Help! My Dracena Marginata Has Hit the Ceiling — What Can I Do?

A dracena marginat houseplant has grown so tall that it is crushing itself against the homeowner's ceiling. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Our dracena marginata is crushing itself against the living room ceiling. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It’s true. My graceful dracena marginata is doing itself in. It’s hurling itself mercilessly against our living room ceiling. What’s a plant lover to do? Seriously, green thumbs, I [Read more…]

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The Atheists Are Coming – Out of a Closet Near You

At an exhibit table at the 2014 meeting of the Religion Newswriters Association are Robyn Blumner,Executive Director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, and Todd Stiefel of  Stiefel Freethought Foundation. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Pitching atheism at the Religion Newswriters Association conference last fall were Robyn Blumner, executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, and Todd Stiefel of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

That’s right. If the folks behind a new movement called Openly Secular have their way, more and more American atheists will be coming out of their religion-free closets to declare their unbelief to friends, family and coworkers.

And your neighborhood agnostics, humanists, freethinkers and [Read more…]

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A Crazy-Making Crazy Quilt — Finished at Last

A crazy quilt top cut into pieces to make into smaller quilts. Primary colored vintage calico. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The crazy quilt top I’d made of calico as a wedding gift back in 1971 was riddled with ripples. In hopes of making it lie flat I cut away a section. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

There I was, at Sue Mary Fox’s sewing studio in Berkeley. Pinned to her wall was the crazy-making crazy quilt that I had begun–but never finished–back in 1971. It was to be a wedding gift for my brother and his bride.

Forty-some years later, I decided it was time to finish the darned [Read more…]

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The Quilt From Hell — Forty-Two Years Later, It’s Still Not Finished

A portion of a crazy quilt made in 1971 by Barbara Falconer Newhall of calico fabrics in primary colors. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A section of the crazy quilt from hell. The calico I used is now considered vintage. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It had been staring at me from that drawer for decades, guilting me. The quilt from hell. My wedding present to my brother and his wife. Never finished, never presented.

Their marriage had done just fine over the years–all 43 of them. It hadn’t needed [Read more…]

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Superbowl: My Guys Are Talking Sports — And All Is Right With the World

nfl 2015 superbowl playoffs, seattle-greenbay, TV screen shot of game. Photo by Barbara Newhall

On our TV: Last Sunday’s Superbowl play-off, Seattle and Greenbay. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It’s January, 2015, and another Superbowl is coming up. Son Peter is 34 now and  he lives in the faraway Midwest. But as always, whenever he and Jon get together, father and son, in person, on the phone or on Skype, sure enough, the subject turns to sports — football, baseball, basketball.

I like listening to the two of them talk. I can’t keep up with the intricacies of a [Read more…]

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