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Sight Loss Monthly January 2024

)February 2024

The Hull Foundation

Monthly Sight Loss News



Picture description:

Long time guest poses for a picture with the local Sandy Grinch during
the December 2023 Winter Getaway!

“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.”

Serving the low vision and blind community since 1962

Edited by Hull Foundation Staff


Mission Statement …p. 3

Valentines Day Gift Ideas…p. 4–8

Calling all Artists!…p. 8–9

Reading in the Dark Book Club…p. 9–11

Hearing Aid Tip of the Month…p. 11–12

USH Connections Conference …p. 12–13

Recipe of the Month: Bubble & Squeak…p. 14–18

The Inadvertent Influencer…P. 18–20

Hull Foundation Events and Seminars…p. 20–21[ ]{.mark}Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings…p. 23

Jokes to Keep you Laughing or Groaning…p. 24

Contact Us…p. 25

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.

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[Valentine Gift Ideas]{.underline}

-Teresa Christian, Sight Loss Instructor

What are you giving your honey for Valentine’s this year?

One of the best gifts you can give your main squeeze or others around
you who love and care for you is the gift of good self-care, so, you
will be around for years to come to be there for one another for the
hard times and fun times too.

We all know most of the things we are supposed to do to “take good care”
of ourselves, things such as eating nutritiously, enough water,
exercise, good sleep, meditation, gratitude etc. How much do we actually
do all of these things and how much do we put off? My family in the past
year has gone through several life situations that have caused
tremendous stress. My mother passed a year ago, my twenty-two-year-old
granddaughter passed last summer from a seizure and my other
granddaughter is seriously ill and may have only a few months to live.
So, these self-care practices have taken on new meaning for me.

I have done gratitude journals off and on for years. Now every morning
when I wake up, I give a prayer of thanks for simply waking up again to
love those around me and to pursue my dreams for yet another day because
one day last summer my granddaughter never woke up.

Instead of dwelling on the loss of yet another granddaughter, I am
focusing on spending quality time with her for however long it ends up

Now I am grateful for my little apartment that I have railed about for
so long because I used to have a five-bedroom house. So many people have
no home, no apartment little or otherwise.

I have resisted meditation for years because it seemed too hard, and I
did not really understand the long-term benefits. Well guess what, now I
am meditating most mornings for about ten minutes and huh, imagine that,
it’s helping me stay calm and not so stressed the rest of the day. If I
miss a day or two, I still experience benefits. I know there are more,
and I am looking forward to experiencing them over time.

I am being more mindful about my nutrition and exercise. I need to stay
healthy and “live long and prosper” so I can be there for my family and
have fun but also not be a load on them.

I have had several medical issues come up due to all the extreme stress
over the past year so now these tools are not only quality of life
strategies, but now they have become survival tools for me.

Happy Valentine’s Day, I am giving those I love and who love me the gift
of being as healthy as possible so we can have many more adventures

Calling All Artists! 

-Danielle Miller
Are you an artist interested in supporting WTBBL’s mission “That All May
Read?” We are inviting patrons, volunteers, donors, and other friends of
the library to create art works for our upcoming silent auction, Opening
Windows to the World: A Silent Art Auction and Reception to Benefit the
Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. All proceeds from the sale of
the art will benefit WTBBL by supporting library programming, books and
materials, and equipment and technology for training, local book
production, and podcasting.

If you would like to participate, please contact the Hull Foundation and
Learning Center office to get more information. The deadline to submit
artwork to the benefit is March 15th, 2024. Our phone number is

[Reading in the Dark Book Club]{.underline}

– Marja Byers, Sight Loss Instructor

In January we read and discussed “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir,
DB103718 and “The Cellist of Sarajevo” by Steven Galloway, DB70447.

Join us this month for a look at Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, his life,
his literature, and a discussion on the interesting and unusual way that
six of his books have been banned.

February 13: “Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel: a biography” by Judith Morgan,
DB41116, 10:51.

“This captivating biography of the bestselling children’s author in
history reveals at last the man who had a unique influence on four
generations of Americans who championed children’s rights before that
phrase was familiar, and who revolutionized the way children learn to

Two weeks later we will discuss…

February 27: “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”, DB32160, 7

“If I Ran the Zoo” DB34725, 11 minutes.

“McElligot’s Pool” DB34060, 8 minutes.

“Scrambled Eggs Super!” DB35120, 11 minutes.

“The Cat’s Quizzer” and “Beyond Zebra” are not available on Talking
Books, if you have a chance to read them, we will be including them in
our discussion.

Anyone is welcome to join us for book discussions, whether you have read
the book or not, maybe you find it an interesting topic or you’re
curious about what we are reading.

We will also be discussing what our group wants to read in the next
several months so please join us with suggestions!

[Hearing Aid Tip of the Month]{.underline}

-Meagan Moore, Sight Loss Instructor

Often with hearing loss we can hear ringing or clicking noises that no
one else hears. Do not fret: This can be a normal side effect of hearing
loss. Nonetheless, it can be agonizing and irritating at times. The
ringing can be related to tinnitus and clicking can relate to muscle
spasms. For myself, I try to take a break from hearing and rest my ears.
However, if that is not working, then talk with your Audiologist. They
are trained to share management techniques and sometimes technology can
help, too! Some hearing aids have mobile apps with programs that are
specifically designed to help with tinnitus. 

[USH Connections Conference: Usher Syndrome Coalition

WHO: [All]{.underline} individuals of all types of Usher syndrome,
including adults, parents, children, partners, siblings, etc., and
professionals serving those with USH and/or the deaf blind.


WHAT: At the USH Connections Conference, you will connect with
hundreds of people who "get it" while discovering valuable resources
and learning the latest from leading Usher syndrome researchers on
developing treatments. 


WHEN: Friday and Saturday, July 19–20, 2024



DoubleTree by
Hilton Hotel
1111 Jefferson Road
Rochester, NY 14623

HOW: Register by April 1st for reduced in-person early bird

In-person tickets are all-inclusive. Limited scholarships are

Call the office for the registration link to be sent to you!

Recipe of the Month: Bubble & Squeak

By Jamie Oliver



1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs unsalted butter

4 sprigs of fresh woody herbs, such as rosemary, sage, thyme

2 ½ cups leftover roast potatoes

2 ½ leftover cooked veggie, such as carrots, swede (Rutabaga), turnips,
parsnips, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, yams, squash, or other
winter vegetables.

Chestnuts (optional)

Note: this is very good with leftover roasted vegetables, and you can
also use leftover mashed potatoes as long as they are on the thicker
side. This recipe is flexible. So, feel free to experiment.


Step 1. Put a 12-inch non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with 1
tablespoon of oil and the butter (or, even better, any leftover dripping
you have in the fridge or other oil).

Step 2. Pick in the fresh herb leaves and let them crisp up for a
minute, then add the potatoes, vegetables, and any leftover chestnuts
you have. There is no need to chop anything first, as now we are going
to mash it all up with a potato masher into a nice, flat, even layer.
Feel free to mash your potatoes and vegetable before putting it into the

Sept 3. Season well with sea salt and black pepper, and cook for 3 to 4
minutes, or until a lovely golden crust starts forming on the bottom.
When you flip a small test portion you should be able to run your
spatula or other utensil on top and feel a texture difference or sound
difference. The potato mixture should sound and feel crispy.

Step 4. Now we get into the rhythm of the secret to good bubble &
squeak. Use a spatula to fold those lovely crispy bits back into the
mash, then pat and flatten everything down again. Let it crisp up again,
then repeat the process, and – importantly – keep repeating it over a
period of about 20 minutes sometimes longer, until it is golden, super-
crispy and delicious. About halfway through, snag a bit, taste it, and
correct the seasoning, salt, and pepper, if you need to. When it is
looking good, you can serve it right away, or you can leave it on the
lowest heat for a while – the flavor will only improve. Looking good,
a.k.a. lots of crispy caramelized bits and it takes good when you snag a

Step 5. You can serve this any which way you like – let’s be honest, it
is going to be amazing whatever you have it with. I like mine with fried
eggs, a little lemon-dressed watercress, and a few bombs of Piccalilli.
Slices of leftover cooked ham are always going to go down a treat, too.


Marja Byers, Sight Loss Instructor

These days many of us are aware of “Influencers” on social media, these
folks have made a name for themselves on the internet by working at
selling themselves. I have come to understand that there are other
influencers in the world who have been around long before the internet,
life influencers. I have come to understand that I enjoy being an
influencer, even when I don’t realize I am doing it.

Here are examples in my life. After about a week this last month of
being homebound due to ice and snow I was finally able to get out into
my neighborhood. A recent cold, sunny afternoon I walked to my local
restaurant for food, friendship, and music. People were still a bit
crabby from the bad weather, so I wanted to change the mood. I played a
bunch of “sunshine” music, beach boys, Jimmy Buffett, songs about the
sun…It wasn’t long before I heard more laughter, people singing along,
our waitress singing and moving to happy music, thanking me for the sun
in her day. This was a conscious choice on my part, but you can also be
an inadvertent influencer.

Several times I have met new people who have told me that they were
already aware of me from seeing me around town. Some of the comments I
have heard are, “you walk with such confidence,” “your head is up, and
your shoulders back,” and my favorite, “you look so happy.” I had no
idea that one white cane user can influence so many people’s perception
about blindness and how we can learn to dance with our sight loss and
make it into a beautiful thing.

Go out and be a life influencer!

[Hull Foundation Events and Seminars:]{.underline}

Check out all the upcoming events!

– February 21st One Day Fun Day, Bowling

– February 21st Partners One Day Fun Day, Bowling

– March 13th – 15th Intro to Sight Loss Seminar

– March 19th – 23rd Spring Fling, see details on next page

– March 20th One Day Fun Day, Trip to Portland Zoo

– March 20th Partners One Day Fun Day

If you are interested in any of our social getaways, one day fun day
events, seminars, and recreational retreats, please contact our office
and get signed up! Spots fill up [very]{.underline} quickly, so jump in
with both feet, save your spot and come out to Hull Park!

Photo Description: Guests at the Winter Retreat enjoy a Hike at Wildwood

Photo Description: Guests at the Winter Retreat enjoy a Hike at Wildwood
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Hull Foundation Presents Zooom Meetings:

2024 we are introducing a NEW zoom class for spouses, caregivers and any
loved ones who have someone in their life that has sight impairment or
blindness. This class will occur once a month!

Current zoom meetings will include topics on tech, cooking, crafting,
book club and a class on forgetfulness that has been a favorite. Bring a
friend or spouse, sighted or not!! If you would like to sign up to
receive a weekly email with the weekly zoom schedule and 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 that week’s classes and the call-in number and
meeting ID number for meetings you are interested in attending via


Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

Q. What happens if you terrify someone on leap day?

A. They jump out of their own skin.

Q. What do pickles celebrate on February 14th?

A. Valen brine’s day.

Q. Where do most people eat on Leap Day?


Q. Sometimes February feels like it will last forever, but time
Marches on!

Stay well, stay safe, and stay happy!

[Contact Us:]{.underline}

The Hull Foundation and Learning Center
Phone: 503–668–6195



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