I love the Washington Post Peeps Contest and each year I swear I’m going to enter, even though I haven’t since Peepi Longstocking about four years ago. I keep my Peeps stocked in the basement, just in case, but the deadline always catches me off-guard, as it did tonight. This time, though, I tried a last-minute entry as a tribute to Leonard Nimoy. It’s not as professional as the architecture firms who usually enter (or as Lois, my highly skilled neighbor), but what the heck? The title is The Trouble with Peeples. LLAP.

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"Somebody close that door."

“Somebody close that door.”

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Leonard Nimoy











Thought I’d share this clip that my friend Dana found, of Leonard Nimoy on his Jewish and Yiddish roots.

Biz Hundret un Tsvantsig

May you live to be 120.

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Tu B’Shevat



In my Tu B’Shevat book, Happy Birthday, Tree, Joni makes a promise to take care of the trees of the world.

As a project this week, 70 kids told me how they would take care of the trees, the environment, and the world. It was set up like Yoko Ono’s Wishing Tree, where the kids write their promises on leaves. We hung the leaves from the branches. (Don’t worry: most of the leaves were cut from papers that we’d used for other projects.)

For more tree activities, visit this page.

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A lot of my writer friends suffer from some form of anxiety. Maybe that’s because as writers, we’re always imagining possibilities for our characters — the worst possibilities. And we do it in our own lives, too.

This morning, I couldn’t find the cat while some contractors were removing the most awful vinyl known to man from our kitchen. I’d taken the cover off of one of the kitchen air vents. Thus I convinced myself, for the better part of three hours, that the cat had fallen into the vent and disappeared into the furnace forever.

This way of thinking is good for writing. But it’s lousy and exhausting for living.

So one of my goals for this year is to remember Occam’s Razor, my husband’s refrain for my assumptions. I’ll try to find the simplest reason, the simplest explanation. (In this case, it would have been: the cat’s probably hiding in the basement, which is where I finally found her.)

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Hot Tea Month

January is Hot Tea Month.

spoonAnd okay, sure, it’s one of those holidays that’s made up to give the industry a boost, much like National Pickle Week (which is in May) and National Grapefruit Month (February). But if you’ve been outside on the East Coast today, you’ll find it’s a holiday well worth celebrating. As you can see from this Heather Ross illustration from How to Behave at a Tea Party, Julia and Charles celebrate tea every single day.




My own favorite tea choice: Earl Grey.

Honey or sugar? Sugar.

One lump or two? Three.

Favorite Tea Cup? I’m actually more of a mug person than a tea-cup person. My favorite is an old, faded mug that’s at my mom’s house. My brother and I fight over it every time we’re home.  favoritemug

Coffee or Tea: The only type of coffee I drink is Vietnamese iced coffee. Otherwise, it’s tea, both cold and hot.

Favorite Tea-Related Television Show: If you guessed this was an excuse to mention Downton Abbey, you are correct. It occurred to me while I was watching last night that Julia has a lot in common with Carson.

I’ve been collecting tea-related items over on my Pinterest page. Check them out if you are so inclined! Because what tea celebration wouldn’t be better with a Lionel Richie, hello-is-it-tea-you’re-looking-for tea pot?

Posted in downton abbey, heather ross, holidaze, hot tea month, how to behave at a tea party, lionel richie, tea, Tea Party | 2 Comments