"Wrestling with God" book with Barbara Falconer Newhall

Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

My Ever-Changing Family

Our family shrinks and grows. People die. People get born. People get mad and won't talk to you for a while. Kids grow up and find partners of their own, and pretty soon there are brand-new in-laws.

I’m Going to Be a Grandmother — Or Will I Be a Grannie? A Grandma? A Nana?

My Grandma Falconer at age 97 with pearls, up-do and 19th century-pince-nez.

My father’s mother, born in 1876, was known as Grandma Falconer. Here she is with up-do, pearls and 19th century pince-nez.

My mother's mother, born in 1896 and glamorous, went in for furs, lipstick and sassy headgear. Everyone in town called her Toto. Photo by DG Falconer

My mother’s mother, born twenty years later and glamorous, went in for furs, lipstick and sassy headgear. Everyone in Pentwater, Michigan, called her Toto. Photo by DB Falconer


By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Help! My son Peter and his wife are about to transform Jon and me into grandparents.

What shall I call myself? Something tried and true like Grandma, Grannie, Nana, or Grandmother Newhall? Or should I revive one of my childhood nicknames — [Read more…]


The Baby Quilts Are Ready — Now All We Need Are the Babies

Quilt piecings made of flowered calico in primary colors and black dating to the 1970s. Assembled in the Berkeley, California, quilting studio of Sue Mary Fox. Photo by Barbara Newhall

This one goes to the first grandchild. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Grandchild No. One is due in February, and this time the quilt will be ready.

Faithful readers of this blog will remember the story of the 40-year wait my brother and his wife had before I finally delivered their hand-made wedding gift to them. It was a crazy quilt made of colorful, flowered calico, pieced together on an old Singer sewing [Read more…]


I’m Thankful for Friends, Family, Pumpkin Pie and — It’s a Girl!

I'm thankful as Christina Newhall takes stuffing from 2013 Thanksgiving turkey. Dad Jon helps. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Three of the things I’m thankful for: Two cooks and lots of stuffing. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Here’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

One. Decades and decades of friends and family. I’ve had so many people to love over the years. Some of those people will be at our house on Thanksgiving.

Two. Coming soon in February — yet another person to love. Our [Read more…]


She’s Shaved Her Head Bald — Is Our Daughter Headed for the Dark Side?

A pretty girl, Christina Newhall, has shaved off all her hair and is still pretty. Photo by Tim Beedle

Christina, smiling at us from cyberspace. Tim Beedle photo

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

“Hey, Barbara. Come look. Christina’s bald.”


“Yes, bald. Her picture’s on Facebook.”

I dashed upstairs. I usually do a slow trudge up the stairs when Jon invites me to look at something he’s found on the Internet. Dutifully, I coo at the baby elephant or hiss at the mouthy politico, then I trot back downstairs to my writing room or the kitchen.

Not this time. This was an emergency. I sped up the stairs. Our 32-year-old [Read more…]


Mom With Kids — The Home Office Blues

A 1986 home office with computer, crib, toddler and cat. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Our 1986 home office complete with kids, crib, rocking chair, changing table, cat — and computers. Photo by Barbara Newhall

This old Oakland Tribune column is riddled with late-20th-century artifacts: videocassettes, an Apple desktop, an 8086 microprocessor, He-Man toys, a long-forgotten computer game called Choplifter, and a lone 60-watt light bulb.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, The Oakland Tribune, June 8, 1987

Christina, 3, has the best room in the house, the one with the view of Mount Tamalpais.

At least, it used to be Christina’s room. Now, she has just the dim, windowless half of it. The part with the view belongs to our home office. [Read more…]