Dear Annie: My husband and I are middle-aged empty nesters. A few years ago, we sold our old place and built our dream home. The problem is, our neighbors have three young boys who can’t seem to stay out of our yard.
We spent a fortune planting and landscaping, and they walk through our flower gardens and mulch beds and climb on our newly planted trees. I recently heard that the neighbors are adopting two Yorkshire terrier puppies. I can only expect that the dogs will follow the boys into our yard.
These boys play with the children who live on the other side of our house. (Those kids are not a problem.) We have asked the parents to have the boys walk the perimeter of our yard or use the sidewalk to reach their friends, but the kids seem clueless, and the mother appears overwhelmed.
What is acceptable for us to do in order to take back control of our yard? — Kids and Dogs and Neighbors, Oh My
Dear Kids and Dogs: We appreciate that you want to maintain good relations with the neighbors and that you understand how challenging a household of active boys can be. Nonetheless, your yard is your property.
Give the parents another chance, asking their assistance in teaching their children to use the sidewalk. (We’d avoid the temptation of asking them to skirt the perimeter, unless you can turn it into a game.) You also could monitor your yard more closely, stopping the boys when you see them and escorting them to the sidewalk. If these efforts do not achieve the desired results, your best bet is a fence, either around the entire yard or as a smaller barrier around the flowerbeds and growing trees that you need to protect.
Dear Annie: I enjoy reading your daily column. On Memorial Day, you printed the poem “In Flanders Field,” written in 1915 during the First World War by Lt. Col. John McRae, a surgeon in the Canadian forces.
Unfortunately, the last line was omitted. The second-to-last line is: “We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,” and the last line is: “In Flanders Field,” an emphatic ending to the beautiful, moving poem. — A Proud Canadian
Dear Canadian: You weren’t the only reader who pointed out that the last three very important words were inadvertently left off the final version. We apologize for the error. As anyone who has ever typed a letter and sent it knows, these things happen. Thanks for keeping us on our toes so we can make the correction.
Dear Annie: “Concerned Reader” suggested that “Need Help,” the teenager with mood swings, painful headaches and weakness, be tested for Lyme disease.
I also would like to suggest looking at food allergies. My daughter spent six months in misery and endured countless doctor appointments and medications in order to diagnosis and treat her constant headaches and stomach pain. We finally saw a naturopath, who suggested dropping gluten and dairy from her diet. After only a few days, we saw improvement, and after a month, she was back to normal.
Remember that gluten is in many products that you would not expect, so do your research and eliminate all gluten to ensure a good “test.” Then after a period of time, do a gluten “challenge.” If your symptoms return, then you have your culprit.
Watching your child suffer and failing to help them find relief is a terrible experience. — NCGS (Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive) Mom in Oregon
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.