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Sight Loss Monthly November 2023

SLM November 2023 2

November 2023

The Hull Foundation

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

Gratitude, The Fastest Way to Leverage Happiness…p. 4

OMSI Partnered with Aira…p. 8

Why I Stopped Driving Even Though I’m Still Legal…p. 9

Hearing Aid Tip of the Month…p. 13

Reading in the Dark Book Club…p. 14

Curried Cottage Pie…p. 17

Fall Home Freshener Simmer Pot…p. 21

Hull Foundation Events and Seminars…p. 23
Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings…p. 25

Jokes to Keep you Laughing or Groaning…p. 26

Contact Us…p. 27

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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Gratitude, the Fastest Way to Leverage Happiness

Teresa Christian – Sight Loss Instructor and Life Coach

“Gratitude is the mother of all virtues”


Gratitude can help us make a shift from feeling really down about a situation to feeling better and noticing what we do have and what is going well. Being in the gratitude mindset raises your vibration and that means you are radiating positive feelings. When you’re putting out positive vibes you become a magnet for good things. The world then becomes your oyster.

Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude experience a plethora of benefits.

Physically it can lower blood pressure, people tend to have fewer aches and pains, tend to exercise more, and eat better. They have stronger immune systems, sleep better, and feel more refreshed upon waking.

Psychologically it can help people feel more alive, alert, and awake. People experience more optimism, happiness, pleasure, and joy. They tend to have higher levels of positive emotions.

Socially, people tend to experience more feelings of compassion, generosity, and forgiveness. They are more outgoing, less lonely, and isolated.

“Gratitude may be the most important key to success” says Benjamin Hardy, author of ‘How to Consciously Design your Ideal Future’.

Gratitude during difficult times is possible. As counterintuitive as it may seem, it can help you get through those hard times.

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, he says that not only is it helpful, but essential.

It is possible to be grateful without feeling grateful. Sometimes things just suck, and life doesn’t feel good at all. If you mentally focus on the good, the feelings will follow. What you focus on expands. The goal of gratitude is to acknowledge difficulty and pain and reframe how you’re thinking about it; it is not to deny or ignore the agony you’re experiencing. It might take some time to reframe the internal story, but well worth it.

Humor is a fabulous coping mechanism; my family has used this extensively to help us get through some truly tragic times in our family. Time plus crisis equals humor. It is a well-known concept in the comedy community that humor is a step away from tragedy.

Give it a try, experiment with it for a while. What do you have to lose except those bad feelings?

OMSI Partnered with Aira

-Creanna Read, Event Coordinator

OMSI is sponsoring tickets for a group of 10 guests to visit the museum and use the newly partnered Aira app. Please contact the office if you are interested in being one of those 10! Continue reading for information about OMSI and Aira partnership!

“The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is now partnered with Aira to bring an enhanced experience for the visually impaired. Explore the museum with a remote human assistant who provides on-demand access to visual information. The service enables users to navigate their surroundings, explore new environments, and engage with various activities. To connect to Aira, all you need is a smartphone, an internet connection, and the free Aira app, available in both Spanish and English.”

Annemarie Eayrs

OMSI Communications Manager  

Why I Stopped Driving Even Though I’m Still Legal

– Meagan Moore, Sight Loss Instructor

I stopped so I could be in control. I didn’t want to receive a letter telling me it was time to surrender my license or worse, hurt or kill someone.

Driving a vehicle is a privilege that can be easily taken for granted. When I started struggling to navigate in the dark, I stopped driving at night. My husband would drive, or I would ask someone if we could carpool. While we were living in the Portland Metro area, I got comfortable with Public Transit. My boys loved riding the Max and the bus. Going to the Oregon Zoo and The Children’s Museum became an even more fun adventure when we added the Max ride there and back. It was less stressful for me, and I could enjoy being with my kids more. I was intentionally learning other transportation options and weaning myself off driving.

In October 2020, I was already staying home for the most part, I was homeschooling my oldest due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and groceries were being delivered. I was carefully planning out my routes for when I did drive. I made sure to watch the sunset and sunrise times and avoided tunnels, shady areas, highways, rush hour and so forth. It was becoming tiresome to ask my eye specialist if he thought it was time for me to hang up my keys—he never seemed to have a straight answer. By mid-October I was ready, and I handed my keys to my husband, and I said, “I’m done. Sell the car.”

It has been three years since I stopped driving. I no longer am the chauffeur for my kids to sports events, to school and school functions or anywhere. I do not miss driving. I had not realized the anxiety it was causing me. A burden was lifted from my shoulders. We found a home where I can walk most places since Public Transportation isn’t amazing here. I enjoy walking everywhere, to coffee, to school, to the dentist, the grocery store, the cute downtown area and so many other places. The first night in our cute home, I walked across the street to pick up Papa Murphy’s pizza for dinner. I was in tears, I was so relieved and excited that I found a way to still provide for my family, still run out and complete an errand. Who knew picking up a pizza would be so fulfilling?

Hearing Aid Tip of the Month

By SLI Meagan Moore

During the last Hearing and Sight Loss group chat we talked all about hearing aids. We were only able to cover the basics such as different types, what to consider when looking for a pair and why I recommend an Audiologist over a hearing technician you might find at local hearing aid centers. The hearing tip I would like to provide for this newsletter is, advocate for yourself in noisy environments. Try something as simple as asking for the restaurant to turn down the volume of the music by your table or suggest eating outside where the lighting may be better and has less background noise. Making a simple request like this can really improve your mood and help make outings with others more enjoyable and less stressful! 

Reading in the Dark Book Club

– Marja Byers, Sight Loss Instructor

In October we discussed “The Salt Path” by Raynor Winn, DB106187, and for Halloween we read, “The Grub-and-Stakers House a Haunt” by Alisa Craig, DB38987.

At our October 10th meeting someone mentioned reading the children’s book “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, DB92109, which several libraries have banned. The book runs just over 9 minutes and is a true story, we decided to also talk about this book as well at our meeting on the 24th. As usual we had another interesting discussion!

Our book selections for November are;

11/14 “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion, DB78150, 8:12.

“The Rosie project is a 2013 novel by Australian novelist Graeme Simsion. The novel centers on genetics professor, Dan Tillman, who struggles to have serious relationships with women, (he has Asperger‘s syndrome). With a friend’s help, he devises a questionnaire to assess the suitability of female partners.”

We will also discuss “You’re Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children” by Dr. Suess, DB34062, 11 minutes.

11/28 “When Elephants Weep: the emotional lives of animals” by Jeffery Moussaieff Masson, DB41191, 11:17.

“Dancing squirrels to bashful gorillas to spiteful killer whales. Masson and coauthor Susan McCarthy bring forth fascinating anecdotes and illuminating insights that offer powerful proof of the existence of animal emotion. Chapters on love, joy, anger, fear, shame, compassion, and loneliness are framed by a proactive re-evaluation of how we treat animals, from hunting and eating them to scientific experimentation. Forming a complete and compelling picture of the inner lives of animals, “When Elephants Weep”, assures that we will never look at animals in the same way again.”

We always welcome anyone interested, whether or not you’ve read the book we’re discussing. This call is not on ACB Community Calls, if you’d like to join us you can call our office to get the link information. 503-668-6195.

Curried Cottage Pie, Courtesy Sorted Food

-Desiree, Sight Loss Instructor

Serves 4


2 tbsp curry powder

300 ml beef stock

1 splash Worcestershire sauce

2 large baking potatoes

3 parsnips

1 glug milk

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 onion

1 clove garlic

1 carrot

2 sticks celery

2 bay leaves

1 shot oil

1 bunch fresh thyme

400 g beef mince

1 tbsp plain flour

1 squeeze tomato puree



Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery before frying in a deep pan with a shot of oil with the bay leaves.


Strip the leaves from the thyme and add to the pan with the raw beef mince. Cook until the mince is browned. Stir in the flour, tomato puree and curry powder.


Add the stock and Worcestershire sauce, bring to a simmer, and allow to bubble gently for an hour.


Preheat the oven to 200°C.


Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks and do the same with the parsnips, remembering to core them if the centers are very woody. Submerge both in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil.


Simmer for 20 minutes until cooked, then drain and return to the dry pan. Splash in the milk and spoon in the cumin before mashing until smooth.


Tip the beef mix into a deep roasting tray so it half fills the dish then spoon mash the spiced parsnip potato mix over the top… no need to be neat!


Bake in the oven for 15 minutes to gain a crisp golden top and serve with some steamed veg.

Fall Home Freshener Simmer Pot

-Tina, Sight Loss Instructor


3 to 4 cups of water

Zest of 1 large navel orange or 4 clementine oranges 

Zest of 1 lemon

1 sprig fresh rosemary

3 fresh bay leaves 

2 cinnamon sticks

2-4 tbsp cinnamon 

2 tsp ginger

2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tbsp vanilla extract 

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie extract 


Mix all ingredients together in a small to medium pot and simmer on medium until bubbly. Then turn the heat down to low for an hour. Stir occasionally.  Cover with a lid when not using to fragrance the house. Can be warmed and heated up to 2 to 3 days. Then start a new one. 

Hull Foundation Events and Seminars:

Check out all the upcoming events!

– November 8th One Day Fun Day Thanksgiving Dinner

– November 8th– 10th Advanced Sight Loss Seminar

– December 8th at 3pm Board Member Meeting

– December 12th – 15th Winter Holiday Getaway

– December 16th– January 2nd Office CLOSED

– January 3rd – February 3rd Membership Drive

– January 12th at 3pm Quarterly Membership Meeting to Discuss Park Improvements

– January 17th-19th Intro to Sight Loss Seminar

– January 23rd One Day Fun Day

– January 27th at 10am Annual Board Meeting

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 quickly, so jump in with both feet, save your spot and come out to Hull Park!

Hull Foundation Presents Zoom Meetings:

Beginning in January 2024 we will be hosting a NEW zoom class for the spouses, caregivers and any loved ones who have someone in their life that has sight impairment or blindness.

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 phone.

Jokes to Keep you Laughing…or Groaning!

Q. What did one pumpkin pie say to the other?

A. “You want a piece of me?”

Q. Why should you never tell secrets in a cornfield?

A. Because the corn has ears!

Q. What did the sweet potatoes wear to bed?

A. Yammies

Q. What’s a turkeys favorite dessert?

A. Peach gobbler

Q. Why didn’t the turkey want desert?

A. It was stuffed.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay happy!

Contact Us:

The Hull Foundation Family
Phone: 503-668-6195



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