Saturday, July 23, 2011

Remembering Woodstock

We brought our beloved boy home today in his cherrywood urn, his picture in the photo slot the very one I used in my last blog. It is still too difficult right now to tell his story (I will, I promise!) but for now I will include some photos to pay this sweet rabbit the tribute he deserves.

This one was taken at Cinnamon's first vet visit after she came into his life and made him one happy boy. She was two months old at the time, he was 2 years old!

Woodstock from day one always loved his greens. He would rip through them like a woodchipper. In his first "home", he had only been fed pellets, and only once a day, if he was lucky.

This was how Woody came to us, with his ears shaved due to the treatment for the severe ear mites he suffered from gross neglect in his first home. He was so thin you could feel every vertebrae in his spine.

Woodstock as you can see grew to become quite the handsome boy. All who knew him said he was the sweetest rabbit, the most good natured rabbit, they had ever known. I have literally hundreds of photos I could post, and I will post more over time, but I hope these few snaps give you an idea of where he came from, and how happy a guy he was. I was so blessed, blessed beyond measure, to have him in my life these last eight years.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rest in peace, my beautiful rescue bun

2002 - 19 July 2011

Thank you for rescuing ME, eight years ago 18 July. You will live in my heart until the end of my days. - The Hoppy Vegan

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A little moment

Tonight as I sat outside at Open City restaurant on Calvert Street I had one of those little moments in life that are all too rare--mainly because we don't pay attention--a moment I'd like to share in this blog.

As I sat with my Sam Adams lager, I was morose and fighting to hide tears as I thought about my 9 year old rabbit Woodstock, crippled with spondylosis and now dying from cancer. Eight years ago tomorrow this beloved animal came into my life and has blessed it ever since. I know goodbye is near and it's hard not to dwell on it. But since I didn't think bursting into tears at an outdoor cafe in D.C would be either appropriate or attractive, I turned my attention elsewhere.
That's when I noticed the sparrows.

As I ate my veggie quinoa, I watched as these tiny birds flitted about the shelves containing the basins of dirty dishes, many carrying the unfinished remains of human suppers. Much to their luck, three french fries dropped from a plate carried by a hustling busboy. One sparrow wasted no tine, swooping in and grabbing a French fry twice the length of his body and dashed away. Inwardly I cheered (is it really humane to cheer on a bird about to consume so much saturated fat?) Then a second bird aimed for one of the remaining fries; instead of snatching it and flying away, he pecked at it several times, much to my chagrin. Not a good strategy for this little guy--a waiter burst out of the restaurant frightening this bird and his feathered friends back to their original perch on the planters on the next door restaurant's patio. Minutes passed, but this hungry bird had no chance to get back. Busboys and waiters walked in and out, and, as I feared, several rubber-soled feet flattened the fries into the brick.

I was well into my blueberry pie slice when the sparrows ventured back. Much to my amusement, one of them figured out there was more food on the plates stashed in the basins and proceeded to hop onto a plate. He snatched a large fry and got out of there. Meantime another feathered friend-- or was it the same bird who tried this before--made an attempt to peck at the flattened fry on the bricks. Once, twice, several more times he was thwarted by pounding feet. One more time, he hopped over--peck,peck,peck. Under my breath, I whispered, "come on pal, just grab it and get outta here!" I don't know if he heard me--I hope the other restaurant patrons didn't!--but at last he got a firm hold on this long, sneaker-crushed fry and he soared into the summer breeze, fluttering across Calvert Street with his hard-earned meal dangling from his beak. I wanted to cheer "Yes!" with the sheer joy for this little bird's triumph, but social decorum--and the strong desire not to spend the night in a looney bin--kept me in check.

What's the point, you ask? In sum, my sparrow friends reminded me to seek out the simple joys in nature even as we are immersed in sadness at the mortality in it. They stirred me from my gloom tonight and they will never know how they made me smile and brought me a brief sheer moment of happiness even as I try to prepare for the mourning period coming my way. Thank you, my fine feathered friends. I will never forget this.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Seasons 52 - A Restaurant for Everyone

Imagine the joy this vegan felt when a new restaurant at a local mall boasted "alternative menus" on their website. That had to mean one thing--VEGAN CHOICES!! WOOHOO!!! And not JUST vegan - they list menus for lactose free, low sodium, gluten free, vegetarian, garlic-free--HUH? (As an American of partly Italian descent, I balked at this one--garlic is one of the four basic food groups, I don't care what ANYONE says!)

I dined here yesterday for lunch and you can tell when a restaurant has only been open five days. Everyone from the manager to the hostess to the waitress kisses your behind from the minute you walk in the door till the time you waddle out. I must confess, I LOVED that--too bad most restaurants lose that zeal several months in. But I digress. The service, though exceptional, was not my main reason to celebrate. The food was very fresh and very satisfying. I ordered the farmer's market vegetable plate, which consisted of golden beets, thin asparagus, baby carrots, baby bella mushrooms, cranberry-almond tabbouleh, and grilled ponzu-glazed tofu. For dessert (most of which are not vegan but are served mini-style as mini-indulgences), I had a mini-fresh fruit cup which was just enough to fill me. And it had EVERYTHING squeezed into this little glass--raspberry, diced mango and papaya, strawberry slices, blueberries, pineapple. Yummy! The wines recommended to me were first rate as well, in particular a sweet riesling I had to accompany my dessert. I am not much into dessert wines but this one was outstanding.

Other vegan options here include vegetable penne pasta served with a garlic-herb sauce, the grilled ponzu-glazed tofu served with a choice of two side dishes (broccoli, roasted asparagus, penne pasta, red potatoes, cremini mushrooms, etc.) They have some lovely salads as well. To start, I had an arugula salad with cranberries and golden beets (minus the goat cheese). The menu also boasts a tomato and hass avocado salad that looks tempting.

All in all, I really enjoyed my lunch. The best part is, Seasons 52 has something for everyone--the perfect restaurant for a group of people of mixed dietary needs. Check it out sometime. Visit them online at to find a location near you.