West Virginia in Bloom

-Morgantown, that is.

IMG_9024 IMG_9026 IMG_9031 IMG_9030 IMG_9037

Enjoy the spring turning to summer. This week is to be nice and warm.


Practicing what you Believe

Roma Italia

A practice that I have started in my work life, that I’ve always enjoyed in my personal life, is list making.

During Deepak’s meditation this past spring he suggested establishing measurable goals. A friend I work with suggested taking an active role in deciding how to spend the workday by taking a moment to write a list of priorities each morning. By writing this list I recognize what I need to focus on, and evaluate what I feel I can reasonably do in a day.

By not letting the long, ideal list of things to do at work be the only measure in what is being accomplished, I feel I am in control of what I can finish. This recently introduced practice has allowed me to feel very productive. I have the ability to give time to specific tasks with appropriate expectations. When I come to work I list three things that I want to focus on. Typically these items take me into the afternoon with the expected distractions of a workday. However, at the end of the day even if I have not crossed everything off, I feel rewarded for finishing some of what I set out to do.

Deepak’s meditation discusses the importance of realizing what you want to give attention to. Incorporating this practice in my work space has allowed me to feel settled when it is time to enjoy other areas of my life. Beyond my husband, health, and keeping up with house chores, I really want to spend time writing. When I get too busy this priority and enjoyment is set aside. If I allow myself to focus my energy on what I believe to be most important first, I feel rejuvenated for the rest of the day, having felt I have taken care of my creative efforts first. By allowing the proper time (and practicing time efficiency)  for everything in the day I need to, I feel like a whole person, a well-rounded person, taking full advantage of this beautiful life.



First Time Marathoner


Where have I been? I’ve been running!

And this Sunday I’ll be at the starting line of the Detroit Free Press Marathon.

For the past 22 weeks I’ve been getting out of bed early five days a week, have slowly added and subtracted miles to reach a 20-mile training run, have run with my husband, friends, family and some great Sues. I couldn’t be more excited to run my first 26.2 miles.

bilde     blogSpan

This will be a finale to a very busy 2014. After moving, changing jobs, buying a new house, taking a trip to Italy where we met family, and working out hard, it’s time to enjoy. ‘Enjoy every step’ a running friend told me, and I really will. The race starts in the United States, and then we run up one of the only hills over the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor Canada. To get back into the U.S. we run through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River. I’ll be running along side of my husband, my brother and my Mom. Dad will be cheering us all along. Race Course Map Here.

Marathon Course Map MASTER** 2014


Looking forward to sharing personal pictures of the race and my very own metal!



Main Street Gallery Event


This Thursday, June 6th, friends of the Main Street Art Gallery will present ‘Journeys: an exploration through photography and poetry.’

The show of fifteen artists will include works of poetry, photography, and stained glass. Many photos and poems were inspired from one another as the creation of the show developed over the past few months. The theme, Journeys, travels through each of the pieces as the flight of birds, into the horizon of the ocean, and with the words of wishes.

The participants gathered together by this invitational show have varied backgrounds. Talents range from amateur photographers and poets to West Virginia’s poet laureate, Marc Harshman.

Enjoy a short presentation of the work with the artists at the show opening. The artist’s reception begins at 5:30 on June 6, 2013. Light refreshments will be served. Music offered by pianist Joe Jancura and trombonist John Gruber will play between the conversations of artists taking visitors along their artful journeys of today.

Participants: Amy Bergdale, Coty Cole, Kellie Cole, Phil Cole, Leah Ettema, John Gruber, Sue Gruber, Marc Harshman, Bill Hogan, Josie Pickens, Brad Schrum, Nikki Sothoron, Ben Steffl-Thompson, Melanie Steffl-Thompson, James Wodarcyk

Main Street Art Gallery is located at 145 East Main Street in the historic downtown of St. Clairsville, Ohio. Reception hours are from 5:30 – 9 on the evening of June 6, 2013. Daily hours of the gallery are during the business hours of 9-5.



48 at the Hill, 1:49 at the Finish

CUOgdenC U at the Intelligencer

Memorial Day brings about a tradition in my family every year. We train, invite family and friends in for the weekend, eat lasagna and then take part in the Ogden race of Wheeling, WV.


My brother and I split the race and completed the relay to take 3rd place. My mother and aunt competed in the ‘all female’ category and placed 4th with a personal best for my Mom. Dad took 3rd in his age group and let Channel 9 News know what a great day for running Saturday turned out to be, and how wonderful it is to show off Wheeling in this way.


My Dad on WTOV 9

“It’s cool for the folks watching but for the participants it’s just perfect weather. It’s a perfect day for a run,” says participant Stephen Clark.

(A second Article on the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic.)

My aunt was warned about ‘that hill’ at the first half of the relay when she elected to be the first leg of the race. Though our warnings tried to give value to it’s difficulty, she still had something to exclaim at the end. I suppose we’ll explain it to out-of-towners in the future as a mountain. After climbing that part of the race, you feel as if you can conquer anything! Good job everyone!


Keeping up with the Pittsburgh Marathon

~ The Pittsburgh Marathon 2013 ~

See them off at the starting line, run to 7th street bridge and catch our runner friends by their 5th mile, then get to Station Square to cheer em on at 9… well that was the plan. But there were so many runners, and our friends were so fast, that we saw one take off from downtown, and didn’t catch up until we had a car bring us to Mile 22.

The day was a perfect day for running. Waking up too early on top of Mt. Washington afforded a beautiful sunrise over the city as we took the incline down into the excited atmosphere.


The one friend we saw off from the starting line was ahead of everyone in his corral.

Quick strides and bridges full of fans.

Long strides, and us, as fans.

Pep up at mile 22.

Only half of a mile to go, and then, refreshment!

Congrats to the relay team – 3 RIVERS 8 LEGS  with a time of 3:14:28!


To the girls above with personal best times of 4:35:39!

Allison, who ran her first marathon placed 3027th overall! I’m so proud of her and everyone for accomplishing more than those 26.2 miles!

Great race.


Art Event ~ in St. Clairsville soon!


{ The Main Street Gallery }

My husband and I are fortunate to be surrounded by creative, athletic, inspiring people. Fourteen people gathered to discuss poems and photography until the eleven o’clock hour on a school night this week. Yes, that’s right, a group of us who have met over the past couple of years in the same gallery space, came into it to develop a show of our own. Over the course of the night the attention was held by each one of us as we shared photography and then read poems. This first attempt at combining the photos to poems, wondering if what we all brought with us could somehow describe what another person was describing, drew out more than we expected. I left with more images in my head than I began with. I brought poems to the table, and now I was pushed to write more!

There were quilted flowers, Cinque Terra images, clovers and aging farms. The theme of ‘Journey’ took a different path in everyone. Some journeys traced water down rivers, others sought light in glass, paddle boats were still like lifeless swings. There was earth and water mixing, the horizon lines of Aruba, and personal journeys described in one still shot. Journey meant time in another country for some, watching little boys live a life we weren’t used to. There were meaningful moments captured by a fire with the silence of writing. There were funny memories relived in poem stories. It was great to be apart of. It was wonderful to see what everyone volunteered to share after each small presentation. The images are floating in my mind, the funeral umbrella’s, the black and white picture describing a wife, and this underlying desire of interest in what one another’s talents are producing.

The show hopes to open in a month, and I look forward to the exponentially growing perspectives of the new people we may find drawn toward this Journey.

The Main Street Gallery is located at 145 East Main Street in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

Places to Be


Check out local poet Marc Harshman of Wheeling West Virginia this Tuesday at the Wheeling Public Library.  Looking for other things to do in the Ohio Valley? Keep this website, Places to be in the OV, handy!



The Ricami Line


Are all chaotic things in order beautiful?  I’m in the middle of Terry Tempest Williams’s book ‘Finding Beauty in a Broken World.’ and I think so.




Este Lewis

{ Forgotten Furniture }
Salvage. Restore. Cherish



Anthropologie’s ‘Pieced-Together’ Furniture

Second photo above taken from Roz Foster’s article.
 Apartment Therapy Workspace

Apartment Therapy


{  forgotten shanghai  }


Atelier Manferdini

The Ricami Line
(Images above and entry below From  by  Architecture Record)

She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Civil Engineering in Bologna, Italy; an M.Arch. from UCLA; and she teaches at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles — but don’t try to pigeonhole Elena Manferdini. With her firm, Atelier Manferdini, which has a team of four working at its Los Angeles base and two people in Bologna, Manferdini switches hats easily from engineer to architect, product designer, fashion designer, and artist. “Perhaps it’s less common here to branch into many different fields,” she says, “but in Italy it’s more understood that a creative person can be creative in more than one discipline.” For Manferdini, those diverse disciplines aren’t just hobbies. Her firm has working collaborations with a slew of companies from a variety of industries, including MTV, Fiat, Nike, Alessi, Guzzini, Ottaviani, Moroso, Valentino, and Rosenthal. Manferdini gives some credit for her versatility to her European upbringing, but mostly, she says, “it’s digital tools. With them we can break boundaries. They’ve changed the way we produce, they’ve changed the way we craft, and given us less of a division between all areas of design.”

From a dress to a table to a building, it’s all about a shift in scale for Manferdini’s design process. She freely admits that her work is recognizable in all its forms, because she designs “from a unit to a component. The small scale informs the larger.” The smaller the scale, the fewer constraints. Her laser-cut clothing line, called “Cherry Blossom,” designed as part of the West Coast Pavilion representing the U.S. at the 2006 Architecture Biennale in Beijing, informed the design of the pavilion itself, which Manferdini was invited to design as curator of the West Coast USA session of the Emerging Talents, Emerging Technologies exhibition. The pavilion, a sandwich of undulating plastic layers that flowed through and around its volume, followed many of the fabrication techniques used for the laser-cut clothing. “For me, the small-scale projects are really case studies and incubators of ideas,” says Manferdini. “They’re relatively free of constraints. One object is an instance that can lead to something larger, with a longer life. It’s a circular process, and in a way the continuity makes it all feel like the same project.”

The continuity in Manferdini’s body of work carries certain themes — lace and cutouts appear again and again, from her clothes to her Ricami stool and dining table (ricami is the Italian word for embroidery) to her installation at SCI-Arc in 2008 called Merletti (from the Italian word for lace) to her design for a residential tower in Guiyang, China, which features an intricate   draped skin akin to Guiyang women’s traditional filigree headdresses. Manferdini is one of 11 architects chosen to provide a single part of Guiyang’s master plan, and her proposal is a response to the site’s landscape and cultures. “For me, the relationship with the client is a huge creative component,” she says. “For a project like this, you really have to be inventive.” Not only for this project; inventive thinking is second nature to Manferdini. “My teaching, my work, my life in Los Angeles, it’s all very motivating,” she says. “You have to open your mind to the possibilities.”   -By Ingrid Spencer for Architecture Record)


A Burnt Orange Kerry

 Gap of DunloePhoto by Phil

A Burnt Orange Kerry


A landscape we got lost to find

overshot the potters shop by

a simple road detour.


Heaven-bound sheep and cattle

spray painted to belong to the land

of one Irish man.


We spied for a week crawling

highways, The Gap of Dunloe

in the dark past bedtime

the thin lanes between musical

cities and home.