The Sewing Circle

Hi Sages,
The Topanga Women’s Circle is joining with the Sages to offer a unique volunteering opportunity. On this Thursday, and every 3rd Thursday of the month at Topanga Library from 10:15-12:00, the Sewing Circle will meet to craft items for the homeless. Please read this message below (or download it) from the organizers & open your hearts!We Invite You…

On a Journey to Help the Homeless

We’d like to tell you about a project we’re playing with that just about anybody anywhere can get involved in…the Sages Sewing Circle. It’s not just a sewing circle, rather a social of peers and others “to create whatever you like for the less fortunate who are on the threshold of a better life.” It helps those who have been down on their luck and now have an opportunity for a new beginning. The apartments for these families are provided through the Veteran’s Administration, the Salvation Army and Venice Community Housing.
For those who qualify, it means moving out of homeless shelters and into an apartment, albeit one that is bare bones. Bare bones means no sheets, blankets or pillows on the bed, no shower curtains or bath items, no pot holders (or pots for that matter) and so on. Many of these essential items are provided by the Topanga Women’s Circle through donations made to their organization. What is missing is the caring touch of a homemade item like a soft, stuffed toy for a child’s bed or a crocheted blanket for the baby, pot holders, tablecloths, placemats, decorative pillows and a comfy throw for the back of a couch. Even a vase with artificial flowers helps make an apartment feel more like a home. Do you make artificial flowers? These are all items that can be made and become very special creations with your good wishes for these families in mind.
If you have something you’d like to make for a family ready for re-entry, please contact us or just drop by the Library’s community room on the 3rd Thursday of the month between 10:15 A.M. and 12 noon. That’s when we get together. So come check us out! We love visitors and have a great time and we’d love to have you join us. If you’re into sewing, we have material, some patterns for soft stuffed toys, some embroidery thread and lots of fun. You can create your project at home or at our monthly gathering or both. There’s no pressure.
And if sewing isn’t your thing but you have an idea for something else you’d like to try, email us at We’d love to hear from you.

Lee Kelly, Topanga Canyon Sages & Karen Sherwood, Topanga Women’s Circle

TOPANGA, check out your local Canyon Sages

Now approaching their sixth year, the Sages are resuming classes and socials, adding new events and outings to their growing repertoire. Many favorites are back and some novel activities beckon.
Sages Sewing Circle — The Sages, in conjunction with the Topanga Women’s Circle, invites all Sages to participate in a new activity which can help make a difference in the lives of others. If you can sew, crochet, knit, embroider or stitch by hand you can help by creating stuffed toy animals, pot holders, place mats, baby blankets and more for the folks who are ready for re-entry, many of them vets and their families. This will be an at home &/or in-group affair. For more details see Lee Kelly and sign up at the Barbeque.
Buff Bones: Sages exercise week begins on Sunday Morning with Lisa Levinson’s Buff Bones class at the Community House. Lisa, a Certified Expressive Movement Therapist and Licensed Buff Bones instructor, specializes in bone health. Her medically endorsed workout combines Pilates with bone-strengthening/balance techniques and is considered safe for those with osteoporosis. The class meets from 10 – 11:30 a.m. and, like most Sages classes, is only $6 per session for seniors. An additional class is offered at a private residence from 6:30 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Contact Lisa at for details on what you’ll need to bring.
Tai Chi & Qigong—Monday is in slow motion swing with a “wonderful moving meditation-like exercise,” Tai Chi/Yang Style 24, presented at 9:30 a.m. by Jackie Safonov. Jackie, a 32-year resident of Topanga, is an American Tai Chi & Qigong Association Certified Teacher and has been guiding the Sages through these graceful, gentle forms of exercise for close to six years now. Jackie also offers Wednesday morning Qigong at 9:30 a.m. Tai Chi and Qigong were developed in China and are known for low-impact do-ability. Jackie says that her students are constantly telling her how their health and vitality has improved, and “Mine too,” she adds. Classes are $6 for Sages, open to others, and ongoing. For more information contact Jackie at
Computer Club—John Coffer’s Computer Club isn’t as much a class as a valuable asset for the Sages or anyone needing to explore the various facets of many of their electronic devices. John, who is kind, gentle and patient, even with the most confused among us, donates his time freely on Tuesday afternoons from 1 – 2:30 p.m. in the Penny Room at the Community House. Though not a self–professed expert, he is there to work with you on whatever you like, and often has extra equipment for you to play with. The motto of this smiling Sage: “Computers, a blessing and a curse. We all have trouble keeping up with them. Thank God, I have children who can teach me! I’m here to help you!” Bring your laptop, iPad or whatever. For more information:
Chair Yoga—“Everyone can benefit from yoga regardless of age, shape, size or condition,” maintains instructor Lola Babalon, who holds sway over the Chair Yoga classes held on Wednesdays in the Community House at 11 a.m. A long-time Topangan, Lola is an astrologer, nurse, shaman and herbalist and an experienced yoga practitioner who is passionate about helping people feel better in body and soul. She affirms that Chair Yoga is both relaxing and invigorating as it helps explore and expand your range of motion safely while sitting in a chair. E-mail Lola at with any questions about this $6 ongoing class.
Sages Book Club—Every second Thursday of the month the Sages Book Club meets in the Penny Room at the Community House at 12 noon. Attendees may bring a lunch if they like. Members decide ahead on the material they want to read and discuss, Janice Harmon sends a notice to everyone so that participants can know what the title will be and the date it will be discussed. To participate, e-mail Janice at to get on the list. The next Book Club gathering will be on Thursday, October 8.
Track Walk—What is a Track Walk? In Topanga it is the opposite of walking just about anywhere else. The track in this case is the flat outer edge of the Ball Field at the Community House and it is available to Sages on Friday mornings at 9 a.m. for the opportunity to walk in an area where they are not climbing hills, tripping over rocks or slipping on weeds. This is a do-it-yourself, do-as-many-loops-as-you-like activity for those who are interested. No leader is needed. Just a little will power!
Adult Knitting Group—Every Friday morning at 10 a.m., the Adult/Sages Knitting Group gathers at the library for free instruction led by experienced knitter Karen Dannenbaum. Though most folks know Karen from her long career in real estate, it’s news to many that before moving to Topanga she managed a fiber arts store in Santa Monica where she gave knitting and weaving lessons and “lots of over-the-counter advice. Karen, who has always been interested in different crafts, began knitting as a child. “Through working with the Sages I’ve realized there are a lot of people who would like to knit and just need a little encouragement.” All levels are welcome to the Adult Knitting Class, from beginners on. E-mail Karen at and she’ll tell you what to bring.
Singing Salon—The Singing Salon is a gathering of folks who like to get together and sing. Because she missed the good times she had with her family singing around the piano, Canyon Sages president Michele Johnson organizes the Friday venue held about once a month from 7 – 9 p.m. in various people’s homes. When a date is set, folks are welcome to come, bring an instrument if they like, sing, or just sit and listen. The songbook includes folk, standards and early rock but new numbers are welcome. A $5 donation is suggested to compensate the accompanist, usually a guitar player or pianist. Members bring drinks and snacks to share. Contact Michele at (310) 455-1319 to get on the list.
Cooking Classes—“Cooking is what my mother, grandmothers and aunties were known for in our family and circle of friends,” says Andrea Palella, chef organizer for the Sages Cooking Classes that are offered at various times and venues throughout the year. Former menus have included ethnic, herbal, nutritional, raw, gluten-free and holistic. The next Sages Cooking Class will be taught by chef, cookbook author and Topanga resident Kristine Kidd on Tuesday, October 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in a private home. The fee is $20. To reserve your space contact Andrea at
The Sages Socials—A Topanga tradition, the monthly Seniors Socials have been going on so long that most of the seniors can’t even remember when they began. Offered on the first Friday of every month, except during the heat of the summer, these late afternoon events begin at 3:30 p.m. and are the prime opportunity for Topanga’s older generation to catch up on each other, stay in touch and enjoy a buffet of extraordinary quality prepared by the best chefs in Topanga. From the consistently terrific appetizers to extraordinary desserts, this is where Topanga chefs pamper Topanga’s Sages. The next one is the BBQ on Friday, October 2.
And who are these incredible chefs? Lisa Villasenor has had a passion for cooking from her earliest years, guided by a grandmother who also loved to cook. Her passion came with her when she and her family moved to Topanga in 1992, and she became involved with the community, volunteering to cook for the Senior Socials and other canyon functions. Perhaps her largest fête was a sit-down dinner at the elementary school where she and other chefs prepared pasta for 300 people. Lisa enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with her family. And, boy, is she a good cook! Karla Morrison grew up in a large family with nine siblings and a father who was an awesome cook in the restaurant business. Karla‘s experience in food preparation led to running a deli and a catering business even after she met and married Joe, moved to Topanga and went into the A/C business. Because her father had always taught her that it is important to give back, when help was needed for the Seniors Social, she stepped up to the plate and has been doing it ever since. The Sages treasure her expertise, incredible energy and continual volunteerism. Karen Dannenbaum says she grew up rolling out pie crusts next to her mother who was an excellent chef. According to Karen, they never had cake mixes in the house, but there was a large selection of cookbooks and they would choose the recipes for their own birthday cakes. Karen was required to make her mother’s cake and her mom would choose increasingly difficult recipes for her. She loves to bake recipes with seasonal fresh fruit (and the Sages love them too!). There is nothing better than a dessert lovingly made for the Sages by our own Dessert Queen!
Presentations & Talks—Tam Taylor is our go-to gal for special events co-sponsored by the library. Tam organizes programs on topics of concern to seniors such as Medicare, emergency preparedness, financial planning and safety for older drivers, addressing new issues as they arise. She’s a volunteer extraordinaire and is seen helping out at all the Sages’ functions. Tam simply says, “It’s an honor to work with so many wonderful individuals and I hope more people, young and old, will join in and discover the rewards [of volunteerism] for themselves. We’re a small community and a little goes a long way.”
Excursions & Walks—It’s hardly a surprise that Karen Moran is heading up the Sages Walkabouts since she was raised in rugged Hondo Canyon in a burned out, river rock cabin. Karen, who particularly enjoys traversing the mountain trails from Topanga Meadows to Cold Creek, feels that a hardy walkabout in the woods restores one’s sense of peace, wellbeing and a chance to connect with others who love nature.
There are two October Walkabouts. “Hondo Canyon/Backbone Trail,” Thursday, October 22, is a four-hour, level 5 trek. Contact Karen (see below) or sign up at the Barbeque.
A gentler Sage outing is an “Explorer Tour at the Saddle Rock Ranch/Vineyard” in Malibu on Tuesday, October 29, 4:30 p.m. This includes a safari truck tour of a 1000-acre, family-run vineyard complete with exotic animals, wine tasting and appetizers, all for $65 per person. Reservations are required. For more information and to reserve space on these excursion: (310) 455-0214.
For details and to sign up for classes, visit, Sages’ new website designed and maintained by volunteer Bonnie Morgan who also designed the Sages Facebook page. Look for the weekly newsletter, calendar and schedule of upcoming events and classes.
Sages 5th Annual BBQ and Membership Drive, October 2
September 24, 2015 – By Lee Kelly
The 5th annual Canyon Sages Barbeque & Membership Drive kicks off a new season of events, socials and programs for Topanga’s seniors and others on Friday, October 2, at 3:30 p.m. There will be music, BBQ for meat eaters and vegetarians, specialty dishes and a terrific dessert. Timothy Lippman, Senior Field Deputy to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, will be on hand to meet, greet and lend a hand with the BBQ. Sages friends, family, potential members and volunteers of all ages are invited to attend this engaging free event, held each year at the Community House. To help decorate for the barbeque: Dayna,
Under the sponsorship of the TCC, Canyon Sages is Topanga’s first and only social and service organization for Topanga’s elders. Seniors are invited to join and membership is free. Visit the sign-up tables at the BBQ to become a member, check out upcoming classes and volunteer. Can’t make the BBQ? Contact Membership chair, Susan Wiebusch at:
Canyon Sages always needs volunteers and all ages are welcome to participate in a variety of ways to help out, such as decorating, clearing and/or clean-up for our Sages’ Socials. They are also seeking volunteers to handle the phone-tree and postal mailings and someone experienced in writing bylaws and applying for 501(c)3 status.
Volunteer meetings are held in the Library the second Wednesday of most months at 2:30 p.m. Michele Johnson: (310) 455-1319.

Instructional Aides for Topanga Elementary

Topanga TA Flyer

Join up with the Sage Brush Coyotes!

Join Karen Moran and her “Sage Bush Coyotes” for monthly historical Walkabouts/Talkabouts (walking, hiking, creek climbing, bush crawling and more) throughout Topanga Canyon and the surrounding mountain areas. For further information contact Karen at 310.455.0214.

On March 23 we will meet at 10:30am in the Parking Lot of Redrock Canyon Park. Carpool to save on $5.00 parking fee. The walk will be a silent one…at least for most of the trail. We will take the Barceloux Trail from Redrock to Zuniga Canyon. A level 5+, two-hour hike. Bring water, snacks, cameras and notebooks.

March 8 – Save those papers!

The Canyon Sages Paper Shredding Fundraiser Event has been rescheduled. Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 8, 9am to noon. Goodies and coffee available.

Copyright© 2013 - 2015 All Rights Reserved | Canyon Sages | Website created by Design Like It Matters

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers

Website Apps