September 13, 2003

News from 9-13-03

Posted in News at 1:57 am by turninginstitute

Hello, Friends of the Turning Institute! 9-13-03

We have been very busy and want you to know!

The house in Mt Vernon has been rewired and we have been little by little getting it in order. The yard is being raked of years of pinecones. We made a vegetable bed in the front yard, the only place with sun, and actually harvested cantaloupes! Please stop by if you are in the Skagit!

This summer Aurelia and Doris took a trip east of the Mountains, visiting our Advisory Board sages, Richard Beyer and Margaret Beyer in Pateros. We thank them for their hospitality and insight, and for showing us fossils.

TI has been active with the Skagit End of Life Coalition, an alliance of hospice, end of life care providers, and individuals who want to educate the public about death and dying process and concerns. Through SEOLC we found out about a grant opportunity called Faith in Action, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. TI is forming partnerships with Skagit organizations in order to apply for an FIA grant. (See for more information.) It is $35,000 over three years, and would fund a staff coordinator to do outreach to family caregivers.

The Turning Institute is sponsoring a series of gatherings this coming year called the Open Road Dialogues, inspired by poetry by Walt Whitman, about the deeper questions raised for people in community when a friend dies. These are presented in memory of our friend Greg Flynn who died this year, and Advisory Board member Curtis Chapel, who died last summer. They will be on Sunday nights about once a month. The first Open Road is Sunday, September 21, 7-9 pm, at 118 So. 5th St., Mt Vernon. Please call if you would like information about future Open Roads.

This fall our Caregiver Renewal Days (in Mount Vernon) are Saturdays, Sept. 20, and Nov. 15th, 10am-5pm. If you are a caregiver, or know one, please invite the to this day! For more information, call (360) 336-3453. TI is looking into sponsoring Caregiver Renewal Days in Seattle as well as Mount Vernon. We would like to find a cost-conscious way of doing so on a sustainable basis. We are looking for homes or other comfortable locations to host caregivers. We will also need help with food, program presentations, and volunteers to help out. Please call if you would like to be part of this developing opportunity to reach out to caregivers in King County. We hope to have the first Seattle Caregiver Renewal Day on December 14th. Please pass this info on to caregivers you know who might enjoy it!

For more info on CR Days, see our website,

Also coming up is the Skagit Festival of Family Farms October 4-5, a day-long tour/open house of some great locations in the Skagit Valley. Stop by if you come up here for the Festival. TI will be hosting Puget Sound Rethinking Schools on Saturday the 4th. Call if you would like to join us, there will be brunch about 10 am and then just carpooling (or bicycling?) around the Valley for the day.

Mark your calendars for Figgy Pudding, the carol-festival held annually as a benefit for Pike Market Senior Center and Clinic. This year it is the first Friday in December, Dec. 6th. As we did the last couple years, we will "appear" as the inimitable Turning Institute Singers! Meet about 4:30 at 22nd and Union (at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, where TI has an office, and go downtown together from Capitol Hill. The singing is one hour, on a corner yet to be assigned. We bring songbooks, and last year there were not one but two accordions adding to the din. We even got the Salvation Army bell-ringer to ring in time with our songs, so it was all good.

This past summer there were seven young adults living at Doris and Aurelia’s houses in Mount Vernon, volunteering and interning either for the Nature Conservancy or a People for Puget Sound conservation project (eliminating spartina grass from wetlands in Skagit and adjacent counties). They brought a great boost of caring and energy to our midst, and TI would like to thank them for all the good nature of their presence, and lots of help in little ways to keep this community rolling.

Doris is planning to attend the Bioneers Conference in the Bay Area this October 17-19. The Turning Institute joined the Bioneers in honor of Curtis Chapel’s avid support for their goals (save the planet and its bio-diversity, sooner than later!) As an organizational member, TI is entitled to sponsor 10 conference participants, who receive a 10% discount on registration fee. Before Sept. 26, the member fee for 3 days of conference is $283. If you are interested in attending, check their website, http://www.bioneers. org, and give Doris a call (during the week, 206-715-0321).

At this point in time, operating expenses for Turning Institute services are about $200 per month. If you would like to make a contribution it would be used wisely to create support programs for caregivers and youth. Any amount, $10, 20, or 50 would be a great benefit. (Just mail a check to: Turning Institute, 118 So. 5th St. Mount Vernon, WA 98274) We are working on creating some sustainable income flow by publishing a child’s alphabet coloring book, and offering trainings in topics relating to caregiving. Call us for more info on these projects. Thank you for supporting Turning Institute!

And a special thanks to Benjamin Galbraith, our Intern from Western Washington University this past year, who put up our website, researched grant possibilities, and has helped TI move forward. Keep up your great-natured persistence, Ben!

TI is a member of the National Family Caregiver Association. See their website, for lots more ideas and info on caregiver support.