The kiddies are gone, packed up and on the road by ten. I made them a big dinner last night, which I know Annie appreciated having been on the road from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, pulling a sailboat, all day long. We bedded down after chores and popcorn. Up early to a blustery and very cold day. Picked up all the cute little hand knit socks from under the sofa cushions and gathered all the toys. Annie got a supply of Shepherd's Friend after donating her jar to her mom in Maryland. Hannah took three pounds of Mother Fiber roving with her to spin at home in Maine. I told her to spin as much as she can to put out in my booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool. She's a dynamite spinner and makes beautiful finger weight yarn. I hate seeing them go. I know Maine is closer than Dallas, but it's still seven hours away, a day's drive. If it was up to me we would all live on the same block. I am diving into my wool, as it is amazingly restorative and grounding. My wool gives me industry and purpose, and surrounds me when I'm lonely and out of sorts. Bluefaced Leicester fleeces are full of character, with long curly tendrils which are often black due to the large amounts of lanolin in them. Some sheep fleeces are prettier in the bag, like Romney, which is so attractive with the lock structure, shine and uniform length, coming off the sheep in one piece. However, they may not be as nice after washing. Bluefaced Leicester looks like chaos when it comes off the sheep, falling off like so many squiggly worms...but when it is washed, BFL is pure heaven, with lightness and crimp unlike any other wool. I sit on the sofa, surrounded by my doggies, and pick through the fleeces, taking out any burdock or tags. Short belly wool or gnarly neck bits go in the boxes of wool for the kitties to nestle in to get out of the cold. They will need it today as the cold wind is shaking the barn. I'm thankful Sisters Bernadette and Grace did a good job nailing on the metal sheets when they were young girls, before they were recruited by the visiting Franciscans nuns who came to their Sunday School. I sure will miss my little helpers in the barn tonight. So glad we got in one more sledding down the hill, and one more snowball fight last night before their mom came to claim them. Back to my wool. Wool is good.