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March 2017 Newsletter

Village Network of Petaluma  | Published on 2/24/2017
The Village Network of Petaluma
A nonprofit membership community of support
serving the Petaluma and Penngrove area.
Village office: 402 Petaluma Blvd. North

Table of Contents
March Programs
• Village Welcome InfoMeeting
• Weekly Walking Group
• Our Life Stories and Legacy
• Qi Gong class
Quilts and Conversation

• Film Discussion Group
• Book Group
• Gardening Group
• Women's Circle
• Gentle Yoga
• Poetry Group
Village Potluck
• Bocce Ball
• Birding Group

Special Programs/Workshops
Taking Control of Your Driving Future
Companion Planting for the Veggie Garden

Cyber Security: How to Protect Your Identity
(and Bank Account)

Advanced Care Planning

• Renovate With the Future in Mind
• Contemplate Mortality to Enhance Life
• Profile of New Members Jim and Beula Williams
• Do You Have Something to Say?
• Donors to the Membership Partners Fund
• Our 2016 Donors Appreciated
Welcome to the Village
Thursday, March 16, 11:00 – 12 noon
Saturday,April 8, 11:00 – 12:00 noon
Village Network Office, 402 Petaluma Blvd. North (at Oak St.)

The team of volunteer Village Ambassadors hold introductory meetings for adults 50+ and their familymembers who want to learn more about the innovativeVillage concept of “friends helping friends” to continue living vibrant, active, and connected lives in our own homes as we age. Learn how membership offers social engagement, transportation, home assistance, computer help, connection, and fun! Bring a friend or loved one, get your questions answered, and meet Village members and volunteers.
Weekly Walking Group
Tuesdays, 8:30 – 9:30 am. Meet at Walnut Park on 4th St.
We have fun, great conversations, and exercise while exploring neighborhoods and gardens, or walking across the river. Everyone welcome. Email Sue Miller atrmiller875@comcast.netfor info, and whether rain cancels.
Our Life Stories and Legacy
Tuesdays, 10:15 – 11:45 am, Village office. Newcomers welcome.
Our life stories and legacy are unique and important both individually and as a community. We explore ways to preserve, celebrate, and honor our experiences. Tell your story using writing and creative projects. We work together to create a setting which can inspire participants to celebrate their life stories and remember long-forgotten details. For more info Members free, non-members $5.
Qi Gong 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
Start the new year right by learning movements and exercises targeted for specific organ systems like heart, spleen, liver, lungs, and kidneys. Healthy bodies can be enhanced by “The Five Elements Qigong.” Five Elements is an ancient form of movements that are designed to tonify, energize, and strengthen the five major systems in Chinese medicine. In addition, we will continue to develop a deeply relaxed nervous system that is “underdoing” and finding peace via Qigong. There are no restrictions on who may come - if you cannot stand, the poses can be done easily in a chair with benefit. It is preferable, but not necessary, to attend all classes. Members free, non-members $5.
Elad Levinson has studied Qi Gong for many years and is currently in teacher training level one of Qigong Dharma with teacher Teja Bell. He has also been practicing meditation since 1975.
Film Discussion Group
Fridays, March 3 and March 17, 10:15 – 11:15 am, Village office.
Attention all film lovers. Would you like to join a group of people who get together to discuss the latest hits every other Friday at the Village office? We agree on a movie to see on our own and at the next meeting discussit.I Am Not Your Negro(playing at the Summerfield in Santa Rosa) is the movie we chose for March 3. Give this group a try! Please RSVP to Jerry Spremich (discussion facilitator), at 415-827-3206, For Village members and volunteers.
Taking Control of Your Driving Future
Monday, March 6, 10:00 – 11:30 am, Village office.
Rosemary Robles, Senior Driver Ombudsman with more than 30 years at the California DMV, will speak on how to maintain your driving privileges, options for a limited license, transportation alternatives, how to take and pass the license renewal test, and safe driving tips. Open to members and volunteers. Please RSVP toinfo@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor 707-776-6055 to ensure you have a seat at this presentation.
Women’s Circle - for members
Wednesday, March 8, 9:00 – 10:30 am, at the home of a member.
(Firstsession of 4-month series.)
This discussion group provides an opportunity to share thoughts and feelings about what life is like as we age, and the gifts and losses we experience. It is important to plan to attend all 4 sessions,and necessary to attend the first to participate. For Village members only, age 60+. Space is limited, RSVP to Stephanie
Sarah Fleming, MFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice. Sarah has worked in Petaluma with families and individuals for 15 years.
Gentle Yoga for Balance, Flexibility, and Increased Energy
Wednesday, March 8 and 22, 11:00 – 12 noon, Village office.
Practice gentle yoga and breathing techniques, and improve posture, balance, flexibility, and energy. Can be done seated or standing - beneficial for all health levels. In addition, we’ll be investigating simple ancient hand gestures, or mudras, with accompanying meditations to support stress reduction and resilience. Come early, as we’ll start on time. Members free, non-members $5/class. Bring a large towel.
Pat Martin, CMT, EEMPC, CYT, has worked with hundreds of clients for over 20 years in her Petaluma practice. She focuses on optimizing health and managing stress, with tools including yoga, massage therapy, and Eden Energy Medicine. Pat teaches yoga at P.O.S.T. Wellness by Design.

TED Talks Discussion Group
Monday, March 13, 10:00 a.m., Village office
NOTE one-time change of day!
Have you ever pondered how the news distorts your world view? What about all those satellites accumulating up above us? Do you realize maps tell us not just where we are but also who we are? Find out about all this when we view two or three 20-minute TED talks and talk about what they talked about. Contact Jane Merryman for more info (,707-762-1023). RSVP
NEW!Quilts and Conversation
Wednesday, March 15, 1:30 –3:00 pm, in the home of a Village volunteer
Selma Ehrlich will host a quilting group in her home, for both beginners and those who have some experience with quilting and would appreciate help with techniques. She will teach basics of quilting, from choosing materials and pattern to piecing and binding. Participants will work initially on creating a quilted placemat. Day and time for future meetings can be determined by the group. Selma is a prize-winning quilter who loves to teach the craft. RSVP to Selma
Bocce Ball
Wednesday, March 15,4:00 – 5:00 pm, Leghorn Park.
(Meets 3rdWed. of the month.)
No experience necessary, rain cancels. We have a lot of fun - dress warmly! RSVP to George Beeler
Poetry Group
Friday, March 17, 1:30 – 3:30 pm, in a member’s home.
(Meets 3rdFriday of the month.)
Poets are invited to join us to share our poetry with one another. For more information and the location of the meeting, contact Sam Doctors atsamdoctors701@gmail.comor 530-414-4032.
Village Game Night
Friday, March 17, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, in a member’s home.
Newcomers welcome.
We will have potluck finger food and games. Join us, and bring a favorite game if you wish, or just bring yourself and have fun. RSVP for address to Stephanie, or 776-6055.
Village Tech Workshop
Wednesday, March 22, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, Village office.
• Want to be more comfortable using your computer, tablet, or smartphone?
• Having problems with your cell phone or computer?
Members at all experience levels welcome in this workshop, which will assist you with computer or cell phone issues. Learn new ways to get things done and make your life easier. Led by Village volunteers Sarah Jane Catarozoli (a high school student), Tom Horst and Paul Greenblatt. RSVP
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.
Book Group
Friday, March 24, 1:30 – 3:00 pm, at the home of a member.
Join us for a discussion ofThe Case for God,by Karen Armstrong. It is available at the public library and at Contact Village member Jane Merryman for the address
Potluck for Village Members and Volunteers: Newcomers welcome
Sunday, March 26, 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 volunteers. RSVP to Stephanie Wilkinson,, for the address.
Companion Planting for the Veggie Garden
Monday, March 27, 10:0011:30 am, Village Office.
Just in time for this year’s garden, Bryce Sumner and Sue Lovelace, Sonoma County Master Gardeners, will show you how, with the purposeful combining of veggies, herbs, and flowers, you can create a garden that uses wise watering practices, encourages beneficial insects, uses no pesticides, and much more. Open to members and volunteers. Please RSVP toinfo@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor 707-776-6055 to ensure you have a seat at this presentation.
Village Singing Group
Thursday, March 30, 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 Sue Miller atrmiller875@comcast.netfor location.

Birding Group
Since birds don't let us know ahead of timewhen and where they will be, we have to work around that uncertainty. We will be alerting those on the birding email list about places where birds can be seen in the next two weeks, depending on the weather. We might get together to go someplace, or just let people know so they can go on their own. Interested people should contact Len Nelson to get on the mailing list

Coming in April…
Cyber Security: How to Protect Your Identity
(and Bank Account)in the 21st Century

Monday, April 3, 10:00 –11:30 am, Village office.
This program will present current best security practices for home computers and smartphones. Eric Stauffer, a software engineer with 28 years’ experience at Fortune 500 companies, will discuss how to make home and mobile Internet access more secure, how to create effective passwords and keep them safe, and how to protect against scams. Open to members, volunteers, and the public. RSVP toinfo@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor 707-776-6055 to ensure you have a seat at this presentation.
Advanced Care Planning
Monday, April 24, 10:00 –11:30 am, Village office.
Nina Arbour, Community Relations and Volunteer Services Manager for Hospice of Petaluma, will explain the Advanced Care planning process, including treatment options and how to discuss your wishes with family and friends. This program is cosponsored by Hospice of Petaluma and is open to members, volunteers, and the public. RSVP toinfo@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor 707-776-6055 to ensure you have a seat at this presentation.

Online calendar

Village Network office: 402 Petaluma Blvd. North
Profile of New Village Members

Jim and Beula Williams moved to Petaluma with their four young children in 1960. Wishing to combine his UC Berkeley business education and his early retail experience in an entrepreneurial venture, Jim founded The Village Shop, which sold women’s apparel. He and Beula worked together to raise their five children while growing the business, eventually establishing shops in Sebastopol, Sonoma, and Montgomery Village.

Sometime after the arrival of their youngest child, Beula decided to open the first coffee shop in Petaluma with their adult son Tom. They launched the Apple Box in the Lanmart Building and later moved it to its current location on the river.

Ready for another change in 1975, Beula convinced Jim that they should buy an 1840s farmhouse in Valley Ford. After extensive home renovations, they decided to make use of their property to raise lamas, becoming only the second family in California to do so. A fire in the last remaining Village Shop provided the incentive to retire from that business and concentrate on breeding and enlarging their herd of lamas. The farm involved hard physical labor, including maintaining the buildings and caring for the animals. Beula also kept thorough records of their breeding program, while Jim provided the sales acumen at lama auctions across the country.

In 2016, as maintenance of the farm and long-distance driving became more challenging, Jim and Beula decided to sell their home and the lama business and move into a one-story townhouse in Petaluma. Their son suggested that they look into joining the Village Network, which they did a few months ago. They were interested in the transportation services and social activities, as well as the opportunity to explore new interests with the Village. Beula has begun writing stories from her life in the weekly writing group and is amazed by all the memories this activity stirs up. Jim recounted how pleased they were with a Village volunteer driver who was willing to work with their uncertain schedule for dental appointments.

We are delighted to welcome Jim and Beula as new Village members. Their example of partners working together to undertake new ventures while successfully raising a family (that now includes ten grandchildren) is inspiring, and their stories bring Petaluma history alive.
Childhood sweethearts Beula and Jim Williams were married in 1949.
Renovate with the Future in Mind
Thinking of remodeling that 1980s kitchen, or perhaps adding a new bathroom, or just upgrading old cabinetry and hardware? If home renovations are in your future – or even just in your dreams – planning wisely for the future may enable you to stay in your home and enjoy those improvements for many more years.

Simple changes like installing grab bars in the bathroom and night lights to guide you there in the dark can make your home safer. A comfort toilet, which is about 2 inches higher than normal, facilitates both sitting and standing. And a small fold-down seat can easily be added to a stall shower for those who have trouble standing. In the kitchen, using contrasting paint colors to differentiate between appliances and counters can help aging eyes. Lever drawer handles are easier to grab than knobs, and lazy susans in corner cabinets eliminate struggling for those hard-to-reach items at the back of a shelf.

Should you be contemplating a more extensive remodeling, some ideas to consider include lowering kitchen cabinets, adding a movable center island, and widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair. In the bathroom, you might replace the tub with a walk-in shower. A contractor or other professional who has aging-in-place certification can provide additional, more tailored ideas for your specific home and needs. Information on these specialists is available at

Additional tips on aging in place safely can be found at AARP’s online Home Fit Guide making your home safer while you’re making it more attractive, you help ensure that you will enjoy living in it for many years to come.

- Kathy Lawrence
Contemplate Mortality to Enhance Life
The following is excerpted from an essay byBeth Meredith and Eric Storm in their newsletter "Create the Good Life” (

Last year we had three friends and family members die in as many weeks. Never had we encountered death so unrelentingly. While we definitely experienced these deaths as endings, we also saw how they marked a strange kind of beginning for those close to them. In addition to marking the start of a long arc of emotional processing, these losses likewise ushered in a string of logistical and administrative tasks that were daunting and equally prolonged. It seems that as life has gotten more complicated, so has death.

Witnessing this made it abundantly clear that putting our affairs in order before we die is one of the greatest services we can do for our loved ones. Given that we can't be certain ofwhenwe will die, the time to do this isnow. You only have to observe one of your friends struggle with the aftermath of a loved one dying to realize you don't want that to be your legacy.

One bright beacon for navigating these issues is Atul Gawande's bookBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Dr. Gawande is a practicing surgeon and his experiences have led him to challenge conventional medicine's assumptions regarding the best way to care for the aging and the dying. He outlines key questions we need to ask ourselves to figure out how we can die with dignity, autonomy, and even joy.Essentially, Dr. Gawande's book outlines a process forcreating a good death. With the same objective in mind, we have compiled a list of end-of-life documents that weoffer not as professionals but as fellow mortals:

As we are able to face the inevitability of our passing, not only will we find ourselves better prepared for it, but we will be prompted to ask ourselves the right questions about living, too. You may just find that in contemplating death, you fall in love with your life all over again.

Dr. Gawande can be seen on the PBS program Frontline, at

The Village office makes available copies of the advance directive form "Five Wishes," which helps start and structure important conversations about care in times of serious illness. Also available
With the departure of Rebuilding Together Petaluma
to their new quarters we have a large new
space to furnish. Our wish list includes:

Tables of several sizes
Large carpet
Arm chairs
Dr. Bill Thomas, geriatrician and author, presented the "Disrupt Aging Tour" at the national Village to Village Conference. In his words,"We're taught that aging is all about decline. In truth it's all about change.We taste the sweetness and fulfillment of aging...when we embrace it as a journeyof growth, risk-taking, and discovery."

Do You Have Something to Say?

The moon in the water
Turned a somersault
And floated away.

—Ryota, 18th century Japanese poet

Sam Doctors, facilitator of the Village’s poetry group, writes:

“The last time I wrote poetry was almost fifty years ago and it’s been almost that long since I have read much poetry. So why, after retirement, has poetry become such an integral part of my life? The answer is simple and also complicated. Simple in that poetry has given me an important focus for the years of my retirement and a way to reconnect with my past; complicated in that I cannot quite understand how it happened so quickly and how it has occupied and continues to occupy so large a part of my time since retirement.

“Writing poetry has allowed me to open my eyes to again experience radical amazement with the natural wonders all around. It has also allowed me again to experience some of the insightful teachings in biblical writings. Interestingly, it has also allowed me to read science writings with greater understanding and insight as to how all things seem to be so interconnected. There is little doubt that poetry in all its wondrous forms can restore the soul and provide comfort and motivation in later years.”

Are you a closet poet? Did you dabble in poetry in your romantic youth and have you been too busy living life since then? Why not try it again in an atmosphere that is supportive and non-judgmental? In the 21st century, poets have given up rhyming and scholarly vocabulary. We have even taken a tip from the Zen poets of ancient China who knew how to make it simple and at the same time beautiful. The Village Poetry Group meets on the third Friday of the month at 1:30 pmand welcomes all closet poets.

Contact Sam Doctors, 530-414-4032 or
samdoctors701@gmail.comor Jane Merryman 707-762-1023
"Appreciation can change a day, even change a life.
Your willingness to put it into words isall that is necessary."

—Margaret Cousins
Donors to our newMembership Partners Program

Patricia Arfsten
George and Ellen Beeler
Fr. Michael Culligan
Laura Dunne
Selma Ehrlich
Paul and SherryEklof
Rabbi Ted Feldman
Wayne and Robin Guptill
Marcia Hince
Kiwanis Club of Petaluma
Scotti Kluess
Lucy Kortum
Tiaga Liner
Maryann Marks andElad Levinson
Pat Martin
Len and Charlotte Nelson
Nora Pearl
Leslie Quadres
Alice Rebizzo
Starr Rohrman
Robin Schaef
Paula Schafer
Silver Lake Technology
Vreni Schnirman
Janine and Ray Slaughter

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 at
2016 Donors to the Village Network are deeply appreciated

Diamond Sponsors - $1,000 to $5,000
Stanton Lawson andGabriella Ambrosi
Sequoia Senior SolutionsIn-Home Care Provider
Anne and Paul Greenblatt
Pat Martin
Supporting Donors-$500 to $999
Steve Ayala
George and Ellen Beeler
Lolly Burns
James and Harriet Coyne
Sherry and Paul Eklof
Marie Fletcher
Linda Fox and Floyd Dickman
Robert Gallup
Marilyn Hartley
Janice Kearns
Darcy Levy
Sid and Gerry Lipton
Barbara and Jake Mackenzie
Suzanne Miller
Diane Olberg
Nancy Porter
JoAnn Pozzi

Supporting Donors - $100 to $499
Lyndi Brown and Anthony Tusler
Suzanne Clarke
Jodi Clinesmith and Chris Samson
Sam Doctors and Mer
edith Cahn
Peter HolewinskiHome Care Assistance
Gary and Lynn Imm
Kathy Lawrence and Red Fraser
Kit Loofroos
Len and Charlotte Nelson
PEP Housing
Emil Perlsteiner
Eileen Simard
Donors-up to $100
Bridie Acton
Pat Burns
Janet and Vernon Burrows
Patricia Early
Rod Fraser
Tina Hittenberger and Chuck Pyle
Marilee Jensen
Kathleen Kestlyn
Nina Komiakoff and Paul Smith
Lucy Kortum
Nancy Kull
Kathy MacDonald
Caroline O'Reilly and family
Paul Praetzl
Pam Torliatt

We extend our appreciation to to Kathy Lawrence our newsletter editor,
and to
Daya Ceglia, graphic designer and web designer,
for contributing her expertise to our MailChimp newsletter.

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 continue living active, independent, and connected lives in our own homesand apartments as we age.

402 Petaluma Blvd. North - - 707-776-6055
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