Rethinking Apple’s “Reminder” To Do List

The things we do at 3:30 in the morning! Well, to be fair I went to bed around 8 or 8:30. I was ready to get up and somehow grabbed my phone and began looking through it. I updated some apps that were behind and then began looking at new apps. I checked out a couple to have a more efficient and revised “to do list” app. I’ve been increasingly unhappy with the “Focus Matrix” app where mainly I just parked my to do list and reorganized it by priority. For whatever reason Focus Matrix has been increasingly slow to work with. Any change you try to make it has to “think”. I can’t work like that. It needs to be instant. It is slow on the Mac, increasingly so with every update I do on the Mac. On the phone version it’s difficult to even get it to pull up – even with a thumb print or my code. Either way, it does not respond until multiple tries and finally it will pull up. I will not be able to fight with an app in such a way. Even one I had paid for. It’s highly rated, but it is not working. And the graphics within it seem to be becoming a bit outdated. My guess is that its software is no longer keeping up with the apple software updates. So I’m having to toss it out the window and do something else.

Focus Matrix, Sits on this Screen, Reluctant to Let Me In Either Way

I tried a couple of other apps today that I downloaded and they were just not doing what I wanted, didn’t sort, or respond like I wanted. And one was difficult to update – too much trouble. It needs to be quick. So I kept hearing about how wonderful Apple’s own “Reminder App” is, for To Do’s. So I decided to take another look at it. Sometimes we don’t always realize what we have. It is pretty spectacular. It meets most of my needs.

What do I need in a good “To Do List“?

  • The ability to prioritize and move around in order
  • The ability to categorize it (section it off) by type with either a tag or label
  • Ability to set an alert or period of time (Now, Soon, Later, and Maybe One Day – lol)
  • Ability to assign a specific date if needed
  • Easy Update
  • Easy Check off
  • Nice to have it integrate with your personal digital calendar
  • Ability to sync across devices so you have it on the go
  • Nice to have Siri update it for you
  • Nice to have a FREE one

Forgive me here but now that the sun is up, my dark mode has switched to light mode, so my first pic above of Reminders is black and the rest are white. Oh well. But above is when I first log into it and here below you can see today’s list. I will say that I am thinking I’ll be pretty darn happy with this. I’ve completed converted my Focus Matrix to this. And will delete Focus Matrix. I’ve even scheduled some of my tasks to pop up in my frame of time I want to do them in. For example, I know I’m not going to download Final Cut Pro until February so I programmed it to pop up Feb 1. But I can see ALL of my Scheduled Tasks in one place and I can see ALL of my tasks (scheduled or unscheduled in one place). I can move them up or down the list. So this makes me happy.

The added improvement, which is surprising to me, is that Apple’s Reminders app actually allows for grouping which I find will be very helpful. Particularly the “Computer” and the “Local Tasks” group, as well as Birthdays which I need to add in there. I added some new ones like “Cooking” and “Restaurants” as we are always wanting to remember things we want to cook, recipes to try and also restaurants we said we wanted to go to. The nice thing is that under the “i” for information you can even add a URL, date, flag, level of importance, and even notes! Wow.

So the grouping will be helpful because for example with Local Tasks – if I’m out and about in Mount Juliet, I can look at my list and see if I want to go ahead and knock out any of those things. So helpful.

So it took a couple of hours in an already busy time frame, but hey – if I have to get up at 3:30 a.m. to have any alone time then it’s worth it especially if I feel rested. The morning flew by while I did this project. I realized the whole house is up now. Every time I go to get a cup of coffee Mom is giving me another item to put on the to do list. So I guess it is a good thing I did this. I just keep adding them on. Whereas if I’d had the old list I wouldn’t have bothered. I can also tell Siri to do it and she will coordinate things with a reminder on a specific date. It will sync across my devices. And now I can set Siri up to answer me like “Alexa” from across the room. Of course she will probably listen in on conversations but I’m pretty sure she already does that anyway since microphone is enabled.

So….happy camper here.

Other Updates

Now, work was done in 3 days – well not everything but a lot of it. The critical things anyway. So a chunk of it has to be done on Monday. But I’m off for two days to get Mom’s house set up. And of course we have the weekend. George and I have a couple of excursions we want/need to do here and there as well. We’ll see how that goes.

Mom says she is feeling better and will feel like doing more. She thinks maybe she was in AFIB and also had some kind of virus as well. So I guess we’ll see how she does the next two days. But usually she stirs around for 1.5 hours and can’t do any more. I was really beginning to worry because it was seeming like Assisted Living was going to be the better option instead of a new house. But if she is better that is a good thing. I had rather her (and she would too) be able to stay in this house for a while. I was thinking “oh no, here she has the house now and is not going to be here long”.

And I guess that is about all the updates I have. I have not worked on the video – was going to do that this morning and blogged instead and worked on the new “to do” list. Maybe I will work on the video tomorrow.

Anyway no shortage of things to do around here. That is for sure. So I need to get a shower and get going with Mom. Her brain is on full mode drive for me to do things today. I used to have a boss that would say “what have you done for me lately?”, lol. Mr. Hollins! He was so funny. I see Mom sitting there saying the same thing. Not really but at least this morning she is in “Drive Mode” or perhaps “Overdrive” and wanting to get going. Bless her heart. I know she is trying hard to channel her energies through us. And I know it is hard for her to realize we have things we need to do to. But she will get used to it. Or not. We are doing the best we can to still keep our identities here, lol!

Oh I guess it’s gonna rain and storm today too so there’s that. We’ll be tooling around in bad weather so keep us in your prayers. I can hear the wind whipping up now.

Vietnamese and Thai Food, Appliances Purchase, and Challenge Update

Surprise! I’m here this morning! I just wanted to pop in with a few updates. We are very excited that we were able to get Mom to Lowe’s and she ordered her fridge and washer and dryer. The fridge arrives Saturday the 13th and the Washer and Dryer on Dec 1. Not bad in today’s world. She was able to get the ones she wanted for the most part. She bought a fridge like ours that has the little see through door that opens up within the big fridge door. She was happy! I will have to do her laundry for a couple of weeks.

We were going to come home and have hot dogs but George suggested we go out for Pho as we’d not taken Mom out to try Vietnamese food. In Mom’s head, I know she was thinking “Good Grief” and she admitted she wasn’t sure when she saw the place. But I suggested the Orange Chicken and it was perfect for her. She loved it.

So the place had nice relaxing music and a nice little vibe. The decor seemed to say “Happy Everything” as it was decorated with Halloween, Fall, and Christmas, and they admittedly said they had decor left over from Valentine’s Day sitting around. lol. The food was excellent. George and I got a Singha Beer from Bangkok.

We had several appetizers including the egg roll or spring rolls and chicken satay. This place had both Vietnamese and Thai food.

It was all delicious. And they do an amazing amount of take out. There was a constant stream of people picking up to go orders. I ordered a ginger salad, because I love them so. Their lettuce was the freshest I’ve seen anywhere in a long time. I also selfishly had ordered hot green tea also. I drank both my beer and the tea and loved it! ;-). Better than getting a 2nd beer right?

Can’t you just see the freshness of this lettuce? That was really good to see. I’m so tired of bad lettuce. Things are taking longer to ship and the store’s goods are just horrible these days. So I’m not sure what their secret is, but I loved it. I could eat there every night. I would have Ginger Salad and Pho or Chicken Satay or Orange Chicken, lol. Every night! I had a bite of Mom’s and it was awesome! We must go back soon!

Here was my Pho. It has rice noodles, chicken, scallions, red onion, probably basil and bok choy. I couldn’t eat it all. The broth was an amazingly good flavor. The waitress said we got the last of the Pho last night.

It was a happy place.

We needed happy.

Back home, with our first freeze of the season at 30 degrees F, George put Little Bit’s box on the front porch. He was in it when we got home, lol. It’s not the most pleasant looking thing on a front porch but he will be warm there. Don’t worry, when it gets much below freezing he comes inside and stays in our basement which is probably 50 ish to 60’s as it gets heat from the house. The box is a little dusty it seems. Or maybe it’s the shadows/light. I didn’t notice that being that way last night. Anyway, it has a warm blanket inside. I need to put another one over that one though b/c I think he will get his claws stuck in the threads of this one. I need a thin little baby blanket or something to put over this one. We’ll get him fixed up.

Mid-Week Update

Traffic was horrible yesterday. I’m not sure why. I was running behind and hopped on the interstate. I got to work by 8 – barely – but it was very slow. I really enjoy the back roads but if in a hurry I have to go the interstate as it shaves off about 10 to 15. Sometimes the back ways can be slower than normal but I just enjoy the more pleasant pace of the back streets. I don’t have to worry about as much.

So today is my Friday. I’m off tomorrow for the closing. We have a full day lined up. We have to go sign up for the water – that was the only thing Mom has to do in person. And I need to go get my police report from where someone stole my identity. They are only open during the hours I’m at work so I have to go do that. And Mom will have a few errands. We need to get our plan on tonight so we don’t have any problems tomorrow about what the plan is – if you know what I mean.

We also brought the grout sealer for her backsplash and also for the granite. And we got the shelving paper. So I’m sure we will start on those things first. Snoksred suggested the chair – not to forget it til the furniture arrives. Thank you! Yes, we will need to go put that in my trunk tonight. TWO chairs, and maybe a little cooler with water. We also have to program our own house keys and we have to figure that out. I’ve never in my life seen such a thing. There is a tool you use and put the key in the door and program it to the lock. So how do we know someone has not already done this and has a set? Weird. And where are those garage door openers that were missing? Can someone get in now? Or will they be reprogramming the new set? I have no idea how that works! But what if some construction worker our there still has the openers and can get in?

Also anxious to see the place with the grass added. I’ll be sure to take pics in the upcoming days with our progress.

Garnishments Process at Work

Work is coming together with me getting month end done. I only have two or three more states to do. And I need to work on garnishments today that have come in. I never get garnishments unless it is a busy time for me. Then it’s like someone turned on the magnet – “hey Sonya’s busy, lets send all the garnishments now”. lol. They take a while to set up as there are a lot of components since we do our own payroll. The employee gets a copy, you usually have to respond to the company or agency, you set up some of them in excel if it’s a true garnishment and you do a percentage. If it’s child support, it’s good b/c usually you can set it up as a deduction to come out every week, but a lot of ours have to be figured as a percentage with EACH payroll. So I have garnishment tabs on each person. Also you have to keep up with their balances so you know when to stop the garnishment. So I have a tab for that too. Then I have tabs for the actual “cover sheet” that goes with the check showing what the garnishment is covering so the agency knows who the check is for. I also have a little half sheet cover sheet with the A/P code that I use when I run the actual garnishment checks. I have to enter it in the A/P system every Thursday to create the checks. So I have to set up the garn agency as a vendor in the system before I can even do the check run. And I have to put work sheet reminders in the plant payroll folder so I actually remember to figure the deduction and enter it in the system for the employee’s with percentages. After payroll I go in and zero it out so I can start over the next week. There is a lot to it but I have the system down. Then of course after payroll I have to do a reconciliation spreadsheet to make sure what comes out of payroll is matching what I’m sending on the checks and for TN I actually have some that I pay online. If it’s one child I pay on line. If they have three to five different child support payments to varying custodial parents I usually have to do during payroll because it’s certain percentages of the total that go to each parent, up to a certain amount. Anyway it’s all very detailed. I think I have two or three new garnishments to set up today.

Growing To Do List.

So I have quite a to do list of itty bitty things that need to be done. Last week was carefree at home as I working on Quarter End but this week it’s all built up and now I don’t have time to do any of it LOL:

  • Order Christmas things on line that Katy wanted
  • Change George’s sheets
  • Work on Christmas Planning (what the heck to get everyone?)
  • Update my Apple Watch. It won’t do the last update for some reason and it says it should when I look online. But I’ve not had time to reboot the watch. So maybe I will try that.
  • I think Mom has some internet orders she wants me to do.
  • Finish the next video before I do the upgrade the Mac to Monterey. I don’t think it’s any big deal.
  • I kinda want to go to good will and look for more jeans. I don’t want to spend a fortune on new ones!
  • Audible credit is out – need to download another book
  • Need to update my wellness company order with some changes
  • Want to make whole grain bread. Just something I want to try. 😉 I bought the flour and we have the yeast. But ain’t nobody got time for that these days.

Challenge Update

I had to give up making check marks on my sheet for my challenge. It’s all pretty much engrained into my head what I need to do. It’s just been too busy to keep up with the check lists. I’d get two or three days behind. I quit actually tabulating my ounces of water. I would try but by afternoon just had to quit trying to keep up with it. Too much else in life. But I did it long enough to engrain it in my head. I think the goals will stick strong. I won’t be perfect at it but at least I’m significantly better and more disciplined at water, movement, helping others, not eating dessert every night but stretching it out to 5 to 7 days at least. The hard part has been embracing Whole Foods. And that is mainly b/c I live with other people, who don’t or I allow stress and time to blur what is important. But I try to make as good of a decision as I can. It’s been a wonderful challenge despite those that have joked by saying I’m a cheater or tried to sabotage the efforts in some way. Most of those folks who have done that, do not seem to have any desire to improve their own situation in such manner so it makes it easy for them to jab at me who does want to improve and quite frankly, has improved! I’m proud of myself for taking it on and for improving 50 to 75% in many areas! Yay me! lol I will celebrate my efforts. The challenge is NOT over yet. Quite frankly – it’s a challenge to develop good habits so it’s kind of a funny thing – it just sort of morphs itself into reality. I mean why would I want to go backward and stop doing these things? But I can see where some challenges especially if you are doing some specific things like “no sugar” or “studying a certain subject for a period of time” would not go on forever. So anyway, I’m calling the challenge a success and kicking the checklist to the curb. I like the rules I created for myself and I’ll stick with them. But I am going to do another improvement challenge in 2022. It will be little more specific and targeted. And that will truly be a 55 day challenge from beginning to end.

And so now I’ll probably be back Saturday morning since I blogged today. I’ll let you know how closing went and what all we are up to in getting her ready to move in.

Saturday Excursions and Progress on House Building, Health Challenge, and To Do Lists

Well Nadine’s in Hermitage is not very pretty, but we dropped Fancy off for her trim and headed over to this “Pizza Hut turned Diner” restaurant. They have an excellent breakfast. I suppose it is much better than IHOP or Waffle House, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We are vowing to go next door to the Butt Hutt for take out ribs one day. It’s on our bucket list.

We had a good little day out. George got to go to some yard sales and we went to Houston’s Meat Shop (local butcher store in Mount Juliet). We bought steaks for tonight. Mom stocked up on their biscuits which are homemade but frozen. We bought a few other things for the freezer for later. We manage to keep the freezer’s full in today’s pandemic and pandemic aftermath as these are weird times and there are rumors of food shortages and supply shortages with our economy scrambling. I guess most nations are going through the same? Here’s Mom going into Houston’s. She’s wearing her mask.

They also have a little market also. We love to go in here. We always go here when we want a steak or to stock up on chicken. We also stop when we are having company for breakfast for their biscuits. Makes it easy.

After stopping at the house and dropping off frozen goods (we live so close to here) we took Mom to see her house. We didn’t think the garage door was installed but it is. If. you look closely you can see it and the little handles. Look at the garage at the house next door, how it has those little handles at the bottom – well if you look close at Mom’s garage area at the top you can see the little handles. They have it installed it’s just up because they are working on it.

I hadn’t realized it was going to be Tudor style, I had pictured it with stone decor like the others. The outside color and materials were not something you could pick. But it looks nice. It’s certainly coming together. Mom was upset that her front door had window panes as she said she had asked for a solid door. I don’t remember. I remember them asking about the door knobs and maybe the type of design within the door itself but don’t remember any talk of windows being in it or not in it. I’m not sure if Mom and I assumed it was all door and no windows. In today’s world I’m surprised that it WOULD have a window. She’s looking at the contract and we can’t really tell from that. I think she may call about that on Monday. I knew there would be things to crop up that she would not be happy with and I’m sure there will be more. I guess she will have an option to change it afterward. At least I think so. I’m not sure if they consider that part of the outside or not. It may be. I also would not like to go to the door when the door bell rings and be subject to whoever is standing there. People could look in on you. I like to have the option of acting like I’m not home if a salesperson or someone else I don’t want to talk to comes to the door (mostly sales people, lol). So I get it. I’d be upset too. Only I probably wouldn’t have noticed til I got in there. Mom is worried someone will break the glass and twist the door knob. She can get blinds to go over it I guess but you think that they would just have a solid door and a peep hole. Oh well. I mean as far as that goes, there’s windows all around so they could break in to those too. What’s the difference? She wasn’t upset with the windows though.

But it was good to see progress. I wish we could have gone in. But they were working on it and the weeks are soaring by fast so we’ll be seeing it soon and hitting the ground running. It’s VERY exciting. I’m excited for Mom and I’m looking forward to helping her get set up. We’ll have a busy season of decorating and unpacking and setting it up to get her functional and then she can go through boxes one at a time for her 30 years of accumulation. Ain’t NOBODY got time for that, probably not even her. lol. We will help some and perhaps can get her a yard sale together by next spring or next fall depending on the time frames and how much time we have. The community has a yard sale twice a year and that will be great!

That is her patio there. I think they have to pour the concrete in the upcoming week. She gets an email or a phone call with what they did last week and what they are doing this next week. So this is all coming together. The walk through is Mon Nov 1 and the closing Friday Nov 5th.

Around 2 we picked Fancy up and then I offered to take Mom to get a hamburger. She immediately said yes. Now you know here I get my love of burgers huh? Fancy likes to get her own burger – she gets the meat but only part of the bun of a plain hamburger. She always used to get a burger after her trim. Both Mom and Fancy are happy. I did not get a burger. I had pop corn and that was all I needed until our dinner. George fixed us chicken baked in a sauce, acorn squash, and baked potatoes. I had been craving the baked potato. I only had a little butter on mine. It was all so good.

Knocking the To Do List Out of the Park!

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

I’m extremely happy with what all I’ve been able to do despite our day out yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the day, was present and mindful and glad we did what we did. But when we were home, I was hitting the ground running. Laundry is done and folded. Sheets changed. Fancy’s blanket is changed out for her little bed. I vacuumed the house. I booked both hotels for our East TN and West NC mountains trip in December. And the big news….drum roll…. I FINISHED THE NEXT VIDEO! ;-). I begin to get cranky when 3 weeks is past and it’s not done. So it was a highlight on my to do list. It will be out soon. I’ve exported it and just have to go through the process of picking out the thumbnail and getting it set up. I’ll come back here and post when it’s out and will also post on social media but frankly it’s just hard to get seen on social media as they squash the links and videos for the most part to get rid of agendas if it doesn’t match the sites goals. I also talk about my vaccine in mine. So even YouTube may not allow this video. It’s mostly encouraging but I did get a fever from the 2nd one and I put that in there so if it’s taken down you’ll know why and you will then have witnessed first hand how our freedom of speech is slowly (more quickly these days though) being taken a way. Not wanting to get off on tangents!

Today’s goals are: getting that video up and posted, likely for a 6 p.m. release time, EST. I have to go the store today, cut George’s hair, do some on line Christmas shopping, make my Christmas lists/notebook where I keep up with everything.

So here’s the To Do List for this past week. I will reset it for the week to come and delete these but I had decided to leave all the check marks there until Sunday because it’s important to see we actually can make some progress, even when we are busy. But I’m so happy and glad to have worked hard and knocked a lot of it out of the park this week. Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!!!

KYD55 Challenge Progress

The challenge is going well. This set up of this, I can tell you, has just been amazing. Here’s what works:

  1. You are not only working toward a health/wellness goal, but also personal goals, and also helping others as well. It’s just all encompassing. (Five pillars of: nutrition, water, moving your body, service to others, reading for goals).
  2. The goals are attainable.
  3. As I’ve said before you can choose to make it what you wish, although they gave us guidelines, it’s exciting to see that you could take this structure and do all kinds of things with it. You could take the 5 pillars and make them different things. Or within those same 5 pillars you can make your own rules.
  4. I can see how the 55 days is to set a habit. These were small changes that I can see as being able to carry on continually. Some small changes that turn out to be big ones to set you off in the right direction.
  5. The limits I set for myself are working- like dessert once a week or two bites if I absolutely have to have it. This is huge! It’s worked. Now I did have “two big bites” on those mini Nothing but Bundt cakes – my “two big bites” there might have actually been 4 but you know what, there were three other nights that I said NO to dessert because it was not a part of my goals because I was setting new habits. And it was ok. I have frozen pineapple chunks if I absolutely have to have something. This is huge for me.
  6. The movements have been big. I just do 80 exercises throughout the day. Arm lifts, leg lifts, windmills, toe touches – all during the day so that I have 80 before bed. Do you know how easy this is? It works. I have been able to do a 20 min walk once per week. Maybe on another challenge for 55 days of needed change – I’ll work on adding it to two a week. This is huge also b/c you are slowly changing your habits to what you want it to look like instead of just setting goals you can’t attain and then get discouraged.

I’m just so happy with it. There have been a few days where I’ve been short on the water goals. I think I slow down when I see I’m doing good and then forget and then the day is gone. But for the most part I’m doing it and as long as I get in about 75 at least I’m good, but 94 is my goal. Flushing those kidneys and liver out.

I’ve also listened to three nutrition Podcasts – part of my bucket list goals and also part of my KYD55 goals. So I’m trying to work some Apple Cider Vinegar into my diet. The nutrition podcasts I listened to were really kinda leaning toward the KETO side of things. I’ve chosen to embrace Whole Foods as much as possible. I’m not totally giving up the “western diet” but for the most part trying to make better decisions toward eating healthier and real food. I like the word “embrace” that is powerful to me and it repeats itself in my head. I’m holding on, clinching to it, and that helps my psyche to know “this is the route I want to take”. It’s subtle changes in the diet, but when making my decisions – this is working. When I pick things up at the store, when I take things to work, when I pick things out in a restaurant. The only thing I’m not doing is making everyone around me eat like I do. If George fixes pizza or we go out for a burger – I’ll eat it. But I’m trying to make better decisions and will order the best options I can, remembering what I’m choosing to embrace as “my thing”.

After 9 days, my arms feel less fat, my chin feels less fat, my stomach is begging to flatten just a tad – I can feel some burning of fat taking place.

What’s not working

My legs have been very weak this week. My guess is that the new Vitamin D’s I’m taking are not getting through, not being absorbed. I looked and felt of them closely. It was a new brand I tried claiming to have more in them. But the shell was harder than most and I’m not sure that it was a natural shell or casing. So I’m going to have to order some of what I had been using. I can’t afford to not be able to walk and I’ve been having issues simply just getting up from a chair because my knees and legs are so week. It’s very scary. I’m almost to the point of being like Mom and she is 20 years older than me. So I must get this under control. I do think I damaged my knee doing pushups and so I had to give that up. The ISA shakes from the wellness company I use help with leg weakness and also the Vitamin D does when working. So I have to figure this out. This past week has been difficult for getting up out of a chair and also for climbing stairs. I’m only 59. This should not be happening. So I have to figure this out and quickly.

I’ve rallied on enough here. It’s been nice to blog on a day without restraint, without looking at the clock, and without hurry.

Hope you all are doing well and I’m gone on to eat breakfast and shower and try to get this video loaded and get George’s hair cut.

Are you all having a good weekend?