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Sight Loss Monthly June 2023

> Sight Loss Monthly June 2023 – Email

June 2023

The Hull Foundations

Monthly Sight Loss News

“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. 3

Spring has Sprung and Summer is Yet to Come…p. 4

Don’t Forget to KISS…p. 9

Reading in the Dark Book Club…p. 13

Care for Your Growing Tomatoes’…p. 16

Tech Tip…p. 23

Two Smoothie Recipes for Hot Weather…p. 23

Diamond Jubilee…p. 25

Pacific Foundation for Blind Children Scholarship Program…p. 26

Hull Foundations Annual Tea Fundraiser…p. 28

Hull Foundation Events…p. 29

Zoom Meetings…p. 30

Jokes to Keep You Laughing… p. 35
Contact Us…p. 36

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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Spring Has Sprung and Summer is Yet to Come

  • Teresa Christian, Sight Loss Instructor and Life Coach.

When the weather starts warming up, I begin thinking about getting together with friends and hanging out outside. For me, it doesn’t get much better than good friends, good conversation, or good food in a lovely setting.

This past week I spent several days with family members I have not seen in a long time at their home for the first time. I decided the best way to feel independent was to be brave, be bold and allow them to witness me learning my way around a new environment.

Some wanted to let me do my thing and if I needed help, I would ask. Others wanted to jump in and ask if I needed help or where I wanted to go etc.

Regardless of the level of assistance available, I had to get comfortable with bumping into things, bouncing off walls, door frames and furniture. After a few days I became much more graceful.

They all seemed to be ok with it and I believe respected me more for the willingness to make mistakes and only ask for help when I needed it.

I think they respected the fact that I was willing to mess up and try again.

When we first arrived, my sister gave me a little tour, but I still felt somewhat confused. However, it was enough to get me going.

I was later able to fumble around the kitchen and find a drinking glass on my own, find the recess on the fridge for getting water and ice. I found the dish liquid on the back of the sink to wash out my water bottle.

Being willing to let go of being perfect in my movements, fumble and blunder a bit to get familiar and comfortable in the new space was a critical component in getting comfortable.

After a day or two I was able to find my way from my bedroom to the bathroom, to the kitchen, living room and out to the deck where most of the hanging out happened. I was then also able to migrate along with the group as people moved around the house and not wait for and hope that someone would remember me.

The way I check out a new room is by going around the perimeter first and then relate things in the middle of the room to what I already know about the perimeter. For example, scoping out how the living room was set up. Going around the perimeter starting from the front door and going clockwise, first was the TV/entertainment center, next was the fireplace, next turn the corner and start down the wall that was directly across from the front door. That wall was mostly empty but after a while came the glass door and screen that went out to the deck. Next was a table for eating. Then was the hall that led to the bedrooms. Directly across from the table was the doorway to the kitchen. Turn right again, take a few steps and I was back in the living room. Next was locating the couch and chairs and where they were in relation to the front door and entertainment center. Was there a coffee table, no there was not.

So, you can see, I have a method for discovering how a room is laid out and create a map in my head.

Getting back to hanging out, outside. I live in an apartment building near a couple of very busy streets so getting to listen to the quiet, crickets and many different types of birds felt like a real luxury. Getting to have amazing food along with good conversation was a lovely and needed break.

The only way to grow and expand your horizons is to be willing to get out of your comfort zone, at least a little bit, be willing to be frustrated to a certain degree as new information is coming in, make mistakes, regroup, and sally forth yet some more.

Be brave, be bold and go have a little adventure.

Don’t Forget to KISS!

-Marja Byers, SLI

Many people know that KISS is an acronym. The original was Keep It Short and Simple, most people think of it as Keep It Simple Stupid, but we are going to leave stupid out of this conversation!

Over the 10 years that I’ve been facilitating support groups for people new to sight loss there has been a very consistent quandary for so many people; how do you get the toothpaste on the toothbrush? I can’t see my toothbrush anymore! My simple answer is to get your own tube and just put the toothpaste on your tongue, or if you are sharing a tube, your finger to mouth works well for a delivery system. My other personal toothpaste tip is in the morning brush your teeth in the shower, that’s where you’ll find my brush and toothpaste. I no longer go out with drying toothpaste on my shirt or around my mouth, I spit out the paste in the tub and put my face in the shower spray, getting rid of any “leftovers.”

Technology and all the available apps are just amazing and opens many new possibilities for us, but in a high-tech world, we seem to be overlooking the simple solutions. I thought I would just list a few for those who are still working to reorganize and reinvent their daily lives after sight loss.

-Rubber bands, think salt and pepper shakers, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, pill bottles…There are many uses for the humble rubber band, and you can develop your own systems for using them.

-Puff paint as tactile markings. Available in craft stores and many craft/fabric sections of stores such as Walmart. I’ve also found them in Dollar Stores. They come in many colors, some neon if you can see color, the paint dries raised so you can feel it. You can create any shape you want such as dots, numbers, or letters. It’s inexpensive, seems to last well and you can just peel it off to remove it.

-Many home improvement stores or departments carry “cupboard bumps” or “drawer bumps” meant to quiet a door/drawer slam. They are the same type dots that we purchase from specialty catalogs as tactile markings but tend to be much cheaper and can save you shipping costs.

-Safety pins. Small safety pins are useful for marking clothes for color, again, you can develop your own system. For example, black pants, shirts, skirts can have 1 vertical pin, navy blue can have 1 horizontal pin, dark purple can have 2 vertical pins, and so on.

Color identifiers are available but can be expensive and often inaccurate.

When you are looking for solutions to challenges don’t forget to look at the easy solutions with things you may already have around the house. Be kind and patient with yourself and remember to KISS!

Reading in the Dark Book Club

-Marja Byers, SLI

In May we read and discussed “Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zeven, DB109032, which many of us did not enjoy, largely due to generational differences but we still had a very interesting discussion about the book! It was a good reminder that reading something outside of our usual comfort levels can be a good way to expand our thinking. We also read “Puerto Vallarta Squeeze” by Robert James Waller (“Bridges of Madison County), DB 41247, which was a real departure from our previous book and was a fun read and a great way to head into summer!

Book for June:

6/13 “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles, DB 105197, 16:41, we have 3 weeks between book clubs, so we chose a longer book.

“The Lincoln Highway is a fast paced and reflective adventure story centered on three young men from disparate backgrounds, whose incarceration together in a juvenile detention center, brings them together on the outside where conflicting motives and moralities set them on a course for collusion across the United States.”

6/27 “Pigs in Heaven” by Barbara Kingsolver, DB35911, 12:08. Earlier this year we read Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Bean Trees,” this book continues the story.

“Pigs in Heaven is a story of family, and the extent people will go to to maintain their family. Taylor ‘s adoptive daughter is a Cherokee Indian. A young lawyer, Anawake, challenges the adoption stating that, according to law Cherokee children cannot be adopted without consent from the Cherokee Nation.”

Hull Foundation RITD book club invites anyone interested, regardless of where you live, whether you are blind, visually impaired, or sighted, or whether or not you’ve read the book we’ll be discussing!

We meet on Zoom the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from 1:00 pm PT (4:00 ET) until 2:30 pm PT (5:30 ET). Call the Hull office at 503-688-6195 to get the Zoom link.

We’d love to hear you at our next book club and have fun “reading in the dark”!

How to care for your growing tomatoes

-Kat, Sight Loss Instructor

Welcome fellow blind gardeners, here are a few tips to help grow great tomatoes. By now, you should have already planted your tomatoes in your garden or pots, now you just need to keep them going until they ripen.

Hopefully, you have planted them in a location where they get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.

Make sure to trim off the lower leaves of the plant regularly and do not bury them. If you bury them then they will rot and disease your soil.

Water every day for 7 to 10 days in the beginning, giving them about 16 ounces of warm water per plant daily. DO NOT overheat water, this can cause diseases. A drip or soaker hose watering aimed at the roots is best. It is best to water in the morning to prevent mold or diseases.

Water less frequently after plant is well established. Ensure plants receive 1 to 3 inches of rain weekly. If not, give each plant about 2 gallons of water per plant per week, beginning by about the end of the second week after transplanting.

Increase water as the plants get larger and when the weather is hotter. Water deeply 2 to 3 times weekly, about 1 gallon each time. Make sure that the soil is moist, but not drenched. Do this by putting your finger deep in the dirt around the base of the plant. Your finger should not reach VERY DRY soil.

Apply mulch. After one or two weeks, surround the plants with a mulch of straw or dried grass. This should control weeds and keep the soil moist during dry weather. The mulch should be about an inch thick and surround at least a circle 12 inches in diameter around the stem.

Tomatoes can grow very well organically if the soil is enriched with organic matter.

**Shake your plant poles or cages gently. This increases fruit production by evenly distributing pollen. Do this once or twice each week for about 5 seconds. Start this practice when flowering begins.

Check for “suckers.” They use some of the plant’s nutrients as they grow. Pinch them off for larger fruits. Do this by following each stem to the joints, if there are just leaves on that branch, pinch this off, it is a sucker.

**If your fruit starts to ripen during an intense heat wave with nights over 75 °F and days over 95 °F, harvest the fruit early. It will stop ripening in intense heat.

Control humidity. Humidity over 90 percent and below 65 percent can trigger blossom end rot. To increase humidity outdoors or in the greenhouse, try misting the plants. Decrease humidity in the greenhouse by increasing ventilation.

If you live in a very humid climate, your best bet for outdoor tomatoes is to grow humidity-tolerant varieties.

Prevent blossom-end rot. Blossom-end rot is the blackening and eating away of the bottom of a tomato fruit. Once you feel it, it is too late to save the plant. Prevention is your best bet. Calcium deficiency causes blossom-end rot. To prevent this problem:

**You can sprinkle crushed eggshells around the plants to add calcium to the soil.

**Make your own bird repellant. Put red ornaments around the top of the tomato cages. Birds will think they are tomatoes and peck at them. The ornaments’ hard, tasteless surfaces will confuse the birds. This will make them leave your tomatoes alone.

**Keep in mind that this will only work temporarily. Before the fruit ripens on your tomato plants, drape netting over the plants to keep the birds away.

Bring chickens and ducks into the garden. Chickens and ducks enjoy eating slugs and tomato hornworms. Without control, slugs and hornworms can kill your plants by eating the leaves.

Control slugs with cardboard. Use cardboard rolls from toilet paper or paper towels around the bottom of the stem while the plant is still young. The texture of the cardboard makes the stem impossible for slugs to climb.

Grow plants that attract beneficial predators. Some good choices are calendula, zinnias, marigolds, and nasturtiums. The ladybugs and braconid wasps they attract get to eat the aphids and hornworms that would otherwise destroy your tomatoes.

After all of this care, you should have a great tomato harvest to share with your family and friends. If you prefer to can them for the fall, I will be writing another article for that later in the season.

Tech tip

-Marty Sobo

You know that moment when you hear a song, and go wait I know that song, what song is it called? This is how you figure it out. On an iPhone you invoke Siri. Ask, “Siri, what song is this?” Point your phone towards the direction of the song so it can pick it up. After a few seconds if it recognizes it, it will give you the artist as well as the song title. Typically, it works really well. Enjoy!

Two Smoothie Recipes for Hot Weather

-Desiree Christian Sight Loss Instructor

Avocado Shake

Makes about to 3 ½ cups.

There is a local Vietnamese sandwich place on SE Powell just east of SE 82nd called Best Baguette. It’s not always convenient to get there via bus so several summers ago I Googled “Vietnamese Avocado Shake,” or I’d replace shake with smoothie. Then much experimenting occurred, and this is the result. If this isn’t their recipe it is mighty close.

In a blender that can handle ice dump add ¼ to 1/3 of a can of sweetened condensed milk,

88 grams, about ½ cup of avocado and 2 cups of ice. Fill to the top of the ice with your choice of milk such as cows, almond, oat, etc. or water. You want the ice just barely floating.

Blend until thick and the ice has stopped rattling around. You may need to add more liquid.

Remember if it’s not quite to your liking you can always adjust how much of a particular ingredient you are adding.

Note: I use a ninja, the large carafe, I think it’s close to a liter in size.

Diamond Jubilee Aug 20, 2023

-Kat. Sight Loss Instructor

Do you enjoy having fun? We do too! We have been here for 60 years having fun. In 1962, the Oral Hull Foundation was formed and in 1963 the fun began as the ribbon was cut, and guests started to arrive.

I am looking for any old photos from years past. If you have any or know anyone who might have some, please ask if we can get copies. Please email to or mail prints to Hull Foundation & Learning Center, PO Box 157, Sandy, OR 97055

Pacific Foundation for Blind Children: Scholarship Program

The Pacific Foundation for Blind Children is accepting applications for the Scholarship Program 2023. FOUR (4) $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to four outstanding blind/low vision students in the Pacific Northwest (defined as the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho). These scholarships will be awarded directly to the selected applicants and the funds may be used for expenses at their discretion. Deadline for applications is June 30, 2023.

Eligibility criteria and Application ProcessTable covers the criteria for eligibility as well as the process to follow for submitting an application.
Eligibility Criteria: Application Process:
  • diagnosis of blindness or low vision

  • complete online application

  • resident of Washington, Oregon, or Idaho

  • compose essay describing future academic/career goals

  • graduating high school senior with plans to obtain higher education

  • include high school/college/vocational school transcript

  • OR a current college student (community, university, vocational/trade school)

  • proof of enrollment or acceptance to enroll in an accredited vocational/trade school, community college, or college/university in the fall of 2023

  • visit QR code or link below for complete eligibility details

  • two or three letters of professional recommendation

Qr code

If you have any questions, please contact JaReda Webb, Executive Director, Pacific Foundation for Blind Children, at

Tea Party at Hull Park

July 29th, 2023

*Raffle Items *Silent Auction

Come enjoy our beautiful 1/2 acre of manicured gardens at Hull Park in Sandy, OR, 43233 SE Oral Hull Road. Our event will feature a variety of teas and mouth-watering scones, savories, and sweets! Wear your best “tea party hat”! Great prizes for the fanciest hat, the funniest hat, and the hat with the most flowers!
Tickets $25 each or 2 for $45
Kids 10-18 $10.00 Ages 5– 9 $5.00
4 and under – Free


Upcoming events at the Hull Foundation

-Summer Raffle Fundraiser – June 1st-August 31st Call the office for details

-Friends and Alumni – June 13th – 17th Registration is Closed!

-One Day Fun Day: A Day trip to Seaside with Friends and Alumni group – June 15th

Sign-up is Closed!

-One Day Fun Day: A Day at Blue Lake Park, includes a picnic lunch and fun in the sun – July 19th

-Fundraiser: Annual Tea Party at the Park – July 29th

-Intro to Sight Loss Seminar – August 1st-3rd

If you are interested in any of our Recreational Getaway Events, One Day Events, Seminars and Retreats, please contact our office and get signed up! The spots can fill up very quickly, so jump in with both feet, save your spot and come out to Hull Park in 2023!

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings

Zoom meetings will include topics on cooking, crafting, book club and a class on forgetfulness that has been very popular. If you are interested, please join us. 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.

Thursday June 1st, 2023

10am-11am PST, Food: Beyond the Recipe

1pm-2pm PST, Sight and Hearing Loss

Friday June 2, 2023

6pm PST, First Friday with Family and Friends

Tuesday June 6, 2023

10am-11am PST, Tuesday Tech Call

7pm-8pm PST, The Chat Café

Wednesday June 7, 2023

1pm-2pm PST, Tell Us Your Story

6pm-7pm PST, The Happy Workout

Thursday June 8, 2023

10am-11:30am PST, The Crafting Workshop

1pm-2pm PST, Forgetfulness Tips and Tricks

Tuesday June 13, 2023

10am-11am PST, Tuesday Tech Call

1pm PST, Reading in the Dark Book Club

7pm-8pm PST, The Chat Café

Wednesday June 14, 2023

6:30pm-8pm PST, How are You Doing, How are You Dealing

Thursday June 15, 2023

1pm-2pm PST, Sight and Hearing Loss

6pm-7pm PST Navigating Social Situations

Tuesday June 20, 2023

10am-11am PST, Tuesday Tech Call

1pm-2pm PST, Living with Sight Loss Seminar What will you learn with this informational call?

7pm-8pm The Chat Café

Wednesday June 21, 2023

1pm-2pm PST, But Just Reading Isn’t Enough

Thursday June 22, 2023

1pm-2pm PST, Utilizing Your Remaining Sight

Tuesday June 27, 2023

10am-11am PST, Tuesday Tech Call

1pm PST, Reading in the Dark Book Club

7pm-8pm PST, The Chat Café

Wednesday June 28, 2023

6:30pm-8pm PST, How are you Doing, How are you Dealing?

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

Q. Why can’t a nose be 12 inches long?

A. Because then it would be a foot.

Q. What do you call a sleeping dinosaur?

A. A dino-snore!

Q. What do dentists call their x-rays?

A. Tooth pics.

Q. What is worse than raining cats and dogs?

A. Hailing taxis!

Stay well, stay safe, and stay happy!

Contact Us:

The Hull Foundation Family
Phone: 503-668-6195



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1 thought on “Sight Loss Monthly June 2023”

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