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January 2018 Newsletter

Village Network of Petaluma
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
January Programs
Welcome to the Village

Special Events and New Interest Groups
New Years DayParty
Can We Live Better Longer?
Drawing Workshop
Women's Circle

Interest Groups and Events
Weekly Walking Group
Our Life Stories and Legacy
Qigong Class
Film Discussion Group
Gentle Chair Yoga
Gardening Group
Poetry Group
Bocce Ball
TED Talks Discussion Group
Power to Change
Book Group
Village Game Night
Tech Workshop
Village Singing Group
Mindfulness-Based Meditation Group
Potluck for Members and Volunteers

Eating for Pleasure and Health

Coming in February and March
Making Your Five Wishes Known: A Health Care Directive with Heart

Meet a Member: Lucy Kortum
Adventuress on the High Seas
Sleep Your Way to Better Health
Lifestyle Enrichments Boost Brain Health

Trouble Remembering Everything Your Doctor Says
Volunteer Opportunities
The Village Network is Exploring Options for New Space

Village office will be closed for the holidays December 25 - January 2
Welcome to the Village
Saturday, January 20, 11:00 – 12:00 noon
Thursday, February 15,, 11:00 - 12:00 noon
Village office, 402 Petaluma Blvd. North (at Oak St.).

An introductory meeting 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.


New Year's Day Party for Members and Volunteers
Monday, January 1, 1:00 - 3:00pm, Village office.
A time to enjoy each other, share good food, and have fun! Bring potluck finger food – drinks provided. No RSVPs needed unless you are a member requesting a ride (your request needed by Dec. 30)

Can We Live Better Longer? The Biomedical Research of the Buck Institute
Monday January 8, 10:00 – 11:30am, Village office.
You've seen the impressive buildings of the Buck Institute looming above Hwy. 101 as you drive home to Petaluma. Now find out what goes on there. Kris Rebillot, the Buck's Director of Communications for 14 years, works with scientists focused on extending the human healthspan. She will describe the latest discoveries in aging research: Just what is aging? And what can we do about it? What is the vision of the Buck Institute? How about aging without illness? Join us onJanuary 8. Open to members, volunteers, and the public. RSVP

Drawing Workshop: Yes, You Too Can Draw
Wednesday January 10, 9:30 – 10:45am, Village office.
Drawing is fun, relaxing, and mindful. You can do it anywhere — sitting on your sofa, in the doctor’s waiting room, or in the boarding area at the airport. All you need is a pen and a small sketch book — and the confidence that you too can draw. Join us to learn a few tricks of the trade, and you are set to go. This workshop is for people who have little or no drawing experience. Open to members and volunteers. Contact Jane Merryman for more information,,or776-6055.

Facilitator Diane Benjamin is an artist and a long-time teacher in local schools.

Women's Circle - for members
(This is an 8-month series.Group is now full;let us know if you'd like to be on a waiting list for a new Women's Circlein January.)
UsingThe Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdomby cultural anthropologist Dr. Angeles Arrienas a foundation for discussion, we will work on deepening and enriching our experiences in the “second half” of life to the “third third” of our lives. Participants are asked to purchase the paperback book, which will guide us on an interactive journey together. It is important to plan to attend all eight sessions and necessary to attend the first to participate. Limited to eight participants For information, contact Anne at772-5132or

The group will be co-facilitated by Sarah Fleming, MFT, and Anne Greenblatt, Village board president. Anne has worked with this book in three women’s groups during the past 15 years.


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 at
rmiller875@comcast.netfor info, and whether rain cancels.
Our Life Stories and Legacy
Tuesdays, 10:15 – 11:45 am, Village Network 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 using writing and creative projects. For more info email Members free, non-members $5.
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 comeif you cannot stand, the 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
Saturday, January 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 every other Friday? We agree on a movie to see on our own and discuss it at the next meeting. Please RSVP to Jerry Spremich (discussion facilitator), at415-827-3206, or For Village members and volunteers.

Gentle Chair Yoga -To Improve Balance, Flexibility and Increase Vitality
Wednesday, January 10 and 24, 11:00 – noon, Village office.
Practice gentle yoga, Eden Energy exercises, breath work and meditation to promote your well-being. We work both sitting and standing and focus on stress reduction as well as improving strength and resilience. Members are free, non- members $5/class. Please bring a large towel. Email Pat Martin at
patmart@comcast.netto rsvp.

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.

Gardening Group
Monday, January 15, 12 – 1:30 pm, at the home of a member. (Meets 3rd Monday 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,
Poetry Group
Tuesday, January 16, 1:30 – 3:30, in a member’s home (meets the 3rdTuesday of the month)
Are you a closet poet? Shhhhh. Don't tell anyone, but join us and share your latest efforts with other closet poets. For more information and the location of the meeting, contact Sam Doctors at

Bocce Ball
Wednesday, January 17,4:00 – 5:00 pm, Leghorn Park. (Meets the 3rdWednesday of each month.)
No experience necessary, rain cancels. We have a lot of fun – dress warmly! RSVP to George Beeler

TED Talks Discussion Group
Wednesday, January 17, 10:00 – 11:30, Village office
We watch two or three TED talks and talk about what they talked about-- anything from sexism in movies, the news industry, New Yorker cartoons, ballroom dancing, why we travel, and where is home. Contact Jane Merryman for more,or762-1023. RSVP

Power to Change: Creative Aging Symposium
January 17, 10:00 – 3:30, on-line
Join this on-line symposium to ignite the belief that older adults can use their creativity to continue to transform the world. Hosted by Senior Center Without Walls. And Creative Aging, San Francisco. $10 registration fee. Go to

Book Group
Friday, January 19, 1:30 – 3:00, in a member’s home.
For January we are readingThe Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. For location, contact Jane Merryman at762-1023or
Village Game Night
Friday, January 19, 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 addressat, or776-6055.

Tech Workshop
Wednesday, January 24, 1:00 – 2:30 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 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, January 25, 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
tiagananda@gmail.comor658-1646for location.

Mindfulness-Based Meditation Group
Consecutive Saturdays,January 27 through March 17,10 -11 am, ina member's home.
The second session of the Mindfulness-based Meditation Group will meet weekly beginning January 27, one hour a week, for eight consecutive weeks.Each week will include two guided meditations, bookended by a brief introduction and a post-meditation check-in.Our shared goal will be tohone our meditation skills, bring a measure of calmness and relaxation to our moments, and cultivate compassion, gratitude, and nonjudgmental awareness.

Open to Village members and volunteers, up to 12 participants.Registration on a “first come” basis is required to Joanne at
info@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor776-6055. Registration deadline isJanuary 20.

Facilitator Freeman Humphrey is a retired psychiatric social workerwho, for over ten years, led mindfulness-based meditation groups three times a week.For more information, contact Darcy at

Potluck for Village Members and Volunteers: Newcomers Welcome!
Sunday, January 28, 4:00 – 6:00pm, 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 Joanne, at, for the address.

Eating for Pleasure and Health
Monday, January 29, 10-11:30 am, Village office.
Join us for an in-depth discussion about friendly relations with food, making eating fun, and exploring some of the myths forced on us by the media and pharmaceutical companies. If you have a New Year's resolution related to diet, you will want to be here on the 29th. For members and volunteers. RSVP to

Dennis Zerbo is a state-certified nutritionist and herbalist with affiliations at the Buck Institute and Sonoma Valley Hospital.


Making Your Five Wishes Known: A Health Care Directive with Heart
Monday, February 12, 10 - 12 noon, Village office.
Have you made out aHealth Care Directive?Or have you been thinking about doing it, but just can't get around to it? Either way, this workshop is for you. TheFive Wishesformat is a compassionate expansion of the standard advance directive, adding instructions for "How I want people to treat me" and "What I want my loved ones to know." We will explore feelings about our final wishes, receive a copy of theFive Wishesbooklet, walk through each of its sections, and get a start on making our wishes known.The workshop is limited to 20 members and volunteers, and anRSVP is requiredto reserve your place. Please respond to
info@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor775-6055as soon as possible.

Marjorie Sands received her Five Wishes training through Hospice of Petaluma and has facilitated a number of workshops on this topic.

TO FOLLOW UP on “Making Your Five Wishes Known,”
these March programs are designed to complement theFive Wishesworkshop:

What if I Need More Help to Continue Living at Home?
Monday, March 5, 10 - 11:30 am, Village office.

Getting Our Affairs in Order
Monday, March 19, 10 - 11 am, Village office.

Online calendar

Village Network office: 402 Petaluma Blvd. North

Meet a Member: Lucy Kortum
As an active member of Sonoma County’s environmental community, a longtime volunteer, and a participant in numerous civic organizations, Lucy Kortum has a long history in Petaluma. She recently shared some thoughts about her life here and her more recent involvement in the Village.

When Lucy Kortum first read about the Village Network concept several years ago, she was impressed with the idea but was preoccupied with her husband Bill's declining health. In retrospect, she says, if they had called upon the Village at that time, Bill would have appreciated the committed, talented, and dedicated Village teams. Their children and grandchildren are far flung, and while friends and other family members are helpful, all have their own responsibilities, so Lucy has come to appreciate the great support the Village offers.

Lucy was born in Southern California but chose to live in San Francisco after college. Lucy and Bill met through mutual friends and were married in 1953 after he graduated from veterinary school. Bill selected nearby Cotati for a new veterinary practice focused on the West County dairies. Later, he and Fred Groverman built the veterinary hospital on the Gravenstein Highway.

In 1960 Lucy and Bill moved to his family's property on Ely Road, where they built their home. A former chicken ranch, it had become a dairy when Bill, still in high school, built a small Grade A dairy barn. It is now a small winery, where cows continue to enjoy the pasture.

As Lucy and Bill found more time for civic participation, they became involved in the incorporation of Cotati, the Petaluma School Board, and numerous environmental causes. They were active in the formation of Californians Organized to Acquire Access to State Tidelands (COAAST) and the passage of Proposition 20, which led to the Coastal Commission. Bill and others formed Sonoma County Conservation Action to educate and engage the public in local environmental issues. Lucy says her role in these campaigns included lots of writing, editing, and providing meals.

When her children were all in high school and college costs loomed, Lucy began working at Sonoma State as a secretary in the natural sciences department and later in the new, innovative nursing program. She also enrolled in classes and earned a master's degree in history. A longtime library fan, Lucy wrote the National Register nomination for the Carlson Currier Silk Mill (later Sunset Line & Twine) and Petaluma's Carnegie Library (now the Petaluma Museum). For her master's project, she completed a study of all 144 Carnegie libraries in California.

As a volunteer at the Petaluma Museum, Lucy often deals with long-ago people and events. She says it's surprising to find that she herself is now an “old timer,” but with her indomitable spirit and continued engagement with the community, she hardly fits that description. With help from her family and the Village, Lucy continues to lives in the house on Ely Road, where she enjoys seeing friends, staying active, and keeping up with the challenges and the pleasures of life.

- Lyndi Brown

Adventuresson the High Seas

When I received an email fromRoad Scholar, the educational tour company for older adults, offering a four-day sail on Puget Sound, I was intrigued. TheAdventuressis a 100-foot gaff-rigged schooner, built in 1913 in Boothbay, Maine, that sailed around the Horn to work as a pilot ship on San Francisco Bay. Eventually, she was sailed to Anacortes, Washington to begin a new life as a Tall Ship training vessel for youth and sometimes their elders.

Some might find conditions on board a little rustic -- no showers, shared cabins for eight to ten people of both sexes and all ages, sailing and upkeep chores, night watches -- but it sounded just right to me!

As we pulled away from the dockside tie-up, skillfully maneuvered by our youthful crewmates, we got under sail and the magic began. No motor sound or smell, just naturally being blown out to sea between the wooded San Juan Islands – heaven. Sea creatures, from seals to moon jellies, to sounds of orcas at night, added to the feeling of wildness.

I admit, being invited to climb the rigging to mast-top looked daunting, but "challenge by choice" was the trip motto, and we all chose to rise to it. Not only was I proud of us, but even more so of the 20-somethings on board. Volunteering their summer between college studies in marine biology, oceanography, and ecology, they love the sea, this ship, and sharing it with us. I am very optimistic about our future with such young people at the helm.

- Sue Miller, Village member and volunteer

Sleep Your Way to Better Health

In the growing discipline of sleep science, a new book by UC Berkeley researcher Matthew Walker is eliciting considerable attention. Small wonder, considering that sleep – or the lack of it – has enormous impact on our heath and wellbeing. The book,Why We Sleep, examines the link between insufficient sleep (according to Walker, less than seven hours a night) and Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and poor mental health. More than 20 large studies have reached the same conclusion: the shorter one’s sleep, the shorter one’s life. And yet an estimated two-thirds of people in developed nations are sleep-deprived, with serious consequences not only for their own mental and physical state, but with deleterious effects on their country’s economy, safety, and productivity.

Walker believes that sleep deprivation is an epidemic, and a good night’s sleep should be considered preventive medicine. With that in mind, it may be helpful for those of us with insomnia or other sleep disturbances to consider the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations for better sleep. Among them are observing the same bedtime and wakeup time every day, avoiding naps late in the day, exercising daily, and sleeping in a cool room with a comfortable mattress and pillow. More suggestions can be found at

Village board president Anne Greenblatt has found, for herself, that drinking large amounts of water between 4 and 7 pm and very little after that, along with avoiding alcohol after 6:00 pm, helps her to sleep more soundly. If she does awaken during the night, she reads something “uplifting, not too exciting” and stops as soon as she feels sleepy.

Administrative coordinator Joanne Martin-Braun extols the value of incorporating mindfulness meditation into daily life. This mind-calming practice, which focuses on breathing and awareness of the present moment, can help reduce anxiety and calm the mind. In one study, after a six week class in mindfulness meditation, participantsnot only had less insomnia, but also less fatigue, worry, and depression. Classes are widely available, including an audio class at:

It might benefit us all to experiment with some of these methods and to incorporate those we find useful into our lives, with the goal of enjoying longer, sounder, and more restful sleep in the New Year.
- Kathy Lawrence

Lifestyle Enrichments Boost Brain Health

The Institute on Aginghas compiled a list of seven enjoyable steps that older Americans can take to improve their cognitive capacity and reduce the possibility of dementia. Based on several recent research studies, the organization recommends incorporating as many of these lifestyle enhancements as possible into regular practice.

Exercise is crucial to both heart and brain health, and 75 to 150 minutes of energetic walking or other aerobic activity per week has been shown to improve measures of cognition and heart health. Dancing regularly is another brain booster, although it does not appear to have cardiovascular benefits. But because energetic dancing can be challenging and emotionally engaging as well as physically demanding, it is highly recommended as an aerobic workout.

Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking are recognized requirements for healthy bodies and brains, but less well-known are the benefits of cocoa. A recent study showed significant improvement in cognitive tests scores among older people who had been drinking two cups of cocoa a day for a month. Worth a try!

Vitamin B12 is another less familiar but increasingly acknowledged essential for healthy brains. Low levels of this vitamin can cause confusion, depression, and even dementia. Eating more fish, dairy, and beef is an easy way to increase B12 levels, assuming there are no health issues that require restricting those foods.

The final recommendations for improved cognition are easily available to Village Network members. Studies have shown a correlation between social activities and improved cognitive function. Socializing in larger groups seems to provide the greatest benefit. And learning a new skill also boosts cognitive performance. So take advantage of all the classes, programs, and special events that the Village offers, and be sure to attend the potlucks and parties as well. You’ll not only have fun, but you’ll be boosting your brain power and engaging in brain-healthy behavior!
- Kathy Lawrence
Trouble Remembering Everything Your Doctor Says?

Most of us can’t remember everything at medical appointments. Village MedPals are volunteers who have been trained by retired healthcare professionals. MedPals are available to support members in planning medical visits, driving them to the appointment, and takingnotes, if requested. All information held in confidence. Call or email the office to set up an appointment at776-6055,

Village Network Volunteer Opportunities

Our new Call Response Team is seeking a few peopleto volunteer in 3 hours/week shifts to respond to phone calls and handle requests for service. This team is at the center of the action in the Village.

“I love having the opportunity to contribute my years of experience in this way –with a minimal time commitment.”
- a Village volunteer

The Village Ambassadorswelcome volunteers who like to give presentations, work on newsletters, or help develop marketing plans.

The Resources Teamwould like a co-leader to work on making our extensive information and referral resources more accessible and to train direct service volunteers about relevant resources they might want to share with members.
The Village Network is exploring options for a new space. Your ideas are welcome…

Contact Paul Greenblatt, Relocation Task Force Leader,

Also, A.G. Spanos Companies plan to demolish the building we occupy for the proposed North River Apartments project. All ideas for community partner organizations who might have space to rent are welcome!
Donors to our Membership Partners Program

Teresa Barrett
George and Ellen Beeler
Suzanne Clarke
Fr. Michael Culligan
Becky Devine
Maria do Ceu,Out West Garage
Earl & Mickey Dolcini
Laura Dunne and Stacy Banas
Selma Ehrlich
Paul and Sherry Eklof
Rabbi Ted Feldman
Ann and Mel Fox
Majida Gibson
Wayne and Robin Guptill
Marcia Hince
Kiwanis Club of Petaluma
Scotti Kluess
Lucy Kortum
Tiaga Liner
Maryann Marks and Elad Levinson
Jeff Lyons,Adobe Creek Funeral Home
Pat Martin
Len and Charlotte Nelson
Teresa Nelson
Nora Pearl
Leslie Quadres
Alice Rebizzo
Starr Rohrman
Robin Schaef
Paula Schafer
Silver Lake Technology
Vreni Schnirman
Eileen & Ernie Simard
Janine and Ray Slaughter
Janny Van Alderen & David Quist

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

2016-17 donors to the sustainability of the Village Network are deeply appreciated

Diamond Sponsors - $1,000 to $5,000
Stanton Lawson and Gabriella Ambrosi
Sequoia Senior Solutions
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
Ann and Mel Fox
Robert Gallup
Marilyn Hartley
Janice Kearns
Gary & Lynn Imm
Darcy and Harvey 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
Chris & Sue Castelucci
Jeanette Clarey
Suzanne Clarke
Jodi Clinesmith and Chris Samson
Sam Doctors and Meredith Cahn
Bill & Margaret Fishman
Ken Gertz
Peter Holewinski,HomeCareAssistance
Margaret Kullberg
Kathy Lawrence and Rod Fraser
Elad Levinson
Tiaga Liner
Kit Loofroos
Sue Miller
Len and Charlotte Nelson
PEP Housing
Emil Perlsteiner
Whitney Schatz
Eileen Simard

Donors - up to $100
Bridie Acton
Pat Burns
Janet and Vernon Burrows
Patricia Early
Tina Hittenberger and Chuck Pyle
Marilee Jensen
Kathleen Kestlyn
Nina Komiakoff and Paul Smith
Lucy Kortum
Nancy Kull
Kathy MacDonald
John Mazella
Maryann McCourt
Caroline O'Reilly and family
Paul Praetzl
Starr Rohrman
Jerry Spremich
Elaine and Chris Stevick
Pam Torliatt
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
We extend our appreciation to to Kathy Lawrence,
our newsletter editor,
for contributing her 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 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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