The Transition Network

special interest groups

Submitted by Erin Campbell and Julie Efta

An easy way to connect with other women and make your membership worthwhile is to become engaged and active in any one of the SIGs listed below. You can also help by becoming a co-leader of a new SIG. If you have an idea, contact Erin at or Julie at with your interest. 

submitted by JeNell Jacobson

Our Wednesday, September 8, meeting is a rescheduled visit to the Chroma Zone murals in St. Paul Midway, that was cancelled in July due to rain. We will meet at 1:00 PM outside the New Studio Gallery at 2303 Wycliff St, St. Paul. Details will be sent to everyone on Art SIG email list shortly before our meeting and to others who request information. You can check the Chroma Zone mural map online to see there are quite a few murals close to the gallery and many spread around the district.

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

submitted by Eleni Skevas

The Daytime Book Club cancelled its monthly meeting for the first time ever in August due to the fact that so many members were vacationing. The discussion for the August book, Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, was deferred to Thursday, September 2, at 10:00 AM via Zoom. Pam Egan will be leading the discussion

It hasn’t been decided yet if we will meet by Zoom or in person. We’ve been meeting by Zoom since the beginning of the pandemic. The group will consider the surge in the Delta variant as it makes its decision as to whether to meet in person.

This book club welcomes newcomers who just want to join for a single discussion or for ongoing participation. We invite you to join us every first Thursday of the month at 10:00 AM. 
Here are the upcoming books:

October 7:  Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. A historical novel set during the Great Depression and the “harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and have-nots”.

November 4: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. A novel featuring an ambiguously gendered child who grows up in an era when ambiguity was not recognized in her culture and not tolerated by society. Along the way the author gives the child and the child’s family a very interesting back story.

December 2: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. We previously read Circe by the same author. Song of Achilles, like Circe, takes a Greek myth and reimagines it, richly filling in the details of what more might have happened among the gods and heroes as we know them.

A book club is a beautiful thing. We invite you to join us every first Thursday of the month at 10:00 AM via Zoom. 

Questions? Contact Eleni Skevas at

submitted by Kathleen Peterson and Chris DiPietro

“Good Food is Good Health” That is one of the mottos at Open Arms Minnesota in South Minneapolis. Chopping sweet potatoes, mushrooms and peppers, saucing up fish filets, and assembling and packaging Chicken Florentine were some of the tasks asked of the 10 Food SIG /TTN Chapter members who volunteered their time on Friday, August 13. It was a wonderful and well-organized experience for us, and one we would hope to do again, possibly later this year. 

Open Arms of Minnesota is a non-profit that cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people who are living with life threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities metro area. Anyone can volunteer for food preparation duties, meal delivery and other opportunities. If you would like to know more, visit their website or contact Kathleen Peterson.

In September, the Exploring Food SIG will learn about preserving the bounty from our gardens and the farmer's market during a “Food Savers” virtual presentation by a Ramsey County Master Gardener. The session will be held on Friday, September 10, from 1:00-2:30 PM. For details about the event see the “Upcoming Events” section at the top of this newsletter. Register via the registration link and the zoom information will be sent to you with your registration confirmation.

If you would like to be added to the email list of Food SIG participants, please email Chris DiPietro at If you have other questions about the Exploring Food SIG, please contact Kathleen Peterson at

- submitted by Cyndy Nelson

8 women got together on August 16, via Zoom for two topics: Retention of Records and a Fidelity Money Personality quiz. 

We reviewed a list of document retention recommendations from Suze Orman. We were surprised that the recommendations were generally shorter than expected. We also touched on retention of estate information and found the guidelines to be more restrictive than Suze's list. 

Our second topic was a Money Personality Quiz from Fidelity . Thanks to Jean for finding the reference document that went with the quiz. The quiz only takes two minutes and gives one something to think about. Most of us thought our type was pretty accurate.

We also discussed the T-Mobile breach that was just announced. We do not know for certain whose data was exposed, but T-Mobile users should change their password and PIN to try to protect themselves as much as possible. It is especially alarming since the data accessed for some people includes names, social security number, birthdate, address, driver's license. Since this is so new, they are still working to identify exactly which customer's information was accessed. Keep watching the news for more information. We had talked about security last month. This is a good example of a situation where we as individuals have nothing to do with our information being exposed. We should do everything we can to protect our information, but know that something like this can wreak havoc for us.

The topic for our meeting on Tuesday, September 21, is Financial Apps/using technology for financial transactions.

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 7:00 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 Jane Harrens

The French conversation SIG is going “back to the app” for more structured learning after a summer of attempting to discuss short French videos. 

Please email if you are interested.


- submitted by Karen West


On August 5, five of us met, and Cynthia Anderson facilitated the group. Cynthia introduced the group to the five-paragraph template for writing a legacy letter that Rachael Freed, the legacy letter guru, presents in her book Your Legacy Matters. During this meeting, Rachael suggests that we write our first draft in 15 minutes, and this is what Cynthia asked us all to do. It was the first time that we all tried to write an actual legacy letter together.

Our next meeting will be Thursday, September 2, from 1:30-3:00 PM. Up until the last meeting, we had been working on the 7-year cycles of life review that Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (From Age-ing to Sage-ing) suggests, but now, because we have completed that, it is a good time for us to talk about how we would like to move forward. Two people have also just left the group, and one new person has recently joined, which makes it a good time to brainstorm. I hope that everyone can come to the September meeting for this discussion. Also, if you are thinking of joining the group, this would be a perfect time to give it a try.
We meet on the first Thursday of the month from 1:30-3:00 PM.

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

- submitted by Jean Forrey and Erin Campbell

In August, several of us attended the biopic Respect starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin. I think we all learned previously unknown facts about the “Queen of Soul” and definitely enjoyed the music and performances.
With the spreading Delta variant theaters may once again become off limits to most of us, but we are hoping to attend Dear Evan Hansen in person after it opens on September 24. Please request to be on our mailing list if you want to be included in future plans. At this time there is no date, time or theater information available, but we will plan to go to a theater in the southern or eastern part of the Twin Cities if Covid cooperates.

We would love for you to join us for any or all movies.

Please email Erin at or Jean at if you would like to participate.

- submitted by Julie Efta

This SIG is a year old and we are looking for new co-leaders. The September meeting is on hold pending a volunteer to select and lead a discussion of ANY podcast. The podcast episode can be from On Being or any favorite show you enjoy and would like to introduce the rest of us to. There are so many possibilities!! We can rename the SIG to reflect our new direction. We’ll be discussing our future direction at our meeting on Monday, September 20, at 1:00 PM on Zoom.

This group meets at 1:00 PM on the third Monday of the month. New members welcome! You do not need to attend every month.

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


- submitted by Jean Forrey and Jan Weller

August found the mini-golf planners either dodging the heat or exploring the countryside with new wheels so only one outing was planned. We met at The Links at Dred Scott in Bloomington for another good time!

September will have 3 opportunities for golfers who may also be hamburger and root beer lovers and art aficionados!

On Thursday, September 9, Barb R and Jean are committed to going to Taylor's Falls Drive In for the golf and the burgers! They open at 11:00 AM which is when we plan to be there. The more the merrier so please join us at this fun site!
Also, in September we are planning to golf on Friday the 17th and Wednesday the 29th. We will meet at the Walker Art Institute at 11:00 AM on Friday, September 17, and at Big Stone Sculpture Garden and Mini Golf in Minnetrista on Wednesday, September 29, at 10:00 or 10:30 AM. We will let those on the east side of town choose the hour since they have the furthest to drive. 
I have not been to the current Walker course but previous ones have been great, and Jan and I can both vouch for the artistic and fun course and sculpture garden at Big Stone.
As always, our outings are subject to the weather.
If you want the “up to date” info or want to join us in mini golf,, please contact Jan Weller at or Jean Forrey at


RACE & HISTORY SIG: Changing the Narrative
NEW SIG Looking for interested participants
Submitted by Ginny Jacobson

The Race & History SIG met on August 18 to discuss the period of racial terrorism in America from 1877-1950. To prepare for our discussion we read the Equal Justice Initiative's online report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror. We also listened to audio stories of people affected by lynching, watched a YouTube video of Billie Holiday singing "Strange Fruit," and learned about the lynching’s of three black men in Duluth in 1920. Learning about the people and the systems that supported lynching has helped us better understand racial dynamics in America today. 

The last session of this four-month series will be on Wednesday, September 15, from 11:30 AM-1:00 PM. We'll be delving into the segregation era and how it has evolved.
To sign up or for more information, please email Ginny at

 - submitted by Karen West

On August 10, seven of us met in person at Debra Dorgan’s house in Circle Pines. We all agreed that it was wonderful to meet in person. We discussed up to P. 181 in Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up by James Hollis. 

Next month, we will meet on Tuesday, September 14, from 7:00-8:30 PM. At this meeting, we will discuss the last third of the book, pages 181 to the end. At this point, I’m not sure where we will meet.

Last month, the women who came to the meeting were put into pairs by Karen to be “buddies.” It was suggested that you could contact your buddy, and begin getting to know each other better. Only a couple of the women remembered to do this, but the people who did, really enjoyed it. Therefore, we will continue to do this moving forward.

Then in October, we will begin discussing our next book Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older by Wendy Lustbader. This has been a really popular book with other groups that I have shared it with. Right now, Amazon only has one new copy, and they are charging $44 for it. However, they have several used copies for reasonable prices, and you may be able to find it other places. Please don’t wait until the last minute to try to find it.

This SIG meets on the second Tuesday of the month from 7:00-8:30 PM.

Please contact Karen West at for more information or to join this group.

- submitted by Marilynne Roberts

Many members have spent more time in Minnesota and neighboring states in the last year. Have you had such favorite activities? Even constant traveler, Rick Steves, learned the value of treating your home base like you would if you were a tourist, See the article written by his partner Cameron Hewitt at this link if interested.

The Travel SIG will have a Zoom meeting Tuesday, September 28, from 6:30-8:00 PM. More information will be emailed to SIG members closer to that date.
Please email Marilynne at, Debra Dorgan at or Julie Efta at if you are interested in joining us, have ideas/resources for future meetings, or have questions.

-submitted by Chris DiPietro

The Urban Hiking SIG explores parks, trails, and new locations in the metro area during monthly hikes. 

We had two events in August. For the first walk, we spent a leisurely hour enjoying the quiet beauty of the Japanese Garden at Normandale community college. It is truly a lush, green, well cared-for oasis. It’s a great spot to explore on your own or one to show off to visitors. Our second hike was an energetic walk around Jensen Lake at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan with a combination of forest and marshy boardwalks.

We have two hikes planned for September:

Our first hike for the month will be our “awe” walk at 2:00 PM on Thursday, September 9, on Nicollet Island in Minneapolis. We’ll get to take in the grand views of downtown Minneapolis and also enjoy the small village feel of the island. We will stroll for about 45 minutes and cover about a mile or so. (Rain date is Friday, September 11.)   

Our second hike in September will be at 10:30 AM on Thursday, September 16, at Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley. We’ll walk about 3 miles at a brisk pace enjoying a variety of forest, ponds, and wildlife habitats. The hike should take about 1 hour. (Rain date is Friday, September 17.) 

If you’d like to join either or the hikes in September or would simply like more information about the Urban Hiking SIG, contact Chris DiPietro, the SIG’s coordinator at

submitted by JeNell Jacobson

On Friday, September 10, our meeting will be held outdoors at a member’s home. This group is currently closed to additional members.

Group contact is JeNell Jacobson



Submitted by Barbara O’Sullivan

Our group of 12 continues exploring together Julia Cameron's book It's Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife & Beyond?

We are meeting periodically over a 12-week period to share our insights from the book's process. We connect via a private Facebook page and meetings via zoom or in person at local parks. We are over halfway through the book.

Please contact Barbara at for more information about the book. 

Material from, 19:56:31 September 22, 2021.
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