Friday, June 25, 2010

Three Down, Infinity To Go

This time of year things get crazy in my community. Between all the city dwellers who keep moving here, the kids being out of school and all the tourists visiting, the highways get crowded, the trespassers get more frequent and persistent, and the crime rate skyrockets. The other morning I woke up to the sound of car alarms going off all over the neighborhood at 6:00 AM followed by police sirens. I thought, "Oh, our local gang of teenage boys is up early this morning."

Their specialty is breaking into vehicles and stealing stuff out of them. They started out just quietly stealing stuff out of unlocked vehicles in the street, then started making their way up driveways and into garages to get the loot. Now they are just smashing in windows and kicking out a few headlights and taillights while they're at it, because apparently they have no morals, no guilt, and get their jollies making other people's lives miserable.

That's why you should keep your kids busy, folks. Get them involved in sports and clubs and hobbies. Keep them so devoted to being the best they can be at something like swimming or barrel racing or baseball or wrestling that they won't even have time to strut around the neighborhood destroying property. Consider it an investment in the safety of your community.

I stopped at a store I've shopped at for years and felt like I was in a foreign country -- several of them, actually. There were women talking loudly into cell phones in various foreign languages, several more women yelling at their kids in different foreign languages. I was standing there mystified, wondering, "Who are these people and where did they come from? How did they find my community and decide to move here?"

It wasn't so long ago that everyone in this town was related to just a handful of families, and most were farming families. Everyone knew each other by face and/or name. We knew who drove what vehicles. Now our town has been overtaken by strangers who don't even speak our language. I used to be able to just walk into the bank and right up to the teller. I was in and out in one minute. Now you have to wait in line everywhere you go. Dozens of people are waiting to open bank accounts, because they just moved here. I don't know how they can even afford to live here, because there aren't any jobs. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at the moment, so it seems like a strange place for so many people to choose as their new home. They must just bring a whole bag of loot with them from their country and have enough of it to live here without a job.

It appears that we have thwarted three of our neighborhood nuisances recently. (Knock on wood.) Our street sign vandal gave up after my son Super Glued the sign and bent the bolt that keeps it attached to the post. Also, I got so sick of walking outside at 6:00 AM to feed the horses and finding that kid my neighbor babysits running around the neighborhood screaming that I yelled over to my neighbor, "IT'S TOO EARLY FOR THIS!"

She must have got my meaning, because now she is driving the kid out of the neighborhood to keep him entertained. Apparently, the kid's dad works 12-hour shifts, because he drops him off just before 6:00 AM and picks him up around 7:30 PM. Sunrise to sunset -- just the time I need to be able to ride my horses. Most daycares are set up to support parents who work 8 hour days, so I'm sure this man doesn't have many options for who to leave his child with during the day while he works.

Lastly, I appear to have solved one of the dog barking problems. You see, this couple moved in to my neighbor's guest house over a month ago. They live there from the last snowfall to the first snowfall of the year. Though we got way too much snow this past winter, I have to admit that I do like it when it starts snowing early in the fall, because then these neighbors beat it out of town to go wherever the sun is still shining.

Anyway, the man is the one who I keep catching looking in my bathroom window when I'm getting in and out of the shower naked. He figures out what time I take my shower, and then he backs his truck down so that it's next to my window and he starts loading and unloading stuff from his truck while looking in my window, so I have to remember to shut the frosted window every time I'm in the bathroom now.

Last night my dog woke me up and I couldn't get back to sleep. I went into the bathroom, keeping the lights off so I could keep the window open, because it was very hot. My dog was sleeping under the window and I bent down to pet her. Right then there was a distinct noise outside and my dog jumped up and growled repeatedly at the window. I looked outside, didn't see anyone, but could clearly hear pant legs rubbing against each other as someone quickly walked away. I ran around to the back door and let the dogs out. They ran at the neighbor's fence, so the person outside my window wasn't on my property, but in my neighbor's backyard at 3:30 in the morning. I'm pretty sure it was the man who is living in the guest house since he seems to gravitate toward my bathroom window. I told my husband and he said, "Maybe he was out having a smoke." I just don't understand why this guy has to hang out by my bathroom when he's got over an acre of property to stand around on.

Both the man and the woman are a nuisance because they park their vehicles right up against the chain-link fence of my dog run, and they come and go every 15-minutes as early as 5:00 AM. This causes my dogs to go into barking fits, because these people are loitering around my fence and dogs are territorial.

My Sheltie Monty is very old now. I don't expect him to make it through the heat of this summer. We're trying to keep him cool by helping him shed and keeping a floor fan blowing on him where he's indoors, but he can't control his bowels anymore, so we have to keep him outside most of the time. There was one day in which I found a trail of dog diarrhea running from one end of the house all the way to the other end on a morning I had to drive in to work. I couldn't believe he even had room in his bowels for all of that. I didn't have time to clean it all up, which allowed some of it to set in the carpet, and it took literally weeks of applying stain removers and scrubbing to get the stains out. Even mopping it off the tile floor was a struggle. I don't have that kind of time to spare, and it's actually cooler outside, so we mostly leave the dog outside.

Anyway, with these people coming and going just inches from our dog run all day long, there's a lot of barking. Monty is deaf and partially blind, yet these people are so close to him that he can sense them. If they'd just give him his space, he'd be quiet and everyone in the neighborhood would appreciate it. I get frustrated when the barking starts up when I'm in the shower or on a phone conference, because there's nothing I can do to stop it. The dog can't hear me yelling, "QUIET!" anymore. I have to physically get up, go outside, pick all 65 pounds of him up, and carry him inside the house.

So, the other morning I was running around the house doing a dozen tasks at once. I didn't have time for one more problem to solve, and sure enough, the lady came out of her house and started diddling around in her car by my dog run fence. Monty started barking at her, and she just kept on diddling, oblivious to the racket she triggered by upsetting my dog. I kept thinking, "She'll get in her car and leave soon, and then peace will be restored," but she wouldn't leave. She just kept loitering by my fence.

I dropped everything I was doing, marched outside, and started yelling at my dog, " BE QUIET! I AM TRYING TO WORK AND OTHER PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP! HOW CAN I TALK ON THE PHONE WITH ALL THIS NOISE? GET IN THE HOUSE NOW!"

Of course, the dog couldn't hear me, but the woman could. I made a point of slamming my door loudly to clearly communicate my anger over these constant disruptions. The woman looked at me dumbfounded, so I knew I got her attention. Now they are parking their vehicles on the opposite end of the property where they can come and go all they please without my dogs noticing. Peace has been restored in that case.

I haven't turned in the complaint forms to the County Planning Department, because all three construction workers seem to have gone into hibernation. I haven't heard a peep out of any of them this past week. Even though their noise pollution has been driving me crazy for years, it wouldn't make sense to file a complaint now that they have finally settled down. I really don't want to ruin anyone's life, so I hope it stays this way.

I do search real estate listings at least once a week to look for horse properties, but they are few and far between. The local real estate agencies may as well start a new category and call it ATV / motorcycle properties, because every time newcomers buy horse property in our area, they just tear down the barns and corrals and make motocross tracks. I know we have to get completely out of this part of Nevada, but my husband's job is here and I promised my son we wouldn't move until after he graduates from high school.

I was hoping for some relief by moving to a quieter, more isolated home in our area for the time being, but all we can afford is a mobile home with no horse facilities, and you have to be careful about buying homes on private wells, because many of them cannot be dug deep enough to tap into the water. At least where we are, I know we are in the perfect location for water. We are very close to a river, but two plateaus up, so that we don't have to worry about flooding. I'm just going to have to be patient and tackle one annoying neighbor at a time.


fernvalley01 said...

Glad things are statring to go your way with the neighborhood .A note about keeping Monty cool. If you can cool his feet the rest will cool down too , a kiddi pool or stand him in the tub?

Katharine Swan said...

You seem like you have made good progress. Congratulations! You've certainly earned it! Just keep those forms handy in case your construction neighbors start up again. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I think at least one of the offending neighbors is reading your blog. Remember that odd comment a while back? And now the contruction noise has stopped.

Good for you on the yelling and door slamming. Some people can't take a hint!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Anonymous - That's alright by me if one of my offending neighbors is reading my blog. I worry more that one of my good neighbors might read it and think they are one of the bad neighbors I mention. It's so peaceful today that I can actually hear a cricket outside my window. SHUT UP, YOU DARN CRICKET!!! Just kidding. I love the sounds of nature.