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Vacation or staycation? Many stressed workers are opting to save money and unwind at home. If you’re one of them, avoid the following five no-nos during your staycation to make the most of every precious moment.

Forget to Make Plans

If you don’t make specific plans ahead of time, your staycation will probably look like this: Wake up. Go back to sleep. Finally get up at 11 a.m. Watch TV for a while. Realize you are hungry. Eat leftovers while watching TV. Feel bored. Call friend to hang out, then realize everyone is at work. Watch TV. Play video games. Get dressed. Drive to mall to get take-out. Watch TV. Fall asleep in front of TV. Instead, make sure you have at least one or two specific activities planned for each day.

Eat Every Meal Out

There’s nothing wrong with eating out a few extra times during your staycation, but it can get boring. Plus, you can go over budget quickly. Wouldn’t you rather spend money on making memories? Pick a few local restaurants that you’ve been wanting to experience, then make plans to go with friends or family during your staycation. Make home-cooked meals more exciting by planning more adventurous menus and trying out unfamiliar grocery stores.

Answer the Door

If you work outside the home, your staycation will be a new experience for you in that you’ll be spending time at home during the week. This means that you’ll be a target for door-to-door salespeople, religious proselytizers, petitioners, and other strays. If you answer the door to every knock or ring, you’ll waste a lot of time. Instead, ignore the doorbell altogether or screen your visits–you’re not obliged to open the door even if they saw you peeking through the curtains.

Check Email Obsessively

Do not check your work email at all or answer work calls. If you were truly unreachable, your employer would find someone else to hassle, so don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of just because you’re accessible. You’ve earned your time off and you have the right to enjoy an uninterrupted staycation. If you really must check email, set specific days and times to do so and stick to your plan. Avoid overchecking personal email too.

Spend Too Much Time Alone

Although you might think that a week or so away from other humans is just what you need, spending your entire staycation alone can leave you feeling lethargic and distant. Take advantage of the time off to reconnect with friends and family. Meet up with local friends for lunch or on their day off. Spend some time writing emails or talking on the phone to those old friends you never seem to have time for.

While some of the five above items may not apply to you, you know the ones that do. Unless you want to head back to work feeling as if you’d never been away, pay attention to these tips and plan your staycation accordingly. You deserve it!

by Antonia Anderson

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First Aid Essentials for the Barn

No matter what type of animals you have, you will eventually have an emergency involving them. It is just the way it goes when raising livestock or pets. Prevention may be the key, but being prepared is an even better motto.

It is impossible to be prepared for every single situation that could happen. It is also difficult to keep medicines and preventatives supplied for every type of animal you may have. Stock up on some of these first aid essentials and create a basic emergency kit for your barn, car, or wherever your animals may be. Some of the ingredients are human-friendly as well. Our list will help you cover the basics and you can then fill in with species-specific items as you see fit.

Antiseptics, Anti-Pain, Anti-Everythings

Antibiotic ointment
Antibiotics – oral, injectable, spray
Antiseptic/antibacterial hand gel
Antiseptic scrub, spray, wipes
Aspirin – (NEVER give to cats)
Baking soda – helpful for bloating issues
Blood-clotting wound powder
Cold compresses – instant and soakable
Epsom salts
Eye ointment – nonsteroidal
Hydrogen peroxide
Iodine
Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
Pepto
Petroleum jelly
Sterile saline solution – for washing out eyes and wounds
Must-Haves (Even in non-emergencies)
Baling twine – it used to be baling wire, but twine works in a pinch
Blankets
Clippers – manual and electric
Dental floss – plain and waxed
Duct tape – no explanation needed
Flashlight (with extra batteries)
Emergency contact list
Gloves – disposables (latex and non-latex) and regular, heavy gloves
Pocket knife
Restraints – hobbles, cross-ties, extra halters, collars, ropes, leads, etc.
Sewing needles – suture needles preferred, but upholstery needles will suffice
Sewing threads (cotton and polyester)
Toenail clippers – hoof nippers
Towels
Veterinarian’s phone numbers
Wire cutters
Soft Supplies
Adhesive tape – various strengths and widths
Adhesive bandages
Clean rags and towels
Cotton bandages
Cotton batting
Elastic bandaging (commonly known as vet-wrap)
Gauze pads and rolls
Rolled bandages or “polo” wraps
Sponges – various types and materials

Tools

Disposable razors
First Aid Manual for animals
Magnifying glass
Measuring spoons and cups
Needles for syringes
Oral thermometer
Rectal thermometer – you should always have a string firmly attached to the end
Scalpels
Scissors – safety for cutting bandages, regular sharps for cutting everything else
Stethoscope
Syringes – both oral and injectables
Tweezers

This list is by no means all-inclusive but it should help you to get an idea of the types of supplies and tools you might keep on hand. Creating and maintaining an emergency kit doesn’t have to be expensive or labor intensive. Many of the items can be found in both brand name and generic versions at your local discount stores for under a dollar.

One thing to note is that while most of the things listed above are safe to use on almost every type of animal, there are exceptions (such as no aspirin for cats). Be sure that any medicine or treatment you are using is labeled safe and approved for that particular species. You don’t want to inadvertently make the situation worse. Also keep in mind that some popular products are not recommended for egg, meat, or milk-producing animals.

Feel free to add anything to your own kit that you feel could be of use during an emergency. It is not uncommon to have a separate small box or kit for each species while keeping a “master kit” of the basics. Everyone’s situation is different, so please let us know what you would include in your own barn emergency kits. We can all learn from each other and keep our animals safer.

By Julie Dees


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