[NFB-NM] NFBNM Newsletter: Que Pasa, August 2020

nfbnewmexicosecretary at gmail.com nfbnewmexicosecretary at gmail.com
Sun Aug 2 18:11:04 UTC 2020

August 2020
Newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico, published
on www.nfbnm.org, on New Mexico Newsline, and on NFB Newsline.
Adelmo Vigil
President, NFB of New Mexico
E-mail: nfbnewmexicopresident at gmail.com
(575) 921-5422
Tonia Trapp, Editor
E-mail: nfbnewmexicosecretary at gmail.com
(505) 856-5346
To submit an article or recipe for possible inclusion in this newsletter,
please email it to nfbnewmexicosecretary at gmail.com. By submitting your
article or other material, you are agreeing to the following:
*You assert that your article does not violate any confidentiality,
copyright, or other laws, and that it is not intended to slander, defame, or
*The NFB of New Mexico (NFBNM) has the discretion to publish and distribute
the article either in whole or in part.
*NFBNM is authorized to edit the article for formatting, length and content.

*NFBNM reserves the right to not publish submissions for any reason.


The National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico (NFBNM) is a 501(c)(3)
consumer organization comprised of blind and sighted people committed to
changing what it means to be blind. Though blindness is still all too often
a tragedy to those who face it, we know from our own personal experience
that with training and opportunity, it can be reduced to the level of a
physical nuisance. We work to see that blind people receive services and
training to which they are entitled and that parents of blind children
receive the advice and support they need to help their youngsters grow up to
be happy, productive adults. We believe that first-class citizenship means
that people have both rights and responsibilities, and we are determined to
see that blind people become first-class citizens of these United States,
enjoying their rights and fulfilling their responsibilities. The most
serious problems we face have less to do with our lack of vision than with
discrimination based on the public’s ignorance and misinformation about
blindness. Join us in educating New Mexicans about the abilities and
aspirations of New Mexico’s blind citizens.
(Adapted from NFB of Ohio newsletter.) 


Here are the answers we received, in no particular order, and with no
identifying information:
I am grateful for my family and friends. Both are always ready to listen to
me and both are always ready to guide me if indeed I need guiding, and I am
always there for them.
I am grateful that I still have my mother. 
I’m grateful for the fact that my nearly 98-year-old grandfather is still
with us. I’m grateful to be back at work after taking time off during the
lockdown. I’m grateful for the fact that my brother- and sister-in-law have
provided me with safety glasses to wear in addition to my masks, and that
they’ve brought me food and drink during the pandemic. 
Truthfully, I am grateful for Absolutely Everything! To mention only a few
specifics--my sense of humor and those who understand it, cooler days of
late, my good health, the opportunities to serve others, and our governor.
I am grateful for my friends at the Commission for the Blind and all of the
support that I have received from them. I am also grateful for my husband
and his complete support over the many years that we have known each other.
I am grateful for my friends and family who give me loving support through
both difficult and good times. I am blessed to have all of them in my life.
I am grateful to God for His amazing love and the many blessings He has
given me: my wonderful husband, a job that I love doing, a home, good
friends, and so much more.
I am very grateful for my talking books and to be able to knit. I have not
been held back by the Coronavirus because I have these two items to keep me
I am so thankful for Instacart, Doordash, and Walmart delivery. It is so
nice to get items delivered when you can access them independently without
having to rely on Uber and Lyft and spending more money to get to and from a
store. These 3 apps have helped me out considerably. It is nice to have more
options, and I am so thankful for the essential workers that work hard to
help us live the life we want!
I am thankful for the proliferation of knowledge on various subjects, and
having reliable accessible technology to educate myself on many topics of
I am grateful for what I have and who I have in my life. Many blessings


By Gabriella Smith
Some of us were thinking that with all the new members we’re continuously
getting in our state affiliate, you might want to know who’s doing what and
where. So we’ve decided on spotlighting a couple of members in every issue
of Que Pasa. This issue we begin with Ernie Esquibel of the Albuquerque
Chapter and German Benitez of the West Mesa Chapter. 
Our first spotlight is Ernie Esquibel. Ernie has been a member of the
National Federation of the Blind for 5 years. He joined after he lost his
sight to diabetes. After he lost his sight, Ernie stayed at home for a year
doing nothing, until someone told him about the NFB. He was connected with a
cane instructor and was soon invited to attend his first chapter meeting. He
was impressed by the people he met, and he wanted to learn more.
When he was new to the NFB, Ernie was asked to emcee the White Cane Banquet.
He was very nervous and even attempted to ask for someone else to be the
emcee, but Peggy Chong insisted that he do it anyway. Behind the podium, he
found his sense of belonging and realized the NFB was his family. He says it
was an amazing experience, and it encouraged him to further develop his ties
with the Federation.
Ernie is the fundraising chair for the NFB of New Mexico. He believes
fundraising is not about the money, but about community outreach. He says
his favorite part is the relationships he builds with the community. Ernie
says it is difficult to plan a fundraiser during the pandemic, but he would
like to run a bake sale through Zoom, and he already has orders for
biscochitos. When he is able to, he would love to be able to host a “fall
crawl”-style outdoor event with live music.
Ernie’s goals for the future are to grow the National Federation of the
Blind, continue fundraising, build connections with the mayor’s office, and
be a good example to the community. The Federation is his job and his
Next is German Benitez. German has been a member of the NFB since 1997. He
started in the student division, attended an NFB national convention, and
found his home in the NFB philosophy. German is now the president of the
West Mesa Chapter and says he enjoys it. Like everything else, he says, it
comes with both rewards and challenges. He was elected in April, and he says
he is still learning the ins and outs of the position. His favorite part
about being president is getting to learn from previous presidents and the
other members of the chapter.
German is also the West Mesa Chapter’s fundraising chair. He enjoys selling
things, but it can be difficult balancing that with being president. German
says he is thankful for his good fundraising team, so it’s not just him
making decisions. He says his favorite part about being fundraising chair is
getting to decide how the chapter will raise money, and he gets to hear
ideas from everyone in the fundraising committee.
German was born in Mexico and grew up in Texas. He lost his sight due to a
high fever when he was seven. He didn’t know any other blind people until he
was 14, and he didn’t know about the NFB until he moved to New Mexico in
1997. His hobbies include reading, talking on the phone, and going on walks.
German hopes one day to be able to work for either Humanware or Hims
providing tech support.


WHEREAS, the Americans With Disabilities Act was introduced in the U.S.
Senate on May 9, 1988, in order to clearly and comprehensively prohibit
on the basis of disability, which was both commonplace and accepted at the
time; and 
WHEREAS, Tom Harkin, a U.S. senator from Iowa, introduced the legislation in
a speech partly delivered in signed language on behalf of his deaf brother;
WHEREAS, the legislation guarantees to people with disabilities rights in
employment; state and local government services; public accommodations, and
WHEREAS, the Americans With Disabilities Act also requires removal of
architectural and communication barriers and requires reasonable employment
for people with disabilities; and 
WHEREAS, the Americans With Disabilities Act passed the Senate on September
7th, 1989, and the House of Representatives on May 22nd, 1990, with strong
support in both chambers, sending a resounding message that this nation
would no longer tolerate isolation, segregation and second-class citizenship
people with disabilities; and 
WHEREAS, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities
Act on July 26th, 1990; and 
WHEREAS, known commonly as the ADA, the Americans With Disabilities Act is
the landmark civil rights legislation for people with disabilities; and 
WHEREAS, July 26th, 2020, marks the 30th anniversary of the historic signing
of the Americans With Disabilities Act: 
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of the State of New
Mexico, do hereby proclaim July 26th, 2020, as 
throughout the state of New Mexico. 
Maggie Toulouse Oliver 
Secretary of State 
Done at the Executive Office this 17th day of July 2020. 
Witness my hand and the Great Seal of the State of New Mexico. 
Michelle Lujan Grisham 


For Immediate Release: 
July 24, 2020 
Contact: Matt Baca -- (505) 270-7148 
Attorney General Balderas, State Treasurer Eichenberg, and State Auditor
Colón recognize Americans with Disabilities Act Day 
Santa Fe, NM---Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas joined State
Treasurer Tim Eichenberg and State Auditor Brian Colón in recognizing the
Americans with Disabilities Act Day. On July 17, 2020, Governor Michelle
Luján Grisham declared July 26, 2020 as Americans with Disabilities Act Day
in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
“It is important for us to recognize the anniversary enacting this historic
piece of legislation, which provides access and opportunities for
individuals with disabilities, but we must continue the fight,” said
Attorney General Balderas. “We will continue to stand with New Mexican
families and fight for equity and justice.” 
“We are proud to offer ABLE New Mexico through the State Treasurer’s
Office,” said Eichenberg. “Nearly 500 New Mexicans have opened accounts
through ABLE to save money for their needs, without jeopardizing the
assistance they receive from other programs. We can serve so many more
people in New Mexico, though. We hope that this celebration of the Americans
with Disabilities Act Day will shine a light on ABLE New Mexico so that
folks will reach out to us for more information.” 
“Having grown up with a father who had Muscular Dystrophy and passed away at
the age of 49, the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act is
personal to me. I am proud to recognize this day, for all who live with a
disability and thrive because of the support the ADA guarantees, in honor of
my father,” said Auditor Colón. “The ADA guarantees rights for our most
vulnerable populations--individuals who are our family, friends, neighbors,
and colleagues. It gives assurances they will not face discrimination on the
basis of a disability. Today we mark the 30th anniversary of the passing of
this important legislation and celebrate how it is possible to agree,
regardless of politics, that nobody should be treated differently or
unfairly because they live with a disability.” 
This past October the Attorney General, State Auditor and State Treasurer
hosted a summit on disabilities: The Dream Bigger Summit - Creating a More
Inclusive New Mexico. The summit scheduled for October 2020 will be
postponed due to COVID-19. 


By Carlos Sanchez
I'm still fighting for my Independence 
My freedom was taken away from me
So long ago the battle started 
I fight a fight you can't see 
But some choose to walk away and not noticed me
But I hear the flag waving, she's waving at me 
Her bright vivid colors have set me free, 
Red white and blue is what makes me, me
The battle will continue, but I will fight this fight even if I cannot see, 
I will become stronger because there is still a vision in me 
I will see 2020 further than what eyes can meet
So many things are beyond my battle, 
But I will stand strong and be proud and fight for me 
I will work harder to climb that ladder, 
When my hands are weathered and my knees are weak 
I remember the distance I traveled independently 
Some say pain is weakness leaving the body 
I say pain is there to remind you to be stronger
I will fight until I can no longer, 
This means war.


By Veronica Smith, President, SAGE Division
For the first time ever, the National Federation of the Blind went virtual.
Some might say, “what in the world is virtual?” Well, in the times we are
now living in, the 21st century, it means we attended a meeting via our
computers or our telephones, whether they were landlines or cell phones. It
was, for sure, an interesting ride.
For the first time ever, because of the Coronavirus that has made our lives
anything but normal, schools are closed or on some kind of abbreviated
schedules--mostly not in-person. Banks can only be accessed through drive-up
windows or by appointment, and grocery stores and most restaurants can only
be entered if, and only if, you are wearing a mask around your nose and
Social Distancing has become the term you hear most often, and that means
you cannot or should not stand closer than six feet from another person. So
needless to say, having an in-person national convention could not and did
not happen. Instead, we went virtual, thus having the largest NFB convention
ever. 8,261 individuals logged in or dialed in to hear sensational, dynamic
speeches. Needless to say, they were inspiring and invigorating. 
Our spectacular Senior Division Seminar was a bit confusing for everyone who
attended. Zoom had already been mastered by some; but even so, using Zoom
for a meeting of this size, with well over a hundred people, made it a bit
tedious. But somehow we got through it, and after all was said and done, it
was successful.
The meeting started out with Ms. Kattie Dugan from Georgia and Mr. Darryl
Rice from Michigan sharing their 2019 experiences as participants in the
second annual Senior Retreat at Rocky Bottom, South Carolina. This was a
time for the senior blind, 55 and older, to get together and learn what it
means to be blind and independent. They learned how to function using
Learning Shades (blindfolds). These individuals were also expected to use
long white canes or dog guides to get around. They learned to cook without
sight, and they learned how much fun it was to take long walks through
nature. They learned how to mark their appliances so they could
independently use them. Everyone enthused about how much fun they had. 
We also enjoyed what author Ms. Deborah Kendrick had to say about her two
newest books: When Your Ears Can’t Help You See, and Navigating Healthcare
When All They Can See Is That You Can’t. The books talk about what it’s like
to lose both sight and hearing. In these books, Ms. Kendrick writes about
techniques, skills and common sense to navigate healthcare, and she gives
suggestions about how to determine best practices for yourself. Right now
the only place you can find these sensational books is through National
Braille Press. 
Mr. Ben Cooper from Benetech Corporation gave an update on BookShare, an
online service for downloading books. He told us about the hundreds of
thousands of digital books that are there for the taking for a small price
of $50 a year. That’s not at all a bad price for the 900,000-plus books and
magazines that they have. Just imagine buying each of the 180 books one of
the participants said they had read in one year. Wow, that is a lot of
We enjoyed listening to a panel of individuals who shared what the senior
divisions in their states were doing. As the president of the senior
division in New Mexico, I talked about when the division was started in 1996
by Christine Hall. She was instrumental in bringing it to life and naming it
SAGE, which stands for Senior Action Group Energy. Years ago the division
was quite active, but in recent years it has been meeting only once a year
at the state convention. 
In January of this year, I asked our affiliate president, Adelmo Vigil, if
we could hold division meetings via conference call. In February, it came to
pass. The first few months were slow: only a very few people attended the
meetings. In May we combined our meeting with the Chapter At Large, and
several more people joined the meetings. In June we began having a guest
speaker, and we are excited and hopeful that this will be the key to having
more individuals attend. If you want to find out more about our senior
division (SAGE), call Veronica Smith at (505) 269-1034 or send an email to
nfbnm.sage at gmail.com. Our goal is to meet the second Monday of every month
via Zoom. The meetings start at 7 PM and last anywhere from one hour to one
and a half hours. 
The Senior Division was not the only virtual event that you could dial into
or access through the Zoom platform. You could actually enjoy the Exhibit
Hall, Board Meeting, Fund Raising Committee meeting, or membership meeting.
You could join in and listen to the impassioned arguments that people
presented about why their proposed resolutions should be passed. You could
enjoy music played by the Performing Arts Division, or you could hear how
this or that was made at the Crafter’s Korner. Like any other convention,
there was just too much to do during the week of July 14-18.
After all was said and done, I am positive that we all had a spectacular
week at our first ever National Federation of the Blind virtual convention.
Not once did I get lost going from room to room. Not once did I have to wait
in enormous lines to get something to eat. Not once did I pay way too much
for food or lodging, and not once did I die from the heat. I did, however,
bring my own dinner to the banquet festivities for the first time ever, and
I missed the comradery with my friends. All in all, we were living the life
we want!


By Veronica Smith
The senior division of the NFB of New Mexico, Senior Action Group Energy
(SAGE), has recently joined forces with our Chapter at Large group. We are
meeting every month on the second Monday. All are welcome, regardless of
your age or what part of New Mexico you call home. That is because sometimes
a person may feel like a senior even though they are not, and sometimes
people who have an NFB chapter in their area enjoy the chance to get
together with their blind peers outside of their regular chapter meetings. 
We would love for you to come and join us. Come with questions. We might
just have the answers. And if you would like to be a speaker at one of our
meetings, please let me know. I am the current president of SAGE, and I can
be reached at  <mailto:nfbnm.sage at gmail.com> nfbnm.sage at gmail.com or by
phone at (505) 269-1034. 
 We meet each month via the Zoom platform. Don’t feel threatened by using
it, because it is like many other things: scary at the beginning, but in
reality, not as hard as it might appear.
Here is the information you will need in order to join us!
If you dial into the meeting with a phone call, you should bear in mind the
following two commands which you can enter using the phone's keypad:
Star 6 is the command to mute and unmute yourself during the meeting.
Star 9 is the command to raise or lower your virtual hand.
To join the meeting, call 408-638-0968. Enter the meeting ID 995-8835-2622,
followed by pound.
If you are using your iPhone to dial into the meeting, take advantage of the
following one-tap mobile link here:
Here is the direct link to join the Zoom meeting using the Zoom software on
your computer:
 <https://zoom.us/j/99588352622> https://zoom.us/j/99588352622
If any of this information is confusing, please feel free to call me
directly at (505) 269-1034.


By Nancy Burns
The unfortunate truth is that history does indeed repeat itself. Throughout
the decades, racial inequality, wars, and social injustice have been only a
few of the causes of massive demonstrations in this country. The number and
scope of details available to the public about a given event have changed
with the ability to capture these events with modern technology. The process
of photographing and bringing real-time events directly into homes through
social media and the Internet impacts society on a level never before
Social injustice weighs heavily on all minorities, large or small. One such
minority group is that of people who happen to be blind. The National
Federation of the Blind (NFB), founded in 1940, was organized to fight for
the rights of blind or visually impaired citizens. There have been peaceful
demonstrations to bring the issue of social injustice to the general public.
These demonstrations are always small and non-violent. 
On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis Police detained George Floyd, an African
American male. Video of this event clearly shows a white officer brutally
holding Floyd down with a knee across his neck. Floyd can be heard saying
that he could not breathe. His pleas were ignored. He was taken to the
hospital where he later died. Rioting immediately broke out as people
demanded the arrest of the offending officer.
Now let’s back-track to January, 2020, when a virus later known as COVID-19
seemed to be creeping its way into the U.S. The apparent origin of this
frequently-deadly virus was determined to be in China. All too soon,
COVID-19 became a real pandemic taking the lives of people all around the
globe. Doctors and scientists were at a loss as to the cause as well as the
cure. As weeks turned into months, the death toll rapidly rose. Social
distancing became a common phrase, as it was believed that close interaction
was a factor in the spread of this killer virus. Weddings, graduation
ceremonies, and other events were canceled or rescheduled.
Face masks and gloves were strongly recommended to be used when going out in
public. As the virus spread, scientists and doctors believed that it was
being spread from human to human. Hospitals were filled to capacity with
infected patients, and the death toll continued to rise. Stores, shops, and
non-essential businesses were closed in an attempt to slow the progress of
COVID-19. People were ordered not to congregate in large groups.
Unemployment rates sky-rocketed. The federal government was slow to act, but
Congress did finally approve financial assistance for those workers impacted
by job loss. 
The U.S. economy continued to plunge, and the Stock Market was shut down for
the first time since the Great Depression. Anxiety and frustration grew
throughout the country. Long food lines became all too prevalent.
Frustration increased as demands were made for businesses to reopen.
Scientists and doctors scrambled to determine the exact cause, as well as to
find a cure and hopefully a vaccine, in order to curtail the spread of this
killer virus.
Add all of this to the fact that a white police officer took the life of a
black male, and you have the perfect formula for the creation of chaos.
Rioting erupted in every large city of the U.S. Store fronts were shattered,
businesses looted, and buildings set on fire. Minneapolis, Pittsburg, New
York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and many other cities were under
siege. The frustration of job loss, food shortages, and forced quarantine
set the stage for this violence. 
Life became more difficult for the blind population. Some were able to work
at home. In most cities public transportation was curtailed, if it existed
at all. Without the ability to get around, such things as appointments with
doctors and other service providers were delayed or even canceled. It became
necessary for many people to pay for grocery delivery rather than
independently shopping. Blind students were severely impacted because of the
inability to receive hard-copy lessons. Learning by computer was not always

My life now extends back not only for years, but for decades. This fact has
allowed me to personally observe many of these uprisings. One such horrific
incident was due to the results of the Rodney King trial. At that time, I
was living in Burbank, California. A business appointment had taken me to
South Los Angeles. Miraculous timing allowed me to miss the intersection of
Florence and Normandie by minutes. A racially-explosive incident at that
intersection sparked the beginning of six horrific days of looting and
burning. The cause of this violent uprising was the fact that the media had
just released information that the four white officers were acquitted in the
trial based upon the savage beating of Rodney King, an African American
construction worker. King suffered broken bones and numerous cuts and
bruises along with brain damage. The incident was partially filmed, and that
was finally entered as evidence into the trial. 
There are certain similarities between the Rodney King beating and the
murder of George Floyd. Both incidents were followed by days of violence and
unrest. The murder of Floyd has once again brought the issue of police
brutality directed toward the African American population into the
spotlight. Combine this violence with the devastating results of the
pandemic, and the fuel for civil disobedience has been ignited. The issue of
police brutality against citizens of color is again front and center. Both
of these disasters along with other similar racially-explosive violations
brought attention to the problem. Long-standing discrimination can never be
eradicated quickly or easily. This is a socially complex issue: it is not
easily erased. 
As a blind woman, I have experienced discrimination, but not the violent
kind directed toward my black brothers and sisters. The subjects of my
discrimination have been mostly around housing and employment. As a college
student, I had been introduced to the NFB and found welcome support and
guidance. Along the way, it became clear that solidarity and a united front
formed the backbone of this organization. 
It was my honor and privilege to participate in several non-violent
demonstrations organized by the NFB. Many of these were peacefully
protesting the attempt of an organization of sighted people to take over
programs of the National Federation of the Blind. Others were to protest the
practice of paying subminimum wages to blind workers. We were generally able
to attract the interest of local newspapers. The NFB participants carried
picket signs and chanted words of explanation about our cause. To my
knowledge, the demonstrators were never brutally assaulted; and we did,
hopefully, get our message out to the public. 
Discrimination against blind citizens is all too often based on pity and the
inaccurate assumption that we are inherently inferior. Blind citizens rarely
endure the violence directed toward our black brothers and sisters, but we
stand in support of their cause. NFB’s peaceful demonstrations target the
general public. Equality and first-class citizenship is the goal of these
efforts. These issues create a common thread connecting all minorities.
Discrimination is discrimination. If it exists against one segment of
society, it exists against all of us. 
Social change does not come quickly or easily, as we have learned. It is our
desire to stand shoulder to shoulder with our black brothers and sisters, as
well as with other minority groups who are experiencing societal injustice.
The National Federation of the Blind was organized and is still based upon
love, not upon violence. Nearly all minorities face some form of
discrimination. Each and every one of us shoulders the responsibility of
creating positive changes. Those of us who are members of a minority group
must keep working in order to bring about a brighter and a more positive
future. The National Federation of the Blind is determined to accomplish
just that.


By Pat Munson
Note: For a decade or so during my 35-year teaching career, I taught English
to highly-educated foreign students. They had to master listening, speaking,
reading and writing in English to continue their education at UC Berkeley. 
Since native speakers of English learn by listening, I never considered all
the problems with grammar and the use of idioms, and we shall not discuss
By contrast, nothing is changed in the French language without approval.
Once one learns pronunciation, spelling and grammar, one is set for the most
part. The same is true for a number of other languages.
Now let us get back to lovely English. When I attended kindergarten, we read
Dick and Jane, or perhaps that was not until first grade. The exact grade is
not important, for the issue at hand is the spelling of words. I believe I
was taught simply to memorize spelling. I'm sorry to report that my brain
never mastered that skill.
Now back to the matter at hand ... I shall be attending kindergarten on TV
channel five with the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS). I started learning
last spring but could not master phonics well enough to graduate to first
grade! Being tenacious, I shall make cards and work on those sounds that are
consistent. I shall also start my phone book-sized tome of all the words
that do not fit the rules! If five-year-old folks can progress, perhaps I
can also! 
One interesting learning tool for mastering spelling is stretching out one
arm and writing the letters in the air; I do this in both Braille and print.
Perhaps this helps the brain to retain the word pattern. 
Another component on the TV lessons is listening to stories the teacher
reads aloud. Sighted learners see the pictures; usually the pictures are
described so I get the idea. Some stories are educational, such as the
history of Smokey the Bear. Since he was born in New Mexico, the story is
important to learners. Another story discussed caterpillars and their
transformation into butterflies. I do not remember being so well educated at
such an early age.
Other days, the stories were fun. Mr. Lyon guarded the bridge. If one wanted
to cross the bridge, one must say please and then thank you. Yet another set
of stories discussed pets, farm animals and wild creatures. I found it
interesting that the teachers stated that pets usually live in the house and
eat special pet food, farm animals reside in a barn, and so on. Wild
creatures are completely on their own. 
The last set of pets were those one does not have to feed, walk or train. We
learned about a pet rock which was painted, had a face and even toenails! My
favorite is Mr. Hot Dog! He can be wearing a bun or not!
So, I shall be ready to study as soon as the lessons are on TV channel five
at eight in the morning. I shall really do my best with sounds in English,
and listening to stories, either fiction or nonfiction. 
Young children who do not speak English as their first language learn the
way we did and simply repeat what they hear. They are not confused by idioms
or grammar, which make no sense and follows no rules. If you are looking for
an interesting way to spend an hour, come join the lessons. Perhaps Mr. Hot
Dog will make a repeat performance! 




Submitted by Carlos Sanchez
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. shortening or lard
1-1/2 cups warm water, approximately
Mix all dry ingredients. Cut shortening into dry ingredients.
Add water, a little at a time, to make a medium dough (soft but not sticky).
Knead until smooth. 
Cover dough and let it rest 20 to 25 minutes.
Shape into flattened balls and let rest again for about 10 minutes. Roll out
on a lightly-floured board, turning ¼- way between each rolling.
Brown on a hot, ungreased griddle or Comal.


By Nancy Burns
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar (I used 1 1/2)
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
6 cups Granny Smith apples, coarsely chopped 
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2-3 tsp. green chile powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bunt pan with cooking spray.
Combine butter and sugar. Beat until creamy. Add eggs one at a time until
Slowly add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix well.
Slowly add apples and pecans. Mix with spoon, then spoon mixture into pan. 
Bake 50-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely
before removing from pan.


By Sarah Villavicencio
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded 
2 tbsp. butter, softened 
1 tbsp. and 1-1/2 tsp. mayonnaise 
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
1/8 tsp. dried basil 
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper 
1/8 tsp. onion powder 
1/8 tsp. celery salt 
1 pound Tilapia fillets 
Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan, or line pan with
aluminum foil. 

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and
lemon juice. 
Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and
set aside. 

Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches
from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn fillets over and broil for a couple
more minutes.
Remove the fillets from the oven and spread them with the Parmesan cheese
mixture, including the sides. Broil for 2-3 more minutes or until the
topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to
overcook the fish. 
All seasoning is to taste, more or less, however you prefer. 
You can add cayenne for a kick. Dried cilantro instead of basil is also
Serve with a side of rice and veggies. Enjoy.


By Daphne Mitchell
If you reside in congregate housing or an apartment community, chances are
you haven’t had access to the common resources such as outdoor cooking
spaces this summer. Longer days and near-perfect weather lend themselves
essential to the good ole backyard barbecue or cookout. Although you won’t
be able to enjoy the fragrance of a life pit, the following recipes are
mouthwatering and may help to dampen the forbidden song of the communal
grill siren. Here are a few recipes that will harken to the epic Albuquerque
and West Mesa cookout last summer, where Ernie Esquibel was crowned the
Watermelon Eating Champion.
There is a twist to these recipes: they are all Keto-approved and low-carb.
Everyone should try them out! You will notice the majority of ingredients
are all foods you possibly have in your pantries, refrigerators, or freezers
or are relatively inexpensive and easy to find at any grocery store. Pork
baby back ribs, mashed cauliflower and roasted asparagus is one of my
favorite summer meals. 


1 cryovac package of pork baby back ribs (I usually grab a 3-lb slab)
1 tbsp. granulated onion
1 tbsp. granulated garlic 
1 tbsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. Tony Chachere’s or other Cajun seasoning, divided
1 tsp. ground red or cayenne pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. Pink Himalayan salt or your salt of choice
2 tsp. brown sugar substitute (or traditional brown sugar for a non-low-carb
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
Favorite low-carb BBQ sauce, such as G. Hughes
Note: I usually marinate ribs overnight in the refrigerator, and allow the
ribs to come to room temperature on the countertop for 20 minutes before
placing them in the oven.
Pour all seasonings into a small container (granulated onion through brown
sugar substitute--except only use 1 tbsp. of the Cajun seasoning). Mix well
with a fork and spoon. Taste the blend, and adjust seasonings to your
Open your baby back ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place the ribs
onto a cutting board or other preparation surface. 
Pour half of the seasoning blend onto the rack of ribs facing up, and
massage the blend into the meat. You want to make sure you cover as much of
the meat as possible. Once you have completed this side of the rack, flip it
over and repeat the same process on the other side. 
Thoroughly wash your hands, and grab some aluminum foil or other
material/vessel to place your ribs in for marinating overnight. Remove your
rib bundle from the refrigerator about 20 to 30 minutes before you plan to
put it into the oven. 
Turn on the oven to 300 degrees F to preheat, while you mix the wet solution
for the baking process. 
In a medium-sized bowl, pour 2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, ½ cup of
apple cider vinegar, and the remaining tbsp. of Cajun seasoning and mix well
with a fork or whisk. Set aside. 
Unwrap your ribs and place them into an oven-safe pan (I use a 16X13X3 inch
roasting pan for this job). Pour all of the liquid into the roaster with
your ribs. Lift the rib rack, to make sure the rack is sitting in the wet
solution throughout the cooking process. Thoroughly wash your hands, and
then cover the roaster pan with a lid or aluminum foil. 
Once your oven is preheated, allow the ribs to bake at 300 degrees F for 2.5
to 3 hours. Take the roaster out of the oven at the appointed time, and
increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
While the oven is preheating to 400 degrees F, carefully remove the
lid/aluminum foil from the roaster and permit the steam to escape. Grab a
small bowl, your barbecue sauce, and a utensil to distribute the sauce onto
the ribs. Pour as much barbecue sauce as you prefer into the bowl. Use your
utensil to distribute or mop the ribs with the sauce. 
Once coated with the amount of barbecue sauce you like, place the roaster
uncovered into the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. This will caramelize the sauce
into a glaze on the ribs. Allow the ribs to stand on the stove top for 5 to
10 minutes prior to cutting into individual portions. 


If you’re making the Summer Bar-B-Q Dinner, then welcome to the easier
recipes! Most recipes for mashed cauliflower will instruct you to boil or
microwave the cauliflower until it is fork tender. However, I am not a fan
of the texture of the cauliflower when using either of those methods, nor
the process of ringing out the cauliflower after it is cooked. I roast the
head of cauliflower in the oven and add half of a parsnip to improve the
texture of the mash.
1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed 
½ parsnip, peeled 
A spray or two of cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil
2 oz. unsalted butter, softened 
2 oz. cream cheese, softened 
1 tbsp. minced garlic 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
A splash of milk, stock, or heavy whipping cream, to thin 
If you are making this recipe as a part of the Summer Oven Bar-B-Q Dinner,
place the vegetables into the oven as the ribs begin the caramelization
step. If you are making this recipe independently, then preheat your oven to
400 degrees F.
Wash the head of cauliflower and scrub the outside of the parsnip clean. Pat
both dry and place on a cutting board or other preparation surface. 
Pull the outer leaves from around the base of the cauliflower and discard.
If desired, you may remove the stump from the bottom of the head of
cauliflower with a knife. Peel the outer layer of skin from your parsnip
with a potato peeler or knife, and discard.
Lightly coat the head of cauliflower and parsnip with cooking spray or olive
oil, and distribute a small amount of salt and pepper onto the vegetables.
Place the vegetables on a cookie sheet or other shallow pan and then into
the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. 
While the vegetables are roasting, take your butter and cream cheese out of
the refrigerator to soften. Once the vegetables are fork tender, allow them
to cool for 5 minutes. 
You will need an emersion (stick blender), traditional blender, or potato
masher for the next step. I usually use an emersion blender or the vitamix
to make the mash. For this recipe, I will give directions for using an
emersion/stick blender. 
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 1 tbsp. of the unsalted butter on medium heat on
the cooktop. Coarsely chop the cauliflower and parsnip into large manageable
pieces inside of the roasting pan with a knife; add the chopped vegetables
to the saucepan once the butter has melted. Use the stick blender to mash
the vegetables for approximately 15 seconds. You will need to slightly lift
the stick blender and move it around the saucepan to achieve a uniform mash.
Always turn the emersion blender on and off inside of your cooking vessel. 
Add the remainder of the unsalted butter, cream cheese, and minced garlic to
the vegetables. Gently stir with a spoon. When the butter and cream cheese
have been incorporated into the mash, return the stick blender to the
saucepan and blend again for another 10 to 15 seconds or until it reaches
your desired level of thickness. You may add a splash of milk, heavy
whipping cream, or stock to achieve your preferred mash consistency.
Get a small saucer, and serve yourself a taste of the mash. Grab a clean
spoon and taste. Adjust seasonings as desired. Remember you can add shredded
cheese, bacon bits, chives or any other ingredient you would use in
traditional mashed potatoes, and make it your own. 


1 lb. fresh asparagus
2 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt
1 fresh lemon
1 pat butter or 1 tbsp. olive oil
If you’re making the asparagus with the Summer Oven Bar-B-Q Dinner, place
them in the oven to roast when the ribs begin the caramelization process. If
you’re making the asparagus as a stand-alone dish, then preheat your oven to
400 degrees F. 
Divide the bundle of asparagus into 3 even piles. Pick-up the first bundle;
make sure to tap the flat ends on the counter, to assure the stems are even.
You’re going to remove the tough, woody, fibrous ends of the asparagus. Hold
the bundle near the center and apply light pressure to the end of the bundle
with the flat ends. Each stem will naturally break, where the fibrous
portion ends. Repeat this step for the other two bundles of asparagus. You
can discard the ends, or freeze to make homemade vegetable stock at a later
Wash the remaining stems of asparagus and your lemon. Pat them dry. 
Place all stems in an 8X8 square baking dish. Add the lemon pepper and salt
to the dish and use your hands to coat the asparagus with the seasoning. 
Grab the lemon and roll it on a clean flat surface, to begin releasing the
juice. Once the lemon has softened, cut it in half lengthwise. Hold a half
of the lemon, cut-side up, and begin squeezing the lemon juice onto your
asparagus in the pan. If you keep the lemon cut-side up, you will lessen the
chances of any of the seeds falling into the baking dish. 
Add the butter or olive oil to the pan at this time, and place the other
half of the lemon in the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil or a lid.
Allow to roast for 30 minutes. Let the asparagus stand for a few minutes and
squeeze the other half of the lemon onto the asparagus, if desired. 
The yummy Summer Bar-B-Q Dinner is ready to serve!


August 27-29: NFB of New Mexico State Convention, held virtually via Zoom
September 13, 2:00-3:00 PM: NFB Open House Gathering Call
The National Federation of the Blind invites blind people to learn more
about being a member and the benefits. Take advantage of this opportunity to
hear from active members and leaders on the myths and uncertainties of the
Federation. We will discuss membership, philosophy, and purpose.
February 8, 2021: Washington Seminar and Great Gathering-In
Best wishes,
Tonia Trapp, secretary
National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico
nfbnewmexicosecretary at gmail.com
Live the life you want.
The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and friends
who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation’s blind. Every day we work
together to help blind people live the lives they want.
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