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Are they rubies?

Karen Goeller writes

 ...But you can't really tell if it's baking soda or cocaine until
you do further tests.

Yes, Ma’am! This reminded me of a friend’s non-jewelry related but
very funny experience, and makes the point that even experts can be

My friend was in Mexico on a research project, collecting bird skins
for the NC Museum of Natural History. In order to temporarily
preserve their specimens, my friend and his associate carried with
them a substantial quantity of boric acid power. When the time came
for them to cross the border back into the USA, the old blue panel
truck they were driving and their somewhat Bohemian appearances
caused the border guards to take special note of them and resulted
in their truck being searched. Needless to say, the guards thought
they’d encountered the cocaine stash of the century when they found
large plastic bags of suspicious white power.

My friend presented his documents and did his best to explain to the
officers what it was they had “discovered”, but the dutiful border
guard was determined to check the material for himself and despite
my friend’s vociferous protests, insisted on inhaling a pinch of the
white powder to “test” the stash he believed he’d found. As you can
imagine, a snoot full of boric acid power is not a pleasant
experience and the guard was a very unhappy individual. His nose was
on fire and his big bust was history, so my friend, his associate
and their specimens were released from custody to continue on their

The moral is: things aren’t always what they look like and a wise
individual tests carefully to be sure!

Walk In Beauty,
Susannah Ravenswing
Jewels of the Spirit
Winston-Salem NC

Karen Goeller writes

But you can't really tell if it's baking soda or cocaine until you
do further tests. 

A friend makes and sells cat toys stuffed with the catnip she grows
in her garden. Last year she’d just finished spreading out her
catnip harvest in the driveway to dry, when the local policeman
drove by. She heard the squeal of brakes, and he ran back to her,
wanting to know what that suspicious green stuff was. She sent him
on his way with a bag of fresh catnip for his cats.

Janet Kofoed