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Sight Loss Monthly May 2021

May, 2021

The Hull Foundation’s                                                         

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.  Native American Proverb Sight Loss         
Monthly News


“The publishing of this newsletter is a service of The Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind and 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

A New Foundation Name and New Executive Director – Kerith Vance …p. 4

A Message from Sharon Elder, Outgoing Executive Director …p. 6

Walk Across CANADA …p. 7

Tip of the Month: Protect your Eyes from the Sun …p. 9

Gadget of the Month: Magnifying Floor Lamp …p. 11

All About Alexa …p. 12

Reading in the Dark Book Club …p. 14

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meeting
May Zoom Schedule…p. 15

Kat’s Gardening Tips with Sight Loss…p. 19

About Hull Park…p. 23

Jokes to Keep Us Laughing …p. 24

Our Mission Statement:

The mission of the Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind is to provide programs, facilities and services including social, educational, and recreational activities for people who are blind and visually impaired.

“Keeping Hope & Dreams Alive!”

*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:  Address: PO Box 157, Sandy, OR 97055, 43233 SE Oral Hull Road, Sandy, OR 97055

A New Name and A New Executive Director -WELCOME!!

We are happy to make two exciting announcements in this month’s issue of our Sight Loss Monthly Newsletter.
First, the board of directors of The Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind, Inc. have voted to change the official name of the organization to The Hull Foundation and Learning Center, Inc.  The name change is reflective of our increase from a recreational non-profit to a year-round educational center that provides resources and services to adults with blindness and sight loss. We are and always will be committed to continuing our well recognized recreational retreats in the winter and summer months, and the social get-togethers in the spring and winter.

The second and equally exciting announcement is that the board of directors has hired Kerith Vance to replace our current director, Sharon Elder, who has retired as of April 30, 2021.  Kerith began training with Sharon April 5th and assumes the director position, full-time, as of May 1st.  We know you will welcome her to the Hull Foundation family in your usual cordial and supportive way.  Kerith’s 11-year background in non-profit, vision related programs and a masters in non-profit business management, ensures a continuation of the success of the educational and existing programs implemented by Sharon.  It is never “business as usual” in our Foundation as we look forward to ensuring that blindness and sight loss does not have to mean dependency and isolation.  Stay tuned for bigger and better things happening at our park and Foundation!  Feel free to welcome and get to know Kerith via email at or via phone at the Hull Foundation office, 503-668-6195.

A message from the Outgoing Executive Director – Sharon Elder:

“I am extremely grateful to the board of directors for permitting me to be the Executive Director of this amazing Foundation for the past 8 years.  I am in awe of the staff at The Foundation that continue to provide unparalleled and exemplary service to those with blindness and sight loss. It truly takes a dedicated team to keep “Hope and Dreams Alive”.  I am humbled by the experiences that I have had while at The Foundation.  Because of my experiences here I will always be amazed at the resiliency of the human spirit to continually struggle through seemingly insurmountable obstacles and with tenacity, caring and a willingness to learn how to do things differently, are able to succeed! Isn’t that what we all strive for?  I will stay in touch and continue to assist this great organization in any way I can, although it will be from long distance, as I move to Colorado to be near my daughter and her family.  My gratitude to each one of you!  You will always remain a part of my heart.”  Sharon Elder

Walk Across Canada

During our third walkathon, we started in the Yukon Territories of Canada, and then travelled across the Northern Territories and through Newfoundland. From there, we explored Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. Once we arrived in the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario, we really got to know some of the big cities as they powered through the Covid-19 shutdowns.  Manitoba and Saskatchewan showed us we could have fun and meet some unusual groups. Alberta gave us more opportunity for some really good hikes around the mountains and lakes. By the time you read this, we will have finished in British Columbia.

I want to say thank you to everyone who participated in our Walkabout in Canada. This was our third virtual walkathon to raise funds for Hull Foundation and to encourage our guests to keep active. We raised $565!

There are so many of you who have sent in your personal requests for stops along the way and I hope I was able to get to all of them. Summer is coming and all of you have proven yourselves to be truly independent and I hope you continue to do so over the summer months. Look for the final chapter of the Walkabout in Canada with links at the end for your summertime enjoyment.  Where to next?  Please send in your suggestions for our next walk.

Humbly yours,


Tip of the Month: Protect your Eyes from the Sun.

Spring is here and with it longer and sunnier days.  Most of us remember to protect our skin but we do not always remember our eyes.  Here are a few quick and easy things to do before you head outside to enjoy the day:

  • Find your sunglasses or maybe it is time to get new ones.  Have them ready to project your eyes from ultraviolet light.  There are even contact lenses with uv protection.
  • Frame styles are available that wrap around or provide more UV light protection.
  • Now is the time for those stylish wide brimmed hats to provide some extra shade for your eyes.
  • With the sun comes pollen so keep a check on your allergies or stay inside if you must, to avoid eye or skin irritation.
  • Keep your eyes moisturized with eye drops.  Check with your doctor first.
  • If you are planning a splash in the pool, grab your goggles to protect from chlorine.

This information is from EyeSite on Wellness and Bard Optical.

Gadget of the Month:    Magnifying Floor Lamp

This floor lamp provides a large print view of reading material.  It also gives a close-up view of what you are working on while leaving your hands free.  This can make your jigsaw puzzles, crafts and sewing easier to work with.  The lamps have strong lighting and flexible necks to allow you to place in at multiple angles.  If you are interested in purchasing a magnifying floor lamp, they are available at Amazon, MaxiAids, and a dozen more stores for $99 and up.  

About Alexa and the Echo Show & Tell

  • Alexa can show you more – Compact 5.5” smart display ready to help manage your day, entertain at a glance, and connect you to friends and family.
  • Made to fit your life – Cook along to step-by-step recipes. Easily update to-do lists and calendars. Choose the clock face that fits your style best and glance at weather and traffic on your way out.
  • Big entertainment – Ask Alexa to show you movie trailers, TV shows, movies, or the news. Or listen to radio stations, podcasts, and audiobooks.
  • Control your smart home – Voice control compatible devices or manage them on the easy-to-use display. Ask Alexa to show you security cameras, control lights, and adjust thermostats. Create morning routines to start your day.
  • Connect with video calling and messaging – Call friends and family who have the Alexa app, an Echo device with a screen, or Skype. Make announcements to other devices in your home.
  • Put your memories on display. You can turn your home screen into a digital frame, share your favorites with friends and family, and even take photos.
  • Designed to protect your privacy –Built with multiple layers of privacy controls including a mic/camera off button and a built-in camera shutter.
  • Approximate Cost $80. Can be found on Amazon.

“Reading in the Dark” Book Club

When:  Tuesdays, May 11th and 25th at 10:00am.

In April we read “Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah DB 66232 and “1984” by George Orwell DB 73474

Summary of Firefly Lane: Childhood friends Kate and Tully begin work at a Seattle television station after college. Tully is determined to become a successful anchorwoman, while Kate is content to marry and have kids. Tully’s later betrayal destroys their friendship–until tragedy strikes.

Join us for a fun hour of discussion and comradery!  We also talk about other book suggestions. Come prepared with ideas for our next books!

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings

Our May Zoom topics have something for everyone and are full of interesting topics that can assist you in your everyday life.  We encourage you to sign up for all that piques your interest.  Bring a friend or spouse!  Sighted or not!! If you see a topic (or all) that you are interested in, be sure to contact the office via email or phone at 503-668-6195 to say you are attending.  Sometimes we will send out “supplies” for classes and we need plenty of time to get items to you.  Also, when attending, remember to log on 5-15 minutes early as we close the class 5 minutes after it starts.

May Zoom schedule:

Tuesday      5/4/21     10am-11am
American Council of the Blind of Oregon – What is it, what does it do, and should I join?

Tuesday      5/4/21     1pm-2pm    
Anger, denial, depression, acceptance – you are not alone.

Wednesday      5/5/21     10am-11am
YouTube & Sight Loss – How to find videos you are interested in.

Wednesday      5/5/21      1pm-2pm

                 Oregon Commission for the Blind – What services do they provide?

Thursday    5/6/21     10am-11am
Group Chat- RP Sight/Hearing Loss

Thursday   5/6/21   1pm-2pm                 Group Chat- Favorite Poems and Poets

Tuesday      5/11/21   10am-11:30am
“Reading in the Dark” Book Club      

Tuesday      5/11/21   1pm-2pm   
“Oh my Aching Back”

Wednesday      5/12/21   10am-11am
Talking Books Program

Wednesday      5/12/21   1pm-2pm
Notes & Voice Notes- Tips & Tricks

Thursday     5/13/21   10am-11am                          Group Chat- Macular Degeneration

Thursday    5/13/21   1pm-2pm    
Group Chat – Pivotal People in Our Lives

Tuesday      5/18/21   10am-11am
Hull Park Day Adventures Possibilities

Tuesday      5/18/21   1pm-2pm
The Artist in You

Wednesday      5/19/21   10am-11am
Build a first aid kit & more with PenFriend

Wednesday      5/19/21   1pm-2pm
Close Circuit TV – What is it and will it work for me?

Thursday    5/20/21   1pm-2pm    
Group Chat – Our go-to comfort foods

Tuesday   5/25/21      10am-11:30am
“Reading in the Dark” Book Club      

Tuesday      5/25/21   1pm-2pm    
Angel Eyes Fitness and Nutrition

Wednesday      5/26/21   10am-11am
Hosting Friends at Home

Wednesday      5/26/21   1pm-2pm

Apps to Help you Get Around Town

Thursday   5/27/21   1pm-2pm

Group Chat- How do you Cope with Stress?

Remember to keep in mind that you will need to contact our office to confirm which (or all) meetings you want to attend. The Zoom meeting will be closed at 5 minutes after the meeting starts.

Kat’s Gardening Tips with Sight Loss

Whether you have sight loss or are totally blind, you can make this easy herb garden.

Many herbs can be grown in water and hung from hooks in your window. This is a good way to save space and not worry about knocking them over.  You could grow chives, cilantro, peppermint, lemon balm, sage, stevia, rosemary, many types of thyme, basil, and even fennel.

Labeling is a key to knowing which herb is which. Those with sight loss may choose a verity of colors and markers with different size tags.  Those who are blind may use braille or a Pen Friend to label the jars.

I find a different color label attached with an elastic band to be helpful – on one side is the name of the herb and on the other is the planting date.

You will need the following (you can find all this at a Dollar Store):

-Over the door 6 hook coat rack

– 2 bags of small rocks

-6 empty (cleaned and dried) spice jars or any small 4 oz. jar with a lip on it

-Floral wire or twine.

-Bottled water and scissors.

You will also need six herb clippings. The clippings can be from plants in your yard or from your neighbor. There is no need to go out and buy new plants.  The clippings should be at least 5-6 inches long.

If you have a West facing windowsill that is wide enough for your containers, great.  This will give them the afternoon and evening sun.  Hang the hook on the window where the lock is located. On most windows, the back hooks should slide down and hold tight. If this will not work for your windows, try installing a curtain rod and hang from the rod.

To prepare your jars, clean out any residue of spices if using old spice jars. Take the wire and wrap around the lip of the jar then made a 3–4-inch loop and secure wire on opposite side of jar creating a handle on top that you will use to hang the jar on the window hook. Set them aside. Next, prepare your labels. Waterproof works best.  Then, have room temperature water ready. Tap water is ok but filtered water may be better depending on your type of water.

Take your starts and cut the stem at an angle and place in containers adding more water if needed to cover the stems but do not get the leaves wet.  For something like Rosemary, and Fennel, carefully trim off some of the spikes so as only to have the stem in the water. Place your small stones in each jar to fill about halfway. This will keep your clipping upright.

Hang each jar on a hook in your window and they will be safely out of your way and easily accessible. Depending on the herb. You should expect to have rooted herbs in about 2-4 weeks.

This same method can be done with green house plants as well.

About Hull Park –

The Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind is located in Sandy, Oregon on 22 acres at the foot of the Mt. Hood National Forest.  Among many features of the park, one of the favorites for our blind and sight loss guests is our “fishpond”.  It is stocked with trout and you are welcome to catch and release fish while attending any of our on-site events and when we can open based on COVID guidelines.  The fish shack is stocked with fishing poles and other equipment, so no need to bring your own.  Registration is required.  Please call our office for more details at 503-668-6195.

Here are some mom jokes to end our May Sight Loss Monthly newsletter.  Enjoy!

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

“Mom, what’s it like to have the greatest daughter in the world?” “I don’t know, ask your grandma!”

“Why did the baby strawberry cry? Because his mom was in a jam!”

“Why did the bean children give their mom a sweater? Because she was chili.”

“What did the mama tomato say to the baby tomato? Catch up!”

Stay well, stay safe, stay happy!

The Hull Foundation Family

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