Saturday, April 9, 2011

In Limbo

I apologize for my absence from the blogosphere.  I've been experiencing such a deep sadness that it has been difficult to do anything normal.  I am in limbo at the moment and unable to do much other than make and wait for phone calls.  When your last parent dies, you expect there to be some kind of warning such as a hospitalization.  Then you expect to be able to enter the person's home and get their affairs in order.  You expect to be able to plan the funeral, have access to his or her mail, bills, will, and know how to contact his or her estate attorney.

Things didn't happen like that for me.  I can't go into much detail right now, but I can tell you that when all is said and done, I am going to write a book or something that will help others who have Power of Attorney traverse the legal system in a more successful way than I have thus far.  Bureaucracy is a pain.  I always assumed that I would be able to handle things in a timely manner in the event of my mother's passing.  I never dreamed that the government would just take over and mess up my life like this.

In the process of notifying relatives and friends of the news, I could not locate my brother, whose signature will be needed for legal documents.  I filed a Missing Persons Report with his local police, and they tracked down his neighbors and found out that he had an accident and has been in the hospital and hospice care for several weeks with a broken shoulder and knee.  I have never received so much bad news in such a short period of time.  Something is definitely in the air and I know that I am currently struggling through probably, and hopefully, the biggest challenge of my life.  I honestly don't know if I have the strength to get through anything bigger than this.

In the meantime, I discovered why my horses keep having nasty bouts of colic.  One day I went outside to cry on a horse's shoulder, and a little girl who was visiting next door came out of the house right up to my fence calling out "horsey!"  My horses were busy eating their lunches, so I figured they would just ignore her.  However, Bombay happily left his food to greet her at the fence.  The girl then proceeded to start pulling up grass and weeds out of the ground and hand-feeding them to him.

I walked over to the fence and said, "I have a rule that no one feeds my horses other than me."

She went on feeding him and said, "It's just grass."

I thought, "Like grandmother, like granddaughter."  Every time I have ever asked her grandmother to please stop doing something that is affecting me negatively, the woman always dismissed my complaint with comments like, "It's just a little bit of noise," or "We don't do this often."  Anyway, I informed the girl that two of my horses nearly died the other day from tummy aches and that she was not to feed them anything.  Period.

She said okay, but I could tell she had no intention of stopping, because at this point she obviously had been feeding my horses for so long that she had them trained, and she felt as if they were her horses.  So, I had to go into guard dog mode and keep going outside every few minutes to patrol the perimeter of my property.  I was really angry about this intrusion, because I needed to stay by the phone after having a death in the family.  Unfortunately, the little girl, her parents, her sibling and her dog have apparently either moved in next door or nearby, because they are always there.  I can't go outside for ten minutes without them showing up.

If they are going to continue living there or visiting ten times a day, I'm definitely going to have to abandon my dream of training my horse from scratch by myself.  Right now so many people need me that I can't afford to have any horse accidents, and every horse accident I have experienced over the past five years has been caused by activity going on either next door or behind my barn. 

These newcomers have their vehicle set up so that it honks every time they lock and unlock it.  They slam doors, they scream out their conversations, and they hang out behind my barn and walk back and forth in front of my house just like their relatives.  It's like I don't even own my own property anymore.  My nosy neighbors brought in all their relatives from out of state and they just took over my space.

I have several problems with people feeding my horses.  First off, this time of year a lot of people spray weed poison, so these people are most likely feeding my horses poison.  Secondly, one person hand-feeding my horses may not hurt, but this is the time of year when all my neighbors have guests and all those guests start feeding my horses without my permission.  I'm not aware of how many people are feeding them, but I can tell you that my horses are more overweight than I've ever seen them, and I hadn't done anything to make that happen myself.  Since they are so overweight and now that I know neighbors have been feeding them, I had to cut out their lunches to avoid founder and any additional health problems.

Thirdly, people could be feeding the horses naturally poisonous plants.  Wet grass can get tangled up in their intestines and cause blockages.  These are the same neighbors who mow their wet yard and just dump all the clippings over the fence thinking that they are doing me a favor by feeding my horses, unaware that wet clippings can kill a horse.  Lastly, I don't want to get sued if someone gets bit while hand-feeding my horses.  I am not being unreasonable by making this simple request.

The people next door have horses in their own yard, but for some reason they won't let their guests near them.  Instead they send their guests over to my property.  I was so irritated that I contemplated grabbing a can of white paint out of the garage and painting "DO NOT FEED THE HORSES" in huge letters on the back of my barn, but I knew some of the nicer, more respectful neighbors would be upset with me for making my barn an eyesore with graffiti.

I was contemplating asking my neighbor friend, whose window overlooks my horse paddock, if she could keep an eye on things and chase off any trespassers, but tragically, I spoke to her the other day and realized that her brain damage from her horse accident is more extensive than I originally thought.  She's not in any condition to be asked to take responsibility for anything.  Within a very short time, I lost my real mother in body and lost someone who I considered to be my "second mother" in mind.  I may just have to go door-to-door and make my rules clear to everyone in the neighborhood.  My horses are not for their guests' entertainment.  I don't want to return from handling my mother's affairs to find any of my horses dead too.


A Mini Beginning said...

Sorry for your loss and the fact that you are having so many struggles with getting everything in order. Hope it gets easier!

fernvalley01 said...

Hugs my friend! I so wish there was more I could offer. I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers

Mikey said...

Oh my gosh. I am SO SORRY for your loss. What a terrible time right now, and your brother too. I'm so very sorry and hope you know we're all here for you.

strivingforsavvy said...

Wow. This is a challenging time for you. I am sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

You should run an electric wire around the outside of your fence.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words and prayers.

You know, one of my friends has an electric wire around her horse paddock and anyone can easily reach over without touching it. She challenged me to touch it one day and I barely felt anything. There was just a snap, which would startle a horse.

My neighbor was babysitting a different kid today and he was polite enough to ask if he could pet my horses. I said no, I don't want anyone getting bit, and I don't want anyone feeding the horses either. He said, "My dad pets and feeds your horses all the time. I told him he shouldn't because those horses belong to someone else, but he wouldn't listen."

Great example he set for his kid, huh? Anyway, that's one more person who has been feeding my horses behind my back.

aurora said...

So sorry for your loss, and the challenges you are facing.

Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, Nuzz...(((BIG HUGG))). You have a lot on your plate right now and you certainly don't need the added stress of your neighbors!

achieve1dream said...

I am so sorry for your loss and the struggles you're going through right now. I wish there was some way I could help, but since I can't I'll be thinking of and praying for you. And for your brother to get better too. It will all pass and get better I promise.

If I ever catch someone feeding my horse I promise you I will be sitting outside with my pellet pistol and start popping caps into people (air pistol not strong enough to break skin but hurts like heck). It's my property and if they want to stand in the way while I "target" practice then they can suffer the consequences. I can't believe your neighbors are such complete and total idiots. Their behavior just completely pisses me off! Have you called the police at all? I know if they are like mine it probably won't do you any good, but I know the last time I called them I stopped having problems when my neighbors saw them at my house. I was worried about retaliation, but so far so good. If I think of anything that might help you I'll come back and leave a comment.

Stay strong and keep fighting for what belongs to you. Sorry you're hurting.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss(es) and then having to deal with everything else on top of it. :(

Maybe I need to come visit you for a weekend and snap these people into shape. ;-) I'm really good at that! I don't even mind making kids cry. Or Mrs Mom and I could come and patrol your fence line...packing our guns. Think that would get the message across? LOL (Hopefully that made you smile?)

As for the hot just need more current running through it to make the bite more severe. If you could put it on the outside, that would keep your horses from inadvertently touching it. ?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Such heartbreak in your words. I'm so sorry for your loss and all of your bad news. It must be overwhelming. But you are very strong and yes, you can handle this. You are much tougher than you think.

As for the neighbors feeding the horses, I have always been shocked at the fake ownership that people seem to feel they have over other people's pets and kids. It's as if they believe that kids or pets belong to no one and yet are owned by everyone and anyone.

I wish I could help in some way to take some of your burdens away, but all I can do from here is offer my sympathies and support.


Breathe said...

I have a friend going thru similar problems with a dying relative. Even with time to plan the entire bureaucracy is daunting - and he is a paralegal!

What an emotional roller coaster. We are here for you.

People dont get it. They honestly have no clue. Put up a sign or flier - horses ill. On medicated diet. Please Do not feed.

TeresaA said...

I am so sorry that you are going through all this. A death is difficult enough without all the hassle as well!

I would be going nutty over the neighbour situation. Is there a way to run a hot wire so that she can't get at the horses without being shocked? With warnings as well? Or how about asking the parents to sign a agreement that if the horses colic from the grass they will cover the costs so that they can continue to feed them?

Mrs Mom said...

NuzMuz, you are in our thoughts and prayers. I'm so sorry for your losses, and all the incidents that are piling up on you. We're with you in spirit- don't be afraid to lean on us.

And BECG is right- she IS wicked good at whipping people into shape! If we could, we'd be right there to line those damn neighbors up and take care of business there for you too.

Maia said...

I am so sorry for your losses. This is a very trying time and you should try to be good to yourself. Just take each day as it comes and know we are all here for you.

DayPhoto said...

I am so sorry for your losses! I wish I had some help for you with the neighbor department. Could you board your horses for a while until you can get all your legal stuff taken care of?


duffylou said...

Thinking of you during this difficult time. Please accept my sympathy at the passing of your mother.

Stay strong.

lytha said...

i cannot relate and i cannot be any comfort, i'm just so sorry for your loss.

achieve1dream said...

Regarding my post about my ticket, now that you mention it there were cars going the other direction. I didn't even think about him clocking them instead. I'm thinking he clocked the person ahead of me, but I just don't know.

I'm going to make some calls and see what my options are. If I can contest it in court and still get it off my record if the judge (wrongly) says I'm guilty then I'll contest it. If the only way to keep it off my record is to pay it then that's what I'll have to do. It'll be less upfront than the increase in my insurance unfortunately. :(

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I'm so sorry to read of your loss! I send thoughts and prayers and ((hugs)) but I know it can't fill the void you must be feeling right now. Just know that we're all thinking of you.

Once Upon an Equine said...

NuzMuz, I'm sorry about you mother's death. I found it very difficult to lose an older parent. They've been with us so long, it is a huge loss when they are gone. And your goodness you are experiencing a lot in your family. I hope he heals well. And you too.