Why I haven't been posting much lately

I wanted to let you all know why I haven't been posting much in recent weeks. I've been dealing with a lot of stress in my personal life, for a number of reasons.

1) On August 23, I developed a sudden high fever (over 102F), which turned out to be caused by cellulitis, a skin infection in my left leg and foot. The photo above shows how red and swollen my leg became. It was also very hot to the touch. It reminded me very much of Diana Gabaldon's description of the way Jamie's leg looked after the snakebite in FIERY CROSS:
"I’ve never seen anything like that in my entire life.” I leaned closer, peering. “That is absolutely bizarre.”


I set a hand gingerly on his ankle. The skin was puffy, hot and dry under my hand. It was also red. Bright red. The brilliant color extended from his feet up nearly to his rib cage; he looked as though he’d been dipped in boiling water.


“You look like you’ve been roasted over a slow fire,” I said, rubbing a finger over the rash in fascination. “I’ve never seen anything so red in my life.” Not raised; I couldn’t feel the individual spots, though I could see them at close range. Not a rash as such; I thought it must be petechiae, pinpoint hemorrhages under the skin. But so many of them …

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 91, "Domestic Management". Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

I believe that's what you see in this photo of my lower leg, taken on August 26. Petechiae, or something very similar. Even if it's not exactly the same thing, my reaction to seeing it was almost the same as Claire's -- staring at it, going, "What on earth is that?!?"

Fortunately, after two weeks of antibiotics and a LOT of time spent lying on the couch with my leg elevated to reduce the swelling, it's basically back to normal, but it was a pretty scary experience. I'm grateful that it turned out to be easily treated, because I needed all my energy to handle what happened next.

2) Shortly after midnight on September 15, my house was broken into. The burglar stole my car (!!) and my cell phone, as well as all of my house keys and car keys, including spare keys. He also took about $100 in cash from my wallet, but left everything else in my purse, including my driver's license, credit cards, ATM card, and prescription sunglasses. I was asleep with the bedroom door shut, and I never heard anything. I didn't realize anything was wrong until the next morning, when I couldn't find my phone. I thought I might have left it in the car, so I opened the door from the house to the garage, and the car was GONE!! I thought I was dreaming at first, but unfortunately not. The neighbor across the street has video from his security camera showing my car being driven out of my garage at 12:34 am.

The police found no evidence of forced entry, so it's unclear how this guy got in the house, but I can't rule out the possibility that I thought the front door was locked when it actually wasn't. I had the locks changed right away, of course, and replaced my garage door opener with a new model that will alert me when the door is opened or closed.

As of today it's been three weeks since the car was stolen, and the police haven't come up with any leads. I don't think they will recover the car. Oh, well. Even though I loved that car (it was only a year old; the photo at the top of this post shows the car on the day I bought it in 2021), it can and will be replaced, and my insurance will cover a lot of the cost. I've made arrangements to purchase a new car and get it equipped with hand controls and the special lift I need to get my electric scooter in and out of the car, like the one shown below. That will take at least 6-8 more weeks. In the meantime, at least I have a rental car I can drive.

The really scary part of this whole experience is realizing that this guy was roaming all over the house in the middle of the night while I was in bed, sound asleep. I was incredibly lucky that I didn't wake up while he was in the house! I never really believed in the concept of a guardian angel before this happened, but now I am convinced that my late parents were watching over me, keeping me asleep. The thought of what might have happened if I had simply got up and opened the bedroom door is absolutely terrifying, and I'm so grateful that I wasn't hurt, or worse. But it's left my personal sense of security, of being safe in my own home, badly shaken.

UPDATE 11/23/2022: This story has a happy ending! Look here.

3) On a happier note: I had the siding and the gutters replaced on my house, a big project that I have been planning for months. The work was done over the course of the last two weeks, just completed this past Tuesday, October 4. I know that sounds sort of crazy under the circumstances, but I signed the contract back in July and had just been waiting for the contractor to fit it into his schedule. They delayed the work for a few weeks because I was sick, and again for a few days following the break-in, but then I decided to let them go ahead with it. I really needed a Huge Distraction, to give me something else to focus on for a couple of weeks. Besides, I thought it would be a good idea to have people around, watching the house and keeping an eye on things, while I made arrangements to have a security system installed. (See below.) I'm glad I decided to go ahead with it.

It took me a long time to decide on the paint colors, involving a lot of trial and error with the little sample jars from the paint store, and some help from Sherwin-Williams' free Virtual Color Consultation service. I'm just DELIGHTED with the way it came out! It's like having a brand new house on the outside. The extra stress in the last couple of weeks was really hard for me at times, but I think it was worth it. Just looking at the house makes me smile.

4) And last but definitely not least, I got a SimpliSafe home security system installed yesterday! I am hoping it will give me some peace of mind, knowing that I'm protected if (God forbid!) anything like this should ever happen again. I slept a solid 8 hours last night for the first time in weeks. Things are beginning to get better, finally. It's just going to take some time.


Lizzie53 said...

I am so sorry for this dreadful run of bad luck. Hopefully, things are returning to normal, and you can put this behind you.
One if our neighbors, revealed a new way that thieves are breaking into homes.
They are using a poke or stick and work their way through the top of the garage door. They bring the manual handle out and open the garage door.
Immediately after hearing this, my husband cut off the red handle to our garage door. That way, thieves have nothing to pull through and hold onto.

Lizzie53 said...

Coat hangers is also more widely used,

Lizzie53 said...

Coat hangers used as well

Janet said...

Oh dear, sometimes everything comes in like a flood. I am experiencing a wound issue that won't heal, and on medication, so I understand the health issue. So glad it was healed. Breaking in is another story. I'm glad you took the extra measures of safety for your house. May this be the last of thievery for you and I pray protection around you. I'm glad also that you can get a good night's sleep. Take good care!

Joanna B said...

Wow! So sorry you have been going through this! We have had Simplisafe for several years and it's great. Hope it helps with your peace of mind. Take care of yourself.

Carol Warnes said...

Oh no, what a strain you have been under this Autumn, with not one but two scary situations to manage by yourself. You have been so strong coping with it all and doing all the right things to solve the problems.

You are a valued member of the Outlander community and give us so much pleasure with your Outlandish Observations. Can I therefore send you good wishes for the swift return of normality and peace of mind.

Jill said...

Oh my gosh! That is terrifying and I'm so thankful you did sleep through it! I totally understand loving your car and being a bit heartbroken over it's loss. Mine, sadly, wasn't stolen... it is just dying... literally everything about it needs replaced. It is a 07 but I thought things were fine since it drives well. But when I took it for the AC going out they told me it was slowly dying and to not drive it far from home. *sigh* Insurance doesn't cover that. ;-) Sometimes I wish someone would steal my car.... or a tree would fall on it. LOL

Anyways, I'm glad you are able to replace yours.

It is funny how when things happen to us we, as Outlander fans, can relate it back to Diana's writings. The whole leg thing sounds scary. I'm glad you're doing well.

I absolutely love your front door color. It is gorgeous! And matching shutters! Love it. It is always fun to get things a little spruced up.

I'm so glad you are getting a security system. I don't know what my bestie has but her security system announces (loudly) when the front or back door open... when the garage doors open... I found it strange but now it seems comforting.

inge oppenheimer said...

oy vey! the things nightmares are made of! am glad you managed to get it all straightened out, and i admire your resourcefulness!

Sherry Campbell said...

I admit to wondering where you've been lately, since I check your site a few times a week. I am sorry to hear of the challenges you have been through recently. I pray that you will regain confidence in your safety. BTW, I love the updates you made to your house. I recently had my shutters painted a similar blue to your front door and love the way they look when I drive up. So--great job, and God bless.

MamaBella said...

I'm very glad you are doing ok after two horrible experiences and I love the colour of your door!

Karen C said...

Karen, I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through the past couple of months. It does seem like when it rains it pours but hopefully your turn is over now. Wishing you the best for always.

Niki said...

I'm so sorry about your leg and the break-in. I hope peace fully returns to your heart and mind soon. I'm sure the security system helps. Your house looks great!

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