Saturday, March 26, 2011

Target: A one-stop shopping experience?

This week my local Target added fresh produce. I was out of town the day they first introduced it. Dropped my sister off at the airport in Nashville. Yesterday was shopping day so I decided to check out Target's new produce section. Could be because so many days had passed but I was a little disappointed.

First, they sold items like bananas, apples, etc "each" rather than "by the pound". Then, all their vegetables were bagged or boxed. No glimmering mist-covered bunches of lettuce here. They carried a few boxes of organic loose-leaf lettuce. "Sale, 2 boxes for $7!" proclaimed the sign. Looking over the boxes, it appeared some of the lettuce was already beginning to wilt. Their non-organic lettuce also was (I thought) a little expensive. Even the heads of lettuce were in bags. The really sad thing about the bags, I thought, was there was so much writing and decoration of those Green Giant lettuce bags it was really hard to see the condition of the lettuce. Plus, after ending up back at Schnucks for lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and dip, I think Schnucks was charging less for vegetables.

I thought their other expansions were fine. Their frozen section had really expanded and had more variety, their breads were very attractively displayed, their cheese was, eh, comparable in price to other stores. Meats were fine too. Of course nothing except pre-packaged, but still on the whole fine. It was the vegetables I didn't like. Perhaps I should try it again. Maybe I'll change my opinion. Maybe.

I may change my opinion, but for now Target has not won a customer for their produce section.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The last month

T is watched Whistlefritz on the computer right now. Our DVD player crashed. Oh, I love that DVD! I found it at the library after reading it recommended for language immersion on some message boards. I want to buy it now. After watching Pim & Bilingual Baby in German & some Sesamstrasse & Micky Maus Wunderhaus episodes on youtube, he's starting to use some German words, sometimes using them alongside English. Like "mmm, yummy, lecker" or "Apple, apfel" or "five, funf!". The other day he called the same item the proper name for the color in 3 languages at separate times- red (English), rot (German), and rojo (Spanish). So there's definitely understanding showing up.

 I bought some German board/picture books (finally) for his birthday. He likes the German "Where's Spot" and the Duden books. Duden boards books are rather like the DK My First board book series. He also has one Spanish board book that Sean reads to him. Originally we weren't planning on introducing Spanish until much later. However, due to the necessity of changing our long-term plans into very short-term plans Sean and I decided to introduce him to Spanish not quite a month ago. He's seen Brainy Baby Spanish (I'd love to get the rest of the series), and Do Re Mi Nino (by A La Vibora de la Mar), and I found a set of 3 Little Pim Spanish DVDs on Ebay for only $20! I was afraid they'd be too similar to the Little Pim German series but thankfully they do use a few different sequences. For example, in the disc "Eating and Drinking" tortillas are featured in the Spanish version and noodles in the German (why not potatoes too?). We also have a Spanish board book Sean reads to him. He's already seeming to understand some of it. I think anyway. I suppose his exposure to German through immersion DVDs etc has helped. T seems to be absorbing it ok. Taking advantage of this window seems to be working to the extent that my purely American knowledge of foreign languages and utilization of modern technology permits (ie without access to native speakers locally). I know my friend M will be thrilled of our change of heart in regards to exposing him to Spanish early on, too. Although I do have another friend who is concerned this will hurt rather than help him- confuse his English.

But don't think for a moment T spends his day watching TV- DVD or not. Despite using it as a tool for foreign language immersion he doesn't. We spend a lot of time reading. Slowly we're collecting quite a few books of our own. Lately his favorites have included Little Engine that Could (a birthday gift from my grandma), Little Blue Truck (a birthday gift from his friends S & D), and the Where's Spot? series. Besides our own collection of books we go down to the library at least every other week and get an armful of books that follow a theme. Either the books are about an animal or object starting with the letter we're focusing on or the number we're focusing on. Of course other books are brought home too. And music. Raffi has become a firm favorite! Hurrah!

My sister flew back to the southwest on Tuesday. She's been visiting us the past three weeks. We did get out for a little bit of fun! Went shopping. Yay, love to shop. I didn't end up with anything. She did however. Several items in fact, and very cute. Ah, looking back I should have tried on a few things. But if I had, I would've been tempted to buy them, and it's a double birthday month- triple birthday since we celebrated J's birthday during her visit (she's actually born in February).

Her first Sunday out here the PCA plant started Bible studies! There are three studies to start. The teens and adults are studying the book of Ephesians. When Pastor S. isn't in town (most of the time since he hasn't moved here yet) Dr F (a professor at a seminary who lives in town) leads it. Then the elementary age students have a study, and the preschool (18 months-5 years) are studying Creation and redemption. The children's studies are led on a rotation by various parents & adult volunteers. Meets at the campus in Newburgh on Sunday evenings. So exciting!

Dare I admit which historical site in the next county over J and I went ahead to visit? It's a highly volatile subject. Some of my friends wouldn't dare set foot in such a place, others would flock to it and worship the very ground upon which this president once trod. Yes, we went to visit the boyhood home of none other than Abraham Lincoln. Why'd I even bother? He's such a controversial figure and gave joy to some and many, many, many years of pain and hardship to others. But I shan't get into those issues- if you know me well you know my sentiments and beliefs in the matters. We went because it's an historical site and it's within a shortish drive from here. I loooove history. Whether or not I believe in one side or the other. History is very important to me. Did I mention I love history? So yes, this is a picture of T & me at the childhood home (site) of the president of the North. (I should mention that we're within driving distance of the Jefferson Davis monument but we ran out of time and I couldn't visit it with my sister). They've encased what remains of the foundation of his home in copper. So it's green! Crazy!

We planned on also going to Andrew Jackson's home in Nashville. I've been there before. But of course J hadn't! However, when J saw the entry fee (almost $20/person) she declined. Oh well. Still plan to return there some day.

We did go to Saint Louis. I enjoy that city so much. There's a lot to do. We intended on visiting the Saint Louis Zoo. Seriously if you haven't been and you ever have the chance, go. When we visited the Seaworld San Diego they had a penguin display. Seriously that's nothing to the penguin display in the Saint Louis Zoo! Plus, the Saint Louis Zoo is free! Who can argue that? Apparently traffic could. It was the first truly warm day in a while, quite sunny outdoors the Saturday we visited. We couldn't find a single place to park within a mile of the zoo. Perhaps it was for the best. We ended up discovering a place I can't wait to visit again.

A wild bird preserve!

Look at her name. Sorta Hobbitish, don't you think? :)

 It was free, it was fun. Would totally go there again.

 We also went to the science museum. It was more kid-oriented than I'd have liked. Also was a little old for T. Some things he enjoyed however.

Looking down at the freeway below.

A few days before her flight back west I took my sister to the little town of New Harmony. It's a unique place. I rather thought she'd enjoy it. For my AZ friends, think Bisbee without hippies. It was founded in the early 1800s as a utopian community. Failed, but there are still a few hundred people in the little town. There are log cabins, historic buildings, and the oddest most unique church I've ever visited. It doesn't have a roof.

This enclosure is the church.

Under that awning.

We had fun. Painted part of the house, planted a flower bed, explored, shopped, cooked. Yummy!

Ready to bake. Yum!