a:link { color:#000000; } a:visited { color:#808080; } a:active { color:#808080; } a:focus { color:#000000; } a:hover { color:#000000; }

Clan Sullivan

Clan Sullivan

March 10

Independence Day!

     For over 200 years this country has been celebrating it's freedom of independence from England. With brightly lit fireworks we portray our love for our country and the joy in the freedom that we still posses. Even so, Independence Day has increasingly become one of my favorite holidays for reasons other than the patriotic ambiance that surrounds it.

     I have always loved this time of the year (July) because of the sunshine that is forever accompanying it, as well as the constant string of daily activities that go along with it. I also greatly appreciate the ability to go outside without having to locate the many accessories such as coat, hat, scarf, etc., that often accompany the process of venturing out-of-doors in the winter.

    Then there's is the fact that my entire family gets to come together to celebrate it. With the yearly expansion, due mostly to births, the gathering crowd grows every year. Every year the buzz of cheerful chaos increases, which to many would lessen their desire to come and participate in the confusion, but for me it only makes it more enjoyable.

     Because of the large amount of people attending, rarely a moment passes where there isn’t some sort of activity going on. Whether it's football, giving people rides on the 4 wheeler, or playing with the Roman Candles (I won't go into exact detail as to how we play with the roman candles!), every moment is enjoyable. We close the day with a huge fireworks display that not only entertains the large audience gathered to spectate, but I've heard that the neighbors for a mile or two around us also enjoy the show.

     For these reasons and many others, I would be inclined to say that Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I hope that it will continue to be so for many years.

                                                                                                                                March 11

Where Do I See Myself in Twenty Years?”

      People have for centuries expressed a wish to be able to see into the future, to know what will become of their life and how it will happen. Movies have been made at different times where the main character for some unknown reason has the ability to see into the future and with this 'gift' can avoid tragic accidents. Although I have occasionally pondered as to what I would be doing twenty years from now, I've never really had the desire to know what I will be doing twenty years from now. It seems like it would be rather depressing in the long run; like knowing what all your gifts on Christmas day were going to be before you even got the chance to open them. If I knew that someone I loved was going to die in the next twenty years, I'd rather avoid knowing it until it happened, otherwise I would, more likely then not, spend the remaining years I had with that person moping about how soon they were going to be gone. I would far rather take the bullet when it comes, not before hand. This being said, I can only see my life really playing out in three different ways ( I know there's a possibility of many other directions it could take but they would take so long to tell that I've decided to only stick with the main three).

      Obviously, where I would like to be in twenty years would be with a happy little family settled down somewhere in a beautiful part of Oregon. Since most people I know in their late thirties are married, there is a fairly high chance of this, but, then again, more and more people I know aren't getting married until they're thirty. See, there again you have a valid argument for not wanting to actually be able to see my future! If I was told I wasn't going to get married until I was 38, I honestly admit that it would make me feel a little depressed. Okay, maybe a lot depressed. But that's neither here-nor-there (isn't it a wonderful thing to know that there's a God in control of this stuff so you don't have to go worrying your head about who, or what, you will or won't be?).

Well, to be getting on with things. Of course the other option would be “not married”. Now, once again this brings it closer to what I hope I will be doing and less of what I think I will be doing, (mostly because I don't know what I think I'll be doing; the options are limitless!), but I hope I would be working for some kind of missions outreach or something of that sort. For an example, there's a missions outreach that is looking for women who are willing to go over to the Philippines for a couple years or so to train them to be midwives. I think that would be enjoyable and it would be nice to know that I was doing something for other people instead of becoming a selfish spinster, (which, knowing myself, could very likely happen)

      The third option,(because anything can happen), is that I won't be alive in twenty years. Not to suddenly become disconsolate on you all, but we must stick to reality. The likelihood if this happening is just as great as the other two options I have mentioned. In this case I will be happily in heaven while you poor blighters will still be laboriously drudging through life here on earth.

      There now, I hope you are satisfied with my answers. It really is unfair to ask someone where they see themselves in twenty years because I don't think anyone can really honestly say where they see themselves, they can only say where they hope or believe themselves to be in twenty years. So there you have it. The three possibilities that I can see being my fate in the next twenty years. Where do you see yourself?


                                                                                                                             March 12

When to Eat?

      Today's question was not an easy one: “Which option is healthier, eating three large meals a day or eating four to five small meals a day?”It was something that I had wondered about before but only in passing and so have never really given it much more thought then, “Well, three seems to be working out well so far” It seems like that’s about what everybody else has done. There has been a doctor or two who have looked into it, but it looks as though there answer, as well as everybody else's answer, has been, “what works best for your body?” and, “what does your body tell you to do?”Well, listening to my body, or anyone else s body for that matter, won't get my essay written, so, since the question is 'which option is healthier', I will give a pointer or two on the benefits of both and then let you decide. (I hope you noticed how smoothly I turned this back on you! Clever!)

      The one consistency I have noticed in and from people who have addressed the topic is that no matter how often you do or don't eat, if you are eating junk foods or 'empty foods', neither option will work. Well, this is a little obvious but never the less, I thought it good to bring up because I could just see someone deciding that since they had heard that it was healthier to eat three square meals a day, then by eating a doughnut for breakfast, Taco Bell for lunch, and a Freeze-a-Meal for dinner they were being healthy. That is absolutely false. And I hope you already knew that. If you didn't, then you need to be re-thinking a lot more then just how often you should eat.

      Apparently, studies have shown that if you eat a small meal every three hours or so, (that would be about six meals a day), it boosts your metabolism and so helps your body to burn more fat. Now, I've never heard of a boosted metabolism being a bad thing, but I'm not sure if it counts as a 'health benefit'. Then again, I've never heard someone say they were glad that they had a slow metabolism, so it must be a good thing! (Now, now, don't judge me here...I never made any claims to being a doctor or a physician so if I show a little ignorance in some areas it's purely due to my lack of knowledge and interest in the profession.) Still, it depends on your body type and if the six mini-meals you are eating are in themselves healthy.

       They also say that having only three meals a day can broaden the spectrum of nutrients you get in a day. When you have a lot of small meals in a day you are more likely to eat the same, or close to the same thing. Whereas, if you are only having three meals, you're are more likely to add variety to your meal and so, then, be able to get more nutrients and vitamins and what not from your meals.

       It honestly does seem like you really can't make a claim to one being healthier then the other. If it appears as though one is working out better for you then the other, then by all means, continue on your merry little way!

                                                                                                                              March 16

My Favorite Fruit

      There are many fruits I like. Actually, there are many fruits I love, so to try and pick one was a little difficult. I wound up going with grapes, but I have to tell you bananas did come in as a close second; a very close second.

      Why do I love grapes? Well, I'll tell you! They are tasty and nutritious! Now, I think this is a pretty good argument for them by itself, but my guess is you would like a little longer of an explanation then this. Did you know that, (according to Mr. Google), one cup of red or green grapes contains 4.8 mg of Vitamin C, 10 mcg of vitamin A, and 288 mg of Potassium? Likewise, grapes are very good for hydration because of their high water content.

Grapes also have many uses to them. If it weren’t for grapes, where would we get grape juice? Where would we get raisins? Where would we get random paintings of some artists' lunch from 400 or so years ago? Answer me that if you will! The entire image of Italy is founded off of grapes! Can you possibly imagine what would happen to them if all the grapes in the world suddenly disappeared? It would be like the English without tea or the Irish without Bing Crosby. Tragedy, nay, catastrophe would strike!

      Besides, have you ever tried eating a grape compared to, say, eating an orange? You don't get sticky juice all over your hands, you don't have a bunch of peels to throw away, and they don't get all soggy if they are left in the refrigerator for a day or two.

      You see! There are many reasons to love grapes: for artistic ambiance or for just plain eating! And that, my friends, is why I love grapes.

                                                                                                                            March 17

The Good Citizen

      Every country had it's different standards, it own ideals for someone who would be classified as a “good citizen”; each one can be vastly different. You see, theoretically a 'good citizen', is someone who obeys the laws, but that's as far as it goes. The problem is that the laws differ depending on the country. Not every country is alike and so to obey the laws in one county, making you a good citizen, could make you the exact opposite in any other.

China’s mark of a good citizen, (well one of their marks, anyways), is to want you to know about everybody else's business and to make sure they are doing what they were told. You see, a good citizen in China is one who sticks to every law placed upon him and makes sure it is enforced on everyone else. If you see your neighbor doing what he aught not, it is your duty correct him.

      Let's say, again, you lived in the Amazon. You have your own mud hut, your three wives, and your canoe. Now, the mark of a good citizen here would be to obey the witch doctor, willingly trade your wives, and bring home your allotted amount of heads. Granted, the incentive to obey in this community would be stronger then in most, because if you didn't, it would be your head that was brought home.

      Then there are cities*. To be a good citizen here is to not notice what is going on around you. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that a good citizen there need live completely in their own world. Not to notice, not to interact, not to smile. To do nothing but the monotonous and dreary thing you do everyday without changing your constant frown.

      You see, there are many different explanations to being a good citizen. Every country has a different idea of how he should be, or what he should do to be a good citizen. It does seem like that obeying the law is the closest you can come to a universal definition.

* Author's note: I have here classified a city as being a country; that is because every city every where is the exactly the same. Everyone talks, acts, and thinks, the same. Just be glad I didn't classify them as an extraterrestrial.

Trying Something New


    They want me to write about the first time I 'tried to get something new'. Well, they asked for it.

   Now, this can't be the very first time that I tried to get something new because I don't remember the very first time; fortunately, I can make a pretty good guess. Most likely the first time I tried to get something that was new, was when I was a baby and was attempting to get at a toy. I will describe the most likely course of action.

    Firstly, (now this is purely a conjecture), I tried to reach for it. My chubby little hands reached out and caught it in a tight grasp, or at least, that's what I thought they would do. Instead, my fat little hands would totter towards it, open and close a couple times, and then fall back to my side in sheer exhaustion.

    Next, I tried to bite it. This seemed logical. If one appendage doesn’t do the job, perhaps another will. And why not the mouth? It does as good a job at catching something as any hand or foot. Of course, this plan would work except my head would not obey. My neck would willingly comply with my wishes by letting my head fall forward, and for one brief moment I would be making movement towards the toy, my mouth opened wide with anticipation, but at the last minute my muscles would give way and I would fall back again, despair wallowing up inside of me.

    With all of this done, I would be forced to use my one, last weapon of attack. I would wail, not unlike Ruth weeping for her children, only a little more shrill and a with the tone more of rage then despair. I would weep for the toy I had, weep for the failed attempts I had made in trying to get it, and most of all, weep for the lack of faithfulness shown to me by my not-so-faithful minions. This weapon worked, if my minions interpreted my cries correctly; sadly most of the time they did not.       

    Occasionally though, one of my minions, (I had quite a few), would guess correctly and I would be happily rewarded with my long coveted prize.

    I'm sure they wanted me to give you a moral lesson from this one, but I'm sorry, unless you want to take away from this that if at first you don't get what you want, scream for it and it will most likely be given to you.

Note: for clarification, the author is referring to herself as a very, very small child, say five months. If the author had tried this last approach at an older age, say three, she most likely would have been amply and rightly punished for throwing what some like to call a “tantrum” .

My Favorite Sport

    What is my favorite sport? Well, seeing as how the only sport I've ever officially played, (“officially” meaning on a real team playing against another real team of people I didn't know), is softball, I would be inclined to say that softball was my favorite sport. (I did have a small taste of soccer once and I have a feeling that if I played it more often, I would enjoy it very much. Not to get off track though; softball, I believe, is what we were talking about.) I suppose now you want to know why, aside from the reason just stated, why softball is my favorite sport.

    For one thing, I get to spend time with my family. The softball team that I play on is made up of mostly people I'm related to; a few aren't, but those few are becoming good friends. It's very enjoyable to have your team show up with children, dogs, snacks, and pregnant women in tow, and to know that if you mess up, the worst you'll get is, “that's okay, you just need to follow the ball when you swing,” or something of that sort.

    It's also nice to be able to do something that requires a lot of time outside. Not that I don't do things outside whenever I get the chance, but I'm glad that the sport is one that requires being outside. Although I guess that's something that you could say about almost every sport.

    Lastly, it's just plain cool. I mean, think about it, how cool is it to be able to say, “yeh, I play softball.” It's almost a sort of brag point, a conversation filler. Whenever there's a lull, I can just say “So...do you play any sports?”

    Softball really is an enjoyable sport to play, for these reasons and more. It's almost thrilling, those few and far-between times when I actually hit the ball and send it bouncing a few feet in front of me; to feel the thrill of the chase as I try to run to first base before the pitcher picks up the ball and throws it to the first baseman. Oh, the glory of the sport!

What To Buy?

    I remember once seeing a picture of a McDonald's hamburger next to a large bowl of salad: the hamburger with “99 cents” above it, and the salad with “$5” above it, and underneath it said, “and you wonder why people are fat!”

    It's true that at the moment stores are having their jollies labeling things like salad or chicken without seasonings on it “organic” and then charging twice as much for them, but is it better to buy the more expensive, yet healthier food, or is it better to save your money and go for the cheap stuff? That depends completely on your situation and what type of person you are.

    I have seen the occasional person with whom it is very obvious that they are not lacking in funds, and yet eat unhealthy foods merely because that is what they believe they are craving. I don't see how they do it though; I tried to eat a Dairy Queen $5 lunch once and wound up with “cement belly” the rest of the day. I still shudder every-time I pass their advertisement for 'cheap eats'. Anyways, I would say that for those people, it would be better to spend a little more money and try eating something that could actually be classified as biodegradable.

    There are also people that you see who spend too much searching for the non-GMO, Gluten-free, Lactose free, vegan, USDA approved, not tested on animals,you-will-live-forever food. These “health seekers” are generally found in the Organic section of Market-of-Choice, and, (pardon the slang), reek of garlic. I would say that they spend way too much money on things that are organic and can easily make themselves healthy and broke.

    The last type is the happy medium, the person who tries to be healthy and yet conserve money at the same time. They price the food at the stores to try and make the best buy, but don't worry if they have to occasionally get the 'Great Value' white noodles instead of the 100% whole wheat, whole grained, gluten free noodles. They usually make and bake their food at home, and reserve restaurant eating as a special-occasion treat.

    I would say that the last type mentioned is the type to strive for being most like. It seems like everything can be compared to a teeter-totter, it's good not to go too far either way in any direction. The path really is strait and narrow, if you know what I mean, people get to caught up in one way and then a lot of the time, when they try to rectify it, they wind up going to far the other way.