Tag Archives: Dirt under my fingernails

Heaven on Earth

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth.
One is nearer to God in a garden
Than any place else on earth.

Dorothy Francis Gurney

The above is an exert from a poem by Dorothy Francis Gurney; I used to have a wooden plaque hanging in my garden with that verse on it.

Through the worst times of my life I have found comfort in my garden. When JC and I were at the resort I spent hours tending my garden, crying, praying for answers, praying for strength, praying for my son and my brother, praying to be given one more chance to save my boy, praying for serenity, and sometimes cursing God for giving me too much to handle.

I always came away from my garden feeling calmer, stronger; it was my refuge. It has been for most of my life. When I lived at the lake before I even met JC I would be out there with a flashlight and a glass of wine tending my garden. It seemed the harder the time I was going through the more beautiful my gardens were. Every year I dug up more sod for more flowers. The little English lady that lived across the street and could barely walk made her way across the road slowly with her walker and came up to where I was pulling weeds and she said, ” I want to thank you for your lovely gardens. I look out my window and your gardens take me back to my childhood and the lovely English gardens. You have a loving touch; I’ve watched you. I just wanted you to know you have given this old lady much pleasure with your gardens.” and she shuffled back to her house. I’ll never forget it and of course I cried.

When we were at the resort I couldn’t afford plants but all the neighbour brought over plants and bulbs as they thinned out their gardens, one brought over a filing box with tons of different seeds for me to pick from. It was a tough year emotionally, like I said, I did alot of praying. It was the most beautiful garden I’ve ever had.

Gardening is so community minded, it brings people together, gives them something to talk about. A person can be talking by and feel free to say, “Your garden is lovely”. Or gardeners are always so willing to share plants, advice, and ask questions. Somehow a garden removes fences, class distinction, age, and even gender, gardeners are all on the same team.

I missed my gardens this year, I planted gardens last year and got compliments but I didn’t take the time to enjoy them because I was on borrowed time there and was trying to work as much as possible. This year I did plant some, but lack of water took its toll.

I pray that someday I have a tiny place, nothing fancy, I’m easy to please. 400 sq ft would do me just fine, with a fireplace (there is nothing like coming home from a long walk on a brisk fall day and the house is toasty warm from a crackling fire) There are few things more rewarding than getting up in the morning to a cold house and finding a few red embers still in the wood stove because all that’s necessary is to pull ghetto damper and throw on a few dry pieces of wood and in minutes the house is warm again.
I want a kitchen big enough that I can cook a pot of soup or chilli or maybe a pot roast and have a few friends over to share my fire and a bottle of wine.  lots of windows to let the sun shine in and hang crystals in. And a covered porch to hang wind chimes and a wooden rocking chair so I can sit out there even when it rains. One wall of book shelves for all those books I keep moving with me and some day want to read, but they look good until then. 🙂 I love books.

A place I can paint. A freezer I can fill with baking at Christmas and maybe even some cabbage rolls and tourtierre. A bath tub I can fill with bubble bath and keep adding hot water to until I am pink and wrinkly.

And a tiny yard trimmed with gardens.

And never have to move; just grow old there, Grandma’s house. Where my son and grand daughter can come to visit and know there are cookies in the cookie jar and my son will go to the freezer and grab some frozen cookies and I can give him shit for eating them before Christmas.

That is what I pray for. Not much, nothing fancy; not a knight in shining armor to save me, no trips around the world. Just a little bit of heaven on earth. The sun for pardon, the bbirds song for mirth.

What for you pray for?

I Am Woman Hear My Chainsaw Roar

One of the big ass trees we have to take out

One of the big ass trees we have to take out

Jim is cutting it not quite 1/2 way through and then will knock it over

Jim is cutting it not quite 1/2 way through and then will knock it over

Jim moves the excavator to get in position to push the tree over

Jim moves the excavator to get in position to push the tree over

Trying to knock it over but it's not going

Trying to knock it over but it’s not going

Notice the excavator is lifting off the ground

Notice the excavator is lifting off the ground

still pushing

still pushing



Now my work starts

Now my work starts

Trying to rip it off the stump

Trying to rip it off the stump

This is what I have been doing with my evenings this week in order to make some extra cash. (Maybe some day I can chainsaw my own trees down and make MY own beams for my house) ¤catty I know¤

Jim, the guy who lent me the trailer to live in temporarily has a job just down the road using his excavator to rip out some big ass old trees so the guy can put in more blueberries.

Jim knocks them down and then I buck they up using the chainsaw into about 6-8′ lengths; then Jim digs a trench and buries them. They plant the blueberries in raised rows so they don’t have to plow the soil. Burying the trees won’t interfere with their planting and it’s better for the environment than burning them.

I had never used a chainsaw before and have gotten it stuck a couple of times when the tree pinched it because I hadn’t cut through far enough on the opposite side, but all in all I think I’ve done pretty good.

The tree in the pictures was really rubbery and tougher to cut than the previous two we did earlier in the week; also the biggest so far. We figure it was about 300 years old. All the branches were dead on the ends but it was still alive at the base.

I’ve enjoyed learning something new and I’m making $15 an hour so it’s a bit of extra money which I can always use.

Usually Jim knocks the trees down while I’m working and then after work when the sun has gone down and it’s cooler I go and buck them up and he buries them. We can get a tree buried in a couple of hours.

There is something empowering about wielding a chainsaw! 🙂

One thing being with JC taught me is there is nothing a man can do that I can’t if I want to. He expected me to work with him like a man would. I hate failing at anything and learned I like the challenge of trying some thing new; as long as I am shown what to do and then left alone to figure it out. I hate someone looking over my shoulder and Jim was great about showing me and then leaving me to it. Once in a while he’ll show me a better way or point out something and that’s great.

I am proud of myself. One more thing on my list of things I know how to do.

Next I’d like to learn how to run the excavator.

Posted by Carrie the Lady Witha Truck

Ok I have ragged on and made fun of JC enough now, I think I got it out of my system. But it did make me feel better to remind myself why I don’t want him back, why I am better off and that he hasn’t had a miraculous healing and turned into the man he pretended to be. If I had been honest and thinking with my rational, logical mind, I would have left about 4 months into the relationship and saved myself 9.6 years of misery. But looking in the rear view mirror makes it hard to go forward (I made that up myself :)) and that is what I have to do. That doesn’t mean I am “over” him, well I suppose that depends on your definition of “over”. It is going to take a long time to recover from him, but I am over him and his lying ass.

The one thing we all have to remember, we as in; the victims of narcissist/psychopath abuse is; people don’t change a hell of a lot and no one, not you, not me and not the OW can fix a narcissist/psychopath. I am not talking about your run of the mill adulterer or miserable a-hole, I am talking about the pathological liar, porn addicted, cheater who raped your soul and kicked you while you lay there bleeding wondering what the hell happened. He is not going to change. A person can have addiction issues, they can control the addiction, some times on their own but more than likely with the help of rehab, counseling, or a support group such as AA, or SA. A person can have an affair and never have one again (though statistics prove the odds of them doing it again are high), a person can tell a little white lie or a big lie for that matter and not be a narcissist, but when they lie to you from day one about major things and they have done it their whole life, the odds of them stopping are pretty slim. If they have hit every woman they have ever been with they will hit the next woman too; and if they are ALL those things they are a narcissist and you are supposed to run away!! They like to make it sound like we drive them to behave the way they do, no one has that kind of power over someone else. I have to remind myself of these things often. A person can change something about themselves (usually with help) but they can’t change everything about themselves and maintain it; they never have and they aren’t going to now with the new woman. He lied and put on a good front for you and he is for her too but even IF he did change, I could never go back now so I might as well move on best I can. That being said:

My situation hasn’t changed at all but I am feeling a bit of the old Carrie peeking through once in a while. I am starting to appreciate what I do have and as of Thursday I have paid my storage for another month and paid my truck insurance for another month and only have my cell phone yet to pay.

Something else hit my windshield and left a huge spider web right in my line of vision so a new windshield is definitely top on my To-Do List. I have been given some ideas on what to look for with my truck running rough and I am going to buy a Haynes Manual for a 1991 GMC and figure out how to change my own U-joints.

A customer pointed out yesterday that I’ve lost a muffler clamp so that would account for some of the rattling; it should be an easy fix.

I find I start getting chest pains as soon as I head home so I think I am having anxiety attacks and not necessarily heart attacks.

I had that great chat with that fellow the other day when I went to see where the road went and then Wednesday got hugs from Fred and Maria and that helped with my outlook. As always the gang at Amix always puts a smile on my face. I didn’t make it into Amix yesterday, I wasn’t feeling great, chest pain wise and had a hard time getting moving so I did a few local pickups. It’s been Spring Clean Up in Mission this last week and I haven’t gone out looking at all so decided I’d take a cruise around and see what I could get. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was one of those days when people were really friendly, maybe I looked more approachable? Who knows, but it’s the kind of thing that grows, you know? You smile, they smile back, you both feel better so you smile at the next person and they smile at the next person and by the end of the day there are a bunch of people thinking; “Gee I had a good day, people were so friendly”.

I probably timed it right too, I went around just after supper time when people were putting their stuff out to the curb for garbage day and there weren’t many scrap haulers out yet or they’d gone home for supper.

You see different areas have different pick up days, during Spring Clean Up many people will put their garbage out early in the week and that is what guys have been picking up all week, but there are still the few that wait until their pick up day and those are the ones I got. I had one lady yell after me that they were bringing out another battery and more metal and to come back. I turned around and probably chatted with them for 15 minutes. Another guy called me over and had some checker plate aluminum and we chatted a while. I talked to a couple of women who were just out “shopping” for whatever they could find. The dogs are always attention getters and conversation starters.

I got some good stuff for the flea market and almost a full load of scrap. I still got home in the day light which was nice because I am always so nervous when I get home in the dark. I had picked up some purple mini Christmas lights in my travels and decided to string them up along the trailer so now when I get home late I just have to plug them in and it won’t be so scary.

That sort of scares me in itself because it means I am adapting, adapting means getting comfortable and I don’t want to get comfortable living here.

I have been trying to figure out why I have been so upset and I know part of it is wishing my family was different, but they are what they are and nothing has changed in 54 years so I doubt anything is going to change now. I think part of the problem is that I was always so stable, reliable, self-sufficient and predictable. I was who everyone came to when their world fell apart. When my mom and dad split after 30 yrs my mom arrived on my doorstep, literally. She even moved into a place 5 doors down from me, for a year when I said grandma was coming over my son who was 2 at the time would run in the bathroom and grab a roll of toilet paper because he knew grandma would be crying. For a year I didn’t have a date come over without my mom being there, she even lived with me for about a month until I finally said “If you don’t go I will.”

My brother, 9 years younger than me had a second mom in me. I think I worried more than my mom did. He forgets how many times I brought him food, lent him money, cleaned up after one of his parties, gave him a vehicle to drive, and generally was “just there” through some pretty rough times when my mom “couldn’t handle it”. There has never been a time I didn’t have time for my family. There are 3 of us that’s it, so I’ve always thought we had to stick together.

For some reason being homeless has always been a big fear of mine; having nightmares about it type fear. I used to pray that God would keep a roof over my head until Kris was out of the house and then I didn’t care what happened. I should have been more careful about what I prayed for because it was about the time Kris moved out that I got involved with JC and have struggled to not be homeless since. While with JC, homelessness was horrifying and traumatic but I could adapt better because I was with him, I didn’t have to do it all alone, I was reliant on him, he was in control.

Before Kris moved out and before homelessness was an actual possibility I used to tell myself that I had enough equity, enough credit, enough RRSP’s, and enough work experience I would never be homeless and IF by some fluke I did end up homeless my mother would never let me live on the streets, she would take me in until I got on my feet again. It was really hard to take when I found out I was wrong on all counts.

I doubt anyone wants to be homeless, but some people care where they live more than others. I am one of the people who need a home; I need a place I go home to, my little safe haven. It doesn’t have to be fancy, I will work my ass off making it a home, but I need a home. I need a place where I can walk through the door, sigh, pour a hot bath, put on my jammy’s and curl up on the couch.

I need dirt to dig in and gardens to putz in; I am missing my gardens big time right now. Now is when I would be weeding and checking to see how all my plants fared through the winter, I’d be marveling at the sprouts breaking through the dirt and thrilled to see who all survived the winter. I’d be separating bulbs and rearranging plant locations for the ones that didn’t do so well where they were last year and planning where I would find room for new additions and where I could dig up another patch of sod and plant more flowers. I’d have my gardening books out and pouring over them planning a water garden or shade garden, picking out some new feature plant I have to have. I drove past my favorite nursery last night on the way home and the truck almost turned in all on its own. In spring I can rarely make it past without turning in and buying at least one plant. But I kept going, no dirt to dig in this year and oh do I miss it.

I miss cooking dinner for friends and family. I used to do that a lot, everyone raved about my cooking and baking; then for years JC and I didn’t have a kitchen. All my recipe books were stolen (along with all my other stuff they didn’t just take the books), you know all those tried and true recipes you collect over the years that you know by heart but still need the recipe as a reminder.

I had a realtor friend who used to say he loved selling my houses because no matter where I lived I made it feel homey and welcoming, he said he never had to “sell” my homes they sold themselves. That’s because I love home, I love pulling up to my house and seeing my gardens and walking through the door and being “home”. I love my son to be able to come “home”. I was “homemaker extraordinaire” at work they teased me about being a “Martha Stewart wannabe” and my middle name is Sue so I was used to the “Suzy Homemaker” label. Home is what I was all about and it has been a long time since I felt I was “home”.

I have talked before about my mom and step dad selling my trailer. It was one of the most hurtful things I have experienced and I am not able to let it go, I think I have and then I find myself feeling resentful over it and I really don’t know how to deal with it. My mom and I didn’t talk for 2 years and my step dad still won’t talk to me. Mom and I talked and I told her how I felt and she didn’t seem to understand why I had been so upset but I said my piece and I thought I could just let it go now. What’s done is done and as it turns out they are closing the park and I would have had to move eventually anyway. But it wouldn’t have been my own family putting me out and that is the difference, plus they have helped out my brother, and my step dad’s daughter and son and no one else had to give back what they got and besides I wasn’t “given” anything I was paying it back with interest.

When they decided to sell they said they should never have done it to begin with, help me that is, that they should have let me stand on my own two feet (which I had done for many years). In my mind once you make a commitment you don’t just back out of it 6 months later and say ooops, shouldn’ta done that, get out and then take an 8 week vacation because it was a prior commitment. I loved that trailer and I loved having a home, I did Christmas dinner even though I knew I had to move and it was great to have a houseful of people again. I was devastated to have to move.

I don’t want to be bitter I don’t want to hold a grudge. I think more than anything it wasn’t even what was done as much as how it was done. They told me in late November they were going to sell the trailer, JC had been in Red Deer for 2 months and we had not talked at all. JC called me the beginning of December and told me the middle of December he had been given 6 months to live and asked to come and talk to me. I knew at the time of his first phone call I was having to move but didn’t say anything because I didn’t want him to think I was needy.

When he told me he only had 6 months to live and wanted us to try again I thought maybe it was a sign that it was supposed to be, I was losing the trailer he wanted me back. what did I have to lose? The man I had loved for 8 years was making all sorts of promises and saying things I had longed to hear for 7 years so I agreed to try again.

I am 95% certain (never say never) that had I not had to move I would have jeopardized my home and gone back to JC. But my mom and step dad told everyone they sold the trailer because I went back to JC.

Even if that had been the reason they sold it I still think they would have been wrong to do it. the trailer was in my mom and my name so he couldn’t have touched it and I would have had a secure safe place to live and not been at his mercy for 2 years and would not be in the financial mess I am in now.

I am not blaming them for my situation I am a big girl and I made the choice to go back. In my opinion, as a person who’s been there; you should never pull your support from a woman you think is involved with an abusive man. If there was one thing I would advise people with a loved one in an abusive relationship; it would be:

If you care about them at all, do not let the victim feel they have no where to go or that no one cares; you might as well hand her over on a silver platter to the abuser because you are giving him exactly what he wants………total control over her.

Like I said I have been having chest pains this week and stayed home from work on Monday because of it. Monday night about 10 the pains weren’t any better if anything they had gotten a bit worse so I sent my mom an email saying that I wasn’t feeling well and if she didn’t hear from me by noon the next day maybe she should send someone to check on me. I hit send not knowing when it would send because of my sporadic service up here. I got up at 7:30 am feeling better enough to try working and emailed saying as much but of course it didn’t send right away. Then I got service and I could hear the notification of a bunch of emails coming in, I check and one is from my mom sent at 8 am asking if I am ok and then there is one scathing one from my brother who also sent it via text message to make sure I didn’t miss it.

It said, “WTF, are you trying to put mom in an early grave? How would you feel to get a message from your kid like that? (I replied I had gotten worse and rushed off to Kelowna to be with him) Get to the fucking hospital. Park the truck and tell me where it is and I will take care of the dogs as soon as I can. Email me if you are lying on the floor. If I don’t hear from you I’ll have to come out to stop mom from coming.”

Far from loving in my estimation, and I haven’t heard another word from either of them since. From my point of view; if I go the hospital I will be in there for a week, that means no money for a week and no one is going to pay my bills for me, I live 45 minutes to an hour from the hospital and didn’t want to load up the dogs and drive all that way by myself, I didn’t have phone reception. But I didn’t want to croak and lay up here for a week or more until someone got concerned and came to check on me. I did say to not worry until noon. If I would have driven to the hospital would no one tell my mother? Of course they would and like she said the last time I had my heart attack, “You know we can’t keep doing this, your brother isn’t going to be able to take the dogs every time you have a heart attack and every one has their own lives to lead.”

I guess I’ll find someone else to check on me. I am not going to air my brother’s dirty laundry on here but believe me he is no one to talk about poor choices. My mother is not ill either btw, she just can’t deal with trauma and I should know that; my mother prefers to live her life with the philosophy of “what I can’t see won’t hurt me” and keep her head firmly planted in the sand.

So thinking about all these things I have made a “To Do” list and this is what it consists of:
Organize and make an inventory list of all the stuff for the flea market. I have become friendly with a fellow at the auction house and he goes up to Yale (about an hour away and on a main tourist route) and makes $700 or more a weekend selling. He is going to help me learn the ropes of buying and selling at flea markets and such which is something I have always had an interest in and could be lucrative. I hope to go the long weekend in May.
Which bring me to the next thing on my list, get the truck running properly even if it means doing it myself. I have talked to a local guy and he is always around and will give me help if I get really stuck, besides if worse comes to worse I will go down to the local (only) store, restaurant, gas station, & meeting hall around coffee time and recruit myself a good old boy to help me.
Which leads to another fellow I ran into Wednesday. He hauls scrap out of Whistler/Squamish area and he has told me before I should go up there; there’s lots of scrap around. But it is a good couple of hours from here and my truck has to be runnig well. He offered to take me up with him one day and introduce me to some people and kind of show me around which I would be very grateful for. I gave him my card and he said he’d call me.
Finish getting my teeth fixed. I have been so traumatized from the last appointment I haven’t been back but I have to just do it.
Start painting again. I enjoy it, it’s relaxing, it has made me money in the past and can again, maybe in Yale if I can paint some touristy type things that I won’t have to charge much for, I’ve got a few ideas and will post pictures when I get some done.
Get out of the house sooner in the day and get home earlier.
Make the place a little more welcoming and livable, as much as I don’t want to get too settled or settle for living a life I don’t want to live, being unhappy about coming home is not helping my state of mind. I have to “cheer” the place up a bit.
Get my finances in order, I haven’t filed taxes since 2006 for several reasons but I don’t have an excuse now so I have started entering my receipts into my accounting program and will file for all the back years. I should have some money coming back to me, even if only GST for all those years. This is a big job!!! But I’ve started that’s the first step.
Getting my finances in order is necessary if I want to apply for a government grant for assistance starting up “Ladies With Trucks”.

That is it for now. I have to lighten up on myself. I have been surviving, barely for the most part; because I just haven’t had the strength to do much else. I have tried to explain to my family how I feel, how absolutely drained physically and emotionally I am and yes it is my own fault like they say, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is the way I feel and I have to have time to recover. I haven’t had a moment to heal, to veg, to take a break and rejuvenate, I had to hit the ground running when I left JC, any down time I had was when the truck was broken down and I couldn’t work which was only more stress. My family wants me to “get over it” , “get my shit together” and “get back to normal”, “get a real job”, they “never liked JC”, they “always knew he was no good”, they “can’t understand why I stayed or went back”.

I have a blog, they all know about it, not one of them, including my son has ever read even one post. I know if it was my kid, brother, any one I loved and I knew they were going through something that I didn’t understand I would read their blog and learn what I could so I could understand. But that is me and I think right now it is healthier for me to not expect anything of them, I will do it on my own, with the help of many wonderful people around the world who give me words of encouragement, prayers, understanding and compassion and laughs too!! 🙂 Thank you all.


Posted by Carrie the Lady Witha Truck