Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Happy Easter

From my family to yours, wishing you a very Happy Easter!

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Windshield Wiper

“We have to get a wiper.”  Zen Master said one day as we were driving home from the grocery store.  “My wiper is broken.”

“Your windshield wiper?”  I frowned at him.  “How did you break your windshield wiper?”

“When we had that snow storm last winter.  I was scraping the ice off the windshield and pulled the wiper up.  It was frozen to the glass and the rubber ripped off.”

“That’s smart.”  I said.  “Good going.”

Zen Master gave me his evil eye as he slouched deeper into the passenger seat.  “Stuff happens, you know.”

So we went to the auto parts store and bought the replacement blade for only the driver side.  The cashier offered to help us replace it on the car but I refused because I knew how to do it.  I had to replace my own some time ago and I vaguely remembered how to do it.

Vaguely.

“You sure you know what to do?”  Zen Master asked as he watched me pop out the new wiper out of the box.  “We can go back and get that guy to do it.”

“I know how to do it.”  I reassured him.  “We just need to flip something or squeeze something and the old one will pop right out.  Piece of cake.”

But he eyed me with doubt.

So much for a vote of confidence.

He was holding the replacement blade, watching me fiddle with the old one.  I was twisting, squeezing, pinching, wriggling it until it finally came out.  See, I knew what I was doing.  I gave Zen Master a smirk but he still looked at me as if he was ready to bolt back into the store and drag that poor guy out by his hair.

I took the new one and it was a bit trickier but I managed to snap it on in quick time. 

I threw my arms up in triumph! 

I don’t no stinkin’ help!

Now I was ready to rebuild a car engine! 

Zen Master clambered into the driver’s seat.  “I want to see if it works.”

Then he started the engine and a moment later, we watched as water squirted the windshield and the wipers started wiping.  After a couple of swishes of the blade, Zen Master looked at me happily.  “It works!  It works!”

It really doesn’t take much to make my Zen Master happy.

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Spring Break

“Guess who’s on vacation this week?”  Zen Mum smirked smirked at me from the sofa where she and Zen Master were lounging.  “Guess who don’t have to work this week?”

Then both she and Zen Master jumped to their feet and started twitching and shaking body parts that really shouldn’t be moving at all. 

This officially marks the kids out of school for Spring Break.

Kids = Zen Master and Zen Mum.

Who else would I be talking about?

Who needs kids when I have two of them thumping and bouncing in front of me?

At least I don’t have to worry about them too too much.

I don’t have to worry that they will be binge-drinking or chain-smoking with their friends. 

I can’t tell you what a load off my mind that is.

I don’t have to worry that they will charge up the credit cards with frivolous purchases or zoom around Baltimore, street-racing in their Rav4.

Nope, don’t have to worry about that this year.

And I really don’t have to worry that they will abuse the Internet and post strange pictures of themselves on the Web.

Can’t tell you what a relief that is!

They’re pretty reliable, trustworthy kids, all in all.

Wouldn’t trade them in for the world.

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Auntie Sally

When the photo was sent to my phone, I looked at it at all angles.  No matter how I turned my phone left or right, the black and white photo was still fuzzy and weird.

What the heck is it?

David:  It’s an ultrasound of the baby.

Me:  Baby?

David and Evelyn are expecting their first baby!

My brother David is going to be a daddy.

Which will make me a first time auntie.

Aunt Sally.

Auntie Sally.

Has a nice ring to it.

Auntie Sally, I don’t care what anyone says, you’re the bestest auntie in the whole wide world!

Uh, thanks.  I think.

Auntie Sally, you’re the BOMB.

You better believe it, kid.  But I’m still not buying you that iPhone.

Kid, wait til you get a load of us.

To be continued.

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Zucchini Bites

Since it’s been awhile that we’ve had zucchini bites, Zen Mum started craving for some.

When I make it, it’s just dipping it into an egg wash and rolling it around a dry mix of panko and seasoned bread crumbs.  Then I drop them into the fryer for a few minutes until soft.  Serve hot and with marinara sauce.

Yummy.

But Zen Mum saw a healthier version of zucchini bites on Maryland Public Television.  It was baked, rather than fried.

Defeats the whole point to me, because everything fried is always quite yummy.

But baked?

So she whipped up a batch with her own recipe.  Instead of egg wash, she threw together mayo and mustard, dipped the zucchini bites into it and then coated them with straight-up panko.  Baked it for a few minutes until soft and served hot.

Verdict?

I only gorged on them.

Okay, so baked beat the pants off fried in this round. 

I’m tall enough to admit when I made a mistake. 

As my punishment, I’ll have to finish off the rest of the zucchini bites.

Tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Happy Friday!

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Break for food

I’m working on my laptop in the living room, and I take a break.  So I go into the kitchen to brew some tea.

But I hear tap-tap-tap.

Wha?

I stop what I’m doing, the tea kettle still in my hand and I strain to listen for that strange sound again.

Tap-tap-tap.  Tap-tap-tap.

Then I sigh, because it sounds like Zen Mum jumped on to my laptop and started a game of Spider Solitarie.

I think Zen Mum is addicted to Spider Solitaire.

I could be wrong.

But I really don’t think so.

I set the tea kettle on the fire and peek into the living room and I see . . .

. . . Zen Mum happily tap-tap-tapping away on my laptop.

Me:  I’m not finished with the laptop.

Zen Mum: (her face squinting with concentration)  I’m almost finished.

Me:  How about you pop in your exercise video?  By the time you finish your exercise, I should be finished with the computer.

Zen Mum:  No.

Me:  When was the last time you did your aerobics?

Zen Mum:  No.

And I watch as she finishes her one game and start a new one.

Me:  Okay, how about you step away from the computer with both hands up?

Zen Mum:  I’m almost finished.

Drastic times call for drastic measures so I shuffle into the kitchen.  A few minutes later, I emerge with a small plate of Rosemary and Olive Oil Triscuits with sharp white cheddar cheese. 

I crunch loudly on the tasty Triscuit and Zen Mum’s head jerk up from the laptop. 

Zen Mum:  (holding her hands up to me)  Gimme.

Me:  mmmhhhmmmm…tasty….

Zen Mum:  (more emphatic now, her hands waving at me):  Gimme!

Me:  If you want some, you’ll have to eat it in the kitchen. 

I slowly back away toward the kitchen, munching now on a piece of cheese.  Zen Mum springs to her feet and chases after me.

The things I have to do to get my laptop back.

And the sad thing is, that food trick works on me!

I, too, break for food.

It runs in the family.

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Burger Boy

“How was your day?”  I asked Zen Mum during dinner one recent evening. 

“Same old, same old.”  Zen Mum mumbled with her mouth full of food.  This is her standard line when it comes to work.  Not much variety working in the cafeteria of a public school.

Except this one day long time ago when I had to rush to pick her up because it was rumored that a gang fight was going to break out immediately after the final bell.

“How about you?”  I turned to Zen Master.  “How was your day?”

Zen Master is the only man in his school kitchen and the bunch of ladies that he sees everyday usually keeps him on his toes.  Because his strong work ethics dictate his doing good work in the most efficient and effective way, he’s quite industrious all around the kitchen.  He would zoom around the cafeteria, set up his station, serve food to the kids, clean up his station, zip all around the kitchen and help others out.  Lately he’s been helping out a couple of ladies ready the chicken patty sandwiches and cheeseburgers.  There would be hundreds of sandwiches and burgers that needed to be put together.

But his standard line would be:  Same Sh**.

Except this night.

As I directed my question to him, he immediately scowled into his rice bowl. 

“What happened today?”

“I was helping out with the burgers today.”  He said as he poked his chopsticks into a piece of chicken. 

“Yeah, so?”

“Do you know what they call me now?”  He stuffed the chicken into his mouth and chewed and chewed.

I knew it was a rhetorical question so I didn’t say anything but continued to look at him.

I was still waiting for him to swallow that darn piece of chicken.

When he finally did, he declared with indignation, “Burger Boy!”

“They call you Burger Boy?”  I asked blankly.  “The cafeteria ladies call you Burger Boy?”

He glared at me, his cheeks hot with embarrassment and irritation.

I’m sorry but I need to confess something.

I was on the floor, crying, hot tears streaming down my face, I was laughing so hard. 

I almost wet my pants, it was so funny!

“It’s not funny!”  Zen Master shouted at me, which just made me holler louder.  He looked at Zen Mum.  “She’s laughing at me!”

I wiped the tears off my face with my fingers.  “I’m not laughing at you, Zen Master.  I’m laughing with you.” 

Then I paused for a second as he continued to cast his evil eye at me.  “Nope, nope, sorry, I’m laughing at you this time.  Burger boy.”  And I burst out laughing in his face again.

He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the dinner.

Sorry, but it was worth it.

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Winner

I can count in one hand how many times I’ve ever won anything.

Do you feel lucky, punk?  Dirty Harry snarls at me.  Well, do you?

Uh, no.

Dirty Harry, didn’t I just say that I can count in one hand how many times I got lucky?

How about you make my day and just let me win something for once?

Being Buddhist means believing that if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen.

But everyone knows you gotta play to win, so I step up to the plate.

And plucked down two whole dollars to play the Mega Million that boasted the awesome cash value of over 300 million dollars!

And then a group from New York wins the jackpot.

Stinks!

Lousy freaking game.  I’ll never waste my money on this crap again. 

Then I’m passing the sign this week that says the PowerBall jackpot is over 200 million!

If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

But what if it’s meant to be me?

Should I put down another two dollars and waste my money again?

Should I just spit at the jackpot and curse the lousy freaking game?

But I find myself going to the gas station and plucking — again — my two dollars for the PowerBall. 

What the heck.

And what happens?

One ticket in Indiana wins the entire lot.

Blows!

Darn it! 

But then I notice that I got one number.  My powerball matched the Powerball.  And someone told me that I won two bucks for that.

I’m a WINNER!!

WOO HOO!!

Who’s the woman?

Forget the fact that I just won back my two dollars that I had put in for the two tickets.  That’s sooo way beside the point.

So I march up to the counter at the gas station and present my ticket and ask if I won anything.  I watch as the girl sticks my ticket into the machine, my eyes darting around the cigarettes and coffee bar, waiting for the lights to go off and sirens to blare YOU’RE A WINNER! 

Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?

Okay, so there aren’t any flashing lights or loud sirens going off.  How the heck would I know what would happen when you present a winning ticket?  I’ve never won anything!

ShopGirl:  You won three dollars.

Me:  Get out!  Really??

ShopGirl:  You won three dollars.

Me:  Woo Hoo!  Yea Me!

And I run home with my winnings!  And I burst through the front door and start doing my little happy dance, shaking my hips, and twitching my behind as if I had a bee in my pants.

BECAUSE I’M A WINNER!!

That’s right!

I’m a WINNER!!

Thought I would just share my joy with everyone before I blow the cash on a small cup of Starbucks coffee.

Since that’s all that three dollars really can afford to buy.

But again, let me point out, folks, that is soo way beside the point.

Because I can now count with TWO hands how many times I’ve won anything!

Uh huh.

Two hands.

That’s right.

Take that, Dirty Harry!

The End.

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