A Case of the Human Condition

I’m Barbara Falconer Newhall and I’ve got an incurable Case of the Human Condition. And since you do too, I’m counting on you to laugh and cry along with me as I riff on life as we know it . . . Below you'll read about my creaky, old fifties house, my forays into home gardening, my shopping stories, my spectacularly low-fashion wardrobe -- and more.

Riffs on Life: Your Top Ten Favorites of 2014 — Sort Of

Two deep pink tulips bloom at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA. Photo by BF Newhall

“Tulips and Sex — Writing As If Everyone I Know Were Dead” was inspired by the tulips in bloom last spring at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Here they are, your favorite Riffs on Life, 2014.

Actually, these might not be your favorites at all. That’s because they are the 2014 posts that got the most page reads this year, which means that they are the favorites of Internet search [Read more…]

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Seven Reasons to Be Grateful This Thanksgiving: Starting With the Rain, a Leaky Dishwasher, and You

An open 2000 Maytag Jetclean Quiet Plus dishwasher with racks visible that finally wore out after 14 years. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Our 2000 Maytag sprang a leak after fourteen years of service. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Some reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving:

One. Stuffing! Stuffing alone would make the Thanksgiving Day meal my favorite of the year. But at our house there’s a bonus — pumpkin pie.

Two. A leaky dishwasher. Our 14-year-old Maytag dribbled water onto the [Read more…]

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Olympic Sculpture Park Photos — Cool Art, Really Cool Park

"Seattle Cloud Cover," by Teresita Fernandez, 2006, a pedestrian bridge with photographic material between layers of glass. To the left "Echo" "Echo" by James Plensa. 46 feet tall. Resin, steel, marble dust. 13,118 pounds. May, .Photo by Barbara Newhall

Jon and I started our stroll with this glimpse of the homely 2014 sculpture, “Echo,” made of resin, steel and marble dust by James Plensa. Up the stairs we were in for a treat — a pedestrian bridge with “Seattle Cloud Cover,” by Teresita Fernandez. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Can’t decide whether to take in a modern art museum or go for a walk in the city? In Seattle, you can have it both ways — at a seven-year-old sculpture park along the city’s waterfront. For those who can’t get to Seattle, maybe these Olympic Sculpture Park photos will suffice.

When the park was completed in 2007, some locals protested that [Read more…]

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The Olympic Sculpture Park — An Artful Stroll on Seattle’s Waterfront

Sculpture "Seattle Cloud Cover," by Teresita Fernandez, 2006, a pedestrian bridge with photographic material between layers of glass. Photo by Barbara Newhall

“Seattle Cloud Cover,” by Teresita Fernandez, 2006, lines a pedestrian bridge. The artist used photographic material layered between glass. Big disappointment — she photographed the clouds over Miami for this art work, not Seattle’s famous rainmakers. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Photographing Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park was fun. Even more fun was downloading all my wannabe works of photo art and poring over over them for hours on end.  Especially the photos I took of Teresita Fernandez’s magical, elusive glass wall, “Seattle Cloud Cover.” And Mark di Suvero’s steely “Schubert Sonata.”

Which shot of the di Suvero steel sculpture hovering over the park path was better? The [Read more…]

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Tudor Bungalows in the Twin Cities—Little Houses With a Big Sense of Humor

A grey-green Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Tudor bungalow with curved half timbering. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Can a house have a sense of humor? Charm, yes, of course. But a sense of humor? Houses are houses. They’re serviceable. They’re meant to be lived in. Some are works of art even. But can a house make you smile? [Read more…]

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