It turns out, Irish Gypsies head to the beach in the summer just like everyone else!

      My number one employee and I went to San Diego on a fact finding mission this week. She’s number one for many reasons, but the best reason is that she gets a "celery", not a "salary", from Edgehill Herb Farm and she does such a great job for that "celery" that she just got a "raisin"!

     I’m speaking in November at Mrs. Burton’s Tea Parlor in Old Town’s Heritage Park and needed to see some things to prep for the event, so we made a day of our herb research, combining it with other various & little projects we are working on for my business. One of the other projects took us to Newport Avenue Antiques in Ocean Beach, CA. I have my soaps and other herb items for sale in Antiques on Main in olde downtown Vista, CA – the town where I live – and my friend does most of the restocking as her "job", so our visit to O.B. was to see some displays and get ideas. It worked. We are full of so many projects now; we both deserve a special parking place at my house just for employees of the year.

     While in O.B., we had the experience of seeing Irish Gypsies try (unsuccessfully) to con the store we were shopping in. It was classic. It was unbelievable. It was a man, two unruly children and an old woman with a fake bandage on her head that made up the "crew" in our store, although we heard there were other gypsies on the street, we only saw the four. All four of them smelled….foul. The smell is part of the con, because everyone leaves them alone to get away from the odor. If that doesn’t work, then granny says her head hurts and she’s not feeling well, & can she please have some water, yadda, yadda, to get sympathy & lure the cashier to leave the cash register and to go for water. All this while simultaneously the two little boys are off in opposite directions disrupting and distracting (doing what all little boys do, they needed no training) & the man tries to grab a key to a jewelry case. The cashier/owner was too smart for him and I frustrated them greatly because I didn’t leave like the other customers did, including my friend (I just openly held my nose!) It was amazing to see, and smell, these con artists in action. After the store owner kicked the gypsies out for bad behaviors on part of boys, she was so shaken I thought she might faint. I stayed with her ’til she was all better and waited until she had called all the other stores to warn them before I’d leave or let her ring up anyone. Who am I anyway? I sound so bossy and I am. I am so glad I saw the whole thing or I would have never have believed it. It goes into my very own annals.

     Speaking of cons, I own a 1946 edition of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a book that I purchased at a used bookstore while on vacation in San Francisco as a kid. The book is autographed…

Ripley ————-"Believe It or Not" 



     Once again, little ole me, normally frightened of very little, certainly not frightened by speaking in front of huge crowds or jumping off tall trestles into murky ocean tides below, has come close to being struck by my worst nightmare, in fact my childhood re-occurring worst nightmare, a rattlesnake!
   I was visiting the local historic Adobe, walking with family & talking with the park Ranger & enjoying the Victorian Garden. The Garden Club to which I belong helped to plant this area of the Adobe, all in keeping with the history of the Rancho, when my Cousin saved me from a baby rattlesnake, coiled and shaking its silent rattle – the ubiqitious snake in the grass!
     This is one of several very close calls that I have had with baby rattlesnakes. Each time I have been wearing flip flops and shorts or cropped chinos with absolutely no protection against the snakes. Had I been struck, it would have struck skin. Who wants to wear leather boots and thick socks under heavy jeans to go for a stroll with family on a hot day or to do laundry at home? Not me. But apparently I better start suiting up for everyday life!
     I thank God my Cousin saved me today. I’d rather wear flip-flops and shorts and just keep her with me as protection and forget the the boots, socks and jeans. But she’s not always available. So suit up it is. I feel like the little brother in the movie "A Christmas Story" just in a twisted July version.
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