kruizing with kikukat

Monday, December 17, 2012


When you read this, I will be on vacation (actually formerly-known as furlough, directed leave without pay).  Yay!  Its a much-needed vacation (furlough is still a vacation since there should be no work issues), and I don't even want to think how quickly the next 2 weeks will go by.  Since I will be at home, I plan on having leisurely days. . .breakfast when I get up, lounging around in PJs, and not being a slave to the alarm clock.  Normally, I have a bowl of steel cut oats (cooked in the microwave) and a cup of joe, but since I'm on break, I think I'll change things up a bit and have granola and yogurt for breakfast.

I tend to be picky about granola.  I like things crunchy...not a fan of soggy granola.  I also don't like walnuts so many of the commercially-available granola are out. . .too many cheap walnuts.   I like granola with pecans or macadamia nuts.  Sliced almonds are okay too.  For the fruit, I use cranberries, dried mango, and dried pineapple.  If I have it on hand, I'll even chop up some dried apricots to throw in.  I keep the raisins away (raisins are on THAT list, below mustard, but somewhere near peas).  Homemade granola is great because you can choose what you put in it, but the best part is the smell as it bakes.  The aroma of cinnamon always makes me think "holidays".  Mmmmm.

And since Christmas will be here next week, this is a good time to make a batch of granola to keep on hand as a gift for people who surprise you with a gift.  Place cooled granola in an airtight container and tie with a holiday bow.  If you don't need to use it as an emergency gift, you'll have the pleasure of consuming it yourself.

 click on recipe title for printable recipe

     4 c rolled oats (old fashioned)
     2 1/2 c nut pieces
     1 1/2 c sweetened flaked coconut
     1/4 tsp salt
     1/2 tsp cinnamon
     1/2 c vegetable oil (scant)
     1/2 c honey
     2 c dried cranberries (or mixture of dried fruit)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Line a large, shallow baking pan with parchment paper.  Toss together oats, nuts, coconut, salt, and cinnamon, in a large bowl.  Whisk together oil and honey, then stir into oat mixture until well coated.  Spread mixture in prepared baking pan and bake, stirring every 10-20 minutes for 1 hour.  Increase oven heat to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes, stirring midway through.  Remove from oven and stir in cranberries/dried fruit.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.  Makes about 10 cups.

Unfortunately, my leisurely morning was hijacked this morning because the workers showed up before 8:00 am to fix my pool.  After 5 years, the liner at the deep end was tearing.  The Help patched it several times, but it got to the point where even the patches were pulling off.  I was telling people not to splash in the deep end.  Actually, I'm not upset at all that the pool people showed up this morning; in fact, I'm grateful that they could work today...its a typical Hilo day...overcast, cold & semi-drizzly.  But having a "new" pool brings baggage.  For the past few weeks, the pool pump and filter have been off.  The pool boy (a.k.a. The Help) saw no reason to condition and treat the water when the repairs were looming, so I was able to benefit from not having that eat into my electrical bill from HELLCO.

I guess I'm going to be turning the pool pump and filter back on later today or tomorrow and starting back up with my electrical consumption, but guess who showed up on Saturday!!!  A crew of nearly a dozen burly men spent 6 hours on my roof making a huge racket.  Because optimum roof real estate was taken by solar water heater panels and pool heater panels, the pv panels had to be places on 4 different roof faces.  30 panels and several arrays later (and several $K poorer). . .waiting for the inspectors to show, and more importantly, waiting for a small bill from HELLCO!  Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me!  I can't wait for tax time to get here. 

I try not to get down with the events around me, but my heart aches when I think about all the families in Newtown who experienced great sorrow on Friday, December 14.  Having visited Connecticut a few years ago, I remember it as an idyllic place, straight out of a Norman Rockwell scene.  Lives there will never be the same.
Tales of teacher heroism in the face of death illustrate what I already know...teachers are dedicated people with a strong commitment to their students.  How many government bureaucrats would put themselves at risk to save others?  So for those of you assholes negotiating the teachers contract and trying to nickel and dime us, think about the work we do for your children, think about the commitment we show, .and then think about how many kiddie lives were saved because a teacher (Vicki Soto) sacrificed herself for her students.  Nobody is talking about how her students performed on a test; nobody is talking about whether she was a highly qualified or highly effective teacher.  Social media sites are inundated with how she was committed til the end.   Isnt' it obvious. . .what counts is knowing kids came first, that the were safe, not how well they scored on a test!  I hope you will feel ashamed at the way you've treated us, how superficial you've been to let test scores determine teacher pay (really, anyone will tell you, some kids are just smarter than others).  Settle the fucking contract and give us what we deserve!!!

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