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March 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

Community - Support - Peace of Mind
Table of Contents

Welcome to the Village
Saturday, March 17, 11:00 – 12:00 noon
Thursday, April 12, 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.


What's an Age-Friendly Community? Can Petaluma Become One?
Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 - 8:00pm, Aqus Cafe,189 H St.
Age-friendly communities foster health, security, mobility, and participation at every stage of life. What does that mean? What could that look like in Petaluma? Come hear Renee Tolliver, the Coordinator for Age-Friendly Sonoma County – part of a world-wide movement that’s creating communities where it’s great to grow upandgrow old. Questions? Email Petaluma Senior Advisory Committee Chair Kris Rebillot at

Men Wanted...for Small Group Discussion
Thursday, March 15, 2:00 –3:00 pm, Village office.
A couple of us in the Village have been thinking that we would like to get together with other men on a regular basis to discuss current events and other topics in a spirit of fellowship. If you are interested or even curious, please let Paul Greenblatt know atinfo@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor776-6055.If you are interested but the date and time don’t work, let Paul know. For members and active volunteers.

Getting Our Affairs in Order
Monday, March 19, 10:00–11:00 am, Village office.
If you have a will or trust, have you looked at it recently? If you don't have one, do you keep reminding yourself to get it done? In this workshop we'll briefly review the value of these documents and, working in the 96-page, hardcoverPeace of Mind Planner, we'll start organizing the essential information needed to carry out our final wishes. Please bring $10 if you would like to purchase thePlanner. Limited to 20 members and volunteers. AnRSVP isrequired byMarch 12to reserve your place. Please respond toinfo@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgor707-776-6055. Contact Jane ( for more information.

Presenter Teresa Nelson is a retired attorney who practiced institutional reform and public policy law for 30 years.

Drawing Worshop: Yes, You Too Can Draw
Wednesday, March 7, 9:30 – 11:00 am, Village office.
Open to members and active volunteers.
Drawing is fun, relaxing, and mindful. You can do it anywhere; all you need is a pen and a small sketch book — and the confidence that you too can draw. This workshop is for people who have little or no drawing experience. Members free, volunteers$5/workshop.RSVP required, or707-776-6055.

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

Mindfulness-Based Meditation Group
Consecutive Saturdays, January 27 through March 17, 10 – 11:00 am, in a member's home.(This series is now full.)
TheMindfulness-based Meditation Groupincludes two guided meditations per session, with a brief introduction and a post-meditation check-in. Our goal is to hone our meditation skills and foster calmness, relaxation, compassion, gratitude, and nonjudgmental awareness.We hope to schedule another series in the spring, with registration on a "first come" basis for up to 12 Village members and volunteers.

Facilitator Freeman Humphrey is a retired psychiatric social worker who has led mindfulness-based meditation groups for over ten years. For information about future sessions, contact Darcy Levy


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
Fridays, March 2 and 16, 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 (discussion facilitator), at415-827-3206, or For Village members and volunteers.

Women's Circle - for members
Friday, March 9, 9:15 – 10:45 am
(This is an 8-month series. Let us know if you’d like to be on a waiting list for the next series.)
UsingThe Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdomby cultural anthropologist Dr. Angeles Arrien as 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 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 is facilitated by Anne Greenblatt, Village board president. She has worked with this book in three women’s groups during the past 15 years.

Gentle Chair Yoga -To Improve Balance, Flexibility and Increase Vitality
Wednesday, March 14 and 28, 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.

Village Game Night
Friday, March 16, 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 Joanneat, or707-776-6055.
Gardening Group
Monday, March 19, 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, at

TED Talks Discussion Group
Wednesday, March 21, 10:30 – 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 info, or707-762-1023. RSVP

Bocce Ball
Wednesday, March 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 – dress warmly! RSVP to George Beeler

Potluck for Village Members and Volunteers: Newcomers welcome!
Sunday, March 25, 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.

Tech Workshop
Wednesday, March 28, 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. In addition to helping you with your technology challenges, we will demonstrate how to book a ride using Uber or Lyft. 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, March 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
tiagananda@gmail.comor658-1646for location.
Book Group
TheVillage Book Groupis taking a break until the fall and will resume based on interest and input on the kind of Book Group you want. Should we meet every month? Read fiction or nonfiction or both? Please send your ideas to Jane Merryman and let her know if you are interested in joining the group.For members and active


Befriending Our Bodies
Monday, April 16, 10:00 - 11:30 am, Village office.
We offered this program last July and it was so popular we are scheduling it again. New and returning participants are welcome. Learn simple practices that promote a tender, empowering, and mutually supportive relationship with your body. Reduce stress, enhance wellness and life satisfaction. Open to members, volunteers, and the public. RSVP to

Presenter Ruah Bull is a spiritual director who draws on more than 30 years in the alternative healing field to support body/mind/spirit healing and wholeness.

Tour of the Buck Institute, Novato
Thursday, April 26, 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
We have arranged for a 45-minute walking tour of the Buck Institute, including the architecture of I.M. Pei, book-ended by seated presentations on the latest research on aging. We have reserved 20 spaces for members and volunteers and will need to carpool. If you are interested, youmust RSVP right awayso we can make a reservation and provide a ride for you. Village volunteer drivers, please let the office know if we can sign you up as a carpool driver. RSVP to

Village Spring Photo Exhibition

Mike Riley is a Village volunteer who has created a new career as a photographer since retiring. His work is now on exhibit at the Village office. He is also a member artist at the Riverfront Art Gallery. Mike describes himself as a “well worn, substantially traveled photographer, with interest in interpreting subjects via composition and digital adjustment.”

He is a North Bay resident (mainly), and member of a large and extended family populated by a collection of artists, wildlife biologists, singers, entrepreneurs and corporate toilers, extending over several continents.
Theme for March: Our Well-Being and Healthspan

Our most consistently well-attended Village classes are the ones that focus on well-being and what’s becoming known as our “healthspan” – the length of time we are healthy and thriving, with a satisfying quality of life. New research is being published daily on lifestyle factors that support this concept.

By now, most of us have heard that routine physical activity of moderate or vigorous intensity on five or more days of the week tends to work magic. It’s the single most important thing that most of us can do to improve or maintain our health. Exercise expands our cognitive capacities and strengthens our cardiovascular system – which can have an enormous impact on our quality of life.

Each of us is unique. Discovering the kind of exercise that works foryouis vitally important

However, there are other lifestyle habits that have significant impact on our quality of life as we age: social interaction, nutrition, sleep, meditation, lifelong learning, and openness to new experiences, to name a few. In this issue, we have focused on a few of these. But there are many more, which we will cover in future issues.

Pat Martin’s Path to Wellness

We’re very lucky to have aGentle Yogaclass at the Village, taught by the very knowledgeable Village volunteer Pat Martin. Her background includes dance, sports, strength training, aerobics, and energy movement, which she describes as modalities that move energies through our bodies. These include Tai Chi, Tibetan Qigong, and Yoga.

Pat had a turning point at age 40. A virus settled in her spine, immobilizing her with pain. The experience made her realize the importance of taking daily care of the body and began her path to physical awareness. She received certification at Alive and Well in Marin, and in 1995 she began a massage therapy practice in Petaluma, where she still sees clients.

“Staying healthy is about being proactive,” Pat said. “I don’t believe that you can ignore yourself on a daily basis and maintain good health over the long haul. Listening to your body, drinking plenty of good water every day, exercise, moving your energy, lifting the spirit, smiling, eating healthy foods in moderation, being in nature, being in the moment, and enjoying the company of others are all part of a proactive lifestyle to promote good health.”

Several years ago Pat took a three-year intensive study program to become certified as an Eden Energy Medicine Advanced Practitioner.

“The work is profound and satisfying for me because it incorporates ancient modalities and makes them user-friendly so they can be easily practiced daily or as needed,” she said.

Pat teaches at P.O.S.T. Wellness by Design, the Village Network, and PEP Housing. The Gentle Yoga class at the Village builds arm and leg strength, both essential to healthy aging. Through balance exercises, students become better able to prevent falls. The group meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 11:00 a.m., and new people are welcome.
- Lyndi Brown

Practice Mindfulness Meditation for Peace of Mind and Better Health

Mindfulness meditation, simply put, is paying attention to the present moment and withholding judgment.It encourages us to become a witness to our own experience -- to notice bodily sensations, emotions, and the constant, unrelenting chatter of our minds. It allows us to notice and let be.

The reported benefits of mindfulness meditation are many: It can lower blood pressure, improve the immune system, aid in combating insomnia, and increase energy levels. The mental benefits are substantial as well. Meditation reduces anxiety, promotes calmness and relaxation, reduces stress, helps cope with symptoms of depression, reduces impulsive behavior, and promotes compassion and acceptance of self and others. It also helps us notice painful emotions and problem-solve how best to respond to them.

By resting on the breath we bring ourselves to the present moment and begin to witness a softening of the heart, with compassion for self and others. As these feelings arise, we can begin to move from doing to being and to simply notice that we are alive and are the author of our own story. Moreover, we begin to notice and appreciate what gives us joy, meaning, and substance and to ponder how and when to bring these experiences into our moments and our lives.

- Freeman Humphrey, Village volunteer, is a retired psychiatric social worker who has led mindfulness-based meditation groups for over ten years. He leads a meditation group series,which is now full, at the Village. For information about future sessions, contact Darcy Levy at

Mindful Movement: A Powerful Tool to Prevent Falls and Increase Longevity

Qigong is often called mindful movement because it trains participants to feel, sense, and enjoy moving from the inside out. What that means can best be illustrated by an example from everyday life.

I am walking down Petaluma’s notoriously cracked and uneven sidewalks. An oak tree has left hundreds of acorns in my path, which are just waiting for me to step carelessly and roll my ankle on them. I am carrying a grocery bag; my weight is unevenly distributed and leaning toward my left side. These risk factors are increased by stiff ankles and a wandering mind.

But I am a student of Qigong. I have been strengthening my ankles with movements both gentle and strength-building. My balance has improved through my training so that the acorns pose little threat. I respond to their hazard with some version of graceful reaction.

Independent academic institutions have researched Qigong and have found it to be one of two exercise forms (Tai Qi being the other) that are dynamic, relaxing, and health promoting.

Every Thursday at 9:30 am at the Village office, a community of beginners and intermediate practitioners learn how to find pleasure in aging, minimize pain, and build energy, health, and relaxation.

I personally can attribute to Qigong the end of back pain, strengthened ankles and limbs, as well as strong, calm energy all day. Please enjoy this mindful movement with us.

- Elad Levinson, LCSW, is a Village volunteer who leads a weekly Qigong class on Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:30 am.

Learn Bridge in a Day
Have you played bridge recently? It's a great social activity, wonderful exercise for your brain, and fun. If you would like to start up again, or learn the game for the first time,Learn Bridge in a Dayis a concentrated course that includes both class instruction and coached play. It takes place at the Petaluma Community Center on March 18 from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, conductedby John Shribbs, a certified bridge teacher.The cost of $40 per person includes lunch and course materials. There will be follow-up beginning classes and play time on a weekly schedule. Social games and American Contact Bridge League-sanctioned games meet in Petaluma on a weekly and monthly basis. If you are interested, stop by the Community Center at320 N. McDowell Blvd.,phone707-778-4380, or email

Donors to our newMembership Partners Program

Patricia Arfsten
George and Ellen Beeler
Suzanne Clarke
Fr. Michael Culligan, St. James Church
Becky Devine
Maria DoCeu, Out West Garage
Earl and Micky Dolcini
Laura Dunne and Stacey Banas
Selma Ehrlich
Paul and SherryEklof
Rabbi Ted Feldman, B’nai Israel Jewish Center
Ann and Mel Fox
Majida Gibson
Wayne and Robin Guptill
Marcia Hince
Kiwanis Club of Petaluma
Scotti Kluess
Lucy Kortum
Diane Judd and Ronald Krempetz
Robert Leichtner
Tiaga Liner
Maryann Marks andElad Levinson
Jell Lyons, Adobe Creek
Pat Martin
Kathy MacDonald
Len and Charlotte Nelson
Teresa Nelson
Nora Pearl
Leslie Quadres
Kris Rebillot
Alice Rebizzo
Starr Rohrman
Robin Schaef
Paula Schafer
Vreni Schnirman
Eileen and Ernie Simard
Janine and Ray Slaughter
Janny Van Aalderen and 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 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
Jan Conlon
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
William McDevitt
Suzanne Miller
Diane Olberg
Nancy Porter
JoAnn Pozzi

Supporting Donors - $100 to $499
Lyndi Brown and Anthony Tusler
Pat Burns
Chris and Sue Castellucci
Suzanne Clarke
Jodi Clinesmith and Chris Samson
Sam Doctors and Meredith Cahn
Ken Gertz
Peter HolewinskiHome Care Assistance
Gary and Lynn Imm
Kathy Lawrence and Rod Fraser
Kit Loofroos
Margaret Kullberg
Bill and Catherine Luther
Len and Charlotte Nelson
PEP Housing
Emil Perlsteiner
Mike and Sue Riley
Eileen Simard
George Young and Kelly Corbett

Donors-up to $100
Bridie Acton
Janet and Vernon Burrows
Patricia Early
Tina Hittenberger and Chuck Pyle
Marilee Jensen
Hilda Jobson
Kathleen Kestlyn
Nina Komiakoff and Paul Smith
Lucy Kortum
Nancy Kull
Joanne Martin Braun
Kathy MacDonald
Maryann McCourt
John Mazzella
Caroline O'Reilly and family
Paul Praetzl
Starr Rohrman
Pam Torliatt

The Village Network is exploring options for a new space. Your ideas are welcome…

Contact Paul Greenblatt, Relocation Task Force Leader,

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!
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 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 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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P.O. Box 442