My Scare With an Intruder.

Two weeks ago I had one of the biggest scares of my life. I’ve always wondered how I’d react if I came face to face with an intruder.  Here’s the good news; now I know.

Most break-ins happen in the middle of the day, in nice weather, in the summer.  Those who break into homes don’t like venturing out at night and certainly don’t want to go to work when it’s raining and risk frizzy hair.  So really, burglars are just like you and I, only they’re missing a conscience.  And a hairdryer. Plus they’re shitheads, so there’s that.

Here’s what happened.  If you follow me on Instagram you know that I’ve been building something lately. When one builds something one needs power tools.  And sometimes one needs to borrow those tools from her sister who owns enough power tools to build a suburban subdivision.  Pink Tool Belt had a compound mitre saw I wanted to borrow and it was at a house that she’s renovating. At around 5:00 on a Friday afternoon I grabbed the key from her and drove over to the house.

I pulled into the driveway, gravel crunching under my tires, and walked towards the back door.  My sister had given me a couple of keys to try because she wasn’t sure which one fit the lock on that house.   After running through a couple of keys, I slipped the right one into the keyhole and opened the door.  I walked into a house that had that weird feeling of a home that isn’t lived in.  An empty shell where sounds bounce off the walls like lottery balls in an air chute.

Knowing no one was supposed to be in the house working, I was taken aback when I thought I could hear some sort of sound when I got inside.  A kind of shuffling for somewhere in the house but I couldn’t pinpoint where the sound might be coming from.   At that  point I did what everyone does when they hear something alarming.  I ignored it.

I took a quick look around to see some of the work my sister had done and then went to the basement, yes, the basement, the dark, scary basement, to get the saw.  I don’t mind telling you I didn’t entirely want to go into the basement. Something didn’t feel right about this whole episode.

I ran upstairs out of the basement with the saw (yes, I really ran, the saw is extremely lightweight which is why I wanted to borrow it) and set it down to turn the light off.  That’s when I heard noise again and this time I knew I couldn’t ignore it.  I knew this because I got that tingly feeling in my toes and a dribble of pee escaped.

And then I did something really stupid.

You know in horror movies when the next idiot who’s about to get killed goes TOWARDS the ominous sound instead of away from it?  Yeah, I did that.

And because I’m a blogger, I also whipped out my phone.

Have a good weekend.  Stay safe.





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  1. Alena says:

    So Pink Tool Belt is flipping houses now? The house looks good.

    When I lived in my previous house, I had unwelcome visitors one day (I think it was on May 31 but I am not sure). I returned home from work as usual and I was immediately mortified because none of my 3 greyhounds was behind the front door. That was very unusual because normally they would be all staring out the window right next to the door by the time I got out of the car. I called but they were not upstairs either. I ran to the backdoor and I saw all three of them behind the door, in the backyard. They looked like drowned rats because there was thunderstorm in the afternoon. My first thought was that I must be really losing it if I left for work and forgot to let them in. I let them in, dried them with the dish towel (the back door was in the kitchen, close to the sink) and suddenly I realized, without having to return to the living room to check, that the TV was gone. The shitheads also helped themselves to my computer but it looked like they did not touch anything else.
    They must have opened the back door to let the dogs out (in order to get rid of them) – as if greyhounds would care (as long as nobody was taking the sofa from underneath them, they could not care less).
    I was so grateful nothing happened to the dogs (except for being left outside in a downpour).

  2. Pat Kears says:

    Just walked into my Mom’s house that has been empty since she went to be with the spirit in the sky.. The alarm system wasn’t working properly so I went to the basement to start the “what the hell is wrong inspection.” I flicked on the light and to my un-delight, a dead squirrel was on the floor at the bottom of the steps. YIKES…….slammed the door, called my brother, the dead squirrel retriever, and left. Waiting for the call that the squirrel attended his own funeral courtesy of brother and what the intruder’s point of entry was so the alarm can be dealt with. I will deal with snakes, mice, possums, and other critters as long as they are alive….can’t do carcasses.

  3. Therese says:

    Very good!

    Loved it. Especially loved the music accompaniment. 🙂


  4. Elen G says:

    Hahahahaha. The music was perfection.

  5. Lynn says:

    You and Squirrel Nut Zippers are the reasons I turned on the computer today!

  6. Gretchen Sexton says:

    So good!
    LOVE it.

  7. Mary W says:

    Really fun post today – loved it. My Grandpa loved wildlife and when he built a new home back in 1940 he had a milk door (back when milkmen drops off fresh milk during the week) into his picture window in the kitchen. He built a shelf outside and propped a tree branch to the shelf. He opened the little door and set nuts on the shelf and on his kitchen table. We would sit there with our oatmeal and squirrels and chipmunks would come up and in and sit at the table with us to eat. SO FUN – until some wild chipmunks began running through the house like nuts! That ended the fun for grandpa and me.

  8. Dawn says:

    Perfect music!!!!

    My coworkers are wondering why I am laughing so hard at my desk.

    I’m glad to know in the outcome, you were safe!

    Close call. Good thing you got everyone one involved to “be calm”.

  9. Stefanie Barrett says:

    Awesome choice of music!

  10. Jenny says:

    I have a coworker who found out that raccoons were living in her house when she woke up to a nice pile of raccoon poop on her pool table. 🙂

  11. Christine says:

    I would have stolen that vintage pink lawn chair and blamed the intruder.

  12. Connie Bridgham says:

    I just peed myself a little. LMAO. (at your expense; sorry!)
    Thanks for the great Friday post!

  13. Carla says:

    That was awesome! Kinda expected the squirrel to come at you though.

  14. NinaMargo says:

    Goosebumps just from the title alone. However I’ll bet he’s telling his friends what fun he had with you! In Squirrell-Land, he’s a mega-star.

  15. Marlene says:

    I also wondered for many years how I would react to an intruder, now I know too. Few years back while finishing my morning shower I heard big commotion by my front door, almost like someone trying to break it in pieces, then they tried the side door and the back door. As I was coming out of the bathroom I decided to take a look from the back window in my first floor. I came face to face with two guys peering through the glass wearing hooded sweats. They ran to the back of my yard and I ran to grab the phone. One jumped the fence to the neighbor’s yard and disappeared but the other one decided to walk towards the window where I was defiantly and maybe stupidly standing while I had the police on the phone and was able to give a good description to the police of his demeanor and clothing. I will never, ever forget his cold blank stare! He suddenly jumped the fence to the other neighbor’s yard and walked nonchalantly to the main road. I ran to my upstairs bedroom still describing to the police that he has removed his hoodie and the direction he was walking. When the police came to my door I turned into a shaky mess who could barely talk. They never catch them and to this day I’m scared to be alone in my own backyard. I’m glad you are fine and sorry for the long winded recount of my episode of the not so funny kind.

  16. Carrie says:

    That was great! When he sat on the windowsill looking at you for a hot second he seemed to be saying….”What the hell are you doing in here?!”
    Thanks for the laugh Karen😋
    Glad all is well. (and my was that kitchen floor shiny and clean! Lol)

  17. Claire Bickley says:

    OmGosh, coffee out the nose!!
    “Let’s everybody be calm.”
    So funny!
    And PS, my 15 year old enjoyed his AF morning. Which he would think stands for something else but I mean April Fools.
    Or do I?

  18. Leslie from Hampton says:

    Oh you scared me Karen!!! Good thing you caught the perp on camera LOL

  19. Karin says:

    Tell Pink Toolbelt she does good work!

  20. Shannon says:

    love that you used squirrel nut zippers! I have that album. You are a loon, and I love you for it!

  21. J says:

    I was so thinking that you were writing from the hospital, recovering from something awful.
    Very glad you are OK! Sister toolbelt does nice work-very nice-I’d rent it in a heart beat if I move to Canada. She could say that apartment comes with pet. Full disclosure-how does she feel about couple of Golden Retrievers?
    Please tell Karen-what are you building? Now that you have told us about-something-I feel entitled to know. Or I can just revel in anticipation,,,,,

  22. Ha ha ha ha! Brilliant! And excellent choice of music too – I love SNZ!

    I had an intruder a few weeks ago too; my drunken alcoholic landlord just randomly came and let himself in.

    While I was in the bath.

    Of course, he didn’t know I was in the bath but flimmin’ ‘eck it gave me a shock. Asked him what the hell he thought he was doing, to which he replied that he thought I’d run off with all of his furniture. Why? Why would he think that? Because he rang me, and I didn’t answer. Did I mention that I was in the bath? Guy’s an idiot. And a drunk. I moved out of there last weekend.

    All things considered, a squirrel would have been a far more welcome intruder.

  23. Sammy says:

    Haha you always crack me up Karen xD

  24. Leisa Daly says:

    You are an insane person! 😂😂😂 Hysterical😂

  25. Lynda Dunham-Watkins says:

    You funny girl! Love what your sister is doing to the house! Lovely.

  26. Ev Wilcox says:

    Well, not smart, but brave! We have black squirrels too, as well as grey ones. Once in a while there are combo squirrels-black w grey tails or grey w black tails. Actually, I toss unsalted peanuts in the shell for them onto my front porch. Some Jays and a pair of Cardinals are diners also. Just got a huge bag or dried mealworms for the Robins, but I don’t know how to inform them of it! Well, unless you are “packing”, maybe don’t go toward the sound, go the other way, quickly next time!

  27. Vanessa says:

    I really wanted to see this but a 3 mins ad was a bit much.

    • Karen says:

      Just reload your page Vanessa and a different (shorter) ad should pop up. ~ karen!

    • Alena says:

      That’s odd, I played it twice (not consecutively) and each time I had a short add. Probably the 15 seconds one like Karen said though I did not time it.

  28. dana says:

    You’re hilarious, Karen! I was mixing up a depression cake today – not because I’m depressed-thats the name of it. I heard a squeak that sounded like my back storm door opening so I went to look. The door was locked so that wasn’t it. Back in the kitchen and I’m adding more ingredients to the batter. The noise again! I muted the tv and really listened well. What was it. I had my daughter listen, too. Hear that squeaking? It was the lazy daisy door I was leaning against! 😨

  29. Marna says:

    LOL! Love it, figured it would probably be a critter or you wouldn’t have posted it! We have been having lots of critters lately. My hubby has caught two possums, not babies, let them go in a wild area, two different nights. They should be able to find each other. I thought that’s it, no more critters stealing the food I put out for a couple of abandoned kitties. My dogs were going nuts, thought another possum, but no, it peeked out from the side of my garage, a racoon! It took a couple of nights but it was caught and taken to a further out wild area. Thought ok that has to be it, we have never seen a raccoon around here in 34 years, but guess what? A huge one appeared, really large! So far no luck catching it, might have to buy a larger trap!

  30. Larry says:

    Somehow, I find it hard to believe that YOU would be scared of an intruder! Didn’t you have a chain saw under your bed? I never leave home without it!

  31. Loli says:

    HOLY CRAP! You scared the shit out of me. I live in the big bad city and I keep the doors locked all the time. Plus I have the neighbor from hell and don’t know when he’ll go off the deep end. And just to keep things really joyful my Hubs like to watch ID channel all the time. You know the squirrel would be enough to send ME around the bend. Glad you are fine. You really had me going there. HAHAHA very funny!

  32. Nicole says:

    Loved the music – so appropriate, although it took me a minute to register who it was by when it started. 😀

    At least it wasn’t a bat. I had one of those in my dining room. Scampering critters I can cope with, but ones who operate on a vertical axis as well? That’s beyond my coping skills. I ran in terrified circles and then trapped it into a room and posted on Facebook looking for next steps, to discover the only folks on my friends list awake are in Australia, where the wildlife is ALWAYS trying to kill you, and they suggest I just nuke the house from space. (Instead my neighbour bravely went in and opened a window and the poor little guy flew outside where I like to think he lived a long and happy life.)

    • Lisa says:

      Not ALL the wildlife is trying to kill you……shhhh our secret (and yes Drop Bears do exist)…. we just let everyone think it is. Best way to remove wildlife – trail of food to nearest exit. Works every time – except for pythons – those I use a soft broom. 🙂

  33. Sara says:

    Brought back memories of when I heard a latenight scuffling downstairs when there should not have been. I crept to the top of my stairs just in time to see a very real intruder walk from the living room into the kitchen. A frantic, whispered call to 911 brought several wonderful police cars with loud sirens a few minutes later, but the shithead was already gone. He had dumped out some desk drawers, left my wallet-cash but took a cheap pair of earrings I often wore, dug through a basket of clean laundry… and stole my last Sprite from the fridge. What kind of lowlife, freakish jerk would steal a girl’s last cold Sprite in the middle of the night!!! The detective also said he had been in the house long enough to smoke at least 4 cigarettes, which he stubbed out on an antique oak library table. Anyway, it was a long, long time before I could sleep at night — even after I had moved more than once. And almost twenty years later, I still feel like throwing up when I think of him sitting in my chair in the dark, smoking cigarettes and drinking my soda.

  34. Cathy Re says:

    Two reasons; 1-had my “I’m not taking a lot of crap with me” purse. 2–that usher was tiny, but she woulda put a smack down on me in a minnit. They take seatin and chandeliers very seriously.

  35. Carmen says:

    We had a similarly terrifying experience the other night. Heard a large crash and naturally assumed we were about to be killed by a murderer/burglar. Said Murdererburglar turned out to be a raccoon, who thankfully left of his own free will. Pretty sure I lost a few years off the end of my life though. And now I have to dye my (now) grey hair.

  36. MrsChrisSA says:

    You know Karen, that’s not nice!! 😉

    Consider I live in SA and the first thing I thought as I started reading was “wow, your intruders are considerate to coming during the day, ours normally come at night whilst we are sleeping”.

    But nontheless, a very cute intruder after all!! Wish we had those here!

  37. Violet says:

    LOL! Imagine that same thing, except with two raccoons that crash through a skylight, chase your companion rabbits around trying to attack them, and then run straight up the sheetrock and hang from the ceiling rafters 16 feet above the floor (leaving a trail of muddy raccoon footprints up your wall) until the police, who you’ve called in a panic, finally show up and whack at them like piñatas for 10 minutes with your long skylight-opening-pole-thingie, eventually knocking them to the floor with a sickening thud so you can chase the now freaked-out AND angry raccoons out the door at the opposite end of the house. And not one piece of candy ever comes out of those damn piñatas.

    • Susan Claire says:

      Your last sentence make me spit my coffee!

    • Jenny says:

      LOL! Wow, Violet!

      My only claim to fame is helping catch a bat that got into our dorm hallway when I was in college–nowhere near as exciting as this!

    • Karen says:

      Hahahah! I’d feel bad for the raccoons if I didn’t know they can live through anything. ~ karen!

      • Violet says:

        Yeah, the cop got annoyed with me because I was wailing, “Noooo, don’t HURT them!,” but they did drop through the skylight in that same room, so they’d already fallen to the floor from that height and were fine enough to tear around the house wreaking havoc.

        Here’s the funniest part, though, an epilogue…

        A few nights later, I was out walking my dog late at night when three raccoons came loping along on the other side of the street. They looked over and saw me, and two of them froze, them looking at me, me looking at them, then they turned and tore off in the opposite direction. The third was left standing there alone in the dust, going, “What just happened?” I doubled over laughing.

        I’m sure this is a cautionary tale that’s been passed down to young raccoons around the campfire for generations since: the story of the Skylight Pole Man.

  38. karen says:

    You always make me laugh!

  39. Paula says:

    Lol! Love the musical accompaniment. You had me going, my heart was in my throat, you really know how to write a story!

  40. Kim says:

    You scared the crap out of me! Glad it turned out like it did and the music was perfect!

  41. Carol says:

    Love the choice of Squirrel Nut Zippers for your soundtrack!

  42. Stephanie says:

    A number of years ago I was living in an apartment that had a storage room off a hallway that opened up to a garage. If the kids were out playing the garage was always open – and usually the back door. This was back in the age of dinosaurs when security wasn’t an issue and children ran free in the neighbourhood. One day heard a strange noise in the very full storage room so I went in and turned on the light. A noise like that had ever heard before – just evil – spat at me chhhhhh
    Chhhh chhhh – I slammed the door shut, collected the children, and drove off. I phoned me husband at the time and told him the children and I would return once he removed whatever was possessing the storage room. He did rescue us – and the kids had a good afternoon at Bullwinkles. We called it the Rocky incident.

  43. Sandra Patterson Thornton says:

    OMG you scared me. You are my hero as a single DIY woman….but geez! Only thing that kept me going was thinking that, well, she must not be dead or she wouldn’t have written this…..

  44. Cathy Reeves says:

    Glad you’re safe. I have a fear of confronting an animal like that and it freaks out and goes for my face!
    In other news, I had to share this photo of one of the gorgeous chandeliers in The Palace Theater as we were waiting to see Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. It immediately reminded me of yours and I wondered if I should slip the usher your recipe for cleaning it.
    They’d probably need to double it though.
    And get a bigger drop cloth.

    • Karen says:

      Um … not sure why you didn’t think to steal it. ~ karen!

    • Tina says:

      I have a chandelier much like that. It takes 16 tiny light bulbs and is amazing. I got it while in Bratislava on a business trip. My kids were with me so I arranged to let them watch the man build what I wanted. It took him 6 full days but every single crystal was hand cut and buffed. It’s really something amazing! But my house can’t accommodate it, I have a mini house. I need to find someone who is building something grand and wants a beautiful chandelier.

      • Grammy says:

        You’ve got to get a bigger house.

        • Tina says:

          Lol! I just had this house built. I’m trying to downsize and get rid of crap. What I wish I’d done is put a copula over the entry and hang it there. But oh well, someone with a big, fancy house will love it!

  45. Suzanne says:

    You scared me! Phew!

  46. Scott says:

    Good song choice. One of my fav bands.

  47. Carol says:

    That was to funny! You are way to brave, glad you were ok and it was a squirrel. That could have turned out bad.

  48. Elaine says:

    I’m SO relieved you were okay, Karen! lol! You really DID give me a scare, though, and I actually held my breathe as you ran up those basement steps!

  49. Jayne says:

    Yikes! This leads off with a 3 minute long ad!

    • Karen says:

      Ack. I’ll let my ad provider know. In the meantime if you load the page again, chances are you’ll get a appropriately length (15 seconds or so) ad. Sry! I hate that. ~ karen!

  50. Stephbo says:

    “Hey. Let’s everybody be calm.”

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, I was pretty proud when I watched the video back and saw that, lol! ~ karen!

      • Mark says:

        That was very good….

        It reminded me, since this is the 50th anniversary of “2001: A Space Odyssey” of one of my favourite movie quotes: “I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over.”

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