Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Garden -- betcha never tried this!

With 3-5 inches of rain in 2 days, my early veggies are popping.
No, the peas aren't bearing.
No, the beets and turnips and carrots aren't rooting.
At this point, I have to thin what I planted.
I always plant the whole packet, even though my garden is tiny.
So I have to thin the sprouts.
What you pay $16 a pound for in the grocery store, for alfalfa sprouts and so on,
I pay $2 for and not only get sprouted greens but also later when I stop thinning I'll get the full-grown leaves and roots. 
Last year I got 5 pounds each of carrots, beets, and turnips, to say nothing of the kale, collards, chard, green peas and snow peas.
So I take a dish out with me and put the thinnings in that, wash off the compost that I couldn't shake off the roots, and then I either munch them raw or put them in a stew or stir fry.
VERY nutritious.
Doesn't waste one penny of what I spent on seeds.
Try it.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fair Isle Knitting -- the armholes

Hey, I missed something!
I never told you how to finish the armholes.
First, cut up the middle of the steeking between those two identical color stripes.
Now fold this back to make a facing.
Now pass a normal knitting needle through the stitches on the holder.  On the righthand side you will do this from front to back.
Now bind off those stitches.  I recommend using the background color for this.
Put a slip knot on another needle, knit the first two stitches, then pull the first one over the second one, the way you did when you finished the shoulders.
When you have bound off the underarm stitches, cut the remaining end of yarn about a yard long.
Run the raw end through the eye of a large tapestry needle (sometimes called darning needles).
With one hand, hold the facing on the inside of the armhole just at the last background stitch before the steeking.
Now do a backstitch to fasten the facing down. The first stitch will come from the inside of the pullover just above the bottom end of the steeking and come through the pullover to the outside.
The next stitch will go around the end of the steeking inside the armhole and come out beyond the point where the first stitch comes through the pullover.
Then it will go back inside the pullover at the same place where the first stitch came out.
The third stitch will go from inside the pullover, just beyond the second stitch, to the outside and then back in where the second stitch came out.
If that's not clear, let me know.
On the inside of the pullover, every stitch has to pull the facing close to the inside, not go between the facing and the inside.
If that's not clear, let me know.
Work the entire armhole this way, starting a new piece of yarn if the old one gives out.
Work the other armhole the same way: cut the steeking; bind off the underarm; stitch the facing down inside with a backstitch.
You can go back later and do a blanket stitch in a contrast color if you want but essentially, you are finished. 
The facing may fray a little at the ends.  If you were using real Shetland wool, it would hackle together with wear and not fray.  The stitching down of the facing should stop fraying at that point and a blanket stitch will reinforce it.
Try it on.  Let me know if I need to change directions or give different directions for different sizes.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 28, 2014

Outdoors -- this is what it's for

Saturday morning.  Calm.   Sunny.   Warm but with cool fresh air.
Took my brunch out onto the back porch to eat it.
I have an OLD wooden bench there.  Everybody uses it, the birds, the squirrels (before they got put in their places), the carpenter bees.
When I use it I put down two big granny squares of leftover yarn, and a blanket made of smaller waste-yarn granny squares.
Then I relax with my brunch, a book, the sun, the breeze, the bird song.
My pet robin came to hunt, paused a few minutes to see if I would take the hint and leave.
My cardinal landed on the fence, looked me over, then flew to the birdbath for a drink.
A bee landed on me to see what I was doing there.  It must have been a grass bee because when I laid my book next to him, he didn't sting but flew off.  Grass bees never will sting you.
Neither will carpenter bees, the huge ones.  They don't have stings.
The sky was that dark blue you usually get only in October when the sun is strong and the humidity is low.
This is what it's all about.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 27, 2014

DIY orgy!!!

Passover has ended and now it's time to rebuild my stock of things that I ate up before Passover.
So last Wednesday I started a new batch of white starter and Thursday built white sour and Friday baked Italian sourdough bread.
I also started a boneless turkey breast on a brown-sugar cure.
I shredded a cabbage and put it in salt press for sauerkraut.
I used 1/3 of it to make kimchi.
Thursday while the white sour was building I started a five pound brisket pickling.  That will take 3 weeks but it will make both corned beef and pastrami.
I'm making russell (which Blogger keeps wanting to capitalize) which is fermented beets for a version of borscht called Russell Fleisch.
I made two jars of pickled beets and when they're ready I'll throw in a couple of hard cooked eggs to turn bright red.
I brewed Worcestershire sauce Wednesday.
Started a batch of sweet pickle chips.
Also some old-fashioned Jewish garlic-dill pickles.
And some marinated artichoke hearts with red bell pepper and black olives.
And 2 quarts of yogurt the way I told you a few weeks ago.
And a new jug of hard cider.
This week's projects are: re-incubate a quart of yogurt; biltong (dried beef); soba noodles; cheese crackers; herring in wine sauce.  If I can get a couple of pickled green tomatoes at my kosher market I'll make a jar of chow-chow.  Also another jug of cider; it takes a month to mature so you have to keep cranking them out. 
It's a lot of work but the exercise is good for me and it means a whole lot of good food for the next few months, especially on Shabbat when I don't cook.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Exodus 21:7-11

We have finished with bondsmen, both Jewish and Canaanite, and your assignment for this week was to read Exodus 21:7-11.11
Exodus 21:7-11 describes the other class of bonded Jews: the underage girl bonded into a family as the future wife of the father of the house or his son.  The term for this girl is naarah, a word you need to remember because it is crucial in the narratives of Genesis as well as Jewish law.
A naarah is a female less than 12 years and 1 day old, who has not developed physical signs of puberty.  As soon as she reaches that age or shows those signs, she is no longer a naarah and her father can’t bond her out.  She becomes a bogeret and in possession of herself.
If a father bonds out a naarah, the bondholder has a number of responsibilities.  One is that the naarah must be designated as his or his son’s future wife.  That is a betrothal.  Anybody else who has sex with her commits adultery and may become liable to the death penalty.
This situation is reflected in Amos 2:7 when he says it is prohibited for a man and his son to have sex with the same naarah.  She can only be designated the wife of one of them and sex with the other is a capital crime in Jewish law, subject to due process.
A bondholder who fails to make the designation has to release the bond, return the girl to her family, and leave the bond unpaid. 
He also has to do this if she develops signs of puberty.  In the meantime, he is responsible for her maintenance.  He must provide food and clothing, according to verse 10. 
If he doesn’t, he has to release her from the bond, according to verse 11.
The problem verse is 9.  It says that he has to deal with the naarah according to “the law of daughters.”  What does that mean?  It means the three conditions in verse 10, one of which is onatah. 
Onatah means conjugal rights.  In Jewish law, the wife has the conjugal rights, not the husband.  A husband who refuses to have sex with his wife can be forced to divorce her so that she can marry a man who will give her her rights.  But the naarah is not married to the man, she is only designated as his or his son’s future bride.  There is no requirement that they actually go through a marriage ceremony.
So the requirement for onatah doesn’t belong to the naarah because she’s not married, only betrothed at most.  And when she reaches puberty, the bond becomes null and void; the bondholder has to release her.  But that's only my opinion, I haven't checked it out with an expert.
Verse 10 has been used to claim that Jews promote sex with underage girls.  Next week I’ll discuss why that cannot be true based on Mishnah and Gemara, but for now, understand that the betrothed naarah does not have conjugal rights and does not have to be released strictly because no onatah is taking place.  The woman who has to be released in that case is a wife, whom the man or his son married when she was a bogeret.  At least, that’s my interpretation.
Because the rest of the lesson is in Mishnah and Gemara, you have no reading assignment for next week.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bit at a time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 1:15

Genesis 1:15
טו וְהָיוּ לִמְאוֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהָאִיר עַל־הָאָרֶץ וַיְהִי־כֵן:
Transliteration: V’hayu l’m’orot birqia hashamaim l’hair al-ha-arets va-y’hi khen.
Translation:    They shall be for lights in the raqia of the heaven to shed light on the earth and it was so.
Letters in this lesson:
Vocabulary in this lesson:
to shed light
This word is an infinitive in Hebrew.  All infinitives have “l” in front of them. 
This infinitive is the causative binyan.  How do I know?  Two clues. 
One is the heh at the start.  This letter is in the infinitive of this binyan, and also in other forms of the verb in that binyan. 
The second sign is the yod in the middle.  That’s the real clue.
You’ve seen other forms of this same root.  M’orot is one of them, and you notice that it has a vav before the resh, not a yod.  M’orot is a noun.  In verse 3, lesson 10, you saw or which has all three root letters, aleph vav resh.  That’s also a noun.
What’s the difference between m’orot and or?  You might say that or is the qal form and m’orot is a causative form.  The mem at the start of m’orot is another sign of the causative binyan, in the present tense.  The difference is that in this verse, the m’orot shed light but in verse 3, the light simply existed.
Here is the present tense of le-hair.
Notice that the masculine singular is pronounced meir, and it is two syllables not one.
It is also a personal name.  Golda Meir was the first woman prime minister of Israel.  Rabbi Meir was a famous scholar 2000 years ago; all anonymous rulings in the Mishnah are credited to him.  On the other hand, all the rulings credited in his name, instead of anonymously, seem to have gone against him.  His name is only recorded in those incidents so that if somebody argues the same way he did, it could be pointed out that the argument has already been decided in the opposite way.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Outdoors -- Sunny day!

That day I wait for every year is here.
The sun has worked its way to the north.
Now it shines around the townhouses in my court that are to the east of me.
It shines on every sunny morning, through my back window, onto the door of a closet at the back of my house.
This spot of sun will get larger and move to the left toward a staircase as the spring and summer go on.
Then it will shrink and move to the right.
About the end of August it will disappear and that's the beginning of autumn for me.
So along with all the blooming redbud and the sprouting veggies in my garden, it's really spring now!

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Garden -- success!

Sprouts everywhere!  I even had to do some thinning Friday because I always manage to put the seed in unevenly.  So give me some demerits and we'll call it a day.
Now, notice, it is absolutely not time to plant warm weather veg, either from seed as I do or from sets as most people do.
In fact there were people in the DC area who ignored the forecast and put out tomatoes, peppers and other such sets two days before we had a re-freeze.
That's over, but I'm still not planting those things for more than a week yet. 
Flowers either.
Also train yourself to water properly now so that when you have to water in summer, you won't cause your zucchini to develop that white stuff on the leaves that will kill them.

You must have a watering can or a long nozzle on your hose.
You must water in the morning before 8 a.m., especially tomatoes.
You must fit the nozzle of the can or hose UNDER THE LEAVES and put the water DIRECTLY ON THE ROOTS, not water the stems.
You MUST water deeply, not just dampen the compost.  You have to really soak it down for the plants to get it.
You MUST wait a couple of days before watering again.  Watering too often is as bad as not watering deeply enough.

Yes, it takes time.  Yes, if you have a job you'll have to get up even earlier to do this.  And to get your sleep, you'll have to go to bed earlier.  If changing your schedule is too hard because of your job, commute, whatever (been there, done that) then think twice before you start a veggie garden.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 18, 2014

Donetsk Ukraine flyer translation

Your weekly Fact-Checking post is below this one but I felt it was important to publish my English translation of the flyer handed out in Ukraine this week with its Nazi overtones.  I don't know what the "Bender junta" is; if it's really a reference to Styopan Bandera, it's more of the typical idiocy that Jew-haters are consistently guilty of.

J­ewish nationality!

In connection with the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported the Bandera [Styopan Bandera, pro-Nazi Ukrainian dead since 1959?] Junta in Kiev and has an antagonistic attitude in relation to the Orthodox Donets republic and its citizens, the General Staff  of the Donets people’s republic has established the following:

All citizens of the Jewish nationality older than 16 years, living on the territory of the sovereign Donets republic in the period before 3 May 2014, shall appear before the “I.O.” [??] commissar on affairs of nationality in the building of the Donets ODA, office 514, for registration.  The price of registration is 50 U.S. dollars.

Bring with you financial means to the value of 50 US dollars to pay for the registration, a passport for notation about your religious denomination, documents about the family makeup, and also documents establishing your rights to all your nonmoveable property and means of transport.

In case of refusal to register the guilty will be deprived of citizenship and sent by force out of the republic with confiscation of property.

Your local governor Denis Pushilin


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