Finally, the fleece project without end was shipped off.
Now it is no longer my problem. It is the mill's problem. What a relief! And a tremendous sense of accomplishment too. I have birthed lambs, held sheep while their blood was drawn, sheared them (badly), treated them for any number of ailments and problems, skirted and picked fleeces for hours upon end... but I now feel like a "real" fiber farmer since I washed a few of their fleeces. I can't explain it, probably because it makes no sense.
I did learn a little lesson in the shipping. The box was, obviously, massive, and came in just shy of 20 pounds. The fleece was going to a mill in Oregon because the felting came very highly recommended by someone who should know. I figured that UPS was probably my better bet, because how could so many people be wrong?
I should back up and explain that, in spite of this little defection, I am a massive fan of the United States Postal System. I find their website extremely easy to use and very accurate when I am quoting shipping prices to customers. I love our little quaint downtown post office, with red geraniums in the windows, even though the parking situation is a bit tricky.
Even the clerks are wonderful, though I do acknowledge that is not necessarily the norm at your run-of-the-mill post office. Case in point: a few years back, we used to mail out documents for my LSH's office every Saturday. One week my father went with Primo to do the errand for me. The clerk asked if he wanted delivery confirmation, and he didn't know. She asked: "Is this your grandson?" When he said yes, she replied, "Then you don't want it."
So I am very loyal to my post office. I try to do everything I can to keep it going. I mail every piece of mail possible through it, because one of the metrics of post office health is letter volume. I buy all my stamps there, and ship all my packages there, and just generally try to be one of their best customers, in spite of the knowledge that the institution itself doesn't seem to care one way or the other (one of its failings, I suppose).
When I went to the UPS shipping center though, I received comeuppance for my disloyalty. Almost $70 in shipping, and it would arrive next Thursday or Friday. Reeling with shock and the weight of that box, I staggered back out to the car to assess my options. Back home with the package in tow, I went online to my old friend, the postage meter calculator. I think my mouth dropped open when I saw the price for parcel post: $24.92.
So back to my old haunt I went, where one of my favorite clerks assured me that my calculations were correct, and moreover, it would arrive around Thursday or Friday.
Lesson learned: I will never cheat on the USPS again. But I did spring for the insurance. I may be loyal, but I'm not stupid.