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Easy, Breezy New Year’s Resolution By Johanna Hicks


             While eating more fruits and vegetables and parking as far away from the supermarket as possible will help improve your health in 2019, here’s a resolution that can impact the lives of others — as well as your own life.  Make a resolution in 2019 to focus on your driving and drive like you would want the person in front of you, behind you, and beside you to drive.  

               On many occasions, I have found myself behind or beside a driver who is either talking on their cell phone or looking at the phone at eye level with their wrist resting on the steering wheel.  Needless to say, they often cross the striped or solid line, or dangerously weave back and forth. Put down the phone when you are driving and do not drive distracted!

Cell phones are a major distraction, but not the only distraction to drivers. Adjusting radios and GPS devices, loose pets, eating, and applying makeup while driving are just some of the other distractions when behind the wheel.  However, research shows that texting is among the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. Sending or reading an average text message takes drivers’ eyes off the road for 4 to 5 seconds, which means at 55 miles per hour, a texting driver would travel the length of a football field without looking at the road — as if being blindfolded.  Any time you take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, and especially your mind off of your driving, you put yourself, your passengers and others on the road at risk. Resolve to not use your phone this year while driving.  If you must use your phone, find a safe place to pull over.

Here are a few more driving resolutions for 2019:  Drive the posted speed limit, slow down for construction and emergency vehicles, and always drive slower and more cautiously when weather conditions are bad. Keep the proper distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you, leaving enough room to stop in an emergency.  Tailgating on narrow roads, or on major interstates only causes stress to both the front and back cars.  Be courteous and only pass in passing zones when there is plenty of room to safely do so.

Take the few seconds to put on your seatbelt and make sure that all passengers are also buckled up.  Take time to be sure that all children are riding in the correct car seat for their age, weight, and developmental stage.  Also, get a car seat inspection by a certified child passenger safety technician to make sure the car seats are being used and installed correctly.  Side note:  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Texas Department of Transportation are partnering to bring a Child Safety Seat event to Sulphur Springs on Wednesday, April 3, at the Lowe’s Parking Lot, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  We will inspect child safety seats and replace any that are not safe for the specified child, due to condition of the car seat, weight and developmental stage of the child.  There is no charge, so write the date on your calendar and help us share the word.  A previous event provided 33 new car seats for families.

And last but not least, be a role model for the teen drivers in your family and for their friends.  Show them what it means to focus on your driving.  Making a resolution to improve your driving habits in all of these driving areas may very well save your life and the lives of others on the road.

4-H Sewing Fun Day and Mystery Tour

               Every January, 4-H members in the Fashion and Interior Design project have the opportunity to expand their skills.  A fun day has been planned for Hopkins County 4-H members and guests.  The day will include a mystery tour, make-and-take projects sewn on sewing machines, and much more.  Here are the details:

  • When:  Saturday, January 26
  • Where:  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, Hopkins County, 1200 W. Houston, Sulphur Springs
  • Time:  meet at the Extension Office at 9:45 a.m.  We will carpool to our mystery destination and return to the Extension Office for the remainder of the workshop  We will dismiss around 2:00 p.m.
  • Bring:  $5, sewing supplies such as pins, sewing scissors, tape measure.  Several sewing machines will be available.
  • Lunch will be provided.
  • RSVP:  903-885-3443.  We need to know how many are coming so we can adequately prepare.

Closing Thought

One in five children reported that they don’t spend enough meaningful time with their parents.  Find special times to share with your youngster – Boys & Girls Club survey, 2012

Recipe of the Week

Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice


1 head cauliflower, rinsed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 scallions, diced

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime


  1. Remove core and wash cauliflower, then let dry completely.  Chop into florets, place in batches into a food processor, and pulse until cauliflower is the size and texture of rice.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and scallions and stir until soft, 3-4 minutes.  Raise the heat to medium high and add cauliflower.
  3. Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside.  Add salt and pepper.
  4. Remove from heat and place in a bowl.  Toss with cilantro and lime juice.

Serves 6.

Nutrition information per serving: 45 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0 saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber

Source:  Dinner Tonight – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Johanna Hicks Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Consumer Sciences 1200-B W. Houston P.O.Box 518 Sulphur springs, TX 75483 903-885-3443 – phone 903-439-4909 – Fax [email protected]

Author: Savannah Everett

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