Cheryl Palo benefit, fund for Chad Schaefer, and making memories that count | TSLN.com

Cheryl Palo benefit, fund for Chad Schaefer, and making memories that count

We've had wind, snow, sunshine, and wind this past week. Must be fall or something. Haven't gotten our cows preg checked yet, but that's on the agenda for next week. We'll wean heifer calves when we do and I feel confident that they've learned how to drink out of a hole in the ice with their mamas by now.

There will be a benefit for Cheryl Palo, who is battling cancer, on December 6, starting at 6 p.m., at the Newell Bar, Newell, S.D. Cheryl and her husband Jim ranch near Newell. She's undergone surgery, radiation and now chemo, and the bills are sure adding up. This benefit will include a chili cook-off at 6, an auction at 7:30, and a dance afterward. There is also a fund set up at First Interstate Bank in Belle Fourche, if you can't make it to the fundraiser. For more info, call Denna Lindsey at 605-456-2561 or JD Mutchler at 605-490-0343.

Some of you know Chad Schaefer, Newell, South Dakota, from his mobile machinery repair business. Last Monday he slipped in the snow outside his home and re-broke the leg that he broke last fall during the blizzard. This family has been through so much and just when Chad was getting back to work with his repair business, this happens. It's been a long five years since the initial car wreck that broke his leg so badly, and they have been just buried in medical bills. Chad's wife is not well and cannot work, so this is very difficult for them. If you know Chad, you know just how badly he wants to work and how determined he is. There is a fund at First National Bank for Chad, and if you feel led, please send some money to that fund. The address is First National Bank, P.O. Box 227, Newell, SD. 57760. Obviously, your prayers would be appreciated too.

We've had the little grandboys here for over a week over Thanksgiving and have sure had fun with them. These sweet little boys, four and two and a half, are like sunshine around here.

Today, for example, they ate a hearty breakfast before going out with Bepaw to do the barn chores. They don't miss a chance to go chore whether it's with him or me, and they are so fun to watch and listen to. We have a big steer calf that has a broken leg. I told them they could name him and after much thought, they named him Gamer. The older one was very concerned that the leg was broken off so was very relieved to see that it wasn't.

The three horses in the corral all hang their heads over the fences to get extra handfuls of hay from them. Their pony is one of them, so he's especially interested in what they're doing. They know those horses' names and are learning to put the names on the right horses out in the pasture. It's not as easy as you might think either, as we tend to lean toward sorrel horses, most with a strip.

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Chopping ice for the cows is a main event. They simply love the cows. The older one has a two year heifer that just weaned a nice calf. The little one's calf is just a weanling herself. They always want to see Cowmoo and Black (yes, pretty original name for an Angus heifer) and make sure they're okay. They like to get out and pet Noodle, the former bucket calf, now turned aging stock cow. They got to see up close where milk came from when I milked a little into their hands one time. Now they want to milk her every time. She's really not a very good producer, but she has value beyond raising a big calf, so she stays.

Playing outside is so much more interesting here than in town where they usually are. There are dogs to play with, doghouses to hide in, even though the hound was already in hers, and cats to chase around and to pet. They spent considerable time this morning degreasing an old Oliver tractor with their coats and gloves, and took turns "driving" it. They spend hours roping the dummy, outside if it's nice, in the garage if it's windy and cold, and are getting better at catching all the time. The goal, of course, is to rope at our branding one day.

I'm always amazed at what they can remember. I pulled up to a gate and the older one said that this was the way to go to where we branded last summer. He was right too.

I think that the memories they are making will help to mold them into men who will have an understanding of our lifestyle and maybe, just maybe, make them want to pursue it. As their Grandma, I'm so glad they not only want to come and stay with us, but that they are allowed to. I know things will change once they're in school, so I'm making every moment count. Treasured times of sticky kisses and sweet hugs and giggling. Life is good here on Dry Creek.