Online WELCOME Orientation for New Members
December 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
Winter Solstice Party
Monday, December 21, 6:30-8:00 PM

Members and nonmembers are invited to join us for this Festive Get Together to CELEBRATE brighter days ahead on the first day of winter!

For your personal moment of AWE:
  • Before the gathering, bundle up and step outside or drive somewhere, if needed, for a better view.
  • Enjoy the closest conjunction in almost 400 years (1623) of Jupiter and Mars in the southern sky!
  • If there are clouds predicted, try and view this a few nights before.

For the ZOOM party:
  • Dress up in festive/colorful clothes! Gems, sparkle, and glitz encouraged! Even fancy shoes!
  • Sip a favorite beverage
  • Sit where you can enjoy lights, candles, fireplace and/or flowers
  • Snack on a favorite treat
  • Share your intentions of serving, acting, and having fun
  • Dance and sing our troubles and fears away

Register on the link below and the Zoom information will be sent to you with your registration confirmation.

This is the first of four seasonal gatherings
Hosted by Fullmoon/Skywatchers SIG and The Caring Collaborative!

Wellness Wednesday: Humor
Wednesday, December 30, 6:30–8:00 PM
How does a good laugh make you feel? Is there any science behind that sensation? What makes you laugh? Do you raise your eyebrow and wonder why the person sitting next to you is doubled over in laughter? Do you resist the idea of even going to a comedy club yet love to laugh? Have you ever been the only person in a room that laughed at something? Do puns make you groan or hoot with joy? Ponder these or other thoughts and join us on Wednesday, December 30, at 6:30 PM via Zoom for Wellness Wednesday as we explore the concept of humor.

Marilynne Roberts and Jean Forrey will be facilitating this discussion with help from YOU. Please be prepared to share at least one funny personal story or a beloved joke with the group. If you would like to share a short funny video or picture etc., please forward to Jean by December 20. Our goal is to chase away any winter doldrums or post- holiday blues with some good belly laughs!

Members and nonmembers are invited to register on the link below. Zoom information will be sent to you with your registration confirmation.

Get Connected via Zoom
Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 5:00-6:00 PM

Pat and Jan invite members and nonmembers to virtually get together at TTN’s January 2021 Get Connected event.

After the holidays are over and we all have had a chance to reflect and reset our intentions for the New Year, please join us to renew old friendships and make new ones.

Zoom in with us from 5:00-6:00 PM on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Register on the TTN website and the Zoom link will be sent to you with your registration confirmation. If you have any questions, send an email to Pat at or Jan at

Casual and informative, we can share our experiences from the holiday season and discuss our Icebreaker question – What is the best thing you consumed lately (i.e., food, music, movies, or books)?

Get Connected Event
Submitted by Jan Reisch
On November 12, ten women and hosts Pat Burgraff and Jan Reisch met for an engaging Get Connected event.

After our check-in everyone shared a memory about when they “Felt at Peace.” Interestingly, most of us talked about family and being in nature. “It’s the little things.” We ended with a discussion on other TTN events that had been attended by some of the group and the upcoming winter and how we plan to survive and thrive!

Fall Recipe Challenge
Submitted by Chris DiPietro

During November, 13 TTN members participated in the Fall Recipe Challenge which was sponsored by the Exploring Food SIG and led by Chef Maggie Wescott of the Alternative Dish. Participants were asked to cook with vegetables they may not have tried before and even varieties they had tried but were sure they didn’t care for. During the 2 weeks, via a Facebook page, the group shared their successes, adaptations, and mishaps and Chef Maggie coached the group each step of the way. The group explored the use of eggplant, spaghetti squash, fennel, mint, beets and other seasonal produce and agreed they learned new techniques and expanded their cooking repertoire. You can see a few of the group's flavorful and colorful creations in the pictures below. (Some of the recipes the group tried are available at Chef Maggie’s website:
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 Janis Weller and Julie Efta
The Caring Collaborative sponsors a new initiative, Wellness Wednesdays, open to members and nonmembers, which kicked off programming in October with a lively session on balance and preventing falls. Facilitated beautifully by Kathleen Peterson, the thirteen women in attendance covered a huge range of relevant topics, speaking from sometimes painful experience of past falls, both inside and outside and with many great suggestions for prevention of falls and improving balance overall.
Awareness of conditions and paying attention to our surroundings can go a long way in preventing falls. Staying alert to icy conditions, uneven ground, and unexpected objects outside and taking care with clothing choices, stairs, rugs, and clutter inside. 
After these risk factors were addressed, the group offered a huge number of suggestions and resources, ranging from classes to improve balance (yoga, tai chi, Pilates), to specific products (nanospikes, yaktrax) for walking on snow and ice, strength and flexibility exercises, to the role of overall health in reducing fall risk (hydration, posture, vitamin D) and learning how to ‘fall softly’. Most importantly, be mindful and aware to stay safe!
Member Melissa Cathcart LAc taught a class on Bladder and Pelvic Floor Health in November. Twenty women attended this lunch and learn program. We practiced some Kegels and learned that there are techniques to train our bladders to behave better. We learned that stress is bad, exercise is great and our bladder size is ok. Drink more water and go to the toilet less often! Melissa provided wonderful handouts and the content of her class is excellent. Contact her for more information:
Programming for upcoming Wellness Wednesdays includes Laughter, Fun, and Humor on Wednesday, December 30, at 6:30 PM led by Jean Forrey and Marilynne Roberts. For the January meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM, Jan Weller will lead Exploring the Many Facets of Wellness in our lives.
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 and open to both members and nonmembers.
The Caring Collaborative is also partnering with the Skywatchers SIG to host a Winter Solstice Get Together on Monday, December 21, at 6:30 PM. Please read the separate notice for more details. 
Transition Peer Groups (TPGs) continue to meet monthly using Zoom. Please check out our three current TPGs in this newsletter. 

There is an interest from the membership survey 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 work place as well as preparing for retirement. The members of the group will shape the discussions and activities and share responsibility for participation, communication and facilitation. TPGs are great opportunities to make connections and build new friendships with ongoing commitment to the group. If you are interested please mark your calendar for an informational meeting about forming this new TPG on Monday, January 18, 2021 at 7:00 PM. Contact Barbara at for the Zoom link or with questions, insights, and ideas. 

If you are a TTN member interested in joining an existing TPG, please let the contact person for that group know. 

Why join TTN if you are not yet a member of a TPG? Below is a quote from a member who initially joined a SIG, and subsequently has joined a TPG and other SIGs:

"I joined TTN for the book group when it was focused on books about aging and transitions. I stayed for the women! I've gotten great advice, learned about new resources, listened to stories that let me know I'm not alone in the challenges I face. The structure of TTN enables each member to engage with others in topics that interest them, either on a one-time basis or ongoing. It has been an enriching experience for which I'm grateful."
Submitted by Sylvia Mohn

The group got together via Zoom on November 12. Julie talked about the Caring Collaborative and we had a check-in and learned we're involved with family activities, having exercise classes via Zoom, and walking outside.

Topic: Intentions/works, little pleasures. One person likes to watch the moon rise, sitting in her car in colder weather. Another writes down suggestions in NYT home and style section in a notebook. Other members watch funny YouTube videos, dog and cat videos, learn new things, try new puzzles for brain exercise, and watch travel programs. One member set up her garage for social distancing in cold weather.

 Our next meeting is Thursday, December 10, at 10:00 AM via Zoom. Topic: "Eat, drink and be merry", favorite holiday recipes, takeout, childhood memories. Bring a beverage so we can toast each other.

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 November Living with Purpose Transition Peer Group meeting focused on Gratitude. We discussed the science supporting a gratitude practice including fewer physical symptoms of illness; more optimism; greater goal attainment, and decreased anxiety and help for depression as well as other health benefits. The effects of gratitude include improved mental health; boosts relationships with others and creates a web of well-being from keeping us in the present moment. We shared our own gratitude practices including "savoring" the moment. 

Our next Zoom meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 17, at 6:30 PM. Since 2020 has been quite the year, we decided to celebrate this last month of the year to welcome in 2021. The theme will be what can we let go of in order to make room for the new. Festive attire is encouraged including pajamas, tiaras or anything else including a glass of something bubbly. 

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

Ginny Jabobsen guided our lively group of women from the West Metro TPG in a discussion on the first Monday afternoon of November. The topic revolved around ways that we are distracting ourselves during these stressful days surrounding the election and the ongoing pandemic. One member also shared her firsthand experience with Covid which thankfully had a happy ending. We also talked about the makeup of the group and what we foresee for the future of this fine group of women.

Some people shared uplifting quotes and pearls of wisdom such as drop out of your head and into your heart center or how we may not be able to change the beginning but we can change the ending. A suggestion for light reading was Jerry Seinfeld’s new book Is This Anything? or books by Bill Bryson. Some movies mentioned were Fantastic FungiMy Octopus Teacher, and The World of Aardman. Music was mentioned as a great escape and the Peanuts gang performing ZZ Top was a joyful experience for some. Getting out in nature was preferred by many and two apps mentioned for meditating were Calm and Headspace.

Podcasts were also popular and for our next meeting on Monday, December 7,1:00-3:00 PM, we will discuss Episode 15 of “The Island of Discarded Women”. Sue Scott herself will be joining us thanks to Terri Evans’ connection to her! TTN MSP members are invited to join us!  Register here to get the Zoom information and let us know you are joining us. Participants are asked to listen to the “Stand Up” podcast (Episode #15), and to come prepared with at least one question for Ms. Scott.

For future meetings we will continue as we have been - sharing stories and experiences and taking turns facilitating each meeting. Jean will continue to write the newsletter articles and Ginny and Jean will host the zoom experiences.

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)
Submitted by Erin Campbell and Julie Efta

We are both happy to be leading SIGS for the Twin Cities Chapter. It is very clear that SIGs are very important part of TTN and they are particularly vital for our members during the current pandemic. SIGS are fun and easy! It only takes 2 members to start one, members may come and go, frequency of meeting varies (weekly, monthly, bi monthly, seasonal), and women can attend two sessions of a SIG prior to becoming a TTN member.

We started our new SIG role by asking your interest in participating in potential new SIGs. We sent everyone an email asking for ideas for new SIGs and we are in the process of reviewing responses and taking next steps. If you missed the email but have an idea, please contact Erin or Julie.

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 Julie Efta

We will be reading the book Women Who Run with the Wolves written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. and meeting on Sunday afternoons to discuss a few chapters at a time for 6-8 weeks. The subtitle of this book is: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. It was published in 1992 when I was too busy mothering to attempt reading it, and now I have time to read more than frequent quotes and references to the book.

Join us for the first meeting on: Sunday, December 20, from 12:30-2:00 PM. Please be prompt logging in!

Then we meet again at the same time on Sundays: December 27, January 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 until the book is finished.

Mellissa Cathcart is cohost.

Contact Julie for more information and the zoom link
Submitted by JeNell Jacobson

On November 11, the participants of the Art Appreciation SIG met on Zoom to continue the study of art elements with a focus on Color. Special thanks to Terri for developing a great slide show of photos of art submitted by members. We also discussed ideas for future meetings.

On Wednesday, December 9, we will meet from 1:00-3:00 PM and enjoy examples of the art element Form. Terri will again produce the PowerPoint presentation and requests submissions before December 6.

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 discussed Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. It’s a well-written, provocative book, much in the news these days given the worldwide awakening to problems of race and color. Among other things, members were surprised to learn that the Nazis, in constructing their own efforts to establish racial purity, first studied America’s policies toward blacks and determined that Americans went too far!

After two heavy reads in a row, October’s Darkness at Noon and November’s Caste, the group decided that some levity was absolutely necessary. Therefore, December’s book is The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal.

Join us! We meet by Zoom on Thursday, December 3, from 10:00 AM-Noon by Zoom. Contact Eleni Skevas to be added to the Zoom invitation list.

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

Question?  Contact Eleni Skevas at

Submitted by Beth Stockinger

In November we read White Fragility, Why It's So Hard For White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson. 

After discussing the book, we talked about options for future books and themes. Beginning in 2021, we will shift our focus to reading books related to aging and personal growth. We will revisit some of the books we read at the very beginning of this book group and we will add new books.

What is Next?

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. The group will decide if we will read this book before moving to the aging books.

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 Chris DiPietro

During November, 13 TTN members participated in the Fall Recipe Challenge which was sponsored by the Exploring Food SIG and led by Chef Maggie Wescott of the Alternative Dish. See recap and pictures in the November event recap earlier in this newsletter.

Here are the details for our upcoming December meeting:
Date: Monday, December 14
Time: 4:00-5:30 PM via Zoom 

In various TTN groups the concept of Joy has come up. We have all been seeking out moments of joy during this difficult year. At our December meeting, our group will celebrate a time in our lives when food brought us joy. Was it a memorable meal, a special location, a gift of food given or received, a cooking success?? Come with thoughts and ideas to share. We'll also spend a few minutes on how we are adapting the ‘food' part of our winter holidays.

We invite anyone to join this discussion. If you are not already a participant in the SIG but would like to join our discussion in December, please let Chris DiPietro know at 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
Submitted by Cyndy Nelson

Fourteen of us met via Zoom for a very participative discussion. The majority of the women were already on Medicare and the rest of us were very interested in learning about our future options.

Thanks to Jan Weller who prepared some information to get us started and led the discussion. Some key discussion items follow:
  • Medicare is an individual insurance. In a couple, each spouse could augment with different plans if their medical situations were very different from each other
  • Part B premiums are based on income from 2 years ago. $148.50 is the minimum amount in 2021
  • Need to pay attention to enrollment dates as you can be penalized for life if you don't sign up on time
  • Medicare Advantage plans - need to check to be sure you can get coverage out of state or out of country
  • Supplemental plans - premiums are often higher; can go to any doctor that accepts Medicare; may be restrictions on switching from advantage to supplemental plan or from going from a lower to a higher level of coverage supplemental plan
  • Recommend broker or MN Senior Linkage Line to understand 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 Ginny Jacobson

The six members of the French Conversation SIG meet every Monday morning at 10:00 for about a half hour. We speak French for a few minutes, using the Busuu app to structure our conversation. Then, in English, we discuss learning aids and frustrations. We are looking forward to the time when we can visit French bakeries, art museums, and other venues to use our skills. If you have a desire to learn to speak French during the pandemic, please join us. 

Please email if you are interested.
(aka Skywatchers) - 
Submitted by Julie Efta

Who are we?
·  We meet in person or in spirit on nights of the full moon and for other notable sky events.
·  We share information to encourage others to seek out the wonders, awe and peace of the night sky.
·  We will plan and host 4 seasonal celebrations for winter and summer solstices, spring and autumn equinoxes.

Full moons occur on November 30 and December 30. If clouds are predicted, try to view a night before or after those dates. The winter solstice occurs on Monday, December 21. We are cohosting a get together via zoom with the Caring Collaborative; see information earlier in this newsletter.

The Bell Museum has a wonderful free Skywatchers program. Membership or donations to the Bell are encouraged. During the second week of November, there were nightly programs promoting a Dark Skies movement. Some of those programs may still be viewed. My favorite was a presentation by Astro Bob in Duluth!

Thanks to Jean Forrey, Debra Dorgan, and Marilynne Roberts for inspiration and sharing ideas.

An official cohost is sought.

If you are interested, have questions, or would like more information please email Julie at
Submitted by Julie Efta

The daffodils are planted and snow has fallen.
Our gardens will re-open in the spring.
A co leader and fresh ideas are needed for 2021.

Questions? Contact Julie at
Submitted by Debra Dorgan

Seven members met on November 5 via zoom. Eleni introduced her new rescue, Johnny Be Good, who is adorable and a very good dog. In this meeting, we reviewed what we’d discussed at our first meeting in October, including books we might find useful, and “writing prompts” – ideas for triggering writing about our experiences, thoughts, values, and the like. (In other words, legacy writing.) We then took time to write about how we were feeling about the election, since our meeting took place when the votes were still being counted. We then voluntarily shared this spontaneous writing which prompted a lively and heartfelt discussion.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 3, 1:00-2:30 PM. We will bring our writing about “Thanksgiving in the time of COVID”. 

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 Julie Efta

In November we discussed Krista Tippet’s interview with Brene Brown entitled Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart.

A few elements that we discussed are:
  • Belonging and connection are human needs 
  • Belonging can’t be lost but can be forgotten
  • People are hard to hate close up so move in
  • Don’t be solitary and self-righteous
  • Beware of forming ideological bunkers 
  • Speak truth to bullshit
  • Be Civil
  • Be brave and adventurous
  • There is no true courage without vulnerability
  • We cannot always choose comfort
  • Hold hands with strangers
  • Trust and Listen
  • Be the person you want to be
  • Stay curious
  • Be kind

We ended the discussion by sharing our own experiences of collective joy or effervescence such as family events, fireworks, parades, concerts, flash dances and inaugurations. Thanks to Jane Harens for facilitating.

On Monday, December 21, 1:00-2:30 PM, we will meet to discuss the Atul Gawande interview on “What matters in the End”. Eleni Skevas will lead the discussion.

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 Debra Dorgan
The Travel SIG met on Tuesday, November 24, to share our thoughts about how books have inspired our travel experiences, favorite books that involve travel, and what we look for when we select such a book. Seven of us met for a really nice review that, happily, did not limit itself only to books. Discussion wandered into favorite travel podcasts, magazines, jigsaw puzzles, and photographers. Perhaps the most exotic discussion took place around one of Marilynne’s nonfiction suggestions: “Lost City of the Monkey God” as she sat beneath an unnamed wooly mammoth (actually a photo from the Bell Museum used as her screen!)
The travel SIG was created with the intention to explore more places inside and outside of Minnesota, and with the pandemic has shifted to sharing travel information and inspiration in our meetings via Zoom.
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, December 22, 6:30-8:00 PM. We plan to check in with sharing about our cultural holiday traditions, and then share our favorite winter trip or adventure, past, present, or future. Any TTN member is welcome to join us. 

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 November, early in the month, the group hiked around Lake Harriet in South Minneapolis and savored what was probably about the last warm, no-coat-needed day of the year. Because COVID-19 limitations, the group won’t be hiking indoors this winter as we usually do and will be on hiatus until March. In March we’ll resume our hikes and continue to explore parks, trails, and new locations in the metro area.

If you’d like more information about the Urban Hiking SIG, contact Chris DiPietro, the Urban Hiking SIG’s coordinator at
Submitted by Julie Efta

This is a closed group. We will continue to meet this winter via zoom on the first Friday of each month at 10:30 AM. We meet on Friday, December 4.

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