Midnight Moonlight – A Short Story

One of the Facebook pages I follow is for our local area and its focus is photography from around our county.  We have some amazing photographers in this area.  One of our local guys, DW, posted the following photo. I contacted him and asked for permission to use his photo (with credit to him) with the short story that the photo inspired. I hope you enjoy.

midnight moonlight inspiration photo - DW Harmon - Pure Lapeer

(Photo by DW Harmon – Michigan. Shared with permission)

 Midnight Moonlight

(by Michelle D.)

Unnatural silence surrounded her. The air so still not a single leaf rustled. Missing also were the normal sounds of wildlife. She should be able to hear the croak of the bullfrogs from the misty swamp ahead, the hoot of an owl, or the skittering of little feet through the dry leaves. Instead there was nothing but pure silence.

The woman took a careful step forward. Gravel moved under her foot, grinding together in a loud crunch. She stopped again, her heart racing, her heartbeat audible in the silence of the woods.

She just needed to follow the tracks, she kept telling herself. They would hopefully lead her to safety. The old cabin with the monster of a man was behind her. She hoped he was still unconscious from the blow she gave him to the back of the head.

The moonlight glinted off the rails of the old abandoned railroad track. She studied the rails. Years had passed since childhood, but she should still be able to balance on the narrow beam that the rail presented. She stepped carefully onto the right rail. The light mist made the rail slightly slick, but she should be able to carefully walk silently along it.

A careful glance over her shoulder showed nothing behind her. He wasn’t using the rails to sneak up on her, but she needed to hurry. He could come to at any moment.

Up ahead she saw a break in the woods. It appeared that the railroad tracks created a small bridge to cross a gap in the earth before the next stretch of woods. Maybe she would be able to figure out where she was, orient herself with the surroundings.

A loud snap broke the silence behind her. She gasped and took off running, carefully balancing as she ran. Years of training came back to her, unfortunately her body was not in the same shape as her gymnastics days. Her feet wobbled as she ran.

Low, rolling laughter came from her right. Another loud snap to her left.

“Leave me alone!” she screamed, abandoning the rail to run full tilt on the gravel next to the tracks.

She slid to a stop just before tumbling down the embankment. The tracks continued across the gap; just a couple of rails and rotted boards stretched between her and the other bank. Laughter came from her right again. Another glance around showed her she was still alone. She tested her weight on the rails.

“You can’t escape,” the words from below whispered over her skin.

“Go away,” she sobbed.

A growl came from behind, “Run!”

She took off across the suspended rails, balancing as carefully as she could on the shaking, slick rails. The other bank loomed, coming closer. If she could make it to the other side maybe she’d be safe.

She jumped the last couple of feet, slipping on the gravel and coming down to her knees. Her eyes wide, breath coming in short pants, she looked around. A light glowed ahead of her, just down a path off the tracks.

“Help!” she screamed before standing and running for the light. The woman burst into a clearing. “No,” she whispered, sinking once again to her battered knees. The old cabin, the same cabin she escaped only an hour ago, stood before her.

“I told you, you can’t escape,” a voice whispered just before pain burst across the back of her head. She rolled over, stared up at the monster, her vision fading.

“Until death do us part, my love,” he grinned as he raised an ax. The last thing she saw before the world went black was the light of the midnight moon shining on the gleaming metal head of the ax.


Vacation – 10 Year Anniversary

My hubby and I spent last week in Texas for our 10 year anniversary.  Our actual anniversary is tomorrow,  the 21st, but with our work schedules we had to plan our vacation for last week.

We stayed in San Antonio right on the Riverwalk.  Food is expensive down there!  But… best salsa I’ve ever had was found at Cafe Ole. Really good bbq at The County Line (we went there twice,  it was that good).

We went to the Tower of the Americas, Natural Bridges Caverns,  did a trolley tour,  wandered the Riverwalk,  went to the Alamo.

And more.

Let’s see if I can get the pictures to load and post:










There are more photos but I know my phone will freak out if I try to post more.

Future Embroidery – Based on Photo

Have you seen the commercials for Pure Michigan? They show how beautiful our state is and try to draw people here to visit.  It actually is a beautiful state,  especially late spring with all the green leaves and flowers blooming.  But the most beautiful time is in the fall,  when the leaves are changing and we see bright gold,  bold red,  vibrant orange, and all the muted shades in between.

On Facebook,  there is a page when people in our local town are posting photos from around the area, “Pure _________”. Flowers,  trees,  spiders,  gorgeous autumn colors,  peaceful water,  etc.

A couple of the photos really drew my eye.  Something in them just spoke to my creative mind.

One of which is the following photo by a lady named Mary Harris:


That bright red leaf beckoned me. Drew me into the photo.  Then the whole branch of burgundy,  standing out from all that green.

As soon as I saw it,  I saw the potential for an embroidery design.  So I asked permission to use the photo and make a sketch.  Mary was kind enough to grant me permission.  After the sketch was done, I made sure she had the opportunity to see it,  and then I asked permission to use her photo on my blog,  which again she was nice enough to say yes.

Here is the sketch that was based on her photo:


I want to make sure to keep that red leaf front and center.  Followed by the burgundy.  With the green as the perfect background.

I haven’t yet decided if this will be needle painted, satin stitched, feather stitched,  or just outlined.

Thank you again Mary! I hope to see more of your photos on the Facebook page.  You have a great eye.

I do have two more sketches done from two photos another lady took.  I’m waiting for the additional permission to use her photos here with the sketches.

I also have a few of my own sketches I’ll shares at a later date.

Ice Storm 2013

What an interesting weekend….

We were slammed with an ice storm that started Saturday afternoon with freezing rain and lasted until Sunday morning.

While the ice does look pretty:


Too much of it is destructive:





Our road was partially blocked by downed branches and other branches hanging so low from the weight of the ice that cars couldn’t make it under them. My hubby and I cleared up what we could in front of our house and a few of our neighbors homes so that traffic could get through. One of our neighbors also had a large branch blocking her driveway and since she has her 90ish year old mom living with her, we didn’t want them trapped so we moved that as well.

Our small area appears to be one of the few areas that did not lose power. Wires are down all over town but we seem to not be on the town power grid.

My mom and stepdad lost power Saturday night so Sunday morning they called the hotel in town for a room. But when they went to check in in the early afternoon…the hotel did not have power either!

Luckily, we have a spare bedroom so they are staying with us until they have power again. Their house is close enough that they can check on things and make sure they don’t have any pipes burst and make sure the cats are okay.

We will have a white Christmas this year…made primarily of ice.


Where Did November Go?

This past month has flown by. Halloween brought a nasty lung infection that took a week of antibiotics plus an antibiotic shot to get rid of. We also traveled to Georgia for a friend’s wedding plus a mini vacation. (Pictures to follow at end of post).

This week was the monthly craft group meeting and we played around with making pot holders, hot pads, and/or mug rugs. I got mine pieced together but forgot my batting at home so I didn’t get to actually sew it together.


This month I also helped my mom put together her new “toy” (I’m jealous):



I’m still trying to finish up the gift for my cousin’s baby shower which is this Saturday. If I get it finished in time, then I should have pictures up later this weekend.

Georgia pictures time!






Oh yeah! I almost forgot. I’ve also been playing with a small embroidery practice piece, mixing in different stitches.



Instagram – photo differences

I decided to go ahead and try out Instagram. What Instagram is, for those that don’t know, appears to be a photo program for cell phones. You take a picture then you can crop, change lighting, etc.


First picture was taken with the normal phone camera:


In the next 2 photos I used Instagram and played with the effects:



So I was able to turn the photo black and white in one. And in another I was able to brighten up the colors a bit.

Would you like a close up of the little bit of embroidery I’ve done so far?

This tree uses one strand each of DMC 783 (gold), 433 (dk brown), and 301 (copper). Done in a stem stitch.


The water lily is made using 2 strands DMC 956 (pink) with lazy daisy stitches. The leaves are made with 2 strands of a green variegated which I’m not sure of the brand. The grass uses the same green. The small pink flowers are a French knot made with 1 strand of DMC 891. The rocks are…not to my liking but they are made with 2 strands of a dark grey DMC 3787.


The tree here is my first tree and it looks it. Haha. Stem stitch. One strand each of DMC 3829 (muted gold), 433, and 301.

I plan to add leaves to the big tree. Grass at the base of each tree. A few more trees and stumps. And I’d like to figure out how to make a tiny cardinal in the big tree. Maybe a fallen log or two. A winding path. Maybe a small rowboat in the right corner “pond”.

I’m not sure what else yet.

Vacation – New Jersey/New York

(pictures will be at the end of the post).
On Thursday last week, my hubby and I headed out early to start our vacation. Hubby’s sister’s baby shower was on Sunday in New Jersey so we decided to combine our anniversary trip with the trip to New Jersey for the baby shower. Thursday was dedicated to driving to New Jersey. 13 hours later, after tons of construction and a map that was not quite correct for the area near the hotel, we finally arrived.

Friday, we spent the whole day walking around Manhattan island. Over 10 miles walked! We started at the Port Authority. Hit Broadway. Central Park. Saw The Met where we met up with A, hubby’s sister. Went back downtown. Met A’s fiancé.

By then we were exhausted so we went back to the hotel for dinner and sleep.

Saturday, we met up with A and her fiancé in New Jersey and took the subway to the World Trade Center. Its sad to think about what happened back on 9-11 and to see how even 12 years later, things are still in the process of being rebuilt. MF, A’s fiancé, was two blocks away when it happened. He shared with us some of what he experienced. (which I’m not going to share here because it’s his story to share).

We walked through Chinatown, Little Italy, and other downtown areas. Lunch at a bistro. Then back to the World Trade Center area.

Sunday was the baby shower where A got a ton of presents for the baby. 7-8 weeks and our new nephew will be here!

Now for what you are probably waiting for, pictures!

Our hotel room:



I knew I didn’t want to spend a crazy amount of money for a purse, but I still had to stop in and check things out:


Central Park:



Love the architecture on some of the buildings:





I saw this little place and had to take the picture to share with Mom:


The World Trade Center, monument, and sculpture:






Spring has Arrived 2013

All the windows in the house are open. It’s 70 degrees outside. The sun is shining.

Spring, that fickle season in Michigan, has finally decided to arrive.

My Japanese maple is budding:


My lilac tree is showing signs of life:


And the spring flowers have picked up their pretty little heads to say hello:




What a gorgeous day today!


(please ignore the debris/dead limbs in the flowerbeds…this is the first really nice day we’ve had so I haven’t had a chance to clean them all out yet).

A Penny In A…

Pennies show up in the darnedest places.

Penny in a tote:



Penny in a box:



Pennies can show up in a sink:


And…a dishwasher:


Sometimes the blanket on the couch can swallow a Penny:


Penny purrito:


Pennies are small enough to fit anywhere…really:



Hm, can’t quite fit “in” this one: