See the Outdoors in a New Light: Moonlight Recreation

Have a favorite place to hike or kayak? Choose a calm lake or a smooth trail, check your calendar, and invite friends. It will be an adventure experiencing those familiar places in the moonlight.

First, check your calendar or online for the dates of the upcoming full moons. Next, decide where to go and what to do. For night kayaking, choose a calm lake that is clear of too many snags or shallow areas where your kayak could get stuck. Also make sure that there are big enough clearances in the area you will be kayaking, so that the moonlight can effectively light your path. Always go night kayaking with other people in case of emergency.

Mrs. Hacker recommends that your group bring at least one cell phone in a dry bag to make emergency phone calls if needed. Dry bags effectively seal your belongings from moisture and can be purchased in most sporting goods stores. You can also wear whistles around your necks to blow if you get lost and need to find your way back to the group. Wearing glow sticks around your neck and on your paddles like Mrs. Hacker does will also help your group stay together. Headlamps can also be worn for hands-free lighting when you dock your kayak or go for a swim in warmer climates. Always check the water for safety hazards like snags or plants that you could get tangled in. Use caution before entering the water to swim. It is best if you night swim where you have been swimming during the day, so you are familiar with environment. Bring a towel in a dry bag as well, and leave dry shoes in the car to change into before leaving.

Full moons make nice lighting for hiking as well. Hike on a familiar, smooth gravel or paved trail to avoid trip hazards. Choose an open area as opposed to a heavily wooded location, to allow for better lighting. Use headlamps for extra light as needed. For any exerting activity, bring a bottle of water to rehydrate. Carrying your water in a backpack will leave your hands free to catch yourself if you lose your footing. As all mothers will tell you, including Mrs. Hacker, bundle up if it’s cold. If you get hot you can always stuff your extra layers in your backpack. As always, carry at least one cell phone in case of emergency.

If you are hiking with unleashed dogs, attach a glow stick to their collars or put a glow stick necklace around their necks so you can find them at night, and carry your whistle, so you can easily call them if they wander off.

While you may be the only group hiking or kayaking in your location of choice during the full moon, you may be surprised at the number of people out at night, especially during blue moons. Often Mrs. Hacker’s group are the only ones out on the lake or trail, but occasionally they will see others. Use caution if you are kayaking around other boaters, so that you do not bump into each. This is an instance where the headlamp is especially helpful.

As always, we hope you enjoyed our blog. Have a question? Mrs. Hacker is happy to try to answer it. Leave your comments and share. We love to spread the word!




Home Remedies for Your Four-Legged Friends

As a lover of pets Mrs. Hacker knows her way around a vets office, but with a yard full of aging pets, she knew there must be a better way. Her sweet cat, Puss Puss, was constantly screaming from her litterbox, and her husband’s dog, Madison, loved to eat grass but couldn’t digest the stuff. What is a compassionate pet owner to do?

puss puss

After several trips to the vet, many rounds of antibiotics, and little to no improvement in the frequency of UTIs in her poor four-footed friend, Mrs. Hacker turned to common sense. Instead of filling Ms. Puss with antibiotics that had just as many side effects as they had benefits, she decided to try cranberry capsules along with some simple advice from her vet.

First, take about a quarter cup of good quality dry cat food that is a uretic feline formula. I realize good quality is not very specific. Mrs. Hacker uses Wysong, purchased at the pet store, but if you are interested in other brands, ask your vet for a uretic feline dry food recommendation. Open a cranberry capsule, the kind you get from your pharmacy in the vitamin aisle, and pour it over the dry cat food. Shake the food around until the powder from the capsule coats the dry food. Cranberry capsule should be given once a day. If your cat eats multiple times a day, use the steps that follow, but skip the cranberry for all but one meal. Now that your cranberry powder is mixed with your dry cat food, cover the mixture with warm water, enough to cover all the food. Stir until the water begins to look like broth. No matter how many times you feed your cat throughout the day, always mix water with the dry food to avoid further urinary problems. Next, spoon two tablespoons of good quality canned cat food with gravy on top of your mixture. Mrs. Hacker uses Science Diet canned cat food with gravy. Use a good amount of the gravy in your two tablespoons. Mix it all together and let your fur baby dig in. Obviously if you do not see an improvement in your cat’s health, seek professional advice from your vet.

Some would argue that dogs are smarter than cats, but at times Madison proves them wrong. She has a habit of eating grass, which results in her vomiting. Not only is this gross, but it probably means she’s feeling pretty lousy. Mrs. Hacker found another simple solution. If you can’t keep your dog away from grass, you can at least keep the grass from upsetting their stomach. To avoid stomach upset give your dogs human probiotics, but be sure to call your vet and ask what ingredients are good for your pet. Probiotics are also helpful if your pet is on antibiotics. Antibiotics can mess with your pet’s system. Probiotics can help during the time they are on antibiotics. The capsules can be given the same way as the cranberry capsules described above. Just open the capsule, pour onto food, and mix.

I call my mom the Dr. Quinn of the animal world. The pets are a part of the family, and they deserve the best. Sometimes the best is going to the vet for a serious injury or illness, and sometimes the best is staying home in their cozy beds and lush backyard.

Have a pet home remedy you want to share? Comment on this blog post. We’d love to hear from you, and while you are at it follow us and share us too.