November 30th, 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 637 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

    • Doing massive damage to my steady decline to build a lesser me, Thanksgiving was a great success. I guess being grateful for so much makes one hungry. I hope your family’s celebration was as bountiful and gratifying.
    • November 30th is the  334th day of 2023—just 25 days till Christmas.  You can find out all about November 30th in history here.

This week’s Website Update:

    • Last week for the Vocabulary Quiz. I uploaded a new Music Trivia Quiz for you.
    • I uploaded some of the recipes I thought that you might enjoy- Smothered Cajun Beans; Gobbler Cobbler and finally, my Stuffed, Wrapped, and Smothered Sausages.
    • The Home Page quote for this week’s wisdom is from the amazing Vincent Van Gogh: “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced

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

    • I glazed my first piece in my new Ceramics Class this week. Woohoo!
    • I  actually haven’t started cutting glass for my never-ending Stained glass project!! Yeah!
    • For better or worse, I often get my inspiration to paint in my sleep. Almost all of the results of those times are less beautiful than I had hoped but doing them sets something free inside.


    • Always looking for the silver lining, I discovered another delightful unadvertised feature of getting old. Every morning, I enjoy my Oats Overnight Breakfast, and being old I never remember the flavor I made the day before. So every morning there is a surprise party in my mouth!
    • We lost a great woman this week. Rosalynn Carter was a great woman by any measure. I remember reading a book on fly fishing that her husband Jimmy wrote after he left the White House. In it were lots of great stories about fly fishing adventures he and Rosalynn had over the many years they had been together. One story in particular sticks in my mind today. Jimmy was trying to organize a peace process for the Middle East. He hosted a summit with Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Menachem Begin to try to establish a framework for peace. Jimmy describes the first morning as a platform for each leader to reframe and repeat their long-held ethnic grievances. Carter was very frustrated. When they broke for lunch. He talked it over with Roslyn. Her advice:  Go Fishing! She thought having Jimmy in the room was inspiring the posturing by both sides. So Jimmy told Sadat and Begin he was going fishing and would see them at dinner. Marine One took the President and First Lady to one of their favorite streams in Maryland for the afternoon. When they all three sat down for dinner, Sadat and Begin told Carter, they had the framework decided and needed to work through the details the next day. All three got a Nobel Peace Prize but I always thought it should have been awarded to Roslyn. RIP Sweet lady! Thank you for your service to the world.

Music Update:  

Here is a new batch of music for you to try out. 

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • Led Zeppelin   – Communications Breakdown— I am pretty sure that this is the first song I heard by this amazing band. It just blew me away. This is from their first album (Led Zeppelin I?). the one with the Hindenburg on the cover, released in 1969.
    • Crosby Stills Nash & Young –   Southern Man   — This is the title cut from their 1971 Live release.  Some of us have been known to cry listening to this sad song about a sad chapter in our history.
    • Jimmy Buffett –  Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants – I apologize for the frequency of JB’s appearance on UJT Radio since he passed. I guess I am still getting past it.  This a cut from his 2020 release produced with his daughter during quarantine up in Sag Harbor,  NY. I loved the polished original version that came out on Volcano all those years ago. This version feels more intimate to me. I particularly love the intro he plays on his guitar. He must have known his illness was terminal by then and rerecorded some of his favorite songs for us. This is from the album, “Songs You Don’t Know By Heart”.
    • Bruce Cockburn –  The End Of All Rivers  Actually it was JB who introduced me to Bruce Cockburn. Bruce is a gifted songwriter and musician. This one id from his 2005 instrumental release, “Speechless”. This guy’s guitar has a lot to say!
    • Joni Mitchel – Love  – This is a special lady who had a ridiculously old age birthday this month. This one is from her iconic, “Miles of Aisles” live album released in 1974. Her backup band is, “Tom Scott and the LA Express”.
    • John Mayer    Something Like Olivia — This is a deep cut from his “Born and Raised” album released in 2012. This was before he started touring with the boys of Grateful Dead. He just keeps pushing himself. Immediately after  Dead & Friends finished their touring, he took off on his own acoustic tour. I can hardly wait to hear that album. He was so good before the Dead, I can only imagine how he must have grown.
    • Lifehouse — Blind — This is a deep cut from their first album released in 2005. There is just something very special about these guys. The fact that Jude Cole produced this record doesn’t hurt either.

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!