This post should really be titled “not being asshats makes for good neighbors.”
In May of last year we got new neighbors at the property to our east. They’re actually WORSE than the previous owners. The previous owners just told us to f$%^ off when we tried to talk to them about the fence line issues, while their tenant “Arturo” did a good job of keeping his animals contained but a terrible job removing the manure. (For background see this post about past issues related to the prior owners of the property.)
So here’s the current run down of what’s been going on over at the eastern border.
- Shortly after moving in, said new neighbors got themselves some goats and horses and a couple of cows. They also would have lots of loud parties which annoyed many of the residents living nearby and they have A LOT of people visiting and/or living there which is fine, only said people are often a subject of derision as their driving skills are poor to middling while their desire to act like their driving at Laguna Seca is very prevalent. Our roads are not “normal”. They are not maintained by a county or city. They are barely 2 car-widths wide and they have some very dicey twists, blind curves and crazy grades.
- Last summer one of the new neighbors managed to lose control of their pickup truck while dumping dirt halfway up the hillside. Let’s just say the repair work they did on the fence was in no way stellar. Of course their goats found a way to use that to their advantage.
- A year went by and the new residents did pretty much _nothing_ in regards to the animal pens left behind by the previous owner’s tenant, while we had to deal with their errant livestock (goats/cow/etc). We were also pretty tired of the smell, flies and general unsightliness. (Side note: when the new owners told Arturo to leave, he scavenged all the bits of his animal pens that he wanted to keep, and left ALL his trash from his 10+ years. This meant the “fence” was no longer viable–not that it really was before, but then Arturo did not keep goats.)
- This summer we paid for two 30yd dumpsters for the new neighbors to use. That’s $1100 in dumpsters. These dumpsters were even placed on our land near the pens, as otherwise our neighbors would have to climb a rather steep hillside to get from the actual living area of the property up to the pens to retrieve garbage and then carry that garbage back down to a waiting dumpster.
- We even donated our time and heavy machinery to help them scrape away several tons of compacted manure and garbage, as well as demoing the remaining shanties left by Arturo. We then put said garbage into the dumpsters for them while the manure was spread and mixed in with dirt further up the hillside. (We did have help for this, but it was a couple of guys who were paying to stable their horses on these people’s land.)
- We allowed a third dumpster, which the neighbors did pay for, to be placed on our land. We then filled it with more garbage from their mess. (We did toss in a bit of garbage we had accumulated from projects, but that was just three loads with Dumpy.)
- When it came time to put in more permanent fencing two weeks ago we set a day and time for two of the owner’s-daughter’s-sons (who are in their mid 20s) to come out to help us. They showed up for about 15 minutes and then went back down the hill to watch American Football on TV. That day Agent Smith and his dad managed to fence 1/3 of the total run. They made a straight line of it between where the cattle fencing stopped on each side of the mess. That night someone from that household to went up to the pens and ripped out all the new fencing.
- Then the neighbors accused us of trying to make some sort of land grab. We pointed them to the county survey maps which show the line should be straight and not suffering from a bulge created by the aforementioned several tons of compacted manure.
- A couple of guys who do side work for us came in and assisted two Sundays ago and we managed to properly fence 2/3 of the total section. During this work day the two lads I mentioned earlier came up to “help”; instead they criticized the fact that a stake wasn’t yet perfectly level or straight (it hadn’t been pounded into the ground yet,) and then they left to go back down the hill where we could hear them watching American Football, ordering beer, drinking said beer when it was delivered, and getting stoned.
- We have not asked for any recompense for any of the dumpsters, fencing materials, machine hours or labor we provided.
- I could go on and on…like about the time the woman texted to apologize that she couldn’t get her cow off our land and was leaving it there because she had to go to work. How in bloody hell can you own a cow for a year and not know the basics of herding. If you’re on two feet grab some sticks or pieces of pipe and just make yourself bigger. Then direct said cow(s) to where you want them to go. They’ll take the hint.
- I could forgive them all of the above, but then tonight Agent Smith heard them when they were up at the new fencing.
They were throwing stones at and torturing a male tarantula.
Boy tarantulas are only out this one time a year to mate and then die. This particular species of spider is INCREDIBLY beneficial, not to mention they can’t eat or drink by this stage in their lives let alone hurt a human.
Still, just one more section of fencing to eventually get done. Thankfully its the section the goats can’t get through, but it’s also annoyingly on a hillside and has a bunch of fill pushing it over onto our land. At least it’s just dirt and not more manure.
But once that is done, I no longer want anything to do with these people ever again.
Isn’t the new fence pretty though?