Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

May 31, 2008


There are so many unpleasant moments in anyone's life. The way my mind works, I tend to remember them a lot more easily than the good ones. That's one reason I write what I do here. I want a record of the best moments so that they will fill more of my head than the bad ones. Here are a couple of my recent ones that I don't want to forget:

1. This came a little before Mother's Day (someone up there knows I like to celebrate early and often): I was reading a gorgeously illustrated children's book (it was a Toot and Puddle book by Holly Hobbie) with delicious watercolors to the girls on a sunny afternoon. Maya and Teresa were peacefully cuddled up on either side of me and Georgia was sitting on the back of the couch, french braiding my hair. We were just a big pile of girl.

2. This one came today right after I decided that what I wanted for my upcoming birthday was beauty to suround me in some way. I walked into my bedroom after I had just cleaned it and finished praying. There I saw a clean room (rare in my house) with my favorite pictures on the walls and a perfect spring light making it look all buttery in there. The curtains were moving just a little with a gentle breeze and it was really quiet because Billy took all the girls to a birthday party for Mariah. Taken all together, it was beauty and peace. It was a birthday wish granted with a message from my spirit: You want beauty? Just look around you. It's everywhere.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 03:58 PM | Comments (2)

May 29, 2008


That's the word Teresa made up today. It means: to interrupt, obstruct, and instruct. Here's how she uses it in a sentence: "Don't interstruct me, Daddy! (I'm busy working on my pouring skills. Who cares if I'm pouring cinnamon on the counter and drowning my waffle in lemonade? I've got a skill to master, and you're getting in my way!)"

Posted by Bahiyyih at 04:00 PM | Comments (2)

May 20, 2008

Dream come true #2



Children planting an organic neighborhood garden, complete with welcome sign and new friends. Somewhere in my mind that's always been the ultimate in motherhood job satisfaction for me. It was great fun to be a part of it all Sunday in the park. A beautiful beginning, making me look forward to the rewards and challenges of a summer full of gardens and kids. I dedicated that day in my mind to our friend Kay who passed away recently from cancer and was a very sincere and loving Baha'i school teacher for Georgia one summer and good friend to our extended family.

It's also really satisfying for me to be 'out there' as a Baha'i when Baha'is in Iran are being so horribly persecuted, as they are right now. It's a small token, but it's what I've got.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 01:00 PM | Comments (2)

May 17, 2008

let's try this again, shall we?

Funny story...(not really, but sarcastic is how I get when I'm freaked out)...ah...you know Georgia's sincere little video about how you need to do what you can to stop the persecution of children in Iran? Well, an interesting comment was posted to it a couple days ago. It was in Persian. I couldn't read it, though YouTube sure could. I asked the most excellent Dr. Allen Eghrari to translate it for me. It was attacking the Baha'i Faith using vulgar sexual references. Those references linked Georgia's video to some awful pornography in the 'related videos' section. Then a second comment in Persian showed up, addressed to the first commenter, calling that person some vulgar name and telling him to 'go swear at his own mother', as Allen translated it. With my head reeling, I blocked the commenters, removed the comments, and then removed my video from YouTube. Later, Billy and I decided to repost it and patrol the comments for awful activity. I'm still not sure about all this, but for now that's what's happening. We don't want the bad guys to win by being scary and gross, but the whole thing is just really creepy to me. So I'm jumpy and feel like my controls are all jammed, but as soon as I post this, Billy's promised to talk me through it, and hopefully I will be able to use my logical faculties again.

Update: So far, I'm glad we reposted the video because now there's actually a debate going on in the comments that has come up out of the gutter and is more on topic, if heated and full of misinformation. SO much easier to handle. And the best part is that there is a young woman from New Zealand who is defending the Faith with vehemence and intelligence in the comments. It's pretty exciting.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 11:43 PM | Comments (2)

May 16, 2008

my compost story

I've been trying to make a good compost pile since I was about 12. I started with a lot of enthusiasm and pretty much no knowledge. I was allowed a strip of ground next to the back fence to plant some wildflowers, but I had to dig up the sod myself. I remember it being impossibly hard. I was not an athletic kid. But I jumped on that spade and shook the dirt off the sod as best I could and lugged those heavy sod pieces under the lilac bush and slowly made a pile. I remember there being some dispute about my pile of sod, but I think I called it a compost pile and it became the place where grass clippings ended up. Turning the pile was completely beyond my abilities and I never did anything with my first compost pile except start it.

The next time I tried to make one was about 10 years later at my first apartment in Champaign. This time I was armed with a book that my aunt had illustrated and sent a copy to me, Greening the Garden, by Dan Jason. Fun compost pictures made it seem easy and fun, but again all I had to start it were sod pieces from clearing a little space at the back of the yard for a garden patch and a few weeds I had pulled here and there. Again I couldn't be bothered to turn it and never saw it become compost. I got discouraged by groundhogs who ate all my carefully tended bean plants and moved soon after.

Attempt number three was seven years later, with a few issues of Organic Gardening magazine pored over, and a clearer understanding of green matter and brown matter needing to be in some kind of ratio. I talked my brother-in-law into building me a compost bin out of old pallets that I had scavenged. It even had two compartments for turning. Unfortunately, no doors for easy access so the thing could actually be turned. I think I mostly put leaves in it, and a few kitchen scraps. It didn't do much but be a pile of leaves, as far as I could see. But there was a breakthrough. When we were getting ready to move, there was a big pile of leaves on the driveway that had sat there over the winter and gotten all mushy. We paid a neighbor kid to haul it away in his wagon to add to his compost pile and I was amazed to see what had happened to the bottom layer of that mess, once the top was peeled away. It actually looked like mushy dirt! Compost! It was true! I saw it with my own eyes! A crazy theory no longer! But then it was gone.

Fast forward to now, and the lovely compost bin Billy made. I saved up greens and browns for a year to put in this thing. When I transfered all of it into the bin, I noticed some beautiful compost at the very bottom of the pile and immediately spread it around on all my beds. A very satisfying act, let me tell you. But then, after it had been in the bin just a week, Billy and I pulled the bin off (with it's handy handles) and set it next to the pile to turn it for the first time. I sat down to check out how it was doing and started picking at it. It was looking good, some good decomposition and worms crawling around in it. Then I pulled out a chunk, and something strange happend. Through my gardening gloves, I felt warmth! I put my hand up to the pile where I had pulled the chunk out and sure enough, the durn thing was hot! We finally did it! We made a hot compost pile! For a compost pile, hot is THE thing to be. It felt like such a huge accomplishment that in that moment I felt completely satisfied with my time on this earth. I had taken crap and scraps and made food for plants that would make food for me. I was being a good steward of my little piece of the planet. That was a good day.

Still, compost doesn't have to be this difficult or dramatic. A little more knowledge and help at the beginning would have made it all much simpler. I would advise anyone starting a compost pile to just keep it simple and ask someone you know who gardens to come help you get started. I've never met a gardener who didn't love to be asked.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 09:57 AM | Comments (1)

May 07, 2008


A new word has been created for those little glass pebble thingies that go in the bottom of vases. They are now keeshbukahs, according to Teresa. The girls have a set of them for counting/treasure/pretending pinata. Here is their story. Complements of Teresa.

Once upon a time their were thousands of keeshbukahs on a sheet. Many ladybugs and rabbits lived upon them. A spiny pine got on the sheet. But the spiny pine was the sheet. A flower petal was on the spiny pine. And there was a 'Z' on the petal. The petal and the 'Z' were both made of gold. Then the keeshbukahs ran into a fire and a star came into the fire with all of them, and swoosh!, it kept away. Georgia and Maya and Teresa opened a sock and put the keeshbukahs into it so it could be a pinata. They were a circle and there was a button on them and another keeshbukah and forty with them! And everyone said, Wow! Lots of eyes were on them. And there were two keeshbukahs that went to a singing wolf and a hole disappeared and out came the keeshbukahs and the thousands were gone and everyone said, Woo! They're cleaned up! The End.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:30 AM | Comments (3)

May 03, 2008

first harvest

May I present the first harvest of the season, tiny buttercrunch lettuce thinnings, destined for a tiny salad and eaten immediately.


This is my solace for the irritatingly cold weather we have on this otherwise perfectly gardenable Saturday.

Oo! Oo! And Billy finished making our compost bin! Yeah Billy! The front slides up and down and it even has handles. In case you ever need to, you know, move your compost pile.


Posted by Bahiyyih at 04:34 PM | Comments (2)