Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Action vs. Reaction

This morning I was busy mucking out stalls when I heard some grunting. I stuck my head out the stall window to see Bombay rolling back and forth in the dirt. That's normal. The problem was that he was rolling in a bad location where a metal post that holds up the awning to the barn was between his legs.

My reaction: "OH NO!"

Bombay's reaction: Quickly leap up without regard to his surroundings or the fact that there was a metal pole between his legs.

Of course, he hit his left hind leg on the pole, which frightened him more, and he took off running, which resulted in him smashing his leg into the pole a second time. The loud crash sent the other horses into a stampede and next thing I knew, Bombay was limping back to me with his head hung low.

I walked over to him, and he picked up his left hind leg as if saying, "Boo boo, Mama. I got boo boo."

I rubbed it up and down and moved it all around, but he didn't react, so I knew it was probably just a sting. He's walking on it fine now. I just wish I hadn't verbalized me concern in such a way that caused him to panic. Had I kept quiet, he probably would have gotten up out of his roll without any injury. That's an example where I should not have reacted.

Also this morning, I was busy working away in my home office at my computer when I sensed that I was being watched. I turned my head to look out the window and met eyes with my neighbor who was standing on my driveway spying on me through my window AND letting her dog pee in my bushes at the same time. My husband had just trimmed all the trees around our property, so I no longer have the privacy barriers I used to have.

When I spotted her, she quickly yanked her dog away in mid-piss and fast-walked up the street pretending like she was on her way to get her mail. It was three hours too early for the mail carrier to have arrived. She uses the fact that she has to traipse across my property to get her her mailbox as an excuse to peep in my windows, and she's always quick to take advantage of the clearer view that a trimmed tree has to offer.

I reacted by letting my dogs out of the house to bark at her. What I wish I did was to confront her myself and ask why she brings her dog all the way over onto my property to pee when she actually owns more land than I do, and why she was watching me through my window. I always think of these things too late. Anyway, I'm contemplating giving her a taste of her own pee, I mean medicine, and taking the liberty to walk my dogs on her property next time they want to get out.


AnnL said...

Oh, my god, I can't believe this neighbor of yours! You really need to get bigger dogs! LOL! Why does she have to walk across your property to get to her mailbox? That's trespassing! You should keep your camera handy and next time you "sense" that you're being watched, see if you can snap a quick pic of her. Maybe that will surprise her enough that she'll stop being so snoopy.

I'm also evil enough that I would hook up one of those motion detector contraptions that are supposed to act as deer deterrent. Get something that sets off a sprinkler or something. That would get her! Hee! I KNOW you can rig something up to take her pic--a friend of mine just did this trying to figure out what was eating one of his trees. Deer, of course. So, if you got a pic of her snooping in your window, print it out and stick it in her mailbox. You could also then contact a lawyer--there are Peeping Tom laws...

AnnL said...

Oh, in my utter amazement at your idiot neighbor I forgot to say that I'm glad Bombay is ok! It's hard to control those "Oh, no!" reactions. Been there, done that.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The property line thing is hard to explain, because this neighborhood was built by idiots, but basically our driveway serves as a driveway for four other houses. All of our mailboxes are out on the main highway. The driveway or dirt road is within my property line, but the owners of the other four houses have to drive on it to get to and from their homes. It doesn't bother me if people just pass through, but these neighbors hang out in front of my house, especially when I have company and they want to get in nice and close to listen in on our conversations.

They know we own the road, but aren't concerned about using it to get closer to our windows. I've installed a night vision camera, a motion-sensor light, and keep a combo lock on my gate because of them. I've also done background checks to make sure they don't have criminal records. They don't. They're just extremely nosey. I can't figure out why they find me to be so fascinating. Maybe they are hoping to catch me picking my nose?

Vaquerogirl said...

Hunny- obviously you ARE fascinating! She wants to BE you! Flattery is the best part of invention... uh no... Imitaton is flattery...nope not that... Imitation is the purest form of flattery! Yes- thats it!

Her snooping,BTW, would drive me crazy! Airguns are made with people like her in mind...

Flying Lily said...

You could use this to amuse yourself. Hang an inflatable sex doll in your window with a sign: "I am taking pictures of you!" See if they run. Or film them and put the video on YouTube. Oh yeah, forgot you want to peacefully coexist. But seriously, they are empty-lifers who need to find a hobby.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Oooh, creepy neighbors!

I'm glad Bombay is okay! I thought at the beginning of your post you were going to say he was colic rolling.
Hopefully, he won't roll over there again because that would be terrible if he truly injures himself!

lytha said...

your husband cut back the privacy hedges? OH NOOOO!! bad husband!

i would be furious if someone let their dog pee on my property, even if i had dogs. but i have to ask - do they let their dogs *poop* on your land? that would send me to the store for a scarecrow (those motion detector sprinklers that really work).

there is a law in germany that if your neighbor's tree drops a certain amount of leaves on your yard, they have to clean them up, or pay you to have someone do it. this is the extent of my neighbor issues. we live in an apartment and some of our neighbors have dead plants on their balconies whose dead leaves blow into ours. every few days i have to go out there, and pick up dead hydrangea leaves, and i don't have a hydrangea.

sometimes i complain to joerg, "i'm always picking up our neighbors' dead leaves! we have to move!"

but my little leaf problem is nothing when i hear about your neighbors from hell.

who knows, maybe when we move into our new home in march, i'll be in a position to tell some nasty neighbor stories.

did i mention there is no scoop law in germany? this is a land covered in dog poop. even in public arboretums and gardens, poop everywhere. you get used to it. since almost every german has a dog, and there is no law, this is not going to change anytime soon. as an american, i was appalled for about a year. now i'm used to it. phooey.


Shirley said...

Instead of reacting the way they expext- which is the dog, anger, security camera thing; try something that will really get them wondering: Smile and wave, and don't worry about their dogs. They probably do it bacause it gets a reaction from you.

Jackie said...

Now there's a thought (picking your nose) ... if she is so nosey and wants to catch you at something ... oblige her. There's got to be something off the wall you could do if you catch her peeping to freak her out. Of course, from all you've said about her, it would probably just make her more interested. Sometimes I just really don't understand people.

Glad Bombay is ok.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

VaqueroGirl - That theory has crossed my mind. For a long time, she'd copy me by adopting my schedule, feeding her horses at the same time I did, buying the same items I did, changing the times she'd pick up her mail to match the time I'd pick up mine, etc.

Lily - I like that term "empty-lifers". I haven't heard it before. I do feel sad and a bit frustrated when someone is given the gift of life, yet doesn't have the imagination to know what to do with it. I wish everyone would be more constructive with their time.

F.V. - These horses are all a bunch of copy cats. If one of them takes a dust bath, they all do. Fortunately, the girls had the sense to roll away from the barn.

Lytha - I love hearing the differences between the American and German cultures. We have a German American living to one side of us, and she complains bitterly if our tree branches extend over the fence to her property. She doesn't even have landscaping, just sagebrush, so I've never understood why it bothered her so much to have a few leaves drop in her yard. My husband has been good about trimming back the trees every year to appease her. She does, however, also complain about our dog poop in our dog run if we don't clean it up right away. It's not like I've got the time to follow them around with a pooper-scooper each time they go outside (which is just about every 15 minutes.) We reserve the weekends to clean up after our pets.

Shirley - That's what my mother advises me to do: Kill them with kindness. I just don't want to make them feel too welcome, because I've had neighbors in the past who completely took over my life with impositions, and when these nosey neighbors move in they immediately started asking for favors. I had to nip that in the bud right away, because I know how I want to spend my free-time, and it doesn't involve doing chores for people I barely know. I work hard enough as is for my own family and don't need to be adopted into slavery by another family.

Jackie - My mother and I do come up with ideas for outrageous things I can do to shock my neighbors, but I haven't pulled off much more than burping loudly and singing rude songs. These neighbors are actually very popular around town and I don't want to ruin my own reputation by giving them something to gossip about at church.

Andrea said...

People are so weird?? Why would your neighbor do that? Like watching you work is sooooo interesting.????

Poor Bombay! I hate it when I freak out and it just makes situations worse. I do that a lot. I am glad Bombay is alright.

Lulu said...

What is with your neighbors? You must really live amongst an odd bunch!

Jenn said...

Until someone invents a durable design for full-body bubble wrap for our horses they are going to continue to find ways to give us mini-heart attacks every single day.

Your neighbor would drive me CRAZY! I don't have any suggestions because I'm not a very nice person when is comes to people trespassing on my property or being a pain in my butt. There is a reason we moved to a place where the nearest neighbor is about a mile away!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Andrea - I wish I knew.

Lulu - I wish I knew.

Jenn - You are living my dream!

lytha said...

flying lily - omygosh you just reminded me, back when i used to have a desk job, i had a big sign, "you are being videotaped" on my wall. people loved that!

i'm thinking about a similar sign for our new property, but it seems so persnickety for a new neighbor to have such a sign. but for NM, oh yes, she's gotta get some obnoxious goin' on. or, just smile and wave, the neighborly neighbor reaction.

nm, she only has sagebrush and she complains about branches? argh. take heart, we feel for you!


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lytha - I just realized that I never answered you question about whether they let their dog poop on my property. They do, but they clean it up with a baggy. For a while there, this lady was walking her dog back and forth in front of my house so many times a day, that I couldn't even back out of my driveway without almost hitting her. Her dog stopped to take a dump right behind my car and I had to wait for it to finish and for my neighbor to clean it up before I could finish backing up.

They are also notorious for stopping and blocking the end of my driveway in order to get out and inspect their cargo to make sure they haven't forgotten something. I, personally, think it's just another ploy to get a closer look in my windows.

Once I looked outside to find this woman walking around on my front lawn picking up trash that blew in with the last storm. I had been talking on the phone with the window open, so I had no doubt she overheard the entire conversation. I caught her doing the same thing to another neighbor who was talking on the phone by an open window -- only in her case she pretended to be pulling weeds on that neighbor's property right underneath the window. She tries to disguise her noseyness with good deeds. It makes it hard to get openly angry about her trespassing when she appears to be doing something "nice".

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm aghast, NM. I don't even know what to say about your nosey neighbors. It would cause me so much stress if I had to deal with that day in day out, that I'd have to move.

Oh wait! I did just that, which is why we live where we live now.

Everyone in our neighborhood here, only have 3 acres, but the houses are spaced far enough apart and in such angles that are conducive to privacy that having nosy neighbors is not an issue.
And thankfully, none of our neighbors are nosy.

It was funny after we brought our horse home.
We'd had her home for over 3 months, and one day I was out riding down our road and one neighbor that has a clear view onto our paddocks, drove by and waved and she stopped to say hello and say, "Wow. Did you just get this pretty horse?" She was surprised when I said we'd already had her for over 3 months. lol! And so was I.

I value my privacy as much as peace and quiet. I truly don't know how you put up with those neighbors of yours, NM.

But I'm really glad that Bombay was ok and didn't get hurt. I know what you mean about the over-reaction thing, too.

The other day, Baby Doll was eating some hay and when she lifted her head up I saw that a piece of yellow twine was in her mouth and looped around her bottom teeth. I panicked thinking she might swallow that twine by accident and tried to grab it from her mouth and she jumped back.

And then I laughed at my silliness as she worked that twine off her teeth with her jaw and tongue all on her own.

Heck, she's probably had to do that many times in her 16 years of life. I felt sort of like a dufus. :P

New Mexico