Dear Annie: Loved the idea of giving the cellphone a rest for a few days. When we were raising our kids, my wife and I had what we called "pioneer night."
Once a month, we would shut the power off in the house for a few hours. We shut everything down but the fridge. And yes, we were careful with the candles.
This practice allowed us to have some good quality time together. I miss those pioneer nights at times. — Pioneer Nights
Dear Pioneer: Thank you for your letter. I love your family tradition of literally unplugging everything. Maybe when the kids and grandkids come to visit, you can have another pioneer night. I hope your letter inspires other families to do the same.
Dear Annie: I've had many odd symptoms over the years that got worse, and research has finally helped. I have deficiencies in vitamins D and B12 that require more than a multivitamin. Doctors don't learn nutrition in medical school and are unaware of what deficiencies look like. Vitamins aren't part of routine bloodwork.
Please advise readers to request their vitamins, as well as their children's, be checked when having blood drawn. If deficient, it is important to educate oneself on the possible cause, symptoms and where to get help. Deficiencies don't go away on their own and they have health consequences over time. Thank you. — Vitamins Can Be Vital
Dear Vitamins: Thank you for your letter. You bring up an important point about nutrition. You can get many of your vitamins if you eat a well-balanced diet, but knowledge is power. Learning from your doctor what vitamins you are deficient in could really help your overall health.
Dear Annie: Regarding single women who are deceived by married men, "Cracked but Not in Shambles" wrote in saying she feels "sorry for women like that." That is quite degrading language against someone misled by a liar. I feel sorry for women who make excuses for bad male behavior. That is all. — Deb O.
Dear Deb: That is so very true. When a married person cheats, it's common to demonize the outside party. But the married spouse is the one who broke a vow. The root of the problem lies there.
Dear Annie: "Blessed and Happy Woman" was a bit off. Prayer and diet cannot "cure depression." You did mention the counsel of a doctor, but I want to stress that a doctor is necessary when dealing with mental health issues.
People still have such a fear of mental illness, but it is no different than a physical illness like asthma. People have no fear disclosing that they have asthma and need medication. It's sad that people still live in fear of disclosing their mental illness.
I'm afraid that you had an opportunity to speak about the power of seeking professional help when there is an issue with mental health. You responded meekly, not with the response I expected — that she should go into counseling and anyone in the same position should as well. You dropped the ball, unfortunately. Otherwise, I do enjoy your column. — Correcting an Annie