How to Take the Heat

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Baby, it’s hot outside. At least in my corner of the U.S. Maybe yours too! So, how do we stay safe in this summer’s heat? Here are some tips from The Old Farmer’s Almanac©.

If you work outside or play outside in excess, watch for sunburn and dehydration.

Have a perfect summer!

How to treat a bee sting, and what to do if you have an allergic reaction

a close up of a flower: Bee stings will usually resolve on their own within a few days. Ervin Herman/Getty Images
© Ervin Herman/Getty Images Bee stings will usually resolve on their own within a few days. Ervin Herman/Getty Images

Bee stings are one of the most annoying parts of summer. But in most cases, they’re easy to treat at home. 

If you get stung by a bee, a normal reaction can include redness, swelling, and pain near the wound. These symptoms should subside within a few hours, and you can use ice, anti-itch cream, and Advil or Tylenol to help relieve them sooner. 

But if you have an allergic reaction to a bee sting, you may want to seek medical attention. Here’s what you should know to treat your bee sting. 

How to treat a bee sting

Bee stings are typically more of a nuisance than they are dangerous. Most people have a mild reaction that doesn’t last longer than a few hours. 

If you experience a normal, localized reaction, you should be able to effectively treat your bee sting at home, says David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

First, it’s important to immediately remove the stinger from your skin, if it’s still there. You’ll see a small black dot at the sting site, if so. 

Some types of bees — like honey bees — have barbed stingers that remain in your skin. Other types — like carpenter bees, or venomous insects like wasps — have smooth stingers that stay attached to the insect, and they can sting you multiple times before flying away. 

You won’t need to remove a stinger if you’re stung by a wasp, hornet, or carpenter bee. But if a honey bee stings you and the stinger remains in your skin, it can continue to pump toxins into your body, which will make symptoms worse if it’s not removed. 

Here’s how to remove the stinger: 

1. Use a scraping motion with a flat, blunt object like a credit card across the affected area to remove the stinger. 

2. Don’t try to pull the stinger out with tweezers or your fingers — this could result in even more venom squeezing into the skin. 

3. Once the stinger is removed, wash the site with soap and water. 

After you remove the stinger, you can use a few remedies to treat the pain, itchiness, and swelling that can accompany a bee sting:

  • Apply ice or a cold compress at the sting site for about 20 minutes every hour to ease pain and reduce swelling. You should wrap the ice in a cloth or towel to protect your skin.  
  • Use hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to help reduce itchiness at the site. 
  • An over-the-counter antihistamine like Zyrtec or Claritin can also reduce itchiness.
  • Pain relievers like Advil (ibuprofen) or Tylenol (acetaminophen) can help reduce pain, swelling, and general discomfort. 
  • Spray or creams that contain an anesthetic, like Solarcaine, can also help ease pain or itchiness. These are widely available over-the-counter. 

Other natural remedies like applying honey, baking soda, or apple cider vinegar to the sting site might help some people, Cutler says, but there’s not much scientific evidence that these treatment methods are effective. 

What to do if you have an allergic reaction 

About 5% to 7.5% of Americans will experience an allergic reaction to an insect sting at some points in their lives, according to the Journal of Asthma and Allergy

Signs of an allergic reaction from a bee sting include:

  • Hives
  • Excessive itchiness that persists past a few hours 
  • Swelling in other areas of your body, in addition to the sting site
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Dizziness

According to Cutler, most allergic reactions are mild or moderate, and can still be treated at home with antihistamines and ice. But some allergic reactions are more severe. 

In fact, about 3% of adults who experience insect stings develop a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which does require immediate medical attention. It’s estimated that 90 to 100 Americans die every year due to anaphylaxis from an insect sting. 

Signs of anaphylaxis can occur within minutes of a sting and include:

  • Trouble breathing 
  • Chest tightness
  • Swelling of tongue or throat  
  • Difficulty swallowing 

In the case of anaphylaxis, you must be treated with an adrenaline injection, known as epinephrine. This counteracts the hormones your body releases in response to the sting and prevents your body from going into shock, Cutler says. 

If you’ve had a mild or moderate allergic reaction to an insect sting before, you should discuss this with your doctor, as this may increase your risk for anaphylaxis in the future. Those at risk can get a prescription for an epi-pen, which allows you to administer epinephrine yourself if you have a severe reaction.

When to see a doctor 

Most of the time, you should be able to treat your bee sting at home. However, it is still important to monitor symptoms and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of anaphylaxis, like difficulty breathing or lightheadedness.

And if you do experience a moderate allergic reaction to a bee sting, you should discuss it with your doctor afterwards, because you could be at a higher risk of having a more severe reaction if stung again. 

Written by (Erin Heger) for Insider ©


Going Hiking ? Bring These Items With You !


There are some basic survival supplies that we should all carry with us at all times when hitting the trails.

This is true for all hikes regardless of distance. These survival items don’t take up much space and can be carried in a small pack.

Just like in most areas of life, no one ever plans on bad things happening.

I feel that it’s always best to be prepared and not need it, than need it and not be prepared!

First Aid Kit

It’s extremely easy to become injured while hiking at all levels of experience. Make sure to have a basic first aid kit with you at all times.

You can either purchase a small first aid kit like this one or even throw together one of your own.

There are many great ideas for making your own kit on Pinterest. I suggest adding bug repellent wipes or spray into your first aid kit as well.

Sun Protection

Make sure to put sunscreen on before heading out—even on cloudy days—as well as carrying some with you to re-apply throughout the day.

Wear a hat and clothing that protects your skin.

There are plenty of breathable options that help with protection while still keeping you cool.

Don’t forget your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harsh UV rays of the sun!

I know this one may not seem so “life saving” but think long term!

Water and Water Filtration

Make sure to carry plenty of water with you along with something to purify water in case of an emergency.

I recommend something like LifeStraw Personal Water Filter or Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System.

Water purification tablets are also a great product to carry as they are affordable and lightweight.

The Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets are highly recommended.


Paracord Bracelet

Rope is one of those items that can really help you out if you’re in a bind (see what I did there).

If you aren’t familiar with it, paracord is an excellent “rope” to bring with you.

There are several wearable items, such as a paracord bracelet, which is perfect for hiking.

This one by Nexfinity One is pretty cool as it checks several of the items on this list.

It is made from 10 feet of 550 lb. paracord, a fire starter, illumination, whistle, compass, knife, and multi-tool.

You can also find some great tutorials on making your own paracord bracelet.

For more information on paracord, survival uses of paracord, and wearable items made of paracord click here.


Make sure to always carry snacks with you.

I suggest foods that hold and pack well, such as energy bars, trail mix, dried fruit, nuts, jerky, etc.

There are also plenty of items sold specifically for hiking and backpacking but I prefer to just throw my own together as they can become quite costly.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is one of those items that is extremely versatile.

It can be used for binding, blisters, making rope, fixing cracked water bottle, bandages, mending clothing, packs, and boots, etc.

They sell small rolls (like this) specifically for hiking/backpacking.

You can also buy a normal sized roll and wrap some around the handle of a flashlight, hiking stick, water bottle, or lighter to keep you from having to carry the whole roll.

Emergency Blanket/Sleeping Bag

Emergency blankets have come a long way in the last several years. I recommend something like this Mezonn PE emergency sleeping bag.

It is small, lightweight and can be attached to the outside of your pack. This item is reusable, tear resistant, bright colored, and waterproof.

There are multiple uses besides the obvious warmth.

It can be used as an emergency signal, rain protection, ground cover, water collector, shelter, etc. and could be a serious factor in your survival.


A headlamp is an important item to carry at all times.

If you get lost or have to be out past dark, having something hands free to illuminate your path is a must.

I recommend a waterproof, LED headlamp such as this one that also offers SOS flashing to signal help.

Fire Starter

Always carry a waterproof fire starter when you are on the trails. A butane lighter or waterproof matches are the easiest option.

I would also recommend carrying something you can easily ignite such as, dry tinder, fire starter, candles, or even compact dryer lint.

Carry it in a plastic or dry bag to make sure it stays dry in all situations.


A compass is a must as it can be easy to get turned around in the wild. Make sure to get a high quality compass.

There are plenty of electronics you can use as well but I recommend carrying a good old fashioned compass at all times.

You can never be positive that your electronics won’t fail you, get damaged, or run out of battery.

Knife or Multi-Tool

I always carry a knife (at minimum) or a multi-tool (even better). You never know when you may need one!

There are plenty of great multi-tools out there ranging from $10 to all the way over $100 and all can serve a great purpose in a survival situation.

Extra Layer of Clothing

It’s a great idea to always carry an extra layer of clothing with you. This is especially true if you’re hiking in an area with drastic temperature changes.


A whistle is a great emergency tool for hiking. The sound carries further than your voice and is much less tiresome than yelling.

It works in an emergency situation to call for help as well as to locate the rest of your group if you were to get separated.

There are plenty of great options that you can hook directly to your pack. For something so light, it doesn’t make sense not to carry one with you.

Safe and Happy Hiking!

Article written by Christy of

13 Sneaky Signs Your House Is Being Watched

Gone are the days of burglars randomly bursting in with ski masks. Today’s criminals will watch and wait until just the right moment before attempting a break-in.

A broken window

Hole in the window glass by a bullet shot during war shooting. Cracks spreading around the hole. Green leaves of trees blurred by the glass. Dirty window frame. View of a street from the inside.Maroon Studio/Shutterstock

Some criminals will throw a rock through a house or car window before even trying to break in, just to see what happens, says Joel Logan, COO of Las Vegas-based Reliance Security. If an alarm goes off and neighbors peer outside to see what’s happening, they might be scared off. But if the homeowners are clearly out of the house or the police never arrive, they might break in that night or soon after. Call the police right away if you’re home, and install motion-sensor floodlights for when you aren’t there, Logan recommends. Learn these 20 secrets a home security installer won’t tell you to keep your home even safer.

A strolling stranger

You probably don’t know everyone in your neighborhood, but a criminal scoping out the area likely won’t just look like an innocent walker. If someone is walking by repeatedly, check their body language, says Logan. “If you take your dog for a walk, you just walk around the neighborhood. You’re not always checking behind you or looking over your shoulder,” he says. Pay attention to clothing, too. Most people taking a walk for the sake of fitness will be wearing workout gear, so someone in plainclothes who’s out for long periods of time might be up to no good, adds Everett Stern, intelligence director of private intelligence company Tactical Rabbit. Any time you’re feeling uneasy, call the police, he suggests. It’s better to bring them out of their way for a bit than to regret ignoring the warning signs.

Student with backpack walking through foggy city street


An eager photographer

A professional photographer adjusts the camera before shooting, hands, camera, backgroundIlya Oreshkov/Shutterstock

Beyond just looking jumpy, someone watching your home might be taking pictures. They’ll be documenting hiding spots and how close the houses are together—less space between houses means more chance a neighbor will spot them, says Stern. If you notice strangers acting fishy with their cameras, defend yourself by taking your own picture of them, Logan recommends. “You might get into an argument, but if there’s a person with bad intentions, taking a picture of him is a good chance of scaring them off,” he says. Memorize these hiding spots burglars check first for valuables.

Light bulb problems

Small Solar Garden Light, Lanterns In Flower Bed. Garden Design. Solar Powered LampGrisha Bruev/Shutterstock

“Lights are burglars’ enemy,” says Logan. “In lights, they can be seen.” A thief who’s planning to break in might unscrew the bulbs around your house so they don’t turn on and reveal the burglar. Check the bulbs if your lights stop working suddenly. If they’re unscrewed but aren’t burnt out, a crook might be scoping your home, says Logan.

A vehicle that keeps driving by

Close up front of new silver car parking on the asphalt roadiMoved Studio/Shutterstock

You don’t need to question every unfamiliar car that drives by, but take note if one passes your house over and over. One with an out-of-state license plate or no plate at all could signal someone is there to watch your neighborhood, especially if the passengers park the car and don’t get out. Write down the license plate number (if there is one), get a description of the driver or the number of people in the car, and call the police if you’re suspicious, says Logan. Make sure you know these other tricks for outsmarting criminals.

Missing trash

BROOKLYN, NY - May 25, 2015: A bin-full of trash on the street of New York City.My 2 Yen/Shutterstock

A stolen identity can be more valuable than some jewelry and cash. “A lot of burglars won’t enter a home,” says Stern. “They’ll start stealing your trash.” From there, they’ll rummage around for documents containing your Social Security number, birthday, and other clues for stealing your identity, along with what type of job you have or when you’ll be going on vacation. Shred any papers before chucking them to make it harder for crooks to put the pieces together, says Stern. Follow that with knowing these 13 personal details your house reveals about you so you can be more aware of what you’re broadcasting to the world.

Untouched mail

Newspapers folded and stacked concept for global communicationsBrian A Jackson/Shutterstock

An observant criminal will take note when there’s a pile of newspapers building up in front of your house. “When you’re on vacation, that’s a telltale sign you’re not there,” says Stern. When you’re away, ask a neighbor to pick up your papers, pamphlets, and anything else signaling no one is home, he suggests. Check out these other 13 ways to keep your home safe when you’re away.

A moving truck

High Angle View Of Delivery Men Unloading The Cardboard Boxes From TruckAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Criminals rely on the fact that people don’t always know much about their neighbors. While a homeowner is on vacation, they might park a U-Haul in the empty driveway—after all, they would have taken the car on their trip—then load up without being questioned, says Stern. Learn the surprising time of day most burglaries happen.

Research actually suggests that break-ins are most likely to happen during the day. Burglars are most likely to enter homes on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. or from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Social media posts

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - JAN 20, 2017: A man hand holding iphone with new logo of instagram application. Instagram is largest and most popular photograph social networking.Worawee Meepian/Shutterstock

Snooping crooks are just one more reason to worry about Internet privacy. “Burglars are using social media now to gather intelligence,” says Stern. “When people post information about their home or a Christmas party, they show different parts of the home or layout.” Especially on image-based platforms like Instagram or Snapchat, robbers could get a sense of where your valuables are to make an efficient theft. Also, avoid posting about your vacation until you’re home. Publicizing the fact that you’ll be away for two weeks—leaving your house unattended—opens the door for burglars to feel confident breaking in.

Door-to-door visits

Open the door to the bokeh gardennapas chalermchai/Shutterstock

Of course some religious groups or salesmen ring the doorbells with innocent intentions, but some criminals also pose as them to get a look at the inside of your house. Pay attention to how they present themselves. “You talk to them and they don’t know much about the product, or they’re looking around the house more than trying to sell the vacuum cleaner,” says Logan. Your best bet is to play it safe and not open the door, says Stern. Ideally, you’d have a camera and audio system set up so you can see who’s outside your door and communicate with them without opening up. If you don’t, just shout out the door that you aren’t interested, suggests Stern.

A new cleaning person

Mid section of man cleaning the kitchen worktop at homewavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

If you have a cleaning team or other crew that visits frequently, a new person could be a red flag. Burglars might pay off people with access to your house to find out what’s inside, and some might even convince the team to let them pose as part of the crew, says Stern. When a new face shows up, he recommends calling the company and asking who the person is and why he or she is there. If they don’t know whom you’re talking about, it could be a crook—just one of the tricks a burglar won’t tell you.

Good advice from The Readers Digest



These are the 25 worst passwords of 2018

Have we learned nothing from the numerous hacks and leaks in recent memory?
Apparently not.
Password management company Splash Data released its annual list of the 100 worst passwords of the year based on 5 million leaked passwords on the internet. The top worst passwords continue to be “123456” and “password.”
Some of you have switched things up, as there are several new entries to this year’s list, like “donald” ranked at number 23, presumably inspired by President Donald Trump.

Check out the top 25 most used and least secure passwords of 2018 and whether yours made the cut.
1. 123456 (Rank unchanged from last year)
2. password (Unchanged)
3. 123456789 (Up 3)
4. 12345678 (Down 1)
5. 12345 (Unchanged)
6. 111111 (New)
7. 1234567 (Up 1)
8. sunshine (New)
9. qwerty (Down 5)
10. iloveyou (Unchanged)
11. princess (New)
12. admin (Down 1)
13. welcome (Down 1)
14. 666666 (New)
15. abc123 (Unchanged)
16. football (Down 7)
17. 123123 (Unchanged)
18. monkey (Down 5)
19. 654321 (New)
20. !@#$%^&* (New)
21. charlie (New)
22. aa123456 (New)
23. donald (New)
24. password1 (New)
25. qwerty123 (New)

If your password made the top 100 worst password list this year, you’d probably do well to change it. Splash Data recommends you:
1. Use passphrases of twelve characters or more with mixed types of characters.
2. Use a different password for each of your logins. That way, if a hacker gets access to one of your passwords, they will not be able to use it to access other sites.
3. Protect your assets and personal identity by using a password manager to organize passwords, generate secure random passwords, and automatically log into websites.

From Business Insider & Antonio Villas-Boas

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