Poetry Travel

St. George Utah

American Earth Rim

Leopard print hills are just

out in the Mohave desert

south and east of Las Vegas.

To the north of The Rim

sits St. George among steeples

of church and mountain.

Four times a year eighteen

galleries open to the night

to be closed by curfew.

Architects build on black lava rock

just beneath the peaking faces

of snow canyon

the quilted hills

diminish a climbing figure and crawl

slowly back into a covered earth.

Just miles away from the spotted hills

stained south of The Rim.


Ohio Summer Storm

WV Fields

Ohio Summer Storm

At the ledge of the river

a storm swells in the distance

the lamplight flickers on and off with every gust

a tornado touches down 100 miles from here

makes a green sky.

The trees hold their bent positions

when everything releases.


In Ohio

Hemlock Forest WV

Here in Ohio

Turn on the faucet and I get the fresh

mouth of spring open at my fingertips.


In Zion, Utah

The shot at the end shows a little break in the desert with the Virgin River as it streams through Zion.

Zion National Park is the closest place to heaven I’ve ever been.

We stayed with the gracious hosts at Under the Eaves  in nearby Springdale.


Summer Traveling to Arch Park – KY

The Natural Bridge in Slade, Kentucky


It’s summer, which to me means late evenings spent outside. My husband and I drove to Kentucky in the fall to visit the Red River Gorge area. What we found in the forest was unexpected -many natural stone arches. They cut across the sky, and were conversely, hidden in brush. What we uncovered in that trip continues to feed our enthusiasm to travel into nature’s forests.

Natural Bridge Trails

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The Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest

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We stayed in a remote cabin that could only be accessed by foot.

102613_RedGorge 691We found this area to be the favorite of many rock climbers. Miguels, below, was a hot-spot for many. The decor surrounding the bus-seat booths were lengths and lengths of rock-climbing rope.

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Sky Bridge Station


Photo by Krag Ky

The Red River Rock House Restaurant

Rockhouse_sustainableKyPhoto from Sustainable Ky

Welcome to summer and the adventures waiting!

About Me Architecture Travel

Traveling as an Architect

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It’s fun to talk about how to find what you are good at, and what those talents are, so they can be easily incorporated into every day. The drawing obsession of mine began while traveling as a student of architecture at Virginia Tech. My fall semester of 2002 was spent on a bus  with 35 students and a handful of professors.


Cathedral Photo by CED Berkeley

My first job at Kendall/Heaton Associates pushed me to work on construction documents for two years. I was fortunate to work under Rex H. Wooldridge, Steve Bell, and Joon. These men formed the foundation of detailed work and dedication to the profession that I still lean on today. After working in Houston, TX I moved to Ohio to work solely on a house project for my parents. Needing to find an expert in the area, I sought out Victor Greco, a mid-career architect practicing in Wheeling with SMG Architects (now Mills Group.) He invited me into the Wheeling, WV office and I easily found the job that would take me into the next phase of my architecture career. SMG supported me to take the ARE exams, and I became a licensed architect in 2009. In 2013 SMG split and became SM+P Architects  in Baltimore while Victor merged with Mills Group. I moved to Morgantown, WV to work for the Mills Group shortly after this change.

In the last year I have drawn three hotels, one small hotel project has been completed while the other is under construction here in Morgantown. The third one desperately wants to rise off of the drawing board. I have worked on two local residential projects that required additions, helped one interior residential project, and have continued to work on one large renovation that is going on 2 1/2 years. In the last few weeks as Marriott has moved fully into construction administration I’ve jumped on a university renovation project about to go out to bid as the final set-of-eyes over the documents, and am working on a small theater renovation in southern WV. I have a wide range of tasks that seems to change every day. I look forward to a mix-use project that is to begin in three weeks. Mills Group has responsibility over the design, and I can enjoy the freedom that comes with decision-making in my work.

All of the above is just my work. There are about 8 total project managers in this firm who draw off of a pool of three to five young designers across the two offices. With more people and more projects it is important for the structure of the firm to have a strong project schedule. Easier said than done when we are in a constant search to answer RFP’s or interview for new work. Projects have different levels of service, and each one continues to move along a different deadline.

One of my most talented colleagues who is currently completing her Master of Architecture at Lawrence Tech while working full-time suggested I read Project Management for Design Professionals. As a few of us continue to develop Gantt charts to schedule people and projects, I begin to understand how important it is for a healthy firm to balance talent, expertise, and time management.

Peter Zumpthor Chapel in Switz


Tuscan Wineries with the Tuscan Wine School


After class we were driven out into the countryside. We pulled up to a breathtaking place in Tuscany, the courtyard at Fattoria Montecchio, the first winery of our two-winery tour. The winery had been purchased a hobby and was maybe 400 years old!

The second tour at Casa Emma  would be led by a passionate man. He let us dip our noses into three barrels of olive oil, the entire stock that the vineyard would produce for the year! No wonder the olive oil was so deliciously lime green, pungent, and would be the preferred drink to wine by some.Casa Emma


A Golden Florence

Duomo at Sunset
Sunset pulled out the yellow colors. The dam’s glowing curve of water. All of the city’s fine crests glistening off the buildings. Hotels and balconies toward the river, the evening and this sun. We enjoyed where we were, in the piazza of Sante Croce Basillica.

Duomo at Sunset


San Miniato, Florence Italy

San Miniato San Miniato

Old wood beams held the roof and the setting sun held us.

San Miniato


Florence from Above

Above Michelangelo Piazza

We found the steps this time to Michelangelo’s plaza. I could have sat above the clouds all day.

What is the most spectacular view of Florence? There had to be more than the plaza, and so there was at San Miniatura. The green, white and red decorative tiles with the golden oculus of Christ at it’s heart –above the doors. Inside you could walk up, down, in, below, above, all around the altar, the massive columns, the crypt of columns, to the altar steps that rose into the hidden back. The church was open and completely free, as lots of things were in Florence.

Roses at Michelangelo Plazza View of Florence Michelangelo Plazza