Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Farewell Year 2011

It was just November a moment ago.  Then I blinked, and sneezed, and December 31st was staring me in the face.

I read somewhere that there are chances for do-overs, chances to try to do something over again.  While I somewhat believe that, I also realize that a true do-over is not possible. 

That we have only one chance to live and breathe in that one space of time, in that one moment of day and hour and second before it truly disappears into our past. 

Do-overs just happen in a different space of time.

Interesting stuff to mull over on this New Year’s Eve.

And on this last day of Year 2011, I mediate and reflect on all the gifts in my life.


Simple things, really.

But the most important in my life.

Thank you, Guan Yin, for blessing me with these precious things.

And thank you for another new year to spend with them.

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The Question

I am officially one year old today.  YEA ME!

I read somewhere that in order to truly move forward, one needs to reflect back and remember where one came from. 

A year ago:

  • I was a year younger.
  • I was blogging regularly.
  • Zen Master and Zen Mum puttered along with me, when they’re not working at their schools.


  • I’m a year older. 
  • I blog not so regularly because I’m in between mini-projects.
  • Zen Master and Zen Mum are going to be grandfolks in a couple of months.
  • I’m going to be a first time auntie.
  • Zen Master and Zen Mum are still puttering along with me, when they’re not working at their schools.
  • According to Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News, we’re living in a year with record-breaking weather-related events, such as the most hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes ever in history.

The other day a friend and I were at the gym, chatting as we stood in line to get into the Zumba class. 

She (discussing her reason for going back to school for nursing):  I’m 30 years old and I was going nowhere.  I hated my job and I just wanted to do something that would give me meaning.  I mean, time was just going by and if I didn’t do something about it now, it was just going to fly right by me and I’ll never get another chance like this again!  I mean, I’m 30 years old!

Me:  Wow.  That’s great.

She:  I mean, my husband and I had a long talk about it because I would have to quit my job and go to school full-time with student loans.  It’s going to be tough on us for awhile, but I mean, it’s a long term investment.  I just had to do it!  I mean, I’m 30 years old!

I’d wondered how she would take it if I told her that I was ten years older than her?

But that’s beside the point because what she was saying was the point.

I’ve actually been pondering on my own direction for the last few months.  Hence, that’s why I’ve been throwing myself into a handful of personal projects that have been eating away at my time away from blogging.

All for the purpose of trying to figure out the answer to the Question.

Question:  what’s next?

Which has ultimately lead me to think about my bucket list.  Maybe I should stop thinking about it and start doing something with it.

Am I going through a mid-life crisis?

Maybe, but here begins the pursuit of answering the Question.  Is it a coincidence that I start this on my one-year birthday?

So, what’s next?

I’m going skydiving.


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I enjoy blogging.

I may actually have a couple of readers.  I think.

YES!  I am now Queen of blogging!



I find blogging to be my self-serving way of talking about my family and stuff that interests me.

And I can talk about Zen Master and Zen Mum all day, but they would probably try to hide my laptop to get me to shut up about them.

But lucky for them, they don’t need to do a thing.

I’m taking a step back from blogging because of other personal projects.  The frequency will definitely be less than what it is now, but I’ll still be here.  I’ll still be blogging about my little family.  Just not as regularly. 

Once my projects are finished, I’ll be back blogging at full steam. 

And with that note, I’m shifting it down a notch, to half steam.

See you around the next bend.

Sally in the Zen

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Happy Easter

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

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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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Garlic Breath

Garlic:  (also known as allium sativum)  a species in the onion family.  Used throughout history for both culinary and medicinal purposes.  Claims to help everything from high cholesterol to the common cold.  ~ Wikipedia

Whenever Zen Master discovers a “cure-all,” something that he truly believes will keep us from sickness while keeping our insides nice and shiny, he’s all about it.  He becomes a PITA.

PITA = Pain in the A**

One recent day, I walked into the kitchen and found Zen Master and Zen Mum munching on their lunch.  They’ve become a bit more health conscious so I wasn’t surprised to see that their lunch made up of slices of red tomatoes, green zucchini, green celery, orange carrots, green peppers, and a dollop of ranch dressing.

And a couple pieces of raw garlic.

Which Zen Master was chomping on, his face red and tears dripping from his eyes.

“What’s the matter with you?”  I asked him as I rushed up to the table.  “What happened?”

Zen Master looked at me in astonishment.  “Wha?  Wha?”

“Why are you crying?”

Zen Master started laughing as he continued to cry.  “I’m eating this garlic.”  He pointed at the half-eaten piece on his plate.  “Do you know how hot it is?  When you bite into it, it kicks you in the mouth.”

He picked it up and held it out to me.  “Here, try it.”

I just stared at him.

“Why in the world would I want a kick in the mouth?  And why in the world would I want garlic breath?”

“You need more vegetables.  It’s healthy for you.”

Zen Mum nodded as she continued to chomp on her veggie platter.

Zen Master pointed at Zen Mum.  “We’ve been eating like this for a whole week now and I think the garlic’s helped Zen Mum with her allergies.”

Zen Mum nodded as she continued to chomp on her veggie platter.

“So does Claritin.”  I said.  “And it doesn’t make me stink with garlic.”

“Bah!”  Zen Master glared at me.  “All those pills!  You need to go natural and eat more greens.  I’m telling you that the garlic does help!”

“How about if I just make some garlic bread?”

“Bah!  Garlic bread!  Try some raw garlic!”

Damn if I didn’t eat it.

I drowned that piece of raw garlic in Ranch dressing, popped it into my mouth, gasped when it gave me a fiery kick, and now I stink of damn garlic.

And I did this for a whole week.

I’m no doctor, but my allergies are still here, dust still throws me into sneezing fits and I still go through boxes of tissue like it’s running out of business.

But the difference is that I was a walking garlic bulb because I stank of garlic.

I reeked.

The things I do for Zen Master.

Thank goodness he’s moved off the raw garlic.  He got tired of the fiery kicks in his mouth.

I wonder if I was especially fragrant last week while working out at the gym?

Oh well.

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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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Walk around the Neighborhood

For the first time this year, we went out for a walk around the neighborhood.

The sky was blue and clear, the sun bright and warm and everything just seemed to beckon us out for a stroll.  But because it’s still not yet Spring and still a bit of Winter, Zen Master, Zen Mum and I bundled up in thick sweats and jackets and padded outside for that breath of fresh young spring air.

Zen Master wrapped his blue scarf around his neck for extra measure.

“You should wear yours.”  He said to me as he watched me put my red scarf back on the closet hanger.  “It’s not that warm.”

“It’s supposed to be 60 degrees today.”  I said.

“Yeah.”  Zen Mum concurred.

“It’s easy catch-cold weather.”  Zen Master reminded us.  “Spring isn’t really here yet.”

“Should be okay.”  I said as we stepped outside.

So altogether, we set out on our walk.  This is very good, very exciting because this is the start of our family walking again, exercise that we definitely need after being so cooped up for the winter. 

As we turn the first corner at the end of our street, I hear Zen Mum already puffing.  Peeking over at her, I see her round face slightly flushed and pink.

She looked at me.  “I’m already sweating.”

“We just started.  How are you already sweating?”

But she was too busy concentrating on breathing that she didn’t answer me.

The wind had a cold bite to it and before long, I started shivering.  Although I was pretty well wrapped up in my winter jacket, I felt the cold wind going down my neck.  I’m used to having my scarf around my neck and this was the first time I walked out of the house without it.

But after that conversation about the scarf, I was debating with myself if I should get it.  I really didn’t want to eat crow and have Zen Master gloat and preen.

Should I get my scarf? 

Or should I man up and soldier on in the face of that cold wind?

Should I get my scarf and wrap my neck up and keep it warm?

Or should I just walk faster, get the blood moving and just leave Zen Master and Zen Mum in the dust of my power-walk?

By the time we reached the second corner of the block, I decided, “I’m going back and getting my scarf.”

“Well, I don’t have to get mine.”  Zen Master called out from behind us, as he was meandering along.  “I’m nice and warm.”

“I want mine.”  Zen Mum said.  “Can you go get mine too?”

So we trudged back to the house and got those damn scarves.

Setting back out again, we finally made it up to the end of the street, the same street from where we began our family walk, and we just stopped.

Zen Mum was soaked with sweat under her jacket hood and pink scarf.  Zen Master was flushed a bit pink.  I was perspiring and had to pull my hood up over my head.

We fought the wind and the wind won.

Exercise is over-rated.

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