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June 30, 2006

Anishinabek Naming Ceremony

The cartoon strip For Better or For Worse this June has been highlighting the young teacher character, Liz, who is facing the difficult decision of leaving her teaching job in the rural town of Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) to return to the city to be near her family. Ultimately she decides to come home, but the community has accepted her, and they decide to send her off with a naming ceremony, which is traditional in Ojibwe culture.

There's more on the naming ceremony here. Here is a summary of the Objibwe ceremony, from the FBFW website:

The Naming Ceremony gives us our "Spirit Name" which gives us recognition with the spirit world. It is said that it is easier to find the name for a young person because the name is close by - as the child has just come from the spirit world. As you get older, however, your name drifts farther away and is more difficult to find...Four male and four female sponsors who stand by the person being named in the ceremony have the responsibility of walking alongside this person during his or her life. They act as advisors or confidants through good times and bad, and publicly vow to support and guide the person being named. The Spirit World, hearing the name, then accepts and can recognize the face of the child as a living thing for the first time. The Spirit World and the ancestors then guard the child and prepare a place for him or her when their life ends.

This reminds me a little bit of formal Hebrew naming ceremonies that occur on the 8th day after birth at the bris (for boys), or in the synagogue (for girls). During the naming ceremony, the parents explain why they have chosen that name for the child, and the mother and child are blessed.

Posted by sedda at 08:01 AM

June 21, 2006

Jumpers for penguins and trees

A knitter from my knitting circle alerted me to something she found on cuteoverload.com...it's old news but still a great story.

Six years ago, an oil spill in Australia killed three-fourths of the Fairy Penguin population on Phillip Island. An environmental rescue group used doll sweaters to insulate the penguins who had been de-oiled but weren't producing their own oils yet. News spread on the internet, and pretty soon the penguins were getting handmade jumpers from London to the Latter Day Saints.

Well the project "went viral" via sites like this one and the group collected 15,000 penguin sweaters. The Tasmanian Conservation Trust doesn't need any more jumpers for its birds, but it does need help protecting them from getting squashed by cars.

The same knitter pointed me to an original tree-hugger sweater, with a link to a pattern, even!

Posted by sedda at 08:09 PM

June 07, 2006

Chapstick stains

Somehow G has managed to wash Chapstick in his pocket three times. Once the pants go into the dryer, it melts in small bits, leaving little oily stains all over the whole load. Pretty much every favorite piece of clothing he has is stained somewhere. Now we have signs on the washer and drying saying CHECK POCKETS for CHAPSTICK, which our landlord found confusing at first. He was like, 'I don't even use chapstick!'

Actually, now that I think about it, it's not actually Chapstick, but Blistex lip balm. I think they are made by the same people, anyway.

It's hard to find info online for removing the stains, so I wrote the company. Hopefully they'll eventually post instructions on their own website. If you need to know how to do it, click to the jump.

From: Wyeth_ConsumerInfo@wyeth.com
Subject: Re: ChapStick Classics
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 08:29:05 -0400

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting us regarding Chap StickĀ® Lip Balm. We are sorry to hear about your unfortunate staining incident with this product. Listed below are some suggestions regarding stain removal. A local commercial dry cleaner may be able to offer you additional suggestions based on the fabric type of the garments. Before using any of the following suggestions, we recommend testing the fabric in a small, inconspicuous area.

We have found that Chap Stick stains can usually be removed by washing the individual spots using a standard degreasing agent such as waterless hand cleaner, toluene (found at hardware stores), or lighter fluid. When doing this, place a paper towel or an absorbent material underneath to absorb the stain and prevent it from bleeding to the other side of the garment. After doing this, spray with Wisk and rub or dab the stain continuously for five minutes and then rinse with hot water. Repeat if necessary. Unfortunately, standard laundry detergents may not have the degreasing power to completely remove the stain.

Another alternative would be to use white blotting paper and press with a warm iron, changing the paper as needed. Pour hot water through the stain, allow to dry and then flush with Afta or Carbona Cleaning Fluid. These items should be available at your local grocery or retail stores. We hope these suggestions will be useful to you.

Wyeth Consumer Healthcare is firmly committed to the manufacture and sale of only the finest quality products and is grateful that you took the time to email us with your question. Should you have additional questions, please call 1-800-322-3129. Our offices are open weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

Sincerely,

Nancy
Wyeth Product Quality

Posted by sedda at 10:45 AM