I had to start this one with the Dung Beetle. We have lots of them here, and they always make me chuckle. If you’ve never seen one, they are master logrollers: They climb up on round poop and move it by doing the “Fred Flintstone” thing with their legs and feet. Of course, it isn’t long before they lose their balance, tumble down, and have to start all over. I’m grateful because they help keep our ‘hood clean. But what a workout! We’ve recently learned that we need to look out the front window before opening the door to take Mo out in the early morning or late evening times. We just never know what critters are nearby. A couple mornings ago, Bill opened the door and a skunk was hurrying down our driveway. This morning, while they were out walking, I went to check on my rain gauge so I could send my 7am report (we had another good storm yesterday morning). Three mallard-hybrid ducks were in our driveway and waddled right up to me. I’ve never fed them, but I must remind them of someone who does. They followed me to the corner (where the rain gauge is mounted, in the sad succulent garden), still hoping for handouts. Remember me mentioning how the bad storms always go around us? Yeah, that wasn’t the case Sunday night. We’ve had one other big storm since we moved here. It also happened on a Sunday night, about five weeks ago. That was nothing compared to this one. We were under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 3am, but we were only in the Slight Risk category. We took our usual after dinner walk with Mo and watched TV until about 8:30pm. All was still quiet here, and I checked out my Dopplar radar. Storms were starting to pop to the north, and they were all moving east (missing us). A mesocyclone (supercell, rotating thunderstorm that looks like a spaceship) formed well to the northwest of us. As I kept switching screens, watching the velocity, cloud top, hygrometer (rain, hail size, etc), it kept getting larger and stronger. It was about 9:45pm when it decided to change its track and head straight for us. The velocity radar showed me a funnel forming just as the Tornado Warning sounded on all my apps and our weather radio. The funnel was just a few blocks east of us. It’s so frustrating that it was nighttime, so I couldn’t see anything outside. We then got hit with powerful straight-line winds (part of the storm, but not from the funnel). Bill followed Mo into the walk-in closet. Since I knew where the funnel was, and it wasn’t coming this way, I sat in front of a window, and watched the trees blowing around like mad. Between the 60-70 mph winds and the torrential rain (1.45”), I couldn’t hear (or see) the damage being done outside. The storm finally passed us, birthing several more funnels to the south, before finally dissipating well after midnight. None of the funnels from this storm ever touched down. I’m pretty sure this is the closest I’ve ever been to a funnel. I’m hoping next time it’s during the day, so I can watch it and capture it with my camera. We woke Monday morning and saw all the damage. The next-door neighbor’s large tree branch came down just inches away from Bill’s car. We heard that a large tree fell onto a house a few blocks away, crashing through the roof and letting all that rain come pouring in. I don’t believe anyone was hurt. Storms here are definitely more intense! I thought that this week would be fairly quiet, indoor-wise, since no remodeling work was scheduled except for the flooring that begins on Friday. But yesterday evening, while we were walking, Big Mike (demo, remodeling guy) left a message that he would be out this morning to start repairing and prepping the kitchen walls for paint. Everything on the counters had to be moved back over to the dining room table, and we are back to the noise and mess, as they patch and replace bad drywall. But just think, soon I won’t have to look at that awful wallpaper anymore! I nagged the cabinet guy yesterday, and he is coming Monday to install the remaining kitchen and laundry cabinets. Why is it that he only puts us on his schedule after I nag him? Monday should be quite the dance then, with flooring, cabinets and kitchen wall work all happening at the same time. It may be an Advil day. But I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.