Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


Spring Showers = Flowers!

_MG_0579Actually, these bluebonnet days were captured during early April, the high-point of the bluebonnet season. My girls and I take a yearly romp down to Ennis, which is titled “The Bluebonnet Capital of Texas.”

Ennis is a cute little town that has its roots in the Czech colonies that were some of the earliest here in Texas. There are still some flavors of that early culture, particularly in the form of antiques, gift shops, and restaurants. Bright EyesThe Kolache Depot comes to mind. But the place isn’t only steeped in the past. Though still a small town, society has moved in with upscale stores and chain restaurants. Yet it keeps its charm.

TZee1his year’s bluebonnet crop was a little on the disappointing side. We actually made the trip to Ennis twice. Both times, a week apart, showed the same result, about half of the plants blooming. Butterfly over Bluebonnets by Marji LaineThough the area was pretty, it wasn’t the breath-taking sight that it often is. This butterfly photo is from a few years ago. Seriously, the entire landscape was blue.

In years past, we’d been blessed to find the fields full and the hills brimming with blue. This year, we had some different treasures. We rounded a corner and found a small herd of deer lazily breakfasting by the road side._MG_9860

_MG_9881And the antics of the longhorns—who would have thought such huge beasts had “antics”—had us in hysterics. But then we always find plenty of things to laugh about. Animals, strange signs, our own reactions to the things we see.
_MG_9915Laughter is our general response to most stimuli whether from the photos we’ve taken or our own zany behavior like baaing at goat herds. I guess it’s part of our upbringing or personality makeup.

aketchumThe trait makes for some wonderful memories though. Like the trip where we suggested perfect first names for the sheriff candidate from a sign that was hooked to a barbed wire fence at one of the crossroads. Ha! We settled on Dewey, Howie, or Al!

Your Turn: Have you taken a spontaneous road trip? What was your favorite memory from it?


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Texas Living

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I love setting my stories in Dallas and North Texas. My first solo publication, Grime Beat, occurs downtown and in the surrounding suburbs. It’s so fun to identify “live” locations! Check out my LIFE IN TEXAS board on Pinterest.

I’ve lived in this area (both suburban and rural) all my life. And there’s nothing I enjoy more than sharing some of the best things that are exclusive to this area. In this case:

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N is for NATURE!

On a whim, I packed my girls up and took off southward for the self-proclaimed Bluebonnet Capitol of Texas.

I would second that title!

I’ve lived in the metroplex all of my life and I’ve never seen anything like this place! Only about 45 minutes south and I felt surrounded by beauty that left me wordless. And the silence! My girls noticed it.

In my little suburb, there’s always sound. The whitenoise of the freeway, the mosquito whines of speeding motorcycles and roars of trucks, train horns from a mile away, and sirens coming and going. But out there, with all the background noise erased, we could here songbirds, bugs, ducks, geese, even things we couldn’t see. Total peace.

I’ll need to make sure I visit there again! SOON!

Oh and I must share a few funnies of our trip. The first was a sign we passed. Precious Redhead snapped this shot, laughing hysterically.

All in all, we decided with his name, he’d make a great sheriff. That is, until Sweet Hubby came up with a potential first name of Dewey. That first name made us think there was too much of a question to be depended on. But it gave me an idea over what to name this photo. I decided on “Howie, Didju, or Neva,” but I think a man running for sheriff would probably stick with Howie even if it wasn’t his real first name!

Oh and I had no idea Precious Redhead got these shots. We drove beside a quiet yard full of goats and their friendly old horse. Well, as is my custom since college anytime I come upon a herd of goats, I baaaaaed at them. (I’ve been known to moo at cows, too!) And sure enough every head in the pen turned my direction with faces full of disgust.

What’d I say?

Even the horse, who must speak fluent goat considering his surroundings – turned toward me and I swear she snorted. I should probably wash my mouth out with soap!

Your turn: What was the last spontaneous thing you did just for the fun of it?