Sunday, March 4, 2012

71 Degrees F

The sun came to visit today and was kind enough to bring its warmth. I knew it was going to be a great day weather-wise, so I planned to spend it with the horses. About three weeks ago we finally broke out of that three-year reign of cruddy weather every Sunday, and now the snowstorms are hitting us in the middle of the week instead.

I started off cleaning stalls, and much to my dismay my nosy neighbors' front door opened and out came that live-in couple, who I've since found out are their grandson and his wife, otherwise known as The Calling Card Creeper and The Chain-Smoking Woman. Apparently, they don't go to church like their grandparents. They came out, seemingly for no reason at all beyond just to stare at me while I cleaned horse poop out of the stalls.

I got so irritated with their staring, that I skipped Bombay's stall and went in the house to get away from their eyes. Then I thought, "No way. I'm not going to let them hog up this nice day for themselves. I'm going outside, and I'm going to stare right back at them."

So, I went back outside, pulled up a chair to stare, and wouldn't you know it -- they had gone back inside their house. I decided to work on training the horses to come to the halter. I stuffed three peppermints in my jeans pocket, and walked into the paddock with the halter. Gabbrielle immediately got a sour look on her face, pinned her ears back, and walked away. Lostine knew something was up, so she approached me and sniffed my pocket. I put the halter on her, and rewarded her with a peppermint. Then Bombay and Gabbrielle had fits over not getting theirs.

I lunged Lostine, and out came the annoyances again. The man kept climbing into the driver's side of the truck and just diddling there for a long time. Everyone in that family does that. I don't understand what they are doing. It's like they are going through a filing cabinet and reading the title of each page while they sit in the driver's seat. Most normal people get in a car, start the engine and drive off.  Oh yeah, and of course, he had to accidentally hit the horn with his elbow.

I'd swear that every man in the neighborhood who owns a truck came out while I was lunging the horses and just sat there revving his engine over and over, then went back inside his house. These guys seriously get off listening the their truck engines. It's so bizarre. Reminds me of that ad I keep seeing for a show about people's obsessions, and one guy is kissing his car.

Anyway, the guy next door finally put the truck in gear and drove it around to the back of the house. I was relieved to have him gone, but then two minutes later he drove it right up to my round pen and sat in the truck staring at me with the engine idling. That creeped me out, so I removed Lostine's splint boots and led her behind the barn where he couldn't watch, and then I just walked her back and forth to cool her down.

My husband didn't know I was there, and he started up a chainsaw. Lostine bolted, but turned to face me and stopped before hitting the end of the rope. Right when I was praising her for sticking with me, the Creeper slammed his truck door and she bolted in the other direction. Fortunately, she didn't hit the end of the rope again. I heard the guy slam his front door, probably in a huff because I wouldn't let him watch me work with the horses. I thought I was safe to give Lostine a hug, and then Gabbielle came galloping around the corner and crashed into us. I hollered at her for that. She's as bad as a kid walking backwards on a busy sidewalk.

Since the guy had gone in the house, I caught Bombay, gave him a peppermint and took him into the round pen for his exercise. Instantly, the man came back out and sat on his porch to stare. I just ignored him, because Bombay had to be worked. No matter what I did, this guy was determined to be a part of it, so I treated him like he didn't exist.

By the time it was Gabbrielle's turn, he had returned to sitting in the driver's seat of the truck just a few feet away from me. He was making Gabbrielle nervous, and I knew it was only a matter of seconds before he slammed his door, so I decided to just lead Gabbrielle around rather than to free-lunge her. It's really annoying having someone parked in a vehicle just six-feet away from you watching your every move while you are trying to work with your horses.

He and The Chain-Smoking Woman finally drove off, and I took advantage of their absence by cleaning all the manure along our property line, and finishing up with the stalls. Then I cleaned out and filled the water troughs. The horses were pestering me, so I figured they wanted a shower. They hadn't had much of a chance to shed before we reached 71 degrees. They seemed to enjoy being sprinkled with water from the hose. They also started playing in the puddles I made. It almost felt like summer.

No sooner did I sit down to relax on the patio, and the annoyances came back up the street hauling the second of two used washing machines they've bought in the past 12 hours to add to the two other used washing machines that have been sitting in their backyard all winter. They had one in the back of each truck. Of course, they had to slow way down and stare at me as they drove past.

Yesterday my husband and I were outside breaking up the concrete walkway in front of our house, and the nosy, spying, eavesdropping woman (Grandma) drove past. She was going at a good clip until she saw us, and then she slammed on her brakes and craned her neck to see what we were doing. She drove really slowly and had her head turned all the way backwards like Linda Blair in the Exorcist gawking at us for a good 20-seconds.

I said to my husband, "She's staring, staring, staring, still staring, staring, staring, still staring... oh my God, she's going to crash into our fence." My husband turned around to look at her, right then she faced the direction she was driving in and corrected her car. Remember when she backed over a fallen branch and right into a tree because she was too busy staring at me? That was hilarious. I thought we were going to have another one of those moments.

So, I didn't get as much horse time as I would have liked because of the Creeper, but I think my horses were happy to have me around them. It would have been nice to be able to ride, but I wasn't up for riding out spooks and bolts caused by slamming doors. One of these days I'll be able to ride to my heart's content.

(Pictures taken a few weeks ago.  You can tell by my shadow that I'm wearing a coat.  No coats today, though.  Just a light sweater.  And no, my butt isn't as big as my horse's neck, nor is my head that small.  It's an illusion.)


fernvalley01 said...

Some time with the horses is better than none I agree. 71! sounds lovely and warm

Dreaming said...

We had nice weather, too... but not nearly as warm as what you experienced. I also cleaned up poop and rode the horses. My biggest potential scare was a motorcycle that passed us as we were walking near the road. Luckily it wasn't loud and the horses didn't even react.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Tell them you are going to start charging admission. It is as if you are putting on a clinic and they are watching, so they chould be paying for the education. If nothing else, maybe that will help them decide to go away.

achieve1dream said...

Your caption on the photo made me laugh lol. :)

Sorry the neighbors are being their usual shitty selves. At least you had a pretty day and got to spend some time with them.