We had a very good winter here at the Ranch. With the horses in the field, enjoying their eight months off between Chuckwagon Racing seasons, someone always needs to be tending to them. They are always on free choice hay and are fed rolled oats daily across the field, which they love.
Throughout the winter, there are always many activities, some holidays and family get together’s to attend. All these activities make the cold winter days pass by just a little bit faster. Despite the cold, we still enjoy and appreciate everything that we do each and every day.
My guys love hockey! Whether they are playing it or following along with their beloved Toronto Maple Leafs in the National Hockey League, its something they share together. Back a few months ago, the Chuckwagon drivers and outriders hosted a game in Strathmore Alberta, playing a game of hockey against some of the NHL Alumni. The turn out was great and all who attended truly enjoyed the evening.
While the spring and summer is quite the run on the Chuckwagon trail, a well deserved holiday is something that I truly enjoy. Rick had gifted me a holiday back when I turned 50, and this past October I cashed it in. I flew to the Grand Cayman Islands with nine other gals for a ladies wellness retreat. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and hope to do it again.
Christmas time is always so magical, especially if you have wee ones in the house. We enjoyed the excitement of our two grandsons, and our kids Amy, Kaylee and Cody along with their spouses, Chris 1 and Chris 2. (Both daughters married Chris’s). The day couldn’t have been any better as Santa came in the night bearing gifts for all.
Throughout the winter I managed to take a photography class to gain some more insight on my journey in taking photos during the year. My teacher was Greg Johnson off the TV show Storm Chasers. He is so full of knowledge in the photography world and brings along so much fun and laughter into his classes. I am looking forward to the next one I attend in the future.
My little buddy Coy, our grandson had come out to feed oats with me one day. I took my camera along in hopes to get a few photos. I was totally impressed with how this one turned out. His puppy Toopee means the world to him. He’s such a unique dog with his two different eyes. Such a beautiful connection they have.
I so enjoy my grandboys! They bring me so much joy and happiness and I can never spend enough time with them. Ryker is now 2 and just a going concern. He’s got the biggest blue eyes, is very active and enjoys playing with cars, trains and blocks. He keeps his mom and dad pretty busy day in and day out.
As Spring rolls around, so does the Chuckwagon season. And to kick off the 2018 season, is the yearly Calgary Stampede Canvas Auction that was held on March 22nd in the big city. It is always so exciting to see the continuing sponsors, new potential sponsors and all the Chuckwagon volunteers that work so hard to make things happen. We appreciate each and every one of them. Every driver takes their turn and steps up onto the stage and the bidding begins. This year we obtained a new sponsor during the 10 days of Stampede named Cleo Energy Services and we are excited to connect with them and promote their company for the full 10 days of Stampede.
In the Chuckwagon world, there are many long-lasting blood lines. Rick was born into the Dorchester family, his late mom being Joan Dorchester. His Granfather was the Great Tommy Dorchester who raced Chuckwagons many years ago. Rick’s cousin Troy Dorchester also races in the same circuit as Rick. His dad is Garry Dorchester who raced back in the 60’s. When you grow up in the sport your family is involved in, it’s a pretty good promise that you might get involved some way as well. I know for these two guys, they love what they do and take pride in all their horses that get them to where they are.
Even though the snow is lying on the ground, taking its time to melt, the training of the ponies has begun. It started about one week later than usual but is going full straight ahead. The sleigh will be in use one more day or two, then we will begin using the chuckwagon. Puddles, or we may call them little lakes are forming in the field because of the run off, so we have pumps running around the clock draining them to help dry up the field much faster.
Today while we were out training, my camera came with me. I wanted to share a few of these close-ups that tell a story on their own. My favorite is of our son Cody’s hand and the horse that was sniffing and gently nibbling on him. The connection was priceless. Animals may not speak out loud but their actions tell so much.
As another season gets rolling along, I look forward to you all following along on my journey as a chuckwagon wife. Its an adventure that is unique, special, trying some days, fulfilling and unlike any other summer lifestyle that I know of.
From Home on the Ranch
P.S. The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.