Wednesday, May 12, 2010


There have been a few changes in my neighborhood recently. Over the past few months, we've had four annoying neighbors living around us:

1. Some neighbors who own way too many dogs. They leave for work and the dogs bark all day long.

2. The man who runs a construction company out of his garage and has a whole crew of employees running power tools day in and day out. He also has the world's loudest diesel truck engine and likes to leave it idling for hours on end. He lives next door to the barking dogs and yells, "THANK YOU!" anytime someone returns home from work and yells, "SHUT UP!" to the dogs. (As if the noise pollution caused by the barking dogs is really any worse than his own noise pollution from the construction projects.)

3. The man who fixes dragster engines out of his garage -- a noise so loud that it shakes our windows and walls.

4. The nosy neighbors, who also run a construction company out of their garage and a horse boarding business just a few yards away from all the construction noises. They also rent out space on their property for people to store their vehicles and large pieces of junk that they may want to retrieve some day.

Last year, we thankfully lost one of our annoying neighbors who was an ATV and motorcycle mechanic. He revved engines all day and night and kept Dobermans in his yard so that no one could go to his door to complain. I complained by setting off my truck alarm to try to drown out the noise of him revving those engines, hoping that he would find the noise of my truck alarm to be more annoying than his revving engines. He got the idea and cut back on his hours. He also started putting mufflers on the vehicles he worked on. I guess he suddenly realized that this was a residential neighborhood and people were trying to sleep. His kid got injured in an ATV accident, which his parents let him drive illegally along busy highways, his wife divorced him and they both ended up moving out.

We also had a mentally ill man who chased his son around the neighborhood screaming filthy curses while shooting off a shotgun. He kind of looked and behaved like Brutus in the Popeye cartoons. We often had to call the police to protect the son. Everyone was relieved when that family moved out, but then multiple families moved in who didn't send their kids to school. The kids had the run of the neighborhood and often stole mail out of the roadside boxes, causing my credit ratings to drop. Everyone was relieved when they finally packed up all their RVs and hit the road, but then the people with the pack of barking dogs moved in. These are also the people who walk right past my NO TRESPASSING signs on warmer evenings and utilize my place as a petting zoo.

Last week, I had to add a fifth annoying neighbor to the list. This man shows up in May, moves into the guesthouse next door, stays most of the year, and moves out as soon as it starts snowing. He is also a construction worker who builds stuff out of the garage next to my horse training pen. He also parks his vehicles (yes, he has many even though he is the only driver) right in our line of sight out our dining room window, so that instead of being able to look out over the valley like we have for so many years of our lives, we now have to look at his ugly hunks of metal. His crap totally blocks our view. He also collects old cars and refurbishes them next to our family room and bathroom windows. If we want any privacy, we have to keep our blinds, shades, and windows closed for the rest of the year since this man has set up camp along our property line. I used to crack the bathroom window and blow raspberries in hopes of embarrassing him enough that he'd give us some space, but apparently he doesn't mind farts.

The construction worker who normally has a whole crew out working on his driveway had a huge estate sale all last weekend and appeared to be getting rid of everything he owned. I'm hoping he is moving on, hopefully to an industrial zone.

My nosy neighbors appear to be cutting back on the number of construction jobs they've been doing as well. I think the man is suffering from too much back pain to keep up with his usual number of construction jobs. Occasionally, he tried hiring someone else to do the hard labor, but those men don't stick around long. I suspect that they are paid peanuts and micro-managed to the point of driving a person insane.

I'm hoping that this trend of less noise pollution keeps up. If not, I'm going to be spending every weekend either hiking or trail riding in the mountains to seek out my peace and quiet. If I can't move to a different house, I can at least leave my house during the noisiest hours of the day and commune with nature.

In the meantime, I'll be visiting my mother in California for a while as my husband and son take care of the horses and dogs. My mother still lives in my childhood home, and each time I visit, I am astounded by the silence. She lives in a suburb built in the late 1950's where the houses are all smashed together, yet somehow everyone in her neighborhood shares the same love of quiet that she and I do. I think I only see or hear a car drive up or down her street once every few hours and she lives on a long street lined with about 20 homes. Then there's my dead-end dirt road with only 5 houses on it, and it feels like Grand Central Station, because my neighbors are so hyper with all their coming and going, and calling for this service and that service, and having visitors coming and going every few minutes. I swear that none of my neighbors are drug dealers. They just don't have real jobs and get bored easily, I guess.

It'll be a nice break. I don't think I will be able to find Internet service while on my trip, but I'll take lots of pictures of the horse show to share with you in a week or so. My mother and I are also going to attempt to locate some letterboxes in Santa Barbara. Hopefully, I'll have better luck finding them than I do planting them. Until then... peace to all.


Breathe said...

You would love it here. Very quiet. But we do have a boat mechanic. He's pretty considerate, though.

I think in semi-rural areas (which is what I think of with the 5 acre plots) you get a lot of this problem - people living on their own businesses and without zoning to rein in their activities...

Have a great trip!!

Katharine Swan said...

NM, are these the kinds of people who also tend to have lots of trash and stuff in their yards? Just wondering. In any case, I think Breathe is right about the semi-rural neighborhood thing.

Enjoy your trip... You definitely deserve the peace!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Katharine - Yes, lots and lots of trash, cars up on cinder blocks, weeds out of control... Our house has a junk pile that we take to the dump every now and then, but overall we've got a nice park-like setting. I'm always astounded when my picky neighbor makes comments like we need to paint our house or pull some weeds or replace a fence, because our property looks way better than any other property in this neighborhood. This used to be a quiet retirement neighborhood, but now it's just an industrial zone for mechanics and construction workers.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Bummer about all the rude and thoughtless neighbors.
I'm grateful for our neighborhood which is very quiet with neighbors who like their privacy, dark skies and quiet, too. They've been very tolerant of my roosters, but of course our neighborhood does have houses surrounding it that do have roosters and other farm animals.
My favorite is the peacock across the valley. I love the sound they make...sound prehistoric.
And sometimes our ridge neighbor leases his land to cattle and we'll hear mooing.

One sound I cant stand is dogs barking and barking. Our GSD does that, too. But I built a large paddock up for her beside the barn and woolies, and she rarely barks up there. I think she believes she has a job guarding the sheep, goats and llamas and is more focused and not as bored as when we have her down by the house. At night we bring her inside, though.

The county road that drives past our neighborhood does seem to have gotten busier, though and the drivers drive faster, often passing drivers that are going the speed limit, even though they are taking their chances with our hilly roads.

I always feel that if you want to live in the country and still work in the city then you need to leave your house with plenty of time so you don't have to speed and risk your life as well as other's lives.
If you want to be a speed demon and don't like the commute time, then move back to the city.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...


Have a safe and fun trip in California. You deserve it.

I received your package today. I love love love love the letterboxing journal!!!!!
Let me know if I owe you anything for it. It's so pretty!


Sydney said...

I'll trade your noisy neighbors for my insane ones. So far we have a list of: Charles manson, child beater lady, the redneck party house, drunken chair lady and garbage mom.