Therapy Dogs make People feel Good

Our pup, Cassie, doesn’t always listen or come when called. She has a basket with way too many stuffed animals, leaves globs of fur everywhere she goes, and finagles an awful lot of treats.  But I learned one thing today when we took her to a local public elementary school to read with 4th and 5th graders: she makes kids happy. They read Sun Dog, Fun Dog  and The Giving Tree to her on this #dayofservice, and when we asked “what do dogs give?” we got great responses:  Hugs! Love! Friendship! Kindness!

 Just take a look at the faces of these children, and you know at a glance, therapy dogs make people feel good.

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3 big tips if you love Broadway shows

My friend Joyce and I took the train to Manhattan and stood in line for Hamilton tickets last week (see my previous post for details and photos).  We were prepared with toothbrushes and a Hotels Tonight app in case we had to go to the evening show and spend the night in the city,  but we got in to the matinee.  

Standing in line for “Rush” tickets is a wonderful New York experience that everyone should have. ( Exactly the opposite experience of my German Pilates instructor who spent Easter weekend in the city was bemoaning the fact that in a city of 8 million, when you walk around the city, no one talks to you.)  We met so many interesting people,  but also learned a ton about how to get tickets for BIG Broadway shows for less than the going price.

Two twentysomething school teachers were standing with a young paralegal in front of us in line who was waiting for evening tickets to the show.  They had seen absolutely every new show on Broadway and were happy to stand for two hours and chat with us about their favorites.  The man behind us, who was from New Jersey but has an apartment on 8th and 49th for weekend trips to the city, opened his notes on his phone to tell us about the off-Broadway and Broadway shows he had seen this year, and the list numbered over 50.  So these were avid theatergoers!  Here’s their advice:

  •  Join TDF. We did and immediately found tix for $48 to the newest opening sensation opening last night, Groundhog Day.
  • Go to broadwayforbrokepeople to see which shows sell rush tickets or have lotteries.  Rush may require standing in line for a few hours, or may have seats for sale as soon as the box office opens.
  • See what the public thinks about a show, which may be different from the critics’ reviews, at show-score.  This will give you a nice list of faves based on a crowd-sourced scoring model.

So based on our new friends’ suggestions, we are heading to Groundhog Day tomorrow ( New York Times gave it rave reviews today) and I plan on getting TDF tix to Sweat and Sunday in the Park with George before the month is out.  Woo hoo! We love the theater! 

Heading out to stand in line for Hamilton tix

We have been longing for a Hamilton tickets since July.  Entered the lottery every day, stood in the cancellation line in October and got to #2 before the door closed.  But nonetheless we are determined.  Tomorrow we head to NYC on the train for another try. If we don’t get tickets for the matinee, who knows? We might just get back in line for the evening show.  

If you haven’t downloaded the Hamilton Mixtape, it’s awesome and you should.  Even better than the Broadway soundtrack, just for the pure inventiveness of the performers and creativity these songs engender.  And relevant? So relevant. Trump election= the elction of 1804. Congress is still Congress. Hope we get in, stay tuned.

And we did.

Time for Dairy Queen, Daffodils and Flip Flops

After a week of 40 degree rainy weather, today we were back to typical New England springtime in Niantic– just warm enough to enjoy the sunny MS walk in support of Ally’s Team, where the daffodils were out in force at Camp Harkness.  Even picked up grinders and ate them in a warm and cozy sun porch.


Before the cold spell, the pup and I had several walks to the beach in 70 and 80 degree sunshine, and stopped by the local Dairy Queen for an ice cream cone on the first day of wearing flip flops.

Nothing beats retirement in April! 

Women of the World Event at the Apollo

via Abbey Lincoln Tribute Concert – Apollo Theater | WOW Festival | Harlem, USA

We love Dee Dee Bridgewater, Esperanza Spaulding, and Dianne Reeves, so this is the perfect event for us.  Have not been to the legendary Apollo in Harlem, so we are very eager to see the place and enjoy the music– with a wonderful purpose: promoting the power of women and girls around the world. This John F. Kennedy Center production is a concert in  honor of the legendary Abbey Lincoln, who wrote the famous ballad, “For All We Know.”

Happy to see: SPRING, March 21

It’s not only March 21, first day of spring, Naw Ruz, sunny and warm, but the porch is warm enough (62 degrees) to enjoy during the daytime!

Spent the day uncovering the daffodils that are emerging, and the  grape hyacinths and myrtle that are just starting to bloom.  The cardinals and downy woodpeckers are happy at the birdfeeder, and we’ve even had flickers and ladderback woodpeckers.  Nice respite from the politics and  news on the tv which could drive us crazy!  

Cassie enjoyed a 2-mile walk to the beach– no swimming yet, since we don’t have the outdoor shower operational until we are sure no more freezes this spring.  When she got back, she took a nap with her baby!

Enjoy the equinox– we are!