Monday, May 31, 2010

My crazy neighbor

I promised you some time ago that I would talk about my crazy neighbor. We have three in the neighborhood, but she really takes the cake among them.

Let me start with the RV situation. There's an RV at the neighbor's across the street. This shot is taken facing east, so as you may imagine if you shut your eyes and think hard, the sun sets behind me and therefore shines on the camper in the afternoon. There is a reflection from the light hitting the camper that shines OH! SO! BRIGHTLY! into her window where she sits all the time. This light is piercing! for probably all of 8 minutes.

So she called the police department.

Do you see the truck parked on the street in the photo above? It is on the proper side of the street and facing the correct direction, but it is near the end of her driveway.

So she called the police department.

Finally that neighbor who is a very nice man named Wendell called the police department where he knows someone and he found out that she had called the police 60+ times that year because of all the infractions of her neighbor to the south (us) and her neighbor to the east (him).

We laughed.

We have an RV that is entirely within the city's rules for where it is parked alongside our house. Take a look at the photo below to see the property line. She called and the city sent out an inspector to be sure we were parked properly. He called to let us know we are not only in compliance, but more so than most people in town. Anyway...the property line:

Can you pick it out? The stake, sure. But look along to where the wooden border starts. That was put in by my husband after an argument about who-remembers-what. Then she started mowing the lawn so that all her grass clippings blew into the little shrubs along the driveway. So the wooden border turned into a small wall. She didn't like that, so she planted a tree near the property line. That was probably because we took down a tree to expand the driveway. That made her angry, which I really did understand. I wasn't happy about it either and there was a wee argument over here, too. Clearly, I lost. Anyway, then she planted a flowering shrub on the property line. As it grew, it began to arch over the property line. Now she wraps cord around the bush to keep it from going over the property line.


We know all about the property line because that stake has been there now for many years. The same stake. Year after year.

She's been feuding with my husband for years.

The little man below showed up to stick out his tongue at us a few years back. He shows up without fail now early every spring.

She hates us.

The photo below says more than the ones above. Years ago, she put a half-eaten flower bulb on the top of the trash can in our driveway. Hours later, I hear shouting. The two of them are going at it like screaming fishwives or Housewives from New Jersey. It went something like this:

Did you put this bulb on my trash can?
Yes, I did.
Why did you do that?
To show you the damage.
The damage?
Yes! Your rabbits are ruining my garden.
MY! RABBITS? We live in Iowa, we have a million rabbits and none of them are mine.
It's all your fault we have too many rabbits.
It's my fault? Are you out of your mind?

Somehow, and please don't ask me how because I was in the house pretending I didn't know this was going on, the screaming match conversation actually got worse.

You keep building and building. You tore down that tree for a bigger driveway and you have that big RV and now you're building a deck.
I'm replacing the existing deck that was falling off the house.
But you're making it bigger!
What do you care if my deck is bigger?
Everything with you has to be bigger, bigger!
Woman, you need to be sure to take your medication.
(Yes, he went there. Nice, huh?)
I don't take medication!
Well that explains a lot, lady. And don't you ever put anything on my trash can again! Don't even come onto my property, you nut job!

I was A-PALLED and I still am. [hangs head]

I cringe at the thought of this story. All of the dialogue above took about 30 seconds and I ran though the house to stick my head out of the back door. I did something wifely like sent a brain-blasting glare that every husband within a 50-mile radius felt.

A quarter of a million men simultaneously said, "What? What did I do?"

Thus ended the intense neighborly fellowship.

Anyway, this barricade went up last week, maybe two weeks ago. Apparently our rabbits are eating her flowers. Again.


MyMaracas said...

Wow. OK, I laughed. A little. Especially at the brain-blasting part. But living next to somebody like that is a nightmare, and I'm sorry you're having to deal with it.

How about a 6 foot privacy fence between the properties? Maybe some razor wire along the top?

Anonymous said...

Ah, neighbors. Gotta love 'em.

The neighbor to the west of us put in a chain link fence, but instead of connecting it to ours, he put it a few inches away from ours. Not enough, of course, to get a weed eater in there (and of course, that grass grows SIGNIFICANTLY faster and taller than the other grass), so every year, a couple of times a year, we have to burn off the grass, while all the while trying not to set fire to the grass on either side OR the houses/privacy fence we have in a couple of areas.

Did I mention that they have the PERFECT lawn (and put enough chemicals to kill off significant amounts of the bird population, yet they blame our felines for killing them all) and blame OUR cats for doing anything in their flower beds? We used to go over every Sunday afternoon to dig around and scoop up any "leavings" that were in their flower beds. Now we have only ONE feline who goes out now, and she does NOT go over into their yard. Found out that the lady of the house is scared of cats. 'Nuff said there.

On the east side, we have the neighbor(s) (depending on if she has a live-in at the time as to whether or not it's plural) who doesn't/don't seem to have a clue as to where the boundary line is. It's always been rather clearly marked and hasn't been an issue until she/they decided to put up a privacy fence connecting the corner of their house to the corner of our chain-link fence. Well, the boundary is about a lawn-mower's width from the chain-link. Natually, they put up a fence with a gate OVER THE BOUNDARY LINE on OUR side. The stupid gate is really narrow - barely wide enough to get a lawn-mower through and is a real pain because you have to go into the yard to make sure THEIR dog(s) is/are put up. Luckily, they like us, so it's not an issue (wonder if the Pup-A-Roni treats have anything to do with that???), but it is a pain, especially when the guy who comes to mow doesn't like to tell you at what time - heck, even what DAY - he's going to show up.

But, I digress.

Upshot of it is that we had to put in our own piece of privacy fence (to keep out the people who don't have the best intentions in mind) with a nice, wide gate, which ended up costing around $1,200. Personally, I think the neighbors should have to pay half, since it was their idiot privacy fence that started it all.

To Be Continued...

Anonymous said...

Part Two...

Then we have the idiot neighbors to the back of us. The people who originally lived there sold the house to a guy who was a REAL PITA (liked to throw parties that started on Thursday at the latest, then went throughout the weekend and until late at night. I'm talking calling-the-police-to-complain late at night. And he didn't treat his dogs well. He would have them for anywhere from a week to a month or so and would leave for long weekends without leaving them food or water.)

But, I digress. Again.

Finally he moved and some other people moved in. We thought they would be OK, but, well, he's not. Not only does he yell at his dog all the time (I mean, I don't think they EVER let her inside and she's a real sweetie), but he also tore down the shed that was on the property so he could put up a MONSTER shed. Now, you have to know that we live in one of those 1950s neighborhoods with ranch-style houses and a rather small yard (although ours is huge in the backyard). I'm thinkin' that he doesn't necessarily need a farm tractor to plow or mow the back 40. But, he has it.

It got to the point with all the noise (and he's a VERY early riser) and the fact that he would make it a point to stand outside and stare/glare at our yard all the time, that Mom decided to put in a privacy fence. Only along the back property line that marches with his yard. You would think he would have gotten the message, but no. He would still do the same things - even upping the ante - so Mom had another fence put up to the west, but only halfway down to block him out (for the most part). He still doesn't get the message, but at least, he can't see a lot of what we're doing (not that we're doing anything illegal or like that, but we're rather ones who DON'T have to have the perfect yard and are very animal-friendly. That, and the fact that Mom likes to listen to her classical music...I keep telling her she needs to get Wagner's Ring Cycle and blast it, but she's not a Wagner fan - and I'm not sure any of the current boxers we have are either, unlike Anastasia who definitely WAS) and, more importantly, WE can't see what HE and his wife are doing. Watching them plant a garden was like watching a "Three Stooges" comedy. And nothing but weeds would come up.

So, I totally understand the pain of some neighbors.


Greenearth said...

Oh dear, neighbors are such sensitive issues. Good luck with your peacemaking.

Susan at Stony River said...

Oh my lord. Now I remember why I just spent 12 years in isolated rural exile ROFL!

My sister had a neighbor situation a lot like this, which turned very mean after a few nasty years. Very awkward for us, because most of it was my sister's fault, and she did lots of irritating stupid stuff like the little statue that sticks out his tongue at you all day. (Hmmm... wait a minute... what's your neighbor's name?! LOL)

Caron said...

MyMaracas, the thought of a wall has been brought up a number of times! I like the razor wire. Very neighborly.

Susan, is your sister a woman in her 70s who mows the lawn in a sweatband and short shorts?

Ryan said...

I hate rabbits - sure am glad you're not MY neighbor! And imagining your husband calling a woman a "nut job" is hilarious.

Rose said...

I would laugh if I could...the thing is the two properties on either side of us became rentals, and I declare the one here next to our house has only had one really decent renter in it in the past 6 or 8 years! I am not even going to go into details..I don't argue with them or anything like that....I just miss my old neighbor that was here for about 20 yrs.