Valerie Schultz

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Caffeine fueling never-ending race to the top

    By Valerie Schultz
    Friday, Apr 10 2015 04:06 PM

    Caffeine is my favorite drug. Other than an occasional glass of wine, it is the only usage I've retained from my reckless youth, having sworn off other adventurous substances in favor of staying alive and employed. I've periodically given up caffeine consumption, those intervals exactly corresponding to four pregnancies and subsequent breastfeeding timelines, but with each weaning, I've always come home to my mother drug. Caffeine is the socially acceptable elixir of life.

    We find caffeine naturally in coffee beans, tea leaves, kola nuts, cacao pods, and other plants, as well as unnaturally as an additive in various sodas, performance drinks, snacks, and medicines. The FDA classifies caffeine as both a drug and a food additive. Most of...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: God is a God of change

    The stories of the Bible often serve as proof that, no matter how many thousands of years pass, our fundamental human distaste for change has endured. We humans don't like change. This struck me anew while I was reading a daily Lenten...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: We're never too old to give up reading aloud

    Every month of the year, various organizations let us know that the particular month we're currently in stands for something special. Some we know a lot about, such as the fact that March is Women's History Month. You may not know,...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Metaphorically speaking, I'm living in a desert

    Where have I gone? That's the question I ask myself these days. The Old Me, Fertile Me, was full of energy. I worked a 19-hour day, and thrived on it. I was wife, mother, writer, chef, laundress, chauffeur, hausfrau, counselor, accountant,...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Vaccination debate needs a shot of respect

    The uproar over the spread of measles at Disneyland, definitely not the happiest place on earth lately, has made me remember my childhood, and in particular, one of my favorite dolls. Her name was Hedda-Get-Bedda. (The ear can hear that a...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: First Valentine knew life was all about love

    This is the sixth Valentine's Day without my original Valentine, my dad, whose namesake is synonymous with love. His father, my grandfather, was also named Valentine. The family lore is that I was named after my dad because my mother...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Daydreaming may be exactly what we need

    There was a time in my younger life when daydreaming was frowned upon, when we schoolchildren were told by the nuns who taught us that an idle mind was the devil's playground. Keeping occupied, both in body and brain, was a virtue. This...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Why are compliments so hard to accept?

    Today, Jan. 24, is National Compliment Day, and may I say that you readers of this newspaper are a lively, good-looking, intelligent bunch. I am always grateful for the special comments that some of you direct my way, at least the ones...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: As the years go by, I remain a (paper) calendar girl

    Sometimes change happens overnight, but sometimes you can see change coming from a long way off. I'm beginning to suspect that, just as books are making the transition to e-books, the paper calendar is slowly becoming a custom of the...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: If being PC is wrong, I don't want to be right

    The term "politically correct" has become a sort of dirty word. I've been called politically correct on more than one occasion, the implication being that I should feel not only put in my place, but insulted and smeared as well....

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Aiming for new mindset in new year

    So the new year is upon us, which is a good thing, a fresh start and all that, but I have to admit that, sometimes, all the talk about the new year just sounds to me like blah, blah, blah. The new year brings with it our best and most...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: The most essential learning often takes place outside of our comfort zones

    The latest book selected for study by my women's spirituality group is called "Evangelii Gaudium," or "The Joy of the Gospel." The author is Pope Francis. Makes us sound pretty smart, doesn't it? It is the first encyclical we have tackled,...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: If only the charity of Christmastime were year-round

    Charity may begin at home, as the saying goes, but charity flourishes at Christmastime. The fact that Christmas is conveniently located at the tail end of the calendar year, when our thoughts also turn to last-minute income tax deductions,...

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