"Let's go to the National Forest today," Bill suggested the next morning, as he was getting some milk from the cooler.
"Because there's a woodworking bench at the Ranger Station with some new materials and plans."
"Sure!" Regina agreed readily, as she was grilling them some fruit she had harvested for breakfast. "There's a bug museum there, too, that I want to see."
She paused. "I wonder how things are going back at the house," she said.
"I'm sure they're fine," Bill assured her. "Alice seems to be pretty much over throwing up all the time, and Dude seems to be stepping up to the plate."
"And we did ask Peter and Kelly to look in on them occasionally," he added.
Dude weeded and watered Regina's garden,
as he had promised her he would do.
Alice was inside resting, and reading a Mixology book.
"Can I get you anything, Alice?" Dude offered.
"Thanks, Dude, I'm good," she answered.
He cleaned the downstairs bathroom.
Kelly dropped by.
"How are you doing, sweetie?" she asked Alice, concerned.
"Because you're looking a little queasy," she added.
"No, I'm fine," Alice assured her. "It was just a bit of gas or something."
"You sure LOOK wonderful," Kelly complimented her. "That's a lovely dress."
Alice laughed. "Maxidresses are all I'm really comfortable wearing at this point."
She got up. "I'm making some tea--do you want some?"
"Derek and I were wondering if you and Dude wanted to come out to dinner with us tonight to the Solar Flare Lounge," Kelly offered.
"Well, Dude has to work tonight--he got his old job back after the band broke up," Alice responded, "and I'm going to bed early these days, anyway. But we could probably do a late afternoon thing, if that works for you and Derek."
Regina and Bill traveled to the National Forest's ranger station, and found the woodworking table and bug museum.
Bill started crafting a mirror,
and Regina checked out the terrariums so she could recognize the insects she was trying to collect.
She then went out into the forest to find more insects and wild plants.
She found some mantis,
and stink bugs (and she didn't even get sprayed).
As darkness started to fall, she finally found the elderberries she needed in order to make insect repellent,
then noticed a dark, bramble-covered cave over her left shoulder.
'That looks intriguing,' she thought, 'but I don't think I'm going to venture in there without Bill.'
Meanwhile, Kelly and Derek and Alice and Dude were waiting for their order at the Solar Flare Lounge,
and were having a lively conversation.
That is, until Alice looked toward the bar, then quickly looked away. "Oh, my God!" she uttered, stone-faced.
"Alice," Kelly admonished her gently. "PLEASE don't take the Lord's name in vain."
Then Kelly followed Alice's gaze. "Oh, my God," she whispered.
Custom content credits--thanks to:
Alexandra_Sine for Alice's maxidress
Zuckerschnute20 for Kelly's tank top
simsoertchen for Kelly's dress
KanoYa for Kelly's earrings
lagusta for Rafael's suit