April 13th, 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 in the end of hostilities.  It has been 406 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

  • Glancing back is not always very flattering. Focusing on the past can just keep you from having a good now or a great tomorrow. But failing to look over your shoulder every once in and while as you move through this life might mean you miss some good lessons. I was looking back over the past couple of months of UJT Updates and came to apologize for what must have felt like one long whine. Not only is it not something I desire to do it’s also misleading. I have NO complaints! Zero! My life has had bumps and failures but those pale in comparison to the fun I have had and am having every day. So please forget and forgive me for any morose moments that I might have over-shared.
  • This is my favorite time of year. My wisteria is in bloom in our backyard and permeating the world with a sweet scent celebrating another spring. I enjoy just sitting out there, working on my stained glass project, listening to the waterfall, and warming in the spring air under the umbrella. Soon m beloved Jacaranda will be coloring the skies all over southern California. Peace.  
  • Murphy’s pictures from college seem to demonstrate that he is learning, happy and healthy. He has a new smile too. Seems he is like every other college kid, having fun is just part of the deal.
  • This week I watched the final season of Picard. I really enjoyed it. They brought back a number of the characters from the days when Picard was Captain of the Enterprise, every one aged .. even Data! But there were also a lot of pretty poignant moments where we get a glimpse into one possible future of our species and into the end of Jean-Luc’s life. Maybe because I look back on more life than I can reasonably see in my future, it was somehow comforting.
  • April 13th is the 103rd day of 2023. Just 264 days till Christmas. On this day in 1699, the Sikh religion is formalized as the Khalsa – the brotherhood of Warrior-Saints – by Guru Gobind Singh in northern India, in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar; Fort Sumter surrendered to Confederate forces, today in1861; On that same day, in 1870, the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded.; Today in 1873, more than 60 to 150 black men are murdered in Colfax, Louisiana, while surrendering to a mob of former Confederate soldiers and members of the Ku Klux Klan; the Jefferson Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of President Thomas Jefferson’s birth. today in 1943; Today in 1953, CIA director Allen Dulles launches the mind-control program Project MKUltra; Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field today in 1964; The United States Treasury Department reintroduces the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson’s 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration today in 1976;  Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament today in 1997; Lucy Craft Laney, American founder of the first school for black children, the Haines Normal and Industrial School, Augusta, Georgia was born today in 1854; Today in 1866, Butch Cassidy, American criminal was born; Samuel Beckett, Irish novelist, poet, and playwright, Nobel Prize Samuel Beckett, Irish novelist, poet, and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate was born today in 1906; Today in 1919, Howard Keel, American actor and singer  was born; Born today in 1951, The E Street Band’s  Max Weinberg, American musician and bandleader; John A. Bennett was the last American soldier hanged by order of Courts Marshall for the rape and attempted murder of an 11yo girl in Austria today in 1961; And lastly, Johnnie Johnson, American rock and roll pianist and songwriter  passed away today in 2005.

This week’s Website Update:

  • A new Vocabulary Quiz !!!!!! 
  • Week two for our Musical Trivia Quiz 
  • This week I added a new recipe for you – Noodles McCannoff! Sooo good!. 
  • The Home Page quote for this week is from, Wole Soyinka,  “ Books and all forms of writing have always been objects of terror  to those who seek to suppress the truth.” 

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

  • I finished the never-ending stained glass project this week. Still not painting yet but I am beginning my Ceramics class this week.
  • 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 week’s CNN Good Stuff newsletter lead off with a very apropos point that bears repeating. Today, in every way that I can think of we humans seem to be in a “differences” frenzy. We are so focused on how we are different (followed closely by judging, unfortunately) that we overlook the things that are the same no matter what culture, creed or religion you happen to be. For example, all of us have some traditional way of celebrating spring or the end of winter; The return of the leaves and warm breezes. Some do it with song, religious practices or just holding hands together as we walk through the fields of this wonderful world we live in. Once you can focus on our similarities, our differences do not matter so much. Grab someone’s hand and walk into the springtime together as we humans have done for thousands of generations.

Music Update:
Another week of joy and music to share. Enjoy:
This week’s UJT Radio Program: 

  •  Al Stewart — On the Border — From the Vinyl!!!! This is a deeper cut from his 1976 release, ‘ Year of the Cat”. Peter White’s Spanish (acoustic) guitar is delicious! It reminds me of Paco De Lucia.
  • Sheryl Crow — I Know Why — This is just a beautiful song sung beautifully, from her Wildflowers album that I got from some fundraiser from Darrian’s school, released in 2005.
  • Venice — Thinking Out Loud — This is a beautiful deep cut from their Breakfast Buffett album of cover songs released in 2016. This one was written by Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge. These boys’ harmonies make my eyes misty.
  • The Derek Trucks Band – Chevrolet (LIVE) – This has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it. Some super sweet blues music from a new master of the craft. I hope you enjoy it too. This is a live version from their 2006 release, “Songlines”.
  •  Traffic – The Low Spark or High Heeled Boys – When this one came up on the rotation, (on my new speakers !!!), I realized we hadn’t featured this one few years on UJT Radio. The haunting melody and Steve Winwood’s high voice interweave as if by magic. I know in 1971 when I first heard this song I thought it was magic! This is also one of my friend, Mike Fallin’s favorite songs.
  • U2 — Where the Streets Have No Name — This is another song I have been missing! This is the song that introduced U2 to me. It still brings tears to my eyes when I hear it. This is from their “Joshua Tree” album released in 1987.

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!