Goodbye April, Hello May!

(photo credit: The Girl Who Loved To Write)

We made good progress with our goals in April:

  • Keep grocery spending under $450. We spent over $450 on food this month – our total was $471.76. Food costs for Brett and myself were $443.92; the additional $27.84 was the cost of snack items for the grandkids (although we will be reimbursed).
  • Aim for zero food waste. We nearly had a zero-waste month – just a half cup of cooked chicken was tossed. I had bought the chicken at Trader Joes, and used most of it in a Waldorf salad and a chicken pot pie, saving a little to use in some fried rice. However, it had started to turn by the time I got around to making the rice and I threw it out (better to be safe than sorry). Otherwise, we used up everything!
  • Have one full no-spend week. We spent nothing April 17 through April 23 .
  • Have four no-drive days. We had only three no-drive days this month because of my work schedule and a trip to Shiloh National Military Park.
  • Walk 40 miles. Between work and walks at our apartment complex, I walked 50+ miles in April.
We had a great visit to the Shiloh battlefield. There were more cannon, memorials, and markers describing the battle than imaginable, but the history of events was laid out well and easy to follow and understand.
  • Visit one natural or historical site in the area. We had a very satisfying visit to the Shiloh National Military Park mid-month, with great weather, no crowds at the park, and an easy drive both ways.
  • Read four books. I read five books this month. One of them, The Far Pavilions, was v-e-r-y long, 1,000 pages, and in order to finish it before it had to go back to the library I read 5% every night. It was a wonderful book to read again though. This was my third time reading The Secret History, by Donna Tartt. It remains one of my top three favorite books ever.
  • Study ***** every day for 10 minutes. I did my Duolingo lessons twice every day. They can be frustrating at times, but I am making progress, albeit slowly. I gave Brett a pronunciation workbook and phrasebook that I hope he’ll let me borrow once in a while.

We celebrated Brett’s 73rd birthday this month although I sadly had to work that day. Our daughter-in-law took us out to dinner in the evening though and gave Brett a bartending set as well as a box of 20 different cocktail mixers! Meiling sent him a box of fancy cookies, WenYu sent a generous Starbucks gift card, and I gave him his two language books (so exciting).

Brett’s cookies came from the Levain Bakery in NYC!

Our son arrives tomorrow for a week’s visit, which means we have the first week of the month off from watching the grandkids as our son will do all the drop-offs, pickups, etc. We will offer to watch the kids one evening though so M & M can go out before he heads back to Japan.

We put an incredible $55.84 into the change/$1 bill jar in April, in spite of of spending slightly more than usual on food.

Our goals for May are pretty much the same as last month:

Our goal is to visit Chattanooga in May, including the Chickamauga and Chattanooga battlefields.
  • Keep grocery spending under $450. 
  • Aim for zero food waste. 
  • Have one full no-spend week. 
  • Have four no-drive days. 
  • Try one new recipe. 
  • Walk 40 miles.
  • Visit one natural or historical site in the area. 
  • Read four books.
  • Study ***** every day for 10 minutes. 

Upcoming events in May include Mother’s Day and my 71st birthday. Brett has promised me my annual Day of Doing Nothing, and I’m hoping I won’t have to work on either of those occasions.


8 thoughts on “Goodbye April, Hello May!

  1. Sounds like a good month! I’m curious to know how your schedule at TJ’s works. Do you work the same days every week? Are you able to (at least to some extent) say when you want to work? Or they just schedule you for however many days you signed up to work?


    1. I work different days every week, but get the number of days I’ve requested to work. The only back-to-back days I occasionally get are Sundays and Mondays. The scheduler is unable to see that I’ve worked on Sunday and gives me a Monday morning; usually I get two days off between shifts.


  2. If you go to Point Park on Lookout Mountain, unless you are REALLY into the battles and dioramas avoid what they call “The Battles of Chattanooga” building before the park entrance. It is lame or at least when we were there back in 2014 it was.


    1. Thanks for the tip! I just (re)read the U.S. Grant biography a couple of months ago so the battles at Chattanooga are still somewhat fresh in my mind. The visitor center at Shiloh was closed for remodeling when we visited a couple of weeks ago, and we didn’t miss not going – we could follow the events there easily because of all the signage without the overview at the center. I’m hoping it’s the same at Chattanooga (we don’t plan to go to Chickamauga). The only place where I’ve gotten anything out of one of those centers was seeing the electric map at Gettysburg, which helped immensely to understand how that battle unfolded, but I don’t know if it’s even still in existence.


  3. Birthday celebrations are always fun. Those cookies look amazing, and how nice to look forward to your son’s visit. We have an upcoming month long visit from the Brits (finally) and my fingers and toes are crossed that the airlines don’t change their flights and everything else lines up.

    I’m sure you’re looking forward to your Day of Doing Nothing. Great concept! 😉


    1. Brett had a nice celebration – low key, but that’s just his style. We haven’t gotten to the cocktails yet; many of them seem summer oriented, so they’ll be nice to enjoy later. I do see mojitos in our future. The cookies were delicious but HUGE; we could only eat 1/2 at a time.

      I’ve enjoyed the Day of Doing Nothing for several years now – it’s been the perfect gift and is always appreciated. This year I am going to try and pull together a little brunch for our DIL, and will get her a plant from TJ’s, but Brett will be my sous chef and dishwasher.

      Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy your time with your family! I’ve got my fingers crossed as well that their arrival happens as it should!

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  4. I love the idea of the day of doing nothing. I think I’ll try to make that happen for my birthday too, although some years my birthday falls on Thanksgiving. In that case I’ll just pick another day to do nothing!


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