"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Sunday, September 4, 2016

An Update in Pictures

A pictorial catch-up post.

If you want to keep up with our adventures, since I have seriously sucked at blogging this year, go follow me on Instagram. I have not been able to fix the widget on the blog so that it shows the photo roll, but my username is ntorrech. I post pics almost every day! Of the horses, the cats, work-related and life-related stuff. :)


I rode once with Jess after RBTR, the weekend immediately after the race. I was on Gracie and she was on Lily and we did 7 miles and I was in agony at the end. I did not ride again for almost a month afterwards.

Video still of that ride. We were galloping up a hill!...
...with Jess and Lily flying up behind us!

But we've been up to so much more! Here it is in photos:

I drive past this store every day on the way to work. EVERY DAY. They had the usual farm animals out front and then one day this random Tyrannosaurus Rex materialized opposite the rooster.  I laughed and laughed and laughed. And now every day I come up with all sorts of innuendo jokes for this...because giant cocks and T-Rexs with tiny hands...though seriously: I kind of love the idea of a T-Rex in the front lawn. If we had one. It's a good thing that we don't! Hahahaha...
Alternate route home thanks to GPS. Because the current job involves taking a one-lane road into Virginia (Frederick is close enough to VA that it's still only 25 miles from home), which, when there is traffic, means there is no escape. Waze is my friend!
Zombie, everyone's favorite tripod cat. If you are not familiar with his story, you should totally go read it here. Because Zombie is awesome, and he really is an undead cat with a missing leg...
Wearing tiny short-shorts for the first time since the accident in celebration of the disappearance of my bruises.
Seriously guys: arnica + BOT are a wonderful thing. I still have a subtle amount of swelling on that upper thigh, but there is no other visual reminder of the accident. We were at Alive @ Five, a downtown Frederick, MD summer festivity that involves live music and locally brewed beers every Thursday evening from May to September.

I can't run yet, and I can't ride for long periods (by that, I'm talking hours. Not yet up to 3-hour rides) because the muscles on my right thigh and glute feel like they are falling off if I overdo it (it is a really nasty, painful sensation, and that is the most accurate way to describe it: like the muscles want to fall off) but I can sure as hell work out on the elliptical (shown here) and the Stair Climber (oh how I hate it...but it's such an amazing workout) and as of last week, have returned to my regular 5-6 day/week gym training schedule lifting the same amount of weight that I used to lift before the accident. For the longest time, I couldn't do more than two or three days/week without making my right leg painful or my rib muscles excruciatingly sore.
I've gained 5 lbs of fluff that I'm anxious to get rid of!
Downtown Frederick.
Having fun at Alive @ Five.
Carroll Creek Park in downtown.
Baker Park, one of our favorite places.
I hate those silly bouffant caps. I had promised myself that if I lasted in Surgery for more than a year, I'd buy myself one of the cool fabric surgery caps. I finally went ahead and ordered one three.

Brand-new terrace at our favorite bar in downtown.
We had a couple of weeks of thunderstorms every afternoon. Classic Florida weather, with the accompanying Florida-level heat. We were hitting heat indexes into 110 with humidity of 80%+ (I wish I was exaggerating. I am not.)
We FINALLY went tubing!!!!...
It happened in the middle of an epic heat wave for this region. The water of the Potomac was actually WARM for the first time since we moved here almost four years ago...
Experimenting with mason jar salads.

I really did take this photo. (Andrea posted a similar one on FB a couple of months ago!) I sent it to Jess and Liz. Jess was running anesthesia when she received it and she snorted with laughter in the middle of the OR. Mission accomplished! ;)
A full moon setting in the west while the sun was rising in the east.
"Can I have your foot? Because I'm missing one." - Zombie
Everyone loves Zombie, but Aengus is my heart. He thinks he is my dog. He has been especially amazing since Astarte died. Here I was lying in bed and he just randomly jumped up onto it to keep me company, stretched out next to me and placed his paw on my shoulder. Because. I will never understand why cats are so hated among so many people. Dogs are cool and sometimes I do miss having dogs, but the complexity of a cat makes it so rewarding when they decide you are theirs. Maybe that's why I only own mares now...

The Downtown Frederick Partnership has live music on Friday evenings during the summer. On this particular evening they had a reggae band playing. It was wonderful. We initially sat down to people watch: Frederick is genuinely quirky and so are its residents, which is one of the things that we love so much about it. People here are themselves; you don't get that big-city pretentiousness. And they all come together for events like this. There was one middle-aged lady with a cane dancing in a corner. She was dressed in a gender-neutral fashion (I loved her beret!) and was moving very conservatively. Close by was another woman, also middle-aged, in a cute denim dress, and she KNEW how to dance dancehall: she was ON it. Dancing like a college girl with this awesome abandon. She was ageless. My favorite part was when she took the hand of the lady with the cane, the cane got thrown aside, and they danced together, heads thrown back with laughter. They did not know one another, but they danced and laughed and then hugged afterwards, and it was beautiful. It is as the world should be, and we got to watch all sorts of interactions of this sort on stage. It took us a while to join because we were having too much fun watching!

Carlos and I did dance, starting out on the outskirt of the dance floor barefoot on the grass. There was no one else with us to take photos of us, so he took one of me dancing.
I was so giddily happy that evening. Five minutes after this photo was taken, the crowd flowed onto the dance floor for the last two songs and we joined in on the concrete floor, still barefoot, and we were wrapped up by the joy and happiness of the people of this town, and we were a part of it. We belonged. And that is what I love so much about where we live: we belong.
This dude just loves having his front legs stretched out like this. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that he uses those front legs so much with his missing hind. He has massive shoulders and triceps for a cat. I have a collection of photos of him sleeping like this. We joke that he dreams of brains...Here I was stretching his legs deliberately for him and he was totally going with it. Look at his little paws with the toes splayed out!
"Whassup? I has a snaggle tooth!"
He just lay there while I held his front legs like that.

"Touch me!"

Like his favorite person (Carlos), Zombie has an insane ability for ruining perfectly good pictures by doing stuff like this...

...and this... (I mean, seriously: he looks like a demon cat)
"Will you pet me please?" He'll sit next to my chair staring up at me quietly for up to 10 minutes at a time, waiting for me to notice him. The second I look at him, his pupils dilate and he goes, "Chirrrrrp!"

I really love this song; it's very Carlos & me. One of many I've been listening to.

Sunrise in the rearview mirror on the way to work.
New haircut
One glorious morning...
A second glorious morning. Taken on the way to work.
Going home from the barn one evening.
A former coworker from the old hospital, whom I had not heard from in almost three years, recently contacted me after she moved back to Frederick. It's slowly become a tradition to go out together on Fridays to explore downtown Frederick. This was the line-up of infused liquor at Cafe Nola in downtown. They all looked so pretty in the light. 
Vegetarian dinner at Republic in Takoma Park. I am not vegetarian but this sounded amazing...and was as amazing as it sounded!
Hanging out with Liz and a bottle of Pomplemousse rose wine in Austen's tack room at the Stephen Birchall clinic last weekend. 
Liz hand walking Griffin into the huge arena of Austen's barn for her first ever dressage clinic.
I was part of a mare sandwich one afternoon. <3
Stunning sunset at the barn.
Sauteed tilapia with paprika and lemon broth sauce, farro and an avocado Greek salad. All by moi.
This was dinner tonight, and yes, I eat at the computer when I'm working on blog posts. ;)\
This happened finally...I had not ridden Lily since my accident.
More on this in a separate post...


  1. You have been busy! I love the zombie cat!

  2. I think I'm going to just have to suck it up and do one of these entries myself. I'm so far behind and I blog several times a week. I am glad to see a big update from you. I've missed your blog and refresh obsessively. I'm glad I see you on FB and Instagram. It fills the void :) Also thankful I saw you in person, though it feels like it's been too long already. <3

    1. I know! I hope we get to meet up again soon! <3 And photo updates are always fun and easy. ;)

  3. That little black cat tho - so adorable! It was great meeting you too!

    1. Hopefully it will happen again soon! :D

  4. Yay!! An Update!!! I've been in withdrawal. Your life seems pleasantly busy this summer (well, minus the fall) adn your hair cut looks great.