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Chapter 9 – Brain mishmash

Saturday, February 29th, 2020, leap year.

Is it weird that I want to hyphenate my name? I mean I have been divorced for 13 years, the same amount of time that I was married. What’s in a name? My kids. I want me to continue having their name. And I am always linked to that name. It is who I am. I have been a Miller for longer than my maiden name.

Christine Miller-Ganderson. Spectacular name.

I am so excited about our wedding now, it comes and goes. Our planning had been put on hold a bit, we seem to have a lot of time left….160 days. 160 days!!!???

OMG, that is soon.

Well, it’s a good thing I am just a tad manic because now it is time to do things, get things, prepare things. I have a ton of ideas, my favourite is one I thought of today.

So we will have little treat gifts for those who come to the ceremony, about sixty people we reckon. Some people make pretty little houses for chocolates, or little candy bells, tule and ribbon come into play…

But like, I am Miss Environment. I probably post the most about the environment than anyone else on my Facebook. I never see ideas of how to help our world. People rather bicker about politics or high school drama..really? Let’s save this world!

Ok, so what am I gonna do… Well it’s all a very new idea that came to me tonight and I have started some online shopping, I have things in my cart on Aliexpress and on Amazon. Lots of good ideas.

So I will explain the first part first.

Amazon has these great little produce bags, they are mesh, pretty white with toggle ties, various sizes. I just bought my third pack of six. Three large bags and three medium bags, and they are good sizes. I bought them so I could stop using plastic bags at the grocery store; those pesky thin produce bags. Plastic. SO now I have my mesh bags.

Oh, this came with a whole other idea too. Kids loot bags. That was the first idea. But it has to be rather environmentally friendly. AND I can put a few toys and candies in the smaller bag and each child can take it home for after the wedding, and even play with stuff at the ceremony, bubble, balls, frisbees, I am not sure what else yet. The actual loot bag is going to be one of the smaller mesh bags. SO each child will also bring their bags home with their mom and dads. And their moms and dads, will each have one. So a family of four will get 4 mesh bags. Perfect amount for doing your groceries, esp with kids.

So how does this work for the adults? I am going to take a mesh bag and roll it up and tie a PAPER ribbon around it. I am goin to tie a small metal penguin which is a bottle opener, to the paper ribbon. And a little note tag with the message about reducing plastic and using the mesh bags for their produce shopping…SO.. each guess will get something from me, something from Neil, so it is the perfect gift that represents us. Me and my environmentalist movement, and Neil with his beloved penguins and I might add fondness of beer (though his are usually in cans ha)

So everyone will leave with something very usable. Something that will help the environment, a little something for the kids, oh and did I mention we are having a ‘nooner’ wedding and will be BBQing after.

So how am I going to make this BBQ environmentally friendly?

Well….of course… I have to look on Amazon. Well in my shopping cart I now have compostable paper plates made of sugar cane and compostable wooden cutlery. There is my start.

What about drinks? Well cans of pop work, but I also need to supply water and god help me I can’t have single-use water bottles. OMG, I JUST FIGURED IT OUT.

How does a reusable water container for each person sound? Mmm maybe over the top. But I am not sure how I will supply the water. 

How about in the invite I specifically tell people to please bring a reusable water container that can be refilled on-site?

OH..a beeswax candle; hold on, I could wrap that in the bag and then tie the ribbon and ad the penguin. People can bring water from home, I will supply pop and non-alcoholic beer, maybe some non-alcoholic chilled white wine. HA, this is great. Have their hamburgers served on a compostable plate, with their compostable cutlery. No ballons, no plastic fake flowers, no plastic vases for table decorations. I was going to get small plastic floral arrangements but so wasteful and plastic. Did I mention the environment is suffering because of all this plastic waste?

Well, the exciting thing is that some stores are going plastic bag free, and offering paper bags, or bags you can bring from home or can purchase their store reusable bags. So there are small movements from organizations. One person can only do so much, but when a grocery store is on board, and they start removing plastic bags… it is only going to help.

I used to ‘need’ plastic bags. One of the things I needed was to change the bottom of my bearded dragons’ tank. I use paper towels and when she does her business I pick up the paper put it in my plastic grocery bag and throw it in the garbage. NOW? I have, sounds gross maybe, but I have paper lunch bags, so I put the used paper in there, and even better it can all go in the organics bin. Even my water and vinegar cleaner is organic. 

I am not that good myself, I am trying really hard, and have found a few tricks that can help, like these veggie bags, and all of my reusable bags. Using all my recycle bins including organic, so I have started using them and even in the summer when all the maggots come..ah. It’s super fucking gross but so is our planet. So I suck it up, I found a few tricks, like storing all food waste in the freezer, but then I am looking at storing them in plastic bags. OH. I just thought of something….well I have one container actually in my freezer for food waste. What I used to do is put it in a plastic bag and when garbage day came I would empty the plastic bags of spoilt food into the big green bin and then just have the bag to throw away, but then I realized I was using bags, so I just put it straight in the bin. When I open it, I stand clear cause the maggots just come dripping out, it is so gross, I scream a little “ick” each time. It sucks. I learned if you turn the bin upside down on your front lawn for 15 min, they all fall out.. And you give them back to nature.

But I thought of something. What if I had a second bin? One in my regular fridge/freezer and one in the deep freezer, so I could either rotate a few, like, have three..and when they all fill up I take it outside the night before garbage, and hey…I wouldn’t get maggots. And I wouldn’t have to use bags. HEY! I just figured that out right now, woohoo great idea.

But… I have to buy a plastic container.

And there is one of my biggest environmental problems. I am a consumer. I regularly shop for whatever and anything all the time. I online shop, which isn’t very environmentally friendly. I cheat to have a special coffee sometimes with the coffee pods. (yes they are recyclable but plastic is still waste at the end of the day.)

I think my biggest stance is to sell my car. That wasn’t the intended plan. But it makes such environmental sense. I live walking distance to the stores I use regularly, the drug store, the Walmart, even a dollar store and a Giant Tiger. I’m a hop on the bus to any of the malls, and I have been to most of them by bus and train. I take two buses to see my parents, it takes twice as long. And you know what? I don’t care. I don’t care if my bus comes ten minutes late, the only times I have to be on time is when I have a doctor’s apt but I almost have that mastered (its either one bus or two depending which doctor I am seeing.) I give myself time, I try to get there early, in case my bus is late.

Ok so now I have a favour to ask, wait I will explain it first.

Without a car, without relying on drives to run my errands, I get my groceries weekly. I do my first load which is always the largest. It’s about ninety dollars. Well, I have to get that ninety dollars worth of groceries home. So. there I am. 5’1 110 (yikes) pounds carrying..a large full heavy backpack, I have another straw shopping bag I got when I was in England with Neil, and I have two more full-size cloth bags that I store in my purse at all times. So all of this is goin all on me. Well, it’s not easy. I have proven to myself “yes…you can do it”. So I say ok ya right, actually I don’t need to do such a large load.

So I went in for a few things yesterday…

$86.67

I had to carry that home again. And I cursed. I knew I should have brought my new Trolley Dolly from Amazon.

But I didn’t.

Do you know why I didn’t?

Because people will laugh because they are known to be old lady carts.

Well, let me tell you a story.

There is a meme somewhere on Facebook. It had different scenes. In one scene a man looked longingly at the expensive car and said “I wish I could have that.”

The next man looks at his car and thinks, “I wish I had a car.” As he, only had his bike.

The next scene is a boy walking looking longingly at the man’s bicycle and says “ I wish I had a bicycle “

The next scene is a man in a wheelchair says “I wish I could walk.” The point is to be grateful for what you do have.

My scene is I see someone with a trolly and wish I could have that.

I wish I had one! Did you hear that?

Well, as I said I am a consumer. When I finally put my car up for sale I bought myself the prettiest “Trolley Dolly” I could find. It’s black paisley. Online. Shipped in a box. Lol. Consumer.

My ‘Trolley Dolly’ from Amazon

I very excitedly put it together, and Neil wanted nothing to do with it, he acts like they are disgusting. They don’t suit my ‘image’ let’s say.

And that’s when I ‘m like ok, hold up.

I am too ”cool” to use one of those old lady carts? 

And bang. Christie wants to start a trend.

Well, my daughter was excited I bought one. She sees it as something that will help her mom get the groceries and stuff that we need easier, not so hard on her body…I am going to be forty-nine this year I must admit. But like a large chunk of our friends are in their thirties so they rub off on us.

I don’t think anyone on my friend’s list would ever imagine me wheeling one of those things around, it could potentially hurt me socially. LIKE WTF really????? Are they that bad??? Should I continue to hobble down the road carrying five bags? Is that any cooler? Neither is sexy but come on, can’t it just be like a little fashion party? Are they really that bad?

My favour is to do this. 

Don’t be quick to judge or poke fun of or turn your noses on someone, who may not have a car and the easiest thing for them to use is a trolley to get all their stuff home….and they are independent.

And the funny thing out of all of this is I have the choice. This is what I chose to do. I chose not to drive, I choose to take my groceries home on the bus or walking with my sweet car sitting on the driveway (till it is sold), I could totally drive. I hardly ever take my Seroquel during the day, which was my initial reasoning for not driving back at the beginning of December, the fourth or something…. I couldn’t drive while taking that med. And it just became something I had to do. I didn’t have the choice. But now, I really do, I think I am making a safe choice for my family and I.  I have been in too many close calls and just last week when I was re-reading part one of my book I came across “I ran a red light with Rebecca in my car.” It was that moment that I said. “Nope, I am not driving anymore.” I used to say “If I get in one more accident I am not driving anymore” I got spooked. And said “Why wait till you get into an accident it might kill you or someone else.

It was then that I said, “How about I quit driving now. Before anything happens.”

I had so much constant fear that I would get into an accident with my kids or my kids’ friends from having fun and singing along in the car as people do but when it does happen I get the fear of “what if…”

Constantly. 

All the time.

It’s probably safe to say I have been manic for the most part of the past year. I had some crashes. But there was a lot of mania There has been an incredible amount of stress and anxiety over my mom’s health and my daughter’s mental health. I don’t know how I drove a car through all of that I can’t understand how I am not dead. I don’t know, mania, anxiety and stress don’t sound good behind the wheel. So this is the real answer to why I am going carless. It wasn’t because of the environment, my mental health and driving don’t play well together. I count myself very lucky to be alive. I do not know how I did it.

Talking care of the environment is definitely a perk.

Ok, so yes. I have a motorcycle. And I will not be selling it, ever. It is all mine. I bought it brand new and I took care of her, I upgraded and modded her really well. She is a sizzler, my Honda Grom. 

So my sister in her mockingly voice says, 

(with one eyebrow raised kind of look)

“Are you selling your BIKE?”

No, and this is what I said;

You would have to know what it is like to drive a bike. Its a completely different level. Driving a car and a motorcycle is completely different in my head.

Cars have this bubble around them so you feel all safe and cozy and comfortable… it’s easy to daydream, or go off on a thought, way too easy.

On a bike, you are looking constantly all over, from rocks and potholes, grease stains, pedestrians, cars,  you are always on the go. I have nothing in my head but the road and my bike I don’t daydream. I would be already dead if I did.

You can’t daydream. It’s total focus, on everything.

The conversation ended in silence. Better.

I wouldn’t ride if I didn’t feel safe. With my car, I didn’t have the choice. I had to drive.

Neil and I have been spending less time on our bikes, Neil struggled most of last summer on fixing his Aprilia. My mind wasn’t conducive to ride my Grom. So I didn’t. I went out about five times ALL SUMMER LONG.

The year before, same sort of situation. Neil had a very busy summer. I think the most I did was meet him for lunch when he was working I would take the Grom up to see him.

Sometimes we would go on a ride around the city and oftentimes going out passed the city borders. Those were some fun rides. I even started a little group of others riding their Groms. YA, they were crazy, Groms tend to be known as stunt bikes or I think sometimes they are called monkey bikes? They are small 125 cc bikes. 4 speed, looks just like a motorcycle, just smaller. Neil can pick it up to move it, I can even lift it if I have dropped it… Someday I will do a Grom story. Yes, indeed and I even have pictures.

It’s getting so late now, I am loving this, it is 02:52. My pills are sitting beside me and I am not sure when I am goin to take them. Hehe

I kind of want to pull an all-nighter.

It’s them pesky little mania shit disturbers that are in my head telling me it will be so fun to pull an all nighter…a sure way to trigger mania…or perhaps…more mania?

It’s now March 1st, 03;19 I still have to proofread lol!

05:01

OMFG, I just sent my ex-husband a link for the kink site Neil and I are on. How brutal is that?

It’s bedtime.

Well, I never made it past my last entry…

Good morning and I hope your day is good.

Christie

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Christie F.

Welcome to my blog. I have been journal writing for years. I took a course in Creative writing and found I enjoy writing short stories and poetry. I write more when I am hypomanic or manic.
I went into Rehab for Alcohol Addictions and have been sober for fourteen years.
Shortly after I quit drinking I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, I have since been diagnosed with Bipolar 1.
I enjoy talking about my story, for people to learn or relate. I try and have a healthy lifestyle and try to use my coping strategies. Life is just too boring without Bipolar, it is a blessing but yet sometimes a curse.
I am currently working on a book and dream of publishing one day.
I am so excited to have found Wordpress.
This is my new adventure.

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