“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The Neighbor Story...as promised!
See I didn't forget that I promised to fill everyone in on the neighbor story. Just took me awhile and time to kill while I wait to add more weight to my cheese. Ok, the story really started 9 years ago when we moved here. We quickly found out that she kept dogs...aggressive dogs that we suspect her son fights. How do we know that the dogs were aggressive? Well, on several occasions those dogs that roamed free cornered me in our front yard a good football field away from her backyard. I had two literally chase me on the tractor as I bush-hogged the big pasture and they continued the chase all the way to the house. I tried to be nice, I tried to be considerate. I didn't want to be the neighbor that suddenly moves in and immediately starts shooting dogs. I also took into consideration that she had probably gotten used to this property being vacant. No one had lived here full time for 2 years. The owner would come and spend a couple of weekends a months to mow and weedeat and general yard cleanup kind of stuff, but she lived elsewhere. So, there would have been no issue really with the dogs with no one living here. At each incident with the dogs, I would go and knock on her door and politely ask her to please keep the dogs in her yard. I explained that I had a small child and I was afraid to take her outside to play because of the many times the dogs had come after us in the yard. Now, if she answered the door she would deny that the dogs were hers. If her son answered the door he would claim them and say that he would keep them tied up. Which of course he did not. So then we decided to get some chickens and some rabbits. We built a nice tall fence around the old chicken coop. We even thought we were doing good by doubling the chicken wire around the bottom to give it some extra strength. We got a nice little starter flock of cochins and they were gorgeous. Their eggs were small, but we used them anyway. We had the chickens a month before their pit bull ripped through the fencing and dug under the door of the old coop in the wee hours of the morning. By the time we got out there he had just killed the last of the flock and still had her in his mouth. We took pictures and disposed of the dog as he growled at us. I took the pictures to her and again asked her to please keep the dogs in her yard. She denied the dog was hers. We knew she was lying because we had heard her call the dogs and seen them running to her yard when she called them. We went through 3 flocks of chickens and our very first rabbits because of her dogs. Oh, they change dogs like they change underwear. I guess when one gets killed fighting, they get another one that is a little meaner and a little more aggressive than the previous one. I have never once asked for compensation for the livestock lost or the property damage. I just wanted her to keep the dogs away from me and mine. Anyway, that is our background. About a month ago we noticed she was building something that backs up right against our fence. Now, our fence sits 20 feet inside our property line. So what she is building is on our land...not hers. We decide that we needed to refence that corner anyway and now was the time to do it. As we were gathering surveys and trying to find the survey pins so that we didn't have to call a surveyor out to find them, the goats decided to go for an adventure.....right through said fence and into her backyard. I the little over a year that we had them they had never even gone to that corner of the pasture, but I guess us spending so much time climbing through the underbrush over there made them a bit curious. We didn't not see them go through the fence. However, they were there long enough to strip the bottom couple of branches on her plum trees. Mind you I said the bottom couple of branches on fully mature plum trees. Also, mind you that plum season is past....way past. They were also there long enough for the sheriff's deputy to arrive and take pictures of them. However, by the time he got to my house they were right back where they belonged. Anyway, the deputy told us they were over there and what they had done. He also showed us the pictures so that we knew they were our goats and not another neighbor's goats. Since that day a few weeks ago, I have been trying to catch her at home to apologize for the goats and also to talk to her about her building. I finally caught her yesterday afternoon. I apologized for what the goats did. She immediately started screaming at me and telling me that she should have had me arrested because she didn't get any plums off her trees this year and it was all because of my goats. My blood began to boil, but I remained calm. Somebody had to because she sure wasn't. I tried to explain among her shouts that the plum trees were already starting to leaf back out on those branches and if she didn't get any plums on those trees at all she had bigger problems with them than my goats. I tried to tell her that everyone is having pollination issues around here because of the lack of honeybees this year. She just kept yelling, so I added fuel to the fire. I told her I didn't want to argue but if she really wanted to go there then let's talk about the livestock I have lost, the property damage I have sustained, and the physical threats I have sustained at the hands of her dogs. She again denied they were her dogs. So then I opened the big guns with...."Well, the second thing I wanted to talk to you about was this building that you are building on my land. It looks to me like you are trying to steal a portion of my property." Oh she really hit the roof then. She ranted and raved. I showed her the survey that is on record at the tax assessors office. She said it was a fake. It clearly showed the property line and my fence line. I told her to go down there and get her own copy. She said a lot of ugly things and of course told me that she was gonna call right then and tell the sheriff to come arrest me for her plum trees. I told her to tell the sheriff that I would be home the rest of the day and feel free to come on over. Of course, he didn't. If you could be arrested for your livestock getting out there wouldn't be a farmer left in the whole state. I have never known a livestock owner that didn't have something get out at some time or another. So I left with her still screaming that that was her property and my fence was on her property and I better move it. I think the judge will go with the survey and the survey pins. I came home and took my video camera down to the corner and videoed the damage to her trees, her building project and her trash burn pile (illegal in this county to burn household trash)just for good measure. I also videoed the garbage that has been thrown over my fence or gotten there from the trash pile that hasn't been burned off yet, since the trash pile is right next to the fence too. I called my attorney today and he will be sending a cease and desist on the building through the sheriff's office so that she can't continue her project. The surveyor comes out next week to locate the pins so that we can mark them since she removed the stakes that were there marking the pins. Then we will probably take her to court to try to get our attorney fees and survey costs back. We will of course be refencing and putting the fence closer to the property line. Aaack! Why do people feel that they need to be so ugly and hateful? If she had been civil and acted human, then I would have even paid her the 20 dollars worth of plums she "might" have lost due to the goats nibbling at her trees. Oh, and the last thing is that somebody has been snooping around here in the middle of the night. I think it is her son, but I can't prove it. Things in my big barn and the shed have been moved around and those buildings are just far enough away that I would be able to hear anything and neither would the dogs who are inside at night. So, anyway that is the neighbor story. I really hate drama and now it seems like I am right in the middle of a soap opera! Oh well, what can you do? Blessings all, I am heading to be now that the cheese is on the drying rack!