August 2020
Online WELCOME Orientation
for New Members
September 18, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM Central Time

This webinar happens every month and is a great opportunity to “get to know TTN”. This webinar is led by Susan Collins, TTN Executive Director.

Location:  Online Webinar
Contact:  Jennifer Monahan at  info@thetransitionnetwork.org
 
Women Weaving Words Garden Party
Saturday, August 29 - POSTPONED

Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and since we have three featured guests, we have decided to postpone this event until Summer 2021. Watch for an announcement in the spring.

This garden party, hosted by Terri Evans at her home in St. Michael, will feature several guests and focus on the idea of WOMEN and STORY! Please join us for a day of women sharing and writing stories, for food and wine, for community, and more. This event is for members only, and registration is limited to 30. The cost for this event is $20.

We are elated to be joined by three featured guests for this event:

  • World class jazz vocalist and songwriter, Nancy Harms! Check out her recently released album, “She,” and her official website: http://www.nancyharms.com/.
  • Local actress, Sue Scott! Listen to the latest episode of “The Island of Discarded Women,” the podcast that she created, and her official website: https://www.suescottetc.com/
  • Local author and comedian, Lorna Landvik! Take a look at her latest book, Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes), and her official website: https://www.lornalandvik.com/

Also, for this event we hope to work with “ and now she rises ” ( https://andnowsherises.org/ ), a local non-profit working to change the narratives of victims of domestic abuse, by asking attendees to donate bras for the women whom this organization serves. More to come on this. 

Please join us for a day of women sharing and writing stories, for food and wine, for community, and more.
Women in Transition Workshop
Saturday, September 26 - POSTPONED
 
Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and since one of the facilitators for this program must travel from Santa Fe, we have decided to postpone this program until travel conditions are more predictable. Stay tuned for a new date.

This highly interactive workshop defines what it means to be in transition, and helps you explore your own transitions through small group discussion. Provocative questions stimulate conversation to expand your horizons and energize and support you on your journey.
This 4-hour signature TTN program has been presented to TTN chapters from coast to coast. It was offered in Minneapolis/St. Paul in October, 2018. Prior attendees have offered this about the workshop:

  • “Loved the action steps, applicable exercises. Much value in a short workshop.”
  • “It’s a great workshop to learn about yourself, to meet interesting women and to connect.”

If you have questions, please email Jill at  jill.goski@gmail.com.
Winter Quarterly Program
Active Aging: Discover What’s Next for You 
with Keynote Speaker, Joy Loverde
Rescheduled to Winter 2021

Due to the uncertainty of the Covid19 pandemic and since Joy must travel from Chicago, we have decided to postpone this program until early 2021.  Stay tuned for new date.   

Join to hear from best-selling author and national aging advocate Joy Loverde as she shares smart strategies for living your best life now and in the future. Participants will learn about the significance of the longevity revolution and aging well, along with key issues to consider, how to plan ahead, and more! Highlights of the discussion will include:

  • Obstacles to Aging in Place
  • Preparing for Solo Aging 
  • Essential Questions to Ask
  • Power of Self-Talk

Joy will reveal clear, practical, and relevant suggestions for you to build your own unique life plan for aging well.

If you have questions, please email Jill at:   j ill.goski@gmail.com

Register now to save your seat!  
July Events Recap
Get Connected Event

Ten women met on Zoom at the July 8 Get Connected event. As usual we touched on a lot of different topics. It was interesting to explore our commonality as we described our "perfect" day- before and after COVID-19.
Legacy Writing Health and Wellness Program

Legacy Workshop July 20th and 27th
Submitted by Nancy Bargsten

Karen West, a fellow member of TTN, shared her skills in legacy writing via Zoom workshops for two evenings. She is a teacher of conscious aging and sage-ing with legacy writing part of her training by her mentor, Rachael Freed, who has written several books on legacy writing.

Legacy writing takes on an expanded role and multiple purposes, beyond the financial and material items of a will which happens upon death. What stories, teachings, and blessings do you want to pass on now while living? What do you want to be remembered for or maybe words of wisdom to impart? How many times do we have reasons for putting off saying our words and/or telling our stories to those we love and have meaning in our lives. It is not narrative writing of events but the undercurrents and pulse of the life we have led. Our lives have “meaning” and sometimes putting pen to paper and getting our mind organized, we become more aware of influences in our lives and how we influenced others. Karen taught us the structure and techniques to use for legacy writing. We practiced our new skills and shared with each other. We all felt deeper connections as we took peeks into each others life and shared a piece of it. There are some tricks with writing as when feeling stuck. Try starting in the middle and not worry about the proper linear structure as having to start “at the beginning”. Life isn’t so linear either. I surprised myself in realizing, I have more stories to tell than I thought. In fact, the group collectively felt the value of legacy writing which may lead to the birth of a new SIG.
MEMBER CONTRIBUTIONS
Do you have something you want to share with TTN MSP members? If so, please forward to Jill and Cyndy for inclusion in future newsletter at jill.goski@gmail.com  and  clnelson03@gmail.com .
Transition Peer Groups
Our Transition Peer Groups (TPGs) continue to meet monthly using Zoom. Currently there are three peer groups: daytime groups in the east and west metro area and an evening east metro group. Each group has a unique focus. Check out each group's description in this newsletter. All groups welcome new members. Peer groups focus on mutual support and encouragement in an environment of confidentiality, compassion, and respect. We continue to explore opportunities to add new peer groups either geographically or by topic.

If you are a TTN member interested in joining an existing TPG, please let the contact person for that group know. If you have ideas for a new TPG or have general questions, please email Barbara at  barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com  or Grace at  gbartholet@gmail.com  and we will get back to you and set up a time to talk. We look forward to hearing from you.
LIFE ANIMATED
Submitted by Sylvia Mohn

The Life Animated TPG met on July 9 via Zoom to continue the topic of compartmentalization. 

Check in topics: Feelings of anxiety, feeling that quarantine is taking control of our lives, feeling a lack of purpose, feeling at odds, no demarcation of days, emotions and feelings that ebb and flow. We discussed how we're coping with immediate families and that the pandemic is putting a spotlight on relationships and expectations. Some women are feeling more dependent on kids than they want to be, while others are irritated by offers of help because it seems like we're not capable of running our lives. And, some of us feel we could do this indefinitely.

A discussion of compartmentalization included these thoughts: 
  • Procrastination is a form of compartmentalization
  • Compartmentalizing is living in the here and now
  • Working mothers coped by compartmentalizing
  • Managing complicated lives with a lot of balls in the air

We talked about how we're handling socializing in the time of the virus. How do you handle invitations when you want to say no? Some reported not feeling comfortable with neighbors getting together outside, even with chairs six feet apart. Some women are uncomfortable with many things including food and drink, people letting their guard down, viral load in air, or breathing others' air for an amount of time. One member noticed in a walking group that there was a tendency to get closer to other walkers for conversation. Several members of the group thought you should feel okay about doing what's comfortable for you.

Our Zoom meeting ended with the exhortation to Stay Positive.

Next month topic: Women's rights and suffragettes (19th amendment ratified on August 18, 1920). Zoom meeting  Thursday, August 13,  at 10:00 AM. Everyone can do preparation that appeals to them, send each other information and links.

Please contact Eleni Skevas at   eskevs@yahoo.com  if you are interested in joining this group. 


LIVING WITH PURPOSE
Submitted by Barbara O’Sullivan

The July Living with Purpose Transition Peer Group meeting focused on the topic of white privilege and anti-racism. We barely scratched the surface of these complex topics. Members shared their reactions to recent podcasts, articles, movies and books on the topic. Personal insights and experiences were shared. Our discussion will be carried over to our next Zoom meeting to be held  Thursday August 27 , at 6:30 PM. We decided to narrow in on the work of Ta-Nehsi Coates. Some members are reading his books. There are also numerous articles and podcasts available. He has influenced many other authors as well on the topics of racism and social injustice. We always welcome new members.

For more information or questions, contact Barbara at  Barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com .


WEST METRO PEER GROUP
Submitted by Terri Evans

The West Metro area TPG met on Monday, July 6. After a check-in with group members, Ginny Jacobson led an excellent discussion of White Privilege and Anti-Racism. Much of the discussion centered around Peggy McIntosh’s article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” published in 1989. Members discussed ways in which they had experienced " unearned disadvantage ” and then ways in which they had experienced “ unearned advantage/privilege .” Issues of income, geographic location, body size, education, age, and race among others were discussed. We talked about the importance of educating oneself being the first step in becoming “woke” where these issues are concerned. 

Because we felt that our discussion was just the first step in a long journey, we decided to continue the discussion of White Privilege and Anti-Racism at next month’s meeting. Members plan to read or view one of the many resources suggested by group members and then share with the group their takeaways from the experience. The group will meet for this discussion via Zoom on  Monday, August 3,  from 1:00-3:00 PM.

We are open to new members! We meet the first Monday of the month from 1:00-3:00 PM. We are currently meeting via Zoom.

For more information or questions, contact Barbara at  Barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com .

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Special Interest Group (SIGs) offer specific areas of shared interest to members. SIGs meet on Zoom or in-person in small groups that accommodate physical distance and require masks. As you will see in our current SIGs there is a wide variety of opportunities for social connection, as well as to learn new skills and gain knowledge. The variety and topics are infinite. SIGs may be ongoing or time limited. 

If you are a TTN member interested in joining an existing SIG, please let the contact person for that group know. If you have ideas for a new SIG or have general questions, please email Grace at  gbartholet@gmail.com  or Barbara at  barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com  and we will get back to you and set up a time to talk. We look forward to hearing from you.
LEGACY WRITING SIG
NEW SIG Looking for interested participants

On July 20 and 27, Karen West facilitated a legacy writing workshop. At the end of that workshop, some of the participants expressed a desire for Karen to form a Special Interest Group (SIG) for legacy writing that would meet monthly. Karen thought that was a great idea, so she is offering this opportunity. Karen will provide guidance when needed for how and when to write a legacy letter. Participants will spend time together writing and sharing (when they choose to) as they experiment with their own legacy letters. A day and time to meet will be selected by the women who express interest in this SIG.

If you are interested, have questions, or would like more information please email Karen at   karenw0214@gmail.com.   
GARDENS R US SIG – 
New Summer SIG looking for interested participants
Submitted by Julie Efta

This new summertime sig has launched! And everyone is welcome to visit! We now have 12 garden hosts who would like to meet you and share their outdoor spaces with you alone or as part of a small group.

If you would like to make some visits and/or add your information as another host, contact Julie Efta for the complete list of names, addresses, contact information and descriptions. Then contact the hosts separately to set a date and time.

Enjoy summer and well-being!

Questions? Contact Julie at  teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com
ON BEING SIG – New SIG looking for interested participants
Submitted by Ginny Jacobson

We had a wonderful first meeting of the  On Being  SIG on Monday, July 20. Prior to our meeting we had listened to the podcast, "Gregory Orr, Shaping Grief with Language." Julie Efta led us in an invigorating and thoughtful discussion about finding order in the chaos of our lives through writing or reading poetry. 

For our  Monday, August 17,  meeting from1:00-2:30 PM, we'll be discussing Krista's interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, entitled, "Imagining a New America." Coates is a poetic journalist and one of today's defining voices who wants us to be able to look at ourselves and our history critically. Please watch the podcast or read the transcript prior to the meeting. 
https://onbeing.org/programs/ta-nehisi-coates-imagining-a-new-america/#transcript

To join this SIG and to receive your Zoom invite, please email Julie at  teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com  or Ginny at  Ginnyjacobson3@gmail.com .
ART APPRECIATION SIG
Submitted by Tracey Baker

The Art Appreciation interest group met July 10 via Zoom. As always, we enjoyed hearing the personal check-ins of everyone. A slide show of collections and creations by members was the highlight of the meeting. 

Our next meeting is on  Wednesday, August 12,  at 1:00 PM via Zoom. We decided we will spend a little time looking at the elements of art which should help us view and appreciate the art we see and develop a shared vocabulary. As was mentioned at the last meeting, and the below resources show, various people and institutions have a different number of elements of art.

Here are some resources that can be explored in a few minutes.

We will also offer another slide show for our August meeting. Possible subjects: your art, art in your home, art you encounter as you move about your community, other creations (poetry, photography, dance, etc.) Please forward images to Terri Evans.
 
Any TTN member is welcome to join us!  After you RSVP to JeNell at the address below, you will receive a Zoom invitation and instructions. 

If you are interested in participating or want to be on our contact list, contact Tracey Baker at   tracey.baker@gmail.com  or JeNell Jacobson at   jenell@jacobson.org .
CARDS, COIN, CONVERSATION, & CANAPES SIG
Submitted by Robin Getman
 
This group has no plans to get together in the coming months, but you can join SIG host Robin on  Cardzmania!  It’s a free online resource for playing cards with other card-playing enthusiasts. 


Go to the Cardmainia website, create your free account, and you will be provided an ID to share with others. Cut and paste your (ridiculously long) ID and email your ID with a few days and times you might like to play a game of Spades or Hearts with Robin (Cards SIG host).

For more information, contact Robin at  RGetman220@aol.com
DAYTIME BOOK SIG
Submitted by Eleni Skevas

The Daytime Book Club met via Zoom in July and discussed  American Dirt  by Jeanine Cummins. We discussed the story which was riveting and well-written in its own right. However, the bulk of our attention was focused on the controversy surrounding the book. This book came under heavy fire from LatinX writers who objected to a Mexican migration story being told by a non-Mexican, non-Latino writer. Did we agree with this criticism? Did it constitute censorship? Was the criticism not only of the writer’s presumptuousness or also of the publishing industry’s insensitivity to giving LatinX writers a chance at being published on a par with white writers? Can a writer justly exclaim “Don’t tell me what I can write!” Can a reader justly exclaim “Don’t tell me what I can read, especially if the story is well-written and evokes compassion for the plight of the characters in the book!” Heated discussion, heated opinions, always civil, of course. Always interesting.

Next month on  Thursday,   August 6,  from 10:00 AM-Noon, the group will meet by Zoom to discuss  Kitchens of the Great Midwest  by J. Ryan Stradal. I’ve only read 30 pages so far and I am finding this novel very funny. The recipes included in the story are pretty good too.

Our book choice for  Thursday, September 3,  is  The Splendid   and The Vile  by Erik Larson.

We meet on the first Thursday of the month from 10:00 AM–Noon.

Question?  Contact Eleni Skevas at eskevs@yahoo.com
EVENING BOOK CLUB SIG
Submitted by Beth Stockinger

Our July book choice was  How Democracies Die: What History Reveals about our Future  by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. The authors are both Harvard professors who have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America. "Democracy no longer ends with a bang--in a revolution or military coup--but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms."

The book highlighted the strengths and vulnerabilities of democracies. The authors identified common characteristics of a democracy being dismantled and the path to authoritarianism. Our discussion started with reviewing the authors' historical examples of democracies challenged by authoritarian leaders. We had a deep and active discussion about the years leading up to the 2016 US election and the Trump presidency.
We also talked about the weakening of the intended safeguards and "guardrails" in our three branches of government.

What is Next?
***Monday, August 10,  at 6:30   (Date changed because Tuesday, August 11th is election day). Book selection is  Dutch House  by Ann Patchett

Tuesday, September 8,  at 6:30 -  How to Be an Antiracist  by Ibram X. Kendi

Tuesday, October 13,  at 6:30 -  This Tender Land  by William Kent Krueger

Tuesday, November 10,  at 6:30 -  White Fragility, Why It's So Hard For White People to Talk about Racism  by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson

We are interested in having additional TTN members join our group. We meet the second Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8:30 PM.

To learn more about the group contact Beth Stockinger at  alberstock@aol.com  or Grace Bartholet at  gbartholet@gmail.com .
EXPLORING FOOD SIG 
Submitted by Kathleen Peterson

What happens when you convene a group that includes two seasoned vegetarians, a pescatarian, two food scientists, and several others who want to eat more veggies and less meat? We found out at the July 10 Exploring Food SIG meeting via Zoom. The discussion was facilitated by Ginny Jacobson. Each participant had shared one or more delicious sounding recipes for discussion. How about Baked Avocado Egg Rolls, Carrot Bacon, Cucumber-Tomato-White Bean-Avocado Salad, Grilled Eggplant Parm, Lentil-Tomato Soup, and Spicy Indonesian Peanut Sauce (good over most anything)? We discussed our reasons for seeking a more plant-based diet and shared many tips on preserving and storing herbs and greens. We shared many unique product ideas found in co-ops and grocery stores. Since we all need to eat, it might as well be delicious!

Next Meeting: 
Friday August 14, 2020
Time: 10:00-11:30 AM via Zoom 
***note the time change to a morning meeting.
Topic: Kitchen Failures and Fabulous Cooking Flops

We invite anyone to join this discussion. Please respond to Chris DiPietro at  cmdjp2@gmail.com  if you plan to attend. You will receive a Zoom invitation email several days before the meeting.

If you have any questions about this SIG, please contact Kathleen Peterson at  kathleenpeterson614@gmail.com
FINANCIAL SIG
Submitted by Cyndy Nelson

Nine of us participated in a zoom meeting on July 21. We did a touch base which focused on a scam you or somebody you know has been involved in. The list varied from fraudulent charges to a stolen purse with all that involved.

Our topic was scams. We talked about how scams find us via phone, email, or mail. We then considered the impact of these scams on our time and future credit from fraudulent charges and theft of identity. Actions to protect ourselves included increasing awareness by participating in discussions like this, using a password manager, regularly changing strong passwords, freezing credit, using a VPN, and shredding documents. Good information is available on the AARP website and in its publications and on  https://consumer.ftc.gov .

Our August meeting is  Tuesday,   August 18 , 6:30-8:00 PM via Zoom. Our topic is End of Life Planning including inventory/beneficiaries of assets (including financial and belongings) and pre-planning related to burial/cremation and memorial services

Our September meeting is  Tuesday, September 15,  6:30-8:00 PM via Zoom. Topic will be selected at the August meeting.

The purpose of this group is to increase our personal financial literacy. The knowledge of members about financial topics varies from beginner to more experienced. Our topics will be selected based on what individual members are interested in. We meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM. New members are welcome. Come and give it a try.

Please email Cyndy at  clnelson03@gmail.com if you are interested in joining us, have ideas for topics, or have questions.

"PAR-TEE-ON" – Mini Golf SIG
Submitted by Jean Forrey

It was an overcast morning with threats of rain, but Cyndy and Jean fearlessly faced the mini golf course at Lilli Putt and were greeted with an empty golf course and amusement park!  Hooray - persistence pays! Only as we were leaving did some families show up, so we felt very lucky indeed. And it was a very close match - only one putt difference.

In August, Par-Tee On! might try another excursion. Check your emails for possibilities. Always feel free to contact Jean or Jan if you have ideas.

Pandemic notwithstanding, the stalwart Mini Golf SIG putts on, if only in our minds! Our August meeting will take place on Zoom at 1:00 PM on  Tuesday, August 18.  We'll share a couple of course reviews (Twin Cities and/or Greater MN) and do some planning for the future as well. All are welcome! 

If you are interested in joining us, please contact Jan Weller at  janisweller@gmail.com  or Jean Forrey at  jean.4e@gmail.com
THEATER SIG
Submitted by Robin Getman

There are no in-person theater events/outings scheduled in 2020. If you’re interested in supporting the arts during COVID-19, here are two resources to get you started:




In the meantime, please join our private TTN Theater SIG Facebook group: 

  1. Search “TTN Theater MSP” on Facebook, or insert this link to access the private group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ttntheatermsp/
  2. Not a member of the private FB group yet? Simply request to join the group. The group administrator will receive notification of your request, accept your request, and, you’re in!

Got questions? Need help? Contact Robin Getman at  RGetman220@aol.com
TRAVEL SIG
Submitted by Marilynne Roberts
 
In July members enjoyed a presentation about Paris Off Script via Zoom. As we dreamed about Paris and travel in general, we learned about history and were transported to another time and place. No events are planned for August, so enjoy the end of summer and savor the pleasures and warmth of the season. Look for new programs in the fall to sustain us and inspire future travel. 

Please contact any of us to add your name to our SIG group or share ideas/resources for future meetings;

Marilynne Roberts at  mkrobertsmn@gmail.com
Debra Dorgan at  debra.dorgan@gmail.com  
Julie Efta at  teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com  
URBAN HIKING SIG
Submitted by Chris DiPietro

This SIG gives TTN members the opportunity to explore and/or introduce others to new locations in the metro area. Our hikes last about 60-90 minutes and we walk at a moderately brisk and steady pace. All are welcome to join us as we walk and talk. We sometimes end our hikes with a stop at a local establishment for a coffee/drink/ice cream (though this has been suspended for the time being due to the pandemic).

We had a small but energetic group gather for our July hike on Summit Ave. Beside enjoying the beautiful trees, houses and front yard gardens along the avenue, we also saw several gardens along the pollinator path on the campus of the University of St. Thomas. We were delighted to find a bagpiper entertaining anyone in the vicinity as we neared the midpoint of our walk at the Mississippi river. 

Our next hike is scheduled for,  Wednesday, August 19,  from 4:00-5:00 PM. (Rain date August 21st, same time.) As we continue to utilize spots that are less crowded and facilitate social distancing, we’ll be hiking on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. 

If you’d like to join the hike in August or have any questions about the group, contact Chris DiPietro, the Urban Hiking SIG’s coordinator at the address below.

Questions? Please contact Chris at  cmdjp2@gmail.com .
WRITER’s SIG 1
Submitted by Julie Efta

We are a closed group of 5 women who continue to meet in person or via zoom on the first Friday of the month during the pandemic.

We encourage and will help anyone who wishes to start a second group. If you meet via Zoom, you do not have to decide on a location and there is no travel time! Think positive and form a new group! Write on!!

Questions? Please contact Julie Efta at teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com .