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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Merino Wool

I had no idea that "merino" as in "merino wool" actually refers to a type of sheep! Merino sheep are characterized by their tight, springy coats and their softness. The term "merino" was once used exclusively to describe sheep that came from Spain. But now that sheep breeds have been exported all over the world, merino sheep can be found everywhere, with concentrations in Western Europe, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. Unlike most wool, merino doesn’t scratch when worn right next to the skin. Once considered a luxury yarn, it’s becoming more common and affordable.

Why choose wool for garments? Well, it has the following properties: it’s strong, durable, elastic, water-resistant, and flame-resistant. It takes up dye wonderfully, and with all the blends available these days, it feels great and not so scratchy anymore. Wool can be quite lightweight and will keep you as warm as down. Hey, it seems to work well for the sheep!

Today's Thought: It's really important to be able to recognize the signs of a stroke because, if the patient can get help within 3 hours, the effects of a stroke can be almost totally reversed. But, it's hard to know for sure, but ask these 3 simple questions:

S ask the person to SMILE
T ask the person to TALK or SAY A SIMPLE LINE (coherently, like "it is sunny out today")
R ask the person to RAISE BOTH ARMS

You might also want to ask the person to stick out his or her tongue. If the tongue is "crooked," if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of stroke. If there's trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

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