On the Road Again

Howdy Folks!

It has been awhile. I honestly have thought many times about writing, but was in a slump as to what would I write about. Our life journey has changed, and so many different emotions have been rolling through me. As spring approached us, and the season of training was getting underway for all the drivers competing, we were at home, tending to our new business, enjoying our kids and grand-kids.

Oh to be a Kid Again

As it was wise not to have a garden over the years, due to being away so much, Rick decided to build us some garden boxes, that you do not have to bend over to weed. We are excited to see how things grow, as soon as we get some moisture into it.

Something we are looking forward to at the end of June, is the Ponoka Stampede. Although we won’t be competing in the chuckwagon races, Rick is going to be driving the 6 horse hitch at the opening ceremonies each day at the start of the rodeo. We are getting excited for that. As a matter of fact we hitched them up the other day for a practice run and a photo shoot down on the grounds in Ponoka.

As we were getting itchy feet, Rick and I decided to head up north to Grande Prairie, for a trip of rest and relaxation, as well as take in some of the first stop on the Chuckwagon Tour, the Grande Prairie Stompede.

Watching from the Sky Box

A very different view than we normally see over the past 30 some years. We managed to stay very, very clean. We had a birds eye view, and it was good.

Everyone needs a Mentor

Well, that didn’t last long for Rick, before he climbed up into the box to lend a hand. Our friend Colin was doing his maiden voyage run in the other circuit, and Rick jumped in to help out. He thoroughly enjoyed it.


Rick was one excited guy, once the horn blew and Colin made one of the best turns he has ever seen him do. A fist pump was the sign language to prove it.

Meanwhile, I was up in a sky box, taking a few shots of all the action.

And They’re off!

Watching the outriders always seems to impress me. I have full respect for those young fellas, as it takes plenty of heart, strength and smarts to do what they do.

One Leg Up

The roster of outriders is fairly narrow, with some new ones coming up. They are truly quite talented.

In Sync

Then there is the odd outrider, that also Drives an outfit as well. Chance Flad is one of them. He is quite the athlete.

Two by Two

When everything goes right, the two outriders head out onto the track side-by-side.

Its all in the Lines

The communication of the driver to the horse is all in the lines.

Smiles and Friends

Coming back to the community to where you grew up in, you tend to meet up with a lot of people that we haven’t see for quite some time. And it is always great to catch up.

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue , with Rick too!

P.S. Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. Zig Ziglar

The Tale End of the Year

Where do I start? 2018 has ended, and I think back to my last writing of the blog. Two months ago, eights weeks, or 56 days in time, however one likes to look at it. There were many times I thought I should sit down and write my thoughts. I can say I was busy, which I was. But busyness, is only what we say it is. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day, every day. And what we choose to do in those days is ours decide.



As the days go by, my mind meanders into the past. Thinking and pondering our Chuckwagon Journey. Some days it is so surreal. I look out into the pasture, and those 25 and some thoroughbreds are not there. We have three, that continue to live with us. Deveroux, Nickle and Law. I miss the herd that would run up and down the field in the daylight or the dark. In the house you could here the pounding and thundering of their hooves. When they stopped, they would snort, buck and kick and the steam would be rolling off their warm bodies. Memories such as this pop into my mind, and I wonder why? Why did it have to end?

Beauty in the Winter

So many have asked, do you miss it? It was our lives for so many years. Rick was born into the Chuckwagon world. I married into it in 1984. And my answer to the question? Yes. Some days more than others. We are in the off season, so it just feels normal most days. I also tell people, it feels like a death. That we have to go through mourning. I was told by someone that for every 10 years of involvement, it would take 1 year of mourning. So that sounds like a fair bit of time. However, when we think back to when we first began until now, we ask ourselves, where did the time go? It almost feels like a dream with so many memories.

One Last Family Photo

Life does move on, and my last two month have been consumed with home life, grandkids, new online digital business and enjoying being at home on the Ranch.

I took a photography course last year, which was so very informative. I learned some new tricks of the trade, but have a long ways to go in becoming a professional. However, Greg Johnson (The Tornado Hunter Guy) is the one who has courses throughout the year, and through this, he decided to have a book published with photos submitted by his students.

The Amazing Photo Book

I fished through many of my photos from over the years, and found a few that I liked. I submitted them in the hopes that just one would be chosen. Low and behold, two of them were. And both of them I am so very proud of, as they both tell a story.

No Words Necessary

Skylar. An amazing young lady who I met several years ago, at the annual Special Needs Rodeo during the Ponoka Stampede. I will always treasure that first day I met her, and the years that continued after that. A down-syndrome child that taught me how to love unconditionally. The connection and love she had with the animals was precious.

Six Heats Down and Three to Go

The weather rules when it comes to Chuckwagon racing. Rain or shine, the competition continues. High River Alberta is often a place where the weather fluctuates within hours, due to being close to the Rocky Mountains. Rain and mud prevailed one race day this year, and I was able to capture this shot of outrider Rory Gervais in between heats. The dedication and athleticism these young fellas have is commendable.

I am thrilled that these two photos have been published, along with many amazing great shots from Canada wide. I heard there were still books available, through tornadohunter.com.

Happy Little Bug

I can’t get enough of those little bitty grandkids. At least the last one is little in size. Amy and Chris’s baby Kich is already three months old. Just beginning to smile, giggle and almost roll over. The only downside for me is they are 3 hours drive away. Thank goodness for Facetime.

Nana and Ryker Time

Talking about three, Kaylee and Chris’s boy Ryker is three years old. He’s full of giggles, talking and trains. He is one busy boy who keeps Nana busy at the best of times. And that is just OK!


My little Coy is not so little anymore. Our number one grandson is nine already. He is getting to that age, where friends are starting to be more important that Nan. But that’s ok, he will always have a special place in my heart. Coy loves to play hockey now, as he’s in his first year. School is something he loves. He is a people person, and is still as creative as ever.

Special Moments

Christmas Comes but once a year.

Christmas as always, is special with kids. It came and went with memories to hold.

And the Stockings Were Filled

Gifts were exchanged, but there was one that was so special. Kaylee had thought to hand make one for her dad. She collected some hair from our many horses tails. Put it into a Christmas ornament ball along with a poem which she wrote from the heart. These are the best gifts that will be cherished forever.

At Work

With winter, comes snow, and with snow, comes sleigh rides. We hooked a couple of the horses up and went for a few rides. The weather has been pretty good and not too cold.

Hanging Out with PaPa

Well, as January settles in, I have a list of goals, visions and hobbies to do. It is an adjustment as I seen this month as one to hurry and get things done, as the Chuckwagon season is not far to begin. It is………………..just not for us.

From Home on the Ranch



“Life is about change. Sometime’s it’s painful. Sometimes it’s beautiful. But most of the time it is both.

A Little Bit of Time Away

Howdy All!

Four weeks sneak by so darn fast!  It feels like I just wrote a blog the other day.  I guess that just means that I have continued to be quite busy here around the Ranch.  With winter just around the corner, Rick has been outside doing all kinds of things before the snow falls.  I on the other hand have been a busy bee preparing our books for year-end, keeping house and working on our brand new business venture.

With all this busyness, I was excited to venture off to another ladies wellness retreat down in the Grand Cayman Islands.  My friend, Nadine Dumas, put together another successful week of gathering 12 ladies from Canada, the US and the UK, to focus on themselves.


Fun in the Sun

Of course the sun and the sand are a HUGE draw, but we had many other activities that kept us gals busy.

One activity that was very different for us all,  was aerial yoga.  It tested quite a bit of our balance, but through it all we had lots of laughs and giggles.



When we completed our session, I think we were all in agreement that we could all step in and be the teachers in one form or another.  OK, maybe we wouldn’t go quite that far, but we all enjoyed learning something new.


Cooks in the Kitchen

While every vacation tends to have an abundance of awesome food, this retreat was no different.  However, we got to participate in preparing a meal by competing in a game like on TV, called Chopped.  Chef Maureen put together some awesome basket for each team to create a meal within 30 minutes.




When the final second was up, our plates were displayed and our wine was in our hands.  A job well done by all.

Through out the week, we had amazing meals prepared by some of the local businesses.  One of the mindful aspects of the week, was there was no flour whatsoever used in any of the dishes we were provided with.  And I must say, we didn’t miss it one tiny bit.  As you can see in the photos, the food was very colorful, healthy and tasty.

In the evenings, we were so spoiled as we would sit and enjoy the amazing Caribbean sunsets.  It was so breathtaking.  We had to make sure we were out at just the right time as it didn’t take long for the sun to go down and out of sight.


On one of the nights, this helicopter came flying over just as the sky was filled with amazing evening colors.  I managed to capture it against the beautiful backdrop.


In the distance, a gentleman on a paddle board slowly made his way past.  The waters were so calm on the west side of the island.  A great place to meditate.


White Sand and Toes


Dream Chair

On some of the days we had teaching sessions and fitness workouts, but there was always time for a swim and soaking up the sun.  I couldn’t have asked for a better “ME” time.


Four Friends


Group Photo

Gorgeous Gals

At the end of the day, I have learned so much about myself and others.  As a women, wife, mother, Nana and friend, its ok and important to put yourself first and look after thy soul.  And in doing this, I am able to give back to others so much more.

The 2019 retreat has already begun to form.  If you are interested in attending, please check out Nadine and her website, https://nadinedumas.com You will find information on her and all she has to offer in health and wellness.


As we head into November, Rick and I have launched a new online business and it is keeping us busy.  We are pretty excited in the growth of it already, and are looking forward to where it takes us.  As the internet is where it is at when it comes to business, what we are doing, can be yours as well, no matter where you are living in the world.  If you are interested in making another income, and possibly making this your permanent income, why not check it out?  https://rickandsuefraser.com  You can also check us out on our Facebook Page, Rick and Sue Fraser.  There is no selling of products.  We are doing something we have always strived to do, giving of ourselves in helping others.

From the Travelin Trailer.

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P.S. If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.

Richard Branson

Busy Being Busy

Howdy Friends!

Have you ever noticed that as a society, we are all so busy?  We ALL have the same 24 hours in a day, every day, but yet we have little time to do the things that count the most.  Such as taking time to visit the neighbor.  Or go outside for a leisurely walk.  Or even sit down to read a book that interests us.  Our busy lives seem to get in the way for all that really matters.

Yesterday, my day was full of paperwork in the office, working on getting our year-end completed to send to the accountant.  At noon, I took time for my self, and headed outside and went for a run down our country road and back.  Along the way, my neighbor, whom I never see, stopped to have a chat.  We decided it was time to connect and make time to go for a horse ride together, go for coffee or even a walk.  This is now something I’m going to do.

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Last month, Rick and I spent some time together and ventured to Maskwachees and Enoch, 2 nearby Indian Reserves where they had Pony Chuckwagon Races and Indian Relay Races.  Boy, was there some entertainment for the crowds.  If you have never seen an Indian Relay Race, you don’t know what you’re missing.  I really enjoyed their colorful display of costumes that each team portrayed.  A true look into the heritage that they come from.  I managed to capture some photos of some of the teams and their beautiful thoroughbred horses.


Garry and Denny Dorhester

Just outside of Wetaskiwin in September, Ricks relatives, the Shantz family gathered together for a family reunion.  As you get older, your family heritage seems to get a bit more interesting, wanting to know where your ancestors came from and who they were.  Uncles Garry and Denny Dorchester reminisced and told story’s that day.  It was their mom Joy (also Rick’s Grandma) who came from the Shantz Family.

Shantz Family

The Shantz Family

Photos are always interesting to look at.  I think they needed to smile a bit more back then.  Maybe it was a rule of some sort when photos were taken that no one was to smile.  Many photos of that time, there are no smiles.  I’m sure glad things have changed.


All Smiles

My grandson has no problem smiling.  And he makes me smile all the time.  He just celebrated his 9th birthday yesterday.  It is so hard to believe he is at this age already.  He is my sunshine.  We have spent so much time together since he was born.  He is the most creative kid I know.  His mind is always going.  Lately, he has made colorful puppets out of socks and second-hand clothing.  It will be interesting to see what working life path he will take when he becomes an adult.


A Blue Bundle of Love

As time fly’s by, Coy is so excited to have a new baby brother, Kich Weston Connell.  And I’m just as excited.  He’s just one week old now and I was fortunate enough to spend a few days with our daughter Amy, husband Chris, Coy and baby Kich when he was born.  They live 3 hours away from us, so I have to get more visits in when I can.


Childs Play

With Kich, that makes three grandsons for Rick and I.  Ryker, our daughter Kaylee’s boy is 2 1/2.  He is one very busy little boy who loves Thomas the Train and Paw Patrol.  We went for a walk outside the other day and Ryker had decided to play in the mound of dirt the moles had piled up.  He’s a boy through and through that loves to where a ball cap.  I have a hard time resisting anything those big blue eyes want.  But then,  Nana’s are allowed to spoil their grandbabys…………….right?


Nickle and Louie

As we come close to three months since we retired from our last days of the Chuckwagon Trail, I find myself emotional at times.  I never gave this much thought when we made our decision to leave the sport we have been doing together all these years.  Just little things will trigger me.  Times such as looking at photos, seeing the weeds grown in the pens where the herd would normally have trampled them down,  and missing the thunderous sound of so many hooves running from far out in the field to the barn up by the house for a drink of water.  It is like mourning a death for us.  We need to go through so many different emotions as the time passes.  We know it was the right decision for us, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  It is what we did together as a team for many years.  Having said that,  we hold and cherish many, many great and awesome memories.  That life we lived has molded Rick and I into who we are today.  And we are grateful.


I shot this photo this spring during one of our training days.  I will be forever grateful that I began this blog and started my journey of photography.  A picture tells many wonderful stories.  And this photo, tells me there is a powerful connection between Rick and four of our amazing thoroughbreds.  It is a way of talking to the horses, as the horses feel his touch and command through the soft leather lines.


As we are folks who don’t sit idle, we are moving on to different paths.  Currently we are taking some computer courses.  This is a big stretch for Rick, but we are doing it together and are enjoying each week learning.  It doesn’t matter what age you are in life, there is something new out there just waiting to be discovered.  You just have to take new steps and be open.  We are looking forward to what our next phase in life is bringing us.


Lifelong Friends

We enjoyed a final farewell get together at our Ranch with family and friends last month.  This was an enjoyable evening for everyone.  I was totally surprised when my lifelong friend Louise Good from high-school days showed up unexpected.  We may not see each other very often, but when we do, we pick up where we left off.  These are the best friendships ever.IMG_5761[1]

As this weekend is Thanksgiving, Rick and I are full of gratitude in what life has given us in our life together.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Life has been a roller coaster, but through all the ups and downs, victories and losses, people who have come in and out of our lives, it has molded us, and we are thankful.  We are thankful for our three adult children we have raised, Amy, Kaylee and Cody.  We are very proud of them.  We love our grandkids and hope to have many more to spoil.  We wish you all a Happy and Family Oriented Thanksgiving Weekend.


Every day, a new life begins.

Hold on tight to your family and let them know you love them.


From Home on the Ranch

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P.S.  Start each day with gratitude, patience, kindness and end it with a peaceful heart and watch your days become a little bit sweeter.

Out and About

Howdy All!

Been a busy time this past month.  Catching up on things at home, and just taking time to see where our next step will be.  We also took time to play, and I hope you do to.


Just Playin Around

The 2nd Annual Senior Pro Rodeo was held in Wetaskiwin, which was just down the road from our Ranch a few weeks ago.  We decided to drop in and see a bit of the action as we knew a few of the competitors.


They didn’t disappoint.  Together, the crew made things happen and the action was great.


From Calf Roping to Team Roping, to Barrel Racing and more.  There were names we recognized from CFR a few years back, and others that just enjoy what they do.


The weekend couldn’t have been better, the weather was amazing.  The intermission entertainment was priceless.


A local pony horse club, came out to play soccer…………………with their horses!  Well we’ve never seen anything like this, but it was so awesome to see.  This grey pony was the best player around.  He bunted and bunted and scored a few goals.  I think the girl was just along for the ride.  Great Entertainment!


Dayton Sutherland


Rory Gervais

Rocky Mountain House was the place to be.  Rick and I, our barn hands Kim and David as well as our kids and other friends made a camping trip to the finals of the WPCA Chuckwagon Circuit.  We enjoyed ourselves the full week, just camping and taking in all the action of the races.  Young Dayton Sutherland captured his first Championship win after only competing for the last year and a half.  Outrider Rory Gervais also won his first World Championship Outriding title and Kurt and Ashley Bensmiller won another Chuckwagon World title.  Congratulations to them all.




The best entertainment of the weekend, was the kids wild pony races.  But then us old girls topped that by putting in a couple of teams on Saturday night.  Well our team consisted of my daughter Kaylee, my friend Kim and me.  The other team was Lisa Bensmiller, Ashley Bensmiller and Caitlin Fike, (All wifes of Chuckwagon Drivers).  Well what a blast we had.  Both teams were able to rassle those little guys down and the rider got on.  I was that rider on our team.  It brought a huge amount of excitement to the crowd and the young kids cheered us on.  Thanks to Photographer Shellie Scott for the great action shots.


As the days go by, I continue to fill my days with catching up and working on a new journey in life.  I’m excited to step up into see what awaits.  I’ve got a few things in mind and the ball is slowing rolling.

Until next time

From Home on the Ranch and Beyond

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Sue Fraser

P.S.  Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly.