Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Out of Control

My days are out of my control, it seems.  Yesterday I planned to go for a trail ride, but a truck showed up in my neighbor's backyard and got the horses all riled up.  I decided to wait for it to leave, but before it left, I passed out and woke up in the evening.  I thought, "What is wrong with me?  No human being sleeps as much as I do."

Then it hit me.  My husband recommended a different allergy medication for me, so when he got home I asked if it was a non-drowsy medication.  You see, even with reading glasses and a magnifying glass, I can't read that tiny writing on pill bottles anymore.  He said it did have ingredients that make you sleepy.  So, today I set myself up for success by keeping Gabbrielle locked up in a stall all night so that she couldn't wake me up before sunrise banging gates, and then I took a non-drowsy allergy pill to deal with my nose behaving like a water faucet.  I can't ride my horses if I have to blow my nose with every two steps I take, but I also can't ride them if I'm asleep.

Unfortunately, it's looking like I may have to keep the dogs locked up in kennels, because they woke me up instead of Gabbrielle, and they didn't even need to go out to pee.  They just decided it was time for their breakfast.  My rule of thumb is that whatever animal wakes me up gets fed last, because I don't want to reward it for waking me up.  I need my sleep.  So, I'm gradually feeding all the animals later and later in the morning so that I can eek out 15 more minutes of sleep.

Anyway, while waiting for the horses to finish their breakfast, Stewie started running around the house barking at a ridiculous hour of the morning.  I could feel the house vibrating and looked outside to see an even bigger truck going into my neighbor's backyard next to my riding arena.  The horses were running in circles in their stalls.

Ugh.  This was the worst case scenario.  The truck that came yesterday was for their well inspection.  The truck that came today had pipes and a crane, which means that they need serious well repairs.  Either they need to replace their well pipes or they need to drill deeper.  That can take days.  I've seen both jobs performed before, and it's time consuming.

A short time after that, I looked out to see if the horses were done eating, and they had all left their food to alert on something in the neighbor's yard.  I looked over to see the home buyer trying to bend their fences back into shape.  Oh no.  He's OCD like the neighbor I had in Nevada.  First off, the type of fencing he was trying to bend can't possibly be bent by hand, so he was just fussing.  Secondly, he doesn't own the house yet, so he has no business trespassing there and trying to alter things around the property.  When my house was in escrow, the buyer wanted to repaint the interior even though I had just paid thousands to have it painted a few weeks before.  I said no, and I was glad I did, because the sale never went through.  Buyers should not act like they own the house before escrow actually closes.  They should wait to move in and make changes after escrow closes.

I like to think that I have a pretty accurate judge of character, and just by observing the way this guy behaves, I got the sense that he was the type to hover over every home inspector and home repairman who does a job at the house.  Sure enough, he went over to watch the well repairs.  This was my worst fear.  I didn't want that guy to be over at the house every day that it is in escrow.  It was bad enough having him over at the house every day when he was home shopping, and it will be bad enough having him over at the house every day once escrow closes and he moves in.

My only saving grace is that the seller thinks this man and his wife are snowbirds, so they won't be living in the house from mid-April to mid-November, which should give me a break from his constant presence along my property lines.

Anyway, I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever get to go for my trail ride, because all this activity next door was preventing my horses from eating.  They were completely distracted.  It was time to take the dogs out, so I put their leashes on and walked to the garage door when I was stopped in my tracks by the doorbell ringing.  WTH?  It was ridiculously early in the morning!  Who goes to some stranger's house and rings the bell that early?  Then it hit me that it was probably the home buyer next door either wanting to introduce himself or wanting a favor.

I'm trying to avoid face-to-face encounters with people right now because last week I waxed my upper lip, but was unable to remove all the wax.  Then I went outside and the wax behaved like a magnifying glass, causing my upper lip to blister.  Now I've got this Hitler mustache made of blood.  It's awful.  I don't want to go out in public like this, so if it doesn't clear up by this weekend, my husband is going to have to do the grocery shopping by himself.  So, here I was standing there with this bloody mustache, thinking there's no way I'm going to answer the door and let this guy see me.  I was also annoyed by the early hour and by the fact that he did not read my sign that tells people not to ring the doorbell because it gets my dogs barking.

Amazingly, Stewie only let out a couple of huffs, and I was able to keep him from charging the door because I had him on a leash.  I took the dogs out through the garage so they could pee, and the man had returned to the backyard of the house next door by the time I got back.   He was hovering at my fence line down by the wash, so I suspect that he came to my door to ask if he could climb through the fence to go into the arroyo again.  The neighbors did not set up their property to allow access to the arroyo without cutting through my property.  They used to do that to me without permission all the time, so I was glad that would stop once they moved out.  I'm not going to put up with these new neighbors cutting through also.  They can install their own gate and stop creating trails for trespassers on my land.  I'm trying to let bushes grow across the old trails that the neighbors made on my property, so this guy is out of luck if that's what he wanted.

These new neighbors are definitely not getting off to a good start with me.  So far, everything they have done has been rude and disruptive and has annoyed me.  I'm worried that if they are snowbirds, they may ask me to take care of their place while they are gone, and I just don't want to get involved in that anymore.  It's too much work.  Houses that are vacant fall apart quickly.  If I wanted to work, and were in a position to have a job, I'd be making good money in the software industry.  I wouldn't be a handy woman and property manager for my next door neighbors.

It was looking like neither the well repairman nor the home buyer were going to leave, so I saddled up for my trail ride behind the horse trailer, hoping the guy wouldn't see me and come running over to talk to me.  While I was in the tack room, I glanced out the window and saw the home buyer peering in the window at me from the neighbor's yard.  Damn.  I'd been spotted.

I quickly led Rock up the driveway to the mounting stool and thought, "I hope he holds still so that I can get the heck out of here before that man stops me."

Sure enough, Rock walked off while I was trying to mount, so I had to do some training.  I was about to mount a second time when a big truck drove up the street, so I waited, figuring that it was going to come down my neighbor's driveway next to us, but it didn't.  I'd never seen that truck in our neighborhood before, so I figured it was turning around at the dead end and would pass us going in the other direction any second now...

Rock went on alert and pointed at the neighbor's yard.  There was the home buyer lurking in the bushes watching me.  I decided to risk getting hit by that truck on the blind hill over giving the home buyer time to climb through the fence into my backyard to talk to me and delay my ride.  Though I haven't talked to him yet, I know he's a non-stop talker, because I witnessed him holding his real estate agent hostage for three hours straight one day.  It's been my experience that most retired people are always looking for someone to hear their life story, and I honestly don't think I'm going to live long enough myself to listen.  So, I mounted and just sat my ass down in the saddle letting Rock walk off before I got my feet situated in the stirrups.

I hurried him across the street and saw that my neighbor two doors down was loading something with a forklift into that truck in the street.  Rock was interested and wanted to watch, but that would give the home buyer time to chase me down, so I kicked and kicked until I got him out onto the trails.  We began heading in one direction, but I saw a car parked there that belonged to a hiker with a bunch of loose dogs she has no control over, so I took a different route in order to avoid her.

As we were heading up that next trail, Rock spotted several horseback riders up ahead.  I contemplated turning down a different trail mainly because I didn't want any face-to-face encounters, but then the horseback riders turned away from us, so I stayed the course.  Rock had balked upon seeing the horses, and I got him going again only to have him balk again when they disappeared down a hill.  I pushed and pushed until he began walking again, and here they came back up the hill.  Rock balked again.  I thought, "I hope this isn't that horseback riding instructor and she's teaching her students to ride up and down steep hills, because it will take me the next year and a half to get Rock all the way up this trail since he's balking each time they appear and disappear."

This time they came up the trail I was on toward me.  I had already passed all the intersections to other trails, so I couldn't bail off to avoid having them see my bloody Hitler mustache.  I pulled over to let them pass and saw that they were doing the same for me.  I said, "Oh no, you come ahead.  There's more in your group than in mine."

We exchanged some pleasantries, and Rock was doing a fine job behaving himself.  These were truly beautiful horses.  I was drooling looking at them, and I know that Rock wanted to make friends really bad.  I did notice that each of the riders made a repulsed expression when they looked at my bloody Hitler mustache, but what could I do?  If they asked, I'd say I got into a wreck on my horse, and I'm sure they'd understand that.  Then the two riders at the rear let their horses trot to catch up to the group, and Rock got super excited.  It wasn't like he was scared and thought something was chasing them.  It was like he wanted to play chase or race them.  Let's just say that I got a taste of what his barrel racing personality was like at the starting line.

I said, "Hey!  If my horse turns and chases you, could you stop?"

One lady said yes, and I thanked her.  I said, "He really loves other horses."

He's also super competitive around other horses.  I turned him up the trail in the direction we were originally headed, and he tried to turn to chase the other horses, but I let him know that was not an option.  He walked as slow as he could for a while with an ear cocked back, but he quickly recovered from his excitement and we were able to resume our relaxed trail ride.

At least... until we ran into the rattlesnake.

I saw it on the edge of the trail slithering under a bush, and I turned Rock away from it to cut a wide wake, but the snake still panicked and set off its rattle, which spooked Rock and caused him to jump forward and take off running a short distance.  I didn't try to stop him, because quite frankly, I wanted him to put some distance between us and the snake.  I did laugh to let him know that everything was okay and he could settle down.  I was surprised that the rattlesnake rattled, because very few of them around here do that.  The one that my husband relocated a couple of weeks ago didn't rattle once the entire time that he was picking it up with the hook and carrying it in a can out to the desert.

When we got back home, the well repairman and home buyer were still at the house.  I rushed Rock across the street and back to the barn despite vehicles coming at us from both directions.  I didn't want to give the home buyer time to spot us and catch us to talk.  They'd been there all morning and are still there in the afternoon.  The best thing I can hope for is that the well problems scare off this buyer and he backs out of the deal so that we can get better neighbors in the future.  It's in the seller's best interests to not let the buyer squat on that property during escrow, because the more time he spends there, the more time he has to find problems and back out of the deal.  I had that happen to me with my mother's house.  The buyer came by while I was there moving furniture out and he spotted a water stain on a wall that had been covered up by a chest.  He was worried about mold, and backed out of buying the house.

I didn't take any cameras with me.  I was thinking, "How many between the ears shots do readers need?  They all look alike."

I normally don't have anything interesting happen when I trail ride, so I have nothing to take pictures of, and of course, the day I don't bring any cameras, I ran into a big group of horseback riders and a rattlesnake.

At any rate, it was nice to get out on that ride and get away from all the truck and foot traffic next door.  I just wish I could get a few hours of quiet so that I can ride Bombay in the arena, but I suspect those days are over.


TeresaA said...

you got out on the trails- that is a good day in my book!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Teresa - I agree.

Camryn said...

While I've never experienced all you've described, I have to say that I can almost feel your pain. I too wish frequently to be neighbor free.