Articles written by Carolyn Bivins


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  • 13 members have now been inducted

    Carolyn Bivins, Special to the Ledger|Dec 28, 2023

    The Gamma Theta Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated, inducted 13 new members into the youth group's Brewton chapter. Six young ladies were inducted into the Xinos Club and seven young men were inducted into the Kudos Club. The Xino and Kudo Clubs are guidance groups for youth in grades 9 through 12, that work alongside with the sorority to help with community service and other guidance programs. New members who were inducted are Zah'Ri Smith, Zyon Drakeford, Peyton...

  • Bidding farewell to you all after 40 years

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Oct 3, 2019

    Hello Readers! I am submitting my final article for publication due to the fact that I am retiring from Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) in Escambia County. It has been my pleasure to write these articles for more than 35 years, and I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. As an employee of ACES for more than 40 years, my career has been a special treat for me and those I have worked with starting with the Office Staff, in the Escambia County Extension Office. We are more like a family....

  • Tips to celebrate Nat'l Food Safety Month

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Sep 26, 2019

    The following article by Bobbie Randall, a certified diabetes educator and registered certified dietician is very timely and informative as we celebrate Sep­tem­ber as National Food Safety Month. She states - Schools are in full ses­sion. County fairs and fall fes­ti­vals attract peo­ple from miles around. Orga­ni­za­tions start up again with reg­u­lar monthly meet­ings. To many peo­ple, this is the begin­ning of a new year. Just the sim­ple act of hand-­wash­ing can make the dif­fer­ence between a fun day and a sick day later in the week....

  • Tips for healthy and creative snacks for kids

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Sep 19, 2019

    With childhood obesity rates increasing in the United States, it is important for children to eat snacks that will support healthy development. While it may seem more appetizing and convenient to grab a candy bar or a bag of chips, parents can bring a fun new perspective to healthy foods that outshine junk foods. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, many food group recommendations for kids are merely guidelines, and every child has different energy needs. It is important to create an environment that allows your child to choose...

  • Tips on food safety for this season's tailgating

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Sep 12, 2019

    Are you ready for some FO-OOT-BA-A-LL? College football season has begun and that means thousands of Alabamians will be tailgating before, after and even in their own back yard as they watch the game from TV screens at home. Although tailgating traditions vary among schools and regions, they all include food. The heat in the Southeast sometimes dictates the food selections for tailgating. During the early part of football season, while temperatures are still quite warm, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers are always a favorite, as are fried...

  • Tips to protect data, devices, ahead of storms

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Sep 5, 2019

    When disasters strike, individuals and businesses all too often lose important computer files. Jonathan Davis, director of information technology for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said equipment can be replaced, but data may be lost forever. This is very true statement! Here are some important steps that Davis recommends: Before Storm “It is important to back up your data and store the backup someplace besides your home or business,” Davis said. “This will reduce your stress after a disaster and enable a quicker return to norma...

  • Keep this Labor Day weekend safe with food tips

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Aug 29, 2019

    Labor Day is commonly celebrated as the last hurrah to summer! It’s lots of fun activities and a chance to spend time with family and friends during the last long 3-day weekend of summer. Friends, families and grilling make for a memorable holiday! My fellow colleague Janice Hall, a regional food safety agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, reminds us to be aware of safe food handling practices. “If we don’t handle and prepare foods in safe ways, we could make family, friends and ourselves sick,” said Hall. “Food that is handled,...

  • Tips to help pack safe school and work lunches

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest writer|Aug 22, 2019

    Make sure your child's lunch passes from your kitchen to the school lunch room in A+ condition! These tips are ideal for everyone that takes their lunch to school, work or on a staycation (day-trip) too. Start Off Each Day Fresh If you prepare your child's lunch in the morning before school, avoid time-crunch shortcuts that can lead to foodborne illness. Make sure counter surfaces are clean and last night's food remnants are gone. This helps to prevent cross-contamination. Clean your child's lunch box or lunch bag with warm soapy water before...

  • Tips for safe after school snacking at home alone

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Aug 15, 2019

    As children go back to school to feed their hungry minds, parents will be turning their attention to feeding those hungry bodies with healthy and nutritious snacks at home. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today issued tips to keep kids safe from food poisoning as they prepare their favorite treats, sometimes unsupervised by mom or dad. Consumers of all ages need to be aware that bacteria in food can make them sick, but there are ways to reduce their risk of food poisoning. Back to school...

  • School's back in, follow these tips for breakfast

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Aug 8, 2019

    Caution: School Beginning! ABC, as easy as 1-2-3! School will start soon for you and me kid! This little “ditty” is dancing through my mind now as children prepare to start the new school year this week. Can you believe it? Where did the summer go? Children, parents and teachers are all excited about it! YEAH! Some children are so excited that they are not conscious of their surroundings – including ongoing traffic. Let’s remember to slow it down when we see children walking or running around their schools and along the streets - especia...

  • Tips to planning a last minute summer vacation

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Aug 1, 2019

    It’s count down time to the beginning of school and the end of summer and you haven’t had a vacation yet! What to do? Perhaps, you are saving up for that dream trip next summer but you’d still like to take a break and have some fun this year. How can your family and you enjoy yourselves without breaking the bank? The answer might be right in your own backyard! Plan a staycation. Rather than traveling out of the area, use your home as base and plan some fun activities – family game time, camping out in the backyard and making s’mores, or running...

  • Tips and recipes on how to get the best of figs

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Jul 25, 2019

    Got Figs? Both Mrs. Frances Rallings and Johnny Hall of Brewton do! They have an abundance of figs on their trees this year. Johnny plans to have his first canning experience making Strawberry Fig Preserves and Mrs. Rallings will continue treating her family members to an old family recipe for Fig Newtons. They love receiving homemade batches of cookies in the mail. I’m really impressed! For health conscious people, figs are one of the most highly sought fruits in the United States. Research has shown figs to be a good source of dietary fiber,...

  • Tips and recipes to get the benefits of blueberries

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Jul 18, 2019

    The 2019 Blueberry Festival is a long, gone, happy memory; however, many of you are still finding fresh blueberries. My neighbor Marcia White recently surprised me with delicious and healthy blueberry muffins. The muffins were plump full of blueberries for me to enjoy. WOW! When you think of the nutrient content of blueberries – they are considered a natural superfood, are rich in fiber and a great source of antioxidant vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Research has found that blueberries may help prevent prostate cancer, protect against h...

  • Tips to avoid the dangerous heat of summer

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Jul 11, 2019

    WHOA! It is so-oo-ooo HOT! Every time I have stepped outside the last few days, I imagined that I stepped into a room in which someone was pouring water on hot rocks. It's hot, steamy, and hard to breathe. But I'm not really in a sauna—I'm just in Lower Alabama on a HOT summer day! Even though this article was written last summer it’s very relevant now!. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), one or more parts of the United States will experience a heat wave each summer. Heat waves in our part of the country tend to combine high tem...

  • Tips for picnic safety this National Picnic Month

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Jul 4, 2019

    “Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’…and we want to handle all foods safely before we cook, grill or fry”! (A play on words from one of my favorite songs by George Gershwin) Summer holidays provide a break from school and work, but we shouldn't break from being smart about food safety. More care is needed since foodborne illnesses increase during the summer. July is National Picnic month and summer picnics are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and each other's company. Keep your picnics with family and friends healthy and safe...

  • Tips to help you make healthier dairy choices

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Jun 27, 2019

    Are You Drinking or Eating Enough Dairy Foods for the Health Benefits? Did you know June is National Dairy Month? It is a great time to learn more about dairy foods and how they fit into a healthy-eating pattern. All age groups except for young children 1–3 years old are below the recommended intake for dairy foods according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Dairy provides many health benefits, so it is important to add more fat-free and low-fat dairy foods to your meals and snacks. DAIRY IS NUTRITIOUS Milk is the fou...

  • Tips on pickling food and the perfect pickle

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Jun 20, 2019

    When people hear the word “pickle”, many automatically think of cucumber pickles. However, there are many foods that can be pickled. Pickling foods at home may sound difficult or time consuming, but there are both quick and traditional options for people to choose from. Ways to Pickle Food There are several different ways to make pickled foods. Nearly any type of food can be pickled. Rebecca Catalena, an Alabama Extension regional agent of food safety and quality, said there are four basic types of pickles: • brined or fermented • fresh p...

  • Brewton Blueberry Festival is this Saturday

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Jun 13, 2019

    It’s time to paint the town BLUE! This coming weekend all roads lead to Jenning’s Park in Brewton, AL for the 39th Annual Alabama Blueberry Festival. We are inviting you to come and join us for this BIG EVENT! The Festival will be held Saturday, June 15th from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It will be a day full of good wholesome food, fun, and entertainment for the entire family. If you are not familiar with Brewton, just follow the signs and look for the old Ritz Movie Theatre Marquee in downtown Brewton where Hwy 31 and Hwy 41 intersect. (Je...

  • Tips to avoid dehydration these summer months

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Jun 6, 2019

    “Whee, it’s Hot!” “Oh, Boy it’s HOT out here and it’s not even summer yet!” These are a few of the sentiments I have heard lately about the weather. Amy Mullins, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in the Panhandle has the perfect tips to avoid the dangers of dehydration on these hot summer days. I’m sharing her article and refreshing recipes with you today. Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than an ice-cold glass of water! Water is an essential component to good health. In fact, it makes up 60% of your body’s weight and is inv...

  • Tips to stay healthy while traveling this summer

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|May 30, 2019

    Staying Healthy While Traveling – 15 Brilliant Ideas Hooray! The last school bell has rung. School is finally out and it’s time for vacation. Do you have vacation or travel plans? Getting sick while traveling can be such a drag. Trust me… I know! Staying Healthy While Traveling does not need to be a challenge! There are so many simple things you can do to stay healthier on your next trip! Here are a few health tips: 1. Wash Your Hands Often If you want the one EASIEST way to stay healthy, this is it! We all know washing your hands is the best w...

  • Tips to help prepare for hurricane season

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|May 23, 2019

    Congratulations 2019 Graduates! Just saying Congratulation seems hardly enough, For the hours you spent studying and all that stuff. But, hey, it’s a word nevertheless. Graduates, we are proud of you for doing your best! So all the long hours have finally ended; But there is still work ahead. . . you’’re just beginning. We wish you continued success. Keep your best foot forward and you will always pass the test. By Marjorie Woods Hurricane Season Hurricane season is just around the corner! It runs from June 1st to November 30th with the peak...

  • Lessen your chances of a stroke with these tips

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|May 16, 2019

    "I will not have a stroke." That small sentence is a powerful declaration. A promise of change. A focus on prevention. I will make changes to my daily life that help prevent stroke. I will help my family make changes that prevent stroke. Whether it's my first or another, I will not have a stroke. Stroke Risk Factors Stroke is preventable, treatable and beatable. Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by not smoking, making healthy food choices, getting enough physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and treating conditions such as...

  • Tips to keep women healthy for Mother's Day

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|May 9, 2019

    Mother’s day is this Sunday, May 12th. We would like to extend Best Wishes and a Happy Mother’s Day to all the “Special Women” in your life that have shown you some “Motherly Love” through the years. It could be your Aunt, Auntie, co-worker, daughter, friend, Grandma, Granny, Mama, Mi Mi, Me Maw, Mommy, Mother, Nana, sister, and sister-in-law. It’s a time we recognize the importance of being a female and the beauty and responsibility that it entails. However, May is also a time for women to think about their health and what we can all do to...

  • Asthma Awareness Month brings helpful tips

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|May 2, 2019

    May is Asthma Awareness Month, and it’s time to bring awareness of a chronic incurable, inflammatory disorder of the airways. Did you know that Asthma is one of our nation’s most common and costly diseases? There is no known cause and over 20 million people have it. The severity of asthma, as well as the frequency of asthma episodes (“attacks”), can be influenced by exposures to allergens and/ irritants (“triggers”) in the environment, both indoors and outdoors. It is important to know that Asthma attack triggers are often hidden. The most co...

  • Don't panic over bed bugs-tips to respond well

    Carolyn Bivins, Guest Writer|Apr 25, 2019

    A man stopped by the office the office the other day to get some “bugs” identified. He discovered the pests crawling out of his recliner. The County Agent quickly identified the bugs as “Bed Bugs” Yikes! He was the third person to bring this type of “bug” to the office in less than a month. That’s very interesting to say the least. The first thing people think about when they hear the word bed bug is “Ewww!” According to Dr. Jody Green, an Extension Educator, the truth is, bed bugs do not discriminate and can affect all individuals, fami...

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