Bus Driver buys school children gifts for Christmas

An elementary school bus driver saved money from his pay checks to buy every school child on his bus a present for Christmas.

Even though this story is 2 years old, Curtis Jenkins still needs to be acknowledged and appreciated in 2020!

Photo: Lake Highlands Elementary School (Facebook)

Links to more about this story:




Thanks for Reading” Celebration during our Thanksgiving Lunch! – Claxton  Parents Online

Crows can be our friends … or not.

There are dozens of stories on the internet about crows behaving badly. No doubt about it, they can look scary but they are as clever as heck and if you play your cards right, they may even bring you a gift! But just don’t get on their bad side, as they never forget a face.

“A few years ago scientists learned that American crows can recognize and remember human faces, particularly faces they associate with bad experiences. Now, new research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows that the birds can share that knowledge of dangerous humans with other crows.”


What is the difference between crows and ravens?

Here, you can read about Betty, the very clever crow.

A cute little story about a girl who receives gifts from crows.

Outside My Window is a lovely blog and here they tell you about crows and gift giving.

Women Protecting Wildlife

These women in Zimbabwe have been employed as members of an anti-poaching ranger unit called the Akashinga. (Akashinga is a Shona phrase for “the brave ones”) Their Facebook introduction is “Nature Protected by Women”. Read this story, watch the documentary and get to know their circumstances a little better.

Credit: Akashinga

A quote from their Facebook account: “As we expand our footprint into Africa’s Zambezi Valley, we are faced with the devastating effects that poaching has had on wildlife. IAPF’s newest land lease, the Songo Conservancy is abandoned trophy-hunting land, in need of rehabilitation. This land has had minimal conservation resources available for almost two decades and poaching has run rampant, with more than 75% of elephants in this region already wiped out.”

View the documentary here.

Want to read more about these amazing rangers?




And one more

Five Akashinga women looking to camera, wearing camouflage, green hats and and green face paint.
Source: International Anti-Poaching Foundation

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Plants and Music

Do you sing to your plants?  I don’t, but sometimes I may pay them a compliment while they’re being watered.

“Well you’re looking pretty today!” or “Drink up. It’s supposed to be 32 degrees later.”

And I only say these things when I know nobody is listening 🙂

Barcelona Opera House re-opens with a performance in front of 2,292 potted plants.

“García de Gomar (Artistic Director) said that the performance was difficult to organize and the biggest challenge was to bring all the plants inside and to place each one on its own seat. The plants were donated so the opera house didn’t have to pay anything for them.”


To the skeptic, the idea that plants have feelings or feel pain is ridiculous. Over the years, several studies have indicated that plants may respond to sound. However, the subject is still hotly debated in scientific circles.

Be careful of the music you play to your plants.  They may respond to Chopin but perhaps not so positively to AC/DC.

“So…Rock and roll is…pollution?

Researchers at MSU’s Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture exposed ecosystems consisting of insects and soybean plants to rock music, country music and sounds of a city to see if the noise affected the environment.”


Photo by George Coletrain on Unsplash

More to look at here …

This link will take you to almost one and half hours of peaceful music for plants. 

Go online and buy yourself something green and colourful.

You and your new friends can enjoy some quiet time together.

Modern Farmer - AsianWiki 


This couple left corporate life to live in a converted school bus

  • “We had everything but we were not happy.”
  • “You just realise life is too short.”
  • “Things take a little longer but that’s ok.”

Read full story …

Credit: ABC South East: Bec Whetham

Whether for adventure or out of necessity, bus conversions are becoming more mainstream. Stories on Instagram and in other media show us how delightful and cheaper it is to adopt this kind of lifestyle.

Apartment Therapy have chosen their favourite bus conversion Instagram accounts.

Depending on Council approval, you could even set up a bus/caravan conversion in your backyard. Adult children who want their own privacy but are having difficulty buying into the real estate market may find this a satisfactory alternative. Close to your parents, but not quite living with them!

More bus conversions …

Can’t buy a house? Then buy a bus!

You Tube have a mountain of uploads on how to convert a bus to a home.

Here’s one …

And another …

And just when you thought … that you could live a streamlined life, free of possessions, take a look at this bus conversion!

I really like this idea of living but moving from place to place wouldn’t be the way for me. A tiny house/bus/caravan rebuilt on a small property with some rescue horses, cows and chickens would suit me just fine!




Homemade face masks are trending

When you think of face mask manufacturing, images of factories producing thousands of masks boxed and ready for sale come to mind.

Things have changed a little.

Many of us are making our own masks, including kids.

Meet 13yo Sir Darius Brown

A great article about the popularity of homemade face masks

For those who want to make their own …

What you should look out for when making your own.


Many of those currently making masks are women.

Story from vox.com

Certainly, go ahead and make your own, I’ve made a few myself but remember, a mask is not a magic shield.

Please stay safe.

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Should Humans Inhabit Mars?

Stephen Hawking warned that humans needed to colonize another planet within 1,000 years but quickly upgraded that figure by saying we have to do it within 100 years in order to avoid extinction.

There’s a problem with this plan: under almost no circumstance is colonizing another planet the best way to adapt to a problem on earth.

Apart from the logistics of who gets to go on a 7 month space ride and what do we do when we get there, there are also ethical reasons behind even considering starting a colony on Mars or landing the first manned spacecraft on the planet.

Reading this article will give you reasons why we should travel to Mars.

Of course it goes without saying that there are risks involved; and you can read about them here.

There is a series entitled “Mars” which is a combination of a fact and fiction and I really enjoyed this show.

You can read a review here.

Don’t know what to pack for your trip to Mars? This book gives you tips and facts.

Whether you agree or not that we should sink billions of dollars into research to make it happen , it’s still an interesting discussion to have.

Mars (2016-2018) in 2020 | Full episodes, Netflix tv, Good movies

A woman’s work is never done

When I was leaving school, the popular career options for females were secretary, nurse or teacher. Yes, I know many school leavers completed degrees in other fields but it seemed to me at the time in the late 70’s that these three careers were the ones being pushed the most.

Of course other factors influenced you as well; your mother and father and what they thought you should do, what your friends were doing and how well you did in your HSC. Economics also played a part. Having come from a single parent family, my father hightailed it out of there the moment I got my first job and I was left on my own to figure things out but that’s a whole other story !

I opted for secretary. I didn’t need a degree. I needed a job and it was a field in which I could learn and grow as technology progressed through the 80’s and 90’s and onwards.

But I could have been anything even though at that time it may have been a little bit harder to convince employers of that.

Of course though, women have been working for centuries outside of the home assisting on farms, working in the fields and other hard labour tasks.

This article fills you in on the lives of women working as truckers, a lobster fisherman, firefighters, butchers, mine operators and other areas of work usually considered to be “manly”.

women doing mens work

If you had a choice to reboot your career, what would you choose? I like to think that being a mechanic would be an interesting alternative to fetching my boss’s coffee. Which of course now, I fetch my own.

What is … Glamping?

The word “glamping” is a combination of glamour and camping. Instead of blowing up a smelly old airbed to sleep on and banging in the pegs of your tent when you’ve finally found a place to set up camp, it’s all done for you before you get there. But. You don’t have to sleep on the smelly airbed and listen to the wind whip your tent during the night while you lie there wondering if you need to go outside and check that the tent is secure.

Instead, when you glamp, you sleep like this …

what is glamping

or this …

what is glamping

As Lee Walton explains, “Glamping is essentially camping in luxury. But that’s not the only way it differs from traditional camping. There is a little more to it than that.”

When someone first mentioned glamping to me, it sounded awful. Evoking stereotypical images of pampered Kim Kardashian types who sip champagne while avoiding anything like getting their hands dirty.
I thought, what’s the point? But some research showed that this isn’t the case. As it turns out, glamping is actually much more interesting than I thought. Glamping is still quite an unusual activity, having not quite become mainstream yet, the great thing is that you can do it on a mountain, at a lake or even in your back garden right in the city center!
Go read this article by Lee Walton who gives a great explanation about glamping.
What do you wear while you are enjoying the afternoon sunshine with a cold white wine and nibblies?
You can always wear your flannelette shirt and jeans for comfort when glamping …
or maybe ….. dress it up a little!
Image result for vintage camping clothingImage result for glamorous vintage camping clothing
Visit Vintage Dancer for a history on what people used to wear camping.
Let’s talk about food. Always a great topic! Go here for delicious ideas when deciding what to cook for breakfast.
Music! Can’t go camping and not listen to a little music!
Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus join together to sing Jolene. Here
Want something a little softer? Iron and Wine sing Such Great Heights. Beautiful!
Enjoy the sunset …

Pop-up Shops

What is a pop-up shop?

Pop-up retail, also known as a pop-up store or flash retailing, is a trend of opening short-term sales spaces that last for days to weeks before closing down, often to catch onto a fad or timely event.

They are temporary retail spaces that sell merchandise of any kind mobile food trucks, designer fashion, book stores,  pet stores,  Christmas stores … if you have an idea and something to sell, this might be a great first step!

You can see pop-up stores in your shopping centre usually in the form of a small shopfront where one day it’s empty and the next there is a store there. You return next week and it may be gone again!

The Storefront explains in its article, how to create one for yourself.


Here’s a short, easy to read piece about how to go about starting your own pop-up store.

Kit Kat, Louis Vuitton, and In-N-Out Burger franchise have done the pop-up store thing and you can see for yourself on YouTube.

Want some short lessons on how to create a pop-up? Shopify gives you some tips!

Have you ever been to a pop-up shop? I can’t say that I have although, it’s a possibility that I did!

So you want to see a penguin?

You can go see a penguin at the zoo ….

Photo by fotografierende on Unsplash

or …. You can visit Antarctica and see hundreds of them there!

Photo by Suzan Kiršić on Unsplash

Antarctica may not be the cheapest place you could visit from Australia but there are actually a few ways you can control the costs with a little bit of planning.
For a comprehensive rundown of how to get there, what to do and what you’ll see, this is a great place to start!
Visit a slice of history. When Sir Douglas Mawson explored Antarctica over a 100 years ago, small huts were built for research and living arrangements. Read more about this young explorer and what he achieved here.
So what is it that you should pack in your suitcase when visiting one of the coldest places on Earth? A lot more than a bikini! Here is a comprehensive list of essentials.

(Yes, he’s cute but I wouldn’t recommend you take your toddler with you!) Photo by Irene Wong on Unsplash

Now … not everybody wants to visit the penguins and other wildlife and be amazed at the historical goings on from past explorers.
What is China up to on our block of ice? Ok, Antarctica doesn’t really belong to Australia although we do feel like it is ours in a way, but it does need to be protected from future mining and other activities from our government as well as others.


Let’s go to … India!

Summer in India sure sounds hot and sweaty and dusty but this gorgeous blog will change your mind pretty quickly! Also look for their Instagram account for more beautiful photos.



Hindi cinema, known as Bollywood used to be called Bombay Cinema.

Looking for a Bollywood movie but can’t decide? This article has it all!

Toppings of Love is one of my favourite food accounts that I follow and would recommend it to anyone who loves Indian cuisine. The food is presented perfectly but do not scroll through photos on an empty stomach!


Here are a few more worthwhile sites to visit:

Saree Speak

The best of Indian fashion

Want to visit India? This article fills you in on what to expect and how to behave.

That’s all!