Tuesday, October 26, 2010


last sunday david's mom was cooking breakfast for us when her sweater caught sadly on fire! she was about to throw it away but i said i'd patch it up for her. this is what i made, a tracing of shoshi's hand that i embroidered onto a patch. AWWWW


photo credit: vanessa hardy

such a classic part of michigan life i think. i love how the local weather people get so SO excited but they have to play it cool because, you know, gotta keep it professional for the public, who are in DANGER FOR THEIR LIVES. but their love of crazy weather totally comes through anyway and they're practically hopping up and down with excitement. david and i love to turn on the local weather when it gets like this just to hear em. today: "...and the yellow swirls, the majestic fuscia swirls, of this doppler radar screen, indicates that the winds are indeed progressing..." when the last tornado came through they were practically begging people to send in any "live-action" tornado shots they might happen to come across.

it reminds me of bill keneely, who was me and my mom's favorite meteorologist on the weather channel some years ago. we always yelled for each other when he came on, because his outrageous enthusiasm for all things extreme weather-related was so wonderful to watch. he would always be standing either in slashing horizontal rain somewhere, sickening green sky and palm fronds behind him whipping around as fast as his hair, or in like some NASA-grade space-blue cold-weather parka with ten foot blowing drifts behind him, always with a HUGE smile on his face. there is something so endearing about a true extreme weather-lover. my grandpa gave me more than one weather radio over the years that could turn on automatically in the event of a tornado warning, which i assumed probably involved a spy-grade level of technological advancement. not that any true extreme weather-lover would ever actually go into the basement during a tornado, which it is the entire point of the tornado warning to advise...

i love tornadoey days.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

too sleepy for a title

dude, i am such a dedicated blogger that i just got out of bed to post this picture, having remembered four minutes before midnight that i promised my vast readership a picture of sho's fresh knockoff lions gear today. it was a hit, and so lovely to present an unexpected little wrapped package to my lovely this morning. i have been a true believer in spontaneous gift giving ever since a landmark day of around the age of six, when for some reason i went to my mom and earnestly explained that i was having the sort of day where a present would be particularly appreciated. my mom is the best at understanding those rare and perfect moments when the best course of action is to spoil a person, so she wrapped up a popple puzzle she must have been saving for some unexpected kid's birthday party and presented it to me in the living room. i think i even remember what i was wearing (green corduroy overalls) as i opened the popple puzzle, that's how amazing it was to make such an outlandish request and have it be respected, just this once. they can make a day just a touch magical, unexpected presents.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

sew sew sew your boat

so since figuring out how to make shirts and, as of late last night, pants, i have become a baby clothes sewing maniac! four dresses and one autumnal track suit later and i show no signs of slowing down. there is something so satisfying about taking one old thing and using it to make another (very little house). the yellow ribbing on the lil number above is from a cut up old t-shirt, and on the back strip it says (in small letters, upside down) "groceries - lotto - liquor". i think those are all good solid themes for infantwear.

since there is approximately o chance of david reading this, since his aversion to both reading and internet navigation rivals that of...well, no one, i will tell you that i am scheming on a present for him! to be unveiled this (superbowl football party) sunday, a lions dress for shoshi. made from thrifted t-shirts (total cost 98 cents) and a screen printed lions logo on the front. don't tell the trademarking peeps, i am totally making knockoff football apparel out of my own home! stay tuned, on sunday i will post a picture. it's getting very exciting around here, isn't it?

Friday, October 15, 2010

gettin' crafty part deux

back by popular demand (one comment! my darling emilia, this one's for you), another thing i made last night! this dress was surprisingly easy to sew (it took about the length of a movie to construct, and one t-shirt donated by dahvid) and very satisfying to put on shoshi when she woke up this morning (see below). it will be one just element of her grand halloween costume (suspense!). but i think i'm going to make a couple more just for her wardrobe's sake, cause me and instant gratification sewing go together like me and butter.
in case you're curious, i used this tutorial and adapted it into a dress. my first link! it's getting pretty fancy over here...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

gettin' crafty

one type of blogs i enjoy reading are "craft blogs" (not the ugly kind). in an effort to expand this blog's horizons i will show you a craft i made just now. they are crinkly little teething blanket/toy devices and are pretty much exactly identical to some dog toys i made for stella (and somewhat unbelievably also embroidered with her name) when i was pregnant. except instead of stuffed with batting, they are stuffed with a layer of qdoba takeout bag (i found its middle-weight crinkle to be the most satisfying). other accoutrements include nylon (tug straps? tug job? strap ons? nothing sounds quite right...) straps used to tug things. also knotted strips of leather, fur, yellow t-shirt scraps, and sho's name. so far all of these accessories are right up her alley, especially chewin' on that leather (which is stella's favorite part too).

thank you, this has been DOIN CRAFTS with sarah h!

Monday, October 11, 2010

reading roundup no. 2

i meant to have a good quantity of book-talk in this blog and then i forgot about it until now. here we go! today i will tell you about my current fave, little house in the big woods. this is the dearest book alive. i read it yesterday and kept telling david about it: "pa built ma a wooden shelf for her china shepherdess. laura and mary got red mittens for christmas. pa makes bullets every night before bed" until he was finally just so on the edge of his seat, crazy jealous that i decided to read him the next book in the series, little house on the prarie. (sometimes i read to him at night because otherwise that boy would never get his daily dose of reading, ever. also it is a pleasant custom.) i am on a quest, along with sho being trilingual, to give her the best library of books a kid could possibly dream of, in addition to a personal reading cave, tent, or fort (her choice). so i've been collecting used kids' books for about a year now and have a pretty good collection going, including a few of the little house books. with fall in the air, how could i resist breaking one out again? and oh, so cozy and perfect for this season. it takes place in wisconsin back when it (and michigan too) was just one huge forest. and they are so secluded there in the middle of the woods, entirely dependent on themselves and what they find in the woods for survival through the long winter. it's pretty much nonstop churning butter and smoking meat and oiling traps, basically. and you can tell ma and pa are totally in love, the way they call each other "charles" and "caroline" (hot, right?) and make each other wooden shelves for their china shepherdesses. the humble and hardworking simplicity of their lives makes me seriously yearn for the frontier life. in conclusion, little house in the big woods totally wins as serious homesteading inspiration and dreaminess champion. eat it, thoreau! and take a look, it's in a book!

Friday, October 8, 2010

tucker butters

at least five times every day i say the following poem to shoshi mary (invented by myself):

plum puddings
and tucker butters
cellar doors
and forest floors
pink bunnies
and full tummies
and dinosaur bones
birch trees
and busy bees
black dogs
and tree frogs
hawk feathers
and worn leather
and shoshanna mary,
such a good girl

the end result is pictured above.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


twas a bad day yesterday so last night we put sho in her jammies and took her to the union to eat portabella fries and hear some jazz (in that order, at least for david and me). i remember the first time we took her out to eat when she was about three weeks old, we walked down to bell's and sat outside, and i pretty much felt like i was having a heart attack the whole time. i was so worried about her bothering people, crying, needing something and not having it, lordy. now we take her out to eat with us at least once a week and it's all gravy. the only supplies you really need are a spare diaper and pacifier, and we just hold her while we eat. gravy! anywayyy, back to the JAZZ. that kid loved it! literally from the time it started to the time it ended, she stood on david's lap and stared with wide eyes at the stage. it reminded me of when i used to live in san francisco, i would go to this underground (literally) "jazz club" and drink whiskey sours with my fake id that said i was 5'7" (i wish!) and muse that jazz sounds exactly like an alligator staircase. it still does. it was a magical evening, and sho didn't even need to break out her fake id to hear the alligators.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

a person in progress, part 2

sleep deprivation

feels a little like velcro being ripped apart, the velcro being your soul of course. a baby is like an alarm clock that's set to go off every couple hours (BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP) and wake you up just enough so you can't go back to sleep. until about fifteen minutes before the next alarm, that is!

but then this morning she was so excited to see me that her whole body started wiggling, legs kicking, arms flailing, a big face-cracker of a smile on her face. preservation of the species, a tale as old as time...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

peep our new woodburning stove

doesn't it just have the wood stove equivalent of a real nice face? now we just need a stovepipe and we'll be cookin! (cookin eggs! in a skillet on top of our stove [has always been a dream of mine, much like the entire little house on the prairie experience (minus the question of where one poops in a one-room cabin with no plumbing during a snowstorm)])

Monday, October 4, 2010

the tamale man

one of the things i like about living on the north side, aside from the easy availability of churches with hand-painted signs and 3/$10 rap bootlegs, is the tamale man. whenever one of us sees his red truck we yell, "tamale guy! tamale guy!" and run out the door, much like the ice cream truck's somewhat illegal (health code) immigrant cousin. although there's really no need to run, ever since we told him how much we love his tamales he makes a special stop for us. they are always piping hot, fresh from his kitchen where his wife and daughter make and package them in fold-over baggies, six for $4. we always split a package of six right then and there. the best part is the hot sauce, which is also packaged in a knotted baggie like a little hot sauce bomb. you stick a fork in it and drizzle it out onto the tamale. delicioso!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

gratuitous baby pictures

sunday morning with our small person in progress.

yoplait face

one time david and i were watching "the dog whisperer" on television (it must have been at a restaurant because we sure don't get the fancy cable that features the dog whisperer and also seventh heaven reruns here. it is all america's funniest home videos, all day at the hughes crib). the show in question involved a german shepherd who was barking at and scaring the shit out of his owner's new husband. it was sometime around the point that the new husband put his helmet on and (terrifiedly) walked past the dog into the backyard to retrieve his bicycle that david said these immortal words: "man, that dude has a total yoplait face."

much like the time i once said that someone (possibly the entire duggar family) "looks like they drink a lot of milk," but even more on point, yoplait face has become a perfect descriptive term for all those people out there in america who wear elbow pads, eat kraft cheese products, and are usually named brian. the yoplait face is the opposite of a freak face, which evidently if you are a man you will know what that means?

the yoplait face isn't all bad. just the other day we observed a young asian man riding his bicycle on the sidewalk wearing a helmet and sitting up very straight as he pedaled along, and it was among the real nicest things i saw all week. total yoplait. the principal in eastbound and down is a quintessential example of yoplait at its finest (pictured above). yoplait can easily be found at your local hallmark gold crown store, babies r us, and any coffee shop with the word "bean" in the title. yoplait buys 95% of the world's antibacterial hand sanitizer, and they aren't afraid to use it. thank you, yoplait faces of america, for making this great nation what it is today.


"i need to start writing some raps, some SPOOKY raps. for halloween."

so due to "the economy" and "rising foreclosure rates in the state of michigan," david's pop and his doberman named sylvia now live in our garage out back (actually pretty cozy thanks to a little woodburning stove). among other things i am learning that david hughes and his father LOVE halloween, i mean i do too, it is surely a magical time of the year, but this is serious. the decorations began in early august (small exaggeration only), a skeleton here, a pumpkin there, but now that it's finally october, the VERY MONTH OF HALLOWEEN, well. there are seriously probably 25 skull representations in the front yard alone. how do i feel about this? i am planning on decorating the house to within an inch of its life for christmas. in fact i think we should become one of those houses, the ones with the thirty-foot tall lifelike leprechaun on the roof for the entire month of march. wish us luck!