The Sad State of the Supermarket Strawberry

An oversized red strawberry is bigger than the bowl of the spoon it rests on. Photo by BF Newhall

One of the strawberries Jon brought home: bigger than the bowl of a teaspoon. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I’m worried about the strawberry. It’s too late for the tomato. Its innards were transformed into colorless, flavorless – but easily shippable – pulp decades ago. Which is why I’m concerned about the strawberry. Is it going the way of the tomato?

Jon brought home a plastic bin of them the other day. They were huge, almost [Read more...]

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The Weekend I Talked — And the Kids Listened

A traditional house in an snowy, tree lined neighborhood in southwest Minneapolis offered by Edina Realty. Photo by BF Newhall

A traditional neighborhood with lots of charm in southwest Minneapolis. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

You know your kids have turned into grown-ups when they listen to your advice. I don’t mean take your advice. I mean listen – gently and kindly – as you talk away about how you did things when you were their age. Or how you did things last week. Or how they [Read more...]

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Tulips and Sex — Writing as If Everyone I Know Were Dead

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

Deep pink tulips at their peak — just opening. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I want to write about tulips today. I don’t want to write about sex. The trouble is, for me, writing about tulips means writing about sex: something about their juicy curves brings erotic metaphors to my particular mind.

I thought that once my mother — and father — were no longer alive [Read more...]

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Dead Stuff – Which I Will Be Too One of These Days

A woodpecker has wedged an acorn  into a crack in a dying valley oak tree, at bishops ranch, sonoma county, CA. Photo by BF Newhall

An acorn wedged into a crack in a dying valley oak tree at Bishop’s Ranch. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The fifth-century Saint Jerome kept a human skull on his desk to remind him of his mortality – memento mori.  But if you’re like me and you like to take walks in the woods, you don’t need a skull taking up space on your desk to remind you that sooner or later everything dies, including you. That’s because the woods are full of dead stuff. [Read more...]

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The de Young This Week: Bursting With Art — And Flowers

At the de Young Bouquets to Art show, Kren P. Rasmussen of Bloomster's interprets Diebenkorn's, Berkeley No. 3, 1953. Photo by BF Newhall

At the de Young Bouquets to Art show — Kren P. Rasmussen of Bloomster’s playful comment on Richard Diebenkorn’s, “Berkeley No. 3, 1953.” I like the way this arrangements lets you see the painting through it, while elaborating on the painting. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Art. Bouquets. More art. More bouquets. And crowds and crowds of people. My idea of a good time. I spent the day yesterday at the annual Bouquets to Art show at the de Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park — joined by two friends who enjoy flowers and art as much as I do. [Read more...]

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