She has a library in her church home!!!!

Book Steps Leading to a Small Library!

The book steps are done, and yes, they do lead to a little library in the bell tower! Doesn’t that sound like something out of a fairy tale?
But, it’s not, it’s real! I’m telling you people a vision board works!

I live in a little church with book steps that leads to a library.

The library is a bell tower with flooring made out of  bookshelves from an old local library.

Can you see a theme here?

I might have a slight obsession with books.
As a Dyslexic child I struggled to learn to read. I thought I was not smart enough to learn. Then I figured out, I just had to learn different! From then on books has helped shape my life. They are a part of me. So it is fitting that they are part of my church home and of course I would have book steps that leads to a library with book shelves as the floor.

I wrote a blog earlier showing our one room little church when we started the adventure and the progress on our book steps. 

Click on the above link to see those pictures.

So, here are the book steps completed: I can’t show you the bottom step. Well I could, but I won’t, ’cause you may judge me for the book choice.  It was blackmailed, I swear!


Book steps that leads to a little library.

Ms. Renia Layne from Milayne’s Creations created my vinyl cutouts for me. She is amazing. I would give her the name, author, and color choice, and she created the rest!

At the top of the steps is this quaint little library. The library was built by Appalachian Mill Works here in Richlands, Virginia. Let me tell you, the are amazing! Straight up professional craftsmen. I would recommend them to anyone.

A library in a bell tower!

My little library.

This is what they had to start with: I mean really? How do they do that! They did all the work but the floor. The floor was made of old bookshelves from a local library. I will do a blog on that adventure later.

Bell tower before library

In the library you look up to this view! A 125 year old bell.

View from my little library.

View from my little library.

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Thank you all for taking your time to read my words. It humbles me. Sending you all love.



Gratefullty is going to be in Appalachian Voices!

We Are Being Featured In Appalachian Voices

Big news ya’ll!

Appalachian Voices Is Featuring Gratefullty!

While at the beach I received a call from Appalachian Voices confirming that they are going to feature our little church home and this blog in its next issue!

At the the beach and this kind of news…….really? I feel l like I’ve hit the best life ever jackpot!

This is huge people!
As you all know, I am not an interior decorator or a designer by any stretch of the imagination. All the work we personally have done on the church is not professional. It is a  learn as you go  DIY style. I mean I am a nurse and my husband a police officer. So this is our first rodeo and then to think they are going to feature us in their newspaper?!?!!

For those of you not familiar with Appalachian Voices  it is a free bimonthly newspaper that has covered environmental, outdoor and cultural news in the Appalachian mountains since 1996. They provide thorough and well-researched journalistic news coverage to fit a niche not often covered by standard news media, and deliver this to a broad spectrum of readers in locations that span eight states.

I love this paper and have helped to distribute it for the last year around my small town.

It is crazy for me to think that the writers of Appalachian Voices read my blog, liked it, and want to feature it in their paper!

I just feel so grateful.

Thank you all for taking your time to read my words. It humbles me.




Love this blog!

Why Are You So Angry?

Hey you, why are you so angry?

Are you just looking for something to be mad about….

a way to prove the world is against you…

that people really are just out to get you?

How many times do you retell a story over and over of how you were dismissed, marginalized, not appreciated? Every time you tell it,  do you feel the red hot heat of anger rising up inside of you?

Have you ever stopped and thought about why are you so angry?

I bet I can give you a clue.

If you get really, really honest with yourself, you see it is not anger you are dealing with,

it is hurt.

You feel hurt and vulnerable about something, so you become angry to self protect.

Why are you so angry? Love this blog!

There are normal stages of grief. First is bargaining, then denial, and then anger.

That’s the place a lot of us become stuck.

It is emotionally  easier to be pissed off than deal with the pain of not being able to save the one you love or not being good enough for the one you love to return that love. Maybe it was your boyfriend, your best friend. Could it have been your mother, or even your child?

What does one do when the person who suppose to show you love, honor, and respect:


Most go through denial, then on to anger, and then continue to move through all the stages of grief to reach acceptance. The ones who stop at anger…..they are all the angry people of the world.

No one gets through this life without someone hurting them…a love one dying… trust being broken….hurtful words being said…lies being told….grief is part of living.

Are you the one that goes around with a chip on your shoulder just looking for something to be angry at, just waiting on the world to screw you over so you can feel justified in your rage?

You are who I am talking to.

Grieve, be sad….and then let that sh*t go. Maybe your mother didn’t love you like she should have. Maybe your spouse broke your trust. Maybe your child made choices that devastated you. Deal with the sadness of that and move on to the joy of living in the moment.

Not in the past.

I have got to start doing this!

Don’t give your current happiness away because of the past.

Just look at now, today, this moment. Then the next time you feel that anger rising, next time you feel like life has screwed you again…

Stop. Realize why you are so angry.

Think about it. Angry is just sad’s bodyguard. What are you sad about? Deal with that and then move on. Move on to the happiness that is waiting for you on the other side of all this anger.


Why are you so angry? I gotta let this shit go and move on.

Thank you for taking time to read my words. It humbles me. Sending you prayers for peace and love.



DIY Steps Gratefullty

DIY Steps In Our Little Church Home

We have been on this downsizing, minimalist, adventure for about a year and a half.  There are a few more projects to finish in our little church home before we can rest!

One of the biggest projects I am working on is my “kinda, sorta, DIY” steps.

When I say kinda, sorta: I mean I have done a lot of the work myself but at times had to call in reinforcements to maintain my sanity.  It has taken a lot of trial and error.

I mean a lot of trial and error.

One big lesson I have learned….it does not have to be perfect!!!! Perfection is just an illusion. It is not a worthy, or obtainable goal. No one lives a perfect life in a perfect home. We all have messy, chaotic, joyful, sad, flawed, beautiful, imperfect lives.

Okay, enough of that, on to the DIY steps.

When our friends stated trying to save this little 125 year old, one room church, there were no steps. They created the staircase that leads up to the bell tower.  If you want to see more pictures of the steeple being remodeled click here. 

In the pictures you can see the steps from when they were started with an overview of  the progression. This church was only one room prior to us remodeling so there were no steps. The wood in the staircase came from the church’s original ceiling beams and the balusters are from around the altar.

The blue ceilings were the original ceilings that had to be taken down, cleaned, and then reinstalled. They were painted with a blue “milk wash” as is a tradition in the south to keep “haints” away. 

The beautiful blue lantern in the second to last picture is from Pier One. My Dad installed, for me,  onto the staircase. (thanks Dad!) At night, when all the lights are off but the bell tower and this blue lantern light, the church looks like a mythical, magical, place.

Sometimes I sit in my Dads old recliner, with its duct tape holding it together, and think: “I get to live here! What did I ever do in my life to deserve THIS?” It makes me cry just thinking about it.

I feel pure gratitude in my heart for being allowed the honor of calling this my home.

Onto the DIY steps!

I had decided to try to keep the contractor wooden steps from when we built the staircase.

Cause y’all know I am a bit touched and I like to make things as difficult as possible.

She used contractor grade steps and created an amazing staircase!

This picture is after 2 coats of stain. As I was beginning fill in the gaps in the wood, sand, caulk, paint, sand, seal, caulk, paint: ect. ect. ect……

I stained the steps with a mix of Ebony and Mahogany stain from Minwax.  After staining the staircase four times it became the dark, rich, color I was going for.

This is when I decided to make the kick plates into book spines of our favorite books. I had seen some images of this on a website known for its magical ability of making hours disappear.


I found the images on Pinterest, but I never could find the “how to”.

Follow me on Pinterest so you too can lose hours of your life looking at beautiful pictures and thinking “how hard could it be?  I made the kick plates about .5 inch shorter than they needed to be so I could make lights shine out from under the steps. I started painting the kick plate different colors. I love this yellow and green together! They just look so joyful! See what I was telling you about caulk and paint!!! It can fix just about anything.

Love these colors together!

I repeated the same regimen to the upper steps. I used the different paint colors we had used throughout the church. A lot of the colors I had from our painted rug on the hardwood in the dining room.

My favorite artist, and hateful old man, Mike Smith painted this for us. It means so much to me. It has my family and his family’s initials incorporated into it. It also has important family dates.

It is so perfect.

FYI: you can get paint samples at Lowes for about $3.00. Each sample had enough paint in them to do this rug and several of my kick plates! Mike and I picked a color scheme we both liked and just bought all the paint samples from it. This is an easy peazzy way to make sure all the colors complimented one another.

Painted rug on wooden floor. Has all of our initials and important dates incorporated into it. Gratefullty

I painted the side boards with high gloss enamel in bright white. Then painstakingly caulked it all. (One lesson I have learned is caulk can hide a multitude of sins!) I put 2 coats of polyurethane on the steps using Minwax Gloss Fast Drying Formula. If you reapply within 12 hours you don’t have to re sand.  When I found out this little tidbit out, I knew it was the polyurethane for me!! I have used it on all the old hard woods downstairs and on the bookshelves we turned into my flooring upstairs. I would say I am pretty much and expert at this stuff now.

I  hand sanded all of our floors.  When I tell you I was sick to death of sanding….. Plus, my pinky finger is now, and  forever more, deformed from all the sanding. It won’t go back against my other fingers now!

Deformed pinky. Injury sustained from DIY steps!On the bright side, my cell phone perches perfectly on my deformed pinky.  Like it was made for that purpose.

There is always something to be grateful for!!!




After polyurethaning every other step I banished the dog outside and promised to cause bodily harm to any of my offspring or spouse if they got anywhere near the wet steps.

Polyurethane on the steps








Ms. Renia at Milayne’s Creations  made the vinyl cutouts of the book spines for me. She used an outdoor vinyl so they would be rugged and could handle the wear and tear of being on a staircase. I spray painted polyurethane on the cutouts just for good measure.

They look better than I could have ever imagined!

But just you wait till you see what she made me for above the steps!!!! It’s so freaking awesome!!!!

DIY making steps into book spines!

Yep, it’s Mary Poppins!!!!

Flying into the bell tower!!! How amazing is that? With all the people I love the most pictures hanging above my most favorite books, then Mary Poppins flying above!

How awesome is this!!!


I mean really.

How did I get to live here?

I still have a couple more steps to finish and I have a big plan for my green and yellow steps. I also want to work on the lighting situation some. If any of you have any ideas to improve my under the steps lighting, or any suggestions for my staircase, please leave a comment and “enlighten” me! lol

I love this staircase. The steps look like book spines!


Thank you for taking your time to read my words. It humbles me.

Sending you prayers for peace and love.