Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Quarantine Cooking

Today is April 28, 2020.  The last time I went out in public was March 14....45 days ago.  During a coronavirus Stay at Home order imposed on my state, I have avoided people, places and all things social. Luckily my husband of 52 years years and I are compatible!

 It has not been hard to stay busy.  Closets are cleaned and drawers are organized.  Dusting, vacuuming and mopping are daily.  Laundry also daily, and never-ending, has kept me busy.  There is also yard work to fill my days.  Sewing face masks for family and friends has become an almost daily chore of love.  One of the most pleasurable tasks has been preparing food.  We are lucky enough to have food delivery and pickup available without breaking our quarantine, therefore, I cook!

I love cooking, but in retirement, my husband and I fell into a routine of frequent meals at restaurants.  We love going out to eat!  Since we had the resources and I was often busy during the day with volunteer work, bridge and social activities, eating out became more of a habit than an experience.  With a new way of life at home, going out became impossible.  All restaurants except for take out were off limits.

It's fortunate that we live very near our daughter's family.  Her two children are our only grandkids and we are backdoor neighbors.  We also have a son, but he is many states away from us.  Seeing him has been tough and especially with staying home for our health.  We are so thankful to have some family within walking distance.  I digress...

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to attend Kay Ewing's Everyday Gourmet cooking classes.  I actually attended 12 of these classes.  Kay has since retired, but of course, I saved every recipe.  One of the classes was particularly memorable since we learned to prepare Louisiana Meat Pies with a homemade pastry crust.

 On this ordinary day of quarantine, my daughter and my two granddaughters set about to prepare a double recipe of this culinary treat!  We chopped, mixed, sautéed, browned, rolled, crimped and baked for about 4 hours.  The end result was a freezer full of authentic meat pies and a memory of quality time with those involved.  Nothing can replace the memory of all of us pitching in with assembling the ingredients for the luscious savory pies.

Here's the recipe  (with a few my own modifications) with credits and kudos to Kay Ewing's Everyday Gourmet cooking class for the inspiration:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup very cold butter, cut up
1/2 cup cold milk

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor by pulsing until combined. Add egg and butter and pulse until crumbly.  With the machine running pour in the milk through the top and process just until dough comes together and forms a ball.  Remove and wrap in plastic wrap and chill.  You will need a triple recipe to use all of the filling.

Meat Filling.
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound pork sausage (or Italian sausage casing removed)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup green onions, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups beef broth (or equivalent prepared with a beef bullion cubes)
Sage, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, unsalted Creole seasoning ceasing to taste

Brown the meats and drain fat.  Make a light brown roux with the vegetable oil and flour.  Add the vegetables to the skillet and cook and stir until they are soft.  Add beef broth and seasonings.  Cook for about 10 minutes until thickened.  Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Roll out small amounts of the dough on a floured surface and cut into 4 inch circles.  Place about 2 tablespoons(maybe a little less) on each circle, fold over and crimp the edges with a fork.  Place on a greased baking sheet and brush with an egg wash.  Bake for about 30 minutes until golden.  Serve with salsa or other sauce of your choice.

This recipe is not for sissies!  It is time consuming, but the Meat Pies are scrumptious and worth the time.

The memories of grand girls covered in flour while they rolled dough and crimped edges are priceless!  Our dinner at home tonight will be excellent.  Who needs to go out to enjoy good food?

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Social Distancing, Coronavirus and Polio

This anxiety about disease must be how it was for my parents during the polio epidemic of 1952. I was diagnosed with polio at age 4 in 1952. This is different since so far, by the Grace of God, COVID-19 has been kept away.  
As a polio patient, I was hospitalized and isolated. I remember the horrible headache that was symptomatic of the disease. I remember screaming during the spinal tap test that diagnosed the polio. I remember going to the window on the 5th floor of the BR General Hospital on the Florida Blvd. side and waving at my parents and siblings because they could not visit me. I don't think it was called "social distancing" in those days.
I remember that I could not keep any of the toys I was given because of possible contamination. I remember being given a salt tablet every day. I developed a love for puzzles at that age. I had lots of them.... particularly a Cinderella one. I remember some children were in an iron lung. I remember whirlpool baths. I remember physical therapy. 
I remember that I was healed with no horrible paralyzing or disfigurement. I was one of the lucky ones. I remember the severe homesickness that seemed to hit hardest in the mornings after I woke up. I remember that I called for the nurse who came one time. After that one time, she ignored my pleas. 
I remember that my family was ostracized by friends and family. After I was released from the hospital, we were quarantined in our home. I believe my dad continued to work, but I am fuzzy on that memory. 
Luckily it was the summer, so sister and brother didn't miss school. My little sister was also spared. I remember that Momma would call the corner grocery store (Carlin's Grocery).and have food delivered for months after I got home from my 4 months in the hospital. Wilfred Carlin would leave the bags on the sidewalk. My family was forever grateful for that family and their kindness to us.
I remember that my Aunt Jackie brought a book to me when I got home. It was “Mr. Grabbit the Rabbit.” She didn't come in for a visit because she had children at home and was afraid., and rightly so. I treasured that book. My dear Aunt Audrey brought shortie pajamas. She was right that I needed them as my clothes had been discarded because of contamination. 
I remember taking the Salk Vaccine when it was available. I remember my Momma telling the nurse who gave it to us that I was taking it for good measure. 
I was four (almost 5) but have very vivid memories of all of this. Some people say they cannot remember much of their childhoods, but I still remember almost everything about that time. So.....this is not my first rodeo with distancing. This, too, will pass, but I will remember it well. Pray to the Lord our God to have mercy on us.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Traveling Trio Takes a Big Bite of the Big Apple

View from our 37th Floor room at the Marriott Marquis
How exciting to be able to spend a few days in New York City!  Three women descended from the sky and hit the ground running.  A 6:30 am nonstop flight from New Orleans made it possible to have almost an entire first day to enjoy the sites, sounds and tastes of the big city.  Thanks, Delta, for a smooth flight with no delay.  Having TSA Pre-check status was wonderful as there was no disrobing or pat downs in the line to board.  A real luxury!

Dot, Debbie and Donna made a trio of travelers looking for new adventures.  All of us had traveled to NYC many times, and this trip we wanted to see and do things that we hadn't experienced before.  Of course we stayed at a familiar hotel, The Marriott Marquis, because of the convenient location right in Times Square, and we did see Broadway plays and visit THE MET, but the trip was sprinkled with new fun each day.  Good planning was the key!

First things first:  Food.  We wanted to go somewhere we had never been so we sought out a recommended pizza joint.  Rays Pizza was only four blocks from our hotel, so we walked there and sampled the pizza by the slice and a calzone.  The crust was chewy and the toppings were very generous.

The calzone proved to be enough food for two people.  The restaurant was very crowded, but the service was quick.  By the number of pizzas we saw prepared for delivery, we knew it had to be good and it was!

After lunch we had time to visit the TKTS booth on Duffy Square and purchase Broadway matinee tickets.  We selected "Anastasia."  The special appeal for this play was that the lead was played by a young woman from Louisiana whose mother is an acquaintance of mine.  Molly Rushing did a great job as young Anastasia.  It was thrilling to see a young person achieve a dream of acting and dancing on Broadway.

Waiting for the play.  A happy place!
The story of Anastasia was the ill fated Romanoff princess, who many believe was not executed with the rest of her family in the Russian Revolution. This could have been a sad tale for a musical.  Much to our surprise the play was full of hope and love.  We were enchanted by the creative sets and the sheer talent of the cast.  At least one of us had tears at the end.  Such a heartwarming story.

Later that afternoon we hit the TKTS booth again and scored tickets to "Waitress." This musical was nominated for four Tony awards in 2016 and was a real crowd pleaser. We cried and we laughed.  It is the story of a young woman named Jenna who is in a bad marriage, but is famous for her pie baking at a small town restaurant.  She dreams of winning a baking contest, but her dreams are shattered when she becomes pregnant.

Her fellow waitresses are her friends and confidants.  Their love lives are interesting and in the end all found happiness.  The songs were catchy and we found ourselves toe-tapping and laughing at the impossible situations that the waitresses got themselves into!  An interesting tidbit about "Waitress" is that real life husband and wife Katie Lowes and Adam Shapiro, play husband and wife in the play as well.  I recognized Adam from "Grey's Anatomy."

Time for dinner was short and we chose The Mean Fiddler right next to the theatre.  The menu that featured a large list of small plates just right for a quick meal.  I chose the Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls and they were very tasty with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  This Irish Pub right in the middle of Manhattan was big on social media and one could take a selfie and post it on Instagram and they would in turn show it on the big screens all around the place.  Fun!!

We forgot the picture, so there are a few bites missing!
No trip to NYC is complete, in my opinion, without a stop at Junior's Restaurant and Bakery.  Junior's is the self proclaimed "Home of the World's Best Cheesecake!"  It's a New York City original with 5 locations.  It began as a family restaurant in Brooklyn.  Large portions and great service characterize Junior's. Dessert was....you guessed it....Carrot Cake Cheesecake.  After an exhausting day of fun we bought one slice of this delicacy "to go."  We nibbled on it for two days as it was so rich that we couldn't eat it in one sitting.  Do not miss Junior's is you go to New York.  It's a must!

The hotel fees at the Marriott Marquis include one "free" attraction.  In keeping with our theme of new adventures, we chose to receive tickets to a GrayLine double decker tour bus that featured "hop on, hop off" service.  We rode the bus to Soho where we shopped at some places that we don't find back home.  Many bargains were to be had.
Can you see on the top deck?

Each passenger on the GrayLine bus gets earbuds and is treated to a recorded city tour.  Our trio thought we knew everything there was to know about NYC, since we had visited so many times.  We admitted to learning some new information.  One example is that NYC restaurants are graded by the Department of Health.  They must display the grade in their windows.  We learned that grade A is best and grade D means:  "don't do it."  Sure enough, we started looking and those letters were displayed every where we went.  Another tidbit that I didn't know is that Wall Street was so named because the Colonists had built a wall at that spot to keep the British out during the Revolutionary War.  Of course it didn't work, but the street kept it's name.

High Energy!!  Barrels of laughs!!
The selected play for the evening was "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical.  Our first thought was that it would be silly and just for children.  The hawkers at the TKTS book recommended it to us.  Since we were in the mood for new adventures, we said "YES!"  The play was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won the Tony for Best Scenic Design of a Musical.  The theatre was a grand spectacle and I can see why it won for that.  There was also a nomination for Best Musical and I am surprised it didn't win that as well.  The humor was not for children, but it helped to know a little about the television show to understand it all.  My homework is to learn more about SpongeBob.  The  amazing sets, the high energy singing and dancing and the subtle humor combined for a superb evening of entertainment!  Do see it if you can.  You won't be sorry.

We capped the evening with a visit to The View, a revolving restaurant/bar on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis which happened to be our hotel.  The pricey cocktails included a spectacular panorama of the city at night!  I enjoyed every drop of my $25 Cosmopolitan....good company and great scenery going by as we turned.

Live television is such fun!
The next day brought several new adventures.  We had tickets for the GMA Summer Concert in Central Park to see Luis Fonsi perform.  He is a Puerto Rican singer whose single "Despacito" has had more YouTube views than any song ever. The tickets were free but hard to be procured  by online registration through a ticketing website.  Early in August when the tickets were available, I was online the minute the issuing began only to be waitlisted!  Such a disappointment that was.  Three days before our trip I got a text that we had cleared the waitlist and we had our tickets.  We had to wake up at 4:30 am to get ready and take a taxi to Central Park.  It was still dark outside when we joined about 1000 others to wait in a line for the gates to open at 6 am.  Once in the park, we were in for a treat.  The situation was orderly and the crowd was polite. People of all ages were there to take part in the music and fun.  The concert's sponsor King's Hawaiian treated us to breakfast sandwiches and we each were given bright orange sunglasses!

The GMA staffer who warmed up the audience was hilarious and kept up the fun with jokes and audience participation. We got to see the concert twice because we were there for the rehearsal and the sound checks.  We were cued as to when we should applaud and dance.  It was the best new experience of the trip!  "Despacito" is now one of my favorite new songs!

Heavenly Garments

As we left the concert we were still humming the melodies and we walked through the park to THE MET.  While this was not a totally new experience the exhibit we saw was new to the entire world.  It was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.  In addition to seeing designer garments that represent a "dialogue between the creators and Medieval art and fashion" there were also papal robes and accessories from the Sistine Chapel that had never been outside the Vatican.  We were able to snap photos of the designer garments but not the Papal accessories.

The Pope's Shoes

The clothing worn by Saint Pope John Paul II was on display.  From the clothing it was apparent that he was a very small man.  What struck me was the shoes he wore....he had large feet.  The shoes were red and matched the embroidery on the robes.   He wore them once.  We also saw the ceremonial Keys to the Kingdom in an ornate chest.  He was presented these on the occasion of his installation as Pope.  It was a thrill to see the jewel studded tiaras worn by Popes from times past.  The rings and scapulas were also gorgeous.  Many of the items were intricately embroidered.  Almost every item was a gift to the Pope from a King, order of nuns or a Church of another country.

After leaving THE MET we walked 5 blocks down 5th Avenue aka Museum Mile to the Neue Galerie.  There we dined in the Cafe Sabarsky on rather authentic German food.  Bratwurst and Potatoes and open faced sandwiches on hearty wheat breads were sampled as well as a dessert item of Hazel Walnut Torte.

The real draw for this museum, at least for me, was the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt.  Adele was Klimt's muse and the painting was done in 1910. Because of the addition of raised gold embellishments on the painting it is also known as "The Woman in Gold."  It hung in the Bauer home in Vienna until the Nazis confiscated it right before WWII. After the war, the Belvedere museum in Vienna acquired it and it hung there until the 90's when Adele's niece, who now lives in California, saw it when visiting Vienna.
The Woman in Gold and me
She began proceedings to have it returned to the family.  After years of litigation, including a Supreme Court decision, the painting and 4 others belonging to the family were returned to the niece.  She sold "The Woman in Gold" to Ronald Lauder in 2005 for $135 million dollars.  It now hangs in the Neue Galerie for all to appreciate.  Photos were not allowed of the original, but there is a replica where one can take pictures to document a visit.  Of course, I had to take a snapshot.  Seeing this painting was a "bucket list" item for me as I had read a book and had seen a movie about it and was intrigued by it's beauty and lavishness.

The museum also has paintings and accessories by several German and Austrian artists/artisans and is considered to have the "best collection" of those.  We saw many Klimts and Schieles.  These two were contemporaries and considered by many art enthusiasts to be the first of the modern artists in Europe.  The paintings were in many cases stark and almost lewd.  Some of the paintings were from the personal collection of Estee' Lauder whose son Ronald founded the museum.

The only thing left for the day was another play.  We hit the TKTS booth again and decided to see "The Play that Goes Wrong."  It's a slapstick comedy of a play within a play.  The ramshackle set and the British accented characters including a corpse who doesn't play dead very well, combined for a hilarious show.  We laughed until we cried.  One character was a master of malapropisms and that added  to the fun.  It's a "who done it" with twists and turns of "funny."  While not a musical, it was very upbeat and recommended.  It's a the Lyceum Theatre just off Broadway.

The next day was lunch, more shopping and trip to the airport!  Again Delta was on time and we enjoyed the ease of the pre-checked status.  We left with fond memories of  many new adventures and vows to return again.  Our trio is very special and we hope to travel together again, soon.
Dot, Debbie and Donna
Traveling Trio

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Tribute to Martha Simmons-2018

Martha Simmons-A True Martha
“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him.  Martha had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to Jesus and asked,  ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?’ Tell her to help me!”~ Luke 10:38-40

St. Luke could easily have been talking about a present day Martha we all know and love. Our own smallish bundle of energy and sweetness is, and has been, the face of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church for over four decades.  We admire Martha, and many of us feel like St. Luke’s Mary.  We feel guilty because we just can’t keep up. And, the fact that our Martha has a few years on most of us only magnifies our feelings of guilt.

Martha and her family moved to Zachary in 1970 and joined St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at that time.  That was the beginning of Martha's extraordinary journey of Christian Service. 

One stands in awe when considering Martha’s resume’ of contributions to our Church parish while she was also a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and career woman: 

+  Altar Society President for 32 years 
+  Bereavement Committee Team Leader           
             +  Building Committee member
             +  Choir member 
             +  Coordinator of receptions and parties 
             +  Eucharistic Minister 
             +  Homebound/Nursing Home Visitor
             +  Sacristan Coordinator 
+ Seamstress 
              + St. Joseph Altar Volunteer
              +  St. Matthew’s Guild member 
              +  Vacation Bible School Volunteer

During her presidency of the Altar Society, the treasury of that organization grew from about $1,000 to over $20,000. The projects she directed kept the treasury, used to support various ministries, growing in a positive direction.  Her famous fig cakes and jams alone have probably brought in thousands of dollars!

Fr. Jeffery Bayhi presents a plaque to Martha at a reception following Mass

Mentoring has been a vital part of her personal ministry.  Over the years she had the ability to recognize talent in others and encourage them to give of those talents.  Her daily willingness to use her gifts and abilities has strengthened our stewardship. 

One could never list everything that Martha has done and continues to do for St. John’s. In her retirement, Martha has spent countless hours in service.  She can often be seen cleaning the holy water basins, changing burned down candles and other behind the scenes chores that are seldom noticed.   She is a “true Martha” as illustrated in Luke’s Gospel.  Her steadfast faith and love for Christ shines through in everything she accomplishes in His name.  

The St. John the Baptist parish community is very thankful for Martha’s dedicated service of over 40 years.  She is a "true Martha" as demonstrated by her willingness to serve. 

She has been a constant who has been a light to all.  The Parish of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Diocese of Baton Rouge, LA presented this award in recognition of her Life of Service to our Church.

We Love You, Martha!  Your generosity with your time and talents has been an inspiration to everyone you have met along the way.    

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Food for the Soul....Budget Style!

Chicken Stew with Lima Beans
My husband likes to bargain shop.  He often buys large quantities of a grocery item because "it was on sale!"  He can't resist the opportunity to save a few pennies.  Often we tire of the bargains before we use them up!  I have a pantry full of foods that looked good at the time, but of which we quickly tired of eating.  I am sure that some of my readers can relate.  I digress....Yesterday he brought home fifteen pounds of chicken thighs!  There were a real deal at sixty nine cents a pound.

Luckily, across town on the same day, a friend posted a picture of a dish  using chicken on her Facebook page.  My husband saw the post, admired it and then couldn't find it again.  He asked for the posting person to share the recipe.  In the meantime, several offered up their own versions and found some recipes for us on the Internet.  It was a conversation piece.  Perhaps we need to get real lives as the hunt for the recipe entertained us for hours

At the crack of dawn this morning I began cooking Chicken Stew with Lima Beans.  I consulted my friends' recipes and finally devised my own version determined by the ingredients I had in my pantry.  That's the best kind of budget cooking....using what you have!!  I decided to serve the concoction over fried grit cakes.  I had some in my freezer and frying them up seemed a good alternative to rice.

This dish is Southern, soulful and very budget friendly!  The lima beans and the grit cakes are the crowning touches.  Thanks to Julie Cherry for the inspiration.  Thanks to Phyllis Mixon for searching the Internet for a comparable recipe.  Here's my version.  I didn't make a roux, but the pan drippings contained flour and thickened the liquid to a smooth and thick consistency.   I cooked eight chicken thighs, so I only have about one hundred left in the freezer!  I am hoping to find more unique ways to cook those thighs before we tire of them.

Chicken Stew with Lima Beans over Grit Cakes

8 chicken thighs, bone in or boneless
1 cup flour (seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 cup each chopped:  onion, bell pepper and celery
1 T. minced garlic
about 1/2 cup white wine
3 reduced sodium chicken bullion cubes
2 cups boiling water
1 (24 oz) package of frozen baby lima beans
dash of Kitchen Bouquet seasoning to taste
garnish: parsley and paprika

1. Coat the chicken pieces with flour and brown in the vegetable oil.  Don't crowd the pan.  I did four at a time.
2. Remove chicken and place pieces in a 4 quart slow cooker.
3. Saute' the vegetables and garlic in the drippings.  Transfer them to the slow cooker on top of the chicken.
4. In the same pan, add the bullion cubes to the water.  When cubes are dissolved, pour the liquid over the chicken and vegetables.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine and pour that over the chicken as well.  Add Kitchen Bouquet to achieve a dark color.
5.  Cover the slow cooker and cook on High for about 2 hours.  Reduce heat to Low and cook about 2 more hours until chicken is tender.  Stir in Lima Beans.  Continue to cook until beans are soft, about 1 more hour.
6.  Serve over hot Grit Cakes or rice. Garnish with parsley and paprika.

Grit cakes while cooking
Grit Cakes (my version, based on eating them in a restaurant)

Prepare grits to serve 6 according to package directions. Add about 1 T. minced garlic to the water in the recipe. (I used Quaker 3-Minute Grits)

When grits are cooked, stir in about 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese.  Line a 9"X 13" pan with waxed paper and pour in the grits.  Spread the mixture into the pan so that it is even throughout.  Refrigerate.  When the grits are cold, they will hold the shape of the pan.  Cut them into rectangles and "flash freeze" on a cookie sheet.  When frozen, place grit cakes in a plastic bag in the freezer to store until ready to cook.

To prepare for serving:  coat each cake with an egg wash, coat with bread crumbs and season the tops as desired.  My favorite is Trader Joe's 21-Seasoning Salute.  Heat about 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet.  When oil is hot, add the grit cakes and cook about 5 minutes on each side until brown and crispy.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel until ready to serve.

Serves 6 to 8 and costs less than $10 for the entire dish!!  The taste and the price is good for the soul.  I wonder what will be "on sale" at the grocery store next week??

Monday, August 15, 2016

An Almost Unbearable Situation....my thoughts

You cannot imagine the devastation of the flooding in south Louisiana. We and our daughter's family were spared, but we have many friends and family whose homes are flooded. Tales of several feet of water in their homes are not uncommon. The real work will begin as the water recedes this week, hopefully. 
We endured several days of rain and now the rivers are rising. The major culprits are the Amite, Comite and Tickfaw rivers. The Mississippi is retained by levees and managed by spillways. 
We also have "backwater" flooding which is flooding by water that cannot drain normally because of flooding of the natural drainage. 
The outpouring of donations has been phenomenal. Insurance and FEMA claims will begin this week. Churches and schools have opened shelters for displaced families and the Red Cross is assisting in every way possible. Many shelters had to be abandoned as they took on flood waters. One shelter had 200 people who had to be evacuated by boats. Thank goodness for the volunteers who brought their boats to the scene. 
Please pray for our community.
A few weeks ago many in our city were scourging the police and first responders because of an unfortunate incident in our community. Some were throwing bricks at police, spitting in their faces and cursing them loudly. Many were resisting directions given to them. Some were arrested for disturbing the peace. 
Today many of those same people are counting on the police and first responders to rescue them from flooded homes and unsafe conditions on our roads and highways. I hope they will be more gracious this time. 
Our public servants are working nonstop to serve the entire community. Many have worked double and triple shifts because of manpower shortages caused by people not being able to get to work. 
Please pray for our police, EMS and Firefighters. They are our support system.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Grandfather's Love

This is a very personal post as I wanted to share something that my husband, John, constructed for his first granddaughter, Olive.  It's really a pictorial essay.  The pictures speak loudly of his creativity, dedication and skill that went into building a doll house on wheels.  It is fitting that these pictures be published near Father's Day.  The doll house is an expression of love and is now shared with another granddaughter, Pearl.

The doll house project took several weeks of continuous measuring, hammering, painting and decorating.  The pictures captured each step of the way.  Enjoy viewing them and remember that many things are possible with a grandfather's love.  Hopefully the girls will treasure this delight!  

And here was the reward for the effort!   Two smiling faces and lots of memories to be made.  

Happy Father's Day, John Dickinson  (aka as Paw Paw John Allie by Olive and Pearl)