Submitted by Erin Campbell

As a follow-up to the survey, two focus groups were held with fourteen active members attending. Each had rich conversations and excellent ideas for the TTN MSP Chapter. The list filled out two pages and can be viewed here! Here is a brief summary of the suggestions:

  • Find a core project because it gives us common purpose and a reason to be active and unified. This could be a fund raiser or a volunteer project.
  • More successfully conduct marketing and ideally, we would have a Marketing Committee.
  • Retain and recruit members. The Caring Collaborative has called inactive members and are sending postcards. We could also have ambassadors, one-on-meetings, and a buddy system.
  • Expand our online offerings to include programming that would address health and be of interest to Meetup or working members.
  • Improve our ability to utilize ZOOM

It was stressed that we shouldn’t be afraid to fail, but to stretch and take chances. There are many wonderful ideas but to implement them, we need your help! Please contact Jill Goski at if you would be able to help our Chapter.
Fall Recipe Challenge
Led by Chef Maggie Westcott of
The Alternative Dish 

MONDAYS, November 2 and 16, 6:30 PM
Registration is closed for this 2-week challenge where five seasonal plant-based and gluten-free recipes will be featured! At the end of the 2 weeks, participants will have challenged themselves to make new meals, try new produce, and have five healthy recipes that will nourish body and soul.

Check out Maggie's website for delicious recipes:
Get Connected via Zoom
Thursday, November 12, 5:00-6:00 PM

Join Jan and Pat via Zoom on Thursday, November 12, from 5:00-6:00 PM. Zoom info will be provided when you register. While the meeting is casual and fun, we thought we would suggest the following icebreakerRecall a memory where you felt at peace. Describe the moment.

If you have any questions, send an email to Jan at or Pat at

Wellness Wednesday: Bladder and Pelvic Floor Health
Wednesday, November 18, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM
Join us for a free zoom lunch and learn discussion with Melissa Cathcart, LAc. The program is open to all and will include up-to-date, evidence-based information relevant to those struggling with incontinence, anal leaking, pelvic pain, prolapse, prostatitis and erectile dysfunction. You’ll leave with an understanding of:

  • basic anatomy & physiology of the bladder and pelvic floor
  • types of incontinence and their treatment
  • the relationship between breathing and pelvic floor health
  • how to do pelvic floor contractions
  • the nuances of the aging pelvic floor
  • a simple exercise program you can do at home

The discussion will be tailored to the interests of the participants. Everyone attending is learning how to be healthy and no one need reveal anything they choose not to. To learn more about Melissa visit My Story on her website.
Wellness Wednesday is a new series of educational sessions focused on physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health topics sponsored by the TTN MSP Caring Collaborative.

Online WELCOME Orientation for New Members
November 20, 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

Winter Quarterly Program -
CANCELLED - Refunds Will Be Issued
Active Aging: Discover What’s Next for You 
with Keynote Speaker, Joy Loverde

Due to the uncertainty of the Covid19 pandemic and since Joy must travel from Chicago, we have decided to cancel this in-person program. Refunds will be issued to registrants. We will deduct the cost of Joy’s book from the refund for those registrants who have already received Joy’s book from TTN. 
We are exploring the possibility of offering an online Book Discussion Group for Joy Loverde’s book Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?, with Joy as the facilitator. The book focuses on how to build your own unique life plan for aging well. 
Please contact Jill Goski if you want to be added to the interest list for this program, If you have questions, please email Jill at
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 and
Submitted by Tracey Baker and Julie Efta
In September the Caring Collaborative welcomed two new members: Jean Forrey and Marilynne Roberts. We have formed three working groups to move the Caring Collaborative forward:
  • Kathleen Peterson and Nancy Bargsten are coordinating the service corps group, looking at how the Caring Collaborative can provide some direct service to TTN chapter members during the pandemic. They are developing a 30-minute orientation and presenting a trial run at our next Caring Collaborative Committee meeting. 

  • Tracey Baker, Marilynne Robertson, and Jean Forrey are working on the MIX (Member Information Exchange). Thus far they have created a spreadsheet of resources and will draft policy on how members provide information and support within a structure which protects privacy and confidentiality. 

  • Julie Efta, Karen West, and Jill Goski comprise the health and wellness programs group and have a great lineup of educational programs in the new Wellness Wednesday series. The first program in October was on preventing falls inside and out. On November 18, TTN Chapter member Melissa Cathcart will lead a Wellness Wednesday lunch and learn zoom discussion on Bladder and Pelvic Floor Health. You can register here. The tentative topic for December will be the importance of humor for wellness. All future meetings are planned for the third or fourth Wednesday of the month. Time of day will vary. The Wellness Wednesday series is open to all. Suggestions for future topics and presenters on physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health topics are welcome. 
Please feel free to reach out to any of the members of the collaborative if you have any questions or might be interested in joining the pilot project.
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.

We have an interest in convening an evening Peer Group for women who continue to work. The peer group would focus on the challenges and rewards of the current workplace, preparing for retirement, and other topics selected by the TPG participants.

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 or questions about convening a new TPG for working women, please email Barbara at

Why join a TPG? Below is a quote from Terri, a MSP TTN and TPG member:

  1. the opportunity to investigate - through hands-on activities, travel, discussion, and sharing of resources and experiences - an interest in more depth with women who also enjoy this interest
  2. the opportunity to develop relationships with interesting, intelligent, and accomplished women
Submitted by Sylvia Mohn

Seven women met on October 8 via Zoom. From the initial check-in: One member says she's more practical now, she's determined not to saddle her kids with getting rid of her stuff. Several mentioned Covid conflicts within their family relationships, including disputes over appropriate masking, distancing, and behaviors. Some of us are struggling with isolation, and our limited social bubbles. Others hate wearing masks, and feel fatigue about vigilance over staying safe. One has a neighbor with Covid. Another lives where there are big block parties in the neighborhood. Several of us rely on exercise, getting outside, watching nature. Someone mentioned it was good to have projects, it didn't matter if the projects succeeded or failed. One is reading about Africa (using texts for middle school students to keep things simpler), and reading about recent Nobel prizes, staying curious. We discussed being gentle to ourselves in this time. Another is trying to figure out what makes her happy.

The topic for this meeting was a personality test with results represented by colors, from the website After answering a questionnaire, we were identified with a color: gray, orange, green, crimson, purple, or blue. Each color represented different attributes (i.e. Crimson was adventurous, bold, craved excitement, while Green was peaceful, serene, accommodating, rarely anxious. Blue was dependable and disciplined, Purple was creative and artistic, Orange was optimistic, friendly, nurturing, romantic, while Gray craved solitude, privacy, wasn't bothered by other people's judgments.)

Some of us felt the test reflected our states of mind now during Covid, not in the past, when we might have matched other colors. Others felt they were a mix of colors. Three women came up green, two blue, one crimson, one orange. Some felt the questions were aimed at Gen X or younger.

We then talked about our mothers, and their experiences and attitudes toward working outside of the home. Some of us were encouraged to have a career to fall back on as husbands could be unreliable or non-existent.

Our next meeting is Thursday, November 12, at 10:00 AM via Zoom. Topic: Three to five intentions that bring joy, interest, contentment into our lives.

All Minneapolis/St. Paul TTN members are welcome. We meet the second Thursday of the month from 10:00 AM-Noon. We are currently meeting via Zoom.

Please contact Eleni Skevas at if you are interested in joining this group. 

Submitted by Barbara O’Sullivan

The October Living with Purpose Transition Peer Group meeting focused on strategies to prepare for winter during COVID. The shocking weather was a good motivator for getting us prepared. We even had some good laughs to keep us out of the doldrums. We shared ideas for outerwear including boot treads for ice and snow, walking poles and snow shoes since there is allot of determination within the group to get outside. Here we come REI. Indoor activities included taking free classes on Coursera, taking art classes from local museums using Zoom and trying new recipes that are healthy. Candles, flannel sheets and heated mattress pads also were mentioned as well as snuggling with cats. But we are also hoping for a weather reprieve to finish cleaning up our yards and gardens.

Our next meeting is Thursday, November 19, from 6:30-8:00 PM since our regular scheduled evening falls on Thanksgiving. We will continue to meet on Zoom. Our topic is Gratitude. We will discuss the science behind it and the benefits of a daily gratitude practice. We challenged each other to start a gratitude practice and share the results at our meeting. In December, we will meet Thursday, December 17,to avoid the holidays.

All Minneapolis/St. Paul TTN members are welcome. We meet the fourth Thursday of the month from 6:30-8:00 PM. We are currently meeting via Zoom.

For more information or questions, contact Barbara at

Submitted by Jean Forrey with a little help from Jan Weller and Ginny Jacobson

Nine of us met through Zoom on Monday, October 5. We were pleased to welcome a new member to our group and enjoyed getting to know more about her and each other.

While our main topic was how we are dealing with our COVID stress, we had a lively free-ranging conversation on many topics including great local places to walk, journaling for ourselves and future generations, uplifting TV movies, and where to shred documents. This fun discussion was almost reminiscent of the before times when we would gather in person! As usual, I left the meeting feeling good and energized to meet whatever comes my way!

Our next meeting will be on Monday, November 2, beginning at 1:00 PM. We will share wisdom from our elders (and Kathleen reminded us that we are now the elders), ways to be distracted from any chaos/anxiety related to the election the next day, and a discussion on how we envision the future of this valuable and meaningful group of connections. Ginny Jacobson will facilitate.

All Minneapolis/St. Paul TTN members are welcome. We meet the first Monday of the month from 1:00-3:00 PM. We are currently meeting via Zoom.

If you want to attend our TPG, please contact Jean Forrey at to be added to the mailing list and get monthly Zoom info.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Our 17 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) offer you the opportunity to connect with other women around a specific area of a shared interest. Joining a SIG is the perfect way to make new friends and expand your world. Below are summaries of all the latest activities and upcoming plans. Be sure to check out the new SIGS!

A great way to introduce a friend to TTN is by having them participate in a SIG. Non-members can attend a SIG two times before they would need to be a TTN member.
If you are interested in joining an existing SIG, please email the contact listed. If you want to start a new SIG or have a question, please email Erin at or Julie at
NEW SIG Looking for interested participants
Submitted by Ginny Jacobson

Do you have the desire to learn a language skill during the pandemic, make your brain sweat, and have fun communicating with others? If so, then join other novices with little or no experience in speaking French. There's still time to sign up! We had an organizational meeting October 26 and decided on our format, meeting times, goals, etc. Please email Ginny for details and to join. Amities!

Please email if you are interested.
(aka Skywatchers) - 
NEW SIG Looking for interested participants
Submitted by Julie Efta

Once in a blue moon! October has a blue moon on October 31. If the sky is clear, I’ll be finding an unobstructed place to view the rising of the second full moon of the month. Let me know if you want to join me. 
Tuesday, November 30, will be the next time to meet safely outside and cheer the rising of a great orb of light. It was beautiful rising and reflecting above White Bear Lake on October 1st. And I did not have to stay up late!

If you don’t like driving at night, check out the free Skywatchers zoom group at the Bell Museum. The recent ones have been held on Friday nights monthly and are geared for both children and adults. You must sign up for the zoom link in advance.

I am hoping the media, my free app and my friends will let me know when there is a high probability to see the northern lights while driving north at night. I recently viewed a wonderful program on PBS about the Aurora borealis. Search for it on TPT Passport.

The goal of this SIG is to find, enjoy and share more moments of awe and wonder in the natural world and cosmos in the long nights of winter. A co- leader who wants to explore possibilities is needed. Any birdwatchers out there? All ideas are welcome!

If you are interested, have questions, or would like more information please email Julie at
NEW SIG Looking for interested participants
Submitted by Karen West

The Legacy Writing SIG met for the first time on Thursday, October 1. There are 7 of us, but one person was absent. We decided at that meeting that each month we will begin our meeting by having the participants read what they have written if they would like to. We will also do some writing each month. Karen West will be the overall facilitator, but each member will take a turn to decide what we focus on for our meeting. At the first meeting, Karen talked about Bridges’ three stages of transition—letting go, neutral zone, and new beginning. She talked about how in order to make a transition and not just a change, you have to do inner work and become a different person. Change is situational, but transition is psychological. We made lists of our transitions. Some of us may write about one of our transitions for our next meeting. Our November meeting is Thursday, November 5, 1:00-2:30 PM.

We meet on the first Thursday of the month from 1:00-2:30 PM.

If you are interested, have questions, or would like more information please email Karen at  
Submitted by JeNell Jacobson

On October 21, the Art Appreciation SIG continued the study of art elements with a focus on SHAPE. Via Zoom, twelve participants enjoyed a slide show of art submitted by members. Several have expressed gratitude for expanding their awareness to appreciate art. 

On Wednesday, November 11, at 1:00 PM, we will engage with the art element COLOR. If you have not attended this SIG, but are curious, we encourage you to ask for information and/or request a Zoom invite to check it out for yourself. Terri will again produce the PowerPoint presentation and requests submissions by November 4.

If you are interested in participating or want to be on our contact list, contact Tracey Baker at or JeNell Jacobson at
Submitted by Robin Getman

This SIG is taking a hiatus due to Covid19 as the in-person meetings are essential to the purpose of the group.

For more information, contact Robin at
Submitted by Eleni Skevas

The Daytime Book Club met in October and discussed Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler, a novel based on the history of Stalin’s purges of the intelligentsia that founded communist theory. This was a dark, difficult book with a dark estimation of power politics. 

Next up on Thursday, November 5, 10:00 AM-Noon, via Zoom is the book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. This non-fiction book is about the American caste system based on race, which the author compares and contrasts to other caste systems in the world.

December’s read will be something light, to be determined by the group at its November meeting. 

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

Question?  Contact Eleni Skevas at
Submitted by Beth Stockinger

In October we read This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. We discussed our reactions and thoughts about the book. We consulted our book list and decided on two books for the future.

What is Next?

Tuesday, November 10, at 6:30 PM - White Fragility, Why It's So Hard For White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson. We hope this book will bring reflection and a meaningful discussion.

Tuesday, December 8, at 6:30 PM – The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.
The uplifting true tale of the couple who lost everything and embarked on a journey of salvation across the windswept South West England coastline. Now a Top Ten Sunday Times Bestseller 'The landscape is magical: shape-shifting seas and smugglers' coves; myriads of sea birds and mauve skies. Raynor writes exquisitely . . . It's a tale of triumph: of hope over despair; of love over everything . . . home was no longer about bricks and mortar. It was a state of mind.’

Tuesday, January 12, 2021- Proposed Book- Untamed by Glennon Doyle  
“Some books shake you by the shoulder while others steal your heart. In Untamed, Glennon does both at the exact same time.”—Brené Brown

Interested in joining our monthly book group? We enjoy thoughtful and in-depth conversations about our book picks and we enjoy the developing friendships with regular members. We meet the second Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8:30 PM.

To learn more about the group contact Beth Stockinger at or Grace Bartholet at
Submitted by Kathleen Peterson

On October 9, several Exploring Food SIG members held a virtual ‘Show and Tell’ with kitchen gadgets in hand. It was a lively discussion. Each person made a case for some of their favorite tools and appliances. The list was long. It included a Therma Pen (instant read thermometer), immersion blender, dough scraper, lemon juicers, bamboo steamer, Snap Bags for food storage, our favorite knives, and the electric kettle, among others. We also discussed skills which we would like to improve such as proper use of knives, perfecting pie crusts, and brewing the perfect cup of coffee. 

In November, members of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter will be participating in a two week Fall Recipe Challenge with Chef Maggie Westcott of the Alternative Dish. We look forward to trying out her healthy recipes and receiving her preparation tips and cooking videos. Registration is closed for this event, but you can check out her website at to find some of her delicious recipes! We will report back on some of our favorites next month.

Chris and I are grateful for your interest in and support of the Exploring Food SIG. We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

We invite anyone to join this SIG. If you have any questions or are interested in being on the email list, please contact Kathleen Peterson at or
Chris DiPietro at
Submitted by Cyndy Nelson

Ten of us met via Zoom for a very participative discussion. In spirit with the Halloween season, we started the evening by sharing something we are scared of. Responses included national debt, overall uncertainty, concern about disparity of financial circumstances (rich getting richer and poor getting poorer), when to retire, and the coming winter. Jill and Jan have started lists of things to do in the winter including books, movies, websites, podcasts, etc. We discussed the K-shaped recovery where some people are doing better financially than prior to COVID-19 (stock market is up) and some people are doing worse (unemployed, underemployed, homeless, etc).
We discussed a financial quiz we had each completed prior to the meeting. The "2020 Retirement Income Literacy Survey" was from The American College New York Life Center for Retirement Income and can be found at We had a great discussion and touched on a variety of topics including conversation about Tax Deferred and Tax Advantaged accounts as it is very important to understand the differences and what they mean to our financial future, withdrawing money from savings in retirement, required minimum distributions (RMD), and reverse mortgages. We learned that half of the participants utilize financial advisors and half do not.
Our November meeting is Tuesday, November 17, 6:30-8:00 PM via Zoom. Topic will be Medicare and health insurance options.

Our December meeting is Tuesday, December 15, 6:30-8:00 PM via Zoom. Topic will be Charitable Giving including how does one make decisions about what organizations to contribute to and personal recommendations for charities.

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 if you are interested in joining us, have ideas for topics, or have questions.
Submitted by Julie Efta

Is it too late to plant daffodils?!

Snow is currently falling but perhaps it will melt and we will have a few nice fall days to get things done before the soil really freezes.

I am looking for a co-leader and fresh ideas for next year.

Questions? Contact Julie at
Submitted by Julie Efta

In October we discussed Krista Tippett‘s interview with Jane Goodall. What does it mean to be human and how can we live our best lives? Jane advises us to really listen to others, tell stories and let others lead in encouraging change from within. Thanks to Jean Forrey for choosing the podcast and facilitating the discussion and sharing.

On Monday, November 16, 1:00-2:30 PM, we will meet to discuss the On Being interview/podcast with Brene Brown entitled Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart. Jane Harens will facilitate. We start the meeting promptly at 1:00 PM.

We meet on the third Monday of the month at 1:00 PM. New members are welcome.

To join this SIG and to receive your Zoom invite, please email Julie at or Ginny at

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

Look for information about this SIG in Spring 2021.

Co-chairs: Jan Weller at or Jean Forrey at
Submitted by Robin Getman

This SIG is taking a hiatus due to Covid19 as attending in-person theater events together was key to the purpose of the group.

Got questions? Need help? Contact Robin Getman at
Submitted by Marilynne Roberts
At the Travel SIG Happy Hour October 27 members unleashed their inner storytellers to share a vast array of favorite worldwide destinations with words, pictures and other vivid memories, then mixed in hope for where and how we might travel in the future. Some highlighted historical perspectives, and the many ways history and tradition interact to make a destination what we experience if we travel there and keep our eyes, ears, minds and hearts open. The outings varied from memorable solo treks filled with serendipity to guided learning expeditions with professional leaders and large groups. We reveled in all of them, and look forward to another opportunity to continue sharing in this manner. What a welcome diversion after that early record breaking winter storm.  

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 24, 6:30–8:00 PM. We will discuss books about travel that have inspired us or are memorable in any way a member chooses. Bonus: book suggestions might make good holiday gift ideas. Contact Marilynne for Zoom information.

Please email: Marilynne Roberts at, Debra Dorgan at, Julie Efta at if you are interested in joining us, have ideas for events, or have questions. 
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.

In October we enjoyed a hike at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. The day was clear and crisp and fall colors were on full display (see photos). We came upon the memorials for several well-known Twin Cities families, the most famous being Hubert Humphrey. It seems suitable for our organization and at this time in history to reflect on these words from Senator Amy Klobuchar at an event in 2011 marking the anniversary of Humphrey’s 100th birthday: "I believe we must choose courage, but not only that, we must also choose optimism. We must take a page from Hubert Humphrey's book and strive for that resilience he displayed in public life. I think about the inscription on his gravestone at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. It is a quote from Humphrey himself: "I have enjoyed my life, its disappointments outweighed by its pleasures. I have loved my country in a way that some people consider sentimental and out of style. I still do. And I remain an optimist with joy, without apology, about this country and about the American experiment in democracy.” 

In November, we plan to hike on Saturday, November 7, at 2:00 PM (rain/snow date November 14, same time) around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. We may have to cancel the November hike if the weather is poor, but it will be good to try to get in one more hike before we likely go on hiatus until spring. (We plan to resume hikes in March at the latest.)

If you’d like to join the hike in November 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
Submitted by Julie Efta

This is a closed group. Our next meeting is Friday, November 6, at 10:30 via zoom.

Check out the New Legacy Writing SIG or consider starting a new group via zoom that fits your focus and schedule. 

Questions? Please contact Julie Efta at