Finally a weekend without rain (yet). I finally planted a caladium that has been waiting to get into the ground for over a week. It looked so good, I made my way over to Diggin’ It first off this morning to get some more.
I really like getting my flowers from Tracey for several reasons. First, she carries stuff that “works” here. Not many tropicals that have to be hot-housed in the winter. (Like that is really going to happen. That’s how a perennial becomes an annual in this house.) She has classic stuff that can take our heat, is drought tolerant and will come back year after year. She also knows her plants. She has a beautiful garden. It’s even been on the garden tour. She can tell you exactly what you are looking for. I always leave planning to go back to get more.
She has lamb’s ear. In the picture, the lamb’s ear is right around the sign. It has soft, “fuzzy” leaves and will shoot up delicate purple flowers.
A word about lamb’s ear. You better like it if you decide to plant it. When we moved here sometime around 2000, a neighbor with a mischievious grin brought us a handful of lamb’s ear. At first, we put it in the front yard. It likes full sun but can get a little distressed when the summer becomes really brutal so we moved it to the back yard under a pecan tree.
Ten years later, the lamb’s ear which was supposed to be a small border around a small birdbath has now formed its own bed. I’m guessing the bed is eight or ten feet wide at its widest. I had to get a larger birdbath. (Really because the old one gave up the ghost but the replacement is bigger). Apart from the occasional pecan tree that tries to start up within the bed, the lamb’s ear chokes out any other weeds or grass. It did this all on its own with no help from us. Luckily, we like lamb’s ear.
We’re also enjoying the larger bird bath. It’s a lot deeper. There’s a lot more bathing going on. We get a lot of starlings but the robins and mourning doves like it too. We usually also have a clutch of cardinals but there has been a turf war going on with mockingbirds this year and I haven’t seen as many cardinals.
Anyway, Tracey has a way with light. (This post is not all about Diggin’ It but I did take a lot of pictures there this morning. It was just so pretty.) She gets morning light in her windows and everything has this almost “otherworldly” feel to it.
Her shop reminds me a lot of Alice in Wonderland. I don’t know why. I just wouldn’t be surprised if a large white rabbit started talking to me there. There’s so much color and so much “fantastical” stuff. I don’t think that fantastical is a word but it gets the point across and is the only word that will do at Diggin’ It. Besides, we have a certain latitude with words in Texas.
Something else I like about Diggin’ It is that she carries a lot of merchandise produced locally. Check out these birdhouses made by someone here in the District. You won’t find anything like this at a big box store where all the decisions about what to carry are made at a centralized location that isn’t here. These are almost too pretty to actually use as bird houses.
She also has a lot of the decorative metal work I’ve been seeing around and really good prices on them too.
She has metal grasshoppers, metal ants, metal fish, metal birds. She even has a metal artwork like the one I saw in Waxahachie. It’s a little shorter and not as elaborate as the one in Waxahachie but I still loved it. You can’t really see it in this shot. The birdhouse part is poking up in the background behing the yellow angel fish.
Tracey loves her bottle tree. Personally, I am not entirely on board with bottle trees. They are the next big thing. Maybe. Maybe I’ll get into them. In the meantime, I love her bird cage.
My goal today was to go find bicycles incorporated into merchant windows to herald the arrival of Bike the Bricks coming up later this month. Tracey had a neat antique one that I took a picture of awhile back. It didn’t last long though. She sold it. In fact, that’s what I heard over at The Olive Branch too. People want to buy them. Who would have thought? Old, new, it makes no difference. Put a bicycle in your window, you’ll sell it. Maybe we need a bike shop on the square.
I had a wonderful chat at The Olive Branch (where they are having a great sale). Sometime after Mother’s Day, they will be joining the space that is The Olive Branch with Shelby-Marilee & Company next door. The Olive Branch was originally intended to be a boutique extension of the salon. It’s great to see the plan finally coming to fruition. Check out the decorative flowers made out of plastic water bottles. Isn’t that a cool idea?
From there, I got completely distracted from my search for bicycles. I stopped by Smitten and they have completely rearranged. It looks great. The light is really coming in and I had never noticed the area up by the windows at all before.
Since I was nearby, I decided to look for this “new” business is that had a Groupon last week. Pavitra may not be new but they are really well hidden. There are lots of changes in the space where Pumps used to be (Pumps moved across the square) and I thought maybe something had changed from what I had heard last and maybe they were in there. The sign is still up for Debra Linker’s studio to come in. I think it is supposed to come in later this month. I even walked back to where Balise Nail Salon is and thought maybe Pavitra was part of their salon but no. Thoroughly confused, I went in next door to Orisons and asked there. It turns out that Pavitra is up through the door next to Orisons Gallery. I’ve never noticed a sign on that door (and I still forgot to actually read the door to see if there is one). So there you have it, Pavitra is there and now I know how to get there.
One bit of news I was hoping to have more info on (but don’t) is that Sauce is expanding into the building that housed Pumps’ old location. They are going to be adding a jazz club-slash-expansion. I have confirmed through multiple channels that this really is happening but I have no idea what part of the space they are taking or when it will open. I wrote to them and they are going to send me something at some point so I hope to have more information in the future.
While at Orisons, I bought the absolute greatest book on McKinney’s history. “Images of America: McKinney” by Ryan Barnhardt and Ryan Estes is 127 pages long and packed with pictures. There are tons and tons of pictures of downtown; of buildings still standing and some long gone. Both Orisons and McKinney Office Supply have copies and, although I’ve included a link to the book on Amazon, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go down and get a copy in person. Orisons, by the way, provided several photos to the book and they can enlarge and frame copies of those photos for you. We bought a big one of the courthouse as it was back before they took off the French provencial top.
Completely abandoning my search for bicycles, I was actually in my car and heading home when I saw that there is a new shop on the square! I found a new parking space and went in to check them out. Kick Up Your Heels opened last Saturday. They are connected to Arabella’s. They are still building stock but they already had a good selection with prices comparable to Kohl’s. Lots of sandals, some heels and a few flip flops. I had already considered Arabella’s as a good place to look for shoes within my budget, so I’m super pleased with the expansion.
So here’s what I’m looking forward to in May:
Re-Run of The Pantry’s Outrageous Foods Episode – May 1st at 5:30 pm. If you missed it the first time (I did), we get another chance. So remember it this time!
Yappy Hour at Churchill’s British Pub – May 2nd from 5 to 7 pm. I have no idea exactly what this is going to be but it involves the Canine Cookie Company, dogs, and Churchill’s British Pub. Whatever it is, it sounds interesting.
Mother’s Day – The usual suspects, Gather and The Pantry have special menus. It doesn’t look like you have to have reservations. All the restaurants downtown did that one year – you had to have reservations – and it was really irritating. We tried a couple and then gave up. I’ve never considered breakfast or lunch on the square on Mother’s Day since then but it looks like that has changed. Cafe Malaga is having brunch Mother’s Day 11 to 3.
McKinney GuitarFest – May 7th and 8th at 3615 Canyon View Court. I think that this is a new event and I’m hoping it does well. I love acoustic blues and it sounds like there will be some of that. John Wynn, who is connected to this has a guitar studio downtown. I don’t know if the address posted for the event is a business or a personal residence. From the website, it looks like you may have to pre-register.
City’s Cinco De Mayo celebration – May 7th from 7 to 9 pm. Mariachi Michocan will be in concert at Old Settler’s Park. The link ultimately goes back to the City’s web site and then I couldn’t find more information. It looks like Mariachi Michocan has a great web site though. I’d love to see more Latin influenced activities be more accessible to general public.
Happiness is Quilting is having a special guest, Sue Daly, all the way from Australia to teach classes on May 7th and 9th. On Mother’s Day (May 8th), she’ll have a trunk show at the McKinney Performing Arts Center. I may have to go just to find out what a trunk show is.
Election Night on the Square – May 14th from 6 to 10 pm. This should be fun and I don’t expect this to be too politically charged. The District is abuzz talking about the At Large candidates but everyone has their own opinion and there doesn’t seem to be any polarization around one specific candidate.
The City Council meeting on the 17th of May may have quite a few attendees interested in a proposed electronic billboard to go in along Interstate 75 between Honda and Golden Corral, just south of Virginia/Louisiana Streets. It is huge in comparison to existing signs and recently failed to win approval of a variance in the sign ordinance from the Planning & Zoning department earlier this month. I think they said that the Honda and Golden Corral signs there are 100 square feet (10 x 10) and this would be over 600 square feet, but I don’t remember the exact dimensions. It would stand around 50 feet tall and rotate out electronic ads every 8 seconds. 12.5 % of the time would be donated to the City and they would build out the available lot with crepe myrtles and a “Welcome to McKinney” monument. You can see why so many are interested.
Bike the Bricks – May 27th from 4 to 11 pm. This was tons of fun last year and the second go round should be even better.
In June (the 18th) , there will be a book signing at Diggin’ It that looks really interesting. I wouldn’t normally mention a June event yet but I want to remember this one. Susannah Charleson wrote “Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog” chronicling her life with her canine search partner, Puzzle.
So, that’s it from me for now. I’ll leave you with one more shot from downtown.
Until next time,