May Odds & Ends

Some May happenings too small for their own post:

Tools of the trade
  • I could probably write a whole post about work this month, but basically I added an extra day each week so am now working three versus two days. The back-to-back days that occasionally occur in my schedule were initially a bit rough but I am getting used to them. I’ve also been somewhat moved off of loading shelves and freezers for three to four hours a shift and am now serving as a “Helmsperson” for an hour or two during my day and/or doing one or two food demos during each shift. When I’m Helmsing, I walk throughout the store talking to customers, helping them find thing, making sure the store looks good, etc. (I helped a customer one day to select dog treats and ended up getting a lead on a great day care and kennel for Kaipo!) When I’m at the demo booth I give out samples and help sell products which is easy and fun. I love both of these jobs because I enjoy interacting with and helping customers. I still load products for an hour or two each shift but am no longer so exhausted I can barely stand at the end of the day. Also, I got a TJ’s back brace to wear and it has made a world of difference in how I feel.
  • Although I was feeling under the weather with what appears now to have been nothing more than a cold, I had an absolutely lovely birthday and Mother’s Day. I had video calls with all of my children, M and the grandkids came over with an ice cream cake, and I received lovely gifts, including some of my favorite candies, a full set of Stasher silicone storage bags to add to our collection, and a Crate & Barrel gift certificate (used to purchase three useful kitchen tools). Brett spoiled me with another relaxing Day of Doing Nothing. M had planned for us to go out for brunch, but with Brett, me, and both grandkids sick we postponed it.
  • Our big plan to move into a bigger apartment in the complex collapsed this past month when we learned of the many non-refundable fees and expenses we would have to cover again (deposit, pet deposit, and a couple of others) – nothing transferred from this apartment. When we added up the costs the move just didn’t seem worth it. Our daughter-in-law feels the same, that the costs involved with moving are not worth it for only two more years, and as we like living close to each other we’ve both decided to remain in our current apartments until it’s time to leave. We will be getting a discount on our rent when we sign a new lease, so that will somewhat lessen our disappointment. (Update: we received our renewal offer right after I posted this. Our rent will increase by $19/month if we renew early, $70/month if we wait. Guess what we’re going to do?)
A few of the vegan options we bought at Trader Joe’s.
  • We decided around mid-month to return to a mostly vegan diet. There are so many more choices for us now just at Trader Joe’s let alone all the other stores in the area, especially compared to what was available on Kauai, and we thought, why not? The amount of meat we were eating was dropping considerably anyway and we knew we felt much better when we were eating no meat or dairy. We’ll continue to eat fish/seafood and occasionally cheese (and will eat meat and dairy at Meiling’s wedding), but otherwise will segue back to mainly plant-based products.

4 thoughts on “May Odds & Ends

  1. My mom worked at Sam’s Club when she was in her late 50s as a food demo and loved it. She was a retired teacher and I think she liked doing demos because it was a very similar skill. It’s good you’re doing less of the loading. I had to do that when I worked retail, but I was in my teens and early 20s then. Do you have to climb ladders or anything like that?

    It’s too bad you couldn’t move to the other apartment, but you’re only there two more years so I guess it doesn’t matter much. Seems strange that the landlord would make you pay all those fees again when you already live there. That’s one of the things I dislike about renting, but it is still less of a hassle than owning a home. A $19/month increase is great! The last apartment I lived in they wanted to increase the rent by $150/month, so I moved out.


    1. The food demos at TJs are very simple right now – we did crackers yesterday – but they are getting ready to kick it up with more complicated offerings pretty soon. I like doing it, and talking to the customers, and also seeing how much of the product I can sell during my hour in the booth. I occasionally have to get on a step stool to place product on the shelf, but most often I can reach everything without one. The most difficult shelf for me is cereal, located over on of our freezers. I’m about two inches too short to reach it, but if I get on a step stool I’m too tall!

      M and we both decided the extra costs just weren’t worth it for another two years, along with all the effort moving takes (we got a taste of it this past week when we rearranged our living room). I’m glad as we we can sign for a year – we couldn’t get over what they’re asking for this apartment on shorter leases!


  2. Your Trader Joe’s job seems made for you. 🙂 I’m off to see if my store has any peonies yet.

    Moving is so expensive. I’m sure it’s a disappointment that they want you to pay the fees all over but I’d stay put, too.


    1. I really do like my job and the people there, and always enjoy myself (although I leave feeling exhausted). My June schedule is sort of crazy with lots of back-to-back days, but then long stretches of days off in between so I’ll get through to all.

      The cost of moving, from deposits to getting our (heavy) furniture moved, is just not worth it – we have other more worthy goals coming up. My DIL invited me to go with her and the grandkids to Japan this fall! Have to think about whether I want to do that, but moving would have made even thinking about going impossible!


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