Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Neighbours from Heck

Anyone have one of those neighbours?

When we moved in almost three years ago, we found our older neighbours to be very friendly. Warning bells should have gone off in my head when, only a couple weeks later, they spent a good half hour telling us about their neighbours on the other side - and every activity said neighbours had participated in that contributed to "bringing down the entire block." No, not warning bells about their other neighbours - about them!

In my entire life of renting and owning, never have I encountered so many complaints.

Here is the short list of what we have done so far to ruin their living experience for them (in no particular order):

- allow our children to drive their Power Wheels vehicles on the road (we live in a close, with a large green space in the middle, and no one drives around it if they don't live here...and we never let the kids do this at "busy" times like after work on weekdays)

- take too long to mow the lawn (we've been known to let it go a whole week in the summer)

- have visitors over who, ever so rudely, park their vehicles - on the public street - in front of their house

- spray the weeds in our yard with products that are safe for children and dogs, but according the odour they send into the neighbours window they are clearly toxic

- park our old pickup truck in front

- park our old pickup truck in back

- sit around our firepit with our kids

- have exterminators in to deal with our problem with carpenter ants

- have a particularly loud gathering in our yard, around that dratted fire pit, until (*gasp) midnight (the one and only of these types of gatherings we've ever had at this house) --- the story of how their adult son "retaliated" for our noise is a whole post on its own!

- and many, many other small but irritating/ annoying/ dangerous/ discourteous things we do over the course of just being alive

Most recently, though, is the problem with our puppy. When we got her, we worked hard to train Daisy to relieve herself only in one section of the yard - it's a little patch of grass at the side of the house that the kids don't play on. I have been told that "the smell is just horrible!" and informed, under no uncertain terms, that I "just have to train her to go somewhere else. [I] have a big yard, and the dog just CANNOT 'go' near the fence right next to [their] yard anymore!" (I really should mention that our dining room window overlooks this patch of grass, and we have never noticed an unpleasant odour while dining.) Being the good neighbour that I am, I apologized for not cleaning up as often as I should. Since then, I have made an effort to ensure all is cleaned up every second day or so. Unfortunately, this is not good enough. I received a letter from the City, informing that we have seven days to get it cleaned up or we will be subject to a $200 fine. Next time, $400.

I am thinking that it is best for me to just bite my tongue and comply. So in exactly seven days I will go out and clean up all the dog poop. Ha! (Totally kidding, we're now trying to clean it up daily.)

And I thought the party-ers we lived next to a few years back were bad...


  1. Oh my goodness. We have the same problem. We have 40 acres & he as 20. We are in a lawsuit right now b/c we had our land surveyed and guess what, his fence is on our property. He is trying to get sqaunters rights. He hasn't been there 15 yrs.
    I can tell you all the neighbors hate him. He has a few 1 that put up w/him. Why I don't know. You can't trust him.
    His kid would ride the 4 wheeler up the road which is busy and kick up as much dirty as possible. This is illegal. Just b/c we live in the country he thinks he do anything. There is still limits to some of this stuff for the privacy of neighbors.

    I feel for you. We do have the same problem.

  2. For Heaven Sake!!! What wonderful Neighbors You Have . . . NOT!!! Maybe after you clean up the poop, you should present them with it - as a gift for being such wonderful and thoughtful neighbors!

    To be honest, I think your neighbors and our neighbors must be twins - we too seem to be the root of all evil! They too turned us into the city because one of the construction trucks accidentally got one of their tires about six inches into their yard and broke a sprinkler head that we had already told him we would replace. The list goes on and on!

    I totally believe that grumpy gus people like that need to actually get a life!

    Hugs Dear Friend!

  3. A friend of mine used to have a many dogs (I think like 16 or so) and to keep the stench of the pee away she used a mixture of bleach, water and vinegar (not too sure the exact amount but I am sure you can find it on-line). No smell at all.

    For personal satisfaction, I would recommend using the upcoming Halloween to eggs their house and blame it on the pesky teenages (since none of your brewd is teenagers yet).

  4. Oh man Tyler.... Who needs neighbors like that???? That is unbelieveable....they actually got the city involved??? Crazy... if you want to have dog poop all over your back yard, then so be it..its your yard.... and the thing about parking your older truck...OH My...Insane... you are doing much better dealing with these people than I would...
    good for you.....

  5. Oh girls, your comments are making me feel so much better! It's sad that there are so many cranky neighbours out there, but at least I know I'm not alone.

    Truth be told, Pat and I have plotted ways we could 'get even,' such as a big bag of flaming doggy doo on the front step (remember that movie?)... But honestly, who has the energy for a war with the folks next door?

    And, as frustrating as it all is, I do know that God has called us to be different in our lives. I've spent a fair amount of time these past couple days begging God to give me patience and forgiveness. My kids have a song that says "conteract greed with giving...overcome anger with loving." I think that the best thing for us to do is to come up with a way to bless them - perhaps that will win over their begrudging hearts.

    Ideas, anyone?!

  6. OH my goodness - neighbors can really make or break the community, huh?

    We had one like that in our last neighborhood - ruined everything for the whole street. Her poor child...she clearly didn't like that her daughter is closer to 4, I wonder if things have changed.

  7. I hope you or your husband don't snore! After you are cleaning poop after it leaves the dog (Try duct taping a pastic bag to his bottom! Greta idea!), the snoring would SURELY be next! Or **GASP** I hope you never YELL at your children, especially in your our home (Lord, Help us all). The sound would be able to absorb into their airspace. Those poor neighbors!
    I mean really, it's good they don't live in the country! Or next to me and my boys... talk about smells. We have chickens, 3 dogs, rabbits, pigeons, and cats. And the smells my boys put off sometimes.... wooowww... I'm sure we'd be offending. Let's just hope some other neighbor does something worse then you, so some of the heat will be taken off of you for a while!!! =)

  8. Oh how sad to be so old and cranky, right? I try to make a mental note when I meet people like that that when I get old not be that way. It's got to be so frustrating for you. Good for you for enduring it and not retaliating - as fun as that may be. Good lesson for the kids - loving the unlovable and not returning evil for evil.

    Hang in there!

    By the way, LOVE the bag on the hiney idea!

  9. oh my,...
    They are "special" people aren't they..
    Don't you just love the joys of living so closely...
    Yup we have neighbors that are "special" too..but I have not complained...well actually I did 3am I called the cops cause I couldn't sleep from the loud music..
    But in reality..I have good reasons to call the cops on them may be every week...
    the list is far too long to mention...but does barking dog all night count?
    Drug transactions ?
    The smell of maragauna (drugs) in my room count?
    ugh...but no...I keep quiet...
    There is this one time..but I will only share this with you privately Tyler...of something I did that kept them quiet afterwards...oh it is nothing secret ....they sure know about...It was hilarious...poor hubby couldn't believe I would do such a thing...
    You must remind me to share this with you...that is...if you want a good laugh and may be something to "use" in the future with your neighbors...kept mine quiet for a whole month!!


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