Monday, May 30, 2016

I'm just saying -- pundits

So I hear a radio spot by a broadcaster I sometimes agree with and when it was over I was ROTFLOL.

He had this pundit on who was saying people shouldn't eat breakfast if they're not hungry.
But what he DIDN'T say was it could be the result of eating at the wrong time of day.

If you pig out at night, of course you won't be hungry in the morning.
But you will be fat.
Because you won't work off any of those calories.
Because you are tired from work, it  probably will be fast food if it's not just plain junk food.
I mean, face it: which of us are going to eat 2 cups of chopped fruit at night?
But we'll sure as shooting put away a whole box of delivery fried rice.
And because we're tired, we won't work out after that.
We'll have a shot of whiskey or something like that -- more calories.
More bad calories.
Because alcohol prevents your body from metabolizing fat properly.
And then we'll crash in bed.

So if you're not hungry in the morning, and the above is a pretty good description of what you do after work,
It's YOUR fault if you aren't hungry in the morning.

So this is one of those pundits who gets attention by pretending that EVERYTHING IS OUT OF OUR CONTROL and we'll always be fat and tired and sick

Which is (ahem) nonsense.

I'm just saying...

 Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fact-Checking the Torah -- who's in charge?

So archaeologists working in Israel find all these settlements with common features.  They existed between 1100 and 900 BCE more than 200 meters above sea level.  They were founded on the bare ground, instead of on tells, which are old villages leveled off and re-occupied.  They didn’t trade with the lowlands; they had to practice mixed agriculture to feed and clothe themselves.
And they didn’t use pig.  How do you accomplish that without a legal system?
Let’s look at some genetics.  Modern results show that Jewish Kohanim really do have a common ancestor.  The most extreme figure for Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor is about 2000 BCE – back in patriarchal times.
The middle figure is 1300 BCE, 200 years before the highland settlements were founded.
If there really was an Aharonite authority working among the Israelites, this figure gives them 200 years to train the Israelites not to eat pig.  Assuming that it isn’t a custom of even older times.
The late figure for the most common recent ancestor is 100 BCE.  That’s when the Maccabeans were already both kings and high priests.  They had drowned out opposition from the Tsadokites who clung to the line of Tsadok, high priest to King David about 1000 BCE.  When Herod killed off the last of the Maccabean descendants (his grandsons), there were still high priests to carry on up to the destruction of the Second Temple.
Why does the middle date come so late – 200 years after the entry into the Holy Land?  One reason could be a genetic bottleneck.  If all of the high priests died for one reason or another after the lineage was founded, except for one, then that one becomes the most recent common ancestor of all subsequent high priests.  But he wouldn’t be alive, and he wouldn’t have tradition to back him up, if there wasn’t a history behind him.  Cultura non facit saltus, remember?
To sum up, we have archaeological evidence for the Israelites, both in the Holy Land and in references from other cultures.  We have logical evidence that the rules they followed developed before the highland settlements developed.  We have genetic evidence that Aharonites possibly existed before the highland settlements developed, as a male lineage.  It’s not a long stretch to suppose that the Aharonites held the position Torah gives them – legal experts who helped promote kashrut as a cultural feature which survived for centuries, even if it began as a fiat.
And using Occam’s Razor, we can expect that the culture exhibited in the highlands of Israel existed for centuries before the first traces of it.  Which is what I have been saying for several weeks now. 
Now we’ve found the Israelites, and the Kohanim, but that has nothing to do with the Exodus, which is where the false argument from silence really comes in.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- "From Now On"

Finally, another example of how “be” is weird in every language. I showed all the different ways of using va-y’hi. Now remember all those verses that had v’hayah or v’hayu in them (using the perfect aspect). Here’s how they work.
They have a sequential aspect to them, like natatah. The idea is “from then on.” For example, Leviticus 27:33:
לֹ֧א יְבַקֵּר בֵּין־טוֹב לָרַע וְלֹא יְמִירֶנּוּ וְאִם־הָמֵר יְמִירֶנּוּ וְהָיָה־הוּא וּתְמוּרָתוֹ יִהְיֶה־קֹּדֶשׁ לֹא יִגָּאֵל:
When somebody vows a specific beast for sacrifice and then tries to substitute a different beast, from then on both become permanently the property of the Temple.
It has some special forms. V’hayah b’ means “from then on at” plus some time expression..
וְהָיָה בְּכָל־יַחֵם הַצֹּאן הַמְקֻשָּׁרוֹת וְשָׂם יַעֲקֹב אֶת־הַמַּקְלוֹת לְעֵינֵי הַצֹּאן בָּרְהָטִים לְיַחֲמֶנָּה בַּמַּקְלוֹת:
“From then on whenever the m’qusharot sheep came into heat, Yaaqov set up the rods…”
V’hayah im, “then if”. Deuteronomy 8:19 says
וְהָיָה אִם־שָׁכֹחַ תִּשְׁכַּח אֶת־יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְהָלַכְתָּ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַעֲבַדְתָּם וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לָהֶם הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם כִּי אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן:
“From now on if you actually do forget **** your Gd, such that you walk after other gods and serve them and bow to them [this entire clause is oblique modality], I witness against you today that you will be destroyed.”
V’hayah k’ means “then when” or “then as soon as…”. See Deuteronomy 20:2.
 וְהָיָה כְּקָרָבְכֶם אֶל־הַמִּלְחָמָה וְנִגַּשׁ הַכֹּהֵן וְדִבֶּר אֶל־הָעָם:
“As soon as you approach battle.” Now, you don’t want to do this where your enemy can see men melt from your ranks, but you can’t be sure how fast he’s approaching, so you have to do this fast as soon as you drop your backpacks to attack or defend against attack.
V’hayah l’ means “become.” See Deuteronomy 15:17.
וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת־הַמַּרְצֵעַ וְנָתַתָּה בְאָזְנוֹ וּבַדֶּלֶת וְהָיָה לְךָ עֶבֶד עוֹלָם וְאַף לַאֲמָתְךָ תַּעֲשֶׂה־כֵּן:
“Then he becomes your olam servant.”
Torah uses v’hayah, a perfect aspect, because we’re talking about something that would have to go to completion. Yaaqov had only one time a year when he could set up the rods: in autumn, when the sheep had weaned their lambs was the only time they came into heat.
So I’ve pretty much beaten that subject to death and we have one more modal morphology to go.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- this is it

For all of those who had the same questions as Mirjam on either the Biblical Hebrew or Fact-Checking pages.

Everybody who starts a project like this writes a preface to manage the user's expectations.

Nobody ever reads it unless they are really frustrated.

Here it is.

Read it, re-read it, and then if you still don't understand why you have those questions, read it again.

You probably saw the comment on that post.  It espouses the Victorian authoritarian view which ignores advances in every field. 
I'm writing about the 21st century view which meshes authoritatively with results in linguistics for modern languages.
It coordinates with studies of ancient languages, and thus with archaeological finds.
It also meshes with oral traditions studies of structure and content of worldwide literature.
Citing to authorities who were teaching before this information came out is not a correction. 
Since their information is outdated, citing to them is a fallacious appeal to misleading authority. 
I'll have more critiques of authoritarianism on the Fact-Checking part of the blog before I have finished.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Fact-Checking the Torah -- this is it

For all of those who had the same questions as Mirjam on either the Biblical Hebrew or Fact-Checking pages.

Everybody who starts a project like this writes a preface to manage the user's expectations.

Nobody ever reads it unless they are really frustrated.

Here it is.

Read it, re-read it, and then if you still don't understand why you have those questions, read it again.

You probably saw the comment on that post.  It espouses the Victorian authoritarian view which ignores advances in every field. 
I'm writing about the 21st century view which meshes authoritatively with results in linguistics for modern languages.
It coordinates with studies of ancient languages, and thus with archaeological finds.
It also meshes with oral traditions studies of structure and content of worldwide literature.
Citing to authorities who were teaching before this information came out is not a correction. 
Since their information is outdated, citing to them is a fallacious appeal to misleading authority. 
I'll have more critiques of authoritarianism on the Fact-Checking part of the blog before I have finished.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fact-Checking the Torah -- mixing it up

The urban legend is that Jews were nomadic herders living in hot dry lands and that the agricultural components in Torah come from a late period.  This seems reasonable while you accept the urban legend that pigs don’t thrive in southwest Asia due to hot dry conditions.
Now that you know that the region was moist enough for the Holy Land to grow enough grain for Merneptah to pillage, and that Israelites had access to pigs for food, just like everybody around them, and that wild pigs can survive in a seven-year drought, you have to find a way for the highland settlements to be self-sustaining without using pigs for food.
Because they were self-sustaining.  That’s the story of the local pottery.  They did not trade pottery with the lowlands, they didn’t even bring lowland pottery with them  at the start, far as we can tell.
What’s more, the local pottery of the southern highlands toward the Negev differs from pottery in the Bet Shean region just across the border from where Bashan used to be.  So there was little or no trade between south and north.  And yet all of the highlands shared this no-pig feature.
Each highland region supported up to a dozen villages of varying sizes, from 2000 down to 200 persons.  They had areas from 2 down to .2 hectares.  To survive a couple of centuries on the same site requires both grazing and growth areas.  That is, these highlanders practiced mixed agriculture.
Consider: each sheep needs about 0.1 hectare of grazing area so the smallest villages could graze 2 sheep.  It takes 6 modern sheep to create one three-piece woolen suit.  Modern sheep have been bred for more wool; sheep in the past produced less.  A sheep now produces between 8 and 10 pounds of wool a year; let’s say 4 pounds in ancient times.
It takes about a day to adequately wash a fleece, according to my research, and that’s when you have a mechanical washer.  It takes up to another day to pick out all the vegetable matter and coarsely comb the fleece.  It takes another day or so to card the entire fleece into roving, and up to 80 hours to spin a whole fleece’s roving into yarn using the ancient drop spindle.  You can dye the yarn at this point but you can also dye it in the wool and that requires boiling the wool with the liquid dye.  Setting up the warp on a loom takes several hours, and then you do the weaving.  It takes up to 11 10-hour days to process one fleece into fabric and then it has to be tailored to the person who is going to wear it.
If you have a flock of 25 sheep, you wind up with enough robes or blankets for 25 people, but it takes up to 300 days to process all the wool and it leaves the  woman of the house barely 6 hours a day for duties like cooking, laundry, and child care including nursing.  It assumes that the man of the house spends most of his time watching out for the sheep and shearing them.  With only 0.2 hectares of land, you cannot keep enough sheep to have new clothing every year.   You cannot eat mutton; you also cannot eat all the lambs produced and sustain your herd of sheep while it is being poached, or attacked by wolves, or dying of old age. 
Now, it’s possible that the smallest villages only farmed their land and traded surplus produce to larger settlements for wool.  But that means they had no source of protein.  Unless they kept goats.  A goat uses the same size grazing territory as a sheep and will also eat some refuse.  Modern goats produce enough milk each day for 10 pounds of cheese; let’s say the ancient goats produced 5 pounds.  But to produce milk, a goat has to breed whenever she’s receptive, and that means you have to keep one nanny and one billy goat.  You can eat the kid so that you have all the milk for yourself, but you can’t do that every year and sustain your herd.
It’s cold in the Israeli hills at night in the winter; snow falls some years, especially in the north.  No matter how you look at it, the highland settlements had to practice mixed agriculture or starve and go naked. 
Have I lost my thread?  Let’s round it up next week.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- variations on va-y'hi

Phew. Two other things about chaser lamed heh verbs and “be”.
When va-y’hi appears with an expression of time, you could translate it as “it must have been [at that time] that [X happened].” Look at the start of the Aqedah story in Genesis 22:1.
וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְהָאֱלֹהִים נִסָּה אֶת־אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי:
I translate this as “it must have been after these things that…” Notice the nisah perfect aspect; the beginnings of episodes in Torah often use perfect aspect and so do the ends. Look at the first verse in Torah and at Genesis 2:3. These are the opening and closing of a narrative. (Standard openings and closings are part of Axel Olrik’s Epic Laws.)
BUT there is also vi-hi with different vowels under the same consonants. While va-y’hi appears about 800 times in all of Tannakh, vi-hi appears only about 30 times. You can tell from the context (of course) that this usage is different. You should translate it as “so that it should”. For example, Genesis 1:3 has y’hi, “there should be” light; Genesis 1:6 has “…vi-hi mavdil”, “so that it should separate.” (And notice the hifil progressive for a descriptive/habitual situation.)
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים יְהִ֥י רָקִ֖יעַ בְּת֣וֹךְ הַמָּ֑יִם וִיהִ֣י מַבְדִּ֔יל בֵּ֥ין מַ֖יִם לָמָֽיִם:
Now, the ancient question is, why does it say “there must have been evening…one day” and not “a first day”?
Well, look at the certainty epistemic. It’s based on an imperfect. It’s not complete. There’s narrative tension involved in an imperfect aspect. Once light has been manifested, if you say “first day,” you automatically imply there will be other days. Boom. End of narrative tension. But when you say “one day,” that doesn’t imply anything. Even if there is a next day, it might go up in smoke in the middle, and then Gd would have to start over again.
The certainty epistemic was called “jussive” by Gesenius. That’s because he looked at the first occurrence in Torah, and saw that it was traditionally translated as “let there be light”. In Latin (almost all the linguists of that time were classics scholars first), the terminology for such structures is jussive. So Gesenius called them all jussives. Since he thought of vav prefixes as always meaning “and”, he couldn’t imagine why it would make the terminology unjustified. Not even when he knew for a fact that the traditional translation of most of these forms had absolutely nothing jussive about them.
I’ll rant about more such issues as I go but the main theme is this. I have been studying Arabic for another project and I learned that Arabic supposedly has a jussive verb form. It has nothing to do with second hand commands. It’s the preferred way of negating a past action, “I didn’t go”. Because it has a shortened imperfect, like the Biblical Hebrew certainty epistemic, WESTERN scholars tarred it with the same brush.
The Arabic grammarians had their own name for it, “shortened.” The Arabic grammarians had more input on terminology in their language than Hebrew has had.
Time to take our language back. “Certainty/evidentiary epistemic” describes the function of some occurrences of “shortened imperfect” in Biblical Hebrew, but others are temporal opening statements in narratives and still other things with a similar look are strictly purposive (“so that it divides”). “Shortened imperfect” doesn’t do justice to the range of uses for this grammar.
Help me cause a little trouble in language departments worldwide, and when your teacher of Hebrew or Arabic starts talking about “jussive” get up and give them a lecture on why they are using it and what it says about their real understanding of the language. And then go find another teacher.

From now on, things will be different.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 16, 2016

Outdoors -- foster mother

I have a new adolescent robin to watch out  for.

He sits on my porch and makes the nesting call while looking around.

He is probably the son of my pet robin; if so, he was born last summer.

He might have been here through the winter, and he would have seen his father come to me for berries.

So he thinks of my porch as a safe place and here he sits while hunting.

He cocks his head to listen for food, but at the same time he makes the nesting call that comforts him even though he knows he can't go home.

Or should that be foster-grandmother?

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Legend of the Boar

The urban legend is that Jews didn’t eat pigs because pigs don’t thrive in the Middle East, which is hot and dry. 
The fact is that wild pig remains in the Holy Land turn up from Neanderthal times into the 21st century CE.
That’s right.  There are wild pigs in Israel today – not feral domestic pigs, but the old wild boar type that generated the Tammuz story and were hunted in Merrie Old England by the barons, as depicted in T.H. White’s Once and Future King.
The wild pigs live in the highlands; newspaper stories told of them destroying crops in 2010 CE, in the middle of a seven-year drought, and attacking the farmers who tried to drive them off.  Israel even puts up road signs meaning “pigs crossing” to warn motorists to watch out for them.  It’s the same kind of sign I used to see in my youth in an area full of wild deer, warning motorists that deer might skitter across the road.
In the Skhul caves with their layers of alternating Neanderthal and modern human remains, wild pig remains make up about 2% of the refuse of animals the residents ate more than 40,000 years ago.  In Dor of the 900s BCE, an archaeological dig in a place that was apparently an abattoir, turns up 1% of remains as coming from wild pigs.  Butchered domestic pigs date to the remains of Ashurbanipal’s palace in the 600s BCE.  Yeah, they didn’t truck that meat in from hundreds of miles away – no refrigerated trucks or train cars – they raised them right there and killed them for immediate consumption.
But in the highland settlements of the Holy Land dating between 1200 and 900 BCE, there are no pig bones.  People all around them are eating pigs, but the people in those settlements not only don’t eat the pigs, they don’t allow remains to be dragged into the settlement by their dogs.  If they have to kill wild pigs in self-defense, they drag the carcasses outside of the settlement to somewhere other than the refuse pits where they put the uneatable parts of sheep, goats, or cattle.
All those settlements have to be part of one culture with a strict prohibition on pigs from the time the settlements started up on bare ground, and they did not backslide as long as people lived in them. 
What’s more, those same settlements made their own pottery out of local materials.  They didn’t trade pottery with the lowlands.  They didn’t copy the pottery forms used in the lowlands. 
Pottery is fragile.  Among Bedouins, only the farming Bedouins have much pottery.  A nomadic Bedouin chief might have had one prized porcelain teacup; his people used wood or metal but not crockery.
There is no transition in these ancient hilltop settlements between thrown away broken pottery brought from the lowlands, and finds of the local ware.  The local ware shows up at once at the time of settlement.
Both of these issues have serious consequences for who lived in those settlements, and the consequences bust another urban legend.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- come together

Aside from how it dovetails with Olrik’s principles, Dr. Cook’s discussion of certainty/evidentiary epistemics connects to Jewish tradition.
I said that “to be” is weird in any language, and the same thing is true of its certainty epistemic.  Due to its relationship to the deontic imperative, y’hi or could be translated as “it would be good if there was light.”  And that feeds directly into the ki-tov statement.   But you can’t translate it that way the second time it appears, and there’s no evidence in the story itself that the translation should change.  So I’m going to stick with “there must be light [around here somewhere].”
And that leads directly to a rabbinic midrash.  It says that everything already existed by the time the creation story opened.  What it means by saying va-yar is that Gd made some of them manifest to mortals.  And that leads to the conclusion that the creation story does not, and never intended to, give the exact order of creation.  This is reinforced by the fact that earth, heaven, and water already existed when the story opens, and on the second day Gd uses the raqia to divide the upper waters which already existed from the lower waters.  Sure, the rabbis discussed whether heaven was created before earth or not; a rabbi from the 100s CE said they were created at the same time and that seemed to be the accepted answer since, as the rabbis also noted, there are places in Tannakh where it says “earth and heaven”.  Obviously they are equal both in time and importance.  And that short-circuits one religious debate that has used up a lot of time and ink without ever being resolved.
The rabbis obviously didn’t have Dr. Cook’s dissertation to go by. What they had was Tannakh.  There are something like 800 examples of just this one certainty epistemic in Tannakh, and they are all used in a similar way.  For people who knew this material backwards and forwards, upside down and rightside up, left to right, inside out, those examples produced an impression that came out in the midrash I just talked about.  I’m giving you a shortcut to what took a couple of millennia to gell before it influenced midrash.
Olrik and Dr. Cook were far from being experts in Jewish literature.  But now there’s a tripod of data that all points to the same conclusion.  It hardly gets much better than that.

But wait, there's more.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 6, 2016

Fact-Checking the Torah -- voila! Evidence!

Countering a false argument from silence can be done a couple of ways.  One is from existing data by means of Occam’s razor.  Since archaeology finds that the oldest written reference to an ethnic group postdates the earliest remains of that group, sometimes for centuries, the oldest reference to Israel, the Merneptah stele, may have been put up centuries after the Israelites came into being.
But what physical remains of the Israelites exist?  None, and that is where the false argument from silence comes in.  Knowing that physical remains don’t always survive for centuries, archaeologists cannot reasonably conclude that the Israelites didn’t exist simply because such remains haven’t been found that reliably represent the Israelites.
Here is where it becomes necessary to know what currently identifies Israelites – or their survivors, the Jews – from other ethnic groups.  The mezuzah commanded in Torah did not exist in its current form, a small attachment for doorframes.  The Chanukah lamp didn’t exist at all until Mishnaic times.  Modern Seder plates are painted, not molded, and since paint chips off or wears off, we couldn’t identify anything as a seder plate.  The oldest known parchment related to Torah is from Qumran and dates back to Hasmonean times, in fact to 150 BCE.  The oldest definite sample of Hebrew writing goes back to 800 BCE and another arguable one to 1000 BCE.  What would we look for?
Archaeologists came up with one thing and only one that might distinguish Israelite settlements from non-Israelite, which is whether settlements in the Holy Land did or did not have pig remains in them, and how far back they went.
And lo and behold, they were found.  Archaeologists at the end of the 20th century distinguished scores of settlements all over the Holy Land which were established in the 1100s BCE, on previously unoccupied ground in the highlands (more than 200 meters above sea level), and this phenomenon lasted into the 900s BCE.
These settlements have two distinguishing features.  They have pottery made from local materials in a unique style, and they have no pig remains.
You’re saying big deal, no pig remains, but you probably have bought into an urban legend about pigs in the middle east.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- the goodness of creation

I said the chaser lamed heh or ”certainty/evidentiary epistemic” is used by a narrator who is certain that what he is telling is true, and he can prove it, because the audience knows that it had a result with permanent consequences to them.  What’s more, they all know that the result would not have come about if the story hadn’t happened exactly as narrated. 
I used the tabernacle as an example. The material about its creation may seem incredible, but the original narrator and his audience all saw it, so when the narrator tells about B’tsalel making it, he can use the certainty epistemic.  That epistemic survived through Jewish history into the Babylonian Captivity when the oral tradition was put into writing. 
Notice that this is similar to using a 2nd person perfect aspect verb to command the creation of these things; everybody had obvious evidence of their roles in Jewish culture at the time the grammar crystallized, just like the commandments about Passover.
I have another example.  First, notice that in the creation story, you see va-y’hi a lot, also va-ya’as and va-yar.  Here’s how it plays.
An episode opens with y’hi X.  Normally, Bibles translate that as “let there be X”, a jussive. 
Then it says va-y’hi X.  That’s the credibility localization: the light certainly was there somewhere.  It had to be, because it’s still around.  That’s the evidence.
Then it says va-yar X.  Most translations say “Gd saw the light, that it was good.”  What really happened is that Gd manifested the light; the verb is hifil causative, not qal. Using a certainty epistemic shows that the audience had visual proof that the narrative is correct; lots of us can see the light. 
Now notice this.  On the second day, Gd says y’hi raqia.  But the Bible does NOT say va-yar about the raqia.  Why not?  Because it’s not a visible thing, in and of itself, to mortals.  We know it’s there because that’s where the lights are set (4th day).  And about the lights, it says va-ya’as and va-yar.
Now notice this.  After the making of the raqia, it not only doesn’t say va-yar, it doesn’t say ki-tov.  There’s no sense saying the raqia is good because you can’t va-yar it.  The audience has no visible evidence that it’s there.  There’s no sense in calling it good because it’s not evidence of that day’s work.
The same analysis of the certainty epistemics in the making of the tabernacle, allows the conclusion that its results were visible to both narrator and audience, so the narrator uses the certainty epistemic in telling about B’tsalel making the tabernacle.  And it shows why the narrators wound up wording the creation story the way they did -- and where some midrash comes from.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Garden -- May 2016

I know I'm late but I was waiting to have some  good news for you.

In the DC region, it ain't happening.  Cold rain. 
If you live here and you have tried to put out warm weather veggies, one of two things happened.
They froze.
Or you had to listen to the weather report and run out and move all your potted plants back into the house.

My hydrangeas got frosted just as they were budding.  I will probably have to wait until next year and maybe the year after that for flowers.

What can you do? 
Well, if  your warm weather veggies are dead, you still might be able to plant from seed.
At this point, you might not be able to get open-pollinated seed.
You might have to make do with hybrids.

While you're waiting for warmth, you have to keep after the grass.

And you can think ahead.
I begged a violet plant from a neighbor who cuts her grass too short and so, of course, has violets, which she doesn't like.
It survived the winter and bloomed this spring.

Last autumn I ordered two roots of wild ginger over the internet.
I planted them as per the directions.
They survived the winter and even had flowers more than a month ago.

I have to get rid of some hosta.  I'll try to compost it but I  don't think it will work.

I'm watching for the cardinal flower to come up that another neighbor gave me to encourage bees and hummingbirds.
I have to pull ground ivy and I'm  composting that.

So just because it's too cold and rainy doesn't mean there's nothing you can do.
Just do some things for your garden, like planning, while you can't do what you want to do in the garden.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved