We the People … Musings on the Body Politic

In the 1700’s, Adam Smith, noted social philosopher and economist, claimed “that if everyone is left to their own economic devices instead of being controlled by the state, then the result would be a harmonious and more equal society of ever-increasing prosperity.” Often considered the father of modern economics and capitalism, his thoughts recorded in The Wealth of Nations are still referenced today. So what is capitalism? Capitalism is “a social system based on the principle of individual rights. Politically, it is the system of laissez-faire (freedom). Legally it is a system of objective laws (rule of law as opposed to rule of man). Economically, when such freedom is applied to the sphere of production its’ result is the free-market.” It is based on private ownership of industry and manufacturing and the creation of goods or services for profit. Essential to a successful capitalist society are the ideas of competitive free markets,wage labor and, yes, capital accumulation. So where are we?

In a true capitalist society, does the government “bailout” banks and automotive manufacturers? Or, should the success of the private sector be an absolute function of the free market? Students and peers of Scott, our Founding Fathers sought to create a loose confederation of United States, where in the bulk of the burden would in fact be born by the individual and the local, or state, government. As a large group of independent states, our federal government would be able to “provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare”, not provide for the common defense and provide general welfare. It is a fine distinction, but not one I feel lost on the founding fathers. There is a fundamental difference between providing something, and promoting something.

I couldn’t vote before 1988. More-so than any national election since then, this one has caused me to look at so much more than just the candidates and their platforms or records. Our current economic and political situation is one-hundred years or more in the making. In the end, regardless of our circumstances or financial condition, who is responsible for us as individuals? We are. We are not promised a “level playing field”, not in the constitution, and not in the Bible. It is both a blessing and a curse to live within a system that provides us freedom to the extent that we can freely abdicate our individual choices and God given responsibilities.

I am under age 54. I worked in corporate America for eleven years before deciding to stay home and raise our family; and to be sure, I am not making anywhere near $1M a year. Whether they know it or not, my parents taught me the value of every soul and the value of personal hard work. It is my earnest hope that, despite the numerous factors working against us, my husband and I will teach our children the inherent nature of their individual rights and responsibilities, both their responsibilities to themselves and to others.

I have never been a government employee, or served in the military. Consequently, I am not sure that the federal government “owes” me anything. To be honest, I have never given serious consideration to my “government sponsored” retirement package. Maybe it is naive of me, but I have always assumed that I would be responsible for myself and my own retirement; and that if my husband and I are really blessed, we will be able to split our time between our four children.

I don’t know that any of the world’s problems have been solved here today, but I hope that you have been encouraged to think outside the box, to read the Constitution of the United States (and the Bill of Rights), to consider your place in this world and to contemplate God’s design for you.

More than a Day Late ….

I received this book through a promotional program with Tommy Nelson Publishers. I understood it to be yound adult (possibly older elementary) christian fiction. I found the book to be disturbing, with little or no relationship to the christian aspect of christian fiction. It is most certainly fiction. I won’t be sharing this book with my 11-year-old son. Young men in particular, I think, would find this book frightening, if not haunting. Since there is enough fear and evil in the world already, I see no point in voluntarily subjecting myself (or my children) to it in the books I read in my free time. Not a “re-read”, and not one I’ll share. (Dec. 2008 – Submitted on Goodreads)

Fabulous GF (Blender) Waffle/Pancake Batter Recipe

A very good friend turned us on to this recipe, or one similar to it.  Of course, you know I have fiddled with it some in the last few months … so it isn’t quite like we originally received it.  Try it this weekend and let me know how yours turn out.  :-)

Place in a blender, at highest speed, for 3 minutes:

  • 1 Cup of Brown Rice
  • 3/4 Cup of Oat Groats (or steel cut oats)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of buttermilk (or some non-dairy alternative)
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil

(You can use other grain combinations, but the proportions should remain about the same.)  The batter should flow freely in the blender and it should swirl around the “vortex”.  If, for some reason it doesn’t, add a bit more liquid.  The batter for pancakes can be a bit thicker.  Truly thick batter can be used, when complete, to make muffins.

Put the lid on the blender and let it stand at room temerpature overnight (or at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours)

As you prepare to cook the pancakes, heat the griddle or waffle iron to the highest possible heat that won’t damage the equipment (generally med-high).

Before cooking the pancakes, add:

  • one egg
  • additional liquid if needed

… and blend again on high speed for 1 minute.  Blend thoroughly.  Then add:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 – 2 tsp baking powder

You can sift these ingredents into the mix, but I have not found that to always be necessary.

Prepare your cooking surface with a spray on non-stick cooking spray, i.e. spray on olive oil.  Pancakes are ready to flip when the bubbles pop and stay open.  For waffles, definitely spray the cooking surfaces and following the cooking instructions for your equipment.

Serving:  We have added chocolate chips (minis) to the pancakes, and that turned out just fine.  We have also served with organic maple syrup, blueberry syrup and raspberry syrup.  Last week, Pip ate some with honey on them; William Bradford will even eat them plain.  :-)

I have some in the blender now to serve in the morning.  :-)  Enjoy!

Goodbye 2011 … Hello 2012 …

Mr. Walker is in Haiti this New Year’s Day, so we are preparing our traditional New Year’s Day meal in his absence. We know though we are missing him, he is blessing many other people as this new year begins.  Last night we began a new family tradition.

It was Jr. Asparagus’s inaugural New Year’s Eve bonfire.

I do have some resolutions this year.  1) I resolve to say “yes” more ….. and “no” less.  I am encouraging the children to ask questions that are more likely to result in an affirmative response so that this will be possible.  Therefore, they will be thinking more before asking, and I will have greater opportunity to say “YES”.  2) I resolve to find 30 minutes a day for myself, which means that I guess I will be turning those thirty minutes over to “William Bradford” or “the Bean”.  If you are reading this, pray for the best.   3)  I resolve to help “Tim Allen, Jr.” see a greater percentage of his projects through to completion, and I promise to think about the dog question.  4) I think it’s time for the Recipe Challenge to make another appearance, so that means 52 new recipes this year … and I’ll try to focus on the GF side of things.  Last, but not least, 5) I resolve not to sweat the small stuff, or the big stuff for that matter, but rather … “Trust in the LORD with all [my] heart and lean not on [my] own understanding; in all [my] ways submit to him, and [trust that] he will make [my] paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Happy New Year, 2012!!

Week 2 … and counting

Everything on our weekly menu is prepared with a GF diet in mind.  All the recipes have been “modified” to fit our GF requirements.  The new recipe this week called for Tomato Soup … but we adjusted and it turned out quite well.


  • Breakfast: Cereal and fruit
  • Dinner:  Potatoes & Beef Casserole (New Recipe-GF) w/Green Beans
  • (Remember to thaw Pork for B’bque.)


  • Breakfast: Fried Eggs or Maple Oatmeal
  • Dinner: Pork B’Bque, Cole Slaw, Deviled Eggs
  • (Remember to check for Pineapple TidBits.)


  • Breakfast:  Muffins and Yogurt
  • Dinner: Pineapple Chicken and Rice w/Broc Salad
  • (Remember to thaw beef for Thursday night.)


  • Breakfast: Cereal and Yogurt
  • Dinner: Hungarian Goulash w/Noodles and Green Salad


  • Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and bacon
  • Dinner: Leftover B’bque and Bonfire Night


  • Breakfast:  Eggs and Bacon before Soccer
  • Dinner: Surprise … the kitchen is closed.


  • Breakfast: Oatmeal and fruit
  • Dinner:  Sandwiches and Salad

Plan it … Don’t Panic … Hmmm….

We’ll see if this works.  I’m not quite sure how we’re going to swing this with all the variety in our schedule(s), but we’re giving it a whirl.


  • Breakfast: Maple Oatmeal
  • Dinner:  Beef Tacos and Black Beans
  • (Remember to thaw the beef for chili.)


  • Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and toast
  • Dinner: Chili and Cornbread
  • (Remember to thaw the Pork Roast.)


  • Breakfast:  Muffins and Yogurt
  • Dinner: Pork Roast, Sweet Potatoes and Green Veggie


  • Breakfast: Cereal and Yogurt
  • Dinner: Mushroom Chicken (slowcooker) w/ rice and glazed carrots
  • (Remember to start the Slowcooker in the AM, and thaw the Ground beef for Friday.)


  • Breakfast: Fried Eggs and sausage
  • Dinner: Beef Lombardi and fresh salad


  • Breakfast:  Muffins and Fruit
  • Dinner: Pork Tenderloin w/buttered potatoes and veggies


  • Breakfast: Oatmeal, fruit or Cereal
  • Dinner:  Soup, Sandwiches, and Salad

Today, she wrote me a song …

A few days ago, Twinkle-Toes told me that she thought about being a professional musician, or a song writer.  Based on what I’ve been hearing, I was expecting something with a hip-country-pop sound to it.  Not so, what follows is her first foray into the world of the poetic song writer.  To spare you some time, I’ll only share the last verse … but you’ll get the point rather quickly.

On the 12th day of 6th Grade, my mother gave to me …

  • 12 Music Lessons
  • 11 Notebook Papers
  • 10 English Essay
  • 9 Lab Experiments
  • 8 Math Worksheets
  • 7 Homework Pages
  • 6 Spelling Tests
  • 5 …. New…. Text …. Books …..
  • 4 Sharpened Pencils
  • 3 Grammar Quizzes
  • 2 Read & Thinks
  • and a lesson in Human Anatomy

Now, despite what you might think … this is not entirely true.  I gave her a whole box of pencils.  :-)

National History Day

This has been a great week thus far, though it has held it’s fair share of difficulty. We have chosen to look above and beyond that, and to enjoy our time together cramped into this on-the-small-side hotel suite…. and our adventures in College Park and the nation’s capitol.

Today was certainly full. We began with a ride into Washington D.C. via the Metro (no, I didn’t know you couldn’t take your Starbuck’s with you … but I would have if I’d had enough time to consider it). We arrived early to our destination at Capitol South and went to our local congressional representative’s office. One of Mick Mulvaney’s summer interns, Katherine Hunter from Clemson, gave us a guided tour of the Capitol Building. We followed that with lunch at a local mexican restaurant amongst all the political “movers and shakers”. We then hopped back onto the train and got off in Woodley Park to visit the Smithsonian National Zoo. A few hours walking the hills in the zoo, and we were toasted …. despite the pleasant temperatures today. Back onto the train, and back out to College Park and Laurel Maryland.

#4 is passed out now and the rest are soon to follow. Tomorrow promises to be interesting. We’ll wrap it up with a private evening reception at the National Museum of American History as a precursor to Thursday’s Awards Ceremony.

Pictures soon to be forthcoming. =)

Afternoon in the Winthrop Garden

After dropping #2 off for Company Class, #4 and I took a little walk through the newly installed gardens outside Johnson Hall at Winthrop University. She had a wonderful time playing in the fountains and running up and down the colonnade.

At the water wall

Not so tall after all ...