Monday, April 30, 2012

"Purrington Looms, LLC Accessories....."

Late last January, I ordered a "Warping Trapeze", a pair of "Angel Wings", and 4 wood clamps from Bruce, of Purrington Looms (  Bruce was very upfront about how long it would be before my order would be filled, but I felt the pieces would be worth the wait, so went ahead and ordered them.  They arrived last week!

Here are the "Angel Wings" and clamps.......

The "Warping Trapeze" after opening the shipping carton.  The pieces were so well packed for shipping, I was VERY impressed.  Strategically placed bubble wrap of 2 different sizes kept these babies safe and sound, no matter how they were handled during shipping.

The cross bar has this engraved into the wood.  As you can also see from the photo, the wood is sanded smooth with rounded edges, and protected with a satin finish, making the trapeze "furniture quality".

Although not perfectly set up, this photo shows the warping trapeze attached to my floor loom.  It can be used with my table loom, too, but the table loom would also have to be clamped down to a solid surface because of the trapeze weight. 

I have since adjusted the trapeze, marking both trapeze and loom with permanent marker, where each needs to be clamped so that the uprights are parallel to each other, making the cross piece parallel to the looms warp beam, which will assure an even tension when winding a warp onto the loom.

I've not had the time to actually use the warping trapeze yet, but do know what my 1st warp will be.  Don gave me, as one of my Christmas presents, a color gamp kit from "Lunatic Fringe" (, so as soon as I have an unencumbered block of time, I'll begin measuring out the warp.

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Don's Birthday Continued....."

After we came in from the deck where we had neighbors over for cake and ice cream, I gave Don his birthday presents.

His first came from Duluth Trading Company (, a place we both like very much.  He received 2 belts that he'd admired last time we'd stopped in their shop.

Another of his gifts was something he made a point to tell me he was out of.......cognac.

Why not 2 kinds for a sensitive palate, eh?   ;)

That might have been the end of his "special day", but since he took the rest of the week off, we've managed to have even more fun.   :)

Have a great weekend, too!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Don's Birthday with Photos......"

As I mentioned yesterday, I was taking Don out for his birthday breakfast.  We went to Monty's Blue Plate Diner (, over on the east side of Madison, where we had a terrific breakfast.

After that, we did something for me....we went to Lane's Lutherie and Violins (, where I rented my violin in hopes of beginning my fiddling lessons soon.  More on that another time.....

Next on Don's "wish list" of things to do yesterday, was attending the free weekly organ concert at the Lutheran Memorial Church at noon.  It is a beautiful church and quite majestic.  We both enjoyed the concert very much.

Our afternoon entertainment was going to see the movie, "Mirror Mirror"(  While cute, and certainly with amazing costuming, we both were a bit disappointed.  The trailer made is seem so much more sensational that it actually was, although, even though disappointed, I nonetheless, enjoyed it.

Even though we had popcorn while at the movie (who can sit watching a movie in a theatre and not have popcorn?), we then went out to dinner at The Great Dane Pub and Brewing Co. (, in Fitchburg, where we had good soup, burger, and sandwich.  Of course, Don had a couple of their great brews, while I ordered a mixed drink, beer not being a favorite of mine.

Home and onto the deck, where we were joined by neighbors Rob, Lonnie, Charlie, Griffin, and Perry for cake and ice cream (homemade I might add).  Yes, we sang Happy Birthday and had Don blow out the candles, which were arranged to create the numbers 61.

Don's cake was chocolate, with chocolate chips baked inside, topped with chocolate frosting, and drizzled with a chocolate sauce that I made using my Mom's old recipe....a favorite of Don's.  Do you get the impression that Don loves chocolate?  That smile should give you a hint.   ;)

Here are Charlie, Griffin, and Lonny........

And Lonny, Perry, and Rob.

We had a nice little gathering and quiet celebration before coming in the house, where Don opened his gifts from me........which will be tomorrow's post.   ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Celebrating Don's Birthday!"

We're celebrating Don's birthday today.  The first portion of today's celebration will be taking him out for breakfast.....from then on, it is up for grabs.  It is "his " day, so he'll be calling the different from other days.  NOT!!!   LOL
I will, of course, be posting more about this day, so stay tuned.   ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Green Day"

After leaving the farmers market, we walked over to Monona Terrace (flat building in the distance), where the Isthmus Green Day activities were being held.  Yep.....another planting of tulips which evidentially begged to be photographed.  ;)

Mark Bittman, food writer of the New York Times, was the keynote speaker at the Isthmus Green Day activities.  The Isthmus is described as our "alternative" local, weekly newspaper for events, news, movies, music, etc.  Both Don and I enjoyed his talk on "political solutions to unhealthy eating".
Here is a link to an article written about his talk:

You may remember I'd mentioned in a previous post about my interest in learning to play the violin.  Well, that has spurred me to do something about it.  Saturday morning I did some online searching of local shops which handle violins, and found "Lane's Lutherie & Violins" ( which captured my interest.  After leaving Monona Terrace, Don and I drove to the violin shop to check it out.  LOL.....yes, I am hooked!  I left my name and phone number for the violin instructor to give me a call, which will hopefully be today.

I found this little sign quite humorous and had Don take a photo of it.  "Everyone" has to enter by the side door.   ;)

Then we did what we do best.....went out to eat!  :)  Since we were on the east side of town, Tex Tubb's Taco Palace ( was our next stop.  I ordered the regular frozen margarita, but Don, adventurous man that he is, ordered a sample flight of margaritas, which was his choice of 3 from the 6 flavors offered.  He ordered Prairie Fire (front-HOT! HOT! HOT!), Blue Agave (with the lime), and White Whiskey.  All were very good but he chose to stick with the Blue Agave for the rest of the meal.

His first taste of the Blue Agave.....not quite the same look after tasting the Prairie Fire.   ;)

What a fun day!  Tomorrow is Don's birthday, which he will be taking off from work, so I know we will have another fun day doing special things that we rarely do....or that is my "assumption".   ;)  His day, his saw how that worked when it was my birthday.  ;)

Monday, April 23, 2012

"First Outdoor Farmers Market of the Season!"

What a beautiful day we had for opening day of our outdoor farmers market!  The Madison outdoor farmers market is the largest one in the country.  That is saying something, eh?   ;) The farmers market fills all 4 sides of Capitol Square.

The tulips were a bit past their prime, but still bright and beautiful!  Each corner of the square has a huge planting.  These were on the corner where we started our "walk about".

These are from corner #2.......

Sarah and Rick were at their usual spot selling their homemade Maple syrup.  Here is Don with Sarah....that is Rick behind Don's shoulder.

Sarah is our friend Barbs sister.....who just happened to show up as we were chatting with Sarah....and for a photo op.   ;)  Sarah is busy with a customer when I took this.......

We couldn't miss taking a photo of this massive planting of tulips.....

Nor could I resist taking this photo of a well known protest sign either.  This is also corner #3 of tulips.   ;)

And lastly, corner #4's tulips.  We then headed over to Monona Terrace to check out the Green Day celebration which will be tomorrow's blog post.   ;)

By the way, I had a bit of a surprise this morning when I sat down to write today's blog post.  The format on Blogger changed since I wrote lasts weeks posts.  I had to feel my way through writing this.  Adding photos to the blog is reversed from the last format, so hopefully I have that "little twist" down pat, after adding them, then finding they were in the wrong order.  I learned things once, I can do it again, eh?   ;)

Friday, April 20, 2012

"Heid Music Grand Opening"

Madison has a new music store...Heid Music. Their grand opening started earlier in the week and goes, I believe, through this weekend. Last night, they had a pianist demonstrating their Yamaha pianos. Don's piano is a Yamaha, so he was interested in seeing/hearing the demonstration.

We arrived early so we could do some looking around. As we entered, a guitarist was performing. He was quite good.

Don took a seat with several others and the pianist began.......

I'd brought my iPad along as I'd not planned on watching the demo, having no clue with anything to do about a piano. I wasn't sure just how technical it was going to be so I went prepared to do some reading, etc.

As it turned out, I did more listening, plus some photography, than reading. :) The pianist was quite amazing.

I took a few more photos of the store. I have always wanted to play the violin so was very drawn to this section.......

They have an huge variety of electric and acoustical guitars.

Percussion, too........

And as expected, a large inventory of pianos, some of which are not seen in this photo.

We both had a very enjoyable time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"A Milestone!"

Yesterday, after picking Don up from work, we drove to our local mailbox in front of Mallat's Pharmacy to post a "SPECIAL" piece of mail. The "pay off" check on the house! Yes, the house no longer has a mortgage!!!! YEA!!!!



GONE!!!! What a WONDERFUL DAY!!!!!

I'm sure there will be "mention" of our event at this weeks Happy Hour. ;)

Monday, April 16, 2012

"The American Classic....The Canned Ham Travel Trailer"

I have always had a fondness for these little camping trailers. Small as they are, they had everything...well, most everything, rarely was there a bathroom in them, but there are "after market" options to help with that. ;)

Thanks to Karen, of KarenInTheWoods fame, , who sent me a link about a newer version of the American Classic, although this "new version" comes from France.

The link Karen sent me was in French, but I had it translated into English using Google. I think those of you are interested in trailer camping may find this very interesting. I found it pretty amazing myself. ;)

Click on 3X of its menu bar to see photos and/or some videos featuring the camper.....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"First Ride......"

Don spent some time last Saturday getting all 3 of our bikes prepped for riding. We actually have 4 but I no longer ride my Raleigh hybrid locally, but take it to MI on visits to the kids, and he'll prep it prior to one of those trips. On Saturday, he prepped my Trek Electric Assist, his Sun recumbent trike, and his Tour Easy recumbent bike shown here.

While he was prepping the bikes, I was on the front deck with my iPad, so when he was ready to take off on his 1st ride of the season, I snapped these photos to document the beginning of our "biking season".

I asked him to go up the street a bit so that I could get some action photos. :)

He has fallen in love with his recumbents "body sock". Having it on has made him do a bit of adjusting.....for instance, it does make the turning radius a bit wider, and winds from either side have a greater "cause and effect", too, but the aerodynamics of the sock have also allowed him to ride at greater, according to him, the "pros" definitely outweigh the "cons".

On Sunday we went for a ride together. I have to admit though, my ride only ended up a bit over 7 miles, for when we rode out of the Arboretum, I told him to go on without me. Some "body parts" were killing'll take some more training to get past that. ;) Don figures he probably rode twice as many miles, and possibly a bit more.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"iPad Photos........"

After receiving my iPad from Don, I tried taking a few photos with it. I have a 4 photo sequence. ;)

Everyone unaware.......

Now I have everyones attention......

What is Michael doing?

Look Griffin! Oh well....lost his attention. ;)

That was the extent of my photography that day, but Don took over a bit later when Charlie arrived and took these of Griffin and his Mom.

Fun stuff, eh? I'm looking forward to taking it to MI and having our granddaughter Abigail scroll through photo albums. I mentioned that to Patrick last night and he said she does it with their phones, so she already knows what to do. Kids these days, eh? She'll eventually be leaving us all in the dust when it comes to electronics.