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Sight Loss Monthly February 2022

February 2022

The Hull Foundation’s

Picture is of 5 guests at our park, fishing in the stocked trout pond. Woman is holding up a wriggling trout with a big smile on her face.  The trout is not smiling.

Sight Loss        

Monthly News


Celebrating 60 years of service!

“The publishing of this newsletter is a service of The Hull Foundation and Learning Center Inc. It is not an endorsement of any of its contents.  All products, items and other information may be used at the sole discretion of the reader.” Editors, Hull Foundation Staff



Mission Statement …p. 2

Meet Krystal Marshall …p. 3

Tip of the Month:  12 Ways to Stay Happy Through COVID …p. 4

Adaptability for Life …p. 8

Reading in the Dark Book Club …p. 16

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meeting Schedule for February…p. 18

Valentine’s Day, Your Way …p. 24

Living with Sight Loss Seminar …p. 27

Upcoming Events…p. 29

Gadget of the Month – Eyoyo Magnifier Portable Reading Aid and Scanner…p. 32

Jokes to Keep Us Laughing …p. 34

Our Mission Statement:

The mission of the Hull Foundation and Learning Center is to provide programs, facilities and services including social, educational, and recreational activities for people with blindness and sight loss.

*If you would prefer to receive this newsletter by email, or to unsubscribe, please call the Hull Foundation at 503.668.6195 or send an email to: 

Please Welcome our new Office Administrative Assistant – Krystal Marshall

The Hull Foundation and Learning Center is pleased to welcome Krystal to the Hull family and office team. Krystal is a native Oregonian and currently lives in Boring, Oregon. She joins us with almost 10 years of experience in the banking industry and has extensive office, technical and computer skills. She and her family enjoy camping, boating, and fishing, when she is not working hard in the office. Please make sure to welcome her the next time you call.

Tip of the Month:  12 Ways to Stay Happy through COVID Hard Times

By Teresa Christian, Hull Sight Loss Instructor

1: Get fresh air

Go outside even if it is for only 5 or 10 minutes. Fresh air is good for your brain. Don’t forget to wear a mask if you are in public! 

2: Let’s get physical!

Any type of exercise, even if it is only 15 minutes a day, can be a huge benefit to your wellbeing.  Being creative can benefit the body and soul, even if it is just marching in place, do something!

3: Nourish your body

Eat as well as you can. What you eat directly effects how you feel and how well you cope with stress.

4: Learn something new

Learn to play an instrument: harmonica, piano, trumpet, guitar, ukulele, or the kazoo.

Learn a new language or how to knit. Keep your brain active.

5: Read

Read books that help you relax and escape and just as important is to read books that inform you on a current topic or maybe even something spiritual.

6: Stay connected

Stay close to friends and loved ones. Staying connected is very important as we have learned during the past two years of COVID. Even if you must do Zoom and the phone, it isn’t what we’d like, but it helps.

7: Have a movie night

Watch a descriptive movie at home, then gather on Zoom and chat about the movie or whatever comes to mind. Remember the snacks and drinks.

8: Find a comedian

Check out different comedians and find a few who really make you laugh. 

9: Relaxation

Find something simple that is relaxing to you. Deep breathing for one minute, take a bubble bath, just blow bubbles or read a fun book, whatever works for you, get those creative juices flowing!

10: Find the joy

Find some way to find a little joy every day. It can be as simple as watching a sun rise or sun set, a walk, making a favorite dish, etc.

11: A gratitude list

Every night before bed write down at least three things you are grateful for. It can be as simple as that you have 10 toes or a sunset or that the day is finally over etc. Get into it and write down how and why this thing is a good thing.

12: Dream

Dream about how you want things to be as if they are already a fact in your life. 

Adaptability for Life, an interview with
Deb Marinos
By Marja Byers- Hull Sight Loss Instructor

Deb Marinos is a woman who wears many hats, I met Deb as my first counselor at the Oregon Commission for the Blind in the summer of 2010, shortly after I became legally blind. This interview will discuss her “Online Mind-Body Skills Group”, Deb will also present a Hull Zoom workshop on February 3rd about this subject. For those who may be interested in participating or wanting more information we will include a link to her flyer.

Marja: When were you diagnosed with Usher syndrome?

Deb: I was 35, a mom, self-employed as an electrical contractor – with 3 young kids and caring for my parents, who needed extensive care. Stopping driving was a huge deal because we lived 2 miles from town. No Lyft then or other transportation.

Marja: What led you to start facilitating these groups?

Deb: I started leading these groups after attending Mental Health (MH) training with the Center for Mind Body Medicine, to learn how to help people through natural or human caused disasters. To reduce the incidence of long-term harm and to safely release emotions in a healthy, nontoxic way.

I went through 3 weeklong intensive training with others and had considerable hours of supervision and assignments to complete my certification as a group facilitator.

Marja: Have you taught the classes in person or only on Zoom?

Deb: I have taught a few groups in person but find that zoom feels safer for folks since they are in control and in their own space.

Marja: Why is a pre-interview important?

Deb: The pre interview is required by the Center for several reasons.  First, to answer questions about the group process and rules. Also, to make sure nobody is at risk by being associated in a way that might be harmful, such as a boss – employer, or neighbors, siblings etc., with unknown resentments or conflicts.

The other is that this is a group where we work on our own feelings, and a willingness to be vulnerable – commit to being present and respectful, and to not advise to try to fix or lecture anyone else.

This group is for those with an interest in learning through doing the exercises during our sessions.

Marja: Why is a commitment to the full eight-week program important?

Deb: We ask that you commit to the full session, or at least have the intention as we know that illness or unforeseen changes can happen even in eight weeks.  The group size is limited to 8. And many groups have a waiting list, so only people who will be able to benefit from the whole eight weeks is best. Each group connects closely, and your group members miss you if you drop or can’t attend a session.

Also, the model has a beginning – middle – end that is quite healing. Our group model gives you healthier ways to manage emotions. 

Marja: What do you hope participants will take away from this process?

Deb: I have noticed that those (like me) with vision loss, particularly those that may miss things or be surprised regularly, have an ongoing chronic stress – referred to as “guarding.” This chronic stress can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, mood changes, depression, irritability and even a leading contributary to autoimmune diseases.  So learning how to give your body a break from the constant sense of threat or pending doom can improve a person’s physical, mental and emotional health.  The skills or practices are not new, and are collected from many different cultures, that have published scientific evidence of success.

There is a TED talk by the founder, Dr. James S. Gordon, MD (psychiatrist and author) explaining how a young girl, caught in a war with so many family members killed, used the group to shift from hopelessness to a sense of empowerment and purpose.   Dr. Gordon also has a book out, “Transforming Trauma the Path to Hope and Healing”. Both talk of the power of community, by having your experiences shared in a safe space as a powerful way to heal and grow.

Marja: Aside from your upcoming eight-week course, are you planning others going forward?

Deb: Yes, I rarely do groups targeted to blindness or Ushers anymore, so this is a special opportunity to be with others who are struggling with vision loss. 

Marja: Deb, thank you so much for your time, I hope those interested will be on the Zoom call, “Movement to Change Your Stress Level’ Thursday February 3, 10:00 am-11:00 am to explore more about Adaptability for Life.  If you need the zoom link, please call the Hull office at 503-668-619 or email to  or you can reach Deb directly by emailing:

Hull Foundation and Learning Center “Reading in the Dark” Book Club – Monica Butler – Book Club Host

When:  Tuesday February 8th and 22nd, 2022 at 10:00am.

In January we read “Welcome To The World Baby Girl” by Fannie Flagg   DB 47006

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl is a novel by Fannie Flagg about main character Dena Nordstrom, a high-powered, career-driven morning show star living in Manhattan in the 1970s. Despite her successes, Dena struggles from stress, causing her to consider reconciling with her mysterious past back in Elmwood Springs, Missouri.

In February 2022, we will be reading

“Prairie Fires” by   Caroline Fraser   DB91043

Caroline Fraser’s Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a biography of American author Laura Ingalls Wilder, best known for her Little House on the Prairie series.

“Artic Dreams” by Barry Lopez   DB23024

Arctic Dreams is a travel memoir and nature writing by Barry Lopez. In the book, he recounts his experiences traveling in Alaska for four years. He hunts with Eskimos, accompanies scientists on field expeditions, and makes his own trips to study the wildlife of the Arctic.

Join us for a fun hour of discussion and comradery!  Come prepared with ideas for our next books!


Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings

Our February Zoom meetings have something for everyone and are full of interesting topics that can assist you in your everyday life. Bring a friend or spouse! Sighted or not!! If you would like to sign up to receive a weekly email with the Zoom schedule for the week and the links to the meetings, please email the office at or call us at 503-668-6195. If you are not an email user, then you can call us on Mondays to receive the call-in number and Meeting ID number for meetings you are interested in attending via phone.

February Zoom Schedule
Tuesday    2/1/2022  1-2pm   A Trip to Your Eye Doctor – Tips to make the most of your next appointment with your eye doctor. Facilitator – Marja, Sight Loss Instructor  

Tuesday   2/1/2022   7-8pm   The Chat Cafe Sponsored by the Hull Foundation and ACB of Oregon – Facilitators: Teresa and Carrie, Hull Foundation Sight Loss Instructors

Wednesday  2/2/2022  10-11am  Intro to iPhone 1 – If you haven’t already “met” come meet one of your most useful friends!  Facilitator – Marty, Hull Sight Loss Instructor   

Thursday   2/3/2022 10-11am Using Movement to Change Your Stress Level with Guest Speaker, Deb Marinos, with ACB, Facilitator – Carrie, Hull Sight Loss Instructor                
Thursday   2/3/2022 1-2pm   Group Chat: Sight & Hearing Loss – Resources and Information – Facilitators – Jael and Teresa,
Hull Sight Loss Instructors
Thursday    2/3/2022 6:30-7:30pm       Chat with a Board Member – Want to know more about our services? Board Member, E.G. White-Swift – Facilitator, Carrie, Hull Sight Loss Instructor

Tuesday 2/8/2022 10-11am  Reading in the Dark Book Club Hosts: Marja & Monica

Tuesday 2/8/2022 1-2pm   Accessible Journaling: How to be affective & why bother – Facilitators: Michael and Carrie, Hull Sight Loss Instructors

Wednesday 2/9/2022  1-2pm   How are you Doing and How are you Dealing? You pick the topic! Facilitators – Marja and Teresa, Hull Sight Loss Instructors

Thursday 2/10/2022 1-2pm   Group Chat: Valentine’s Day – Ideas to make the most of this “lovely” day. Facilitator – Jael – Hull Sight Loss Instructor
Tuesday 2/15/2022  1-2pm   Group Chat: Valentine memories- Facilitator – Jael, Hull Sight Loss Instructor

Tuesday 2/15/2022   7-8pm   The Chat Cafe – Sponsored by Hull Foundation and ACB of Oregon – Facilitators – Teresa and Carrie, Hull Sight Loss Instructors

Wednesday 2/16/2022 10-11am   Intro to iPhone 2 – More information about the iPhone and what it can do for you. Facilitator – Marty, Hull Sight Loss Instructor

Thursday 2/17/2022 10-11am              
American Council of the Blind of Oregon (ACB) What is it, what they do and should I join? Facilitator – Carrie, Hull Sight Loss Instructor, and member of ACB

Thursday 2/17/2022 1-2pm   Games to Play with Lady A – Learn about playing games with your smart speaker Lucy Edmunds – Facilitator – Carrie, Hull Sight Loss Instructor

Tuesday 2/22/2022 10-11am  Reading in the Dark Book Club- Hosts: Marja & Monica

Tuesday 2/22/2022  1-2pm   Getting Accessible Assistance with Microsoft Devices – Microsoft Disability Answer Desk, Webinars, YouTube videos, & built-in accessible features – Facilitator – Michael, Hull Sight Loss Instructor

Tuesday 2/22/2022   6-7:30pm – How are you Doing and How are you dealing You pick the topic! Facilitators – Marja and Teresa, Hull Sight Loss Instructors

Wednesday 2/23/2022 10-11am Who was Oral B. Hull? What is her legacy to the blind community?  How 1 person can make such a huge difference in so many lives for 60 years & counting. Guest Speaker and Hull Board Member, E.G. White-Swift – Facilitator -Carrie, Hull Sight Loss Instructor

Wednesday 2/23/2022 1-2pm   Read More Books: Learn About Kindle; what it is what it does and where to get it – Facilitators:  Jael and Carrie, Hull Sight Loss Instructors

Thursday 2/24/2022 1-2pm   Spring Cleaning – Not the “evil” challenge you might think it to be – Facilitator – Kat, Hull Sight Loss Instructor        

Valentine’s Day Done Your Way

By: J. Espinal – Hull Sight Loss Instructor

The 14th of February. The day designated to love. It is a day that is supposed to be filled with joy and happiness, but after we have lost a loved one, significant other, just can’t seem to find that special someone, or have experienced a change in our lives like the loss of sight, this day isn’t quite so joyous. Why not change that? Why not make February 14 a day that brings us happiness or at least doesn’t make us quite so lonely.

I was recently talking to a friend who was struggling with a hard anniversary and I asked her what she wanted to do to make it a positive one. I come to you with the same question. What can you do to make Valentine’s Day your day? Here are some ideas that will possibly get those juices flowing and hopefully bring a smile to your face.

Some of these suggestions can be done with company, alone or a combination of the two. These can be done virtually or in person.

• Plan a special meal and bring it to a virtual dinner party where your friends and family do the same. If you are able to celebrate in person, invite someone to your home and prepare a meal or order in.

• Plan a craft project and bring your favorite snacks and drinks.

• Watch a funny movie, TV show or share your favorite music.

• Plan a gift exchange.

• Go back to your youth and have a dance party.

• Practice self-care. Order yourself chocolate and flowers, indulge in a spa experience of your making and dress just the way you like…yes, even pajamas!

• Offer a random act of kindness. Research does say that doing something good for another makes us happier. These acts don’t have to be elaborate.

• Write or voice record the reasons why you are special and important. Remind yourself that you are all these things and so much more.

I hope these ideas have been of some help. We at Hull Foundation and Learning Center wish all of you a happy Valentine’s Day filled with the type of love and happiness you wish to give it.

Living with Sight Loss Seminar
Our scheduled February 2-night and 3-day seminar has been rescheduled to April 20-21. The seminar is held at our park facility in Sandy, OR and is a “must attend” for anyone who wants to continue living their life, despite sight loss, as independently as they choose.  You will stay in our comfortable, single dorm room and be surrounded by Sight Loss Instructors who will introduce you to the various resources and services that are available to you.  In addition, you will meet people who share your commonality as a sight loss person.  We can guarantee you will be amazed, delighted and leave knowing it is possible to “keep hope and dreams alive” no matter what!

Please contact the Hull Foundation and Learning Center office at 503-668-6195 or by email at to reserve your spot and receive a registration. Attendance is limited to 12 guests (that’s you!)

Upcoming Events
2022 will be an exciting and fun-filled year for our events! If you are interested in any of our recreational Getaway events and Retreats, please contact our office and get signed up! The spots can fill up very quickly, so jump in with both feet and save your spot and come out to Hull Park in 2022!

Winter Adventure Retreat- Feb. 6-12, 2022

A great time of snowshoeing, cross country skiing and jaunts around town!

Spring Fling Getaway- April 5-8, 2022

Come join us for games, crafts, enjoying the beautiful grounds of Hull Park, great food, and comradery!

Friends and Alumni Retreat- June 5-9, 2022

Come meet with old friends and make some new ones! We will enjoy visiting some local attractions, swim in the indoor swimming pool and spa, visit a living history museum, play games, and enjoy Hull Park in the spring!

Moderate Adventure Retreat- Aug. 10-16, 2022

During this retreat, activities may include white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, winery tours, visiting local tourist sights, live action plays, and more!

High Adventure Retreat- Aug. 24-30, 2022

This retreat is designed to give guests opportunities to stretch themselves! Activities may include white water rafting, hiking in the Mt. Hood National Forest, various water sports, challenge courses, horseback riding, and much more!

Monster Mash Getaway- October 24-27, 2022

Come get spooky with us for a seasonal favorite Getaway! We will have theme-based games, movie night, a trip to a local farm for hayrides, corn maize and pumpkin patch, a costume contest, and do the monster mash at the dance!

Winter Holiday Getaway- December 12-15, 2022

Come Deck the Halls with your friends and the Hull Park staff for this festive event! We will have holiday-themed games, treats, crafts, and on the final night a holiday banquet and live music which is open to friends and family.

Registrations are now available for these events! It is never too early to sign up as spots fill up very quickly. Please email the office at or call at 503-668-6195 for more information and to request a registration form.

Gadget of the Month: Eyoyo Magnifier

When reading glasses are no longer useful to you this portable, hand-held magnifier is one of many reading aids available on the market but was referred by one of our Sight Loss Instructors.  It has several size screens in different models. The product comes in a 3.5, 4.2 and 5” screen and has 4X-32X times zoom availability, 17 color modes and 5 levels of brightness and uses rechargeable batteries. Reviews list the pros as:

“I purchased this reader for my husband who is visually impaired. He needed more than a basic hand magnifier, and this has more of the features he needs, plus is easy for him to use. He also likes the many options for lighter printing on dark backgrounds as using these settings are easier for him to see. I highly recommend this reader!”

“My mother bought this for me after recently becoming blind. This tool has been sooooo good for my needs. I am able to change the color of written words. I cannot ask for a better product to continue to read words on paper. Now, if you were thinking like me, you may be able to use this on your computer screen, you cannot. It is still worth the buy and its rechargeable and I used it on the plane and it never ran out of a charge.”

Cons:  Some reviewers note that you must keep the product still in order to get the best results. 

Amazon has this product available from $70-$170 depending on model.

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

Q. Who always has a date on Valentine’s Day?
A.  A Calendar

Q. Why are artichokes so beloved? 
A.  They’re known for their hearts.

Q. What did the love-obsessed candle say when it was lit? 

A.  “I found the perfect match!”

Q. How did the orca ask the other to be their Valentine? 
A.  “Whale you be mine?”

Stay well, stay safe, and stay happy!

The Hull Foundation Family

Phone:  503-668-6195  



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