Tenergy Bluetooth Beanie

I am a Bluetooth headphone junkie. I wear them 24/7.  I sleep in them, work in them, in fact I think the only time I take them off is in the shower. I used to read all the time, now I listen to audio books all the time so I can keep my hands free and actually get things done around the farm and house.

I am currently testing the Tenergy Bluetooth Beanie. There are a couple reasons why you’d want a beanie headphone instead of just your regular in-ear headphones.  My best reason is I usually just hate in-ear headphones. They cut off ambient noises more than over the ear and they end up hurting your ear canals so because of that, for me they have a limited length of wearability.

The beanie headphone also has a limited length of wear simply because it’s a warm cap that you’re only going to want to wear when it’s cold. They do make different thicknesses of beanies so if you’re looking for a summer weight or winter weight, you should be able to find one.

PROS specific to the Tenergy Bluetooth Beanie:

  • Fleece lined, so extra warmth – I wore mine for several hours in an A/C’d house and didn’t get sweaty but I’m not sure I’d want to wear it out in the summer heat.
  • Minimal wires – Some beanies have obvious wires that connect the two headphones, while this is good for cleaning the hat, it’s terrible when it comes to wear. You’re always afraid you’re going to pull a wire and the earphones can move around more. That didn’t happen with this beanie.
  • Small charging hole – Since there’s no wires, there’s also just a small hole near the main headphone that allows you to charge. Again, this keeps the earphones in a stable position and makes the beanie look like a nicer
  • Movable puck – One of my biggest peeves on Bluetooth headphones is the super bright blinking blue light. It’s blinding when you’re in the dark. This one does still have a fairly bright light but you can shift it so that the leather patch covers the light and minimizes it.

CONS specific to the Tenergy Bluetooth Beanie:

  • Minimal wires – While it does say the beanie is hand washable, I’m not sure how you’d manage it since it says to remove the electronics first and the electronics are sewn into the hat. It makes for excellent positioning, but you might be SOL if you get some serious dirt on it. To be fair I think the faux fur pom pom wouldn’t survive a wash either. Note: Please see the update below for information on removing the speakers.
  • Small charging hole – While it’s great to have a small charging hole when you’re not charging, it’s kind of a pain to hunt for it when you do need to charge. You end up stretching the sweater to find the hole and I’m afraid long term it might look odd.
  • “Invisible” buttons – Clearly they aren’t truly invisible, however when it’s on your head there’s really no way to tell if you have a button selected or if you have the right button selected. Obviously all headphones have a learning curve and eventually you’ll just know where all the buttons are, but initially it’s kind of a pain.
  • Echo during calls – This only happened with my mother and it happens with all headphones, not just these, but I feel like I need to at least mention it.



Overall it’s a nice, comfortable beanie with good reception and sound at a really good price. It’s 6 hour playtime life is pretty good, but less than my “gold standard” set of headphones that lasts 10. Still a very comfortable way of listening to your favorite music or audiobook. Definitely worth looking into and purchasing.

Purchase Information:

I received this beanie at a discount for testing purposes. I do not accept products for review unless I have a legitimate need or desire to test them out. I always strive to give an honest review. The product links in my review are potentially “affiliate” links in which I might receive a small payment based off your purchase that will in no way affect your purchase price.

 UPDATE:  There is a way to remove the speakers, the hole is located inside the hat brim. Excellent place to put it as it is completely out of the way yet very easy to remove. I completely over looked it because the brim was tacked down in a couple places so I didn’t even check there.



Farm Gates

When we were only considering moving to the country, I knew I didn’t want a gate. I hate gates. I hate stopping for the gate, getting out of the car, opening the gate, getting back into the car, driving through, getting back out of the car, closing the gate, getting back into the car. Heaven forbid you forget something and have to go right back in. Don’t think bringing kids along with you makes it any easier. There’s mild complaining with one child, and endless fights and arguments about who has to get the gate when you’re actually at the gate, and then even more arguments and seat maneuvering during the trip to ensure they don’t have to get the gate on the way back home. It’s a necessary evil though, unless you aren’t planning on keeping animals, and even then it’s important because there are a lot of people out there that think a semi isolated farm house is easy pickings. You don’t want to make anything too easy for them. So we got a gate.  And we hated it.

A couple years ago my mother got an automatic gate opener. It was the greatest thing ever. The only problem for us is that it was pretty expensive and we have a “crushed crete” driveway and she’s got an asphalt one. Meaning hers was reasonably smooth and ours was a bumpy mess. For Christmas this year she took care of one of the problems for us, she bought us the opener. Little did I know I’d end up paying a ton on the supplies and the aggravation levels would be pretty high too.

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The completed gate system

The Mighty Mule gate systems are created to work on a “hanging gate” only. That’s a gate where nothing actually touches the ground. The main problems with that are trying to keep the gate level because gravity is working against you and animals just love it when you leave huge gaps in your fence line (Or under the gate) because the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. In order to circumvent this we got the highest rated MMGS which is the 500. It’s rated for a gate of 850 lbs and up to 18 feet. My gate is about 250 lbs and about 12 feet, so it’s well within the opener’s parameters are should give us a bit of extra power so it can work using the wheel.

The first thing I needed to do was build a better wheel system. There are reasonably inexpensive gate wheels out there but they have a few major problems. The first one is they just don’t last very long. About 6 months down the road the locking mechanisms that keep the wheel on rust out and the wheel falls off.  No one really advertises replacement wheels/locking mechanisms and there’s not really an easy way to attach a new wheel and the whole set up is only $20 so you just add more junk to the landfill (or your yard) and buy a new one. The second problem is they are just hard plastic so they rattle the gate on every bump. Mechanical things don’t like to shake rattle and roll every time they’re used so we needed to make the gate have a smoother opening and to be able to replace the wheel when it fell off.

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Completed re-vamped wheel system

The whole wheel thing could its own entry, but suffice it to say I wanted an air filled tire that I could connect to the standard $20 gate wheel assembly. Many, many stores later, I found one at Harbor Freight and my gate was opening relatively smoothly over the crushed crete driveway. Unfortunately it still wasn’t smooth enough.

The wheel had already created a trench in the driveway so I knew the path of the wheel pretty well. It was even reasonably smooth but every time someone drove through it a rock or some other debris would fall into the trench and create a speed bump. This wouldn’t work for the opener.

I first bought the red bricks shown in the pictures, but I put them down longwise, and created a small 4 inch wide track. This was a little too wobbly and I ended up having to reposition the bricks after almost every trip through. This was a pain in the butt, but not horrible and was easier than getting the gate until too many people went through it without checking the path and the gate hit a snag.

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The gate bar after the “snag”

I needed a better plan.

I ended up doubling the metal bar to strengthen the bar and stabilize the gate while it was being dragged across the driveway. I think this is going to be the best way to go, as I’d rather the bar give way than the gate itself or the gate opener. Both are far more expensive than buying another $15 bar.

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The double bar and the opener connected to the gate

I also turned the bricks shortwise and added some other paving stones to the trench to give the trench stability and smoothness. I dug out the rocks under the paving stones and made everything as smooth as I could.

Now the only problem is the paving stones aren’t rated for car weight and they’re already starting to crack under the pressure.

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I think my only recourse is to lay some actual concrete in a raised bed to keep the rocks and debris from falling into the trench. For now, it works, and I bought some extra paving stones so I can replace the ones that get too broken for the gate to use. Hopefully the concrete will be easier to work with than installing this gate.

For now everyone is happy, the gate is working, and there are fewer fights. How long that will last is anyone’s guess. The kids will just find new things to fight about, like whose turn it is to push the gate opener button.


Children are Suicidal

My youngest child is my trouble maker. She tries not to, but trouble just seems to find her no matter what she does. My favorite way to describe my kids and their behavior is this: My oldest son would go into a china shop and you’d tell him not to touch anything and he’d sit down in the middle and look at all the pretty patterns and just wait for you to come back. My next oldest would walk around with her hands behind her back and look more closely, but she’d still not touch anything. Next one up would lightly touch and maybe pick up a really pretty piece but she would still be very thoughtful and careful of the items. My youngest would start out with her hands in her pockets and try very hard to behave but her elbow would hit one of the handles and she’d lunge over to catch it and she’d trip over the legs of one of the display stands and before you knew it, everything would be in shambles.

She didn’t start out badly, it just ends badly.

Once she watched her big sister hand wash some clothes in the sink so she decided to hand wash her sister’s brand new phone in the sink for her.

I read an opinion piece today that explained some of her behavior. It quoted Rabbi Noach Orlowek and said “Children are Suicidal” .. If you can’t trust them to take care of their bodies, how can you trust them to protect THINGS. And that’s true. I watch my youngest far more than I watched the others, her nose is a perpetual target for anything. She’s had bloody noses more often than the other 3 put together. I’ll be surprise if she makes it to her 20s without breaking her nose at least once.

If she’s not going to be careful of something that causes her extreme pain, how can I expect her to watch out for things that are simply inconvenient if they break?

I’ll keep my brave 9 year old that wants to learn how to sky dive, become an astronaut, can fall off a horse and then jump right back on, one who cries because she can ONLY ride the some of the big roller coasters at Six Flags and not all of them because she’s not tall enough yet. She can stick her hand up a goat and try to help me manipulate a stuck kid and jump from hay bale to hay bale without ever thinking of falling.

I’m proud of her, and I hope her bravery and sense of wonder doesn’t ever go away.. even if she leaves a trail of broken things behind her.. at least I’ll know which way she went. 😉