The 70th Anniversary of VJ Day-The End Of World War 2

September 2, 1945
This was the day World War II ended in the Pacific. The Japanese surrendered aboard the USS Missouri, the battleship my dad Robert V. Shultz was on at the end of the war. View a video showing about the ceremony.

 

Here are my Dad’s words about that day:

It started out as a gray day, sort of cool. Ships everywhere and lots of small craft. Busy, busy. Plying to and from the ships. Battlewagons, Cruisers, Tin Cans, Supply ships, Service Craft were everywhere. Must have been the biggest assembly of ships ever. Lots of war planes too. Heavy patrolling. Everyone on board was in awe of the scene. We were in Tokyo Bay, at anchor, the first real port city since leaving Pearl Harbor in December while we were still on Condition Easy. All guns manned, but you knew it was over. The defeat was complete. It was hard to believe what we heard about the big bombs. [Read more…]

Are You An Internet, Email and Facebook Addict?

I will admit, I am an addict. Yes, checking my email and Facebook is a part of my day, every day throughout the day. I have attempted to wean myself with occasional, moderate success. I have thinned out my email, unsubscribing to newsletters and other unwanted notices. I have reduced my inbox to under 50 and on a good day to under 20. I have created files of important emails to keep as reference and I periodically review and weed out obsolete items. I think all that just means I am an organized addict and that I am fooling myself to think that those measures make me less hooked!

Despite becoming efficient and proficient, I am obsessed with checking my email and checking in on Facebook. I log on in the morning and review my accounts over my cereal and coffee. I don’t feel I can move on to other things of greater importance like writing my next book or this article until I have cleaned out new emails and reviewed the newsfeed on Facebook. Real work or productivity comes second.

I have made strides in posting less on Facebook unless I am traveling (I love to post travel pictures). Now a few days can go by without a Facebook update from me but never a week! I love to feel connected to my friends and relatives, many of whom live far away from me and I might be out of touch with their lives without Facebook. I learn things, laugh and feel a part of a community when I browse the newsfeed. If I don’t look in, I feel a loss of not knowing what is going on in the world (I have stopped watching TV) and I begin to feel invisible.

I recently finished reading the book The Shallows, What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. He described having more difficulty keeping his attention focused on concentrated reading and deep contemplation. I have been noticing this trend myself, and it bothers me. [Read more…]

Who Are These People?

Shultz Family 1920

Shultz Family 1920

As I look at an old black and white photo taken about 1920, I see serious looking people who I know are my relatives, but they are all dead now. Only my dad who is almost 90 can identify them. He is mostly sure he got their names right, and I think to myself, does it matter?

Somehow I found myself the only one in the family willing to look through countless boxes of photos and old newspaper articles of someone’s wedding or death. I look at photos with stern faces that seem to reflect hardship beyond my comprehension. Their eyes are hard and it is hard to imagine them smiling or laughing. Did they have joy in their life or was it mostly survival?

Viola Cemetary, South Dakota

Bob Shultz at Viola Cemetary, South Dakota

I know where some of them are buried in a little country cemetery in rural South Dakota. I hope their souls have found rest and peace after burying children, surviving wars, depressions, dust bowls and untold hardships that today’s kids will never understand.

I return to the task of looking through the boxes and trying to figure out what to do with these relicts of the past. I write on the back of the photo the names: Grace, Viola, Milo, Ralph, Henry, Ellen, Mable, Minnie, Peter, Caroline and Lydia. Ralph was my grandfather and I never met him because he died before I was born.

Do I frame the picture of my ancestors? [Read more…]

10 Ways To Reduce Mail Clutter In Your Life

Are you tired of all the clutter that keeps coming in your mailbox or inbox? Are you zoning out and barely looking at most of it? Would you like less coming in so you can breathe more and read quality correspondence as well as feel more caught up?

Take the next week or month to trim paper and electronic clutter. Here are 10 ideas of how to do that! [Read more…]

Does Anyone Want A Bunny?

How in the world did I get so much stuff? Whatever space I have lived in, I fill every inch of it in stuff. I have been in a declutter mode for years now, and I have made good progress. However, I am still sorting and getting rid of stuff each month.

Stuff just crept up on me. Having kids really brought on the stuff. Buying a big house gave us lots of room to put it and soon it got out of control. I was encouraged by TV commercials and other media to buy, buy, buy stuff, and I accepted the offer and did. Bought a house that I couldn’t really afford and one that had more room than I really needed. We were all told it would help the economy to buy and buy. Did it?

When the weight of debt and too much stuff felt like 5 elephants on my back, I sold the big house with a 3-car garage and moved to a much smaller house with no garage. No more bikes and garage stuff. I kept a few garden tools and shovels but they had to fit in my small laundry room.

Kid stuff went bye-bye and so did over half of my wardrobe and knick-knacks because I had virtually no storage and my closets were small. I refused to pay for a storage unit but kept a few things in my mom’s basement. It was liberating. And still there was more.

BunniesI just got out my Easter decorations. Now that I live in a small space, the holiday decorations are more confined instead of spread out all over a large house. I counted over 20 bunnies that are now on all surfaces in my living, dining and main floor bathroom. Do I need that many bunnies? How did this happen? [Read more…]

The Better View at Midlife

I believe the age that one transitions to midlife varies, but for me it was at age 51. And there was no going back! The view is outstanding. Colors in a sunset or autumn leaves are more vibrant. Music and sounds of nature reach new depths of enjoyment in my soul. Smells of pumpkin bread baking or turkey in the oven brings me bliss. The taste of a well-made latte or fresh salmon from Alaska makes me swoon. And the feeling of holding hands with my new boyfriend makes me tingle! I enjoyed all these things before, but in midlife, I experience them at a deeper level.

Midlife nudges me to move forward with the now or never motto. “Letting go” is reaching profound levels, and sometimes it hurts just before the release. [Read more…]

Parenting Tips To Embrace As Graduation Approaches

The high school years go fast and there is still time to make some adjustments in your parenting before graduation. It may make all the difference in the world to your teen and your relationship now and help you avoid regret. Good parenting now may also be the model of how your children will raise their own kids some day.

Simplify and slow down. Life can be overwhelming for children, teens and young adults. Pressure can be immense to achieve, get into college and choose a major once there. Navigating the demands of parents, teachers, peers, and society can be daunting. Encourage your child to focus on fewer things and not attempt to juggle too many activities and responsibilities. Model this behavior yourself as a parent and spend some quiet time with your kid. Give yourself and them permission to slow down.

Get away as a family. Go ski, take a hike, go camping or some other shared experience that gets everyone out of their usual routine and enjoying nature. Plan a vacation if finances allow. Unplug from technology as much as possible and have some fun together. Play together.

Travel to third world countries. Let your kids view a bigger world outside of their school lives. Visiting a country that has poverty and hardship opens the minds of the youth that they live in an abundant society by comparison. Volunteering at a school in one of these struggling nations can be even more impactful for your child to get perspective of their life back home. [Read more…]

Reincarnation Humor

If you are strongly opposed to the concept of reincarnation, then skip this article. If you are open to the possibility of reincarnation, then read on and hopefully laugh a little.

Reincarnation humor is an attempt to explain the unexplainable. Take a few personal examples from me. First, I don’t like to cook. Even the thought of cooking makes me feel heavy with dread and tired. I have never been able to figure out why this is the case and often buy new cookbooks in hopes I can inspire myself with the desire to cook. It never works and I have a ton of unused cookbooks.

So I turn to reincarnation to help me understand my dislike of cooking. Perhaps in a past life I had to cook all the time. It was my job every day all day all my life. If that was the case, I might have gotten burned out on cooking! I think I will stop buying cookbooks, give away the ones I have and find a man who likes to cook!

Another example is my love and talent for flower gardening. [Read more…]

Life Lessons

What lesson is your life presenting to you?

Have you ever wondered why an issue keeps plaguing you? Do you see a pattern that keeps cropping up over and over again? Do you experience frustration that you keep attracting situations, people or relationships that point to a challenge that keeps coming back to haunt you?

Are you ready to graduate, finally address and resolve that pesky problem that has been following you around year after year? Perhaps you can name it in an instant or maybe it seems close to grasping but just out of reach. If you can’t name it, you may want to contemplate or even ask a friend what they think your reoccurring lesson is for you. Sometimes your friends can see it before you!

Once you have this lesson named, doesn’t mean it can quickly disappear, but awareness is the first step to change. [Read more…]

Dear Dr. G

Dear Dr. G.,

I respect your medical education, training and years of experience as a gynecologist. I have always felt you were on top of your game…within the western medicine model.

I began to suspect that you were not open to alternative medicine practices when you scoffed at my ability to navigate the changes of menopause on my own such as hot flashes without hormone replacements because I sought natural treatment of herbs and needles from my acupuncturist. When I came in for annual exams, you appeared to assume I would finally give up on my own remedies and move into the treatments you suggested and promoted.

In June of 2014, my annual exam and subsequent in-office biopsy showed “Severe squamous dysplasia/carcinoma in SITU.” You told me I would need outpatient surgery and removal of part of my cervix with more biopsies, I agreed. I asked you what I should do in the two weeks while waiting for surgery, and you said, “nothing”. Well, I did everything I could think of and wrote extensively about it. Click here for previous blog post.

When I did what you said was impossible to do in only 2 weeks and then had no interest in knowing what I did, I was disappointed to say the least. I began to search for books written by physicians who were interested in miracles and spontaneous healing events.

Two books I found were Love, Medicine & Miracles: Lessons Learned About Self-Healing From A Surgeon’s Experience With Exceptional Patients by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D. and Spontaneous Healing: How To Discover And Enhance Your Body’s Natural Ability To Maintain and Heal Itself by Andrew Weil, M.D. Both these doctors were willing to look at unusual cases of healing. [Read more…]