Three Things I Can’t Help

Turtle’s Cure-All Oat Bran Muffins.

Hi, blogfriends! I have a few announcements to make, about Things I Can’t Help.

1. I can’t help reading Gina’s Public Diary.

On her main page, you will read that Gina’s Public Diary  is “mostly happy, occasionally boring, but always life.” I really enjoyed her recent photo essay of Memphis, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband Cliff and their two chihuahas Tuffy and Mandy.

When Gina first left a comment on my blog, I went to check hers out. It frightened me. It’s decorated with cute Christian posters and Biblical sayings, the kind that probably hang on E.g.’s brothers’ fridges, the brothers and their wives who told her never to speak to their children, or pretend that her partner of nearly ten years (me) doesn’t exist. That kinda stuff hurts, and I do tend to avoid it whenever possible.

So with my own prejudice, borne of a too-limited experience of the diversity of humanity, I said to myself, “Self, when Gina realizes you’re not straight, she’ll never speak to you again.” But I was wrong. Thank God.

So I’ve been checking out Gina’s blog, with its refreshing simplicity of family photos, potluck recipes, Wordless Wednesdays, Thankful Thursdays, and Friday Date Recaps (she and Cliff have been married just half a year longer than E.g. and I have been together, and they still date! Brilliant! ) .

Welcome to my blogroll, Gina! You’re just in time for muffins and coffee.

Guest mug for Gina. (Phil 4:13. )

2. I Can’t Help Modifying Recipes

I started out with a recipe for molasses bran muffins yesterday, and then realized that we’ve got oat bran instead of wheat bran and that E.g. had taken the tin of raisins to work with her. I finally made so many changes to the original recipe I decided it was now my own! And the muffins came out fine. Here, then, is my recipe:

Turtle’s Cure-All Oat Bran Muffins

Heat the oven to 400 degrees (that’s 200 Celsius).

Grease 12 regular muffin tins.

Mix together:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil (60 ml)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (125 ml)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (60 ml)
  • 1 cup milk (250 ml).


  • 1 1/2 (one and-a-half) cups oat bran (375 ml)  to the liquid and let it lounge while you…


  • 2 small apples to make just over a cupful of pieces (don’t bother peeling the apples) .


  • 1 cup flour (250 ml)
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder (7.5 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (2.5 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (2.5 ml)
  • pinches of nutmeg and allspice if you have them.

Mix dry ingredients quickly into wet ingredients. Bake 20 minutes.


3. I Can’t Help Trying to Write Well

… so I may have to write a little less.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I am really-really-really starting to want a backyard with attached house. Well! E.g. and I have been looking at the numbers, and if we are to fulfill this dream, we may need to work at it.

This means things like, oh, cooking. Chopping the occasional vegetable instead of flashing the plastic at a restaurant. Baking muffins instead of buying them by the each. Planning ahead a bit.

It means things like keeping the apartment tidy. Ensuring that home feels like a place where we might wanna hang out.

It means things like jumping at the chance to work an extra shift at the pet store.

These things all eat up my precious blogging time. And, Virgo that I am, I’m very fussy about my writing. Is it spelled right? Does it flow properly? What’s that word on the tip of my tongue? I write, I read, I reread, again and again until finally I’m satisfied. And I always like to have a photo, either one stolen from E.g.’s Flickr site, or a new one of my own.

So I’m thinking… I’m thinking I can’t help wanting to post every day! I love my solid blue calendar!!!

But I could restrict the use of words a bit. I’m going to try, then, to have three days that are mainly picture: Wordless Wednesdays and weekends. That should make things a little less stressful, and free up enough time to continue reading my blogfriends’ entries.

‘Cause I can’t help being thankful for all of you.

11 Responses to Three Things I Can’t Help

  1. goodbear says:

    i love your daily postings. i was so happy your posts came up while you were camping, even!

    lovely muffin shots, by the way…

  2. Gina says:

    Thanks LB. I’ve known your “status” as long as I have been lurking here every now and then when I saw your name on other’s blogs. I actually didn’t comment here much because I “picked up on” your fear of my “piousness” ;). Yes, I’m sure the whole Christian thing runs a few away. You will never find a more open-minded Christian than me in your whole life probably unless it’s Cliff. I am very liberal socially (conservative fiscally) and Cliff and I have MANY gay friends. One of our BEST friends is a former boss who happens to be a lesbian whom we both adore. There are so many misconceptions about Christians and some Christians are extremely strict and religious. But Cliff and I are not like that at all. We also participate in many liberal things like Theatre Works (a link is in my sidebar) and Arts in the Park. I have been visiting another blog for so long and I just love him…he is “unusual” and (I’m sure but not positive) gay. I just love him. Some will know who I’m talking about.
    Now another misconception many have is that all southerners are “simple”and that many who have “simple” blogs are simple. I will dispel that notion later. 😉

  3. Gina says:

    Thanks for the wonderful compliment. I can’t stay away from your either.

  4. lavenderbay says:

    Thanks, Goodbear! I’m thinking something along the line of photo essays/comics might be nice on weekends. I love the photo comics others put up, and it would be nice to try my own hand at them a little more (I’ve only done two that I can think of) .

    Hi, Gina! Now that we’ve gotten all that out in the open… !
    A story I like to tell is how the first night E.g. and I ever spent “together” was in two separate bedrooms at the Anglican convent. We knew each other from church, and the annual LGBT weekend retreat was coming up when we first started realizing that we wanted to know each other better. So we went to it — a pretty good start for a relationship, I think.
    Not everyone believes that one can be queer and Christian at the same time. The nonsense currently going on in the Anglican Communion underscores that division of opinion. It’s disheartening. Rainbow Christians still need as many straight supporters — like you and Cliff — as we can get!
    Next: I didn’t mean “simple-minded” when I said “simple”; sorry! I’ve been feeling a strong need lately to cut back on my various interests and household belongings (read: junk) , for example sticking to watercolours and giving away my acrylic paints, that kind of thing; I’m longing for a simpler modus vivendi.
    The Shakers used to sing that it’s a gift to be simple, and I’m starting to feel they’ve got something there. I like the routine you’ve set up in your blog; there’s something meditative about it which it does me good to read. So, really, I was complimenting you! 🙂
    Finally… E.g. and I both said the same thing in response to your mystery blogger: “Dennis is gay?!?! ” Then we remembered how he had told the puppy Echo, who had a crush on him, that he wasn’t her type. Hmm…

  5. Gina says:

    No Dennis is definitely not gay. hehe
    I’m so glad that is out in the open too and you were braver than I to do it. 🙂 We have a wonderful church here in Memphis (many in fact) right in the middle of the “bible belt” called Prescott Memorial Baptist Church that is very liberal and has many gay people who belong. Yes I said Baptist. 😉 It is right beside the University of Memphis so that could explain some of it. I know many Rainbow Christians. Cliff’s boss/friend is a Jewish lesbian. We go out with her and her friend sometimes to play trivia at a place. Fun!
    Lovely story about when you met E.g.!

  6. lavenderbay says:

    B-b-b did you say… ROFL! The Baptists are beating the Anglicans! God has a bigger sense of humour than anyone else I know. Thank you SO much for sharing this information!

  7. jamesviscosi says:

    hello gina and eg and lavenderbay its dennis the vizsla dog and let me just poynt owt that it duznt matter if im gay or not becuz helloooooo!!!!!!! nooterd!!!!! and thanks for reminding me as if all those african bankers asking after my merrital status isnt bad enuf ok bye

  8. Alyson says:

    You just elegantly and eloquently wrote the blog post that I should have written about three weeks ago! I really enjoy your writing Lavenderbay, and if it means you love your writing then I’ll take it whenever you can dole it out! I got rid of my calendar because it called to me in the middle of the night when it had a space that wasn’t colored in. Anyway, surely you can’t be brilliant in every post? That must be exhausting! I’m not sure about tidying your flat, though…

  9. lavenderbay says:

    Dennis, sweetie, being nootered has no effect on your ability to change your merrital status. It only affects your ability to have litters. You and Echo could always adopt; I’m sure there’s a shelter somewhere with little Corglas or little Vizsgis just waiting for a loving daddy like you! And Echo’s an American citizen now, don’t forget; there’s always hope!

    Thanks for the compliment, Alyson! I’ll name the ladle after you. 🙂
    The calendar is a tricky call. If I remove it, I’m afraid I’ll remove a big motivational tool. At work we compare the day’s totals with the same day of the previous year; logically, they have nothing to do with each other, but it’s an encouraging game.
    I’m working my way inconspicuously into the housework stuff: doing the dishes more often already. Brushing the pets more. One of these days I may even take Clover (our vacuum cleaner) for a spin. There’s gonna hafta be some form of dwelling attached to the desired backyard, and if I’m already used to doing housework, all the better for us and our new neighbours. It’s like, I’m working towards deserving a house, eh?

  10. Alyson says:

    You already deserve it. A ladle named ALyson?…Could be a good title for a short story.

  11. lavenderbay says:

    If it ever becomes a short story, Alyson, I promise the ladle will have a happier ending than that poor fish called Wanda!

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