January 6th, 2024

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice at the end of hostilities.  It has been 672 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

    • I hope you and yours have the very best year yet, in 2024. I don’t think of time as some function of the clock’s ticking or the calendar’s changing. Ever since I was a little boy. time has always been a circle of events with other events happening in between.  At the bottom of the circle is Christmas and New Year’s = gifts, giving, and great food. At the top of the circle were our birthdays =gifts, great food.  In between were other events that we enjoyed together… spring vacation from school, summertime, Halloween, and Thanksgiving—sporting events such as football, basketball, and baseball games, fishing, and camping. And with several notable bumps along the way, my cycles have been glorious and fulfilling. I am grateful for all the bumps included. Anyway. I hope that your 2024 circle of events is even more glorious and gratifying than all the previous years we have had.
    • 2024 is a leap year so we get to enjoy one more day of February. January 6th is the sixth day of the year with just 352 days till Christmas. You can find out all about December 28th in history here.

This week’s Website Update:

    • Week two for Vocabulary Quiz!!.  Last week for the Music Trivia Quiz.
    • This week I added a recipe that we got to try twice over the holidays. I made the first batch and they were good but my youngest granddaughter, Chloe made a batch that may be the best Chocolate Chip Cookies I have ever had. Those of us who have traveled quite a bit may remember the DoubleTree hotels had these really good cookies that they gave to their guests.  Well, they published that recipe and that is what we used if you like Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yum!
    • The Home Page quote for this week’s wisdom is from Alfred Adler:  “Follow your heart but take your brain with you.     

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:  

      • We return to ceramics class this week.
      • I have received a wonderful Christmas gift from my daughter. She gave me a coupon to help me clean out and reorganize my hoarder’s layer (AKA my office).


  1. Weird-Stuff-O-Meter:  

      • This week I am working on my goals and ambitions for 2024.  I try to do that every year…spend a few days contemplating what I want to accomplish, prioritize those goals, and factor in my limitations. This year the physical limitations have increased making some of my ambitions of previous years unattainable. My eyesight seems to be failing at a more rapid rate. I have 3 projects that I need whatever sight I have left to complete. One is completing the final edits and republishing Grandpa Stories; another is completing the never-ending Stained Glass project and the last is a painting I have stuck in my head for the past several months. I accept that fact but I will not go quietly into that dark night. I will search for mitigations but in the end, will have to accept that I cannot do at least some of what I have always enjoyed doing anymore.  In the meantime, the updating of the Under The Jacaranda site and the publication of the UJT Updates will cease being a regular weekly thing. Typing is problematic for me. It takes at least 3-4 times as long to do that work. I will still do updates but they will be more sporadic—a bitter but necessary prioritization. My primary text work will be on finishing Grandpa Stories. When that is finished I should be able to return to a more frequent update to the site and blog. Nothing is for certain, so let me just say what a sublime pleasure it has been to maybe inform and entertain you all. I appreciate your patience and tolerance of my many, many mistakes over the years. Thank you.

    Music Update:  

    Let there be music!

    This week’s UJT Radio Program:

      • Cat Stevens — Father And Son —From the very first time I heard Cat Stevens’ music I knew he was special.  This is from his 1970 release, “Tea for the Tillerman”.
      • Arlo Guthrie —  The City of New Orleans — This song always reminded me of his father Woody. It’s Americana to its core. This is from. Hobos Lullaby “was released in 1974 and remastered in 2004.
      • The Beach Boys  — Sloop John B. — This is the song that made me fall in love with the Beach Boys and their glorious harmonies. This was released on their Pet Sounds album was released in 1966.
      • Bruce Hornsby— See the Same Way — This is just such a catchy tone! This is from his 1988 solo release, “Spirit Trail”.
      • Bruce Springsteen — Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street? — This one is from his first album, “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” released in 1973. Very few first albums are so Iconic.
      • Jim Croce    Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown — This week we are just going from one iconic song to the next. This is another refugee from 1973 – Life and Times album.


  2. That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; Always remember… The best is yet to come! As always, thank you for being my friend!