June 22nd, 2023 

“ 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 476 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Jacarandas started to bloom at the end of May and will finish soon. Every year when I see them, I think about how lucky have been to have seen so much. If I had stayed put in one place, I would have missed so much. Not just the unique sights at all those places but also the people and the food! Seeing their blooms also fills me with hope for our sad little world. 

This week I learned some stuff:

    • Grits are indeed whole grain, IF you buy the Stoneground (vs instant) version. They take 30-60 minutes to cook but you can make a big batch, let them cool, and package them in portions you like and freeze. Then pop the portions in a microwave-safe bowl and reheat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until they are completely reheated. If you are not very careful, you learn something new every day!
    • Sleep is a huge problem in the US. And “a good night’s sleep” is much more important than I knew. Cardiac Rehab class covered all the physiological, biological and mental impacts of poor sleep. Your mom was right all along, “You need your eight hours of beauty sleep.” All my life I have disparaged sleep and was proud that I had trained myself to operate on 4-5 hours a night. I was so ignorant! If you don’t sleep well for about 8 hours each day your hormones get out of wack. The hormone that tells your brain you are hungry goes up on average 14% and the one that tells your brain that you are full drops substantially. So not sleeping well, is a serious root cause for obesity in the US. And it is getting worse. So get your eight hours. Talk to your doctor about sleep apnea (the most common sleep disorder) and get tested if you find out you might have it. Napping is ok if you keep it too less than 45 minutes. Any longer and you start to mess with your main sleep cycle. 
    • June 22nd is the 173rd day of 2023. Just 192 days till Christmas.  On this day in 1633, the Holy Office in Rome forces Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe in the form he presented it in, after heated controversy; Today in 1839,  Cherokee leaders Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot are assassinated for signing the Treaty of New Echota, which had resulted in the Trail of Tears; Today in 1942, the Pledge of Allegiance is formally adopted by US Congress;U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill today in 1944; Today in 1969, the Cuyahoga River catches fire in Cleveland, Ohio, drawing national attention to water pollution, and spurring the passing of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency;  Tom Dula, (AKA Tom Dooley) American soldier was born today in 1917;  John Dillinger, American criminal was born today in 1903; Today was Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American pilot and author’s birthday in 1906; On that same day, Billy Wilder, Austrian-born American director, producer, and screenwriter was born; Dianne Feinstein, American politician was born in 1933; Kris Kristofferson, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor was born today in 1936; Ed Bradley, American journalist was born today in 1941;Also born today but in 1944, Peter Asher (AKA Peter of Peter, Paul & Mary), English singer, guitarist, and producer;  Elizabeth Warren, American academic and politician was born today in 1949; Cyndi Lauper, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress was born today in 1953; In 1954, Freddie Prinze, American comedian and actor was born today; Today would have been my brother Pat McCann’s 68th birthday. I miss you, Pat!; Today in 1960, Erin Brockovich, American lawyer, and environmentalist was born;  Dan Brown, American author and academic was born today in 1964; David O. Selznick, American screenwriter and producer passed away today in 1965; Judy Garland, American actress and singer died today in 1987;  Fred Astaire, American actor, and dancer died today in 2014; Pat Nixon, American educator, 37th First Lady of the United States passed way today in 1993; Finally, we lost the great, George Carlin, American comedian, actor, and author in 2008. 

This week’s Website Update:

    • A New Vocabulary Quiz !! Yeah!!
    • Week 2 for our Musical Trivia Quiz
    • This week I added a new recipe for Ceviche. It was a big hit among the Piscivores at our house.  
    • The Home Page quote for this week is from, Eleanor Roosevelt,
      “Beautiful young people are an accident of nature but beautiful old people are works of art.”  

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

    • Completing the stained glass templates last week helped me decide to dump my original design and start searching for better examples of what I am trying to do. 
    • I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters. This might be becoming a habit! 


    • It’s Pride Month and I am proud to be celebrating the advances that the LBGT+ community have made have made in my lifetime. I saw a great T-shirt the other day, it said, “We The People” and right below it, “All the People.” That got me to thinking that this acronym should be LBGTBJALW+ Everybody Else. The thing about oppressing people. Once one of the oppressed gain ground the others follow suit. The movement for the equality of women leveraged the civil rights movement that helped black Americans and the Gay community of Americans followed closely behind that movement.  And so on. What the oppressors do not realize is that human progress is unstoppable. They can make it harder and maybe slow it down but it will never stop until “We The People” includes us all. 

Music Update: 

Another week of joy and music to share. As a birthday treat for me, I have selected 6 of what I think are the most beautiful songs I know. I enjoy many songs but few are truly beautiful. Enjoy.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • Bradley Copper and Lady Gaga — Always Remember Us This Way —  I have not seen, “A Star is Born”  I stumbled over this on Facebook. I just like the song. From the soundtrack released in 2018. 
    • The Fray — How to Save a Life  —  For me, there is something magical about this song. I heard it for the first time probably on a radio or a soundtrack for a movie or show. This week I heard it again and wanted to share it.  It’s the title cut from their 2005 release.
    • Eric Clapton — Diamonds Made from Rain — This is a sweet song from “Clapton, released in 2010. He is just a master at delivery. 
    • Tommy Bolin  — Homeward Strut — We lost Tommy far too soon. This is a good song to showcase his guitar chops. It is from his debut album released in 1975, “Teaser Deluxe”.
    • Al Cooper and Mike Bloomfield — Really — “Super Session” is such an amazing record!!! The guitar and keyboards unite in a deep-down blues instrumental. This record was released in 1968. 
    • Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On – This is an iconic song by an iconic artist gone too soon. This is the title track from his 1971 release.

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!