Family Blog Posts

This Valentine's arrangement has a stuffed bear and a red heart hugging an arrangement of twigs with candy attached using red ribbon.

February 6, 2018

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you might already be racking your brain for a gift idea to give to that special someone. Have you ever thought of making the gift yourself?    (Photo/video by Jonathan Parrish)

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Graphic with five tips for staying healthy during winter

January 19, 2018

With more than 200 viruses that cause the common cold, it may seem impossible to avoid getting sick.
Flu cases in the southern states are unusually high this year, as well.
(Graphic by: Kim Trimm)

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Close-up of a young leafy green vegetable plant growing in a salad table with other herbs and marigolds.

January 16, 2018

If you are planning for your vegetable garden this spring, a salad table or two might be in order. Salad tables are a great addition to a traditional vegetable garden or wonderful on their own.
​(Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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Two birds visit a platform feeder full of black oil sunflower seeds

January 9, 2018

2018 arrived with a breath of fresh, frigid air. Colder temperatures can mean limited food for our feathered friends. Many people like to provide supplemental food for birds in the winter, which is a great way to draw birds to your backyard for observation.

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Two women smile as they enjoy colorful potted ornamental plants.

January 3, 2018

If you’d like to volunteer more in the New Year, Extension has some wonderful opportunities. We have volunteer organizations designed for all ages and interests, including gardening, healthcare, natural resources and youth development.

Here’s a brief description of four of our...Read more

flowers

December 6, 2017

Teaching your children or grandchildren about nature can start in your own backyard. Birdwatching is a simple, inexpensive way to start a conversation about our natural resources and their importance in the ecosystem.

But first, you’ll need a set of binoculars that you can actually see through clearly. If you have only one set, you’ll want to adjust them properly for each user. 

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Dunes with grass appear in the foreground with the sun shining on the blue waters of the Mississippi Sound at Graveline Bayou in Jackson County.

December 1, 2017

Take a deep breath. It’s December 1.

The year is almost over, which feels impossible.

Your “To Do” list may cover several pages. Your calendar may be full.

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Bud vases filled with greenery, holly berries and roses

November 28, 2017

With Thanksgiving celebrations behind us, we’re beginning to decorate our homes for Christmas, and calendars are filling up with Christmas parties. That has everyone thinking about hostess gifts, parting gifts and thoughtful gifts for friends.

Our floral design specialist Jim DelPrince has an easy, inexpensive bud vase that can meet all those needs. He’ll show you how it’s done.

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Invasive fire ants crawl over a mound of soil. (File photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)

November 8, 2017

Just when we think we’ve conquered our tiny foes, it rains, and fresh fire ant mounds pop up in our yard.

Like many tasks around the house, fighting fire ants feels like a constant battle. My husband and I finally started seeing some progress when we followed recommendations from MSU Extension’s expert, Dr. Blake Layton. (Yeah, that’s a side benefit of my job, learning all kinds of practical information!)

You can find information specifically targeted for the areas in which you want to control fire ants at this dedicated fire ant ...Read more

a thumbs up symbol for remembering to say thank you while trick or treating.

October 23, 2017

Halloween brings back all kinds of memories from my childhood. From uncomfortable masks to itchy, thick face paint, not all of my brilliant costumes turned out as well as I had imagined. When I got too old to go out, I loved to answer the door and ask the kids to demonstrate skills related to their costume. 

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A diverse group of youth displaying 4-H signs.

October 3, 2017

Ready “to make the best better”? October 1 is the official start of the 4-H year!*

*If you don’t know what 4-H is, start here, with 4-H Wants You!

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Extension for Real Life header image

August 29, 2017

Computers can be a pain in the neck – literally. But parents can help children prevent repetitive strain injury by following a few tips from Dr. David Buys, Extension health specialist.

An appropriately configured desk area encourages proper posture. When seated at a computer, both feet should be on the floor and the arms should be at a 45 degree angle to the keyboard.

There is no need to buy a completely new set-up to help children maintain proper posture during those late-night homework assignments. A few smaller purchases and adjustments can help

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August 15, 2017

We’ve all seen that child with what has to be a burdensome backpack. But parents may not know that their children can suffer short- and long-term pain from an overloaded backpack or from carrying a backpack the wrong way. 

Dr. Will Evans, a professor and head of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion at Mississippi State University, practiced chiropractic health care for 17 years before earning a second degree in health promotion and epidemiology.

“The stress of back pack use over a number of years can be cumulative and cause pressure on disks...Read more

 

 

 

About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu

Recent Posts

USDA graphic explains egg grades and sizes and what the carton labels mean
Get the Facts on Eggs
Green leaves cover branches that end in pink crape myrtle blossoms.

Flowering crape myrtles bloom through Mississippi’s hot summers and should be pruned in February or March. (Photo by Gary Bachman)

How to Prune a Crape Myrtle
An assortment of green, orange, and red vegetables are arranged in a heart shape.

Eating fruits and vegetables is part of a heart healthy diet. (Photo by Canstock)

February is Heart Health Month!