I awoke the morning following my new lease on life contemplating all the things I can do now that I'm back on my anti-inflammation medication and feeling optimistic about the future right up until my husband stepped out of the shower and said, "We're losing water pressure."
That kind of news is up there in my top ten least wanted words to hear. I immediately ran around outside looking for which hose was left on or which drip system is broken this time. It turned out that we got a double whammy. I had forgotten to turn off the watering system for the trees around the round pen overnight, and our drip system wouldn't turn itself off when the timer said so. We had no water left in the tank. We shut off the main valves, and I knew it was going to be another day without me getting a shower or being able to wash my hair, hands or flush the toilet.
I thought the smartest thing I could do was to get out of the house and use public restrooms as much as possible throughout the day. A while back I had started digging a hole for one more shade tree by the round pen. The three shade trees we bought last spring turned out to be a disappointment for a variety of reasons. The fastest growing, densest shade tree only blocked the morning sun for a short time. The other two trees did not cast shadows in optimal locations and were not growing as fast as we needed them to. My husband suggested that we buy a full-sized adult tree this time so that we don't have to wait a few years for results.
This was a good day to get out and go shopping for a tree, because we'd be outdoors in a nursery and no one would care what I smelled like. Our salesman was nice, but a bit slimy. He pulled a few stunts on us to try to drive up the price of our purchase, but then he felt guilty and ended up giving us some stuff for free as well as some discounts. I guess our silent treatment and stern glares were enough for him to back down. There was a 50% off deal on trees, and we were supposed to get free delivery, but the price was still more than we expected to pay. We couldn't afford the largest trees, so we took a couple of steps down in size. I did my research first to make sure I wasn't buying anything that would poison the horses. Anyway, the tree we bought should definitely cast some shade on hot summer afternoons, and that was our goal. Now I should be able to put Gabbrielle in the round pen when she gets bitchy about the heat and starts beating up the geldings.
Then we went out to eat and use the restaurant's bathroom. Once home, I took Lostine for a walk to ease her boredom and exercise her arthritic joints. She was ridiculously keyed up and spooky, convinced that there was a boogeyman behind every bush. I decided to get her back to the barn and let her graze where she's more comfortable.
While standing there holding her lead rope, I noticed the other horses alerting on something. I turned my head to see my nosy, trespassing neighbor standing on our property line, walking it like a tight rope with his arms spread wide, looking at me. I did a double-take. What the hell is he doing? He then started jumping back and forth between my property and his as if taunting me. "Now I'm on your property. Now I'm not."
I sighed and turned away. I don't like it when neighbors fuck with me. This always happens to me. Some neighbor starts doing something annoying, I ask him or her to stop, he or she agrees to do so, he or she stews on it a while, and next thing I know, I'm a target for revenge. It's amazing how many adults act like children and seem to have no hope of growing up.
I glanced over again to see if he had gone away, but he was now in my back yard walking toward me, coming up from behind Lostine, who was already on edge, but unaware of his presence. I quickly moved around to a different location where she wouldn't plow into me when he spooked her. I looked over again, and he was gone. Huh? How can he disappear that fast?
I searched for any sign of him, and next thing I knew he was coming up out of the bushes next to my round pen. That is exactly the place I have told him to stay out of, because he keeps spooking my horses when I'm trying to work with them in the round pen. He scurried back over to his own property and went down into the arroyo. I sighed in exasperation, figuring that in a few seconds I'd see him climbing the hill in my back yard, throwing aside all the branches I laid across it to keep him away. But he never appeared.
I put Lostine away and while I was carrying her halter to the tack room I spotted him standing up on the edge of the cliff looking down at me. He lifted his walking stick and pointed it at me, and then pointed it over to his house. Then he began sighting down it like he was sighting down the property boundary line. I realized that he was making a new trail up the hill at the edge of our property line. He was still on our property, but at least he was staying away from my horse riding arena. I decided to say nothing about it unless he starts creating erosion in a bad place that causes problems with the flow of the flood waters. He doesn't have to live here during monsoon season when we have big floods. For all he knows, the arroyo is always dry.
While in the tack room, I peeked out the window to see if he was still acting like a crazy person. He saw me, and stepped behind a power pole to try to hide. Weirdo. I told him that one of the reasons why I didn't want him to always be in my back yard is because I like my privacy and don't appreciate being stared at. I don't think he got the message, because he was still standing on the hill staring at me and pointing at me with his walking stick. He's done that before, but I thought it was a woman, because he's got such a petite, feminine figure. I kind of wonder if he practices witchcraft and thinks he's casting a spell on me when he points his walking stick at me. It certainly makes me feel uncomfortable.
I just don't know what his obsession is with always having to hike in that direction. He has plenty of streets and hiking trails right in front of his house, yet he insists on taking the back neighborhood routes. Since he has proven himself to be a bit of a creeper, and since he always does this at sunrise and sunset, I suspect he likes to look in the windows of houses as he walks. That's why he cuts through my back yard. If he actually takes the public hiking trails, he can't spy on people in their homes.
I went back in the house, and immediately got hit up by the dogs to take them outside. While out, I saw him up on the hill talking to a neighbor. The neighbor was saying, "Thank you for telling me that. I don't mind if you walk through here."
I thought, "Well, at least he showed that neighbor the respect of asking if he can cut through his property. That's more than he did for me."
My husband went out to look at the pipes that wouldn't cut off the flow of water to the drip system. I was inside the house and I suddenly got the "knowledge" that he ran into a rattlesnake. Sure enough, he stuck his head in the back door and told me he found one. I wasn't sure if he wanted me to grab my camera or the snake tongs, so I grabbed my camera.
Then this morning Stewie barked at the back door. I looked out to see Gabbrielle running in circles in her stall. I thought, "Oh no! She's under attack."
I stood up and saw seven coyotes running full-speed around the barn, around the arena, and then down into the arroyo. I'm not sure I'm comfortable having a pack of that size hanging out in my back yard anymore.