July 12th, 2018

“Cyбҳ ба xaйр. (Subḩ ba xajr)” Wishing you a fine “Good Morning” spoken in Tajik, a variety of Persian spoken mainly in Tajikistan.

The Great American Read is still running. I have not missed a day of voting.

Yesterday, I was this amazed to find myself waking up next to the same woman I have woken up next to for the past forty-five years. Perhaps astounded might be a better descriptor, given my prickly nature and limited socially redeeming features. In any case, “ We have had our ups and downs but are still playing together.” to quote David Crosby as he introduced Stephen Stills on Four Way Street. I am proud of the life we have shared and the children and grandchildren that we have built. It has been a long wonderfully strange trip, and I am extremely grateful to have been by her side for the whole ride. I love you and thanks Tippy! ps. I somehow managed to arrange for 1 1/9 rose for every year of our marriage 🙂

We finished our last salad from our vertical pallet garden. I need to figure out what to put in now that the lettuce and cilantro are done. The peppers are just forming while the onions, rosemary and watermelon seem to be going strong albeit slower than the lettuce. My 6 ft+ tomato plant has been attacked by blight 🙁 Blight is eventually ever branch and leaf on the plant will turn yellow then brown then fall off:(. I heard about a Baking Soda Spray (1gal h20; 3tbs baking soda; 1 tsp dish liquid) that is supposed to help. I will try that today.

This week I learned some stuff:

• Today is NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY!! Author, naturalist, philosopher, historian, tax resister, abolitionist, development critic, surveyor, and leading transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817. National Simplicity Day is observed on July 12th in his honor… One of my favorite quotes is from his book, “Walden and Other Writings”. Today, find your Walden and ponder its beauty completely, let that appreciation fuel your civil disobedience in favor of the environment, against government bullying and joy in celebrating a simpler life.
• My health insurance pays to have a nurse practitioner visit me in my home to verify my meds, check my feet for sores, and suggest immunizations. The visit takes about 15 minutes. Not only is this free to me, but I get a $15 Target gift card for going along with it.
• I finished reading the last Harry Potter book. It was always one of my favorites but reading it now after seeing the movies made it even more enjoyable. The scenes after Harry is “killed” by Voldemort are every so much richer in the book than in the movie. I suspect many of you are tired of hearing about my return to these stories. I am glad I had the chance to re-read them once again.

Website Update:
• New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• Week 2 of the New “UJT Music Trivia Quiz” !!!
• Added 2 new quotes for your contemplation – The Difference by Walt Disney and a bit-o-wisdom from our old friend Henry David Thoreau.
• Added some new recipes this week – Creamy (with a Kick) Chicken Marsala and White Trash Hash…. Yum!

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I blew off pastel class again last week.. I really am not sure why. My tortuous watercolor of the String of Pearls plant continues to torture. Ceramics starts back up this week. Yeah!

• I have always enjoyed giving roses to my wife. Even when we were dirt poor. Riding my bike home from my job as a maintenance mechanic at the airport, I would stop by the warehouses where the roses (and cocaine, it turned out) shipments flown in from Columbia were unpackaged and distributed to buy the flowers. I always got strange looks with a couple dozen roses in my basket riding down Red Road. Buying 45 roses to mark our years together was a lot easier using Amazon Prime! 🙂

Music Update:
As always, I try to find something to make the UJT Radio mix work for everyone.

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Vince Martin and Fred Neil — Lonesome Valley — This is a flashback for me to Coal Gables Elementary’s 6th grade history class with Mr. Allen. As part of the class we sang songs. We sang slave songs when we studied the civil war and we sang this old Woodie Guthrie song but for the life of me I cannot remember what period of American history we were studying when he got us to learn and sing it together in class. I first heard of Vince Martin in my first years as a hippy in high school, hanging around the park in Coconut Grove. Fred Neil became famous for writing, “Everybodys Talkin” that Harry Nilsson recorded for “Midnight Cowboy”. Fred Neil was also a Grovie too but he is best known for his nurturing of young folky talents who made their way to Greenwich Village in the 60s. He took David Crosby, Bob Dylan, Richie Havens and others under his wing and helped them get started. We lost Vince this week at age 81. Fred left the building in 2001. Both were great players who made a lot of people smile.
• Spoon — Rhythm and Soul — Its been awhile since I featured these folks on the UJT. This is a deeper cut from their album, “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” released in 2007.
• Little Feat — Dixie Chicken — This one was on UJT Radio a little over a year ago but when it came up on the rotation, I just had to share it again. That boy, Lowell George, sure could throw a fine musical party!!! This one is from a compilation of their music released in 2006.
• Joe Cocker — Feeling Alright — Joe is famous for the way he covered others songs. This is one of Dave Mason’s and as much as I love the original, I must say I love this one just a little bit more. This is from his, “A Little Help From My Friends” released in 1969.
• Grand Funk Railroad — Some Kind of Wonderful — This one rocks me back to an earlier time. If your butt doesn’t get to shaking and your face to smiling then their is something broke with you. This one comes from their 1974 release, “All the Girls in the World Beware!!!” .
• Moody Blues — The Story in Your Eyes — This music is all filled up!!! They create such a complete musical picture with every song. This one comes from their 1971 release, “Every Good Boy Deserves Favor”.
• Natalie Merchant — Carnival — I was first hypnotized by this lady back when she was just one of the 10, 000 Maniacs. This is her first big single from her debut solo album, “Tigerlily”, released in 1995. A woman by the name of Jennifer Turner, plays the heavenly guitar leads and haunting back up vocals on this song about discovering the wonders of NYC. Just a great song!
• Cream — I Am So Glad — This refugee from their 196g, “Fresh Cream” debut album was a cover of a blues song originally recorded by Skip James back in 1931. Kind of light on lyrics but the music makes up for it:)

That’s it… Do the best you can;  Laugh every chance you get;  And always remember …  The best is yet to come! 

As always, thank you for being my friend!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: http://www.jfmccann.com