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HELLO EVERYONE!!!

We want to wish everyone a great, safe Fourth of July weekend. This June, even with the record temperatures, things have been progressing well at TACIL. We continue service provision with dedication and focus. In this monthís edition of our newsletter we will cover the following topics:

        Recap of TACILís activities since our last newsletter

        Firework Safety

        Tips for staying cool in the summerís heat

        Recipe of the Month

        Thank-you to our collaborators

 

RECAP OF THE MONTH:

TheAbility Centerís three programs continue to do well this month of June:

        Our Independent Living Program continues providing quality services to persons with disabilities in southwestern New Mexico. We continue to provide the mandated core services plus additional optional services such equipment loans and supplementary food assistance. We continue doing Outreach in our 6-County Catchment.  Weíre happy to report that we have completed our first nursing home transitions with Amerigroup this month. Nursing home transition isnít a luxury but a necessity as many nursing home residents can lead better lives in their communities with sensory stimulation and self-direction.

        Our Social Security Payee Program continues to educate Payees on money management, with Consumers sticking to their budgets, learning about savings, and expanding their financial literacy abilities.

        Our Traumatic Brain Injury Life Skills Coaching Program continues serving Southwestern New Mexico. However, due to low numbers, this program is in jeopardy of being closedóweíll keep our subscribers informed of what happens.

        Our Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Grant ended this month and weíre happy we implemented a good projectónext month, weíll report on findings and relay the link to our evaluation report. Weíre appreciative of this opportunity to enhance the quality of life of persons who are Deaf or hard of hearing in southwestern New Mexico.

In collaboration with the Carl C. Anderson, Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation, our food bank program aimed at helping 24 low-income persons with disabilities progresses well. Implementation for June has been carried out without any problems.  A representative from the Anderson Foundation visited us this month and allowed us to expand the number of participants in the program because of the savings our collaboration with Wal-Mart has garnered for us. Weíre appreciative of this increase because we can help everyone on our waiting list. In addition, this representative provided us with information and links to further our efforts to reduce food insecurity in New Mexico.

 

Firework Safety Tips

        Use fireworks outdoors only.

        Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.

        Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).

        Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.

        Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

        Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.

        Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."

        Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.

        Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.

 

13 Free or Cheap Ways To Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

1. Open Your Windows

When the outside air is cooler than the inside, itís foolish to keep using electricity for something nature can do for you instead. We have two separate indoor/outdoor thermometer setups (one for each floor of our house) so we know exactly when we reach that tipping point. When the temperature outside is starting to drop and has sunk at least one degree less than the inside temperature, we turn off the air conditioner and throw open the windows.

Nothing is more satisfying than getting a breeze of fresh air after having your home closed up all day.

2. Turn On the Ceiling Fans

While a ceiling fan wonít make your room cooler, it will definitely make it feel cooler by speeding sweat evaporation and they cost far less to run than your air conditioner. If you donít have ceiling fans already, theyíre not very hard to install Ė Iíve added or rehung five in our house so far.

Once your fans are in, make sure the fan is set to spin in the correct direction: You want the air blowing down in summer and up in winter. If youíre not sure which way the air is moving, look at the blades as they spin: If the leading edge is higher than the trailing, it is pushing the air down. Honestly, we never turn our ceiling fans off whether we have the windows open or the air conditioner on. Itís nice to have air blowing over you and making you feel cooler.

3. Put In an Attic Fan

Weíre having a contractor friend come over soon and give us an estimate for installing an attic fan and a timer. When I was growing up, I loved it when we turned on the attic fan; the cool outside air rushing in the windows and the hum of the fan made sleeping very comfortable.

An attic van gives you the combined benefits of moving air (like a ceiling fan) and pulling in the cooler air from outside. Of course, a prerequisite for running this is opening your windows, so the best thing is wait until after dusk to open your windows and then set the timer to run at least until after youíre deep asleep. Itís an investment that can easily pay for itself in a couple of years.

4. Shut the Blinds

On hot summer days, the sun is your worst enemy. The last thing you want to do is have your air conditioner running full blast to offset the increase heat from the sunlight pouring in your windows. By closing the blinds, youíll still let in enough light to see by, but youíll reflect back the rest.

5. Run Your Furnace Fan

Many thermostats will allow you to tell the fan to run without initiating the furnace or air conditioner. By turning on your furnace fan, you cause the air to be circulated throughout the house, balancing out any cold or hot spots so that you whole house feels more comfortable. An added benefit is that it will trap any potential allergens that have been introduced by opening your windows Ė just make sure to regularly check the furnace filter and replace it when itís dark enough to block light passing through.

6. Install a Programmable Thermostat

It doesnít make much sense to cool your home while youíre gone, but itís hard to remember to tweak your thermostat every day before you leave for work. Program your thermostat to go up by five degrees about 30 minutes or so before you leave and have it come back to your ďnormalĒ temperature a half-hour before you return. For added savings, program it to also raise the termostat by two or three degrees through the night Ė youíre unlikely to notice the change in your sleep.

7. Turn Up The Thermostat A Degree Or Two

Itís recommended that you set your thermostat at 78 degrees during the summer if you have central air conditioning. Itís a pleasant temperature, but isnít necessarily the cheapest setting. If you can handle it, raise your thermostat by one or two degrees and realize a savings of about six to seven percent for each degree above 78.

8. Close Unused Vents

I donít know about your house or apartment, but there are some infrequently-used rooms in our house. If youíre not going to be in a particular room very much or very often, consider closing the vent in that room so youíre not cooling dead space. That will cause more air to come out of the other open vents, potentially allowing you to add some cooling to a room that wasnít getting it otherwise.

Note: I wouldnít recommend completely shutting the vents in a basement since the air conditioner helps remove humidity and you donít want to end up with a soggy basement.

9. Turn Off the Lights

This isnít really a suggested limited to summer, but itís most appropriate now that itís heating up. If you donít need a light on, turn it off! All light bulbs generate heat as a byproduct of producing light (even though compact fluorescents run cooler than incandescent) and why would you want to add heat to the summer mix?

What light is filtering in through your closed blinds should be sufficient to get you around the house during the day. When night falls, turn on only the lights you need only when you need them. Not only will you save electricity, but youíll also do your air conditioner a favor.

10. Hold Off On Cooking

I love chicken salad. In the summer, there is no meal I like more Ė it can be eaten chilled, you donít have to cook anything, and itís quick to prepare. Any time you turn on that stove while your air conditioner is running, youíre taking money out of your own pockets.

During the summer, do what you can to avoid turning on the stove and, if you must turn it on, turn it on in the late evening and (preferably) after youíve opened the windows for the night.

11. Leave Laundry Until Nighttime

Like a huge, spinning oven, your clothes dryer puts out a decent amount of heat. Much of that heat will be vented outside, but some will still leak into your house. The later you wait to turn it on, the better chance you have of not working against your air conditioner as much. If you live somewhere that has time-based metering of electricity, try to wait until the lower evening rate kicks in.

Of course, nothing beats line-drying in terms of electricity usage, but if your subdivision is like mine and bans outdoor clothes lines, running your dryer at night is the next best option.

12. Use Your Lowest Level

When I go down to the basement to grab something out of our storage, Iím quick to notice that itís at least 10 degrees cooler down there than our first floor. And, likewise, when I go upstairs to put away laundry in the bedroom closet, I can see that itís five degrees warmer up there. I would love to spend most of our time in the basement, but we havenít yet scraped together the funds to finish it as a living space, so weíre stuck on our main level. If you have a basement, donít hesitate to take advantage of its stable temperatures all year Ė I know we will be once we finish ours.

13. Unplug/Switch Off Unused Electronics

Not only are those wall warts eating electricity when theyíre not in use, theyíre also converting some of that power into heat. By unplugging everything you can and putting the rest on switchable surge protectors, you can potentially save yourself a lot of money and unnecessary heat.

Bonus: Turn Off the TV

I donít know about you, but our TV can really heat up! Itís a seven year-old 27? CRT and our entertainment center heats up whenever itís on for more than a few hours. If youíre not really watching something and just have it on for background noise, you can save a lot of money and heat by switching on a radio instead. As an added bonus, switching off the TV allows you to do other things, like go outside and enjoy the cool evening air first-hand instead of using any variety of cooling devices to bring that air to you!

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

A patriotic desert to enhance fourth of July Celebrations.

Red, White and Blue Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 pint blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced

Directions

1.    Prepare cake according to package directions and bake in a 9x13 inch pan. Cool completely.

2.    Frost cake with whipped topping. Place blueberries in a square in the corner, and arrange sliced strawberries as stripes to make an American flag. Chill until serving.

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 182 | Total Fat: 5.6g | Cholesterol: < 1mg

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR COLLABORATORS

The Ability Center wants to take the time to thank the following individuals and (or) organizations for the great contributions they have made to the Center helping to fulfill our mission:

        Aging and Long Term Services: Traumatic Brain Injury Program

        Blas Rel

        Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Foundation

        Casa De Oro Care Center

        Chris Van Horn

        Christina Little of the United Way of Southwestern New Mexico

        Deming Luna County Commission on Aging

        Independent Living Resource Center of Albuquerque

        Our Dedicated Board of Directors

        Our Dedicated Staff

        Rehabilitation Services Administration

        San Juan Center for Independence

        Sandra Williams

        Social Security Administration

        The McCune Charitable Foundation

        The New Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons

        The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Area 3 Office

        The New Mexico Governorís Commission on Disability

        Wal-Mart on Valley, in Las Cruces, NM

Most importantly, our Consumers for having faith in us and coming back to us for assistance to live a high quality of life in their communities free of exploitation and institutionalization.

EVERYONE BE SAFE THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND AND WE'LL BE IN TOUCH NEXT MONTH WITH MORE INFORMATION TO ENHANCE KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND THEIR NEEDS!!!

715 E. Idaho Ave., Ste 3E Las Cruces NM USA
Phone: 575-526-5016  |  Fax: 575-526-1202
http://www.theabilitycenter.org
webmaster@theabilitycenter.org