Dave is getting better. Tonka came home last night. And our two next door neighbors’ retaining walls failed at 3 a.m. during the big thunderstorm sending mud, fence and miscellaneous material hurtling at their houses — luckily not damaging their houses, or injuring anyone. Firemen came, evacuated our neighbors, told us if they were us, they’d evacuate, though they weren’t going to make us like they made our neighbors, because the fear was that the houses behind the (now gone) retaining walls were next to come crashing down.

We don’t even live on a big hill. It’s not a mudslide area like PCH in Malibu or in the canyons. It’s not like the subdivision has only been here ten years and there’s a history of slides. It’s an urban area for heaven’s sakes, our house was built in the 1950s!

So we quickly packed up our cars, got the cats situated in their carriers, etc, for a quick evacuation if needed. I checked out our fence, etc; our backyard is terraced and our back neighbor’s land is even with our tallest terrace, unlike how it was for our neighbors (no terrace, just an excavated space in Jim’s yard, then his neighbor’s ground held back by the retaining wall). So our situation seemed very stable.

We dozed from 4:15 til 5:30ish, Dave in the daybed, me on the couch, because we thought it more prudent to be away from the back of the house.

The building inspectors came out at 5:30 a.m. and said the houses were fine, set back far enough they shouldn’t be a problem and sturdy enough they shouldn’t come down anyway. Our backyard and our back neighbor’s yard were fine. Yeah!

So no one hurt, just some property damage to the backyards, and a sleepless night (we’d been kept awake by the thunderstorms anyway). (Rigel doesn’t care one way or the other about storms, some dogs really freak; but Cali was scared and Tonka was just active investigating everything.)

On a happier, Friday lunch-break note, I visited Alamitos Bay Yarn Company in Long Beach. What a lovely shop! I bought a skein of Lamb’s Pride bulky wool/mohair in Prairie Fire and a ball of Classic Elite Paintbox for felting projects, just to play with the yarn and get more practice with my skills (and honestly to get quick results!).