Christmas letter and expanded recipe collection

AtLightHouse_0589BWA belated New Year 2013!

This post will let you know we have posted on Christmas newsletter and updated our pages on healthy recipes and our advice on exercise.

In our 2012 Christmas letter we share a bit about the busy year just concluded and share our about the big anticipation for coming year: we are going to be grandparents for the first time.

At right is a picture of us in Portland, Maine this past summer at the nation’s most famous lighthouse: Portland Head. David was in Portland to testify at trial in Kansas’ case against Nebraska regarding the Republican River Compact. Cathy came out at the end of trial for a mini-vacation.

We have updated, expanded and better organized our list of favorite recipes at  Eating well is one major part of our “secret” to maintaining good health. Most of the recipes are from Eating Well Magazine and esp. one of their cookbooks we have, Eating Well for Two. The cookbooks not only provides nutritious and delicious recipes but with them: portion control. So we just eat slowly, enjoy it all, and find our appetites satisfied.

On David’s web site, he has updated list of our favorite exercise routines at  In our day, for most of us, exercise is another essential for sustained, good health. We have learned that exercise is not a secret of weight loss (the science says that over the long term, we all “compensate” for the extra calorie expenditures either eating more or being less active later). But its benefits to the heart, muscles, brains and overall health are profound. So exercise for the right reason, find something that works for you, and do it regularly.  Also on David’s web site is a brief overview of a book he is reading and recommends: The First 20 Minutes.

Cheers. David and Cathy

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Pesto coming soon (recipe included)

Our basil plants are doing great. Cathy and I are getting ready for the third and largest harvest of the season.

We have not had a garden at our 10+ years at the current house. Life has been busy; concerned about the  deer and other animals consuming our labor, etc. Two years ago, our daughter Amy and husband Josh started tomatoes in one of those upside down hanging planters. We decided to try as well. We started mid-summer (late) with a couple of them. We were told it could not only have the tomatoes at the bottom but also other plants on the side. So we stuck some basil plants in some of the side slits almost as an afterthought.

The tomatoes did not do that well. The late start; it was hot; we were gone a week or two.  But the basil thrived. Perhaps hey were part of the tomatoes demise. In the fall we had a great harvest of basil and Cathy made pesto. I loved it on pasta (and I am not that big a pasta

This year, we got 4 plants around the first of July and just put them in pots and have watered them regularly. They have thrived.

Here is the basil recipe. Enjoy

Adapted from Giada’s Basil Pesto, Modifications bolded.

  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • ¼ cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cuts olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Toast walnuts on a cookie sheet on a 400 degree oven, 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a blender, pulse the basil, walnut, garlic, and salt and pepper until finely chopped. With still running, gradually add oil to form a smooth and thick consistency. Add the Parmesan cheese in the blender.

1 batch = 1 cup.

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Our trip to Portland Maine

David went to Portland, Maine in early August for 3 weeks of trial in Kansas v Nebraska regarding the Republican River Compact. The trial only last two weeks. Cathy joined David as the trial ended. Here are some photos from our time there. [To get to the slide show view, click on the first photo twice.]

ObservatoryConstrut_0462DCTower_0460TowerTop_0468City Hall (0374)City Seal (0417)CivilWarMemorial_0370

Portland Maine, a set on Flickr.

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Celebrating our marriage and Cathy’s Dad’s life

It is summer; the first one without a daughter getting married in thee years. So Cathy is working on some long backlogged photo-book projects. Here are some links. Also below, for Father’s Dad, I took Cathy’s Dad’s memorial slide show and put it on YouTube.

Our wedding – First, Cathy took some of our wedding photos (after a bit of restoration work by me as they had faded) and put them in a photo book: Our wedding photo book.-We just celebrated 33 years to together.

Our 30th wedding celebration – Many of you know that we had a special celebration for our 30th wedding anniversary (as we were caring for Cathy’s Dad on our 25th anniversary). So here is Cathy’s photo book of the event: 30th anniversary photo album.

Also here is a link to the slide show we put together for the event: Our 30 years together (an 8 minute slide show)

Tribute to Cathy’s Dad – Cathy’s Dad died during September 2005. Here is the slide show we put together for the event. Memorial for Cathy’s Dad

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Christmas 2011

Below is a link to our Christmas letter for 2011, highlighting another full year with Megan’s wedding, adjusting to the empty nest, our adopting a second dog, and much more. It also includes a few pictures and book and movie recommendations.

David & Cathy 2011

As has been our custom for the last 4 years, last night, Cathy and I, the three girls and their husbands went to the KC Rep’s production of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and afterwards went out for dessert on the Plaza.

Tonight, we will get together for Cathy’s birthday.

Then we will all get together for Christmas evening.

It is great for us that all of them have stayed in the Lawrence area (so far). This time of year is a blessing when things slow down enough for us to share more time together.

Christmas letter 2011

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Megan and Brandon’s Wedding

Here is a belated tribute to Megan and Brandon’s June wedding (photos took a while but were worth the wait).

They were married on June 18, 2011 at the church of Brandon’s Grandparents, Eudora Baptist, and the reception was held at Stoney Point near Baldwin. As the pictures evidence, the day went wonderfully and without a hitch. They honeymooned in California.  Megan is now completing her last year at Washburn, completing majors in music and mass media. Brandon works in the energy industry. They rent a house in the Edgerton area.

As most who read this will know, Megan is our youngest daughter and the third daughter to get married in less then a year (and last one; we are done now, empty-nesters).

Happily, all the girls and their husbands live in the area.

For pictures, go to the links below including some of the best of the professional photos and a photo book that Cathy put together.


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A good cookbook for those in a hurry

The last post featured a good cookbook for empty-nesters. We continue to use it and enjoy it.

However, I (David) noticed that the author and those at EatingWell also compiled another cookbook called: The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook: 150 Delicious Recipes for Simple, Everyday Suppers in 45 Minutes or Less.

So I checked it out from the library. It is 150 more good recipes. Looks like we may buy it as well. Below is our first supper from it. Check it out.

Rice bowl

Japanese Chicken-Scallion Rice Bowl – A nice meal, 20 minutes. Cathy doubled the liquid (to make it more of a soup than a rice bowl).  The recipes says it serves four. Maybe this works as a side or lunch. We made the 4 servings work for a supper for the two of us (still only 500 calories). Sweet and filling. Worth a try.

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A good cookbook for empty nesters

Eating Well Serves Two

The subtitle: 150 healthy in a hurry recipes.

I (David) don’t remember how I came across the title but I checked it out from the library. Cathy likes it. In the last week or so, she has made four meals from it,  three of them below. So I just ordered it from Amazon. Links below to the link to the book and the recipes we have had so far that we would recommend. I will add more as we time goes on.

The book –

Curried Pear Chicken – We loved it. It made the house smell good. Mild and good. From their book on recipes for two.

Chicken & Farfalle with Creamy Walnut Sauce – Tasty and a great source of Omaga-3 which are essential for good health. You will will need some walnuts (which we have on hand and use in granola and more). They also recommend walnut oil which we do not have (we substituted olive oil).

Spaghetti with Mushroom Bolognese – While this is meatless (we are not a vegetarians but eat meatless from time to time), it is still very tasty and hearty. David didn’t miss the meat.

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Only 118 days to Christmas – Mom’s Christmas cookies and breads

My mom always made a big deal of Christmas including the baking of about 15+ different cookies and numerous special breads. My niece recently asked me for some of her recipes. My husband decided it would best to put then here for all to share. While there will be more to come, here are the recipes you will find on the page “Nellie Sullivan’s Christmas recipes“:

  • Easy Bars (David’s favorite; and they are easy)
  • Peanut Clusters
  • Hershey’s Double Chocolate Mints bars
  • Dessert bars
  • Sandies
  • Spritz
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter balls
  • Hoot N’ Holler Whiskey bread
  • Rosettes
  • Sandbakkels

Hoot N' Holler Whiskey Bread

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Shredded Beef for sandwiches

Most of the recipes we post here are the “healthy” category. But we also are posting “other” favorites. This recipes falls in the later category (of course, in moderation, most things are “good”).

When we are having a larger group over for an informal meal (like we are tonight for playing cards), we often make shredded beef for sandwiches. It is fairly simple to prepare in the crock pot that morning and is ready to go whenever the group is ready. There are lots of such recipes out there. Here is one that we use. It is from:  In case it is ever deleted or moved, here is the recipe:


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
  • 1 (5 pound) rump roast


  1. Combine water with salt, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, onion salt, parsley, garlic powder, bay leaf, and salad dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil.
  2. Place roast in slow cooker, and pour salad dressing mixture over the meat.
  3. Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork.
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