Sunday, September 13, 2009

Silent Sunday

No, I'm not making this post wordless. I'm calling it Silent Sunday, because Saturday was so loud that today was such a stark contrast with the neighborhood being so still and quiet. Saturday night someone in the area had a party and was playing their music way too loud. The bass was beating through our walls. I believe this is the same house that had a party on Labor Day too.  It's actually quite a distance away from us, but for some reason the sound carries really well from their house to ours.

Ironically, my next door neighbor called us at 8:30 at night to ask if my husband or son was playing the drums. We do have a drum set, but haven't used it in years. When we did play, it was only for 15 minutes at a time during the day. I thought it was odd that she would immediately suspect us, because we are very quiet neighbors with the exception of an occasional musical instrument being played. I also thought it was humorous that she was calling us to complain about the noise when all of her house painters, gardeners, and home improvement guys have been making a racket during the day over the past six months. Not to mention how her "guest" always manages to start hammering, sawing, or drilling in the garage next to my round pen every time I put my foot in the stirrup in an attempt to train Gabbrielle under saddle. I guess this neighbor doesn't mind construction noises, but can't stand music.

My husband and son came outside this morning to knock down some hay.

Of course, my nosy neighbor had to come out and start loading up her car to get ready for church right then, probably because she either spotted movement in our yard or heard the chain on our gate clinking.

Her husband waited for her to get her act together before coming out, because he usually gets stuck sitting in a hot car for half an hour while he waits for her to finish her fussing. However, today he wasn't willing to put up with any B.S. His wife started fussing over whether he locked up the house, whether he turned off the coffee pot -- that kind of stuff. He yelled, "LET'S GO!" and amazingly the woman stopped her back and forth, back and forth, and finally climbed into the car so that they could leave for church. I wonder if they disrupt the church sermon by walking in late every Sunday.

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.  I am habitually late for church, because I find my neighbor's activities to be way more interesting.  I can't help myself but loiter for hours on end when they are nearby, snatching glimpses of their actions and overhearing tidbits of their conversations.  Sometimes I watch them through their windows at night.  Sometimes I pretend to be weeding and picking up garbage off their property so that I can get a closer look.  I time going to the mailbox with when they shovel manure, and pretend to be reading my mail while I stand behind their barn and listen in for the voice of the lady who speaks to her horses.  She's crazy, you know...

We were trying to figure how many of bales of hay we use in a week for three horses. I know we use 3/4ths of a bale per day. If you subtract the days they eat their lunch in the pasture, we probably use about 3 to 4 bales per week. That's about $50 a week. I never wanted to add it all up. How much it costs to keep your horses is one of those things you don't really want to know. That's just hay. That doesn't include the cost of grain, stall shavings, fly spray, wormer, farrier services, and veterinary care.  Sometimes I wonder how "rich" we'd be without horses.  Then I remind myself that I'm already "rich", because horses make me happy and keep me busy.

I discovered that I couldn't finish painting the fence until some weeds were removed. For some reason they were all growing directly under the bottom panels along the fence line. My son volunteered to come out and dig up most of the weeds with a pick axe since I was already wiped out after cleaning up manure and cleaning out all the water troughs. I have the best family in the world.

Unfortunately, I ran out of paint before I could finish the job. I'll pick up more on my way home from work on Tuesday and hope that it doesn't rain next weekend.

See that barn in the background of the picture above?  The neighbors tore up the roof and started building an add-on when they first moved in three years ago, and have never finished the task.  Every once in a while I see either my neighbor or a construction worker he hired climb up there and start working, but I never actually see any progress.  The roofing paper is loose and flapping around, while the tiles are stacked up waiting to be laid down.  Because the plywood was left exposed to the elements for so long, it is now warped.  In the meantime, more garbage just keeps piling up back there. 

Ironically, they are the one set of neighbors who really need some construction done to repair that barn, yet they spend all their time building cabinets and stuff for other people.  It's so weird to see one neighbor paint her house every five years while the neighbor in the house behind her has a barn that's falling apart.  Truthfully, I would never hire a handyman or construction worker who can't take care of his own property.  I once wrote down the phone number of a handyman that was advertised on the side of a truck parked in the driveway of the most well maintained house I had ever seen around here.  I took one look at that house and thought, "Anyone who takes that much pride in is own property is someone who I want working on my property."

Interestingly, these neighbors have managed to get rid of the majority of their junker vehicles that used to clutter their lot.  At one time they had at least a dozen cars, trucks, boats and trailers parked along my fence line.  One by one they started disappearing.  Recently, their newest, most reliable car disappeared.  I wondered if they might be having financial problems and have been selling their vehicles to make money.  Or perhaps their newest vehicle got repossessed because they couldn't make the payments on it.  They are now down to one car, one pickup truck, two trailers, and a boat.  Just think, if they are having financial problems, they might have to sell their house.  When that day comes, I'll be the one having the party in the neighborhood and playing music loudly.  Then my other neighbor can call all she wants and accuse me of making the noise, because I will actually be guilty.

Actually, I'd hate for anyone to lose their house due to financial problems.  However, if that turns out to be the case with these neighbors, I would think that they would have served themselves better by keeping busy looking for work or working as opposed to spending so much time in my business.

It's crowded down here by the freshly painted fence...

Come on, you guys. Give me a break!

This is my usual view when I'm trying to take a picture or get some work done around the paddock:


sue said...

I just had to comment about the "amount" of hay you use!!! our horses are on pasture, and those drafts of mine go thru (right now) two bales a day... in the winter, it's about two and half to three, depending on the weather!!! and my friends drafts (there are more) go thru 4-5 bales a day!!!! you know, something for people to think about when buying a horse, that the larger "breeds" would consume more!!!!! :-)

Breathe said...

We figured out our boarding was only "costing" us $200 month since we'd have to buy hay and grain. Not a bad deal since we only feed and muck stalls once a week - and that's because I want to help out a bit at the barn.

But I'd still rather live with our horses.

I hope your new place is nice and quiet. . .

Mary Olson said...

Your freshly painted fence looks great! Your pictures of unloading hay reminded me that I should start looking for some. Fortunately, it's not too hard to find for just two horses. But difficult to know how much to buy when your house is up for sale. Your hay looks better than what I generally end up with.

KD said...

Boy, your hay bales look large and pretty! My 3 horses share one bale of coastal bermuda hay a day. I guess our bales weigh about 50 pounds each. I quit trying to figure out how much our horses cost as well, because I feel like you do....the happiness they bring is worth whatever the cost.

Paint Girl said...

When we had the goats in with the horses, we'd go through 1 bale a day. Now that the goats are separated, we go through less hay. We always overfed when the goats and horses were together, the goats eat so fast, and we couldn't tell if the horses were getting enough. So overfeeding helped ease my mind.
Your hay looks really yummy!

Once Upon an Equine said...

You sure have some odd neighbors.

As for the cost of keeping horses...ignorance is bliss sometimes. I've budgeted for my horses, but I think I'd be shocked to see what I really spend.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Your hay looks really nice! I have been getting some pretty light bales lately so I average at least a bale a day. I expect to go through about 7-9 bales a week this winter. I'm feeding Annie quite a bit of grain since she's nursing, so I'm going through about 60 pounds of grain a week too. I estimate my horses cost around 80.00 a week or more. I consider it like a bad drinking or smoking habit or an expensive gym membership. In New York City, cigarettes cost about 9.00 a pack.
I hate thinking about it.

fernvalley01 said...

Horses aren't cheap , but I agree the rewards are priceless!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I love your view! :)

I'm not sure I agree with your view on only trusting a handyman who has a perfectly well maintained home, though. For instance, my Dad's friend was a plumber for over 35 years. He was kept so busy 24/7 (emergency calls at night and on weekends) that he literally just didn't have time to maintain his own plumbing at home.
My 73 year old uncle in California has been a real estate agent for his entire life in Sierra Madre...selling homes. But he rents and has never owned a home, because he just can't aford it.
My farrier's own horses are always last to get trimmed because he's kept so busy, and he hasn't even had time to ride this entire summer.

But I do hope your neighbors move. Except that makes me also worry that someone new could move in that was even worse, if that were possible. hah!

Yes, you're right about your family, NM. That hay stack is HIGH! Thank goodness they aren't afraid of heights. lol! They rock!

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Molly said...

Seems your crazy neighbor is obsessive/compulsive. Whatever. She's crazy as hell.

Horses do indeed add more to our lives than they cost us.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, the weeds grow under the fence like that because the birds sit on the fence and poop out the undigested weed seeds. Just like overhead power/phone lines.

Be careful about wishing your less than lovely neighbors vacate - the next ones could be worse. My cranky ones moved away only to be replaced by a family of which the patriarch has 41 convictions. Oh, craptastic!