VINTAGE FINDS & Other Mundane Shopping

Because if I have money I must spend.

Smelling LUSH-ous

creamy candy bath soap
I bent my head to the side and pointed to my neck, “Take a whiff, Honey,” I said to my husband. “I smell like San Francisco!”

My Sweet Spousal Unit shrugged and said, “As long as you don’t smell like a BART station.”

I glared at him with my most evil eye!

[Note: For those of you who have never experienced the pleasure of riding the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in San Francisco, let me explain: You do NOT want to take an elevator or step into an enclosed stairway if you can help it! It stinks to High Heaven … think “urinal!” That’s what the street dwellers think those are, anyway.]

Laughing, he bent to smell my neck and exclaimed, “Mmmmm. LUSH-ous!” And, he was right. I was wearing my “Karma” perfume from LUSH in San Francisco. It doesn’t really smell like San Francisco … Karma smells like lemon grass, oranges, and patchouli … but that’s good enough for me. Unfortunately, that wonderful solid perfume I love is being discontinued! Just my luck.

LUSH in San Francisco

LUSH is the only store that is a requirement of visiting The City. The one I patronize is on Powell Street, just off of Union Square; a tiny shop packed with fresh products for your body and bath (for both men and women) that smell much better than the BART station. I don’t have to tell you the address; just follow your nose!

In fact, I wish this was a scratch and sniff blog! These bath soaps look good enough to eat, but they smell even better.

LUSH bath soaps

Sure, I can go on-line and buy the products, and there are other LUSH stores around the country. But, this store was the first LUSH in the United States, it’s the first one that I visited, and it remains my first stop when I get to San Francisco. It may not smell like San Francisco, but it’s the way San Francisco ought to smell. At least it ought to smell like Karma!

I don’t wear a lot of perfume, because my olfactory system seems to be in constant overdrive. When I do, I’m drawn to scents like patchouli, musk, and sandalwood. I was told long ago that men like the smell of vanilla on a woman. Supposedly scientists did tests to prove that, but Momma always said, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Vanilla smells like baked goods, so I guess she was right.

Do you wear perfume or cologne? What scents are your favorite?

That I Love Lucy Lady

This Lucille Ball doll almost begged to have her picture snapped. We found her on our jaunt into east Texas yesterday, where she resides in a delightful antique store in what was once the old bank building. The place is crammed full of marvelous whimsy.

Lucy doll

Robin, at Around The Island, hosts a meme inviting us to share our summer photos, but I’ve not been able to participate yet this year. We haven’t been out snapping pictures much. Since summer is the time that I enjoy exploring the world beyond my door, I thought I’d show you what I like to do. One of the things I do is go to antique stores, thrift shops, and garage sales.

Often, I come home with treasures … but I didn’t bring Lucy home (she’s still there waiting for you). I was tempted because Lucille Ball has a special place in my heart. She is a “mentor,” of sorts.

As a professional storyteller, I often go into a “slapstick mode” in front of small children. All those years of watching I Love Lucy didn’t go to waste! The greatest compliment I have ever received was a thank you note from a third grader saying: “You know that I Love Lucy lady? You’re funnier than her!”

I’ve also gotten many thank you notes that say: “Thank you for the faces you make.” I don’t know what in the world they mean by that.

that was supposed to be a look of fear but I was giggling too hard

I’ll tell you more about this little town, the building that caused that “face” of mine, and the antique store, later this week. Meanwhile, drop by Robin’s blog and see what other photographers are recording this summer.

I Am Aflame For My Kindle

When Oprah did a show back in the fall of 2008 featuring the Kindle, an electronic reading device, I was curious enough to go on-line and check the price. Now, I’m here to tell you that I do not do everything that Oprah Winfrey tells me to do. In fact, I try to resist following the crowd. Not being a sheep seemed easy when I saw the price for one of those darned things. Have you priced one? A Kindle is not inexpensive! And, Oprah gave one away to every stinkin’ audience member!

I was skeptical that it would be enjoyable to read a book on the Kindle. I had tried reading a book on my computer once, and didn’t like the experience at all. Reading at a computer makes me have to sit straight up to read … and that will never do! I like to curl up on the sofa or the bed to read. I love to read so much that when I was a kid my parents would find me after bedtime under the “tent” I had made of my covers. I had a flashlight so I could try to devour another few pages before sleep claimed my senses (or what little bit of sense I had).

Over the next year, I thought of every single reason why I did not want a Kindle. After all, I am a purist … I am a bibliophile … for me, nothing can match the visceral thrill of holding a book in my hand and turning pages. I wouldn’t be able to read that electronic print, anyway. It would be hard on my eyes! Probably, it was difficult to figure out how to work a Kindle, and I’d rather spend my time reading. And, I collect books, for Heaven’s sake! I decorate my house with them (which means a lot of dusting, but they are beautiful to see). I couldn’t do that with one itty bitty little Kindle. Nahhhhh … you were never going to see me falling for that expensive, new-fangled, electronic stuff. I “pooh-poohed” the whole idea.

Then, I held one in my hot little hands. Did you hear me say, “Baaah?” I was ready to join the flock.

A librarian, who is at least five years older than I am, showed me hers. She was addicted to it, and had collected hundreds of books on it. My friend showed me that you could adjust the print size on the pages … and I could read it without my glasses! I could add notes and bookmarks electronically (without defacing the book). I could find the definition of words immediately, just by moving the cursor in front of a word! AND, I could switch over to Wikipedia if I wanted to look up something and find (mis)information about it.

Best of all, she told me that Amazon keeps my books on file. If I should lose my Kindle (Heaven forbid), or if some creep steals it from me (God help them), all of my books are retrievable. I could even share the books with another Kindle that is on my account or move the books to another device if the technology advances.

OK, my interest was sparked. All my objections flew out the window. I told myself, “If that little old lady can master a Kindle, then I surely can!” I reasoned that a Kindle would be perfect to carry when I travel. And, I wouldn’t have to keep my glasses superglued to my nose anymore! And, it would stop all those freeloaders who ask to borrow a book and never return it! I began an active campaign of lobbying for one as a Christmas gift.

My Sweet Spousal Unit gave me my Christmas gift early! He even bought a cute little cover for it! I tell you whut, I didn’t have that in my hands for five minutes before I had downloaded a book. After reading Jessica the Rock Chick’s review of The Lost Symbol (by Dan Brown), I needed to read it.

So, that’s where I have been the last few days: curled up on the couch lost in a book that is a real “page turner.” Only, you don’t “turn” pages, you “click” them … and I have to do that often. I have the print set at such a large size that there are only three words to the page (sorry, that was a blatant exaggeration).

Will the Kindle stop me from buying books? No, probably not. I still love the feel of a book in my hand. But, I am hooked on reading books on the Kindle. I’m “aflame.” I’m burning to buy more books! Why, I can collect hundreds of books and never have to dust them!

So give me some suggestions for books I can download, if you have some preferences. I’d love to hear your opinion before I buy.