Tag: introduction

el gato raul juanito espinosa… the cat

Friends, I live with a very… special… cat.

He's very photogenic.

He’s very photogenic.

When my husband adopted him 11 years ago, 16 weeks old from a shelter in Arkansas, they said he was a trouble maker.

“You don’t want this one,” they said.

“He’s annoying,” they said.

My husband says this is the only kitten that came over to him, and so that was that.  Nathan brought him home and named him Gato.

We call this "hot dog mode."

We call this “hot dog mode.”

My husband is Mexican.

Gato is spanish for Cat.  Yep.

He has his own Facebook page, which lists his entire formal name: Gato Raul Juanito Espinosa. He’s very famous. The personality on this cat has in turn saved 3 orange cats from shelters via my mother and my grandmother – they just loved him so much when he and I lived with my mom, that they went out and got orange males of their own. Of course, none of them really had the personality of Gato.

So demanding.

So demanding.

This cat will hold entire conversations with you, and he rules the house.  He’s very demanding.  I maintain that he chooses to live with us, and we are his friends.  Don’t call me a mom.  He is not my child, he is Gato.  The cat.

Pretty good for snuggles though too.

Pretty good for snuggles though too.

Not that long ago actually, a friend of mine pointed something out to me.  She had just met him for the first time, and I was trying to explain his name to her.  She is a pretty fluent spanish speaker, and I swear to George Morris she came up with what I think is the best most brilliant thing, ever.


This is his domain.

“So that means Gato is like a title, right?”

Yes, he is EL GATO.  The most interesting cat in the world.

I don't always eat people food.  But when I do, it's Peruvian charbroiled chicken from Sardi's.

I don’t always eat people food. But when I do, it’s Peruvian charbroiled chicken from Sardi’s.

Our Little Home

Photo - The day we closed!

The day we closed!

Back in March of 2014, we completed the purchase of a little Cape Cod style house in suburban DC, on the Maryland side.  It’s all brick, super sturdy-feeling, and über cute.  There are four bedrooms on two floors, plus one finished room in an otherwise unfinished basement, and two full bathrooms.  Kitchen, dining room, and living room round out about 1,200 square feet.  All in all, it’s a perfect starter home.  So of course we plan to stay in it for 30 years, because, why the hell not.

We purchased it in a short sale after looking for maybe 6 months.  It was the second house we saw, and the second offer we put in.  The short sale took a little under a year; short sales definitely aren’t for the faint of heart.  Our real estate agent, Jim Roy, was also my boss at the time, so we had a very good idea of what to expect and it still tried the patience quite a bit.  I’ll be doing a post about our experience in the future, so stay tuned.

Photo - The pull-back shot.

The pull-back shot.

So far, we really do love it. I have been here by myself the majority of the time we’ve had it, due to Nathan’s deployment. I’ll admit, I wasn’t all about all that yard work while he was gone, and the grass got quite long at times. He’s back now, though, and already has it looking pretty spiffy on the outside. I’m not much for cleaning, so the inside is… interesting. 😉 You know what they say about horse people – your home and car are always messy, but at least the barn is spotless!

I just picked up some paint chips and books this weekend from Home Depot.  Planning to stop in at Sherwin Williams and Lowe’s too.  Don’t worry – before we paint anything, you’ll get to see it in its “before” state!

I suppose, introductions are in order

So I’m Liz.  This is my new little getaway on the web.  I’m an eventer, wife, veteran, cat friend, government employee, homeowner, and after years of hiatus – a writer.

Photo - Burns - Riding Without The Horse

Burns – Oh the torture.

Like the title of this blog suggests, I am indeed riding without the horse.  That is to say – I have plenty of horses to ride, but not THE horse.  I’ve never owned a horse; I’ve leased, but never full-time.  My trainer in high school used to tell me she wanted me to catch ride, because I could sit on anything and do well.  It’s just always been this way.  I can’t say I’m too disappointed about it, but it’s hard to scroll by those gorgeous Thoroughbreds on MidAtlantic Horse Rescue and not wish I had the funds to keep a pony.  I make do.  This is where “the barn,” the one I’ve been bouncing around years to find, comes through for me.  I needed a horse to event, and it just so happened the wonderful boarders of a big ol’ weirdo mutt named Burns needed someone to ride him.  As an instructor in a huuuuge program, I can school the school horses as much as they need.  I get to drop knowledge on lots new and experienced riders, and it’s really fun and I learn things from my students and fellow instructors all the time.

I mentioned Burns, who is the closest I’ve come to THE horse so far.  We’ve been together a year (next week is the official anniversary!), and done a lot in that time.  He’s sometimes a jerky, mostly really fun Quarter Horse cross with a big neck and a big jump and not so much of the dressage, although it’s getting better.  Incidentally, I am nearly the same.  Leasing Burns comes with a ridiculous(ly awesome) entourage in the form of his parents, their trainer (and my friend), and his other riders, and I’ve never seen myself ride so much as I have this last year because there’s so many people around to video!  If you’re wondering, it helps.  A LOT.

I suppose none of this actually tells you why we’re here.  To be honest, that’s something we’re going to have to find out together.  I loved to write – I love to write – and I am finding that life is moving faster and faster with little to no input from me.  I think I’d like to change that.  So this is an experiment.  This is a place to put down goals and be held accountable, meet other people who might be like me, and just share.  I like to share.  I would make a good 5 year old.