Saturday, November 28, 2009

Takin' It Easy

Though there is always much to do at home on the holidays and weekends, I'm taking it easy for these four days I have off from work. It's been a long time since I've started a day without any agenda. It's relaxing, but I don't know how long I would last living mindlessly and lazily without goals. In my middle age, I've formed into a Type A personality. That's a far cry from making chocolate ice cream by pushing mud through the spokes of my upside-down bicycle in an effort to pass the time.

It snowed last night and this morning. I fed the horses their breakfast in their stalls. When the clouds started clearing out around noon, I began scrubbing out water troughs and preparing separate pens so that the horses could be outside with their blankets on. I noticed that my nosy neighbors hadn't stirred all morning, as their vehicles were covered in snow and I saw no footprints in their yard. I wondered how long it would be before they came outside to hover around me.

Yesterday both of them were buzzing around like pesky flies while my daughter and I were cleaning stalls and catching up on each others activities. Rarely can I have company in the barn without having unwanted company loitering around the outside of the barn. The old man was working on another noisy construction project on his driveway while the nosy woman found excuses to wander, spy and eavesdrop.

Today was the first time since last winter that I put the horses into separate pens. I haltered Gabbrielle first. She balked at the water dripping from the awning, then pulled back and reared up. I thought that was a bit of an overreaction (considering how many times she has stood out in the rain) until I realized that Lostine was stretching her neck out her stall window biting Gabbrielle on the butt.

I quickly led Gabbrielle past the other horses after chastising Lostine for her bad behavior, but I still hadn't made up my mind as to which pen I was going to put Gabbrielle in. Interestingly enough, Gabbrielle made up my mind for me by practically dragging me out the gate all the way down the RV lane to the pen in the back. Then I remembered that was where I put her all last winter, because she was the only horse who wasn't bothered by the dogs being just on the other side of the fence. I found it interesting that my horse's memory is better than mine. She knew just where to go.

I then led Lostine out of her stall and tried to put her in the round pen. She fought me a bit, insisting that she wanted to stay in the paddock. I let Bombay have the paddock, only to be reminded a short time later as to why I let Lostine have the paddock all last winter. Bombay is really bad about chewing the wood fence in an effort to free Gabbrielle from the back pen. So, on the next snowy day I will have to remember to put Bombay in the metal round pen. Lostine knew what she was talking about when she insisted on being in the paddock.

Today the nosy woman came out with her dog on a leash as soon as I entered Gabbrielle's stall to clean it. I could see that she was headed toward the back of my barn. Each time I looked at her, she yanked her dog to a stop, turned her back toward me, and pretended to be willing her dog to poop on her own property. As soon as I looked away, she ran to the back of my barn.

I started thinking about teasing her since her dog can't seem to ever do its business on her own property. It always has to be behind my barn or in my driveway before it can loosen its bowels. I looked through the slats of wood to try to locate her to speak to her, but could see that she was trying to hide from me. So, I finished up and pulled my wheelbarrow around to the back of the barn to speak to her. She heard me coming, yanked her dog away from its sniffing trance, and ran back to her own property.

I turned around and wheeled the cart quickly in the other direction to head her off at the pass. She obviously could hear me coming, because I was making plenty of noise, but she pretended like she didn't hear me, and made a beeline for her front door. She never does that. She always has to fart around and hang nearby for as long as possible. Now I know how to regain my privacy. All I have to do is try to talk to her, and she runs into her house.

She obviously knows she's guilty of something, whether it be letting her dog foul my nest or spying and eavesdropping. There was one day recently when I was lunging Gabbrielle with a saddle on. Gabbrielle was feeling her oats and began bucking her way around the pen. I looked up to see my neighbor with her dog, and she was walking backwards gawking at us. I figured her presence was most likely what set Gabbrielle off. As soon as I turned my back to her while turning at Gabbrielle's pace, the woman ran behind my barn with her dog. I guessed that besides her fascination with my horse being out of control, she was probably walking backwards to keep tabs on me, so that she could sneak behind my barn when I wasn't looking, since my property seems to be the only place where her dog can (ahem) relax. I guess I can at least give thanks that she does clean up after her dog, even if she is always encroaching on my space in the process. It could always be worse.


Anonymous said...

At least she picks up after the dog!

We always say that whenever there is something important going on someone is sure to come by and hang around and gawk.

A couple of years ago my theiving neighbor had the gall to come screech at me because her darling innocent daughter happened to spy the vet removing a retained placenta from one of our broodmares. (She complained the year before because her kids saw one of our horse's "things" hanging out.) Anyhow, our wonderful vet told her maybe she should pack up and move back to the city! Amen, and, yeah, I do love that vet!

I've had to learn to ignore the lookie-loos. And so have my horses, for the most part. Good practice for showing or buyer visits, but annoying until the horse gets over that "look at me!!!!!" stage where they pull out all the stops to put on a display of naughtiness or foolishness for anyone willing to watch!

Good for you, taking a day off your normal runaway treadmill of a schedule!

Leah Fry said...

This is the stuff reality shows are made of. How about "The Neighbors From Hell"?

Mrs Mom said...

NuzMuz, you have been going so hard for so long, you RICHLY deserve down time. And I am really, really glad you got it.

Nice err... Move... chasing the neighbor and her pooping dog off ;)

Katharine Swan said...

"Now I know how to regain my privacy. All I have to do is try to talk to her, and she runs into her house."

Brilliant! If only you'd known earlier that it would be so easy, huh?

I'm glad she at least cleans up after her dog (although it's probably only to cover up how much time she spends there). When I was a kid, we had a neighbor who would let their dog out every morning to go poop in our front yard. When my mom confronted the neighbor, she denied it -- but when my mom started relocating the smelly little presents onto their front porch, they suddenly stopped letting their dog out front to do her business. ;o)

Mikey said...

I wondered if that would happen, if you tried to talk to them, if they would run. Maybe that's how to turn the tables on them, just approach them...
I know I'm a nosy neighbor, I stare outright. But I also TALK to my neighbors and I think they appreciate that someone's keeping an eye out. I know I'm not the only one either. We're all nosy in this neighborhood, lol.
I'm interested to see how this all pans out...

fernvalley01 said...

Creatures of habit.. all of them

Janice said...

Man am I glad my neighbors all mind their own business.I don't think I could be as gracious as you appear to be. All my neighbors are good they know my man works away from home and have offered to help me if I need it, other than that I barely see them.I really feel for you.

Paint Girl said...

I am so happy you are getting a well needed break from work!!
Neighbor dogs pooping in your yard, I know how you feel! I don't have crazy neighbors like you, but I do have a neighbor dog that likes to come over here and poop on our gravel walk way, and today found poop on our cement patio. I know who did it. It is so irritating that this dog comes over here and poops right where we walk. The people that own the dog are actually good friends, so I have never said anything, but it is frustrating having to clean up the dogs mess. I mean really, we have 5 acres, and it has to poop right where we walk?

KD said...

Four days off in a row..... you must feel like you are on extended vacation!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm so glad you've got 4 whole days to do whatever it is you want to do. Enjoy!

Good for you figuring out what makes the neighbors leave you alone. As my Dad always told me, "Kill 'em with Kindness", and in your case, "Chase 'em away with neighborly friendliness". They don't want to chat, they just want to stare.

I'm so grateful my neighbors tend to mind their business, even though we aren't all that far apart. And I don't even feel comfortable staring at any of my neighbors. I know how much I appreciate my privacy and feel like an intruder if I even look in the direction of a neighbor as they are going about their own business on their own property.

But I do have a neighbor that walks their dogs every day down our road letting them poop all along the road and in front of our houses. And they never pick up after them. It's so nasty. They are good pet owners for walking their dogs every day, but fail miserably at cleaning up after them.

I'd say something, but quite honestly it doesn't bother me enough to do so. I figure, like you said, it could be worse. lol!


word verif: horsan

Breathe said...

Ah, four days. I got 3 of mine before I had to get back to work. Luckily this is just a temporary insanity.

Speaking of which, don't you just wonder what in the world this woman has going on in her life that has turned her into such a total pain?

Maybe she's deathly afraid of wheelbarrows. Maybe you could just place some in strategic locations.

ah, if only. :)

Shirley said...

On my blog post with the video of Anchor D, if you look at the video selections that pop up at the end, you'll see one that shows someone with a guitar, and the caption "Nosy Neighbors" - that is their son, Chad Matthews, who is a great musician, singing a song he wrote- which always reminds me of your situation!