Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

October 28, 2006

oo! oo!


Deep breath. I will meet the darkness with grace.

How about a virtual book club? I've been recommended to read "The Life of Pi". Or whatever other book people want to read. Some uplifting classic (I've got a list I'm reading off of myself if that would help). I'd read any Barbara Kingsolver book again to have the chance to discuss it with people. And we could each read the book in a month and.. um.. write about the experience on our weblogs or maybe have a conference call and talk about the book. I have had the greatest experiences lately discussing literature that I love with a small group of women. I've discovered a source of joy and delight that I didn't know existed. I mean, Oprah knew. Why didn't I know? Two great things that I love: books and talking with friends, brought together and creating whole new levels of goodness and connection and understanding. Who's in?

Posted by Bahiyyih at 12:00 AM | Comments (2)

October 26, 2006

been readn'

I've read some great books lately that have left me asking some questions that I like to think about.

"The Chosen" by Chaim Potok has me thinking about how to train children that are intellectually precocious but challenged in the empathy department so that they will put their intelligence to a good and spiritually guided use when they are grown. How do you train someone to develop their empathy?

"The Lonesome Gods" by Louis L'Amour is the first and perhaps the only western I will read but it was an interesting experience and I learned a lot, as I generally do when I do something new and different. The big question that I got from that book was about one's calling. How do you know what your calling is? And the idea that you should always keep learning throughout your life (so maybe your calling grows and changes with your experiences?) and that life is not worth living if you don't keep learning new things. So it's important to stay open to them. And then, if you find that the world has changed, you can change with it. Ride the wave. That kind of thing.

They are both books full of advice, thinly veiled by the fact that they are coming of age stories. Everyone advises the young'uns as they grow about what's important in life and how to go about educating one's self. "The Chosen" is set in New York, 1960s, in two families of Hasidic Jews and the different ways two boys are raised by their respective fathers. One father-son pair is liberal and scholarly- the father is a professor and the son wants to be a rabbi, the other is very conservative and scholarly- the father is a rabbi and the son is going to inherit the position but wants to be a psychologist. Scandalous. It's a great book with a very good heart and a certain gentleness of manner that I really appreciate. "Lonesome Gods" is set in the California frontier and the Mohave Desert, mid-1800's I think, and is about an orphan boy and his father's legacy of greatness in philosophy and survival skills and all kinds of people trying to kill the boy for pride and horses and whatnot. It's a fun epic and has lots of good scenes about surviving in the desert and why they can be compelling. Native Americans play a large role in the book, and I didn't feel like there was a lot of stereotyping or racism going on because there was enough room in the book for depth and complexity of relationships to come out, but maybe others would disagree. I don't know. I don't pretend to be an expert but I wasn't offended myself.

Oooo, I love reading! I could read all day, come up for air and food and a nap, and then read all night. I'm reading from a list of 'classics' with a homeschooling group, starting with those at the high school level where I've missed them and going on up! It's good fun to be reading books that are relatively nurturing to my mind and not too full of modern crap (excessive sex and violence, I mean). It gets my mind working, gears moving, meditation on the fly, all day while I'm changing diapers, scrubbing the bathtub, etc. And I love learning about the characters lives and what is important to them. I learn so many possibilities about how to think about the common experiences of humanity- family, growing up, education, communities, parenting, that kind of thing. So much more interesting than reading self-help books on the same topics. Stories really are powerful.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 08:36 AM | Comments (2)

October 16, 2006

eight years


That's how long Billy and I have been married. Yeah! On our first anniversary, and right before our wedding, for that matter, and actually every year around this time, we have gone to Curtis Orchard for pumpkins, apples, and a family picture. Hooray! I'll have to get them all together sometime to see the growth. The first one I have (not on the computer, unfortunately) is of me with a very big tummy (Georgia) and one of Billy lovingly holding a pumpkin as if it was a baby. He's so silly (wonderful).

Billy came home so I had a minute to look through all our photo files to look for more of these family pictures. I only found a few, but I'll put up what I have. The last one is from last year and is not at Curtis Orchard- I think we were too busy with Georgia's soccer team to do it. The first two are from 2002. The group picture was taken in 2004 at a Baha'i Association fieldtrip (probably by Billy). (Notice the jacket Georgia's wearing in the first two. It's been handed down to Maya in the third picture.)





Posted by Bahiyyih at 05:08 PM | Comments (2)

October 12, 2006

serious conversations

Today Maya, Teresa, and I made peanut butter cookies just because it was cold out and we wanted to do a warm activity. They were yummy and a much better idea than taking a bus trip, which was the first (and daily) request of Teresa and Maya. Here's a typical conversation with Teresa when she wakes up in the morning and comes toddling out into the hurried goings-on of getting Georgia out the door to the bus stop by 7:45.

Me: Hi Teresa!
T: Bus? Goji?
Me: Yes, Georgia takes the bus.
T: Bus? Daddy? Bus?
Me: Yes, daddy takes the bus sometimes.
T: Maya? Bus?
Me: No, Maya stays here with us.
T: Mama? Bus?
Me: I stay here too.
T: Teeda? Bus?
Me: Umm..do you want to go on a bus too?
T: Yeah! (starts hopping from one foot to the other excitedly).
Me: Well, we'll have to do that one of these days.
T: Potty? Pee?
Me: Do you need to pee on the potty?
T: Yeah. Kay kay? (naked)
Me: Um, yeah you can be naked for a little bit.
T: Kay kay! Kay kay! (runs off to the potty)
End of scene.

Those are the main topics of all serious conversation with Teresa these days- buses and potty.

P.S. Hi Grandma! I love you! Here's a little more of an answer to what Teresa's up to. I'll try to get more out about Maya and Georgia too.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2006

back for more

Oh my goodness, I've been away from computers for a long time! I've been at my mama's house while Billy rips all the moldy drywall out of the basement. I'm allergic to the stuff so I had to leave during the proceedings and it took a week and a half and a heroic effort on Billy's part. And he did it! Yeah Billy! It's been a real test for me to not be able to help with a project at all except by leaving. But Phase 1 is done with the ripping out and now I can be at home to help figure out Phase 2-or 'What to do with the basement now'. It's the longest I've ever been away from Georgia. She had to stay since she's in school. We both survived and there was no permanent damage. In fact, Georgia seems emotionally stronger and more independant. Maybe I should go away more often. It was quite a disruption to all of our lives though and we all got sick. Maybe we would have gotten these colds and flus anyways, but maybe not.

We did lots of fun stuff on our trip and I got to spend lots of good time with my sister and neice and mom. Thanks ladies for making us so welcome and playing with us! And we had a wildly successful visit with the Evanston crew. They were all a sight for sore eyes. I miss you guys!

Posted by Bahiyyih at 11:06 AM | Comments (2)