Our First Snafu

Moving is tough. Selecting new schools is tough. Picking a new house is tough. Starting over is tough. Coaches’ wives know this, just like military wives and preachers’ wives – starting over is simply part of the process of life. I have to say, this move has been pretty phenomenal…

SonShine and Angel Girl have had a terrific transition to their new school. They both agree “college preparatory” is code for “wow, this is hard with tons of homework” but in the best possible way. They both enjoy their new school, have met many new friends, and they’ve even acclimated to wearing formal uniforms:

My beautiful Cascia Kids www.CasciaHall.org

My beautiful Cascia Kids
http://www.CasciaHall.org

And don’t they look sharp??

Our new house is coming along. We still have wayyyy toooo manyyyy boxes sitting around, but I’m like the tortoise running my marathon one slow and steady step at a time. I’ve had a few rooms repainted, I’ve ordered some furniture for the empty spaces, and I’ve [finally] begun hammering into these new and completely unblemished walls to hang my favorite pictures and pieces of art:

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That’s Sherwin Williams “Prairie Grass” (SW7546) in our Master Bedroom.  I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

If you follow me (@MeAndCoach) or the football program (@TulsaFootball), then you already know that Coach has jumped in with both feet, and in 90 short days, he has managed to hire an absolutely amazing staff, sign a really great 1st recruiting class, and kick off spring ball with fantastic tempo, teaching, and tons of hard work from his boys. He’s no longer a newbie on campus and is often seen supporting our student athletes and his fellow coaches at basketball games or tennis matches after finishing up for the day in the football offices:

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That’s my main squeeze at spring practice.  And here is the article from Tulsa World that goes with the hunky photo:  “TU Coach Philip Montgomery Dives into Tulsa Lifestyle…”

We’ve met tons of great people. Warm, welcoming, friendly, helpful Tulsans who have made us feel right at home. Except one.

And now, I rant:

SNAFU has a few different meanings. Originally a military slang acronym meaning “Situation Normal: All F[ouled] Up” but I prefer the less official definition:

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Both are quite befitting as we have hit our first snag, our first frustration, our first SNAFU in the form of a nasty neighbor.

We have been in our new house for 2 months and 2 weeks. The first 2 months of that time, we had an average temperature of about 22 degrees. We’ve had wind (an actual tornado!), rain, snow, sleet, hail, ice (ask SonShine how well cowboy boots function on an iced-over driveway), and finally, for the last 2 weeks, we’ve seen a few warm, sunny days.

We’ve all wanted to soak up the beautiful, spring days. Especially our dogs, Sassy and Nola, who were stuck inside almost exclusively those first two months. I mentioned above that moving is tough. That is true for the entire family, not just the humans. It takes a little bit to readjust, learn a new environment, and settle in, even for pets.

Last Tuesday, the kids and I were eating dinner on the back patio when the neighbor’s son asked us through the fence, “Hey, you, over there. Do you know how annoying your dog is? It barks, and we don’t like it.” I responded that dogs do bark and that she’s just getting used to our new home. We took heed, though, listening to see how much Nola was barking (Sassy has deemed herself a truly indoor dog and only goes outside as long as it takes her to do her business, if you get my drift).

The more we listened, the less we heard; we found that Nola was rarely barking at all. The one time she was “going off” SonShine went out back to find those exact neighbor kids waving sticks and PVC pipes over the fence to rile her up. He also caught them throwing things over the fence and yelling at her.

Two days later, we found this tacky note taped to the front door:

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Considering I was home almost ALL DAY Thursday, and that Nola was INSIDE with me almost ALL DAY Thursday, I started to get a little heated. “…we cannot hear each other talk when we are sitting outside.” Really? Maybe just a little bit overdramatic??

Two days after that, we receive a letter from the City of Tulsa in Saturday’s mail stating that they “have received a complaint that you are allowing your animal(s) to be a nuisance.”

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Now I am seeing red!!

We rescued Nola in August of 2013. She is the sweetest, kindest, lovey-est dog EVER! She has been a huge source of comfort and companionship for SonShine since losing Belle last Thanksgiving. She is truly a member of our family:

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Does Nola ever bark? Of course, don’t all dogs?
Is Nola a barker? No, she definitely is not.

Does Nola alert us when strangers are close? Yes, and I refuse to yell at her for doing what is natural.Does Nola chase squirrels? Yes. She even chases the neighbors’ cat (yes, the SAME neighbor) when it jumps the fence and runs across our backyard.

And yet, this is how Nola spends most of her day:
She follows SonShine around closer than his shadow. She sleeps in his room, she trips him every other step because she is always under his feet, and she stands at the front window watching him leave for school every day:

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Then she lays by the front door waiting for him to come back to her:

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When she is outside, 99% of the time she lays in my chaise lounge asleep:

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I’m telling you: SHE IS NOT A BARKER!!!

I think I am most frustrated because I feel like the neighbors are out to get her. In my experience, once people like that get on a mission, they’re like a dog on a bone (sorry for that awful pun at a time like this), and nothing but seeing Nola removed will make them happy. On top of that, we purchased a home that is perfect for entertaining. And guess what, humans make noise, too! Will they be calling the police every time we have company visit, the kids swim outside, or we have players and coaches over to grill out back?

The icing on the cake? The house to our south (opposite these people) was just sold to a new home builder. That means that within the next few weeks, the existing structure will be demolished, and over the next 6 months or so, a new house will be built from the ground up. That will entail big, loud machinery, tools making all kinds of noise, and lots and lots of workers close to our house – all things that make a dog like to bark.

I especially hate that my only voice, my only recourse, is to rant on my blog. I have no way of proving that they are blowing things way out of proportion. Has Nola barked since we moved in? Again, I answer very openly: yes. I am sure that she did bark more that first week of decent weather. She was in a new yard, one that is 1/3 the size of the only yard she had ever known. She was learning new smells and sounds, particularly the sounds of the city after only knowing a country setting. She was also protecting her loved ones as we’ve had numerous service technicians here the last two weeks including 5 days of painters, 3 visits from the plumber, 2 trips by the electrician, and 4 calls to the A/C company.

Coach has decided to put in cameras. They will serve well for security, but they will also document the indisputable fact that Nola is NOT disturbing the peace, nor is she barking uncontrollably, and they will illustrate that the nasty neighbors are simply being hateful.

So, now my rant is done.  Thanks for letting me think through this SNAFU.  Aloud.

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Lots of love and hugs,

Ashli

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