Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

I’m Back

I’m back!  I’m back!

I haven’t been able to post anything since Sunday but I’m back now!

Not that I really went anywhere because I’ve actually been here.

So what took me away from posting?

1.  Doing my taxes.


Enough said.

2.  Shuffling home in the late evenings and having no working brain cells because they’re mud after long working days.

What’s up with that?

3.  Bought a ticket for the MegaMillion lotto and didn’t win.

Not even one stinkin’ dollar.


4.  Throwing myself into the gym scene again.

And since this is my second week of going to my new gym, and I’m not as sore as I was last week, I’m crazy happy about that.


So all in all, this week has been a whirlwind of stuff that I’m going to share in coming postings.

Because I’ve missed you guys and I love blogging!

And I thank you for coming to visit.

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I was at the gas station one recent morning, filling up my tank and cringing over the listed price.  So to distract myself, I watched the other cars and drivers come and go at the other gas islands beside and near me.

Hi, my name is Sally in the Zen, and I’m a people-watcher.

I’m watching with interest as a honking large candy-apple red RAM truck comes in and a petite lady driver jumps out.

I’m staring with wide eyes as a bear-of-a-man driver ejects himself out of his small beat-up Camary.

I hear the elevator music piping out of the outdoor speakers of the gas station.

I glance at the winding line of cars patiently waiting their turn at the car wash. 

And when I hear the WOO HOO, I turn toward this happy sound.

A lady was standing near the entrance of the gas station, waving her arms and shaking her hips, just dancing and prancing in place.  Her head is bopping to something that I don’t hear, and I wonder What’s the matter with her?

I look around her and there’s no one in sight.  No one speaking with her, and no car near enough that she could speak with.  I thought for a moment that she was trying to catch someone’s attention, as she continued to gyrate her hips and punch her arms into the air.  She emitted a couple more WOO HOO into the air before throwing her arms up, like she wanted to give the world a great big hug.

And then the moment is over and she starts strutting down the road.

That’s when I noticed that she was wearing sweats, sneakers and a bandana wrapped around her hair.  And on her ears were her white earphones to her iPod.

Witnessing a person unabashedly rejoicing in life at any given moment is a blessing.

And I’m the better for it.

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An Ode of Impatience for Spring

Spring!  Spring!  Where art thou?

I want it to be Spring right now!

My heart swells with all my desires!

Like to climb the tall trees and smell the flowers!

Winter is such a long stinkin’ drag!

Miserable and cold, no fun to be had!

T-shirts to wear, coats to discard!

I mean, really, is that truly so hard?

Spring, come now!  No IF, BUT or WHEN!

Sincerely yours, always yours,

Sally in the Zen

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Life’s Little Mysteries

One recent early morning, I was warming up my car.  And in those few cold moments, my mind began to wander and ponder on many of life’s little mysteries.

Brain teasers, really.

Things that make me go hmm.

Like, do we really need to warm up the car?

What’s the logic in that?  What was the origin of this old wives’ tale?

Is it really beneficial for the car to heat it up?

Sad to say, but once I put the car in motion and drive away, this intriguing puzzle disappears to the back of my head where all the other mysteries of the universe lie dormant.

So I’m reading the news today, and wouldn’t you know it?

Here was this story.

I’d like to think that this is more than a coincidence.  I’d like to think that sometimes the universe just gets fed up with all the questions of the heart and throws out a bone.

Just saying.

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Lunar Eclipse

Exactly one week ago, a lunar eclipse took place.

And I didn’t even know about it. 

Although it was obviously on the news, I was preoccupied with something else on that evening. 

Like sleeping.

I have one word, though.



According to Wikipedia, did you know that the next December solstice total lunar eclipse will be on December 20, 2029

I didn’t.

I’m penciling this date on my calendar.  I mean, it’s only 19 years from now. 

I believe in planning ahead. 

Maybe I’ll even use this post as a marker for the next one in 2029.

Yeah, maybe that’s a good idea.

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Refused to Acknowledge

When Fall crept in, I basked in the sights and smells that came with it.  But I refused to accept what that meant, refused to acknowledge what season would come next.

When the warm weather slid out of town with his luggage, I refused to accept it.  I held out to the very end.

I mean, I wore T-shirts and shorts, shivering with goosebumps but I refused to pull out the warm gear.

Until the next day, but that’s beside the point.

I rebelled further by not heating up my car in the early morning cold, instead just sliding in and starting it up and driving away.

Until the next morning, it was freezing, and I had to warm up my car. 

And then last weekend, when I woke up on Saturday morning, this is what I saw outside my window.


“Why?”  I threw my hands up into the air, shrieking that question into the ether.  “WHY?”

And then it occurred to me that I was standing outside on my patio, wearing only cotton jammies, acting like a lunatic in an early Saturday morning while probably, maybe, there were neighbors who were still sound asleep in their warm beds.

Okay, so sometimes I’m a little slow on uptake, but snow does that to me.

Or, um, actually, winter does that to me.

Can I move to Florida?

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New and Untried

Going to new places and trying new things, especially food, is always a plus in my book.  I’m not above chain restaurants, most especially when I’ve never tasted their fares.

Try most things once, I always say.

So, continuing on my exciting adventure into the new and untried, while at Weehawken, NJ, I dined out with a couple of companions at Houlihan’s

I’ve had stuffed mushrooms and I’ve had stuffed mushrooms, but the ‘Shrooms


Description from their menu:  

Jumbo mushroom caps stuffed with herb and garlic cream cheese, coated in distinctly crunch panko bread crumbs and crisp-fried.  Served with creamy horseradish sauce.

My verdict:  O.  M.  G.

Seconds and thirds and fourths, please!

And the Fried Calamari?

CRUNCHY and quite tasty!

 My companions ordered tasty looking meals.  Like Scallops and Risotto.

Steak and Shrimp with Fries.

And for myself, the Grilled Rosemary Chicken.  Quite tasty!

The overall dining experience was really enjoyable.  Although the weather outside was freezing, inside the restaurant I was warm, munching good food and laughing with new companions.

What a lovely night.

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Glimpse of History

Here’s an interesting tidbit that I bet you didn’t know about Weehawken, New Jersey.  I surely didn’t!

According to Wikipedia, singer Kate Pierson of the B52’s is a resident in this city.

That’s cool!

But admittedly, its name alone consumed my thoughts.  What does it mean?

Well, glad you asked.

Weehawken (WEE-haw-ken) = rocks that look like trees.  Looked it up in Wikipedia.

What in the world did I ever do before Wikipedia?


Because I pondered quite a bit on the name, I started history browsing on Weehawken. 

Let me start off by saying that some time ago, I got bitten by a history bug.  Now history was never really an interest to me, but nowadays, I find that digging into it occasionally has been pretty satisfying.

Until I lost my interest and go back to making oatmeal raisin cookies.

But the city got me curious about its name and its history.  So I dug really briefly and I thought I’d just share another interesting tidbit that I found about Weehawken.

How about the Hamilton-Burr Duelthat took place on July 11, 1804 in Weehawken?  According to Weehawken, “Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met at Weehawken, NJ to resolve their political and personal differences with pistols.”

Hamilton did not walk away from this duel.


Interesting how just a name can offer a glimpse of history in our modern world.


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