Monday, March 30, 2015

Elephant Story

At school I was working on practicing for long comp. My teacher gave us the prompt from last year to plan, draft, revise, edit, and write a final copy. I have always loved to write so I was exited to write this piece all by myself. The idea of this story is: you are finally old enough to babysit and your first job is this afternoon. You think you are babysitting a 1 year old baby, but it turns out you are babysitting a 1 year old ELEPHANT!!! Hope you enjoy the funny story about me babysitting the elephant!!! -Haley

The Crazy Adventure of babysitting an Elephant
“Sweet”! I can finally babysit for Ellie, Mrs. Twists cute little daughter who just turned 1!!!
Mrs. Twist asked me to babysit her little cutie months ago. So now that i’m 12 I finally can!!! But what I didn’t know was that Mrs. Twist was so twisted that she had an elephant also named ellie! I can prove that I didn’t sign up for this, here is the note she gave me:
Dear Ella since i have recently learned that
you can babysit I was wondering if you
could babysit, Tuesday August 7th 2022 my
sweet little Ella bella is looking forward to you
coming if you can!! I have to go shopping for Ellie
and I need a babysitter. I hope you can come
but if you can’t its ok!!! Happy 12th birthday Ella!
       from: Mrs. Twist
As you can see it said nothing about me babysitting an elephant all it said was it was asking for a babysitter for her little cutie Ellie not asking for a babysitter for an elephant named Ellie!
There was nothing I could do now I already said yes and now I’m standing in front of a big baby elephant who looked like a gray rock in the middle of the hallway! Ellie had ears as big as my head and her trunk was like a big floppy tube waving in the air! She was just a baby and she was way bigger than my dad! And she looked hungry!
Ellie trudged into the kitchen BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! As she walked it was like mini earthquakes shaking the house! “This is interesting”, I explained to ella as  I read the note on the counter:
Thankyou so much for babysitting Ellies food is in the
giant cabinet that says Ellie on it, thanks again for
from: Mrs. Twist

I  reach into the dark amber cabinet and pull out a giant bag of peanuts that would last anyone a whole year! As I pulled out more peanuts 1 by 1 my jaw dropped amazed that Mrs. Twist had 7 giant bags of peanuts! Then I find giant gallons of water in the cabinet. With an amazed look still on my face I pull out 18 gallons of water!!! Still amazed I turn around to see 7 empty bags of peanuts and no elephant!!! “Ellie”, I screeched! My echoing screech was so loud the neighbors from all the way down the street could hear it!
“Ellie this is not a good time to play hide and go seek!”
As I went looking upstairs for Ellie I heard a big BOOM!!! I ran downstairs to find that Ellie knocked down all of gallons of water! She looked as she was dying of thirst as I poured Ellie some water and watched her drink the 3 gallons of water as I picked up the note on the counter, “She must have been so thirsty”, I said to myself. The note said:
Ella I would love if you could do the following
when i’m gone:
feed Ellie, and give her water
give Ellie a bath
play with Ellie
please atleast try to make her sleep
from: Mrs. Twist

With the note still in my hand Ellie sprayed me with 3 gallons of water!!!!! I was soaked, wet, drenched, covered in 3 gallons of water! “Ellie you are so I can’t even say it”, I screamed, so mad I wish I could just kill her!
“OMG you are so dead”, I screamed.
I started chasing her around the room screaming “Ellie”,you are so mean!!!
When I finally settled down and stopped screaming I rubbed Ellie on her back as I had a towel around my neck drying it from the 3 gallons of water that went straight into my face. Ellie walked around the room like she did nothing wrong as I dried my back from the water that dripped down my neck. I shivered as I tried to read the soaked note that was ripped in half. :

Ella I would love for you to do the following
when I am gone:
feed Ellie and give her water

give Ellie a bath, play with Ellie
         from: Mrs Twist
I struggled to see what I do next but finally remember to clean her. Ellie went outside and I forced her to get into the kitty pool, but her kitty pool was not like any other kitty pool it was as big as an inground pool!!! As I thought this I realized that babysitting for Ellie wasn’t so bad. Yes she got me wet and gave me a heartattack hiding she was so sweet I could tell she just wanted to have a little fun thats all! I jumped in the pool not caring that my mom is going to kill me for getting my clothes wet and started cleaning her. And boy was she dirty! It took me an ½ an hour just to clean her!!!
I grab my towel and I run into the house with Ellie surprised when I notice that Mrs. Twist and her DAUGHTER Ellie would be home in an hour or at least I hope she’s a human! I knew that I had to get Ellie asleep and according to the note it will not be easy! As I push Ellie up to her bedroom her mini earthquakes shake the house BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!!! I wondered, how could they make a crib for an elephant who shook the house when she walked? I knew it would break instantly thinking about all the peanuts she ate! When I walked into her room I realized that Ellie’s bed was built like a tornado house built so strong it would never break.
I tried to get Ellie into her bed but she didn’t want to sleep! When I finally got her in bed she tossed and turned and wouldn’t go to bed! I was annoyed as I started strumming a guitar and singing  “go to bed, go to bed, please please please please go to bed”, I sung
20 minutes later when she finally went to bed I danced around the room so happy that I wanted to happy scream but if I did I would wake up Ellie. And I could not let that happen!
“Hi Ella”, thankyou so much for babysitting Ellie I really needed you to! “Would you like to babysit again sometime maybe tomorrow?”,she said hopefully. “I would love to”, I said smiling.
“I had fun babysitting your elephant but I would like to know it was an elephant I was babysitting”, I said.
“Sorry about that I knew that you wouldn’t babysit if you knew it was an elephant”, Mrs Twist said as she handed me a check for 100 dollars!
I had fun babysitting an elephant!!!File:Baby elephant mud bathing

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Tacos

A weird combination but such a delicious dinner on a rainy night.   My friends mentioned this on a walk months ago and it sounded interesting.  Not interesting enough to try for a few months but I am so glad I finally did!  My friend makes it almost weekly.  I can see why.  Such a delicious combination!  


-Spaghetti squash (I had difficulty finding one which is one of the reasons it took me so long to make it.  No luck at Star or Trader Joe's- I got mine at Market Basket)
-Gluten Free McCormick Taco Seasoning
-1 lb. ground turkey
-Cheddar cheese (I grate my own because store bought grated cheese often includes gluten)
-Sour Cream
-Taco Sides (we often have pickles-Thanks Sue!, black olives, avocados, lettuce, diced tomatoes)

First cook the Spaghetti Squash according to this recipe below (I also added salt and pepper).  It takes about an hour.  About 30 minutes in I started the taco meat preparation and dicing of all the vegetables.

Take the cooked and seasoned taco meat and place inside the cooked spaghetti squash.  Cover with cheese and put back in the oven till the cheese is bubbly.  Use a fork to carve out the spaghetti squash and serve.  Garnish with sour cream and your favorite toppings.  We also served taco shells for our kids but had them try this too.  Rod & I are converts.  We might have even gone back for thirds!  I didn't think to take pictures till the end.  Rod was the one that kept saying he couldn't wait to share the recipe with friends.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Crockpot and Crafting

I'm up to my neck in a bunch of projects right now!  And of course I'm loving it!  I love how energized and excited I feel when I have a new project going.  I have a hard time spacing things out so want to get it all done at once!  Yesterday was one of those days.  I drove to NH and back again on Sunday helping a friend stage a house on Lake Winnipesauke to sell or rent this summer.  We brought and set up a dining room table and chairs, a couch and coffee table and side table and two twin beds along with a set of 3 nesting side tables.  We also measured, planned and talked about what we would do before the next trip.   On the way home we stopped at a friends house and filled up his truck again with a couch, love seat, ottoman and tv console (thanks Steph and Jeff!)  I'm also making another photo wall for my friend's daughter (shhhh!  Don't tell's a surprise!)

So Monday I could have taken it easy and done laundry and just relaxed.  Instead I got up and with the colors of the NH house fresh in my head I headed off to do a little shopping and perusing for things we need.  Of course if we can get anything for free I will return the things I bought.  I shopped at Christmas tree shops and looked at all the sale racks.  And scored a few deals.  I also have been shopping for frames etc. for my friend's daughter's wall.

I came home and threw dinner in the crock pot in five minutes and then with no dinner preparations  I was free for the afternoon.   I decided to paint a bedside table and chair  for NH.  One we got on freecycle and the other I found covered in dust in the attic in NH and had to take it home.  A little chalk paint goes a long way.  When the chalk paint was drying I painted a few frames for the photo wall.  Here's a sneak peak...

I had a little helper who finished her homework and couldn't wait to join in the fun.  The photo wall is coming together nicely.  The pictures that are not framed are one's that she picked out already and  has the frames for at home.  I still have to paint the flower with chalk paint and add a quote.  And I painted the surfboard frame today and tried to make it look like hers.

My family loved dinner and I got to craft.  A perfect afternoon!  In case you're looking for a night off from dinner this is a big hit with several families I know (and all the kids like it too!)

Honey Garlic Chicken Slow Cooker Recipe

This is a quick, easy, and super-tasty chicken recipe. I'd highly recommend using thighs--- they hold up better in the slow cooker and dark meat just tastes better. :-) I use boneless, skinless thighs. If your thighs have bones and skin, fish them out of the pot before serving (the chicken will separate from the bone and it'll be pretty easy).

The Ingredients.
serves 4

1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (4 or one thigh per family member)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup  soy sauce (La Choy or Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker (if using a 6-quart, this will cook faster. Check after 3 hours on high, 5 hours on low).
Put the chicken into your cooker. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, then pour evenly over the top.
Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4 (I'd go with low---).
Serve with basmati rice and steamed or roasted vegetables.

The Verdict.

My kids adore this chicken. The ketchup and honey taste a bit like barbecue sauce, but slightly more tart. The basil gives it a different, herby flavor which I like a lot. If you are into freezer meals, this is a great candidate--- load all the ingredients into a freezer bag (raw chicken, the sauce ingredients) and then freeze. Thaw the bag overnight in the fridge, then plop the ingredients into your cooker for a fast morning plug-in.