Maria Stuart

Maria Stuart
Howell, Michigan, USA
February 17
Maria Stuart is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer. She lives in Michigan with her husband, their teenage son, and Ted, the hyper labradoodle who keeps her from sitting at the computer too long. You can check out her website at or Follow @mariastuart on Twitter.


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Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 4:11PM

How John Edwards spoiled the Dave Matthews Band for me

There isn’t enough room to keep a lot of CDs in my car, so I rotate them in and out. My musical whims are like Michigan’s mercurial weather: they change from moment to moment, mood to mood.

Whimages-5en I was purging my household for my annualRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 12:24PM


  Library - 2065

I planted sunflower seeds along my backyard fence a few years ago, hoping for a bounty of the flowers that always make me smile.

Nothing grew.

As time passed, I forgot I had ever planted the seeds.… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 4, 2009 9:05AM

Worth his weight in gold


How a gift from long ago got my son his dream dog

My in-laws never gave each other lavish gifts. But after my father-in-law, Don, was nearing the end of his battle with lung cancer, he enlisted my help with a birthday gift for my mother-in-law.Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 6, 2009 9:43AM

Life after newspapers: On the public dole

These past few days have been mostly dedicated to getting ready for my yard sale, the culmination of the purge of my household. Surrounded by stacks of things to be tagged and sold, I had to take time out to file for unemployment.

I’ve been laid off from my newspaper job since… Read full post »

JULY 31, 2009 4:51PM

Open Call: Firsts

1. Who was your FIRST prom date?

Did the “alternate” prom thing – getting drunk by the pier on Lake St. Clair with other like-minded classmates. The cops came and shooed us all away, but not until they shone a spotlight on one of the guys taking a leak off the pier.

2.… Read full post »

JULY 29, 2009 6:34AM

When cute puppies go bad

Fastdog - 1753It happened in a flash.

Teeth bared, snarling, our new puppy lunged for my face. I was trying to keep her from nipping my kid when she set her sights on me instead. BAM! My right eye bounced, flashing white, like it was whapped by a baseball. My upper lip stung. My… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 15, 2009 9:00AM

Kids and sex: Sometimes ignorance is bliss

I’ve given thanks every day this summer that I am unemployed. Rather than trudging off to my stressful old newspaper job every day, I instead get to be witness to the summer in which my son, Will, happily transitions to the “double digits,” as he calls them.

Today, my little boy turn… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 2, 2009 1:01PM

No Fourth of July parade for this unemployed person

It was during a conversation with my son a couple years ago that I realized he had absolutely no idea what it was I did for a living.

We were eating dinner and I was “mom-tificating” about how important school and good grades are when my then 7-year-old kid told me… Read full post »


I don’t remember a lot of music that had such the pervasive, uniting, boogying effect on everyone in the world — everyone — like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

There were other albums popular back in the 1980s that came close to touching the mass boogie… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 25, 2009 9:58AM

My breast friends — I'm sticking with them

images One night I went to sleep a fifth-grader with tiny bumps on my chest and woke up the next morning with breasts rivaling those of tennis star Simona Halep. I exaggerate just a bit, of course, but it’s more truth than fiction.

Simona Halep has folks talking because of her plans… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 17, 2009 4:07PM

It’s raining dead presidents in Detroit


It’s been a week since motorists and passersby competed with armored truck crews and police for money that landed like litter along the I-75/Chrysler freeway in Detroit.

It was about 8:30 a.m. on June 11 when a Loomis armored car transporting an unknown amount of cash… Read full post »

JUNE 12, 2009 11:06PM

Penguins win Stanley Cup

Hearts broke across Detroit Friday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins outplayed the Red Wings to win the holy grail of hockey— the coveted Stanley Cup.

After a long, grueling hockey season, it came down to the final seconds of the final game of the Stanley Cup championship season, which saw a rema… Read full post »

Southeast Michigan is in a hockey daze, and we’re hoping that when Friday’s final game in the Stanley Cup series is over, we’ll be able to savor a sweet hockey hangover.

I know, I know. For most of you, watching a game played on ice in the middle of June seems weirdly… Read full post »

I thought I'd share photos of my clematis. The abundant rain in Michgian this year has helped them to bloom like they've rarely bloomed before.

 Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I do!

 Be sure to concentrate on the clematis, not the front porch in desperate need of painting.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 5, 2009 11:14AM

The Stanley Cup: A tale of two rust-belt cities


I know I am making too much of this Stanley Cup series, but I can’t help myself. The re-match that has the champion Detroit Red Wings defending against the powerful Pittsburgh Penguins holds allegorical fascination for me.

In my heart, this series has nothing to do with hockey an… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 29, 2009 10:42AM

I have seen the future of journalism: Requiem for a blog


Jim HopkinsIt didn’t take former USA Today editor and reporter Jim Hopkins to tell 42,000 Gannett Co. employees that newspaper life as they knew it was undergoing a dramatic and fundamental change.

However, it took Hopkins and his Gannett Blog ( to connect… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 27, 2009 11:26PM

Finally, some good news from Detroit

The Detroit Red Wings are heading to the Stanley Cup finals! The team won 2-1 in overtime after a great game Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Michigan in general — and Detroit in particular — needed this bit of good news. Take a minute to send some good vibes in Detroit's…

Read full post »

MAY 20, 2009 8:00AM

Driving naked women

I was living in my parents’ basement, waitressing, attending college part-time, flat broke and in need of transportation. My parents, desperate to get me on the road out of their basement, offered to take the room and board I had paid them over the summer to buy me a car. My… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 18, 2009 10:00AM

Life after newspapers, part 4: Hockey, divine signs & puke

Those of us in southeast Michigan desperate for a hint of light inside our economic black hole instead got a sweaty, bloody, body-checked, red-jerseyed sign from above.

Call it destiny. Call it just desserts. Or call it what it was — an odd little move with big results. The Detroit Red… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 8, 2009 1:36PM

Go ahead: Ask me why I like Mother's Day

When a small hole first appeared in the wall of the first-floor bathroom of my old bungalow around Mother’s Day a year ago, I was curious. For about a week, I silently watched as the hole grew from the size of a pen tip to about the size of a thumb.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 30, 2009 2:30PM

Life after newspapers, part 3: Varmints, romance, accidents

All I could think about last week was Saturday night. My husband and I had a big date planned — dinner and a movie —to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. Our 9-year-old son would spend the night at his grandmother’s; after all, who knows how late we’d be out or what… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 21, 2009 1:33PM

Last gasp for suburbia?

There is no better testament to the real estate mantra of “location, location, location,” than Livingston County, Michigan. The once-rural community is the crossroads of two major freeways. It’s also the bull’s-eye between the Motor City and Michigan’s capital of Lansing… Read full post »

When I first saw the new Burger King commercial for its 99-cent kiddie meal, I was horrifed that my 9-year-old son was sitting alongside me.

My little boy, the one who can’t get to sleep without a stuffed animal and a light on in his room, watches intently as gyrating women dance… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 10, 2009 8:00AM

Life after newspapers ... Part 2

It’s been a week since my job as managing editor of Michigan’s newest daily newspaper was “eliminated” for economic reasons.

I pondered the milestone as I brushed my teeth this morning. When I looked into the mirror, my heart skipped a beat and I shrieked.

Albert Einstein was l… Read full post »

APRIL 4, 2009 6:11AM

Gay marriage hits the heartland

In a wonderfully unanimous decision on Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down the state’s law banning same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.

Iowa, the state famous for corn and the kicking off of the presidential primary season every four years, is the first state in America’s heartla… Read full post »