Tuesday, December 30, 2014

PITAs PITAs Everywhere

I was determined to ride today before the storm moved in.  While I was getting dressed, there was an awful noise and vibration shaking the house.  I kept walking out onto the porch expecting it to be the race car driver revving his engine, but he wasn't around.  I couldn't pinpoint which direction the noise was even coming from, so I looked up to the sky to see if the military was doing jet or helicopter maneuvers over my house.  Nothing.  It was just this loud noise that was actually even louder inside of my house.

I put on my boots and spurs to get ready for my horseback ride, but decided to pick up the mail first.  Then I saw the cause of the noise and the vibration.  The county was coming around with huge orange trucks, clearing the brush off the shoulders of the road.  They had a gigantic wood chipper that was deafening.  It looked like I wasn't going to be riding any time soon.

Then it got quiet, and I thought perhaps the workers left on their lunch break.  I went down to the barn to shovel manure just to make sure it would remain quiet for a while and that they wouldn't start up that wood chipper as soon as I put my foot in the stirrup.

I began thinking about how they usually only come around once every few years, but this is the second time they've come by in a matter of months.  I suspected that The Mad Pruner was responsible for calling them to come out and clean up the sides of the road, because he's obsessive that way.  This excessive clean up of nature started taking place when he moved into the neighborhood.  He kind of has appointed himself that the neighborhood beautifier.  I don't care for his sensibilities, because I like to just let things grow wild and naturally.  The manicured lawns and hedges in the shapes of animals bordered by rose bushes that you see in places like Southern California never appealed to me.  Too artificial.  Too much work.  I grew up there and my poor father spent every minute of daylight over every weekend slaving away on the yard work.  I prefer to just watch the seasons and observe what grows.

I heard the truck engines start up, and they parked both vehicles right in front of my house blocking my driveway.  The horses went on alert, but didn't stampede.  However, I knew that once the wood chipper started up, they would stampede and probably plow me down in the process, so I beat it out of there.

Sure enough, The Mad Pruner drove up the street in his car and began directing the workers on what and where to cut.  I've got the guy pegged.  He's so predictable.  I just want my peace, quiet and privacy, and I want to be able to ride my horses, but his obsession over pruning everything in sight is really beginning to cramp my style.  It's bad enough that he trespasses in his neighbors' back yards without permission to prune and plant what he pleases, but now he's getting the county to do his dirty work too.  I mean, I know the county is coming around clearing a lot of roads, but I could totally see The Mad Pruner pulling over at one of their job sites and directing them to come to our street.

Wouldn't you know it?  The workers decided to take a lunch break in front of my house while I was waiting for them to leave so that I could go on my last trail ride before the rain and yucky mud sets in.  It never occurred to me that by buying such a beautiful piece of property in such a quiet space I would have to deal with so many uninvited guests hanging out at my place.  Even the mail carrier parks in front of my house to eat his lunch some days.  I've seen the UPS driver do it too.  They think they aren't disturbing anything, but they always park where I need to ride my horse to get out to the trails.  If they could guarantee me that they won't fire up their engine right when I ride past their vehicle, I'd do it, but chances are they would think, "Oh, I'm in the way here, so I should move."

When the guys finished their lunch break, they spent another hour trimming a tree at the end of my driveway by hand, then moved over to the trail head.  When they finally drove off, I checked up and down the street to make sure they were truly gone, only to discover that they left trash from their lunch behind in the middle of our street.  I'm at a point where I want to do some kind of study over which states have the most litterbugs, because I'm pretty sure that Arizona would be right up there at the top.  I can't even count the number of times I've seen someone driving through a residential neighborhood and just throw a wad of trash right out the window.  I'm like, "What?  It was too difficult to just leave the trash in your car until you reach a location where there is a trash can?"

I saddled up Rock for a ride.  He was definitely worried about going up the driveway where the trucks just were parked.  I looked both ways before crossing the street, and I thought it was clear, but then a truck appeared up out of a dip in the road.  Rock refused to go through the gate.  He spun around toward the street so he could keep an eye on the truck.  Wouldn't you know it?  It was a newspaper delivery truck.  The guy came racing right up to where we were standing and this newspaper came flying out the window onto the driveway.  Then he pulled a fast U-turn and raced back in the other direction.  Rock just stared the whole time.

I wrestled him back around, got him through the gate, and we weren't even halfway up the trail head when he slammed on his brakes and threw his head in the air to tell me something was up there.  I didn't care what it was.  I just wanted to go for my damn trail ride so I kicked and kicked and kicked to keep him moving.  If I stopped kicking, he stopped walking.  It turned out to just be a couple of horseback riders...

They said hello as we met up at the intersection.  It looked like one was on a Thoroughbred and the other was on a pinto Arab cross.  Their horses popped their heads up to check out Rock, but they were good about staying the course.  They kept walking down the trail while they gawked, so I told Rock that was going to be his next lesson.  No more stopping to gawk.

Apparently, we were surrounded by people and animals because Rock's head way flying all over the place during our ride.  He was insistent that there were horses nearby, but I kept kicking him to move him along.  It turned out the horses were waaaaaaay off in the distance.  They shouldn't have even concerned him.  We also worked on not stopping to smell other horses' road apples.  I swear, my animals waste more of my time having to sniff every pile of poop they come across, and that includes the dogs.  Midge can't do her business without first sniffing every turd on the property, so it's important that I stay on top of cleaning up the dog poop after every bathroom break.  Unfortunately, that means having to clean up other people's dog poop and coyote poop too.

While we were out riding, I saw something colorful off in the distance.  As we got closer, it looked to me like it was a beach ball.  Then I thought, "Hey, I know what that is.  It's like the ball I got for my horses to play with."

Then it hit me -- it IS the ball I got my horses to play with.  I don't think I've seen that ball in the horse paddock in a while.  You know how you notice that there's more space or something is missing, but you don't exactly know what?  Then I got angry, because the only way my horses' toy could get all the way out in the desert is if some f*ing trespasser went into my horse paddock, grabbed it, and carried it out into the desert.

I rode Rock back home and as I was untacking him, I saw The Mad Pruner go racing up the street on his bike, and he headed out onto the trails.  He has another gate closer to his home that he can ride through that would be more appropriate, because no horse people use it, but he apparently feels really comfortable hanging out in front of my house and using that trail instead.  I thought, "Oh shoot!  He's going to see the ball and grab it, because he can't keep his hands off anything."

I quickly put Rock away and ran up the driveway out into the desert.  Fortunately, the ball was still there.

The horses were thrilled to get it back.

I've decided that for now on I am going to confront every trespasser who comes through my place.  Maybe if I let them know that someone has been stealing from me, they won't keep cutting through my yard because they won't want to be blamed for anything that is missing.

I'm also going to spend more time sitting on my back porch, so I can catch these people.  It seems that whenever I go out for a ride or a hike, that's when I come home to find people on my property.  It's almost like they watch me and wait for me to leave.  So, I'm going to spend more time just hiking and riding in my own backyard to keep an eye on the place.  Hopefully, once the holidays are over, a lot of these troublemakers will go back to wherever they came from.  I hate to say it, but I'm also looking forward to the house next door selling so that I don't have to deal with anymore Looky Loos.


How Sam Sees It said...

I think it just has to be your road - you've got some odd neighbors. We prune our own road - it hasn't been touched by anyone for years, even less since the city paved it. If we (or the neighbors) don't go out and do it it quickly becomes a one lane road.

I have seen coyotes carrying those balls around. I wonder if your coyotes stole it? That would have been a neat photo!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I wondered about the coyotes too, but they come around every day and night and we've never had issues with them going into the horse paddock before. They have to go through the barn to get in there. It's possible the horses could have dropped the ball over the fence, but it's pretty tall and they've never done that before. That's why I think trespassers had their hands in on it. I could just see those kids who were shooting rabbits in my back yard grabbing it on their way through.

achieve1dream said...

My horses throw the balls over the fence lol. I'm glad you found it!! I love their faces in that last picture.

If I had trespassers I would so sit in a blind on my porch with a paintball gun (that hopefully stains the crap out of clothes) and pop anyone who comes on my property. If they throw a fit I'd just tell them sorry I was practicing my aim on my own property. It's not my fault they were trespassing at that exact moment LOL!