How to: Check Items off the Important Things in Life To-Do List

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

1) Ignore your inner “you should do your weekly cleaning to-do list” voice.

2) Don’t let unexpected guests, Skype calls, and other ‘to-dos,’ that will make you late be an excuse to not go.

3) Be prepared to find – and take – a diamond in the rough when you least expect it.

Rosti, cooking, baking, mixing bowl, Denmark, mom

A REAL Rosti bowl made in Denmark.

Absolutely, this mixing bowl is my diamond in the rough. And yes, it’s sitting on my sidewalk for the photo, in the SUNSHINE. Would you believe my vaccuum’s ‘tsk-tsk-ing’ was going to keep me inside on the first sunny day in weeks rather than going to the once-monthly Stirling Market with Lin?!?!?! Needless to say, I DID meet Lin there, and stumbled across a 1970’s-Tupperware-Orange Rosti bowl. People nervously backed away from my glinting eyes, the drool at the corner of my lip, and the slight panting excitement of my breath as I gripped it to my chest and smiled too widely at the stall owner. I might have even asked him, “Did you know this is a real Rosti bowl?!” I couldn’t believe my luck! For those of you who know not of what I speak, it’s time you did. Guaranteed someone in your family – most likely a Grandma, but possibly a mom (LIKE MINE!), possesses a set of them. Mom has had the tan slightly larger version and red slightly smaller version forever. EVERYTHING is mixed, beaten, stirred, served, stored, microwaved, etc., in these bowls. And they just keep going. They are “plastic” but not even a tiny bit porous, so go for it, beat your egg whites in these bowls. Once I own a full set of Rosti bowls, and maybe a Kitchen-Aid mixer, I will have a REAL kitchen. WOOOOOO. Holy moly, am I excited!

See, it’s real! (Scratched yes, but PERFECT!)

4) Always have your camera ready and your eyes open.

wattle, australia, stirling, adelaide

A Wattle Tree

Lynne (yes, a different one) has expressed to me repeatedly that I had to get some photos of the plethora of wattle varieties that are in bloom right now before they are finished. Apparently, they are a winter tree/bush. They are yellow. They are everywhere. I somehow had failed to notice this for the most part. As Lin and I walked back to her place for a magnificent cheese, crackers, salad, soup, and dessert lunch with other exchangee friends also, we passed this beauty! Definitely the fullest one I’d seen up to this point. So, remembering Lynne’s insistence and love for this tree, I whipped out my ever-present camera and snap! Got it.

6) Despite the less important to-do list calling your name, hold onto the lovely moments of the day and keep them at the forefront.

The sun was shining (FINALLY) so I did not rush the twisty drive home and enjoyed it flickering through the tree branches at me. You wouldn’t believe how many wattles I could suddenly see on my drive home. I managed to pull over and capture a couple. At least I think these are also wattles.

Check and Check. Two items I can now check off my Important Things in Life To-Do List. 1) Starting my Rosti bowl collection and 2) Taking a photograph of a Wattle in bloom.

I dedicate this post to Lin and Lynne. Lin, for helping me to check off two items, and Lynne for talking to me about both of them so recently. Though about you all day!


While that concludes the portion of the post that addresses the “How to:” in the title, the day just carried on so wonderfully that I want to share! I kept #4) and #5) in mind for the rest of the day and this is what I discovered.

Just hanging out on the side of the road beside one of my wattle finds.

Upon arriving home, I went inside only to open ALL the doors and windows, bring Skittle out into the sunshine, and openly turn my back on my neglected vaccuum.

The poinsettia outside my kitchen window is blooming!

At the market, I also purchased daffodil bulbs, somewhat on a whim, after reading, That’s Not a Daffodil! by Elizabeth Honey to my students last week. It was a nominated book for Book Week here in South Australia (or all of Australia??) and they LOVED it. I must admit, watching an amaryllis bulb develope into a giant stalk and flower is thrilling to me, so… why not? Lin and I explored around her Secret Garden-esque backyard and scrounged up a few pots. She also insisted that I do NOT dare plant those bulbs myself but do them with the students. Good call, Lin, good call. What a great week this will be!

Daffodil bulbs. Pots. ANTICIPATION.

After that, Skittle and I chatted while I dead-headed (in slow motion to take advantage of every ray of light) my hanging baskets. I then proceeded to pull weeds in a rubber dish glove (who doesn’t have even ONE garden glove?! Time to go shopping) and my fluffy white outside slippers. I felt very “Housewives of Orange County” except that maybe they don’t ever pull weeds.

What have become my gardening slippers.

Still, I wasn’t ready to confront the vacuum and Skittle’s week’s worth of moulted feathers on the floor. I decided to go on the hunt for hope. Hope for more sunshine. Hope that this miserable winter will one day come to an end. Hope that one day soon I will no longer have to close off half the house to keep the heat contained. Oh, I think I found it.

Some brand new green leaves developing….

A bud! Even two!

Forget two! This tree is ready to explode into blossoms!

It’s thinking about opening….

Oh, yes, there it is. An open blossom. Blue sky. Branches covered with buds.

Incredible what just a little sunshine, blue skies, and proof of renewed plant life can do for one’s state of mental health.

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.” ~ Dalai Lama 

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