The Transition Network

special interest groups

Submitted by Erin Campbell and Julie Efta

What is your special interest? We have a thriving group of long-term SIGS and are welcoming new ideas for one time or seasonal/short term groups to form for cooler weather.

Thanks to Jean Forrey and Barbara O’Sullivan for leading successful outings this summer for boat rides on the Mississippi, yoga at Como Park and It’s Never Too Latebook group.

We encourage YOU to propose a new topic and see who joins you. It could be one compelling book you want to read and discuss with others, a ZOOM yoga class, an outdoor activity, a hobby/craft, a volunteer activity or a study/discussion topic. We can also post this new endeavor in Meetup to reach and connect with non-members.

We have recently removed a few seasonal or inactive groups from our list of SIGs recently.

We are soliciting new ideas NOW! Carpe Diem/Seize the Day! 

If you have an idea, contact Erin at or Julie at with your interest. 

submitted by JeNell Jacobson

Our September meeting was a visit to see the murals in the Chroma Zone area of St. Paul Midway. Before our walking tour, that focused on colorful and diverse murals, we enjoyed an unexpected highlight inside the wonderful building that houses the New Studio Gallery. Water was the subject of the gallery show and illustrated through various mediums of art.

The Walker Art Center and the Sculpture Gardens will be our destination on Wednesday, October 13, at 1:00 PM. Participants will have a choice about what they do, view art in the gallery and/or in the Sculpture Garden. We recommend doing some research on their website to become familiar with what is available this month. An update will be sent to members on our mailing list prior to the meeting.

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 met via Zoom to discuss Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, a murder mystery set in a small Minnesota town. Krueger has written many murder mysteries featuring a character named Cork O’Connor but, in this novel, he creates a new cast of characters and focuses on the effect the murders have on a young boy and his family.

Coming up, on Thursday, October 7, from 10:00 AM to noon, we’ll discuss The Four Winds written by Kristin Hannah. A historical novel, this book takes us to the lived experience of a farm family dealing with the devastating effects of the Dust Bowl and their eventual forced migration to an inhospitable California. In these recent months of drought here in our own Minnesota and a national and international awareness of climate migration, the book is especially relevant.

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. 

Contact Eleni Skevas at if you’d like to be added to the email list or want more information.

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

Fall is in the air and we're planning to celebrate the season with a Potluck lunch outside.

Food SIG guidelines: 
  • All are welcome (including new chapter members and noncooks) 
  • Bring your appetite
  • Prepare food at home or purchase something - No Pressure
  • In the true Potluck tradition, we will eat what is offered and enjoy the company (Six salads, five desserts-all good)
Date: Friday, October 8
Time: 12:00 - 2:00 PM
Place: Kathleen Peterson's patio/porch in South Minneapolis near Lake Nokomis. Address to be provided about a week before the meeting date. 

If the weather does not cooperate, we will meet at the same time via ZOOM and discuss our favorite foods for fall.

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

12 women got together on September 21, via Zoom to talk about financial apps and plans for the future of our SIG. 

Thanks to Dawn for presenting information about financial apps for retirement planning and tracking. There are many apps that provide a consolidated view of one’s assets. Dawn shared an interview by Boomer Living with a company that had developed such an application that was designed for people like us!

This SIG has been meeting for nearly 3 years! We plan to select a financial book to read/discuss and discussed possible topics for the future. We also have a list of topics we plan to discuss every year because they are key to financial literacy for women like us.
The topic for our meeting on Tuesday, October 19, 6:30-8:00 PM is payment methods. We will also be selecting the book we plan to read and discuss.

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 Jean Forrey and Erin Campbell

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. We are still hoping to go to West Side Story in December.

We are also planning a return to zoom movie discussions and currently formulating a list of movies to discuss.

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 Karen West

On September 2, five of us met to talk about how we wanted to move forward now that we have finished doing our live reviews. Everyone agreed that we wanted to start writing and sharing legacy letters. We also agreed that we would like to spend about 20 minutes writing. Karen and Cynthia talked about writing blessings as Rachael Freed (Your Legacy Matters) suggests at the end of legacy letters. We tried writing a blessing and discovered that we have to be careful that our “blessings” aren’t actually “instructions.”

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, October 7, from 1:30-3:00 PM via zoom. For that meeting, we are all going to read the Forward and the Introduction of Your Legacy Matters by Rachael Freed. Debra and Karen also committed to writing a letter and sharing it next month. 
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 Jan Weller

September and the cooler weather helped us have several great outings. We enjoyed going to Taylor’s Falls and a fun course with several water features. We also enjoyed the burgers and root beer complete with yellow jackets. We had fun at the artsy but non-challenging course at the Walker Art Center, with another wonderful lunch at the adjoining patio restaurant, Cardamom. We might have to change our name to Snacks and Putts.

As of this writing our last event of the season has not occurred, but we will be going to Jean’s personal favorite course, Big Stone Mini Golf and Sculpture Garden. As there is no adjoining restaurant we will need to focus on our golf. The course itself is enchanting and challenging and the surrounding sculptures and animals are a feast for the eyes.

Over the winter it is possible that we will visit one of the indoor courses, or switch to bowling- but with Covid variants in the air we might need to wait until glorious spring appears and we can be outside again!

If you want the “up to date” info or want to join us in mini golf, please contact Jan Weller or Jean Forrey to be added to our mailing list.

- submitted by Julie Efta

Members of the “On Being SIG” met in September to discuss a change of focus to branch out and include discussion of other podcasts. Each month one member will select something for us all to listen to and, on the third Monday of each month at 1:00 PM, we will meet via ZOOM to discuss the podcast. We have renamed our group to The POD SQUAD and welcome others to join us by adding your name to the list by contacting Ginny or Julie. 

You do not need to attend every month and we welcome new ideas and monthly leaders.

The schedule for the next three months is:

Monday, October 18 at 1:00 PM via zoom: Fresh Air/ Patty Peterson 
November 15: The Island of Discarded Women/ Terri Evans
December 20: 0% Happier/ Debra Dorgan

The specific episode for “homework" and zoom link will be sent to all those who add their name to the email reminders. 

Let’s increase our listening skills and learn new things!

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 Karen West

On September 14, five of us met on Zoom to discuss the last third of the book Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally Really Grow Up by James Hollis. Though the group was small, the discussion was good. 

Next month, we will meet on the second Tuesday, October 12, from 7:00-8:30 PM on zoom. We will be discussing a book that has been very popular in the past—Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older. Amazon only has one hard back left, and they’re charging $40 for it, but there are many used books, and Amazon’s used books are always in excellent shape. We will read and discuss the first section “Hope” through page 80.

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

Most Travel SIG members at the September 28 meeting stayed close to home this summer, exploring Minnesota and Wisconsin, which have many wonderful destinations. Some learned more about possible journeys through a Facebook group for solo women travelers over fifty and/or Minnesota Rovers. Some made internal explorations, discovering more about themselves and others.  

Janis Weller and her husband traveled with their teardrop camper to Washington and back, and had a fabulous time. Marilynne Roberts flew to Los Angeles, attended the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach (which she recommends to everyone}, enjoyed the La Brea Tarpits and Museum and Universal Studios, visited the King and Queen of the Missions and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, was dazzled by the drive up the coast to San Francisco, and flew home from SFO.    

The Travel SIG will have a Zoom meeting Tuesday, October 26, 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 September. During our “awe” walk, we wandered about tiny Nicollet Island in Minneapolis. The island is a quiet oasis yet just a stone’s throw from downtown Minneapolis. Clearly many of the owners of the Victorian homes on the island take pride in their gardens and we benefited from their efforts and spent time admiring the many plants and hardscapes. For our more brisk walk, we explored the many habitats at Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley. Due to the recent rains and a fresh breeze on the day the group visited, the nature center was particularly lush and delightful.

We have two truly urban hikes planned for October:

Our first hike for the month will be our “awe” walk at 2:00 PM on Thursday, October 14, at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. Lakeview cemetery is one of the most park-like cemeteries in the country and holds a lot of clues to the history of the twin cities and its people. We’ll spend about an hour wandering about a small part of the cemetery, considering the monuments we happen upon. With a bit of luck, we will be able to enjoy some brilliant fall colors among the many trees in Lakewood. (Rain date is Friday, October 15.)   

Our second hike in September will be at 2:00 PM on Thursday, October 21, around Lake Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis. We’ll walk about 3 miles around the lake at a brisk pace. The hike should take about 1 hour. (Rain date is Friday, October 22.) 

If you’d like to join either or the hikes in October 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, October 15, 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 Cyndy Nelson

Eight group members gathered at Springbrook Nature Center on a Friday in September to walk, talk, and paint rocks. We discussed what we had learned from reading the book, writing morning pages, taking walks, and having Artist Dates. We also painted rocks - thanks to Barbara and Terri for providing the materials for this fun activity. Thanks to Barbara for leading us through the book and for the willingness of the group members to share their experiences throughout the journey.

Material from, 11:12:15 October 27, 2021.
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