Tag Archives: Self-employment

Being self-employed

Thoughts About Men and Dating

I was walking Stella this morning at 5:30 am, trying to not dribble my coffee all over myself as she pulled on the leash because she saw Tobias her little (actually very LARGE friend a Mastiff something else huge hairy drooling male dog) and wanted to go say Hi.

Anyway, we walked to the end of the dyke and turned around, just as another friend of hers appeared for his morning walk, he is a black lab x and his daddy lives on a boat a few docks away from me.

I walked back to the end of the dyke so Stella could play and then we finally were walking home alone and I got thinking. I was thinking that if not for finances life is pretty damn good right now, I am enjoying my life immensely and it has a lot to do with the fact that i am surrounded by eligible, good looking, intelligent men who enjoy my company.

I think I have entered a new phase of my healing process, or maybe I am not healing any more and just reaching normal, my new normal.

I walked one way with one man and the other way with another, and there are several other guys i walk Stella with at different times. There is a group of them that gather at the communal picnic table at the bottom of the ramp, a very handsome french Canadian with a young daughter, I don’t want to get involved with someone with a young child (been there done that) but having a conversation with a good looking man feels good. Then I was down at my boat and another very nice looking man came down to my boat to see if I can sew and that is not my thing but we talked for about 15 or so minutes and I really enjoyed his company. Very nice man with a lot going for him, travels 1/2 the year to hot places and summers up here.

But there is one fellow, I will call him john, just in case he ever reads my blog or someone from the marina does, I think anyone would guess who I am talking about anyway but no point in embarrassing him. Anyway, since i have been here he has been in his sailboat living behind me. He is just a really nice guy, a gentleman, friendly without being invasive, helpful without being a know-it-all. He always gives me a hand, last night he packed my laundry down to the boat, well actually he also packed my groceries to the boat also. Every time he sees me working on the boat he insists on giving me something to help make the job easier, sand paper, polish for the chrome, etc. he always says hi and gives a wave. He loves Stella and always stops to say Hi to her and gave her a pack of tennis balls that she cherishes. She loves John.

He went sailing with his grandson for a week and left me the key to his storage container so I could use his freezer or store stuff in it. They got back a day early yesterday and a little to my surprise when I saw the boat round the corner, I was happy to see him home. Dare I say it out loud??

While I was doing laundry he come out of the shower and I said, “Are you following me?” and he came over and said, “I try to.” Just then the security guard came around the corner and i said, “Security guard arrest this man!!”

I am getting a bit of my “flirt” back. He has not asked me out and i don’t even know that i want him to, it is just really nice to have a gentleman pay attention to me and have male company. Take it slow and if nothing happens I am fine with that, but i feel i am testing the waters, gearing up to some day maybe having a date. he keeps saying he wants to take me out on his sailboat and that would be really nice.

i never thought i would find another man the least bit attractive but you know, the more i got to know James the uglier he got and now I remember how it felt to love him but I can’t imagine ever finding him attractive now.  This man, any one of the men I associate with now are miles above James, simply miles.

and so am I. Because I didn’t have to run out and find a man to love me to make me feel human, I healed myself and don’t need any man to make me feel whole. So sad when someone can’t be themselves for fear no one will like them.

Happy. I am going for a walk with Stella now.

After I got my truck I thought it was meant to be that I be self employed somehow with my truck but the one thing I vowed NOT to do was haul scrap. JC had hauled scrap, most of which he acquired in the middle of the night and I knew of no one who did it honestly. I had landscaping experience, delivery experience but I had purposely not paid attention to JC hauling scrap because I didn’t approve and people didn’t refer to me as a “girly girl” for nothing. Even delivering for the auto scrap yard I changed clothes 3 times a day because I hated being dirty.

But as luck (or God) would have it the only work I got offered was scrap hauling, cleaning up farms, etc and the reason I got the jobs was because I was honest and people trusted me on their property. I never advertised but my business grew by leaps and bounds just from word of mouth. A fellow gave me a hand pump crane for my truck and then one day I was loading a heavy rear end off of a truck and no matter how hard I pumped that crane the rear end would not come off the ground. I looked up and the crane was bending with the weight. There was a fellow standing there watching and laughing, he said, “You need a decent winch and crane.”

Me – Yeah I do, are you going to buy it for me?

Him – No, I am going to GIVE it to you. It was given to me and I can’t use it.

It was a winch and crane worth probably $2000, the winch didn’t work and it cost me $75 to fix. I had that crane and winch right up to the day I sold my F550, it made me a ton of money and made my job a hundred times easier.

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I started hauling scrap in 2006 and like I said the work came to me and I did well, JC and I were off and on but through this time I was able to pay rent and live comfortably whereas when I was with JC we always ended up living in some ghetto dive. I would let him stay with me and he loved the attention dating the Lady Witha Truck got him. He would appear very supportive and then sabotage my truck behind my back, it kept me needing him but self supporting and bringing home car parts etc that he often took off my truck. God protected me through it all, twice my brake line “wore through” on my F550, and both times I had seen JC under my truck that morning, driven to the job site and when I went to leave I didn’t have brakes or steering. (With my truck if the brake line broke you lost your steering also) it is nothing but a miracle that the line didn’t let go while I was driving down the road, what are the odds that a brake line would let go twice in 2 years and neither time was I going down the highway or down a hill?

I had a flawless reputation in the community which worked in his favor also; there was a lot of benefits to JC having me in his life and he used it every way he could. I got preferred rates from different businesses I dealt with. Whereas his step dad used to call JC to get deals, he started calling me because I had better contacts, JC used my contacts, I had his sister work for me and then his son, JC used to offer people he knew jobs working for me then I would have to turn them down, so he would look like the good guy. What God provided JC took away. One incident of this happened about a year before we split. the insurance on my truck was $268 a month, one month just before Christmas we were broke, he had a semi and trailer but hadn’t worked in a couple of months. He was expecting to borrow money from his step dad so I said we could use my insurance money for groceries as long as I got it back when he got his money. I should have known better but we were “trying again” and I was working in good faith.  When he got his money he refused to give me the money for my insurance and the payment bounced. I called the insurance company and they said they would just take two payments the next month, but the next month there were service charges attached and they wanted two payments so they tried to take over $600 which bounced again. Now I owed over $700. I prayed about it and within 2 days I got a call from an old customer saying he was moving his shop and needed me to haul away a bunch of scrap. I got there and not only did he have scrap he had probably a dozen good engines. I took the engines to Vancouver Core who bought engine cores at a better price than scrap and they told me they would give me $500 for 8 of the engines, the rest of the engines and the car parts I had on the truck would have easily come to another $300. It was an answer to my prayers, exactly enough to pay my insurance and service charges up to date. JC saw the engines and immediately said I could get more selling them to a private buyer. I explained that Vancouver core was guaranteed money and my only concern was paying my insurance but he made some phone calls and said he had a buddy who would buy all the engines and I would get at least $1000 for the engines and parts. Initially I told him no, but as you know you don’t say no to a narcissist. He kept saying how dumb I was to not take the better price, I finally told him OK but to tell his friend that I had to have cash in hand that night, no paying later or trading for something; I had to have the cash. I made sure I was very clear and said it calmly and clearly that I had to have that money the next night.

JC’s friend lived in the backwoods of Mission so two days before my insurance was due we drove out there with the engines. I was confident I was going to get my money because I had asked JC so many times if he had told the guy I had to have cash in hand that night and he assured me the guy knew. I bought us supper and of course there was the cost of fuel to get there. It was raining, and there were 3 guys there, all pretty drunk so I told JC I would wait in the truck. It took an hour or so and they unloaded all the engines and most of the antique car parts. JC got a transmission off the guy for part payment which was fine with me, as long as I got the $750 for my insurance. As we were pulling away I asked for my money and he said the guy would pay me the next day. I knew I was not going to see that money, and I never did……………..after we split JC made sure to tell me that he was going to visit the guy; then I knew for sure he had set me up. What God had given JC took away.

I guess I should backtrack a bit here as I have gotten ahead of myself.

If we step back a year or two. JC had gone to Africa and when he came back I found out he had gotten “engaged” to an African woman and was telling her he was going to bring her to Canada, he continued to have personal ads and he also told me he had malaria. My mom had called me saying that my step dad and her wanted me to have some security so they were going to give me my inheritance early and buy me a mobile home. As it turned out they weren’t buying me a mobile home but willing to carry the mortgage on it and I was to pay them back with interest, which was fine with me. I found a beautiful double wide and moved in, JC came by to visit but I wouldn’t allow him to stay the night, it was done for me. he was living in his truck and I really didn’t care. He went to Red Deer and I actually started to date again, a younger man who had been flirting with me for years asked me out and I went. I didn’t have furniture but whatever I needed came to me wihtin hours. All I had to do was think, “I need a TV” and that day in my travels with work I would find a TV on the side of the road with a “Working Free” sign on it. If I needed a couch, that day I would find a couch, and not a ratty couch but a nice couch. Within a couple of weeks I had fully furnished a two bedroom mobile home with a full dining room suite, kitchen table, two bed rooms fully furnished. The economy tanked about 6 months later but I was able to keep my head above water. Every morning I would pray to make a certain amount of money and that is what I would make that day. For example, one day I needed to make $500 in order to meet my mortgage payment on time. I prayed in the morning for $500 and just believed I would make it but as the day went on my hopes faded. There was no scrap anywhere, I had nothing on my truck and I felt the panic growing. I had one more customer to check and they had a 45 gal drum of scrap, maybe a couple hundred dollars worth but I ran it into Surrey anyway, it was better than nothing. The scrap yard was used to me flying through the gate 10 minutes to closing and I didn’t let them down that day. They unload you with a magnet Imageand when they pulled the load off a bunch of it stayed behind, all these square pieces of what looked like steel but it wasn’t magnetic. (steel is magnetic, nonferrous metals such as copper, brass, aluminum and stainless steel are not magnetic, at that time steel was worth $.10/lb.  I went in the office and got a cheque for $157, I was so let down, I was sure God would come through for me, he had never let me down, but it was 5 minutes to closing and there was no way I was going to make enough money that day. As I was leaving I asked if I could unload the non ferrous on my truck and Steve the manager told me to go ahead he’d stay late. We unloaded the pile of nonmagnetic pieces and I went in the office while Steve figured out what it was worth.

Steve- You’re going to like this total

Me – Why what was it?

Steve – It was all 306 Stainless, worth $1 a lb.

The total came to $343, and it was 5:05. I had made my $500.

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( My F550 on a real money making day)

It is possible to do more than survive a narcissist, with God anything is possible. Even a “girlie girl” hauling scrap metal.

praying handsWhen my son went into rehab at Union Gospel Mission on Cordova in the downtown east side of Vancouver he joined a church called Coastal Church where he was taken under the congregation’s protective wings. He found himself and God. He was baptized in English Bay one year and I was baptized a year later with him in the ocean right by my side, it was one of the most memorable days of my life.

When he was in the depths of his drug use and crime, he was lost to himself and to me. I had always been able to kiss it better, make the pain go away but this time I was lost and beside myself with fear, grief and helplessness. My family had told me to wash my hands of him and forget I ever had him, and that I had “ruined” him by “loving him too much”; which of course was impossible but i didn’t know how to help him. He would disappear for weeks at a time and I would be calling his friends trying to find him, but I couldn’t get through to him, I knew he was hurting deep inside from his dad not being in his life, being teased at school and I felt I had failed him also. I would go to work but wasn’t able to even think of anything but Kris, I was consumed with worry to the point of not being able to function.

ask believeThen a girl I worked with suggested I try praying. Now, I  had very little exposure to religion prior to meeting JC, aside from my paternal grandmother who tried to give me an introduction to God, no one in my family was a believer. When I met JC and found out he had been raised by very Christian parents I was reminded of my grandma and I soaked up any info I could off of him and his parents. I said I believed in God, and JC and I said Grace and discussed the Bible, but when the girl at work suggested I pray my immediate thought was, “You obviously don’t understand the severity of the situation, this is requires more than a prayer”. I finally was desperate enough to try anything, including prayer. The girl at work helped me come up with a prayer that went something like this.

Please God take care of Kris, let him feel my love in all certainty no matter where he is. Please help him see he is deserving of happiness and love. Please lead him down the right path to people who can help him and show him how special he is and please God keep him safe and healthy. one last thing, please God bring him back to me and let me have another chance at being his mother, if you do I will do better somehow. In your son’s name Amen.

I photocopied it and taped it every where I might have an anxiety attack, my computer at work, the bathroom mirror, the fridge; it became my mantra and eventually…….it helped.

Weeks went by and then Kris showed up at my door dirty, tired and hungry. I washed his clothes, he had a shower and I fed him then he told me how he had gone to Union Gospel Mission in Mission for dinner. At UGM if you want dinner you have to listen to a sermon first and a few nights prior he had heard a man speak and something he said stuck with Kris. He talked to the man and a few days later that he decided to go into rehab. The man was able to get him into rehab in two days, any time I had tried to get him into rehab it had been a 6 week waiting period and by the time the bed was available Kris was gone again. He stayed with me for two days and I drove him to UGM, the man was there to send him off. Kris did awesome, the people at UGM loved him and Coastal Church made him their “poster boy”, Coastal Church has a wealthy congregation and pride themselves on accepting any one into their church, prostitutes, drug addicts, criminals come as you are. Kris blossomed there with men to emulate, and the praise and encouragement he kept wanting to please,  they made him accountable, he took his GED, and was top in Canada, then he did a year of discipleship before he was accepted at Alberta Bible College and went to study Theology. Every time I attended church I was greeted by people telling me what a wonderful son I had. One of the members of the congregation gave him an apartment to live in for a small percentage of what he made in a month. Kris wanted black leather everything and I had thought he was being picky to not just take a used couch I offered him, but he told me that God wants us to ask for what we want and to be specific. He said that he had cut out pictures of the black leather couch he wanted and the tables etc. A woman member of the church, who set up apartments for out-of-town businessmen furnished the apartment with black leather everything out of an apartment she was hired to redecorate; she had no idea that Kris wanted leather. He had tattoos that another member of the church covered with professional tattoos and another member paid to have some others lazered off. A dentist that went to the church fixed his teeth, another paid for his education, he got a brand new top of the line bike from someone else, he traveled doing missionary work in Cambodia. He came into his own, his eyes have always been like a mood ring; grey if he was sad and the bluest blue when he was happy and his eyes were blue. My prayers had been answered. His church family was able to do more for him than I ever could have and they believed in him. He always knew i loved him and believed in him but I was his mother, he needed to hear it from people who didn’t have to love him.

The whole time JC and I were together we had miracles happen over and over, I have written about the house at Hatzic where we both felt the spirit of the daughter who had died, we had amazing people come into our life and it seemed there was always someone trying to save JC. It was a large part of why I stayed with him as long as I did.  I realize now that some of what happened was him manipulating the situation but there were genuine miracles that happened in our lives and times God stepped in that JC totally ignored. I had a very strong feeling God was trying to show him the way and he was fighting it tooth and nail.

My faith became stronger and stronger as time went on, mainly because I didn’t know what to do about JC and my relationship, I would pray for a sign that I should stay or leave; and as I am sure you know, a “sign” many times a sign can be interpreted the way you want to interpret it. One thing for sure, every time we split my prayers would be answered and I always did better when JC was not in my life, yet I would go back. My life would get better, I would get strong again and i would let him back into my life and within a few months my life would be falling apart again.

The first time JC strangled me, we were driving down the road on our way home from picking up a scrap car, he was driving and had badgered me for days about owing him $2000 for repairs on my Prelude, I had paid him back and he had agreed I had paid him even though I didn’t think I owed him and it wasn’t a week later and he was riding me again about owing him money. I was a nervous wreck and crying, he kept harping on me and I grabbed his leg and said I didn’t owe him, didn’t he remember I had paid? and without a word he slammed on the brakes and had his hands around my throat. Instinctively I grabbed his wrists and tried to pull his hands off my throat but he was far too strong. I stopped struggling, I remember thinking that he was going to feel so bad when he realized he had killed me, I wondered what he would tell my son Kris, then my body went limp and everything went black. I came too coughing and gasping for air and he continued the drive home. He went in and got on the computer right away and I tried to talk to him, he was just cold, his eyes icy blue and filled with loathing. I finally went to bed and cried.  I don’t know how much time had passed when I felt a pair of strong hands holding my head, one on each side of my head and I felt a calmness come over me and a feeling that everything was going to be ok. I opened my eyes expecting to see JC but there was no one there, I got up and went to him and asked if he had just been in the bedroom holding my head and he looked at me like I was crazy.

prayer answer noEvery time we split I left with nothing but my clothes. One time I went to live with my brother who had promised me work but then it didn’t pan out. I needed to make money and all I could think of was all the stuff I had painted over the previous couple of years. I had never tried to sell any of my art pieces and I was scared to death to approach shop owners about buying it but I was flat broke. I had enough money to get to Fort Langley, a tourist town that has antique and boutique shops lining the streets. When I got there I prayed that I would make $40, enough for gas to get home and some groceries.

I got there about 3 and went into almost every shop, losing my courage every time and walking out without approaching any one. I had given up and was heading out-of-town but I kept telling myself, “you won’t make it home without buying more gas.” I drove past the last antique shop on the edge of town and saw a woman hauling furniture back into her shop. It had been a sunny day and she must have had her wares on display outside and was now, at 4:50 packing it up for the day. I drove about a block and turned around. As I parked she looked up from what she was doing, she didn’t look happy to see a customer that late in the day and I thought to myself, “She’ll be even more unhappy when she finds out I want to sell her something.” I approached as I felt my cheeks getting hot. I told asked her if she would be willing to look at some of my art pieces and she said sure. Long story short she bought $40 worth and told me she was going on a month’s vacation but when she got back she wanted to see more of my stuff. I thanked her and went on my way.

I didn’t go back after a month, I was back with JC and didn’t have a car any more, besides I was too afraid to go back. It was almost a year later that JC and I were semi split again and I needed money desperately so I called the woman’s shop. She was off work that day but the woman who answered the phone told me to call Shirley’s cell phone. She didn’t sound happy to come to the shop on her day off but after a few minutes she told me to meet her there at 3 o’clock. All the way there I prayed to make $100, not $20, not $80, I had to have $100, I prayed non stop all the way there. Shirley liked my stuff and in the end bought $100 worth. She hesitated when she went to get the cash and then she looked at me with a strange look and said,” I would hesitate to say this to any one else but I have a feeling you will understand what I am about to tell you.”

She came and sat down on a bench in front of me and said, “You prayed on the way here didn’t you?” I nodded, she went on, “I didn’t really want to come down here today on my day off but God spoke to me and told me, “this woman really needs the money, go and spend $100.” I said yes that is what I prayed for and she smiled and nodded, “I knew it.” when she counted out the money she said, “$50 from me and $50 from God, we both think you have talent.”

Shirley became a good friend, every time I took product to her we would sit and discuss God and big and small miracles that had happened in her life and were starting to happen in mine.

I started listening for that tiny voice, and it seemed everywhere I went I met Christian people who shared with me, my faith grew daily because almost daily I experienced a miracle of some sort. I had left JC and didn’t have a job, nor furniture but I had income tax money to pay rent. The place I rented was owned by a man with a scrapyard and I was only there a couple of weeks when the owner offered me a job driving the delivery truck. After ten months of driving for him I was to be laid off and I decided I wanted my own truck to do landscaping, deliveries, anything but haul scrap metal. I had no money, a horrendous credit rating and soon no job. I looked everywhere for a truck, tried every way I could think of to get a truck but even those car lots that advertise, “Every one drives, we turn no one down” turned me down for a truck loan.

I was about to give up when I saw a cute GMC 1 ton with a flat deck on it parked on the side of the road with a for sale sign in the window. I stopped and immediately called the number. The man, Rene’ said he would be right there with the keys to let me have a look at it. He told me he had parked it there not even an hour earlier and I was the 4th call he’d had on it. I told him my situation, that I was losing my job and wanted my own truck. I offered him to trade my Eagle talon for the truck but he had enough vehicles so I thanked him anyway and headed home. I prayed for God to some how get me that truck and then I let it go. I must have told him where I worked because 1/2 way through the day he called me.

Rene – You really want that truck don’t you.

Me- Yes I do but like I said I don’t have any money.

Rene’ – I was talking to the wife about it last night, and well we don’t really need the money right now; maybe we can work something out.

Me – What did you have in mind?

Rene’- How much money do you have right now?

Me- Only about $100

Rene’ – Write up an IOU and come to my house tonight with your $100.

I went that night with $100 and a promise to pay the balance within a year and left with a signed transfer and tax form and the keys to the 1 ton.

A stranger, signed over his $4000 truck on a promise and a prayer.

And so began the Lady Witha Truck.

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Miracles DO happen, even when it doesn’t seem possible, that is why they are called miracles. Believe in the power of prayer, no matter how bleak your situation may seem; nothing lasts forever, not good nor bad.

I want to share more about the miracles that have happened in my life but now it is very late and I am going to bed.

wishing everyone happiness and everyday miracles