mortgages underwater,
3) I love what my house is becoming. I've put blood into this place. My gardens, building my cabinets, making everything mine vs. accommodating a 6'5" man who is always sick.

Reason #2 is very important, actually. If I didn't still own my condominium (he's trying to claim as marital property), I'd lose that income. It pays for its 1st mortgage, so it's not a drain on me, but rather an asset. I can't make it on a waitress' income without that $500.

In the 5 years since he created this crap, I've explored bankruptcy 3 different times. None of the chapters let me keep this income source. The chapters let me keep where I live, but walking away? Who would rent to a woman w/ that many pets, on a waitress' unstable income, for $1100 a month? (I got a mod 2 years ago.)

My lawyer feels it is possible after this divorce is settled. That will be the 4th time I'm going to look at it.

The thing is, if he were to honor his agreement about 1/2 our (his belly-up, family business incl.) debts, what I'd have left is actually current and so far, do-able. My part of the agreement, assuming 1/2 of the responsibility, covers my 1st mortgages and other debts I've been able to actually, slowly pay off or at least keep current. With my condominium, I could make it.

So not ruled out, but not an option. I realize I could keep where I live, but ...


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Do you have a good attorney? How about a financial person? While you don't have lots of money to invest you have complex financial issues and could use sound advise.

If you haven't already, document everything you have done without him.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine, I'm so sorry. I do know, after reading so many of your posts on here, that you seem to be a kind woman. You don't seem to have a disingenuous bone in your body, and it is so unfair that this guy won't honor an agreement that he apparently agreed to in good faith.

I don't have any miraculous words of wisdom - but I did have to say that I'm sorry, and I hope it all works out ok for you.

I used to be fond of saying, I hope he will get what is coming to him. But I've seen too many people screw other good human beings and apparently make out like a bandit while doing so. I'd like to think karma will eventually get them. Who knows....

Anyway, good luck.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

I haven't been around long enough either to know your story (or the rest of it), but I'm so sorry you're going through this. I agree with the others that from your posts you always seem so helpful, and I believe what is posted on this forum reflects the people who post them.

I have helped a friend go through a very long (5 year) divorce. Her husband was an attorney and worked for a police surveillance company so you can imagine the things he would do to spy on her. He did every nasty trick in the book even kicking her and her two kids out of their house before Christmas. They moved in with me and my husband in our 700 square foot 3 bedroom 1 bath home. It was tight but worked. Eventually she got through it. I may pleaded with a judge and finally got a restraining order against him (it helped to block him from getting his dream job with the FBI).

My husband and I have had so much help from very generous people along the way, and I have a soft spot for the underdog. You have my ear, and anything I can reasonably offer. I live in NE Kansas. My husband and I are pretty handy. Plus thanks to my DH's temper when driving my little two year old is pretty good at giving the bird.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine, I wish you the best in the outcome.

Divorce laws are such that I simply don't understand the logic behind it.

I just read that Adam Lanza's (the shooter at the Conn tragedy) parents had a divorce. The father makes around 450K a year and mother got 280K per year in alimony. (the kids are both over 18, no child support in this situation, I guess.) In addition to that the father has to pay for college out of his income. The mother keeps the alimony and no college tution from that!

I have no idea if the numbers are correctly reported or not. But I did note that the alimony was more than 50% of what the husband makes per year.

Is that even possible in the divorce procedings?

I plead ignorance in these things.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Kaismom - Divorce laws vary by state. Spousal support varies based upon the income of both parties. Typically there is a formula the courts would follow BUT anything can be negotiated. In California, it is no fault. Unfortunately, the courts don't care if one spouse does something horrid (unless illegal), it's just about the split of assets.

In the case of Adam Lanza's mom - I would imagine that even though Adam was over 18, he was special needs. In that case it's not unusual that in the negotiations support was still provided so mom would be able to care for him (but no money given to him directly).


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

What a jerk. I'm sorry you are in this mess, Christine. I've no words of wisdom for you, but just want to say that I'm pulling for you to come out of this as whole as possible if not better than that. Hang in there, lady!


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

I'm so sorry that your slimy STBE is still being slimy! Also I'm sorry that I have no ideas or anything helpful to contribute. I do hope karma does come around.

cheers, Reeses and wine!


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

I am sorry you are going through such a hard time. On a brighter note, I was out doing some stocking stuffer shopping today and I saw Reese's Santas, Dark Reese's, King Size Cups, and when I got home I got an email with a recipe for PB Balls.
I thought of you with each encounter.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

The best I can say is that you will get past all this.

I went through a similar divorce about 7 years ago, bought my ex out of our house at the top of the market then the market tanked!!!

I was left with a house that was half gutted and needed a ton of work.

But little by little, I got back on my feet and tackled each project with a lot of help and a lot of money. When I was done, I absolutely loved that house and had made it my own....then I sold it for less money than it was worth because of another one of his mistakes. But I ended up in a better place and a house that doesn't have that past attached to it.

I wish I could say I had some magic bullet that helped get me through it but it was just hard work, keeping my head up high, gritting my teeth when my hard earned $$$ (almost 200K) was flushed down the toilet by my ex in no time....

You'll eventually come out better on the other side. When you need manpower - I AM THERE!!!!


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

WELL, you always seem to have boundless energy and lots of stamina and desires to learn so>>>>>>>>>>..i truly believe that you will come out of this on the good side.

As has been said, i do hope that your lawyer is a good one (and a woman since she will be able to see it from your side) and that you have lots of documentation about what has been happening.

All of that said, I wish you the best, and let me know if you need some womanpower for pulling up stakes.

Best of success (not luck)


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

I can't thank you enough for the sympathy, empathy, and goodness knows, humor. And for the offers. ;) I'm in the Wash., D.C. suburbs in Maryland, so unfortunately rather far from everyone.

However, I'd like to make arrangements to rent your 2 year old, Iowacommute! Have you heard the great Rodney Atkins song, "I've been watching you!"? It's about a 4 year old in the truck... It was kind of you to be there for your friend. And kharma got the never-to-be FBI employee!

Yes, I've documented everything, including the person I hired who bailed with my money and (another) 1/2 finished job. C'est la vie, in some ways.

I am a firm believer in Kharma. I've been blessed to get to see Kharma in action. We often say someone is reaping their kharma; usually when it's negative. We seldom recognize it in ourselves. Due to crazy trauma, I'm a tad more aware than I was in a previous life. Well, I mean THIS life, not pre-this lives! [LOL] My DH is always sick and in some kind of pain. Undiagnosable intestinal trouble. Horrible headaches from a plastic, reconstructed skull, knee injuries, you name it. If I remember correctly, 48 broken bones in his body. So, I'd say he's working off some kharma, yet not accruing anything good in this life.
"What goes around, comes around" is not just flip lip service!

I'm honored to have you think of me, localeater! And I'm pretty excited to hear they're out in other shapes and chocolates. I'm going to avail myself of these treasures. Yeah!

On the way home I realized I need to add $35K in gutters to that list. Imagine me pulling those off the house and jamming them into a Pod.

Debrak2008, I believe I have a good attorney. I didn't just get advice in a bar, but rather hired a divorce attorney. I like him so far. He is clear, explains things to me without condescension, and isn't worried about DH's lawyer at all. Financial advisor? Well, no. Why would I waste $$ on advice for my tips! [LOL] Advice #1: Earn more! Work harder!

Teresa518, thank you. I know I'll get thru it. It's always just a question of time. Sadly, this is my 2nd rodeo, although I was young, I still learned a lot. I'm grateful kids aren't involved because it does change the whole dynamic. I'm glad he hasn't been able to teach children how to leave things unfinished, justify horrendous behavior, and think it's OK because it's them!

For all the crappy stuff that has happened with him, the house and its repairs, I feel I'm very lucky. People are very kind to me when I am frantically at my wits' end. I have the strangest windfalls, too, which help me make good steps forward on what will be a beautiful house that belongs to MEMEMEMEMEME!! See? When I ranted and was just depressed as all get out, you all made me laugh!

There seem to be a lot of music out right now that speaks to me. Just pop stuff, but makes me smile. "Every storm runs out of rain." You bet'cha!

Thanks so much!


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine I don't have any advice or any words of wisdom but just want to send good thoughts your way in your time of hurt. You are clearly a very kind hearted person and I'm so sorry you are going through this. Try to stay strong. Sending all good thoughts your way.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine - I'm 30 years away from your situation but remember the climb up the hill. The ride down though is exhilarating. I hope your downhill comes SOON!

Java


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine, your ability to maintain hope as well and your sheer determination are awe-inspiring. Wishing you a continual stream of "strange windfalls."

Kris


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

For the financial advisor I was thinking of someone who could address the situation of your condo. There maybe a way to protect what you do have while not counting against you in other ways. I have personal experience with a property where the deed was changed to do this. All legal and it works out well. It was an attorney who specialized in protecting assests who suggested it. This is for a property worth less than $100,000 so it not just for the wealthy to do this stuff.

Maybe something you might want to check into. When you mentioned not wanting to lose your income from your condo it made me think of a situation in our family in which the deed change solved it. Email me if you want more info.

Best wishes for you in the New Year!


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

debrak_2008, I'll check into this with my lawyer. My sister also has a financial adviser she trusts. I have recently learned that [ahem] DH is on the deed, so that's a glitch. I hold both loans.

Luckily, this was my property before marriage, which makes a difference in Maryland. The 2nd blessing is that payments for this property (and everything else in our life) has come out of my checking account, so I have proof of that.

Thanks all, for the kind words and well wishes. Makes me cry nice tears.

So. I think I'll go watch the show about the end of the world tomorrow. How did the Mayans predict Leap year?


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

CEF, just want to add to the good wishes, and to say that I, too, am amazed at your drive, enthusiasm, and resourcefulness. We're very close in age--with all that you do, I thought you must be much younger! I've enjoyed your posts, from the very first one I read, and I hope that the coming year is better for you.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

I also have nothing specific to offer that could aid you, but just wanted to express my sympathies and my strong desire that this works out legally, emotionally, financially as well as it can for you. Your attitude is inspiring. Best of luck, my dear CEF. (Don't worry -- no Nietzchian platitudes coming your way ;-)


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

So. I think I'll go watch the show about the end of the world tomorrow. How did the Mayans predict Leap year?

Seems like a good time to repost an image of a '70s oven I have shared before!
Photobucket
And a close-up
Photobucket


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Oh, my.
Didn't know they were into culinary arts, too!
I wonder if they invented the fajita?
Wow. That oven is amazing. Do you think they'd decoded the calendar then, or at that point was it still an ornament?

Angie, you made me laugh. Platitudes make me want to shoot myself, despite the fact I know it's just when someone has no idea what to say! [LOL] But if one is gonna misquote...
"Off with their heads," screamed the Queen!

Thanks all. I'm off to my favorite reuse center. I need a shopping fix. (HA! My mom would be so confused that it wasn't Lord and Tasteless!)


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine--I was searching around for your email addy to ask you about something else when I stumbled onto this thread. I didn't read it in December as I was knee deep in sickness (both DD and I, and since then DS, DD again, DH, and me again) at the time and assumed this thread was more about DIYing a project. Boy, was I wrong! Your STBX keeps getting lower and lower in my book.

Then, I realized I haven't seen you post for days, at least. I'm worried. How are you? Any news since Christmas? I hoping you've run into the world's largest sale of Reece's and that enjoying a chocolate and peanut butter stupor. Don't make us send a search party for you..... :)


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

I didn't see this before either. Good grief woman - you have a lot on your shoulders.... and you are dealing with it beautifully. STBX sounds like a piece of work.

This is probably a dumb question, but aren't payments on the debt way more than the $500 income (so it would make more sense to lose the rental in a bankruptcy)?

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine,

I also live in the Md. suburbs, near Annapolis. I have a big soft spot in my heart for dogs, and I can only imagine how much you love them and want to keep a roof over their head too. Having fostered quite a bit over the past decade, I have 4 of my own. Spoiled babies.

Drop me a line at maddiemarguerite @ yahoo dot com if you want to talk or maybe even meet for lunch.

I have been in situations where I thought there was no tomorrow. As Annie says - the sun will come out -- tomorrow.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

It sounds like you need to have a good talk with your lawyer - or a better lawyer if he can't help you. I don't know what state you are in, here in CA all property would be divided 50-50.

Since you have a home to stay in and can afford the mortgage, perhaps you should look into bankruptcy to deal with the debt, and continue paying your mortgage and current bills?


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine--I also missed this the first go-round (thanks breezy for bringing it back up). You know I am close by as we emailed about eating where you work. If you need help, please email me. I can be a bit handy, as can my DH. I am good at listening, too--sometimes you just need to vent!

Hang in there. Let us know how you are doing!


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine, I just wanted to say how sorry I am for the trouble you're having and also to say that I think you are brave and funny, generous, and interesting and really an inspiration. I am sure, at this point, you've built enough character that you could bottle it up and sell it, but hang in there and keep the faith that maybe the reason for all of this trouble has yet to be revealed.

If you decide to organize a "barn raising" of sorts to get some help from your friends on GW, I will try to join in although being in Boston and having two young kids, I'm not sure I'd be able to come but I would certainly try and maybe something along this line would be a good idea? You've made a lot of friends here, you've shared a lot of inspiring stories as well as your tips on how to get things done and I am sure there are alot of people who'd like to pay it forward.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

I hope Christine is okay; when is the last time she posted?


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

She posted Jan. 14th. Not sure about the 15th.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Bumping for Christine. Sending you warm wishes lady!


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Hey guys! Thank you SO much for all your concern and support!

I'm not getting notifications (again) for some reason, and have been working my tail off. It's extremely, frighteningly slow this month, so I'm taking all the shifts I can. Like everything, this will pick up, but in the meanwhile, I'm one pooped, too-old-for-this woman. (Feels weird to call myself a "woman"!)

Anyway, to answer a few questions:
Bankruptcy isn't in the picture because I'd lose the condominium & its' $500 a month.

$500 a month helps me take care of the bills I do pay. My insurances & some of my primary mortgage. Because I don't pay the ones I cannot even pretend to cover (the ones he'd agreed to pay), I am getting by and this money makes ends meet. One debt at a time; they're not going anywhere.

Community (i.e. 50/50) property. Sure. MD, too. But it doesn't divide the debt. I'd end up out on my bummy with my pets, still in debt with no place to live. He walked away leaving me without a choice in the matter. The blood I've out into this place has me possessive. He doesn't want it, instead simply wants to be absolved of 18 years of financial responsibility.

berardmr, I didn't know you were close! Very cool. I'm thinking someday when I can actually paint, I'll get all my paint colors together and invite everyone for the weekend. Bring sleeping bags, campers, kids and pets. I have a grill and paint supplies, and yes, potties! Yeah!

Adding fuel to the legal fire. I just emailed my lawyer (whom I really like) to tell him that I qualified for a gov't program for the condominium to lower my interest rate from 6.75 to about 3.99. Quicken Loans and my mortgage holder contacted me, then said I can't do it because of the judgment against me for one of the bills STBX is supposed to handle.

So the consequences of his behavior are far reaching. I can't even have a checking account because it's frozen. Welcome to the life of prepaid Visas and money orders.

I'm feeling a little encouraged, though. Lawyer is constantly amazed at the history and behavior. I just sent him a few links (he's probably reading this now!) rather than trying to relive it all. He feels a "judge will be disgusted with him." Keeping in mind STBX can read all this too, [waving hello with middle finger thoughts] I try to be fair and give him opportunities to consider the right things to do. [was that a pig that flew by my window?]

I'm also putting the doors on my MBR Tansu I've been working on for going on 7 years. If I can get pictures, you know I'll post them!

Thanks again, all.
You're unbelievably wonderful friends to have and I am grateful to have you.
C.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

So glad to see that you still have the great sense of humor. Some of the things in your post make me laugh out loud and DH asks what I'm reading that's so funny. Pigs flying by and waving hello with your middle finger, lol. Best to you and do keep my email.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine, I missed your posting in December because I was in OK for my son's emergency surgery. I'm so sorry you have to go through this gigantic mess because of your STBX who obviously has no conscience or sense of ethics (probably has never even heard of these concepts). I have no advice to give, only my heartfelt wish that your indomitable spirit and positive energy will get you through this ordeal, and you will soon be able to put it behind you. I'm in CO so I don't think I'd be able to actually come out and help you if you would have to pack everything up, but my best wishes are with you and all of your lovable critters.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

Christine, no advice to give, but just wanted to add my sympathies to your situation. i enjoy all of your fun posts and generous advice. i really admire your gumption and am hoping the new year will bring you better times and more windfalls.


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RE: OT: Sweat Equity. Huh? (Very long, as usual)

I kinda feel sorry for your ex in a way. Spending all that time and energy trying to figure out how to be an even bigger PIA is sad. And no matter how hard he tries, you take it in stride and soldier on. Best revenge ever! I hope your lawyer kicks his butt!


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