Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm not posting much this week. I'm having a bit of a crisis with my neighbors.

Not my regular neighbors. The summer people ones. They show up every two or three years, throw their weight around, nearly set their cabin on fire, then leave. It takes a few years for their pastoral idealism to build back up so they want to come back and do it all over again. They've been really good neighbors, basically in the fact that they are never there. I've tried to be a good neighbor by making sure no one torched their cabin while they were gone and keeping an eye on the place.

They have an easement to use my upper farm road to access their property. Which has been really annoying for me since their vehicle is very loud and they go back and forth much more than I do.

Anyway, I'm pretty much to blame for the problem. Three of my does have been getting out and going over to his cliffside. They've been taking the babies with them. He complained back in January when he came by to look in on his place and tell me they were coming back.

I was shocked at the amount of damage he said they had done. Particularly since there was nothing above ground at the time. I went up and looked and there were six girded locust trees. Nothing you'd want coming up anyway. He was also operating under the misconception that you could leave a place for two or three years and that everything you planted would be there and "established" after you had left it for the mountain to take over again. So, the goats got blamed for anything that didn't make it.

So I started reinforcing the fences. I have three to six strands of very powerful electric fencing.

Neighbor wanted things to happen instantaneously and I really couldn't afford to do that. I asked him to help by shooting warning blasts from a shotgun when he saw them heading that way. He refused and instead began baiting the wildlife. Of course, a goat can smell an ear of corn a mile away. It made the matter much worse.

Neighbor's litany of goat destruction has increased to absurd proportions. He believes nothing will grow where they urinate. He thinks they are eating the wood on his house. He thinks they are digging things up. He blames them for the effects of the drought. No one has flowering plants here right now. No one. And actually, I'm pretty glad that they've cleared out the underbrush and lessened the fire risk.

I asked that he give me until this weekend so I could get the kids out of those three does, one of which is my best milker.

Anyway, yesterday I took my three does over to Betsy since neighbor decided to escalate the situation and call my friend at animal control. It's a 550 dollar loss, just those does. Plus any kids they might be carrying. I had asked him to make a list of the plants he had bought and offered to replace them, but he didn't seem to be able to do that. But I now consider us to be way more than even.

Things have been really weird with animals this summer due to the drought and weird weather. Cows have been getting into cornfields. A bear showed up in my other neighbor's back yard, just at the head of my drive. As I was taking my does away yesterday morning...after a-hole neighbor called me at 10 p.m. the previous night and six that morning, somehow expecting me to have done something in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm...there were five white tail does at my mailbox. Each of them was easily 250 pounds. The rabbit population is completely out of control.

Anyway, it's pretty clear to me that no matter how secure my goats are, that they will continue to be blamed for everything that goes wrong at this neighbor's cabin. I've spent six months trying to make this situation work to no avail and I'm tired of feeling as though I'm working for someone else's comfort level.

So, I'm listing the farm on Make Me If I can get enough for it, I'll find a similar spot with no summer people adjacent where I can raise my goats in peace. My place is pretty special, so I think I might get some decent offers. After all, I have at least seven building sites on my acreage, five with equally stunning views to my own and 1000 feet of frontage on a trout stream. And I can choose who to sell the place to. I'm thinking a really obnoxious hip hop group from the ATL, 'cause an Escalade or one of those obscene Hummers would totally have no worries coming up my driveway.

It could be like "The Flavor of Love Mountain Vacation".


  1. Jbeeky said...
    I wondered who was screwing up Iraq, Darfur, the ice caps and our political system. Freakin Goats.
    GUYK said...
    Ahhh, you are too easy! I would find me the biggest and stinkiest Billy I could find and chain it out next to his fence and hope the wind was blowin' in his direction.

    By the way, once I get home to my regular PC I will get you on my blogroll so I can remember to come by every once in a while.
    Audubon Ron said...
    Neighbors, humm, I had em - once.

    You have to be neighborly. Invite them over for frog jerky and a warm bowl of batwing soup. In the course of conversation mention that Marie Laveau was your great Aunt. Tell them you've been going to church to quash the urges for voodoo. Tell them if they touch one hair on the chinny-chin-chin of one goatee you’ll go Kathy Bates on them and blow their F’in house down.

    When they leave make sure to tell them, “Have nice day.”

    In all, got to be neighborly.
    Mallow said...
    oh too bad to be forced out of your place like that.. are you really going to move?
    Sista Cala said...
    Nothing like some "ole goat" for a neighbor. Seems he doesn't have much toleration for his kin. lol

    BTW, I didn't mean to insult your goats. Every family has a few aggravating/unpleasant members.
    Anne Johnson said...
    Oh, think twice! Threaten to see a lawyer and revoke the easement. Call your county commissioner. You're a resident, he's a tourist. Maybe he's even behind on his property taxes.

    And when he goes, don't move a single eyeball toward his property. It's his fault if the place gets torched. It happens all the time to empty houses in the mountains.

    Does this moron even know how much damage the overpopulated deer can do to a farm? They ripped my cousin's peach trees to the ground. Not goats. Deer.
    kaliblue said...
    Oh sweet Rosie,
    I hate you have such butt wipes for neighbors. They sound like yanks!!!(My family and I are original yanks. Some of my family has bad attitudes just like this neighbor :-). Anyhoo, I hate the thought of you selling because of this mean spirit who shows up on occasion, but you have done all that you can to make peace and soo if you decide to sell may you make lots of money to replace your special home:-).
    kazari_lu said...
    that really sucks! Do you have any other neighbours that are more sympathetic to your cause? People who could provide some moral support (and help explain that your goats are not scapegoats for everything! tee hee!)
    hope you find a solution before you have to move.
    Maridmitch said...
    Rosie, I've been out to the Old 15th enough times to know nothing comes easily. You've worked hard on your property and I hope you can stay.

    BTW, I was out there over Father's Day and noticed that Big Creek Market is open. We were at the Christy Mission.
    Betsy aka 'the goat yoda' said...
    Don't just threaten to revoke the easement, revoke the easement.

    Then we can put gates with locks on both of driveways.
    threecollie said...
    I go with guyk, ann johnson, and Betsy! Who needs idiots like that!
    Anonymous said...
    I've known a few city slickers who started vegetable gardens. They tilled, planted the seeds and the transplants, watered and went away for weeks on end. They came back to check on their beans because they were reaching the 'date of maturity' they read on the package and found nothing but a weed patch. How'd that happen! they cried! Welcome to the garden of "Weedin'" Tending a garden is the hardest part of the whole process. I'd hazard a bet their landscape was eaten by other four legged varmints. Your goats were just conveniently located to place the blame.
    Manerva said...
    Dig your heels in Rosie! Don't give up w/out a good fight. You have just as much right if not more than them to be there.
    Peggy said...
    please don't let summer people run you off your mountain! Cook up some of those yummy recipes of yours and have your friends come over for a fence building party. End the day with stories and songs. You have put alot of work and heart into your place. I sure hope you decide to stay.

Post a Comment