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Sight Loss Monthly November 2021

The Hull Foundation’s

It is not happy people who are thankful but thankful people who are happy – anonymous

Sight Loss         Monthly News


“The publishing of this newsletter is a service of The Hull Foundation and Learning Center 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 Message from Jeanne Marie, Board President…p. 4

Eyesight and Balance, Part 3 …p. 6

Tip of the Month:  Gratitude …p. 9

Tech Tip:   New iPad Mini …p. 12

Reading in the Dark Book Club …p. 13

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings …p. 15

November Zoom Schedule…p. 16

Virtual Walkathon …p. 19

Volunteer Corner …p. 24

Upcoming Events…p. 25

Jokes to Keep Us Laughing …p. 26

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 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: 

A Message from Jeanne Marie, Board President…

Hull Foundation and Learning Center has been a blessing in my life. I had attended some tea parties but hadn’t attended a retreat until February 2020. Since then, I have experienced a couple of events.  I call the foundation a “resort hostel” because when one comes for events, the staff is there to be of service to guests and the dorm is similar to a hostel for travelers- except most of them do not have a pool and a hot tub!

There are retreats in the winter and in the summer and guests return time after time, even with masks on!  We still have great fun learning, experiencing, and conversing about anything and everything. I highly recommend signing up for what is offered here.

This past month was membership month here at the Hull Foundation.  We appreciate each and every one of you who became a new annual or lifetime member.  You make a difference in the lives of the people we serve through your support.  Membership means different things to different people.  Luther and I are life members and the memberships, at any level, really make a difference since the majority of Hull Foundation’s financial support comes from individuals.

I am so glad the Foundation has been creative and survived this pandemic, staying open and continuing to provide services to people experiencing sight loss and blindness.  I think magic happens at the Foundation: the magic of a safe environment, the magic of connections, and the building of community.

Eyesight and Balance, Part 3 …

By Marja Byers, Sight Loss Instructor

We know that there are exercise programs designed to help older adults with balance issues. Now let’s talk about some strategies for when you are having an off-balance day because they happen even when we’ve been working on improving our balance.

There are a number of things that can affect your balance on a day-to-day basis. I woke up not feeling well today and I have felt like I’m walking in a kids bounce house. Sudden progressive sight loss, low blood sugar, high or low blood pressure, fatigue, anxiety and stress, allergies that can impair our hearing- all of these affect different people in different ways.  There may be many different things that can trigger balance issues.

Strategies for balance support:

It’s important for us to be aware when we are having an off-balance day and decide on a plan. First of all, SLOW DOWN! I have had a fall because I was moving too fast, and I am happy to report that I have learned to take my own advice! Depending on what I have planned for the day, is it worth the risk? Do I have paratransit scheduled or was I going to take the regular bus? If I don’t have paratransit scheduled, am I safe to ride the bus? If not, can I take Uber of Lyft? Do I have a sighted friend that may be able to help with transportation as well as balance support?

I have also purchased a support cane to use in addition to my guide dog for when I need it, even if we are just going outside to relieve him. There are other days that I have made the decision that it is just not worth the risk of falling and to not leave my house. After several falls, I’ve learned not to apologize for staying put on a bad balance day. Stay safe out there!

Tip of the Month:  Gratitude

Gratitude, the Holy Grail of Happiness

By Teresa Christian, Sight Loss Instructor

For me, gratitude was one of those things that all the self-help books said we “should” do, and I didn’t get it. In my ignorant arrogance, I didn’t do it, brushed it off to the side and ignored the admonitions. It was akin to my mother trying to get me to eat peas when I was a kid. I finally tried gratitude, and, to my surprise and chagrin, I’ll be darned if it didn’t work! Well, so

much for me being all-knowing. These folks are successful, and I wasn’t, maybe they knew what they were talking about.

Recently I was feeling anxious and stressed out and realized I hadn’t done my gratitude journal for several days. I immediately sat down and went through the process. It totally shifted my attitude, and my feelings went from upset to calm. Now I write in my gratitude journal almost every day. It helps me keep a positive outlook and feel so abundantly blessed. If you have experienced the benefits of gratitude, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I suggest you at least give it a good try and decide for yourself. I’m pretty sure you’ll like it.

Feeling gratitude does not have to be about something huge and grandiose.  In fact, you get more milage if you make it about small things. It can be as small as being grateful for your toenails or that you are breathing. Maybe even being grateful for a problem (challenge) because it is helping you to grow. Here is something with which to experiment. At night list seven things you are grateful for that day. Try this for a week and check out how you feel. Things might seem brighter. 

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

—Oprah Winfrey

Join us for a Zoom discussion on this topic Nov. 10th at 10am

Tech Tip:   New iPad Mini

By Marty Sobo, Sight Loss Instructor

The brand-new iPad Mini is here!  This new iPad is small and powerful. It’s the small sibling to the iPad Air. The screen has a great picture in a small package. It goes from top to bottom and side to side giving you more screen real estate. The bezels are super slim making it very light weight. There’s no longer a home button. It comes in multiple choices of colors as well as really nice sounding speakers. It starts out with 64 gigs of hard drive space, but you can upgrade to 256 gigs of hard drive space. You also have your choice of Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and cellular. If you’re looking for an iPad that’s a small but powerful and easily goes with you, then this might be the iPad for you.

Reading in the Dark Book Club

When:  Tuesdays, November 9th and 23rd at 10:00am.

In October we read Educated: A Memoir: By Tara Westover   DB 90188

Educated, tells the story of her journey to obtain an education. Westover is the youngest of seven children who grew up in the mountains of southwest Idaho in a radical Mormon family in the late 1980s and 1990s. From an early age, Westover knew that her family was not like other families because hers did not send the children to school, did not visit doctors’ offices or hospitals, and was not issued birth certificates. Westover’s world was the mountain in Idaho where she grew up until Brigham Young University accepted her at 16 years old. Getting into college started her down a path to understanding of home, herself, and the world through her education.

Our next book will be “A Perfect Life”, by Danielle Steel DB 80069. A newscaster and her daughter Salima who is blind, confront challenges, cope with celebrity, and work through tragedy while maintaining an idyllic façade to the outside world.

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!

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 November 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.

November Zoom Schedule:

Tuesday 11/2/21 1-2pm

Securing your Digital Life:  Passwords and Digital Safety

Wednesday 11/3/21 10-11am

Intro to Mac Computer Class 2

Wednesday 11/3/21 1-2pm

Walkathon Update

Thursday 11/4/21 10-11am

Supporting our Loved Ones with Sight Loss

Thursday 11/4/21 1-2pm

Out of the House and Back into the Store:  Shop independently

Tuesday 11/9/21 10-11am

Reading in the Dark Book Club

Tuesday 11/9/21 1-2pm

How are you Doing and How are you Dealing?

Wednesday 11/10/21 10-11am

Gratitude:  The Holy Grail of Happiness

Wednesday 11/10/21 1-2pm

Warm and Cozy at Home: Online Shopping and Grocery Delivery

Tuesday 11/16/21 10-11am

Group Chat- Sight and Hearing Loss

Tuesday 11/16/21 1-2pm

Finding and Consuming Podcasts: Using your Devices to Access Podcasts

Wednesday 11/17/21 10-11am

Phone and Tablet Q & A

Wednesday 11/17/21 1-2pm

Walkathon Update

Thursday 11/18/21 1-2pm

Group Chat- Dry Eye

Thursday 11/18/21 6:30-7:30pm

How are you Doing and How are you Dealing?

Tuesday 11/23/21 1-3pm

Group Chat- All about Turkey Day: Trivia, Tidbits, and Memories

Tuesday 11/30/21 10-11am

Reading in the Dark Book Club

Tuesday 11/30/21 1-2pm

Read More Books: Learn the Audible App

Virtual Walkathon

By Kat Rogers, Sight Loss Instructor

We are already 3 weeks into our world walkathon. If you have not already sent in your sponsorship or miles, please join us. Here is a sample of part of the story:

Once we arrived at the start of our hike, we split into four different groups. Jennifer took the first group with the dogs who always want to be up front and leading the pack, followed by Monica’s group that was hiking but not fast.  Then Kerith’s group came next, and then finally KAT’s group of those who enjoy a leisurely hike through the woods.

After about an hour of hiking through the fantastic forest, listening to the local birds and the wind whistling through the trees, we came to the top of the hill. Everyone was chatting about what they had seen along the way. Each time we came to a cliff edge, we could see far below and knew we had gained more altitude than we expected. There were hand gliders, base jumpers, rock divers and what looked like a parasailer. The sky was filled with color from the chutes.

The first group had already finished their light meal and were getting fitted for harnesses. “What is that?” asked Lois, “Why are they getting those harnesses on?” “Well,” said Jennifer, “I’m not saying. This is our next surprise.” “The harness looks like those that we use for rock climbing,” said Maureen. “Very similar,” said our guide. So, to describe the harness for those who are not sure what Maureen is referring to, the harness has three basic parts- it has a belt that goes around your waist and two smaller belts that go around each of your thighs. These two are then connected in the front by a sturdy connection with hooks onto which a carabiner clip is attached. As Maureen stated, it is the same type of belt we use when we go rock climbing.  You are then hooked to ropes so that when you climb, you are tethered to the person below who is keeping you safe. These types of belts are used for many different types of activities.

As the first group disappeared up and over the hilltop, we all wondered what was going on. We could hear shouts and screams of delight from the other side of the hilltop. There was even lots of laughter. Shortly thereafter the guide came back and said he was ready for the second group. Again, the second group disappeared over the hill. Again, we heard screams and at one point you could hear Wes hollering “Geronimo” and more laughter. That just brought more confusion from the rest of us. The guide came and took Kerith’s group. Now that really was making the rest of us nervous because nobody was coming back. As we listened to them all disappear and screams and more screams, we all started to sweat. “Now what’s going on?” asked Sharon. “My lips are sealed,” said KAT.  “You asked for an adventure, and you’re on an adventure.” Finally, the guide came back for our group.  As we donned our harnesses and headed up over the hilltop to the other side, we just stood there in amazement. We were standing at the edge of the cliff with some type of apparatus in front of us.  There were no other people.  “Where are the rest of our guests?” asked Lois.  “They will meet you at the bottom,” said our guide.  As we all moved closer to the apparatus, we could see the forest floor far far below.  “Oh no,” said Lois.  “I know what this is.  I’m not going on that.”  “Oh, but you are,” said KAT.  “This is the only way to get off the hilltop.”  For those with some vision, it was like looking at thousands of treetops hundreds of feet below. You could feel the wind blowing in your hair and we were so high you could not even hear the regular birds. One by one we were strapped to the apparatus.  We were given our instructions and on to the zip line we all went one by one.  With screams and laughter, we traversed the tops of the trees from one zip line to another over waterfalls and lagoons, flying like the birds.

Volunteer Corner

In October, we had a volunteer group from Teen Challenge come to Hull Park and work on repairing the access road down to the lower acres of the park.  They also raked leaves- which is a serious project during the fall season at the park!  This is just an example of some activities that volunteers can do to help the foundation.  If you would like more information about how you, your family, or club can volunteer please contact the office at 503-668-6195.  If you would like to find out more about Teen Challenge their website is:

Upcoming Events

Winter Adventure Retreat- Feb. 6-12, 2022

Spring Fling Getaway- April 5-8, 2022

Friends and Alumni Retreat- June 5-9, 2022

Moderate Adventure Retreat- Aug. 10-16, 2022

High Adventure Retreat- Aug. 24-30, 2022

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

-Why did they let the turkey join the band? Because he had his own drumsticks.

-What happened to the turkey that got in a fight?

He got the stuffing knocked out of him!

-If you call a big turkey a gobbler, what do you call a small one?

A goblet.

-What did the turkey say to the computer?

Google, google.

-What do you get if you cross a turkey with a ghost?

A poultry-geist.

Stay well, stay safe, stay happy!

The Hull Foundation Family

Phone:  503-668-6195  



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