A bike ride in the snow… and 4 brave things.

Little red tin roofed barn in the country

Yesterday was NEARLY thee day… but not quite.

I had been patiently waiting for the remaining ice on the road to leave the premises so I could finally hop on my bike and hit the trails. However road shoulders were still inhabited by those annoying little ice glaciers.

So I set off on foot instead, up the little mountain behind my house.

I’ve actually been walking on a daily basis, even if just down the road and back, because I’ve been fighting a few challenging thoughts. I’ll get into that in a minute.

A forest walk with a stream in BC Canada

The walk yesterday proved to be one of my most favorites in awhile. Trickling stream after mini waterfall, over and over, no matter where I went. I guess melting snow has its merits.

A forest walk with a stream in BC Canada

Nature ALWAYS seems to perk me up. I think it also has something to do with being outdoors, period. The inside of my house starts to feel dark by 3:30 if not sooner on overcast days, and it’s… well, kinda gloomy.

Which brings us over to today. Convinced there was enough road shoulder to give the bike a whirl…

Riding a bike during a snowfall in BC Canada

… my bike met a new snowfall.

Missing snow on the hill side... Riding a bike during a snowfall in BC Canada

And I swear, I do believe I found the snow equator! Here’s the mountain side of the road…

The snow equator... missing snow on one side of the road while riding a bike during a snowfall in BC Canada

and the river side.

Guess which won.

And since I was bundled up with 2 pairs of pants and 2 jackets, I was not going to let this stuff defeat me. So off to the mountain I head.

Electra wicker bike panier baskets

Something I didn’t calculate was how hard pelting snow hits the side of ones face. Whoops.

So covering up the wind side of my face with a big floppy mitt, I peered down the road with one squinting eye and bolted for that mountain.

It was weird though. I guess there was just enough slush on the road to make my tires feel flat, although I had just topped them up with air.

Snow scene on top of Majuba Hill in BC Canada

I was just happy to be out here. And on my bike! VERY VERY happy.

Because a few challenging thoughts have taken up way too much residence of late. And it’s time to nip them all in the bud! One at a time.

So, because life isn’t always a fun jaunt in the snow on a bike, I thought I’d share what’s been on my heart lately.

Forest trail in the snow on a Specialized dark grey cruiser bike with wicker panier baskets on top of Majuba Hill in BC Canada

Challenging thing #1. Foot surgery.

Next Friday, I am scheduled for my first ever surgery which will be on my foot. Some extra bone popped out of the top of my foot kind of like a bunion, seemingly overnight. Over the past year I have been careful not to walk much due to discomfort, but rather ride the bike, which hasn’t been an issue at all.

Even when I went to Maui, I was careful how much walking I did. I found ways to get around it, but if I ever wanted to go on real walking tours, like on some far off new adventure, I’d need this dealt with.

After waiting nearly a year for the Dr. appointment, (egads) he rushed the surgery from a 6 month wait to 6 weeks. Just to rule out anything iffy. The odds are low.

Ever since getting the surgery date, I was looking for excuses to not go through with the surgery. My foot didn’t ache ALL the time, so I told myself there was nothing really wrong with it and who cares if it looks odd. However after I fired up my walks the past few days, I was reminded once again why I went to get this investigated in the first place. Ouch.

So anyway, I’m nervous about the pending date, so my focus has been really scattered. I’m trying hard to fill up my head with good stuff to forget the hard stuff, but I get easily sidetracked with appointments, lab tests, yadda yadda.

The good news is, once this baby is a done deal, I may plan that first time off North America dream trip in 2018 yet! What an ultimate gift.

A winter bike ride in the snow with a view of Yarrow from on top of Majuba Hill in BC Canada

Challenging thing #2. The tooth must go.

I’ve also been working through an old root canal issue that I’ve had redone 2 more times now. And it’s proved at this point that all efforts have failed. So I’ve now scheduled for it to be pulled next week.

This was a HARD decision I put off terribly, because I don’t want to lose any more teeth. I have quite a few missing molars so it’s getting tricky to eat.

However I’m eager to get this one crossed off the list so we can start another VERY big project…
.

Challenging thing #3. Implants.

Having failing teeth pulled out is one thing. Having them drill metal screws into your jaw is quite another! I’ve been debating on getting some bridges instead of tooth implants, but every time I think that’s what I’ll do, I seem to lose another tooth that the bridge would have needed! So, some implants are just needed. Especially if I ever want to smile big again.

I can’t remember the last time I allowed myself to grin really huge. If I turn to the side, I feel like I’m ready to be lit up for Halloween! No worries, I chuckle about it. Just with my mouth closed… (heh)

It’s just a big fat bill with a big fat wait with lots of big fat scary steps and lots of big fat asking for drives because I’ll be on big fat relaxing meds during the big fat procedure.

Bet not many of you can actually thought a smile was such a big deal, huh? Well, it sure can be to some. I’m always thinking how LUCKY someone is to smile so big and beautiful!  So I aim to finally do something about it.

Turns out, the fella that’s pulling the tooth is the implant expert. So there you go…
.

Challenging thing #4. Cabin Fever.

The other thing I’ve been working through is what I’d consider cabin fever. From Christmas through New Years, locked in at home from a massive ice storm had me chattering non stop to my poor cats.

But life was still too quiet. So I made myself MOVE. I went to the local coffee shop, cleaned up Christmas, decorated for winter, visited some neighbours and happily watching too much Netflix.

Have you seen Anne yet? I’ve now watched it twice. Adorable!

The good news is, the extra activity has been helping a great deal. I feel normal most days again, but every so often the hood and guilt starts to slip over my head. Staying busy or just giving myself permission to take a relaxing day off does help.

And if nothing else, I just go for a walk.

A winter bike ride in the snow with a view of Yarrow from on top of Majuba Hill in BC Canada

There have been other life happenings too. My truck has been super glitchy lately and feels unreliable. So every little grind or clunk has me panicking and taking it back in to ensure I won’t need a tow truck.  The good news is towing package is paid up so I’m good there if it dies on me… (eye roll)

I’m still holding out for a sale of some kind, and honestly, I’d rather have teeth first if the wheels are still in motion on the old rust bucket. I guess.

I just know I’d be a whole lot more adventurous with nearby travels once I had a more reliable ride. Would you like to see Vancouver Island? And some of the nearby states along the west coast? ME TOO!

So, I hope you’ll excuse my lack of creativity lately. It’s a time filled with many repeat appointments, and now making lots of food in preparation for some downtime while I heal up as I won’t be able to drive for about 2 weeks. Maybe I should share some recipes… 

At least sitting at a computer shouldn’t be a problem, right?!

It’s funny. During my walk yesterday, I was lingering too long in a negative zone, so I pushed myself HARD with good thoughts and said these things right out loud.

From ‘My foot is so gonna HURT!” to “I’ll be able to do lots of walking in Ireland and/or Scotland!” But we’ll chat about that challenging thing another day.

From “I can’t manage the mere thought of all this pulling and drilling and freezing needles and calling on others for needed rides…” to “One day I’m gonna have the best smile ever!” 

From “This dull time of year is hard.” to “As soon as these silly things are all done, I’m going to call my friends over for coffee and go visit family!”

Self affirmation helped too!

So, if you wouldn’t mind keeping me in your thoughts and prayers over the next week, I’d soooo appreciate it.

Vedder River Rotary Trail train bridge in the snow in Chilliwack BC Canada

Just think… my body will be nearly brand new again!

Don’t mind me as I practice up on some epic Irish / Scottish accents while I wait…

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Categories: Blog Series, Foot to Mouth Story, Inspiration, Junk Drawer, Personal, Sights where I live, Winter
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  1. Donna, you are having a challenging time of it!

    Ive been through all of this(and some extras) and still have one more cap and need a bridge( or implant)to be done. Foot surgery was years ago.

    I hear you on the negative thoughts. I used to be very positive and optimistic but after too many things happened, I just stopped believing in good(short version). I am working on changing that into positive again.

    You will do great and feel so much better in time. Keeping very good thoughts and prayers for you. You are going to be just fine.

    Thinking of you…. hugs

  2. Winter is a strange time for me. I was sick so I did a whole lot of nothing….and coughing. The gloomy weather can be depressing so I just started a project that will hopefully jump start my energies. I know one thing, good health is the most important. Take care.

  3. Winter is such a hard time for so many. Praying for all us sun loving folks that the darkness of depression won’t get the best of us, and that you will get through these challenges with minimal pain and fast healing.

  4. Loved reading your post. Great pics! It’s great to see that others go through thoughts about life’s challenges. But, the good thing is that you turn them around to see the good, something to look forward to. Others will learn to find the good in their challenges, as well. We all need something to look forward to. You are teaching us we can make our own happiness by reading your thought processes. Thank you for sharing! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. First and foremost good luck with the whole mouth teeth issues. Ugh .personally I would rather see my Gyno then the dentist. Winter ah, the silence, the dreariness, the cold. I moved from New York, stinking cold winters to sunny North Carolina, do you know here are more sunny days statistically in NC then in Florida! Yep…. anyhoo, 65 yesterday, below freezing last week.
    Hard to keep busy or know what to wear. As for me , I’m working on my spiritual wood projects when I’m not stenciling up some found pallets making stuff for everyone as gifts. I should charge shouldn’t I. Lol
    It’s almost February, things will start brightening up soon for all of us. In the meantime, keep warm, healthy, busy and looking froward to seeing your newest creations.
    XO Christine

  6. Sometimes it feels like life throws too much at us all at once and it can feel so overwhelming. One thing I can assure you is that implants really are not that painful. I have had one so far with just the normal numbing, no laughing gas or anesthesia, and it was not that bad. I was eating pancakes for dinner that night. I used headphones and kept my eyes shut just to block out the noises and sights which is(for me anyway) the scariest part. I need at least two more, but because of the cost, I have to spread them out. Loosing teeth is awful! People judge you by your missing teeth and it is so wrong! Best of luck with your foot surgery and your implants! Facing our fears can be so empowering!

  7. Dear Donna

    You are definitely facing some challenges. You seem to know how to meet them head on, and are taking steps to keep yourself in good mental health. One thing that may be missing is having people around and the personal interaction. For those who have done any study on this, often this is not a great need for a first child but more so for others in the sibling line up. You might want to make an effort to be with folks who share your interests, or do some volunteer service where there is good human interaction, something that gives you human relationships that are gratifying.

    I think in the age of the computer and social media our time for REAL “in the flesh” relationships wanes. Maybe plan a lunch out with a friend on a regular basis. Someone who you are comfortable with and you can share your heart and truly connect with will help you gain perspective on life’s challenges and share your burden, even supporting you. Living alone works for some, but not all of us.

    This is just kindly advice. I think of the verse that says, “God puts the solitary in families.” He knows we need each other. I don’t think social media fills that gap.

    Love, Brenda

  8. Oh teeth! That’s a word that strikes fear into my heart (LOL). Last year I went through a stretch that every time I ate something part of a tooth broke off. I swear it was one crown after another and although I have a great dentist, we have no dental insurance. It was depressing having several crowns done in a short span of time. Now the dentist is “watching” other teeth that are probably going to break sometime in the future. I feel your pain! But going through it is worth it when there are no more “gaps” when you smile and you get to pick the shade of white for your teeth! As far as your foot, that sounds like it’s number one. Better to get the foot surgery now than have to do it during the summer. Prayers and hugs are coming your way!

  9. Morning Donna

    I’m sorry you have so much on your plate at one time.My thought has always been I’m glad to get it all out of the way at one time rather than always having yet another yucky thing happen when other things are good.. Look forward to your visit to Vancouver Island. We love it here in Parksville. If you come this far ask for an insiders view.God bless you

  10. Donna ~ I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts as you go through your procedures. YAY for you on the self-affirmations!
    Just remember to breathe ~

  11. Hey! I volunteer to be your driver! Give me dates and times. I’ve got some wicked recipes too if you’re interested.

  12. Donna I will be praying for you. I know all too well that a smile is worth a lot! Keep smiling any ways!! And let others be there for you with the rides to and from places for a while!

  13. Donna, you will do just fine. I have had two foot surgeries and one tooth implant. The implant did not hurt at all and someone else said theirs did not hurt either. I will not lie, there was some discomfort with the foot but only took over the counter pain meds…nothing stronger. I think you will be surprised how well you do.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  14. Take lots of Drugs!!!
    Seriously.

    I was recently hauling firewood and badly twisted my neck. Horrid pain. I could hardly move. I tried to just let my body heal itself- but it just got more and more painful.

    Finally I went to the Doctor who gave me Tons of Drugs!
    It is not just for pain, some drugs let your body relax enough so it can heal better. And sleep better. And eat better. And to quit worrying.

    My neck is much better now, after a week of drugs. Don’t need any more.
    Also stock up on good movies and books while you rest.

    Take care
    NevadaNy

  15. Ah Donna, I feel your pain, physically and mentally. I will glad keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You were brave going out in the snow. The photos are beautiful and I am glad that you didn’t slip on the icy roads with your bike. But I surely understand the impulse that drove you. I too have been dealing with physical issues. On December 20th I underwent an eight hour heart procedure. I had atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter and was hospitalized twice for it. All went well but now I am finally pursuing other physical problems that have been put off way too long. By the end of spring I will have had a whole body tune-up!LOL And do I ever hear you with the molars in the mouth. I have three left and need implants or dentures. And whoowhee, it sure is hard to eat some foods. Like you I try to smile front on. My heart problems forced me to not work at this time. On the bright side I am finally getting to accomplish so many tasks here at home that were left unattended. I am grateful for what medical science can do. You’ll have to let us know how it goes with your foot. I’ve been down that road also. It gets better. Just time consuming. Know that we, your fellow junk subscribers, wish you the best. Take care and hang in there. You have a gift and have been an invaluable inspiration to us all.

  16. I know these things are daunting but I also know that you CAN do this. Think of all the brave things you have done – owning your own business, leaving that to run a blog, traveling to Hawaii – and I am sure there are many more that I do not know about! If you step outside of your head (which is difficult for all of us) and make a list of all the things you do – you would see that you are an amazing woman! I cannot cut wood and take care of the stash of wood like you. I cannot ride a bike or hike every day. I could go on and on but you get the idea. Know that I have faith in you and I am sure your other readers would say the same. We have all been through similar things (which I will not bore you with) but we all come out the other side better than when we started!

    Good luck! Thinking of you!
    Love
    Laura

  17. Oh my Girl. Bad vehicle, got it. Foot, yep car accident. Implants…oh yes…2 on the same tooth, out of my pocket. No bridge teeth can’t support it. I feel your pain BUT I do so enjoy your adventures. Look to that. Cross off stuff as you get it done so you can see it. Like plowing a field. So nice to look behind the tractor and see that fresh soil. Ireland and Scotland. OH MY…my family is all in Scotland. Some went to Australia and you know about them folks. Criminals and debtors. I hope to make it to Scotland some day. Your pictures are great memories to override what you have to take care of. Post them everywhere.

  18. FYI–I hope you have enough bone for an implant. My husband’s came out and another friend’s did too. Wishing you the best but just be aware.

  19. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Its so easy to start down a negative road but glad you are pushing yourself in the right direction!

  20. Challenging times around the corner for you but you still manage to make me laugh with your post. I had a complete hysterectomy in March last year then had to turn around and have my gallbladder removed (with complications) so I understand the angst that you are feeling. I will definitely send prayers your way as well as light and love. You are a strong lady and you can handle this!!!

  21. Saying a prayer for fast healing of that foot and for the whole tooth procedure to not be as bad as you are dreading. Our imaginations sometime make things worse than they really are! Take care, books on tape are a good way to pass the time if you get bored with TV. Or another interesting diversion can be family history research on Ancestry.com!

  22. Winter is so hard … maybe you should take a trip to Australia next winter (our Summer). Come stay with us – I’ll take you to the beach and the lake every day. Plenty of sunshine and adventure (ok, and snakes). xx

  23. Aww, this too shall pass! When facing difficult doctor visits – or anything stressful in the future – I find trying to stay in the moment really helps. Like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think about that tomorrow. If you think about something too much, the stress builds and builds and builds until OMG!! I can’t do this hard thing!! Yes. Yes, you CAN do this hard thing.

  24. Ouchie Donna, I think I’d curl up into a little ball and just hibernate for a bit. Nothing in this world scares me more than a dentist. I am completely out of my mind petrified of them so just like you I tend to do a closed mouth smile unless something hilarious happens and then everyone can enjoy seeing the toothless wonder laughing her head off. It happens 😀 Good luck with your foot surgery, I’m sure it will be fine and so worth it when you can walk for miles again.

  25. I feel your pain…when it comes to your teeth. Been there…done that!
    Honestly, the implant procedure was so much easier then any root canal I’ve had…which is many. It’s a very quick and simple procedure…I only had local numbing and was eating that night. Headphones block out the noise…I only listened to two songs and they tapped me on my shoulder to tell me there were done!
    If you’ve been through multiple root canals…this will be a breeze!
    Good luck!

  26. My apologies for not commenting on all your wonderful comments. I’m overwhelmed with your kindness! I’m answering this the day before surgery and feel rather brave… so I do believe your prayers are working!

    Thank-you!

    • You may be in surgery as I type, so, praying for clear-headed doctor, kind nurses, and complete healing. Blessings, Karen in Oregon

  27. wow it will be so nice to get a first hand info about the implants. i got totally shot down on the very beginning of the discussion of implants due to some pretty serious osteoporosis.

  28. Will definitely be thinking of you, Donna, and sending healing energy and happy tho’ts.

    Having gone through treatment for breast cancer I can more than relate to your anxiety. I had to just take it one day at a time looking forward to completing the next hurdle. If one looks too far ahead the anxiety and impatience increase, I think. Just try to enjoy each single day as much as possible focussing on other things to the exclusion of the surgery and the teeth fixing. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you can do it even part of the time, I believe it helps to keep the freaky tho’ts and feelings under control.

    I’m assuming for you–and you should assume, too–that all will go smoothly and there’ll be nothing to worry about other than healing and getting moving again.

    Take care! And keep us posted.

  29. I just went through an implant and did not use the loopy drugs for the actual post placement in my jaw. I drove myself and it was fine. It has been a 3 year journey but I get my new tooth in a few weeks and I will be so glad to be able to eat on that side of my mouth. Good luck.

  30. I am thinking of you, Donna!! 🙏🏻💜
    Now that we are almost neighbors – I live in Abby! – if there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to ask! XoXo

  31. I just finished a dental implant with a “sinus lift”. A “sinus lift” is needed when there isn’t enough bone around the area because your sinuses are too low. (NOW don’t quote me on that! But they need to go in and put in bone, let that secure, and then complete the implant.) Although it was a long process time-wise, I NEVER had any pain. ZERO! As soon as I got home, I put ice packs on and changed them as they got warmer. (I do have a husband but didn’t want to count on him LOL so put them in a cooler next to my bed.) My oral surgeon put me under for the procedures–don’t know if that is an option for you. Just had the crown put on by my own dentist and he said that is the biggest screw he has ever seen. OH, I have extreme dental anxiety and have anti-anxiety medication prescribed if needed. Didn’t need to take any. Praying your implant goes as easy as mine. Only pain was the cost!!!

  32. I certainly live by prayers and pray for others, so you are on my list.
    I do have to suggest to you that you stop using toxic fluoride which is in most all city drinking water and especially toothpaste. IT is dangerous to your overall health and HORRIBLE for your teeth. Watch some Youtube videos on it. Take your own health into your hands and do not trust any dentist who suggests to you that you use a tooth paste with Fluoride in it. God bless you as you take the time your body needs to recover. Many blessings.