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What I Learned This Week – 7/26/15

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This week I learned that I could build a hillbilly sound system.

My hillbilly sound system.

My hillbilly sound system.

When my preschooler son moved into a bigger bedroom, my husband designated the former nursery as his “man room.”

Well, then I designated the remaining bedroom as my room. Mostly craft/photo/exercise/sporting goods/genealogy storage, but also a tiny office space. Which, I figured, needed a sound system. You will notice that it features the portable CD player from my post a week ago. I also used the speakers from our old Dell desktop computer, which my husband and I both have almost discarded so many times, but they actually have really great sound.

"Dude, you're getting a Dell!"

“Dude, you’re getting a Dell!”

I rounded it out with my Sears mini boombox that is probably 30 years old. It once went to the electronics repair store to have a cassette tape removed that it ate (Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinkin’ Rich – Warrant). I don’t even think their are repair stores for cassette players anymore. People now even view computers as disposable. Everyone except me–I have resurrected my laptop with a new hard drive and a new power cord (Friday) in the 4 years I have owned it.

I placed it all on an ancient TV cart that my great-grandpa used in his TV repair business. I used an old Pepsi wooden crate to hold my extra headphones and cables.

Yes, my dear friends. This is me putting my Communications degree to good use.

And no one should be offended by me referring to it as a “hillbilly” sound system because I am hillbilly. I can prove it. Come dig through my genealogy storage bins 😉

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a Bug ON SALE for only $.99 for a limited time & GIVEAWAY going on over at Goodreads (ends August 15, 2015)
When You Least Expect It AVAILABLE NOW!

The Whistle In The Night

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My son has a Melissa & Doug train puzzle that has caused trouble since the day I picked it up at the thrift store.

TRAIN PUZZLE-toy

If you have kids, you may know that Melissa & Doug makes sturdy wooden toys, that can also be a little pricey. If you have read my blog before, you may have gathered that my son REALLY likes trains.

So, when my asbestos friend and I were shopping in December last year, I really couldn’t pass up this puzzle. I mean, my kid can tell you the anatomy of a steam engine better than he can his own body. The problem was, he was WITH ME in the store. I tried to hide it from him. It is hard to hide a wooden puzzle. My asbestos friend, TRYING to be helpful, said, “Oh, let him play with it. He won’t even remember it tomorrow.”

Famous last words. She forgot my kid is six months older than hers.

EVERY DAY until Christmas came he asked me, “Where is my puzzle train?”

I finally settled on telling him, “Santa took it to the North Pole. He will bring it for Christmas.” Which, Santa did. My son will STILL tell me, “Santa Claus took my puzzle train and brought it back for me.”

He plays with it.

He loves it.

Did I forget to mention that it is a SOUND puzzle?

I put batteries in it Christmas morning after my son opened it. I was convinced for days that it didn’t work. I finally figured out that it only makes the whistle sound when you put in all the pieces at the same time.

We discovered that it worked off of light sensors in the puzzle. When they all sense darkness, it makes the noise.

And how did we discover this?

Because, invariably, my son takes out one piece of the puzzle and leaves it lying out. 99.9% of the time, it is the coal tender. And at night, when my son has been asleep for two hours and the crotchety dog that is prone to bark at night is locked up in the laundry room, and I am trying to be oh-so-quiet, I click off the living room light…

“Whoooooh-Whoooooh!”

Oh. Crap. That stupid train puzzle. Every night one piece is missing. Every night I never think to check. Every night I have to hold my breath as it whistles in the darkness, hoping that it will not disturb any man, child, or beast already in slumber.

And yet, with all this trouble, it is still a really cute puzzle…

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