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Beautiful South Dakota




Bob & I went to SD for a week for our anniversary as well as for a wedding. We stayed at a wonderful Bed & Breakfast in Hot Springs (Southern Black Hills) called A Dakota Dream (www.adakotadream.com) which is about an hour outside of Rapid City. Rapid City is the second largest city in SD but is what I now consider a small city (70,000 people I believe).


We flew into Sioux Falls (the largest city at about 100,000 people) and stayed with Bob's brother and sister in law. They have a 12 year old boy, a 3 1/2 year old girl and a 1 1/2 year old girl. The girls LOVE their "uncle Bob! uncle Bob! hey, uncle Bob!" who is a playland at 6'4" for kids. He is a charmer to young girls and older ladies - all 3 of our grandmothers are smitten with him and all nieces are glued to his side. I don't understand the draw... ^_^


We drove from Sioux Falls to Flandreau, SD (the county seat without a single stoplight in the town) to pick up his maternal grandmother and then drove to Watertown to visit with his mother. The next day, we drove to the farm where Bob's 89(?) year old grandma tends to the cattle with the help of an uncle living across the street. After 2 days of being 'on' - I got 2 ocular migraines without pain (lose vision for about 1/2 an hour or so) which is draining. I also started to get vertigo only while laying down, but not standing up.


Honestly, my body somaticizes stress in the most odd ways. That is the main reason I didn't check into the stroke warnings (TIAs) that I had prior to the stroke - ocular migraines, night sweats, dizziness - a regular smorgasbord of stress symptoms! How was I to know the important ones from the simply annoying/irritating ones? While the ocular migraines subsided, the vertigo was terrible. It still comes and goes now. I hesitate seeing a doctor because I think it is stress-related.


Back to the trip - on our 3rd day in SD, we drove from Sioux Falls to Rapid City (about a 5 hour trip across the state) where my family lives and the wedding was to be held. We spent time with Bob's dad and my family and drove in the Black Hills (or Paha Sapa as the Native Americans call it). My absolute favorite part of the trip was feeding the chipmunks on Needles Highway (they eat right out of your hand) and smelling the Black Hills pine trees.


Does that sound odd? Smelling pine trees? When I went to Girl Scout camp, the counselors told us about how the pine trees have smells - if you smell between the bark, you can smell butterscotch, strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla (the last two being really rare). While I am positive this was done for their own entertainment as well as some much deserved quiet time, I still like to smell the pine trees. Most are butterscotch. This may be the power of suggestion but try it!! :lol:


We are back and I am unemployed - I am not a good unemployed person. I am awful at it. I would make a horrible 1950's housewife! I have 2 jobs that I have applied for and am waiting for decisions. The phone interview one was okay, I guess - they were a little unprofessional at times (claiming to be falling asleep as I answered questions - nice, huh?) but they are checking references which is positive.


One of the positives of being unemployed right now is the time I have to think. I have been far too impatient with myself and my recovery. I have basically told my body and my mind to 'just get over it already' and it isn't responding as quickly as I think it should. I have to create a goal and make a plan to recover both my body and my mind in a more realistic way. Reading the stupid book I reviewed in the previous blog is not a positive way to figure out how to recover either (thanks to all who left comments - it was good to hear opinions!).


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Hot Springs, the town, is *tiny* and I don't know of a natural hot spring there to go, honestly! I don't even think about it any more - it is just the name of the town.


The pine needles spell like pine but the sap or between the bark is where the sweet stuff is!


No dizzy stuff last night, so another few nights of that & hooray - it should be gone!

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