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November 2018 Newsletter

Village Network of Petaluma

Community - Support - Peace of Mind

A nonprofit membership community of connection and support
serving the Petaluma and Penngrove area
Village Office: 955 Petaluma Blvd. South, 707-776-6055
Online program calendar at

Table of Contents

Special Events:
Interest Groups for Members and Active Volunteers
Weekly Walking Group
The Joy of Writing Group
Qigong Class
Film Discussion Group
Gentle Chair Yoga
Wednesday Morning Village Drop-in Coffee Hour

Village Game Night
Gardening Group
Bocce Ball
Tech Workshop
Village Singing Group
Mindfulness-Based Meditation Group
Men's Discussion Group

Tour of Petaluma Historical Library and Museum
Collage and Conversation: A Solstice Workshop for Women

Member Profile: Lyndi Brown
New Research on Creativity, Well-being, and Brain Health
My MedPal Made a Real Difference
Multigenerational Retirement Communities
A New Way to Support the Village
Donating to the Village Network from Your IRA

Online calendar at

Special Events

Welcome to the Village
At two locations:
Thursday, November 8, and Saturday November 17,
11:00 -12:00 pm

Village office, 955 Petaluma Blvd. South
Thursday, November 15, 2:00 - 3:00pm
Penngrove Market, 10070 Main St., Penngrove

Learn how adults ages 50+ enjoy connection with others through the Village Network in Petaluma and Penngrove.We believe a better experience of aging is possible when we can grow with, laugh with, and rely on each other. This nationwide movement is changing the conversation by creating new possibilities for what’s next in our lives. Bring a friend, and get your questions answered. Meet Village members and volunteers. Questions: contact the Village office at 776-6055.

Coping with the Holiday Blues
Monday, November 5, 1:00 - 2:30 pm, Village office.
Why are holidays often so stressful, and how do we find peace and contentment in their midst? We will explore this and the mental and emotional impact of those stressors. Together we will develop coping strategies to help manage the holiday “blues.” Open to Village members and volunteers.

Facilitator Bev Miller worked with Hospice of Petaluma for over 30 years, providing one-to-one and group support.

Tour of the Petaluma Arts Center
Friday, November 9, 2:00 - 3:30 pm.
Join us for a free, docent-led tour of “Renewal Through Art.” Featuring the work of local artists in response to the 2017 fires, this exhibit includes fascinating pieces that demonstrate the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of catastrophe. Tour limited to 20 Village members and active volunteers. RSVP by October 26 to or 776-6055. We will meet at the Arts Center at 230 Lakeville. Let the office know if you need a ride. Although this tour is a gift from the Petaluma Arts Center to our Village members and volunteers, donations are appreciated.

Opening and Reception for Elad Levinson's Travel Photography Show
Wednesday, November 14, 1:00 – 2:30, Village office, 955 Petaluma Blvd. South.
 “Travel brings out the best and worst in me.I have to be mindful   and aware while letting go of my desire to have things go my   way.I love seeing and feeling the places I photographed,   especially as they are sacred sites. I was moved to tears of joy in   each place.I hope you are too.”

Elad Levinsoni s a Village volunteer and photographer who leads Qigong classes every Thursday at the Village office, 9:30 – 10:30 am. For more info contact him at

Thanksgiving Potluck for Village Members and Volunteers
Newcomers welcome! Sunday, November 25, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, in a member’s home.
A time to get to know each other better, share good food, enjoy our “conversation café,” and have fun. For members and active volunteers. RSVP to, or 776-6055 for the address.


Weekly Walking Group
Tuesdays, 8:30 – 9:30 am. Meet at Walnut Park on 4th St.
We share fun, great conversations, and exercise while exploring neighborhoods and gardens, or walking across the river. Everyone welcome. Email Sue Miller at for info, and whether rain cancels.

The Joy of Writing Group
Tuesdays, 10:15 – 11:45 am, Village Network office, newcomers welcome.
We write for fun, in fiction, in nonfiction, memoir, poetry, etc. We write original stories in a noncritical environment. So come have fun with us, whether you are a veteran writer or a nervous beginner. All are welcome. Members free, non-members $5. For more info email

Qigong Class
Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:30 am, Village office. Newcomers welcome.
Fridays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, Petaluma Health Center,* 1179 No. McDowell
* Co-sponsored by the Petaluma Health Center and the Village Network

Qigong is a mindful movement training that supports balance, relaxation, vigor, and strength. Qigong is also a meditative practice that encourages awareness, focus, and calmness. Participants report feeling confident as they walk without a fear of falling. There are no restrictions on who may come - if you cannot stand, poses can be done easily in a chair. Members free, non-members $5.

Elad Levinson has studied QiGong for many years with teacher Teja Bell. He has also practiced meditation since 1975.

Film Discussion Group
Fridays, October 5 and 19, 10:15 – 11:15 am, in a member's home.
Would you like to join a group of film lovers who get together to discuss the latest hits? We agree on a movie to see on our own and discuss it at the next meeting. Please RSVP to Jerry Spremich at 
415-827-3206, or For Village members and volunteers.

Gentle Chair Yoga -To Improve Balance, Flexibility and Increase Vitality
Every Thursday, 11:00 – noon, Village office.
Popular Yoga teacher Pat Martin leads a practice of gentle yoga, Eden Energy exercises, breath work, and meditation to promote your well-being. The focus is on stress reduction and improving strength and resilience. We do both sitting and standing yoga. (We do not do Yoga on the floor). All are welcome whether or not you have ever practiced yoga before. We now have a large quiet room. Friends are welcome. This class is free to Village members and $5 for non-members.

Teacher Pat Martin, CMT, EEM-CP, CYT, focuses on optimizing health and managing stress using Massage Therapy, Yoga, and Eden Energy Medicine. Pat also teaches yoga at P.O.S.T. Wellness by Design.

Wednesday Morning Village Drop-In Coffee Hour
Wednesdays, 9:00 - 10:00 am, Aqus Cafe, 189 H St.
Village members and active volunteers are invited to a our weekly drop-in coffee hour. Member and volunteer Tiaga Liner facilitates this new way for Village folks to get to know each other.

Village Game Night
Friday, November 16, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, in a member’s home, newcomers welcome!
A great way to relax and have fun at the end of your week. We have several new games to play. You can also bring a game you like, finger food snack, or drinks (optional).Or just bring yourself. RSVP to the office for address at, or 776-6055.

Gardening Group
Monday, November 19, noon – 1:30 pm, at the home of a member. (Meets 3rdMonday of the month.)
Join our monthly gardening interest group, meeting in each other’s gardens. This is not about having a showplace, but about seeking suggestions, new ideas, and having fun. Please RSVP to Suzanne Clarke for the address, at 
707-364-6298, or

Bocce Ball
Wednesday, November 21, 4:00 – 5:00 pm, Leghorn Park. (Meets the 3rdWednesday of each month.)
No experience necessary, rain cancels. We have a lot of fun! Newcomers are welcome. RSVP to George Beeler at

Tech Workshop
Wednesday, November 28, 3:00 - 4:30 pm, Village office.
Members at all experience levels welcome in this workshop, which will assist you with computer, tablet, or cell phone issues. Learn new ways to get things done and make your life easier. Led by Village volunteers Tom Horst, Steve Schlich, and Paul Greenblatt. Please RSVP to

Reminder: If you are a member and need someone to come to your home to help with a computer problem, you can also schedule an appointment with a Village tech volunteer.

Village Singing Group
Thursday, November 29, 3:00 – 4:30 pm (Meets last Thursday of the month.)
No prior experience or talent necessary, just a love of making music. We try many kinds of music – and have a lot of fun! RSVP to Tiaga Liner at or 
658-1646 for location.

Mindfulness-Based Meditation Group
Saturdays, 10:00 - 11:00am, in a member's home.
Our goal is to hone our meditation skills and foster calmness, relaxation, compassion, gratitude, and non-judgmental awareness. If you’d like to be added to a wait list for this series or learn more about the next 8-week series, please contact Darcy Levy at

Facilitator Freeman Humphrey is a retired psychiatric social worker who has led mindfulness-based meditation groups for over ten years.

Men's Discussion Group
Alternate Thursday afternoons.
We get together with other men on a regular basis to discuss men’s lives and other topics in a spirit of fellowship. If you are interested or even curious, Call the office for details, at 776-6055 or
info@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgThe group is limited to 8 members and active volunteers.

Discussion Group for Retired Nurses
How does it feel to be retired from nursing? This will be a purely social group to share our nursing lives and get to know each other. The group will convene in members' homes, and determine topics to discuss, times, and days for meetings. Please RSVP by Nov. 12 to Lolly at


Tour of Petaluma Historical Library and Museum
Tuesday, December 4, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, 20 Fourth Street.
Join us for a docent-led tour of the library's current exhibit: "A Story of Civic Progress and Pride," illustrating its journey from Carnegie library to historical museum, followed by a wine and cheese reception with curator, Paula Freund. Meet at the museum. RSVP before November 26 to or 707-776-6055 to reserve a space. Space limited to 30 Village members and active volunteers.

Collage and Conversation: A Solstice Workshop for Women
Friday, December 21, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Village office.
Experience a seasonal exploration of the magic of collage-making. Paper, scissors, glue, and collage-worthy bits provided. Please bring images that call to you as well. $5 fee for supplies requested. For Village members and active volunteers. Space is limited; please RSVP to Village office by December 14th to reserve yours.

Presenter Sue Kearney is a Village member and journey-woman artist who embraces the third third of life. For more info contact Sue at or 510-503-6355.

They moment in between what you once were,
and who you are now becoming,
where the dance of life really takes place.”
-Barbara de Angelis


Lyndi Brown Believes "You Support What You Help Create"

The honor of becoming the first associate member of the Village goes to one of our biggest cheerleaders. Lyndi Brown, a volunteer for three years, signed on to the Village’s new associate membership tier last month.

“I love the people and the mission of being there for each other,” Lyndi said. “We share a common ground of understanding: We are navigating the opportunities and transitions ahead of us. We laugh and grow together. “

The new associate membership is a good fit for Lyndi, she said, because she wants to deepen her involvement and support of the Village beyond volunteering. She agrees with the adage, “You support what you help create.”

“I want to be a real partner in our amazing nonprofit and not wait until I needed services,” she said.

After moving to the area in 1970, Lyndi became the first director of a Chamber of Commerce tourism program funded by the city of Petaluma. She promoted the city’s rich history and established the first visitor center in town. Her career included fundraising and community relations for the Santa Rosa JC’s Petaluma campus and the Petaluma Arts Center. Petaluma has honored her with the title Rear Admiral, Petaluma Navy, and she was named Good Egg in 2016 and Grand Marshal of the Penngrove Parade this year.

Lyndi lives in Penngrove with husband, Anthony Tusler. She retired from the Arts Center four years ago and began volunteering with the Village in community relations, fundraising, and public speaking roles.

“The Village introduced me to the issues of older adults,” she said, “and not a moment too soon. I’m turning 70 next year. The friendships I’ve made through the Village are deep, sustaining, and fun.”

New Research on Creativity, Well-being, and Brain Health

Participating in artistic activities helps people engage with life in positive, fulfilling ways. Now clinical studies indicate that making art also offers health benefits: It can alleviate the depression that often accompanies chronic diseases, encourage the mind-body connection to support recovery, and improve cognitive function by producing new neural pathways. Other research demonstrates that imagination and creativity can flourish in later life, bringing older adults the satisfaction of realizing previously untapped artistic potential.

According to Bruce Miller, MD, a behavioral neurologist at UCSF, creative abilities do not deteriorate with age. In fact, the brain responds well to art; Miller’s research shows that making or even viewing art enhances cognitive reserve, helping the brain actively compensate for pathology.Participants in the History Alive and Legacy Art Work, a performance and art-making program, were found to have lower rates of loneliness and depression, higher morale, and improved hand dexterity. They also reported improved mood and self-confidence, better family relationships – and some even enjoyed increased income from the art they made.

With these benefits in mind, Village members may want to take another look at the list of available programs that encourage creativity. Whether it’s singing, movie reviewing, writing, or other stimulating activities, ample opportunities exist to explore your inner artist. And if you have or would like develop a talent that is not currently represented, remember, this is your organization. Simply make a suggestion for a new group, and if there is sufficient interest, you may soon be painting, sculpting, or enjoying some other life-affirming artistic expression.

- Kathy Lawrence

My MedPal Made a Real Difference

I experienced a harrowing drug interaction not long ago. I just couldn’t remember which pills to take when. In intense pain and with a fuzzy mind, I called my son, who recommended I stop taking all my medications. I did, and things went from bad to worse. My Village Network friendly visitor came the next day, and suggested I make an appointment to see my doctor as soon as possible. I did that, and called the Village to ask for a MedPal to go with me to take notes. My new MedPal brought a notebook, and did a great job, giving me the notebook afterward. She suggested I write down when I took each medication in the back section, which was a great idea. Now I’m back to my normal self, and so appreciative of my MedPal. Now that I’m clear how essential having an accurate record of my doctor’s recommendations and of the pills I take, I feel so much more confident. I’ve asked my MedPal if she can accompany me to all my medical appointments. She can’t guarantee that, but she’ll try.

- Village member
"When my mother joined the Village, a weight was lifted from our shoulders and our minds. She now has volunteer drivers who can help her get to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and her new writing group. And computer support so she's more able to stay in touch with us at a distance."
- Adult daughter of a Village member

Multigenerational Retirement Communities: a New Focus for Retiree Living

As members of the Village Network, we are committed to living in our own homes as we age. For some retirees, however, this goal becomes difficult or impossible, due to physical, financial, or other limitations. Fortunately, the outlook for retirement housing appears to be brightening, with a change of emphasis from “warehousing” older people to providing an environment that encourages the “four Es”: engagement, enrichment, experience, and enjoyment.

Robert Kramer, CEO of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care, sees this ongoing participation in the wider world as the basis for a new paradigm in retiree housing design. And one of the most important changes is that this new type of community will not be restricted to older people, but will embrace a multigenerational population. Kramer also predicts that 40 to 50 percent of residents in retirement complexes will continue working, and the facilities they live in must be designed to support that reality.

A third change Kramer foresees is that advances in information technology will enable delivery of healthcare to older people where they live. This will relieve the burden on adult children who previously were responsible for managing their parents’ health issues.

Kramer believes that baby boomers, some of whom are now entering their 70s, will demand this transformation in housing for those not able to remain in their homes as they age. The shift will involve many challenges and require significant infusions of capital. But, he says, the old model – the nursing home – is simply not an option for the new generation of retirees.

- Kathy Lawrence

A New and Easy Way You Can Support the Village's Sustainability
If you have an Amazon account, please consider making it an AmazonSmile account, naming the Village as your choice for charitable donations.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.

How do I sign up for AmazonSmile?
Go to
The first time, it will prompt you to select or type in a charity – the Village Network of Petaluma. Every eligible purchase you make at Amazon Smile will then result in a small donation. Just remember to be sure you are on AmazonSmile, not the regular Amazon site. If you have any questions on how to sign up, please contact Paul at

You Could Save Taxes by Donating to the Village Network Directly from Your IRA
After reaching age 70 ½, taxpayers with IRAs are required to take an annual withdrawal, called a Retirement Minimum Distribution (RMD). However, if you are in the fortunate position of not needing your distribution for living expenses, 
you can avoid income tax on your required withdrawal by donating your money directly to a qualifying charity, which must be a 501(c)(3) organization.These kinds of charitable contributions, called Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) can be made without itemizing your taxes. However, if you do itemize, you cannot additionally claim a charitable contribution tax deduction on a charitable distribution from your IRA. Funds must be transferred directly from your IRA to an eligible charity by the IRA trustee in order to qualify for the tax break. If you withdraw the money from your IRA and later donate it, it won't qualify as a tax-free QCD.

Qualified charitable distributions must be must be made by December 31each year in order to exclude that amount from taxable income. 
For more info, see

- Anne Greenblatt

Online calendar at:

Village Network office: 955 Petaluma Blvd. South· 707-776-6055


L to R: Paul Greenblatt; Scotti Kluess; Rick Gorman, Branch Manager, Exchange Bank Petaluma; Anne Greenblatt; Kelly Back, Branch Manager, Exchange Bank Sebastopol; Darcy Levy, Bob Stires (photo by Village Board member Starr Rohrman).

Exchange Bank Foundation
Rotary Club of Petaluma
Maria DoCeu, Out West Garage
Gauchan Gopal, Everest Indian Restaurant
Bill Wolpert, Green Building Architects
Bridie Acton
Caryn & Joe Ansel
Patricia Arfsten
Teresa Barrett
Dianne & John Benjamin
Lyndi Brown & Anthony Tusler
Pat Burns
Suzanne Clarke
Janet Clover
Jan Crosby
Deborah & John Dalton
Paul & Sherri Eklof
Ann & Mel Fox
Ken & Susan Gertz
Clint & Evie Gilbert
Tina Hittenberger
Freeman Humphrey
Lynn & Gary Imm
Kathleen Kestelyn
Diane Judd & Ronald Krempetz
Nancy Kull
Darcy & Harvey Levy
Tiaga Liner
Sid & Geri Lipton
Laura Lyons
Pat Martin
John Mazzella
Mayann McCourt
Sue Miller
David & Cheryl Perry
Alice Jean Rebizzo
Regina Reilly
Junko Rich
Mike & Sue Riley
Starr Rohrman
Vreni Schnirman
Ernest & Eileen Simard
Janine & Ray Slaughter
Paul & Nina Smith
Hope Stewart
Marvin Weinbaum & Lynn Byk
Elizabeth Young

Your donations are vitally important in building a sustainable organization.
All financial and in-kind donations are tax deductible,
as we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

If you would like to support the Village Network, make checks payable to:
"Village Network of Petaluma"
P.O. Box 442
Petaluma, CA 94953

Or you can donate on-line a

We extend our appreciation to Kathy Lawrence our newsletter writer/editor,
and to Denise Wilbanks, who handles MailChimp formatting,

for contributing their expertise.

Community-Support-Peace of Mind

As part of a national movement, the Village Network of Petaluma is a nonprofit membership organization empowering adults 50+ to live active, independent,
and connected lives in our own homes and apartments as we age.

955 Petaluma Blvd. South -  707-776-6055