Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

October 31, 2007

Day 3

Today I drove from Ithaca, New York to Elliot, Maine. Not a far drive compared to yesterday. The weather was perfect again. The day started with Russian pancakes and taking lots of pictures of the beautiful fog over the hills and ponds.



(This B&B is so wonderful that they even have their own little pony.)


I said good-bye to Wanda (who I found out is a Polish biologist who started a B&B when her kids were little so she could keep an eye on them herself and has been doing it ever since- 15 years) and started off. The fog was so thick in places that the sun looked dark and gray, kind of moonish.

I drove through mountains and mountains, but started to get weary of just looking and not touching. I got tired of them whipping by and only getting to see them for a second. So I was very excited to learn, when I got to a visitor's center on the Massachusetts turnpike, that the Appalachian trail crossed the path of the highway just two miles down the road!


Thank you God for creating my itinerary. I really appreciate the way you put good things in my path that I have only to turn to like the flowers turn toward the sun that they love best. It's very loving of you.


I spent an hour and a half hiking up a beautiful mountain and half an hour bouncing down it. There will be many pictures, maybe even a movie. It was like a pilgrimage for me to be on this trail, so connected to the spirit for me. It was such a gift. I was SO home. I wished I was a tiny elf that could just creep into that hollow space in the mossy tree next to the creek bubbling down over big chunks of rock spilling down the mountain.









Now I'm at Green Acre Baha'i School, we'll see what awaits!

Posted by Bahiyyih at 07:09 PM | Comments (1)

Operation Refresh and Gladden: Days 1 and 2


Places I've driven to: Columbus, Ohio and Ithaca, New York

20071029_bahiyyih_road_trip_007.JPG (my favorite classroom at Earlham-where I spent my first two college years)

Places I've stopped along the way: Earlham College (Richmond, IN), Jamestown, NY (home of Lucille Ball!- where I got little Lucy a T shirt that says Lucytown all over it), many rest stops and scenic overlooks

Places I've slept (or are about to sleep):

  1. Ann and Rich's house: where I met the cutest baby ever, named Liam!, who played enthusiastically with me and showed me how he can stand for a few seconds, and where I was introduced to 'muskrats' which are really cloth bags filled with rice that's been microwaved to be a heating pad for cold toes and sore driving shoulders! Joy! And Ann actually called up her friend to come over to admire the little lap quilt I made from all her old Baha'i t-shirts.
  2. 20071029_bahiyyih_road_trip_016.JPG (Here's her expression when she saw her quilt. - Janie asked for a picture of this.) 20071020_anne_grove_tshirt_quilt_03.JPG (Here's the quilt. It was hard for me not to have much control over the colors, but I had fun doing the little touches- beads and pretty stitching- over it all.)
  3. Log Country Inn: a sweet B &B owned by a Russian? Polish? woman named Wanda that's in the middle of a state forest and which I have all to my self as the only guest. The description of this place needs its own post because it's so beautiful and has so many lovely amenities. For now, I'll say that I had a great time tromping through their woods and that I made Wanda laugh, or really my bobbleheads on the dashboard made her laugh and she was really appreciative of something making her laugh today. Oh, gotta go! Time for a bath in the jacuzzi!
20071030_bahiyyih_road_trip_056.JPG 20071030_bahiyyih_road_trip_053.JPG

People that are my hero today: Billy, for taking 8 days off of work so that I could go on this great odyssey. Thank you! I'm having such a great time! People I just had a fabulous dinner with: my Uncle Michael and Aunt Jane (hi guys!) who made an amazing, colorful meal that was SO delicious including kuri squash, punjabi greens (I seriously need the recipe, please), rice pilaf with hazelnuts, homegrown tomatoes, and roasted beets. My cousin Lucy, who lives in Chile, skyped us (meaning she talked to us over an internet phone service with video), so we all had a strange, wonderful conversation across continents. Mostly about food and compost. It was really fun and made us laugh a lot. Then we got out the photo albums and looked at their three girls when they were tiny. They went hiking all over the place with those three little 'uns, out Oregon way and thereabouts, and it was so inspiring to me because that's what I want to do with my girls and look! They did it! See? That's what it looks like! Ooo, that's fun.

20071030_bahiyyih_road_trip_139.JPG (Here's the delightful dinner!) 20071030_bahiyyih_road_trip_146.JPG (Hi Lucy!) 20071030_bahiyyih_road_trip_148.JPG (Here are dear Michael and Jane)

Places I found while I was lost (Which makes me wonder if lost is the right word. Perhaps otherly- directed is better): a dome house, a brown horse with a horse shoe-shaped white marking on its side, a big garage covered in hubcaps, and Ithaca Falls.

(Many pictures to come, check back in about a week and a half)

Posted by Bahiyyih at 06:41 PM | Comments (5)

October 22, 2007


Life feels a little surreal today. I've had a little drama of getting called for jury duty on the day I am to leave for my epic road trip. Crisis averted after a nerve-wracking weekend when there was no friendly civil servant to pour my heart out to. I wrote out a script of what to say so I would sound together and professional at 8AM after sleeping very little from worrying and distracting myself with mind-numbing statistical report writing till 3 AM. So I said my script and heard those magic words: You are excused. The end. Now I am bouncy and sleepy. A very weird combination. I keep almost starting big projects and then realizing that I'm too tired to do them.

In other surreal news, I finished Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance a few days ago and it really threw me. I was going along, getting the down to earth philosophy bits, thinking Phaedrus was the bad guy, and then bam!, Phaedrus takes over in the last two pages? And it's all OK? I thought he was insane. What does insane mean exactly? I'm so confused. But I think that was the intention. So now I feel kind of tricked and I don't know what out of that 500 pages of philosophy is 'real'. And what is real philosophy? So has anyone out there read this book? I need a forum for discussion, but my book club can't squeeze it into their schedule until February and I need to talk about it now.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 01:30 PM | Comments (2)

October 04, 2007

Here are those ten things I like about myself that have been requested

I'm going to have to come out of my cocoon for this one. That's fine. I'm ready for people now.

1. I accomplished a goal that I thought was practically impossible. I was elected in March to the position of Treasurer of our Baha'i community's Local Spiritual Assembly, which automatically made me the treasurer of the fund for our local Baha'i Center too. This was arguably the craziest thing I've ever been asked to do in a Baha'i capacity since I am not mathematically gifted, spreadsheet savvy, or money-minded. However, I was assured that the treasurer's role is more one of education and communication and that I should get some assistants to do the number crunching. I inherited two great smartie-pants assistants to that end and they've been teaching me all about their areas of expertise and I've been struggling to keep my head up above the ocean of accounting concepts and financial procedures for the last six months. So here's that impossible goal I mentioned: Get all of the finances of our community figured out, straightened out, and all together in one document that is understandable by someone like me and then figure out a way to present it to the community in such a way that they understand it to a depth that they know exactly where we need to be financially to meet our expenses and goals. And that is what we accomplished on September 23rd, 2007 at a big meeting with a very big colorful bar graph and clear, simple handouts. I think the hardest part was getting myself over that initial gag reflex when I had to set my mind toward money and take in pages full of numbers. That and the huge responsibility of shepherding very large amounts of money that don't belong to me. I can see that I've grown new abilities and awarenesses and that's a beautiful thing.

2. (Related to 1) The big perk of this job is that I get the opportunity to go meet all the other treasurers at a national conference so I can learn how to do this job and also commiserate. The conference is in Maine this year. And I'm driving. By myself! Through the Appalachian mountians! My best-loved mountains in the world. I like it that I enjoy spending time by myself and that I'm giving myself that opportunity. I've been feeling the need for a spiritual retreat for the last many months and I like that I am giving myself what I need.

3. I am deep in the process of overhauling my physical lifestyle to make sure that I am doing my part to have a healthy, long life. I've never done this to such a great extent as I'm doing now and it's really hard, but it's definitely worth it. And that feeling is what I like about myself. Some of the specifics are: exercising regularly, eating less in total, eating less sugar and wheat, eating more vegetables and fruits, listening to my body about what it needs. As a rule, I don't go on diets, but I am eager to make lifestyle changes if they can really be long-term and have a noticeable effect on my energy levels and happiness and make my body work better (and help me not get diabetes or heart disease or cancer- all of which are in my family to some degree). As a part of this, we bought an elliptical trainer so I can exercise easily in the winter. We bought it on e-bay so I have to pick it up in Connecticut. But- no problem, I'm passing through there anyways on my way to Maine. It's all part of the plan.

4. I like it that I have moved past the fake, judgemental question of 'am I a good mom or a bad mom?' and I am really interested in developing the qualities that help motherhood along, which are basically the same as spiritual qualities that I'm trying to develop anyways. So I could say that I'm a good mom just for brevity, but I don't find it very meaningful. I'd rather say that I have a great set of skills that I've developed over the last eight years that include a very deep patience, an intuitive understanding of how to deal with very complicated and highly emotional situations, peacekeeping skills, and a clear working knowledge of my limitations and strengths. See, isn't that more interesting?

5. I write this webble to honor and share my life and so there will be some record and witness to my journey and family life.

6. When my kids behave well, I am happy that I play some part in (and try so hard) training them to clean their room/ask politely for things/feel eager to be of service to their friends, etc.- all that good stuff.

7. When my kids don't behave well, I have specific strategies to help guide them and I really try not to take it personally. At the same time, I can acknowledge my part in problems that arise and think about better ways to act or arrange things without freaking out. This is a big deal for me because I used to be perfect and a victim of all angry outbursts.

8. I am interested in becoming and not in proving that I have arrived.

9. I am really trying to develop the ability to laugh at myself. It's hard for me because I really like being taken seriously. To show my progress: if I were to choose a TV character that I'd like to be, it would be a toss up between Strawberry Shortcake and Stephani from Lazytown.

10. I like figuring out the big picture, getting closer to the underlying truth of things, and sharing what I learned with people in a way they can understand. My professor that evaluated my teaching of ESL in grad school said I was a 'Crackerjack' teacher. I think that's good.

Can I hear from: Mom, Layli, Khalil, and Billy?

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:13 AM | Comments (4)

October 03, 2007


Maya, Teresa and I started babysitting for a two month old baby girl named Crescent on occasional Wednesdays. For money. It's the first money I've made since grad school and I must say that it's a very empowering feeling, even though it's not a lot. It's the concept that's fun. A preview of things to come in the next few years since Maya is definitely planning to go to Montessori school next year and I'm going to guess that Teresa will follow suit. Crescent is a neighbor and we watch her while her mom goes to Parkland to become a massage therapist. She's an amazing little person, very social and flexible but with very definite opinions about what she's willing to put in her mouth. A bottle is not one of those things, so she just holds out till her mom gets back. It's really fun to be able to spend time with a baby the same-ish age as Katie's Elsa. Coincidentally, Crescent has a big sister named Elsa and the two of them look so much alike that 'Elsa' is always in my mouth when I go to say her name. Teresa and Maya both get a kick out of helping carry around her things, Maya likes to hold her and talk to her and Teresa likes to take her hat off and put it back on. I think she would undress her entirely if she had her way. Elsa, I mean Crescent, really responds to Maya and talks to her very clearly. So sweet.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)