Author Archives: Lynnie

#16 Wundering What’s Going On

As we’ve settled in, we’ve expanded our To Do/Chore list. Well, in fact, it mushroomed into multiple lists, here there and everywhere. As we pondered posting an Excel spreadsheet on Google Docs and sharing it with everyone, I thought, there must be a better way. After I told Ellys what I was thinking, she quickly found an app to manage our task of managing tasks.

Wunderlist came to the top of her search and after a quick review of their website, we thought maybe their free version of the app would work for us.

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Ellys and I set out to test Wunderlist. After signing up for our free accounts, we began to download the app to our various devices. Both Ellys and I are running Windows 7 laptops as our main work stations. The app downloaded and installed fine. Same for our Windows 10 laptop, iPhones and iPads. It also installed seamlessly on our Android phones.

Using the app was easy. We were able to set up lists for each category of task and share the lists with our Homesteaders. We did encounter a software glitch (?) when we tried to share the lists from our Windows 7 laptops, but did a work around using the iPhones to send out our sharing invitations. The list sharing feature worked just fine from my iPhone.

We scheduled a dinner meeting for the Homestead to discuss Wunderlist. After a delicious Elly’s dinner, I asked if everyone had installed the app. This was not a given as our WiFi runs best case at 2.5 Mbps and often especially in the evening much slower. We hope and chant for an upgraded connection soon, but I digress.

Sending invitations to the lists to each of the Homesteaders was followed by much binging and bonging of mobile devices, all Homesteaders were synchronized!!

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My Wunderlist view!! I’ve even added an unshared list for my tasks, LP To Do. It works great to dash off a quick reminder especially when I’m away from my desk.

Certain features of the app are customizable by the user. The user can pick the background for their displays. Once the background is selected, it syncs across the user’s devices. The grass resonates with us and is one of the free options.

We all like the Week view. Not only can you see what you are doing, you can see what everyone else is doing. We had a minute of trouble trying to get JD’s Android phone to show it, but once we figured out where the settings were located, everyone including JD was off and running to make sure that they could see ALL the folder views.

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The app lets each Homesteader set a reminder about a task. The reminder pushes out to that Homesteader’s devices. I can set a reminder for myself for the pickup dog poo chore for 10 am, a time when I like to stretch my legs and Kim can set her reminder for the task at the time she prefers.

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I’m trying to work up the courage to see if our lawn tractor will start, so I’ve set a reminder for tomorrow morning.

Anyone who has ever used an app knows that not everything is perfect. One thing that bugs us in the free app is that only one person can be assigned a task. Another gnat is the sender does not see their side of the comments in the conversation thread. But a couple of minor issues aside, from the point of view of this old geek, Wunderlist is pretty darn good.

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#3 Too Many Workmen At The Same Time

By Lynnie

Yesterday was quite a day at the Homestead. OK it was mostly my fault with aggressive scheduling of service men but not entirely. I will explain.

The office, well actually the entire upper floor of the main house, is not cooling effectively. We can almost never get the temperature below 80 degrees despite running the ac the entire day. This really doesn’t work for me as the office is on this level and in the middle of the inferno.

We have been here two months now and in that time, we’ve had five ac service calls with two different companies. Both came to the same conclusion, replace the zoning board. We tried to run this through our home warranty company. We failed on two counts. They pleasantly placed the service order and said that they would notify their service provider immediately. I followed up the order call with a call to the local service provider. Left a message. More than two weeks later, we are still waiting for that service provider to return our call. After placing the call, I read the policy and found that zone issues are not covered anyway, so we moved on.

Biting the bullet, we picked one of the two companies to replace our zone board. The errors being thrown by the zone board went away when the new board was installed, but not the 80 plus degree upper floor of the house. Still had that problem. Ellys wanted to remove the duct work to the upper sun porch because if was both ineffective and unattractive. This was an ah-ha moment for me as I realized that the sun porch vent and thermostat could be moved into the office area quite easily. That work was scheduled for yesterday afternoon. One big truck in the driveway.

We’ve had two men, angels really, working virtually full time on some projects since taking residence. We call them our two guys and they arrived as usual to start their day around 8 AM. One Jeep, one pickup truck and two work trailers, also in the main and adjacent driveways.

When we took possession of the house, part of the lower level and the staircase were covered with very good quality green carpet that was quite animal distressed and at the end of its life expectancy. We pulled the carpet from the guest bedroom, the library and our ante-room (large hall at bottom of stairs) along with the pad and my favorite (not) deconstruction item, the carpet tack bars. After some cleaning and crack sealing, our guys applied a couple of coats of epoxy paint added some baseboard molding and green carpet was no more.

Except on the stairs. About ten days ago we headed to the local home improvement store and after only two visits made our carpet choice. Yesterday, the install was scheduled between 1 and 3 PM. Not so smart on my part because we are now adding a carpet van to the mix of vehicles in the driveway.

The ac service men arrived and were about ½ way through the project when the carpet installer arrived. Oops, he really wanted to be right in front of the sidewalk to the house and that spot was not accessible because the ac truck blocked the access. The ac guys were “almost through”, so the carpet installer said he would remove the old carpet from the stairs and do what he could while waiting for his preferred parking spot. He was a good sport.

About this time, a freight delivery truck called from Lofty View. He was at the driveway and wondered If there would be room to turn around. So, how big is your truck? 28 feet. Well, I think, no problem. I’ve turned a 27 footer around and I am by no means a pro. Well, I did knock down a fence post, but I digress. Turns out to be a problem. My 27 footer was two axels, his 28 footer is three. Now let me say when he called, he already was at a point of no return. Only two driveway above us and neither provide a better turning opportunity than we have and both have locking gates at the road.

It took the freight truck the best part of an hour to get turned around and he would not drop our freight off until he did. After the drop off, I see the freight truck sitting in the driveway. Apparently his employer clocks his breaks and he can’t roll for 8 more minutes.

But then like a beautifully choreographed dance, the freight truck’s lunch break ends and he clears out of the driveway. The AC guys are a wrap and cold air is BLASTING into the office. The carpet guy is happy and gets to back up to the sidewalk.

End of day: new carpet on the stairs, a big ac vent in the wall and a pile of freight for our project. A sigh of relief.

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