Friday, July 31, 2009

Cfengine and Otherstuff

Today is (National?) Systems Administrator Appreciation Day. Since Moose is my number one SysAdmin I just wanted to give a little shout out to all the blokes (and gals) who work hard to keep systems up and running so people can get work done and watch funny things on Youtube. (BTW those are NOT Moose's feet, he ALWAYS wears socks and never wears cool shoes like that.)
In other news I spent 40 minutes and several miles today getting farm fresh eggs but it was worth it because I save $1.50 per dozen compared to other farm fresh eggs and they have Aracauna eggs, which are blue green and make my heart leap every time.
Also, my super sweet friend has offered to let me use her pool everyday so that I can get my kids swimming. So this week, I donned a new hat, that of swimming instructor. We are planning to go every day but beach day and Sunday until Nutmeg and Boba Fett are little fishes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Interview with a Samurai, pt.1

As my life is SO mysterious, and inquiring minds DO want to know, La Keira has very kindly volunteered to do an interview with Samurai Mom to answer many of your pressing questions. I hope you enjoy it, I did.

#1: Living in Portland, as you do, I imagine you see a lot of bumper stickers. I saw a particularly self-righteous one the other day that said "What exactly do conservatives want to conserve?" Wow. What a zinger. Here's your chance to respond. I'd like at least three bullet points.

Your Money,
Your Rights,
Your Liberties,
and possibly,Your Sanity

#2: I know your home schooling style is inspired in part by Thomas Jefferson but I can't bring myself to like the guy (Declaration notwithstanding, it's gonna take some time for me to get past the Sally Hemmings thing). So, my question is, which Founding Father do you most relate to and (if different) who would you like to spend a dinner with? Why?Though I haven't studied him much, I think that I most identify with Patrick Henry. I don't think that I have all the ideas but I know correct principles when I see them and they burn within me and become part of me. I hope to be a "radical" as he was and maybe one day if needed to come up with a phrase as patriotic as "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
I don't want to mince words, I want to speak the truth.

As for dinner I would like to break bread with John and Abigail Adams because after reading McCullough's biography how could one not adore and admire John Adams?

#3: You, like me, are a collector of the fabulous. What item in your home do you have an inexplicable passion/unhealthy obsession for?
I simply cannot choose just one. This answer will be woefully inaccurate no matter the answer I choose so I am going to say that currently I am in love with colanders though I am limiting myself to possessing only 4. Also, there is Danvers, my ceramic duck filled with knitting needles, perhaps my favorite item.

And Books. I love books, even if I never read all of them, I love books.

#4: Speaking of books...The character Desmond on LOST is saving up a copy of "Our Mutual Friend" to read as the last book he ever reads in his life. Do you have a favorite book that you wish you could unread and save for just such an occasion?
I am having trouble with this one. First, I would say Jane Eyre but Jane Eyre has so many lessons that I have needed in this life, I would hate to have gone without them. Second, I would like to say Mrs. Miniver but again I can't imagine a world without knowing the joys of Mrs. Miniver. Just think of bidding on an auction emotionally because something looks lonely and not knowing that Mrs. Miniver would do the same thing.
I choose Rebecca. Rebecca is one of my favorite books but I fully admit that the life lessons learned therein are faulty and one doesn't learn much in that respect. It would be delightful for the last book read to begin "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again."

#5 I know that you loved your time in London. Where was your favorite place there? What time of day? What should it smell like?

I loved to walk along the Thames at night. Always with a friend, not because I was ever afraid for my safety in London Town but because walking along the Thames is a time for conversation. We would walk along the embankment and then cross to the south using Lambeth Bridge, then Westminster enchanted by the Houses of Parliament waving to Boadicea as we passed. Then skip Hungerford past the sphinxes and on to my favorite, Waterloo, which leads to the Royal National Theatre and up to the elaborately painted Blackfriars bridge. If it wasn't too late and the conversation was still good there was Tower Bridge via the New Globe Theatre, but not often. It smells like roasted chestnuts and crisp fall air. Chestnuts taste terrible but smell delicious and I am sure the Thames smells but if it does I can't recall the scent. be continued. Tune in tomorrow to find out my bad habits, psychological philosophy, and what I will look like in heaven in Interview with a Samurai, pt.2

Interview with a Samurai pt. 2

#6 What are two bad habits you have (that are shareable)? Which would you be willing to give up first?

I am very messy and I do not clean up after myself. It is really, really bad and applies to all areas of my life. I am a slob. I would like to give up both first but I know I will never conquer either of them.

#7: Mormons believe in having a perfected body in the hereafter. We've all thought about it. My best me looks like Angie Harmon or Katherine Zeta-Jones. Who does your best you look like?
Honestly, I am pretty happy with myself. The things I would change are minor but practical. I would have a skinnier feet so I could wear cute shoes and a normal back so bras would fit properly - but I highly doubt there will be bras in heaven. If there are it won't be heaven. Slightly redder hair, a little off of the inner thighs and lose the baby belly but keep the stretch marks. I have come to think of them (the stretch marks) as badges of honor, like a God given tattoo for each child. And of course, better "assets." Same size just less obedient to gravity.

George Lucas told Carrie Fisher that there was "no jiggling in the Empire". That's heaven to me.

#8: When you log onto your computer each morning, what are the first three sites you check?

This is very boring. Facebook, Gmail, and to check my links

#9: Nature or nurture? Explain your answer.
Nurture. Nature is important there are certain parts of our personality that can not or should not be changed. I believe that with proper nurturing those traits can become profitable strengths rather than liabilities.

For example: Commander C has a very strong sense of justice and a predisposition toward revenge. I hope that we can help him become a strong man that uses those feelings to speak up for the downtrodden and do what is right, to practice compassion and forgiveness. I am terrified that if we mess up he will become a serial killer.

Besides, the Proclamation on the Family says "Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." Naturally, I think my job is the most important.

#10: Explain your love of all things retro. (kitsch-factor, workmanship, originality...?)
I gravitate to classic lines, things that are timeless. I like elegance and strength. I love things that make me feel feminine but aren't necessarily covered in flowers and lace. I find the kitch factor irresistible, kitchy things are so absurd but practical all in one. I certainly love having something unique that no one else has it makes me feel special. I also love that the things I love have had a life before I met them. Was my wedding ring a treasured symbol of devotion or a trinket from and admirer? Was the person who painted Danvers satisfied? What kind of events did my garden dress go to when it was new?That is a very Miniver-ian outlook, if I may say so.

Okay, last question: You have a ton of hobbies and as far as I can tell you do them all well. Sewing, knitting, cross-stitch, blogging, revolution inciting... What is your favorite?

I really enjoy embroidery and think it is my favorite form of needlework but I don't do it very often. There is nothing like the satisfaction of a well done monogram.
Knitting however; knitting I obsess over from fall to mid spring. It relaxes me. One day I was a little testy and Moose said that I should go knit something and calm down. I did.

Monday, July 27, 2009


That's right, Samurai Mom has a new cell phone and will now be entering the strange and redundant world of text messaging.
I was wondering who I should text when I thought "I should open it up to my readers!" So leave a comment on this post if you would like to receive my very first text message. If you win we will talk x-change digits and you will get a text, from ME!


(The contest ends tonight at midnight Pacific time.)

The Mrs. Miniver Society

While browsing through some second hand kitchenware I came across these milk glass green cups. We need small cups at our house and I loved these so. There was also a matching sugar bowl. I have no need for a sugar bowl and I am trying to economize but it looked so lonely sitting there on the shelf without its cup friends. So after agonizing for quite some time I brought it home with me as well. I just couldn't bear to break the set.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sabbath Leaves

This week has been a glorious week full of answered prayers, quiet contemplation, temple worship, courage has been given as well as and countless opportunities to serve. How grateful I am for these opportunities and the immediate, yet intangible blessings I have received. My cup runneth over and there is not room enough to receive it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Night Cinema

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Starring: John Wayne, James Stewart
Directed By: John Ford
Date: 1962

This film has some interesting themes on statesmanship and citizenship. Stoddard is a reluctant statesman yet he does his duty. There is also a question about the rule of law and what is right and what keeps you alive when there is no law.

The set is very minimal, almost campy but it works leaving you to focus on the characters and story rather than be distracted by the set. Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne are two of the best hands down and this film is easy to watch even if the leading lady they are scrapping over is a little abrasive.

I think this is one of Boss Moss' favorite films.

6 out of 7 thimbles

Samurai Mom Goes to Washington *Edit*

You might remember how I went to a Washington County Town Hall meeting with Congressman David Wu a while back.

A new video has been edited with different footage from the other camera in the room. The audio is much better.

Congressman Wu meets Samurai Mom from WashCoGOP Oregon on Vimeo.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Meet the Mormon Midwife

Happy Pioneer Day
While I can only recall celebrating 2 Pioneer Days in my entire life (having grown up in Montana not Utah) but I am a big fan of doing so. We are celebrating today with a picnic (or it is a convenient way to excuse our picnic?)

Meet my Great-great-great-grandmother Patty Bartlett Sessions "Mormon Midwife."

She didn't actually arrive in Salt Lake on July 24, 1847 but arrived September 24, 1847 having stayed behind at Winter Quarters (I like to think to deliver babies.) "She recorded 3,977 births with only 'two difficult cases.'" Stick that in your OB's pipe along with his 33% cesarean rate and tell him to smoke it.

I feel a great affinity with Patty due to my love of home births and midwives as well as our mutual mad knitting skills (see photo.) We all like to think we got our looks from the other side of the family.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Calling All Ants

I found this picnic basket at the "expensive" Goodwill for $2.29. I refurbished it with stash fabric and scraps. Friend Margo supplied the big red buttons at 12:15 am. Paper plates and plastic cutlery were rounded up from the pantry.
Voila! Picnic for six. I am almost completely happy with it, sewing the bottom lining to the sides was a bit tricky and now the pockets are off center. Total cost: $2.29. All we need now is some of my Grandma's Macaroni salad.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Innocence Lost

There was once a man who was loved by many. He said to the people "Follow me and I will make you do what is right, I will save you. Not one soul shall be lost. The glory will be mine." There was another man, also loved by many who said "Follow me. I will not make you do what is right. I will let you chose good or evil. Some will be lost, but I will save you through my sacrifice. The glory will be to our father, our creator." Many people wanted to be forced to do what was right, still more wanted their agency. There was a war.
The first man and his followers were cast out. He tries now to take away our agency. Always he contrives with his whisperings, his cunning words and his lies. He tells us what we want to hear as he leads us down the path to bondage.
This man's name is Satan, Lucifer, the Devil.

Today I listened to the president of my country, the very country that was founded on the sacrifice and blood of so many for liberty, for freedom, for AGENCY. I heard his cunning words and lies as he tries to lead our people into bondage. Physical bondage, financial bondage, social bondage.

I snapped of the radio and told my children the unhappy truth. I told my children solemnly, gravely that the president of our country is a wicked man. I told them that he is taking away our agency, that he is full of lies and deceit.
I warned them to be on their guard.
I will fight for their agency just as I did once before.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Of Shoes and Ships and Sailing Wax...

Today was beach day again. We ended up going alone which was actually quite nice (except for the hauling of the gear with no adult help.) We landed at Indian beach again as I am determined to at least break even with my State Park Pass.
After dropping our gear in a heap we made a dash for the tide pools, there wasn't much to see. Perhaps, if one is there earlier? So far Arcadia has been to best beach for tide pools. I did manage to snap a photo of these three marine creatures before I damaged one of them.You see, Boba Fett is a very cautious creature and balancing on barnacle encrusted rock is not something he is very deft at yet. I was trying to hustle him back to a safer spot and he was too heavy for me and I scraped his knees on the rock. I must say he was very brave and barely whimpered.
This not Nutmeg but a ocean side mountain goat. Note the uncanny ability to find a spot to place her foot or hand to climb a rock.Also see the long skinny legs much like a traditional mountain goat, the hair is also the same color as a mountain goat as is the irrepressible desire to climb. I see a future in rock climbing and I don't like it.
After lunch there was digging and reading followed by rushing madly into the icy waves squealing from the cold. Your feet finally go numb at about 5 minutes and then it is very fun to go in deeper. I was the one squealing in the waves with the kids staggered several paces behind me.
As always Indian Beach calls for rock stacking. Nutmeg showed some skill at it as did Commander C. Here he is with the first of the 2 tallest stacks of the day.
I moved on to some installation art...

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Henceforth, my friend Keira will be known on this blog as "La Keira" as in la latina, La Raza, la Sonia, in honor of her Latin heritage. "For Latinas like you," La Keira, because in America racism only exists if it is AGAINST people of color.

Saturday Night Cinema

Since I last mentioned Severus Snape, I have finished reading the Harry Potter books and just this afternoon watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

How do I feel about Snape now that I have read all of the books? I just want to say that "I knew it!" and if I were to have another son I would name him Severus.
How was Alan Rickman in HBP? Snapeish and Snapetastic.
How did I like the movie HBP? It was good but a bit underwhelming. I think many of the parts of the book that they skipped were key to the story. I thought that it lacked a lot of emotion. Daniel Radcliff's "Felix Felicis Harry" was hilarious.
What magic spell would I most like to have? The one where Dumbledore cleans up the room with a flick of his wand.

7 out of 7 thimbles for the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
and 5 out of 7 thimbles for the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why, Yes, I am fashion.

If there is one thing Samurai Mom has it's style. Whether Samurai Mom's style is good or bad, that is open to debate, but no one can deny that I have a certain je ne sais quois. It is part of the whole costume/apparel design thing. People don't grow up wanting to be designers without having their own sense of what looks good and what does not.

While most of her information is something I knew instinctively, I was thrilled to find Cardigan Empire. There have been one or two really bad fashion phases in my life. It is nice to have someone put personal fashion guidelines in black and white and color just for you, especially when you want to get the new look but know that leggings are a personal fashion no-no. Take the time to go here and find your body type. Don't worry if your body type is not what you think it should be. Reachel at Cardigan Empire makes you feel great about whatever body shape you have and how to accentuate your best parts.

Samurai Mom is a "soft delicious center" or "middle figured body type" and while I want to insist that I am not "apple" shaped Reachel makes me feel better by pointing out that I am the kind of person people want to cuddle which is great because one of my life goals is to be a cuddly grandmother.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Summer of the Beach

This summer is the summer of the beach.
The funny thing about living only an hour away from the beach is that you never go. This summer I decided to take a stand. We would go to the beach every week. Mix into this schedule a week of Cub Scout camp and a ward camp out and you have an exhausted mama.Boba Fett at Seaside on the 4th. He is actually crying because we told him he had to get out of the hole, not because we put him in the hole.

Jellyfish at Indian Beach. Boba Fett begged me to take a picture of each dead jellyfish we found that morning.Tide pools at Indian Beach.
Stacking Rocks at Indian Beach. Thanks to the Grovers for coming with us. We had so much fun.Commander C at Cub Camp learning how to lasso a cute sawhorse long horn.
Loving on The Domingo while La Keira and I read etiquette books and planned our cinema group. Doing my shift at camp was so much easier with a friend to chat with.
Commander C practicing his Robin Hood.
I took the kids to the ward camp-out. The hammock was the hit of camp. I attracted kids from 6 months old to 16 years old. Moose took Nutmeg home for the actual sleeping while I slept in the tent with the boys. I love sleeping in tents!
One of the many creatures abused by children at the camp out. Don't fret, the adults were abused by the peacocks, crows and frogs making a racket all night long.
Tide pool at Arcadia beach.
Spencer at the cool tide pool we found alone. That kid is so cute.
Loving on The Domingo again. La Keira and I both managed a nice sunburn due to the fact that we were too lazy to reach 5 feet over and get out the sunscreen. The kids are finely bronzed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sabbath Leaves

Our Beautiful World: Peacocks, love them or hate them they are beautiful. Did you know that female peacocks are muck less showy and called "peahens?"
Blessings: I am grateful for hammocks today. Hammocks for escaping, playing, cuddling, napping, reading, swinging and chatting. I love hammocks.
Striving: We had a lovely lesson on charity today. I am striving to love everyone, even the unlovable. To have true charity.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Night Cinema

Gone With The Wind
Starring: Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland and Leslie Howard
Directed by: Victor Fleming
Date: 1939

This is the film that fueled my adolescence, a scary thought, I know, but a woman can get a lot of tips, good and bad, from Scarlett O'Hara.

This film ranks as AFI's #4 best film ever. And why not? It has costumes, passion, war, accents and women who don't care about their reputation. It has blockade running, and epic score and the Virginia Reel.

This is the only movie I like Clark Gable in; I think he is a little goofy looking, but not in Gone With the Wind, oh no.

Vivien Leigh is amazing, it's no wonder the greatest actor ever fell in love with and married her.

I hope you have seen this already, if not you should make no delay in doing so. This movie is the definition of iconic. There have been countless books, and articles and whole movies made about the making of this movie. It is a long movie at 238 minutes but there is a nice intermission.

One of my favorite lines is this: "No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how. "
7 out of 7 thimbles