What you will find here

This is a place to examine plans filled with hope; plans which promise a refuge from chaos; plans which will shape our futures. Veterans with and without PTSD, Pentecostal Presbyterians, Adjudicated Youth, and Artists-Musicians-Writers: I write what I know. ~~~ Evelyn

Monday, April 21, 2014

Excerpt from Bedina's War - Lazy Eight Ladies Chapter Two


A Wedding Ring

Orchidea City was buried beneath the forest floor. Great gaping

holes peered between gigantic roots. The doorways led to taverns,

inns, businesses, and private homes. A few bungalows were visible

beyond the city’s center. Further away, tree houses filled the branches

of sycamores and banyans. Sally thought it was strange to see such

dissimilar trees sharing the same ecosystem. It was even stranger

to realize that most of the dwellings were uninhabited. The site of

abandoned tree houses saddened her. As a Spa’Lab child, tree houses

were the most enchanting concept she could imagine. The difference

between sleeping in a hammock attached to metal walls and sleeping in

a hammock tied to living, breathing, growing trees was the difference

between mundane and magic. Of course, the probable reason why

there were so many abandoned houses was part of the reason she had

come to Orchidea, and that thought saddened her further.

Adelaide stopped in the middle of these underground dwellings

and sank to her belly as the women crawled off.

“Thank you, Geoffrey. How much do I owe you?” Sally reached

into her pack.

“I’d be a gentleman if I told you Mr. Haskell’s done paid it in full,

but the scoundrel in me wants to charge you a kiss.” He grinned. “One

from each of you.”

“Seems to me Adelaide did all the work. She’s the one should get

the kiss.” Sally grinned back and slapped his palm. “Thank you.”

“Inn’s through that hole. See you around, if you change your mind.”

He touched Gaia’s cheek, then jumped back onto his croc and rode away.

“Sally,” Livia touched her arm. “I don’t have any money. Sejanus

was supposed to meet me here. What should I do?”

 
 
 
 
 
 


“Let’s go to the inn and get cleaned up. You don’t want Sejanus to

see you like this.” Sally pulled her arm through hers. “My treat.”

“Oh, I couldn’t take charity. I’ll work it off …”

The Field of Honor has no room for charity given or received. That’s



an old NewPhee scripture.”

“What’s it mean?”

“It means I’m not offering you charity.”

Livia stopped and her face reddened. “I don’t understand.”

Sally stopped, too. “Livia, I trust that you will not slit my throat

during the night, or sell me to the nearest Harvester.”

“I couldn’t do that.” Livia scowled. “If I sold you to a Harvester,

you’d turn into a Walking Dead.”

Sally tilted her head, glaring at the Earther’s rudeness, and fingered

the cube-shaped sterling pendant hanging at her neck. The fact that

Spa’Labs had altered themselves so that they could not be harvested or

sold as slaves was not a topic discussed in polite society. The fact that

the Songbox, as the pendant was called, healed this alteration was a

sp’lab kept secret. It wasn’t discussed at all.



“Or so I’ve heard.” Livia blushed.

“Is that the only reason you wouldn’t do that?” She crossed her

arms.

“Of course not. I couldn’t.” She swallowed. “I wouldn’t sell you.”

“Why not?”

“Because it wouldn’t be right.” She bowed her head and whispered,

“You’ve been nice to me.”

“I’ve yelled at you and made you cry.”

Livia grinned. “My mother used to do the same things.”

Sally grinned too. “I’m lonely, Livia. I miss my family. I’m used to

being surrounded by my children and grandchildren and staff. I’m not

offering you charity. I’m offering you friendship. I would be honored

to be your friend.”

Livia beamed in surprise.

The door had to be pushed open manually. It led into a darkened

tunnel which declined steeply. Tiny track lighting ran at ankle-height

and above their heads. The tunnel smelled of moldy cabbage and

 
 
 
 
 
 


peppermint. Sally used her walking stick and Livia held her elbow with

cold fingers.

The dimness didn’t change, but the air freshened and the tunnel

leveled into a round room. A beautiful oval wooden table filled the

center of the room, and its highly polished surface reflected the ceiling

lights. The sound of a stringed instrument, played poorly, came from a

doorway to the women’s left.

“Hello?” Livia called.

The music hesitated and then began again.

“Hello!” she called louder. “We’ve come for a room.”

A frizzy-haired and bearded head stuck out of the opening.

Livia and Sally smiled.

The head disappeared. The women waited.

After a while, Sally opened her mouth to call out again when a

huge man waddled out of the opening. His hair had been slicked down

since she had first seen him, but hadn’t been combed in years. Sticks

and leaves stuck in his beard. The scent of cedar and sweat permeated

the air around him. He came closer, scowling fiercely.

“Geoffrey told us this was an inn.” Livia took a step backwards and

moved behind Sally.

The man squinted between them, silently appraising their

appearance. Sally stood still and stared patiently at his bare dirty feet.

The man took a deep breath. “Women.”

Sally looked up at him. “Yes, we’re women.”

“No.” He turned away. “No rooms. No rooms for women.”

“You would turn away a child?” She pulled Livia from her safe

place behind her. “Her name is Gaia.”

The innkeeper kept his face averted, but glanced at the baby.

“We’ve been on shuttles for months now. And we’re very tired. We

need a shelter for the child. Haskell sent Geoffrey and Adelaide to pick

us up at the port and Geoffrey said this was a safe place.”

The innkeeper’s eyes rolled and he breathed in gasps. “Mr. Haskell?”

“Yes. Haskell Benjamin,” Sally nodded.

“And Adelaide?” He turned toward the women, his eyes fastened

on Gaia.

 
 
 
 
 
 


“Yes,” she confirmed.

He snorted and nodded fiercely. “Through there. Choose any room

you want.”

They turned to look at an opening to their right.

“Thank you,” Sally turned back, but he was gone.

Livia bathed Gaia first, then Livia bathed while Sally unpacked.

Then it was Sally’s turn. There are certain times in one’s life when

bathing becomes a spiritual experience. Sally remembered her first

bath ever. She was eight years old and had left OrionLab to visit some

friends on Talmedia III. Then there was the first time she and Jacob

bathed together. And now, the first bath on Orchidea. Each time, the

water felt thick — not hard, but thick — like oil. Soft, caressing. So

clean. These were the times Sally truly believed in silkies and halfwaited

to see herself turn into a seal and swim forever in this water.

They decided to save money and eat what they had, sleep the rest

of the day, and begin tomorrow fresh. Gaia woke them every now and

then, but she never cried.



Excerpt from

Bedina’s War

© Evelyn Rainey

Comfort Publishing

ISBN 9781936695881

Thursday, April 17, 2014

HERBED CARROTS WITH GREEN GRAPES



1 ½ pounds carrots

½ tsp salt

1 tsp basil

½ cup butter/margarine

1 small clove garlic, crushed

½ tsp thyme

¼ tsp celery salt

1 cup seedless grapes

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp salt

Few grains of pepper

Wash and pare carrots; cut into 3x1/4 inch strips. Put carrots into saucepan; add salt, basil and enough boiling water to steam. Cook covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender. Melt butter; add garlic, thyme and celery salt. Set aside. Remove carrots from heat; add grapes. Let stand covered for 1 to 2 minutes; drain off liquid. Stir lemon juice into seasoned butter; pour over carrots. Season with salt & pepper; toss mixture gently. Serve immediately. Yield: 6-8 servings.

(Mrs. Robert A. Riffenburg, Warfield, VA © Southern Living 1968)



Gluten-free and Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes

To meet my needs of being “gluten-free”, there are no ingredients that have wheat in them. Since one out of one-hundred people now have problems with the way the United States processes their foods, there are plenty of brands which are marked GF Gluten-free. However, read all the way around the label and determine if there might be traces of wheat or if the product was processed in a plant or on machinery that also handles wheat. (These statements are usually NOT found near the list of ingredients.) If this is the case and you are gluten-sensitive or have a wheat-toxicity, don’t use it!

I also deleted recipes which called for hidden gluten – like shrimp, frozen mangoes and parsnips.

Vegetarian foods allow the use of milk, honey, eggs, and other non-kill animal products; vegans do not. I have endeavored to post only recipes with vegan-appropriate ingredients. If I really liked something, though, that was vegetarian rather than vegan, I will note it.

Whenever possible, use non-GMO products (non-genetically modified).  If you think gmo’s are ok for you, you haven’t read any science fiction books, let alone Charles Darwin.

These recipes are not an attempt to substitute wheat or animal ingredients with something else. These recipes are “naturally” or originally gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Excerpt from Bedina's War - Tinker's Damn Chapter Two

The Spa’Lab Walking Dead

First-Chief Engineer Quartz Julian surveyed the bay. “Don’t open

anything unless you check it for booby traps!” he growled at his crew.

“Hey Chief, maybe we should scratch away some of her paint —

see if it’s gold underneath!”

“Yarrow, keep your mind on survival, not salvage.” Julian shook his

head. Turn his back long enough and Yarrow and his crew would have

the planking unscrewed, searching for hidden treasure. Salvagers were

straight out of romantic legends to these salts. More like bloody pirates,



Julian thought.

“Chief, over here.” Second-Chief Elliot Joaquin Sebastiana waved

at him and drew a mask over her face. She stood a head shorter and

weighed a good deal more than Julian. She had a pear shaped body,

with ample hips. She was strong and logical and his equal when it came

to engineering skills. She was also Julian’s friend.

He drew on his own mask and peered into the darkened alcove

behind Sebastiana. “What is that stench?”

“The door was marked Trash and the bay door was timed to open



in another three movietimes. Everything in here would have been

spaced.”

Julian cocked his head and stooped to enter the small alcove. He

switched on his light stick. Six people squatted in the debris. They were

the size of children from his home planet, Orchidea. They had their

arms crossed over their bent knees. Their naked skin was smeared with

filth. Their eyes blinked instinctively in the light, but they registered no

other response.

“They all have red hair and blue eyes, Chief,” Sebastiana whispered

in a hushed awe.
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
“Looks that way.” Julian knelt in front of a woman about his age.

She did not flinch when he brought the light close to her face. She

hummed vacantly.

“What’s wrong with them?”

“You mean besides sitting in their own filth for two days?” Julian

stomped out of the alcove and returned with a hose. He turned a nozzle

and water gushed out. He drenched the six bodies, but they barely

responded. Rather than trying to protect themselves from the biting

spray, they opened their mouths and swallowed in gulps.

When the stench had been washed away sufficiently to remove his

mask, he turned off the flow. “Sebastiana, go get the medic. Tell her to

bring six togas. And Sebastiana, keep this quiet. The last thing I need is

for my crew to get spooked about having Spa’Labs aboard.”

“My grand-fa was a Spa’Lab, Chief.” Sebastiana swallowed and

squared her shoulders.

“Then you know some of the rumors aren’t true.” Julian planted his

fists on his slender hips and glared into the dripping trash bay.

“They’re tranked, aren’t they? They’re Spa’Lab Walking Dead.”

“If you’re planning to gab the day away, I’ll put you on report and

find someone who will follow orders,” Julian said evenly.

ttttt

Lonicera was walking. She was walking and walking and walking.

She felt the ship humming against the soles of her feet. The ship was

healthy. She was a stubborn ship, too. Lonicera could feel this through

and through, from the hum of her engines and the vibration of her

hull spaces and the sway of her bulkheads and the way she breasted the

fabric of space as she sailed. Lonicera walked the ship’s corridors and

hummed along with her engines.

ttttt

“This is beyond what I can heal, Captain.” The Tinker’s Damn’s



Chief Medical Officer Poplaris Lan-Chi Claire shook her head.

“Is it permanent?”

“Do you mean will they ever recover?”

The captain pursed his lips at his wife. He hated when she restated

his questions without answering him.
 



 

She noticed his expression and sighed, softening somewhat. “I

haven’t read anything to suggest they will. But I haven’t read much

about this condition. All I really know about this is based on rumors

and legends. You know the old saying, Sp’lab-kept secrets. I don’t



know if they are the way they are due to an allergic reaction to the

Harusophynite or if they really were genetically altered, like the legends

say. It may just be a self-induced trance.”

“But how do we wake them out of it?”

“Do we need to? They seem content. They can feed and take care of

themselves. They are just in their own private worlds.”

Captain Poplaris Enoch sighed. “I’ll try to find a Spa’Lab somewhere

in the fleet that can help. Until then —“

“Until then — narn’t! You’ve heard the same stories that I have.

Creeping eruption, Enoch! Your granmom told us both about the

Sp’lab Walking Dead around the campfire the first round-up we went

on. You won’t find a Spa’Lab that will talk about them or take care

of them or even acknowledge they exist. They are dead to any other

Spa’Lab.” Claire shivered. “Get them out of my sick bay! I have real

wounded that need the hammocks. We are at war.”

“What am I supposed to do with them, Claire? Throw them out

into the corridors with the rest of the refugees?”

“It’s better than being spaced. They are taking up six hammocks

that I need for salts with physical injuries. The Spa’Labs will survive or

they won’t. The Tinker’s Damn is a battleship, not a nursery.”

Enoch growled in frustration. His Tinker’s Damn used to be a



trading ship, traveling the Commonwealth, bartering for treasures,

meeting new peoples, taking on or putting off salts to maintain the

hundred or so crew the Tinker’s Damn needed to sail. Now, hardly a



battleship, she ferried fighter pilots to skirmishes and tried to keep her

hull intact. Well, you can’t get oolongs from cracked eggs as his granmom



used to say. They were at war. He walked to the comdesk and depressed

a key. “First-Chief Engineer!”

“Julian here, sir.”

“I need you in sick bay.”

“Are you ill?” Concern flowed through Julian’s warm tenor voice.
 
 
 
 




 
 
 

 
 
“No, I just need your help with our special guests.”
Excerpt from

Bedina’s War

© Evelyn Rainey

Comfort Publishing

ISBN 9781936695881

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CARROT CASSEROLE



1 1-pound bag carrots, cleaned, cut up

½ cup celery, chopped

½ cup chopped onions

1 green pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp parsley, fresh or dried

¼ cup butter/margarine

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 tsp sugar

1 can tomato soup * check ingredients for Vegans

Boil carrots until tender; drain. Fry celery, onions, pepper and parsley in butter. Add to carrots with salt, pepper and sugar; put in casserole, cover with tomato soup. Bake for 45 minutes at 250 degrees. Yield: 6 servings.

(Rosalyn Boxley, Virginia Beach, VA © Southern Living 1968)



Gluten-free and Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes

To meet my needs of being “gluten-free”, there are no ingredients that have wheat in them. Since one out of one-hundred people now have problems with the way the United States processes their foods, there are plenty of brands which are marked GF Gluten-free. However, read all the way around the label and determine if there might be traces of wheat or if the product was processed in a plant or on machinery that also handles wheat. (These statements are usually NOT found near the list of ingredients.) If this is the case and you are gluten-sensitive or have a wheat-toxicity, don’t use it!

I also deleted recipes which called for hidden gluten – like shrimp, frozen mangoes and parsnips.

Vegetarian foods allow the use of milk, honey, eggs, and other non-kill animal products; vegans do not. I have endeavored to post only recipes with vegan-appropriate ingredients. If I really liked something, though, that was vegetarian rather than vegan, I will note it.

Whenever possible, use non-GMO products (non-genetically modified).  If you think gmo’s are ok for you, you haven’t read any science fiction books, let alone Charles Darwin.

These recipes are not an attempt to substitute wheat or animal ingredients with something else. These recipes are “naturally” or originally gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Excerpt from Minna Pegeen Chapter Two




Excerpt from

Minna Pegeen

© Evelyn Rainey

Comfort Publishing

ISBN 9781935361381

Thursday, April 3, 2014

FRESH SAUERKRAUT SALAD



(My mother makes this, although she doesn't add the carrots. It really is incredibly good!)

2 cups fresh sauerkraut, snipped and drained (not sure what they mean by ‘snipped’)

½ cup sugar

¼ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped carrot

½ cup chopped green pepper

½ cup chopped celery

Combine sauerkraut and sugar. Let stand for 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; refrigerate overnight. This salad will keep and will make its own dressing. Yield: 8 servings.

(Mrs. Ted McDonald, Newport News, VA © Southern Living 1968)



Gluten-free and Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes

To meet my needs of being “gluten-free”, there are no ingredients that have wheat in them. Since one out of one-hundred people now have problems with the way the United States processes their foods, there are plenty of brands which are marked GF Gluten-free. However, read all the way around the label and determine if there might be traces of wheat or if the product was processed in a plant or on machinery that also handles wheat. (These statements are usually NOT found near the list of ingredients.) If this is the case and you are gluten-sensitive or have a wheat-toxicity, don’t use it!

I also deleted recipes which called for hidden gluten – like shrimp, frozen mangoes and parsnips.

Vegetarian foods allow the use of milk, honey, eggs, and other non-kill animal products; vegans do not. I have endeavored to post only recipes with vegan-appropriate ingredients. If I really liked something, though, that was vegetarian rather than vegan, I will note it.

Whenever possible, use non-GMO products (non-genetically modified).  If you think gmo’s are ok for you, you haven’t read any science fiction books, let alone Charles Darwin.

These recipes are not an attempt to substitute wheat or animal ingredients with something else. These recipes are “naturally” or originally gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Excerpt from Perky's Chapter Two



April 9

 

“What is your full name and occupation?” Jack White the detective sat with me in the café. His sandy blonde hair buzzed severely short, made his green eyes seem incongruously innocent. He had a notebook out, and an uncapped pen at the ready. He looked to be about seventeen and had nicked his chin shaving.

“Madison Jefferson. I’m a Floor Ambassador here at Percival’s Books & Gifts. I’m also a Commissioned Officer.”

“I served four years myself. In which branch of the service were you?” The detective slurped his coffee and then grimaced.

“No, not in the service, here at Perky’s.”

He glared into the coffee and then pushed his mug away in disgust. “What is your date of birth?”

“June 17, 1980.”

“And so you’re on leave from the Navy and work here part-time?”

“No, I work here full-time. Well, thirty-nine hours, so it’s not considered full-time as far as benefits go. But I’m not in the Navy.”

“You just told me you are a commissioned officer. Are you rescinding that now?”

“I’m not rescinding anything.”

The young man reached to the coffee and tapped the mug with his pen. It made a clink sound. He repeated that clink clink clink and smiled. “Ms. Jefferson, what month were you born?”

“I was born in June. June 19, 1962.”

He blinked at me. I smiled.

“And when you’re not here at Perky’s, you work in the commissary.”

I took a deep breath, hoping against hope that my disability, which is sort of like stuttering, didn’t kick in. It does that when I’m nervous or annoyed. So I took another deep breath. “I’m a commissioned officer here at Perky’s. It’s less than a manager but more than a floor ambassador.”

“Like a Red Badge at Books-a-Million.”

“I guess so.”

“My mother was a Red Badge. But they don’t have those any more.”

“But we do.”

“Hmmm. When did you say you were born?” Jack wrote something on his little notepad and turned it face down on the table.

“May 17, 1931.”

He squinted at me.

“Would you like some more coffee, sir?”

“No, thank you.” He picked up the mug and peered at the viscous liquid. “This is really nasty.”

“The absolute worst coffee ever,” I agreed. Of course, I didn’t add that it was still coming from the last pot that the late Mrs. Abercrombie had brewed. (Mrs. A being the body found in aisle seventeen three days earlier.)

“How long did you know the deceased?”

“I didn’t know the deceased. You can’t get to know dead people. Something about a lack of communication. Well,” I stopped to correct myself and tell Jack White about Sam Wayne. Sam talks to dead people. Sam insists that the only reason the dead speak to him is that his name sounds like the Gaelic (aka Wiccan) name for Halloween. I had never figured out what other reasons there might be—like that made a difference. Jack’s eyes were squinting—I was taking too long to answer his question about how well I knew the deceased. I made a definite decision not to tell the detective about Sam Wayne. “I knew Mrs. Abercrombie for the five years I’ve worked here.”

“And what impression did you have of her?” He leaned forward, a mouse about to pounce on a rabid wolf.

“That she made the worst coffee I’ve ever had in my entire life. When were you born?” I asked calmly.

“August 29, 1989. Hey, I’m supposed to ask that!”

“OK, Detective White, for the third time, this is the way it happened. A customer asked me about a werewolf book and then made a comment about the inappropriateness of the werewolf display. I went to check on it and discovered the remains of a human body, which were later identified as belonging to our café manager, Mrs. Abercrombie. You police came and taped off the entire New Age section and took the names of everyone in the store. Then you shut us down for the entire day yesterday, and none of us got paid. And then you came back today. Your officers are blocking the doors, intimidating our customers and eating all the free samples.”

“They’re,” he interrupted, looking gray. “They’re not with me. Not with the police. They’re a different branch of law enforcement.”

“What do you mean—they’re not police. Look at them! They scream law-enforcement.”

“How?” he growled.

“Black suit and tie. Shades. Muscles that are making our teen-age customers drool.”

White snorted, adjusted his tie and smiled. “This is a Beall’s Outlet tie my mom bought because it had a lavender dot on it. My suit is from the Salvation Army. I have had these shoes since my confirmation in the ninth grade. They are not with the city’s police department.”

One of the previously described men stomped up to the table and laid a ream of paper in front of White. “Sir, background info on the last sixty-two customers to enter the store.” He saluted and marched back to his position by the front double doors.

White glanced up at me and clinked the mug a few more times. “You were saying, about the murder?”

Enjoying White’s embarrassment, I said, “I don’t know what Mrs. Abercrombie died of, nor when, nor why. All I know about the lady is that she made really bad coffee and that something ripped her to shreds.”

The young man licked his top lip with the tip of his tongue while he wrote rapidly in the notebook. “So you’ve worked here a long time. Why did you get a job here in the first place?”

“I came in to—because I needed information about—about something I’d discovered in a book.” I took a deep calming breath, hoping my nervousness wouldn’t set off my disability. I didn’t think the detective would react well if I sat babbling in front of him while he questioned me about a murder. “And I met Lilly. And the next thing I knew, I was strapping on an apron and I’ve been here ever since.”

“Do you like working here?”

I smiled. “It has its moments.”


Excerpt from

Perky’s Books and Gifts

© Evelyn Rainey 2013

Bedlam Press

ISBN 9781939065377