Elvey’s Adventures: The Plan

(Due to an unexpected shortage of writing time, I will only be publishing Elvey’s Adventures on Saturdays for the next few weeks. Hopefully I can go back to twice a week soon — Thanks! 😀 )

They reached the town. Elvey drove directly to the diner.

There were no cars in the parking lot. The whole town seemed off and was silent.

Judy stepped out of the car, and quietly said, “Something feels off, Terrance.”

He nodded, also getting out.

They approached the diner carefully, opening the door slightly and entering.

The diner was empty and the bowling area silent. The games flashed like normal, but there was no one visible.

They exchanged glances and then advanced toward the bowling area.

Judy started going toward a side door, but stopped suddenly, staring toward the bowling alley.

“Who’s there?”

Elvey, joined her, holding the spear ready.

“It’s only me, Terrance,” Peterson’s voice spoke from the darkness.

Elvey relaxed, briefly telling Judy, “He’s one of us – a rebel leader.”

She looked at him, a relieved look on her face, before looking back at Peterson, who was emerging out of the further end of the room.

“This is what I was supposed to do,” Peterson said, motioning and then stepping aside to reveal eight other people. They stepped forward.

Elvey smiled.

“It’s good to see you all,” he said, adding, “Only fitting that we should meet here.”

“Is what he said true, Elvey?” The tallest man asked, “That we’re trapped in the Kairos Snare.”

“Caught and being reeled in,” Judy said, “I was being pulled in. Terrance got me out, but I don’t know for how long.” She turned to Elvey, saying, “I’ll go work on the tracker,” and quickly going through the side door.

Elvey approached Peterson, saying, “So this is what you needed to work on – gathering everyone from our realm together?”

The other nodded, saying, “And you nearly ruined it, by putting me in the hospital,” adding, “But it’s not too late. The snare is getting stronger, but it hasn’t caught us completely yet.”

“How do we know?” One of the others asked, stepping forward, “We might be repeating some event and we don’t even know it!”

“If we think that way, we’re not going to get anywhere,” Peterson said lightly, and turned to Elvey again. He said to him, “We have a fighting chance, now we’re gathered. At least, I assume that’s what Donaldson planned. And what progress have you made – besides acquiring a spear?”

Elvey quickly explained the tracker for the Kairos Snare. Peterson nodded.

“It’s risky,” he said, “But it’s the only option.”

“I’ll go into the future,” Elvey said, “And try to get the lock. We can’t do anything else until then.”

“What do you want us to do?”

Elvey stared at him.

Peterson, with a shrug of his shoulders, said, “You’re in charge – that’s how Donaldson had it.”

“Well…” Elvey sighed, “I think Donaldson set the snare on an event in our future – to do with Coombs and his plans. We have the opportunity to find out more about it before it happens.”

Peterson nodded, continuing the thought, “We can try to learn what we can about the event we’re trapped in.”

One of the others stepped forward, saying, “How do we do that?”

“I managed to get some information from Judy before snapping her out,” Elvey said, continuing, “Just talk to whoever’s acting oddly, and try to get information out of them – or observe.”

Peterson nodded slowly, saying, “I think we should consider offence situations – gathering weapons and such. We can try to trap everyone that’s been caught in the snare. We don’t know where this thing might go, and it would be safer to get everyone where they can’t do harm.”

“I’ll leave that to you,” Elvey answered, “You know more about that sort of thing than I do – comes from being stuck in an office too long.”

Just then, the side door opened, and Judy put her head out, saying, “Terrance, can you come here?”

He quickly joined her, going down a hall with an Exit sign at the end, but turning and entering another room. Here, was a lot of unusual weapons, armor, and technology that did not look earth-like.

Judy sat down at a table in the middle of the room and worked at a device.

“Are you sure about this, Terrance?” She asked, as she worked, “Something might happen to you in the future – if anything does happen in the future – and something will probably happen to us here,” she shook her head, muttering, “There’s a good chance the whole thing will just go wrong!”

“I agree,” Elvey said in a low voice, “It’s risky. But I don’t see any other option. We have to get the lock, or we’ll probably all die.”

“Do you have to go?”

“Well, what might happen here is much more in Peterson’s field than mine,” he said, “He’ll know what to do if everyone suddenly starts killing each other.”

“What if he starts killing people?” Judy asked, looking at him briefly.

Elvey sighed, saying, “There is no way to make this a perfect plan, Judy. If I stay, there’s no saying I won’t start killing people.”

She frowned but didn’t answer.

“Another thing,” she said after a pause, “The lock being in the future doesn’t make sense, because Liam’s half of the snare should be close enough to the lock to be working…”

“I’ve thought about that,” Elvey said, “Only thing I can think of is that it’s in the same location… but in the future.”

“I don’t like it,” Judy said, putting the device down.

Elvey went to the table and turned a switch on the device.

There were two lights on the top, and one lit up. Judy sighed.

“See, only one part… so the other part is somewhere else,” he said, and looked at her, “Why don’t you want me to go – really?”

She looked at him, and answered, “Because someone killed Donaldson. Someone knew about this and killed him. There’s still that danger, and the further on you go, the more likely you are to encounter it – but you might not be ready.”

Photography Friday: Landscape

Today I’ll be featuring a few landscape photos I’ve taken. (All taken in New Mexico)

Interestingly, I don’t take many landscape photos — maybe because there always seem to be people in the photo, I’m not sure.

I am extremely pleased with this photo. It’s very even, and the reflection is interesting (which doesn’t always happen with the Rio Grande).

I am pleased with the Sandia mountains in the background too. I don’t always like distant mountain photos, if there isn’t enough detail, but this photo is pretty pleasing.

This photo was, literally, taken on the road, while driving by.

Normally those kind of photos don’t turn out very well, but I like how this one looks; inexplicably atmospheric and, to me, interesting. One can’t help wondering what’s beyond those hills……………

I always liked this photo because the conclusion is unexpected.

My eye was immediately drawn to the top of the hill, wondering what was beyond it and where it led. I found out later in the hike that it didn’t go anywhere; it was the edge of a rocky, jagged precipice!… pictured below:

See that clearing at the top of the mountain?

That’s where the previous photo was located, and I am pretty sure that’s the actual spot! (These photos were taken a little while ago, so I don’t remember precisely)

I hope you enjoyed my landscape photos, and a quick tour of New Mexico!

Be sure to come here next Friday! The flower of June is rose, so I will be featuring some rose photography!!

Have a great last-Friday-of-May, everyone!

7 Tips for Working from Home

I think we can all agree that the last few months have, in one way or another, changed our lives………

That’s the understatement of the year!

But one of the likeliest things to have been disrupted is our schedules. If you’re working from home, with plenty of distractions, it’s simply not the same as working in an office.

So here are some ideas for working from home, from someone who’s been working from home for a few years — whether you’re expecting to be in quarantine for a little while longer, or you’re starting a home business.

Keep to a Schedule. This might seem pretty obvious — or impossible — but say you are working from 8:00-5:00, rather than being unspecific. I find it much easier to work on a project when I say I’m going to do it from 3:00-4:30, rather than a general ‘I’ll try to work on that today’….. especially when I’d rather not work on it.

(Follow Link to check out some printable time sheets!)

Have a Flexible Schedule. This is possibly the most important tip after keeping to a schedule, because you have to keep in mind that, life happens. I think, oddly enough, having a flexible schedule has helped me the most to get work done… but you do have to be careful with it.

Say, you will work 5 hours today (as an example), and try as best you can to work, in total, 5 hours. If it’s broken up, and half an hour to an hour is taken up dealing with fill-in-the-blank, that’s OK.

Doing this helps me because I’m much more relaxed and able to help out around the house, rather than being stressed that I’m not working.

That being said… try to keep to a schedule.

Leave if you need to. Right now, ‘leaving’ is a bit limited. In the olden days, I would go to Starbucks or a local coffee shop if I needed a change of scene. One can’t necessarily do that right now, but one can go to a park, or some walking area, or even just go outside in the backyard.

Sometimes it really helps to go somewhere else, if you can’t concentrate, or you need a new perspective.

Don’t go in the kitchen. If you can help it — which I can’t necessarily, since the dining area doubles as my craft room — don’t go in the kitchen unless it’s mealtime or you need water/tea/coffee. That way, there’s less temptation.

I think that’s a problem people are dealing with a lot right now, and, this is, theoretically a great idea.

It is a simple rule, and actually just common sense, that if you aren’t hungry, don’t eat unless it’s mealtime, and this tip follows that idea. (if you’re hungry and need a snack, then, definitely get a snack.)

(Follow Link to check find out how to prevent stress eating)

Music. One of my favorite things about working from home is that you can pick the inspiration to help you work, and that, for me, includes music. (I also have an Inspirational Board)

So, while you’re at home, feel free to listen to whatever music you want to; weather it helps you think about something different when a project isn’t working, or it inspires you to do that project; if you like it real loud or no more than a whisper; whatever style you want!

When I was working on business, I wanted something new, and so discovered Christian Indie music, which has — to put it melodramatically — changed my world.

Take a Break. If you can manage it, take a break. Once an hour, middle of the day, whatever it may be.

And you can make it any length you want, if you’re your own boss!

(Follow Link for some stretches!)

Stop Working. Finally, another very important tip — possibly the most important — Stop Working.

Even though it’s possible, or even easy, to keep working — don’t.

First of all, stop working at a specific time every day, say 6:00 pm. No more work until the next day. And secondly, take at least one day off a week.

I don’t work on the weekend, or at least minimal work. If I have to work on the weekend, I try to keep it to no more than an hour.

This is super important and I will be writing more about it soon!

And those are my tips for working from home

What are some things you’ve discovered that help you work from home?

Elvey’s Adventures: Judy-Webber

Elvey carefully peered in through the kitchen window.

There was no one in the kitchen. Voices could be heard, though no words could be understood, somewhere out of view.

Carefully, Elvey passed the kitchen window, and went toward the living room window. He stopped just before reaching it, listening.

Judy could be heard, but little understood.

Words, like “Army… time isn’t right… Coombs… garden…” could be heard, but little else.

Elvey gripped the spear tighter, and walked forward, past the window.

Someone quickly stood up. Someone else shouted.

Judy yelled, “Get him!”

Elvey rounded the corner, and at the same time the backyard door was thrown open and Chris and Tony emerged, striding toward him.

Elvey stopped, placing the spear solidly on the ground next to him, and confronted them.

“I want to talk with Judy,” he said in a firm voice.

“I’m sure you do,” answered Tony.

“Who’s Judy?” Chris asked.

“Just take me to your leader,” Elvey said with a sigh.

The two men considered him, exchanged glances, and then stepped aside, so Elvey pass.

He slowly went on, entering the house cautiously, followed by the two men.

Judy was standing, glaring at him. There were about twelve people in total crowded in the living room.

Elvey positioned himself against the wall next to the back door, motioning for Chris and Tony to move into the room, which they did.

“So, you want to negotiate?” Judy said, after a long pause, “We’ll give you the kid, in exchange for the Kairos Snare lock.”

Elvey blinked, narrowing his eyes. He didn’t answer at once.

“You know I can’t do that,” he finally said in a low voice.

Judy laughed.

“Is it really that important to you, to bring down Rosen’s…” she finished in a growl, “And let Liam die?”

Elvey was silent again, carefully answering, “The Kairos Snare will protect him – you can’t harm him.”

Judy sniffed – a reaction that caused Elvey’s eyebrow to go up slightly.

Judy opened her mouth to answer, but Elvey quickly said, “I might be able to get you out of this, Webber.”

“Why would you do that?”

“Because this doesn’t strike me as your kind of thing,” he answered.

Several people reacted to this answer. A few stiffened, looking quickly to Judy – or Mia Webber – while others glanced around. One man’s hand drew to a gun that lay on a side table.

Judy paled slightly, her eyes widening.

Elvey said, “Let me talk to you alone, Webber.”

She nodded, slowly approaching.

As she passed, Beth from the hardware store, whispered, “Remember, you’re on our side.”

Judy nodded slightly in answer.

Elvey and Judy passed through the back door, and Elvey shut the door firmly behind him.    

They stood staring at each other for a minute, Elvey studying her.

“Why are you doing this, Webber?” He whispered, “This isn’t like you.”

She gulped.

“I don’t have a choice, Virgil,” she answered.

“But threats, blowing stuff up?”

“It’s gotten too far to go against Coombs,” Judy-Webber replied.

Elvey opened his mouth to answer, and then said, reluctantly, “I’d like to find out more, but I need to get on with other things.” And, putting a hand on her shoulder, continued, “Judy – you are Judy. Not Mia Webber.”

“What are you talking about?” She shook his hand off her shoulder and took a step back.

Judy, remember your migraines?” Elvey continued, “You’ve always had them, but especially when you’re stressed. Remember, Judy? You had a migraine coming on when we were setting the Chasm Fleet on fire, and you kept going until it hurt too much – remember?”

Judy stared at him, at first her expression hostile – her jaw set. Then doubt came into her face. She blinked.

“Remember the diner? You always wanted a diner, and you finally got a chance to start one when we came here,” he went on, “You bought it from old Mr. Phelps.”

Judy’s eyes slowly lowered.

Then she looked up at him again, saying, “Elvey… what’s going on?”

He breathed a sigh of relief.

“The Kairos Snare – it had you, and a bunch of other people,” he spoke hurriedly, “Quickly, I need your help setting up a tracker – to find the lock.”

Judy continued to stare at him.

“I… I don’t remember…” her voice faded.

“Judy, I’m sorry,” he said, “I don’t know when you’ll slip back in – or when I’ll be caught. Help me with the tracker now.”

She nodded slowly, and turned to go, muttering, “Where are we?”

Elvey quickly explained.

They went around the house, and to Judy’s car. She overlooked the surroundings, her eyes resting on the wreckage of the shed and car.

“What is happening?” She breathed.

They got in her car, Elvey getting in the driver’s seat.

Quickly, as the front door to the house was opened, Elvey reversed the car and drove off, speeding toward town.

They were silent for a couple minutes, then Elvey quietly said, “Judy?”

She looked at him, and quietly replied, “Why do you need a tracker for the snare? The half Liam has should work.”

“Because the lock is in the future,” Elvey answered slowly,

What?”

“Donaldson put the lock in the future,” he explained.

“Then…” Judy paused, “The event it’s set on is in the future.”

Elvey nodded.

“There’s no way you can get it, then, Terrance,” she said, “I don’t know how Donaldson managed to do that – it’s illegal to do that! But we can’t!”

“Unless we travel the same current he did when he put the lock in the future… or possibly brought the time half of the snare to the past…” his voice faded, and his eyes widened, “I never thought of that! Maybe Donaldson didn’t put the lock in the future, maybe he came to the past…”

Elvey thought for a moment, and then shook his head, “Anyway, that’s why we need the tracker. If it can locate the lock, we can travel on the same current, and join the snare, hopefully before we’re all killed.”

Elvey’s Adventures: Who are you?

Elvey motioned to Cathy, and she, carrying June, ran across the yard, and got into the car. She put June into the back seat.

“We’re stealing – we are stealing,” she said to herself, as she buckled June in.

Elvey, searching through the glove compartment, answered, “You’re getting June and you to safety.”

Glancing at him, she said, “I’m going to take June to my sister’s house, and then I’m coming back.”

No,” he said firmly.

“Why?”

Elvey replied, “The Kairos Snare is already taking hold. If it takes hold of you, there is no guarantee what you will do – you could harm yourself, someone else, or even Liam.”

Cathy frowned, nodding.

“OK, you have a point,” she said, “But what about you? What if you’re caught?”

Elvey grimaced.

“It will take longer for me,” he said, “But it is a danger, I won’t deny. We’ll just have to risk it. But I can’t allow the possibility of you getting caught in the snare. And I think your husband would agree. So, please, promise me you won’t come back.”

Cathy, sighing, answered, “I won’t come back.”

Elvey handed her the keys to the car, and said, “Get out of here as quickly as possible.”

A few minutes later, Cathy pulled out onto the dirt road and, with a final wave, drove off.

Elvey sighed and turned away.

He casually walked down the street, his eyes always scanning the surroundings.

It was quiet now. There was no sign of people or cars.

Elvey reached the outside of the Bates’ property, and quietly went off the road – quickly going down a path between the yards.

He reached a ditch, and, casting another glance around, quickly descended into the ditch, ducking low to the ground.

Liam, behind a bush, looked at him briefly, before looking away. He sniffed quietly.

Elvey observing him, put a hand on his shoulder. He didn’t say anything right away.

“What happened while we were gone?” He whispered.

Liam coughed and answered, “A fire truck came and put out the fires, and then left. All those people are still there – inside.”

Elvey, carefully looking over the edge of the ditch, at the house, narrowed his eyes.

Only a fire truck? That doesn’t seem normal.”

He turned and sat on a rock, staring ahead.

Finally, he said, “We have to assume anyone we meet is caught in the snare, Liam. Understand?”

“OK,” the boy answered briefly.

Elvey glanced at him.

“Are you OK with this, Liam?” He asked quietly.

Liam shifted, crossing his arms.

“It’s just that…” he hesitated, “It – we’re alone. Dad left; mom left – what are we going to do? We can’t do anything…” he stopped suddenly, turning away.

Elvey smiled slightly, answering, “I’ll be truthful with you, Liam – I’m not the greatest in these kind of situations, and I…” his voice faded, and he continued on a different line, “It is not a hopeless situation. And I promise, I will not let anything happen to you, and I will not leave.”

Liam looked at him.

“But what can we do?” He whispered hoarsely.

“Well,” he said, “The lock for the snare is in the future – in a garden, probably. So, we have to go get it.”

Liam looked at him, saying, “How?”

Elvey didn’t answer. He furrowed his brow.

“I can only see one option,” he said, “I don’t like it, but it’s what we’ll have to do.”

He carefully turned and looked back at the house.

“Did you see where Judy went?”

Liam shook his head.

“OK, Liam,” he shifted, to face the boy directly, “I need you to stay here. Keep an eye out, to make sure you’re not caught.”

“What if someone does see me?” The other asked.

“Don’t resist,” he said, “That will be the safest thing for you to do. Hopefully, they’ll just put you in the ‘chasms’, which was thankfully just your pantry, in which case you can get out again.

“I shouldn’t be long.”

He thought a moment, and then continued, “We should have a codeword, in case I’m caught in the snare. Ask me what my favorite animal is, and I’ll answer owls. If I don’t answer owls, you’ll know.”

He started to move when Liam quickly asked, “Mr. Elvey…” he leaned forward, “Who are you? Where do you come from?”

Elvey looked at him a moment, with a sigh.

“You deserve to know,” he muttered, sitting down again.

Looking at Liam steadily, he spoke slowly, “Have you ever heard of Asgard?”

Liam’s face lit up.

“You mean, you’re like Thor – he’s one of my favorite avengers!”

Elvey laughed, saying, “Not exactly…”

“Is Thor real?”

“There’s a lot to legends that are real, Liam,” he said, “But that’s not what’s important right now.

“Thing is, I’m Asgardian, as well as Peterson, Judy, and Donaldson. We’re not aliens like what people would think of – we just come from a different place, a different realm.

“But we’re nowhere near royalty or anything you might have read about. Remember, I told you I was a gatekeeper…” he grimaced slightly, “For an agricultural city. I’m about as low as you can get.”

“But Mr. Peterson said you were important…” Liam said slowly.

“That’s because here, there are embassies; places where we can operate and help other realms,” Elvey explained, “And when you come to an embassy… you can be whatever you want. It doesn’t matter what you did back in your own realm. And that’s why I came – to be somebody…”

Liam slowly nodded, open mouthed.

“Don’t tell anyone, OK? Not even your parents.”

“OK,” he said, then quickly added, “Can you shoot lightning?”

Elvey laughed.

“I’ve told you too much already,” he said, “No questions.”

Quietly, Elvey picked up the spear he’d taken from Judy, and turned to go.

“Be careful,” Liam whispered.

Elvey, looked over his shoulder, nodding briefly, and carefully came out of the ditch.

“Now it’s time for real risks,” he muttered, a solemn frown on his face.

Photography Friday: In the Park

One of my favorite things to do — that is, at least here, not ‘cancelled’ — is going to a park. There’s something special about the simplicity of a park that makes it a joy going there. A simple pleasure, and sometimes the simple pleasures are the Best.

So of course, today I’m featuring photos that I took in parks.

This is a simple, not entirely interesting photo, but, oddly enough, it’s always been one of my favorite park photos. I guess, for me, it captures the essence of a park.

This photo was taken at a park we go to on Independence Day, to watch the fireworks. It’s a small-ish park, with a nice bit of wilderness as well as grass and a playground. It will certainly be making a return here, come July!

And of course, it was nice to get a chance to get a picture of a bee — always an interesting challenge.

This photo, interestingly, was not taken at a park. I was at home, taking pictures of some flowers, when I saw someone was flying their kite in the park near our house.

What doesn’t belong in a park, and say simple pleasures and summer like flying a kite?!

Last, but not least, a park has to have trees in it — at least for people to get their kites caught in! Most parks around here have cottonwoods, a sturdy and beautiful tree………….. and also surprisingly difficult to photograph!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy Friday!

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” — Psalm 37:3-6

5 things I’ve missed

Thought I’d share things I’ve learned during this interesting time — keeping it to 5 things per post, to simplify it — and I’ll start with possibly the glummest: 5 things I’ve missed while doing quarantine… that I didn’t expect to miss.

People. That’s sort of the most obvious, but it wasn’t until now that I realized how much I like seeing other people.

I am introvert. Not extremely introvert-y, but definitely an introvert. So it was definitely interesting to realize, when I can’t go anywhere, how much I really miss being around other people.

Stability. We all agree, this event is highly unusual because it’s Worldwide. There have been plenty — too, too many — tragic events that effect a pocket of society. And that one, ‘small’ thing has a surprisingly widespread shrapnel-like impact. But this time, like during the two world wars; during the depression; at 9/11, it’s a worldwide event.

I’ve been through unpleasant circumstances, on a personal level, where my life feels thoroughly upheaved. Nothing makes sense and nothing feels certain. But this time, it feels like the whole world is upheaved, and, surprisingly, my family and I have been dealing with this situation well.

It wasn’t until now that I realized how much I rely on the world almost-stable (as stable as it possibly can, obviously). It’s been bizarre with the outside world experiencing what I’ve experienced, so suddenly and thoroughly. (Just goes to show how sadly easy it is to rely on temporary things…)

Going out. Again, this is pretty obvious. To be more specific, I miss being able to go places that seem ‘safe enough’, and it feels awfully silly that they’re closed or limited.

These places include Starbucks, where I could go and write or sketch hardcore. Or the botanic gardens. Or even the library. Places where I know I won’t be crowded next to germy strangers, so it feels odd that one can’t go there.

Being in the car. This one was definitely a big surprise for me.

Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always enjoyed being in a car; when driving or staying still, I just like it. But I didn’t realize until now, when I’m rarely in the car, how much I miss it — even, oddly enough, how it’s de-stressing for me (Definitely, don’t ask me to explain that! LOL)

I’ve even ‘snuck’ out to the car occasionally to sit out there for a few minutes!

Schedule. I have tried keeping to a schedule. I get up at the same time I do when a quarantine isn’t happening, I eat meals at a normal time, I go to bed at a normal time, etc.

The schedule that has changed is, of course, because I don’t have places to go at specific times. While it’s nice to not have to ‘rush’ to places, it makes it easier for me to slip into Lazy Mode — something that’s all too easy anyway, especially as an introvert and, what a lot of people would call, a homebody. (I never considered myself a homebody, since, as I mentioned above, I always liked going places, and being in the car)

And those are 5 things I’ve missed! I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way, but is there anything really unexpected that you miss? Please share!

“We praise You, God, we praise You, for Your Name is near; people tell of Your wonderful deeds. You say, “I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge with equity. When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm.” — Psalm 75:1-3

A day in the life of… quarantine edition

I’ve been enjoying reading A Day in the Life Of…‘ various celebrities, usually people I haven’t heard of, featured in the USA Today newspaper, so I thought I’d do it myself.

The day being featured is May 15th, 2020 (Ah, 2020, the year of silly jokes about good vision, until everyone wished they could see what the year had for them…….)

A little backstory. It’s a day after my Mum’s birthday, upon which I was happily busy helping make a yummy dinner for her. Leading up to that, I had been making a shirt for my Mum. The week before that, leading up to Mother’s Day, I was working on a dress…………. so it’s more or less been a busy couple weeks.

7:00 am. I wake up, thoroughly blurry-eyed from a pleasant night’s sleep, after a surprisingly tiring day. I didn’t even hear the 6:40 alarm to prepare me for the 7:00 alarm, and I wonder why the alarm sounded stupid. I don’t get up for another 10 minutes. I’m very sore, and not sure why.

I do the usual routine of petting my dog — who acknowledges my existence by gasping, pressing a paw against my hand, and looking at me blurry-eyed — grabbing my cell and water, etc., and stumbling out of my bedroom… trying not to look blurry-eyed.

… I already know it’s going to be a slow day, and I will be OK with that.

Exercise. The type of exercises I do varies, depending on what sounds interesting, but I generally enjoy not-too-hardcore cardio and pilates… not at the same time.

I generally workout 10-20 minutes in the morning, starting at about 7:30, 5-6 days a week. I don’t exercise on Sundays, and the other day off is whenever I don’t feel like exercising, which, for some reason, is generally Fridays or Saturdays. I didn’t exercise today.

(In retrospect, I didn’t get a chance to exercise on Saturday, so I would have exercised today, but probably something short)

Morning routine. This time generally goes from 7:10-11:00 at this time of year.

I read my Bible (going through Hebrews, one of my favorite books, and Psalms) and devotional (My Utmost for His Highest, which is probably one of the best devotionals ever), and shower. My shower feels like it takes too long.

While preparing for the day, I listen to Josh Garrels new album Peace to All Who Enter Here on Bandcamp, which is apparently covers and hymns. I love hymns, so I’m pretty excited about this, and enjoy what I hear. As with most Josh Garrels, it will take me a few listens to figure it out. It’s more ‘background’-y than I expect.

Afterwards, I have breakfast, read the newspaper, get distracted on Instagram, and, around 9:30-10:00, go for a walk. After the walk, my sister and I water the garden, and pet the dog — Annie — at the end.

Breakfast. I have leftover coffee cake from my Mum’s birthday and a boiled egg. I am almost jealous of people who can manage with only a breakfast of fruit and nuts… but I would be very cranky with just a breakfast of fruit and nuts. Breakfast is the most unimaginative and limited meal for me. I usually have homemade yogurt for protein, and a carb to go with it; muffin, toast, oatmeal, or granola.

I change into a bright turquoise knit shirt with my new dove gray pants. It seems an odd outfit, gray and turquoise, but my Mum and sisters seem to think it’s OK. I wear a pretty blue and green seahorse pendent (I’ve always loved seahorses)

I chat with my sister about Amish, Mr. Rogers, and cute dogs.

11:30ish. I go onto the front porch to publish my Photography Friday post, and start working on this post. It’s extremely pleasant on the front porch, and one can stay outside well into the afternoon, before the sun starts showing itself.

My sister found some left over fabric I’ve been wanting to use for a while, and I think I can manage to make McCall’s 7687, View E. I’m looking forward to that, so I have the pattern with me to look at……. But I’m also trying to convince myself not to make it since I need to work on other projects first.

On Instagram, I read a great post from Luna’s Mom, pointing out that right now, while we’re waiting, we need to be doing something. I am very glad she pointed that out, because it is so easy for me, when I’m in a situation like this quarantine requires, I just get stuck waiting.

I haven’t been completely inactive, but it is time that I start to figure out what I need to be working on right now. Since so many things are shut down, it’s hard to know what to do sometimes, but there’s always something one can do.

So while you’re waiting, I encourage you to do something. It doesn’t have to be phenomenal. If all you can manage is reading a book, or trying a new workout routine, or weeding, then that’s great!

12:30 pm. I get some lunch. I have leftover alfredo-y rolled lasagna, from my Mum’s birthday the day before. Alfredo-y pasta isn’t my favorite, but I’m not feeling very creative about preparing lunch, so that’s what I have.

1:00-2:00 pm. I work on writing this post, generally staying focused. Annie’s come out. I tried telling her had I had nothing to eat, but she just wanted to lay down….. I should have brought out her comfy bed, like I was thinking.

It’s starting to feel cozy out here. Not at all unpleasant, but dangerous in my ‘drifty’ mood today. I’m thinking I need to go in and cut out my latest project; a new nightgown for myself out of some old, pretty knit fabric. I don’t exactly need it, but I need to use the fabric, and I’ve been looking forward to it. After that, I plan on working on writing Elvey’s Adventures, which I am dangerously behind on right now.

2:00-4:00 pm. I work on cutting out the project. I kind of wish I had enough leftover fabric for a long sleeved nightgown, since I need that, but I didn’t. It was a quick project to cut out, and I wanted to start sewing it, but I needed to get to writing.

Snack. Strawberries, peanut butter, and baby tomatoes. Not all together.

4:00-5:00 pm. I heard that we were planning on having pizza at a local place. We’d just heard that the owner was retiring, after 38 years of business.

So, I decided I should work on a Thank You card. I opted to hand draw and color in a pizza. Friday has always been pizza night, and always such a delight that my sister and I used to make pizzas with construction paper, so it was both fun and a little bittersweet to make the pizza card.

Turned out that the place was already closed! Both ironic and disappointing.

5:30 pm. Finally got to writing! I decided, to try to help concentration, to listen to music. James Newton Howard’s score to Unbreakable would be perfect. It’s moody, subtle, and a bit 90s-y, so pretty good for writing my story.

Oddest thing I saw today: an older gentleman jogging by my house. He’s wearing a plaid shirt, shorts and running shoes, and a straw ‘cowboy hat’, and carrying a stick about 4 feet long vertically in front of him. I’m not sure why he’s jogging, or carrying the stick. Is it for social distancing? Protection? Balance? Somehow the whole image looks funny to me and I try not to laugh until he’s out of range.

6:30 pm. I prepare veggies for dinner. I’m cutting up celery, tomatoes, and peppers.

7:00 pm. Dinnertime! Delicious pizza… from a different local place. We watch the Wizard of Oz, which has been coming to mind a lot recently. This movie seems fitting to me, and I’m looking forward to watching it to see if it is.

10:30ish. Enjoyed watching Wizard of Oz! The Lion was always my favorite of the trio of Dorothy’s companions… followed closely by the Scarecrow, and then the Tin Man. But I always wanted a stuffed animal lion that looked like the Lion from Wizard of Oz. This time I’m struck by how un-annoying the Good Witch is, and wondering how they managed that, when I find most characters like her irritating.

The movie does seem fitting, though I still can’t say exactly why. Maybe because a lot of people want to escape to a place where there’s no trouble, but we can actually find good no further than our own yards, and in the end, even though we’re stuck at home… there’s no place like home. (Although, I think that phrase my never be the same for some people)

Drinks. I drink water throughout the day. Coffee is in the morning, and I make it last into the afternoon. Pu-erh and Vermont Maple Ginger tea in the afternoon, and later pumpkin chai tea. We had a yummy fresca sort of tea for dinner.

10:30 pm-12:30 am. I finish writing to my pen pal, and write some of Elvey’s Adventures… not as much as I should, but my brain generally isn’t functioning on full capacity by this time.

Bedtime! I dream my sisters make a wood cut, beautiful book thing with moving parts and adorable woodland animals, inspired by Wizard of Oz. It’s quite delightful!

Throughout the Day. Petting Annie — lots of that since she was looking very fuzzy and cute. Reading Oliver Twist a little bit at a time. Doing Bing searches (follow Link to find out more!). Reading Bible. Reading interesting, unimportant facts about MCU movies…………..

And that is what I did on Friday, May 15th!

I’d love to hear what one of your days is like! Please share 😀

“Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to His Name, for that is pleasant.” — Psalm 135

Elvey’s Adventures: Caught in the Snare

“Judy, what are you –” he began, and then groaned, muttering, “Stupid Kairos Snare.”

“Give up now, Virgil!” She said, pressing the blade to his neck.

He threw his hands up, pleading, “Stop! I give up.”

She laughed, saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Her whole bearing was different – hard and angry.

“Can I stand up?” He asked, his hands still up.

She took a step back, saying, “Stand – but don’t try anything.”

Elvey slowly stood up, turning around to face her.

Judy, in her ordinary clothes, with no ordinary, friendly mien, held a heavy, gleaming spear, pointed at him.

“Judy, what did you do with –” he hesitated, finishing, “My two associates?”

A hard smile passed her face, as she answered, “Sent them on the doom you fated us to! It only seemed appropriate.”

Staring at her, Elvey said, “What are you talking about? Just tell me!”

“I put them in the chasms, of course!”

His jaw tightened, Elvey said, “A little girl and her mother?”

Just then, Angela approached, dragging Liam with her.

“Look who I found sneaking around!” She yelled triumphantly.

She threw Liam down in front of Judy. He quickly picked himself up, and Elvey stepped in front of him, saying, “Don’t touch him.”

“Put them in the chasms,” Judy said, turning to go.

“Judy, you need to snap out of this!” Elvey said, as Judy handed the spear to Angela, and Angela turned on them. Elvey continued, “This isn’t real!”

Angela, the spear pointed at Elvey and Liam, motioned for them to go toward the house.

Several of the people that had been watching the fire were approaching.

Quickly, Elvey thrust the spear aside, lunging at Angela and knocking her to the ground before she could react. Elvey grabbed the spear.

“Liam, run!” He yelled.

The boy was already running toward Elvey’s house.

The people were running for them.

Elvey, following Liam, turned to look back.

Five men – two from the repair shop, one a stranger, the other a librarian – had nearly caught up with him.

Elvey, turning but still moving toward his house, turned the spear around and quickly struck the nearest man – the librarian – with the butt of the spear. He fell, unconscious.

He swung the spear at the next man. He cried out, thrown sideways a couple yards, and fell to the ground.

Elvey turned and doubled his speed. He caught up with Liam, yelling, “To my car.”

They were nearing his house.

Elvey looked over his shoulder. The other three men were catching up.

Liam was slowing, out of breath.

They were at Elvey’s gate.

Elvey turned, holding the spear ready –

There was no one there.

He hesitated, but then quickly yelled, “Keep going, Liam!”

The boy, gasping for breath, unlatched the gate, and stumbled on. Elvey followed, still looking back.

Finally, as he moved past a large bush, he saw the three men. They stood in a group, recovering from the activity. Their manner was wrong.

One of them turned and caught sight of Elvey.

He shouted out, “What’s with the spear, Terry?”

Elvey came to an abrupt stop, staring at them.

They were acting completely normal.

Another, shouting, said, “Fire! Come on!”

And they took off toward the flames.

Elvey, staring after them, shook his head. He turned and ran, joining Liam at his car.

The boy, still breathing hard, managed to say, “The tires!”

Elvey looked at the tires. They were all flat.

He kicked the tire nearest him, and then sat down on a bucket that stood in the corner, covering his face in his hands.

“What do we do?” Liam asked frantically, “What about those guys?”

Elvey briefly, distractedly, explained what had happened. Liam stared at him, confused.

“The snare hasn’t caught them completely yet,” he explained, opening his mouth to continue, but said nothing.

Staring into space, distraught, he shook his head.

Liam was silent for a minute, and then quietly asked, putting a hand on his knee, “Mr. Elvey, what about my mom and sister?”

He put a hand to his head.

“I – I don’t know, Liam,” he breathed, “I am so sorry.”

Liam stepped back.

Suddenly, a movement.

Elvey jumped up.

The door to Elvey’s house opened quietly, and Cathy Bates stepped out, a faint smile on her face, first looking at Elvey and then at Liam.

Liam ran to his mom, hugging her.

Elvey, letting out a long sigh of relief, went to her and briefly hugged her and June, who was in her arms.

“We’re OK,” she said in a broken voice.

Elvey said, “They said they put you in the chasms.”

“They put us in the pantry, and didn’t even bother locking or guarding the door,” she said, squatting and hugging both her children as she spoke, “I just snuck out after waiting a few minutes and came here.”

Elvey stared at her and passed a hand through his hair.

“I guess they can’t access the chasms,” he said, adding, “Yet. Thank God!”

After a moment to recover, Cathy stood up and said, “What do we do now?”

“We have to get you out of here, before it’s too late.”

“But my car – and your car?” She motioned to the flat tires.

Elvey, as he went into his house, answered, “We can take a different car. You just have to leave now,” he went to his refrigerator, and, turning to Cathy, said, “Take whatever you need.”

“I’m taking Liam with me,” she said, in a more determined tone.

Elvey, looked down, shaking his head.

“He’s involved in this, Mrs. Bates,” he said, “He has to stay.”

“I’ll be fine, mom,” Liam said quietly.

She frowned, and turned to Elvey, saying, “Promise to take care of him – with your life?”

Elvey looking directly back at her, did not answer at once.

Finally, slowly, he said, “Yes, I will protect him… with my life.”

Cathy eyes narrowed.

“You mean it?” She asked.

“I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.”

Elvey’s Adventures: Changes

“Now,” Elvey sat up, saying, “Tell me what you know.”

Peterson looked back, answering, “Not much to tell, unfortunately.

“I worked at Rosen’s for a little over a year. Then I decided Parker & Sons sounded more my type of thing, especially when I heard Donaldson was working there…”

“The man was a legend,” Elvey murmured, adding, “But always behind the scenes.”

“That’s where the important things happen,” Peterson said, continuing, “But I suppose my reputation precedes me – behind the scenes – and Donaldson met me before I had a chance to join Parker etc.,” he leaned back, “This was about a year ago, by the way. He told me he thought Parker & Sons was ‘corrupt’, but he wouldn’t explain more. Donaldson also said that Parker & Sons was being used as a conduit… to influence Earth’s Realm. He wouldn’t explain more than that.

“He wanted me to carry out a plan he’d written down, without asking why or what it was all about,” he continued, “Including becoming an FBI agent for my cover.”

“What was the plan?”

Peterson shook his head, saying, “I wasn’t supposed to tell. But he told me to contact you if he was stabbed – not only if he was killed, specifically stabbed,” he said.

Elvey looked up sharply.

“How…” he shook his head, thinking, “How could he possibly have known that?”

Peterson smiled, answering, “There’s a time knot involved in all this, Terrance – that I can guarantee you.”

Elvey stared back at him, nodding slowly.

“That’s the only explanation,” he said, “Somehow… Donaldson knew some of what was going to happen. That makes sense,” he added, “I wish Donaldson hadn’t been so secretive about this.”

Peterson nodded, saying, “You need to figure out that Kairos Snare – that’s the first step, is trying to disarm it.”

Elvey looked at him, saying, “I need to figure it out?”

“I already told you, I have other things to do,” Peterson stood, adding, “And now I know you haven’t deserted us, I’ll be off.”

Elvey looked at him.

Peterson shrugged his shoulders, explaining, “You weren’t here this morning.”

Just then, a knock came at Elvey’s door.

Peterson went to the door, letting in Liam and going out at the same time.

Liam quickly went to Elvey, handing him several crumpled pieces of paper, saying, “This is – sort of – what I can remember.”

Elvey looked over the papers.

There were simple, obscure sketches drawn across the pages. Elvey studied them carefully.

A large man in heavy armor with a black sword was the most prominent depiction. His face was more detailed than everything else.

There was a symbol – also featured on the man’s armor – of a mountain and stream.

And finally, a mass of something ominous, with lines drawn across it.

As Elvey stared at this sketch, Liam explained, “That’s an army… but I’ve never seen them clearly.”

“And this?” He pointed to another page.

The picture was of a human form, with a second, smaller form inside, and something dark drawn across the smaller form.

Liam shrugged his shoulders, saying, “There was a man… dragged out of another guy…” he grimaced apologetically at Elvey.

“And this is all you can think of that you’ve seen, that seems important?” Elvey asked, looking at the sketches.

The boy didn’t answer.

Elvey looked at him.

“I saw…” he began. He looked at Elvey.

“Tell me, Liam,” he said.

“I saw you,” Liam spoke quickly, “Stabbed, like Mr. Donaldson…”

Elvey put the pages on the table, his eyes narrowed.

“Thank you for telling me, Liam,” he said, and continued, “You do realize that what you’re seeing isn’t real, right? I mean, that you don’t have to be afraid of it.”

Liam nodded.

Elvey, watching him closely, leaned forward and said, “You don’t seem scared by it. I think I’d be scared if I were in your shoes.”

The boy said, “I just don’t feel scared…”

Elvey nodded slowly, saying, “It’s probably the snare. Good – this situation is bad enough as it is. If you are ever frightened, it’s OK to tell me, Liam.”

The other nodded, muttering, “OK.”

After a moment, Liam said, “What do we do now?”

“That’s a good question,” Elvey muttered, continuing, “First, is your mom getting ready to go?”

Liam nodded. His face was clouded, as he looked down at the floor.

Elvey, looking at him, said, “You know, Mr. Peterson, who you just met, is an FBI agent. He’ll be able to do something about your dad.” Liam looked up, a hopeful look on his face. Elvey continued, “He’ll need to stay away – it’s safer that way – but Peterson should be able to get your dad out of trouble.”

“I wish he could be here,” Liam said.

“Me too,” he answered, “But the sooner we can find the lock for the snare, the sooner your dad can come back.”

Liam nodded.

Their conversation was interrupted by a loud, rumbling sound. The light suddenly changed, becoming a fiery, dark color.

Elvey and Liam rushed to the nearest window.

Up the street, fire leapt into the sky.

There was a second explosion.

“This is real,” Liam breathed, “This is scary.”

“Stay here,” Elvey said, as he ran to the door.

“Is mom…” he didn’t finish.

Stay here.”

Elvey ran out the door – down the pathway – through the gate – up the street.

The flames glowed hot ahead of him. There was no doubt, it was at or near Liam’s house.

In a few minutes, Elvey was near enough to discern more.

There was a crowd of people standing near the flames – not trying to put them out.

The house was still standing. The explosion had been from a shed and the Bates’ van.

Elvey slowed as he neared. When he was outside the Bates’ yard, he stopped.

Suddenly a heavy blow from behind, stunning him.

His knees were knocked out from under him, and something sharp pressed against his neck, as Judy’s voice said, “You see we’ve destroyed your vessel, Virgil.”  

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