December 10, 2016
Cheerio Art Lovers!
From me to you, Happy
Holidays and a very Merry Christmas! May
it be full of bright, cheery, artsy, merry-ness
for you and yours!
Holiday season means different things to different people.
And each of us have our preferred traditions,
whether it be family gatherings with big meals, throwing
fun parties, volunteering for a local charity, or taking
a beach vacation. Whatever it is that you will be doing
this season...may it be nothing less than Stellar!
I would LOVE to hear from you!
What's been going
on in your neck of the woods?
Text me at 731-two
two five-6415 or email me at rachel at racheldickson.com
doing what now?:
been much less active online of late since I now work
full-time for the Norfolk Southern Railroad as a conductor.
Totally dig it!
a nutshell I work out of Toledo, Ohio as an assistant
to the engineer on through-freight trains mostly
to Elkhart or Peru, Indiana or to Chicago, Illinois.
We then turn around the next day and bring a train back
blessed to have landed employment with the NS Railroad!
paint when I can. Whoo whoo!!
to Rustic Birdhouses:
the spirit of creativity...this past year I decided
to jump into a segway project. As much as I
love songbirds and painting them...why not create
my own nesting boxes so the real thing will hang
around? Enter, rustic birdhouses!
learned much throughout the process of creating little
homes for birds. Mostly to do with construction specifics
that are more likely to attract specific
songbird types. For example, turns out, hole
size is extremely important if you are wanting to attract
bluebirds versus starlings. Who knew?
in point, the birdhouse on the right was home to a starling
family this past Spring. And turns out...starlings
aren't too friendly towards bluebirds, which set up
shop in another of my birdhouses about 50 feet away
from this one. Fortunately, bluebirds are GREAT
defenders of their nests...so no harm nor foul...but
rest assured I will be placing a shrinking cap over
the hole of this starling house so they won't fit
next spring. Needs to be about 1 1/4 inches to keep
the starlings at bay. Again...who knew?
a fun project indeed! And a fun learning process for
me to understand how and why songbirds do what they
do and how they defend themselves from predators
by choosing certain nesting sites. I have my houses
hanging in various places around our backyard, sort
of like my own songbird nesting box laboratory if you
will. This way I can test what works and what
doesn't and eventually build houses most likely
to succeed and sell them to others. I see this
as a way to contribute to increasing the chances of
songbird survival and as a way to enhance a healthy
songbird population in a neighborhood near you.
tuned to this project because eventually these tried
and tested little rustic homes will be for sale
so you too can attract songbirds in your backyard.
here to read more about the nesting box/birdhouse project
The Adventures of Rachel Blog:
is worthwhile in itself."
you know anything at all about me...you know I'm usually
seeking or already involved in an adventure
of some form or another. (and yes, sometimes these adventures
the place you can go to find the latest and greatest
goings on with me.
chocked full of daily inspirations, personal aspirations
and day-to-day moments that just make me laugh.
I also post images of my newest paintings, adventure
recaps and much more.
My blog is certainly the most
comprehensive place online where you'll find my
most recent goings-on and up-to-date musings.
here to view Rachel's Blog
is very simple. No really, it is. Unless you
live in Ohio.
June of 2011 I moved to Ohio after living in Tennessee
for 19 years. I was sporting the Tennessee
Arts Commission "Cat Plate" for close to 10
of those years.
"More than 70% of the money used to fund
the 800+ grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission last
year was from the sale of these specialty license plates."
AND for all those years that I've had the Tennessee
Plate, I strongly felt that this was SUCH a SIMPLE
way for me to show my support for the
you can IMAGINE my disappointment when I learned that
the State of Ohio has NO SUCH plate. Geez! Are
you KIDDING ME? If the State of Tennessee
can have not one, not TWO, but FOUR plates to choose
from that support the arts, can't Ohio have ONE?
you live in Tennessee, show your support for the
arts by purchasing one of these COOL art plates!
If you live in Ohio? Well, for now there is no
such plate. Live in another state? Contact your
State's DMV to learn if you too can support the arts
by sporting the art plate on your vehicle.
your comments to:
rachel at racheldickson.com
time for giving...
you've heard about Gatlinburg and the wildfires that
slammed through there Monday night (Nov 28, 2016) chances
are...you've wondered "what can I do to help?"
a simple donation of $15 you can purchase one of these
tshirts of which the proceeds go to help the Smoky Mountain
here to help Gatlinburg wildfire victims.
This is a cooperative
project by WBIR TV Knoxville and has already raised
$200,000 for the Red Cross East Tennessee. Proceeds
now are being split between Friends of the Smokies and
the Dollywood Foundation's My People Fund.
realized something just the other day. Working as a
conductor for the Norfolk Southern railroad is teaching me
an important life lesson.
used to be one to "need to know" as many details
about what was headed my way as was possible so
as to avoid or prepare for or adapt to or best "handle" inevitable
events. Much of the reason for "needing to
know" had to do with fear of the unknown...or
fear of not knowing how I might handle it if not prepared
at least a little bit.
I am coming to learn...that I cannot predict how I will
react to or handle any situation ahead of time. Rather,
I have to trust in myself...that I will know how
to respond. And that I will have the tools
in that moment that I need to make a decision towards
the best possible outcome. And if I don't, ask someone
with more experience than myself for help.
involves thousands and thousands of tons of equipment
and metal and engines and mechanical systems that can
break. All's well when things are going smooth...until
that moment...when they aren't. Unfortunately,
things don't always go smooth...which is where I come
in as a conductor (especially trains that are hauling
freight miles and miles from one destination to
another). I'm first on the scene usually...eyes on the
problem or technicality if you will. And I have
to assess what the problem is, and fix it if I can or
at least suggest a plan for a solution. (No,
I'm not a mechanic...but I can troubleshoot). The
unknown of all of this used to bother me...but now...after
having experienced various situations I have come
to learn...to trust my training...and especially
to trust my instinct...and know that only in that
moment...when the circumstances present themselves will
I know exactly what to do or not to do for that matter.
Not before. So why worry about it?
just the railroad is teaching me this...but the songbirds.
They don't carry a bag of tools and instruction
manuals around with them. Nope. Rather...they
flit about from tree to tree and low and behold...nature
provides for them. Yes, they too tune into an
inner guide (similar to what we all have)...or maybe
can be called instinct. We simply have to listen
and watch and assess each moment...and realize everything
we need...is right there with us. Should we choose
to trust ourselves and see it.
next time...embrace your life! After all...you are the ones
Comments? Snide Remarks?
email rachel at racheldickson.com