By Jan Johnston March 2, 2014 6 a.m.
I have a confession to make: I didn't play with Lego bricks when I was a child. I was a Tinkertoy kid through and through. Instead of plastic bricks littering the floor, spools, sticks and flags decorated our living room carpet. Usually my creations had a flair for the abstract, but during the times when my older brother was home from college, the structures secured the cool factor with his complicated designs and moving parts. No wonder my brother became an engineer!
By Jan Johnston February 23, 2014 6 a.m.
Do you doodle? Can you doodle a poodle or a curly pasta noodle? Lest it sounds like I'm about to recommend a Dr. Seuss tale, please bear with me. "Doodle" is one of those words that makes me smile when I say it. So naturally, when I saw this week's book on the shelf at the library, I just had to check it out. Now, not only is "doodle" a favorite word, it will become one of my favorite pastimes thanks to Sunni Brown's compelling argument for a "doodle revolution."
By Jan Johnston February 16, 2014 6 a.m.
As you probably know, a couple of big competitions take place this month: the Winter Olympics and the Westminster Dog Show. I've been able to watch highlights from the XXII Winter Olympic games, but, to my dismay, I missed all of the action and drama of America's top canine contest. The winner, a wire fox terrier named Sky, who looks like a very spunky gal, certainly worthy of a trophy, and perhaps a hefty bowl of kibble, made me grin despite not being able to view the events leading up to her crowning achievement.
By Jan Johnston January 26, 2014 6 a.m.
Hey, Seattle Seahawks fans, your team is headed to Super Bowl XLVIII! Next Sunday the Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will battle it out for the NFL's highest honor. It's coming up fast, but for die-hard football enthusiasts, a week can be a long time to wait. To fill in those empty hours before the big game, I have a suggestion. Go to the library and check out a few books about football to tide you over until game time Feb. 2. We have a great selection covering current and historical components of America's gridiron pastime.
By Jan Johnston January 19, 2014 6 a.m.
The older I get, the more I realize just how much information is out there, and just how impossible it is to take it all in. When I was a kid, lots of things interested me, and I felt that there was an endless supply of hours in which to absorb everything that I wanted to know. Fast forward several decades, and now, instead of limitless time ahead of me for exploration and contemplation, I can barely keep up with current events. Information doesn't just flow into my life; it cascades over me like a cataract.
By Jan Johnston January 5, 2014 6 a.m.
Let's face it. The past two months of the year are pretty much focused on preparing for — and getting through — the holidays. I enjoy the annual festivities full of "gobble gobbles" and "ho, ho, ho-ing," but I am always ready to move on once the new year dawns. Time to pack away the ornaments and lights, vacuum up dried-out pine needles, and stop buying eggnog and gingerbread men. It's an old idea, but it still rings true: a new year means the chance for a fresh start.
By Jan Johnston December 29, 2013 6 a.m.
The end of 2013 is upon us, and hoo-boy, what a year it has been!
By Jan Johnston December 22, 2013 6 a.m.
Maybe it's the cold, foggy weather, but lately it seems that my reading list centers around one thing: food. Pumpkins, carrots, apples — one would think I spend all of my time in the kitchen! But I don't, as my husband well knows, so besides the weather, I suppose I enjoy reading about food because it's so darn good. Plain and simple.
By Jan Johnston December 15, 2013 6 a.m.
When you sit down to dinner this evening, what kind of vegetables will you be eating? You are eating your veggies, right? Well, if not, you aren't alone in your decision to skip the green stuff. There will always be vegetable-haters, but would it surprise you to learn that a 21st century distaste for veggies is very different from the intense dislike, even distrust of vegetables that many of our ancestors felt? Yes, it's true -- once upon a time, eating plant-based food was perceived as a foolish and dangerous venture.
By Jan Johnston December 8, 2013 6 a.m.
Anyone who has ever owned a cat knows about their ability to "see" things that humans cannot. Whenever Gracie and Rooster, my two feline companions, suddenly turn their heads to stare at what appears to me to be nothing at all, I have to admit I get a little spooked. What has captured their attention? Fairies? Sprites? What manner of wee folk are hiding in the cracks and crevices of my home? Or, is it that the feline "sixth sense" is simply a game that cats have devised to spook humans? Unanswerable questions, I'm sure, but still worth pondering.