What's with the jacked-up boots, lady?
What’s with the jacked-up boots, lady?

The more time I spend alone at Three Dog Farm the Enclave, the more I realize that the neighbors must think I’m batsh*t crazy. I prefer to think of myself as “zany” or “creative.”

Neighbors that seemed very friendly when I moved in now seem to hide their children when I’m out in the yard. There they are, playing nicely in the tick-ridden, spider-infested grass, and as soon as I crack my sliding door, they start running like wildebeests being herded by a low-flying helicopter. Never mind that last week, the 11-year-old across the street spent a full hour rolling around on his front lawn like a dog rubbing his face on a dead squirrel head. And they think I’m weird?

I reluctantly admit that some of my behavior could be misinterpreted as odd. I get up fairly early to let the dogs out, and since the yard is thick with dew and lawn spiders (you think I’m kidding – they freaking EXIST and the live AT MY HOUSE), I put on knee-high wellies to complement the green velour bathrobe I’m sporting. Then I tromp around whisper-shouting “Shut UP Shut it shut upshutupshuttttuppppp!” at Blanche and Rico, whose rabid “JOGGER! PASSING! BY!” barking could wake the dead. At night, I add an LED headlamp to my outdoor garb (for cobweb avoidance), so I look a bit like an Orthodox Jew who’s decided to take up mining.

The neighbors have watched me attempt to fill giant, 10-foot bladders with water from a jet-powered hose while standing on the aluminum pool deck during a thunderstorm; engage in a losing battle with the “pool pillow” that’s supposed to stay in the center of the pool to keep the water from freezing in winter, but that just ends up floating to one side so it looks like I’m hiding a baby elephant; and cut down enormous, unruly bushes using Jaws-of-Life size titanium pruning sheers and my electric hedge trimmer. Just imagine Edward Scissorhands. With Parkinson’s. I look like I’m using a jackhammer in a hurricane.

Notice the baby elephant hiding in the pool.
Notice the baby elephant hiding in the pool behind me.

When Pierre is here, he does little to help us look normal. He likes to stroll the property, glass of wine in hand, surveying my latest pile of hacked leaves or shrubbery and yelling, “Wiggles! What did you DO?!”