Union Square Excursion (part 3) is postponed until tomorrow.

I’m not really sure why but I could not fall asleep last night until about 8:30 this morning.  I only let myself sleep for three hours this morning because I have tons of homework and a thesis paper.

Later this week I will blog about making my mom’s Dressing recipe. It’s a multi-step process and takes two days to make.

Depending on my back (which still hurts for some reason) I may make another excursion into an area of Manhattan. Still deciding on which area to visit.

Plus, I’m planning on going to my first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (if my back cooperates). Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I am on the hunt for New York themed Christmas ornaments to give as gifts to little kids. Know a place? Let me know, please.

Hi, My name is Liberty and I’m a Book Hoarder

If you met me on the street today you would think, “now she is a wonderful woman who has her head on straight.”

But back home I have a secret. I am a book hoarder. There I have said it. Ahhhh, I feel better.

Bookcase #1

I don’t plan on changing. I love reading and I feel better when I am surrounded by books.

A home is not a home without wall-to-wall books.  I have three bookcases in the living room and two stacks of books in my room. My roommate thinks I need to be like Beyonce, who bought an apartment for her shoes except mine would have books.

Yes, my books are in alphabetical order.

Bookcase #2

Luckily for my roommate I have cleaned out a box full of books that I know I will not be able to read.

I do give away books I have already read and know I will not read again. So, technically I’m not a real hoarder.

I also went through all the books at my parents’ house and decided to get rid of a whole bookcase of books. I still have a lot more there though.

Bookcase #3

If you look at my page titled Books Read in 2012 you will see I do a lot of reading. My goal is to read 53 books this year.  I am close to my goal.

Right now I am taking a break from reading all those books in my bookshelves because I have a thesis due in December and I need to finish it.

When I read everything is put on hold until the last page is turned.

Stack of unread books

You are probably wondering why I don’t get e-books.  I don’t like the screens.

I stare at computers all day at work and for school and the last thing I want to do when I am trying to escape into a book is stare at a screen.

Stack of read books

However, I did just get Life of Pi and Cloud Atlas. I like to read the book before I see the movie.

Let me know if you like to hoard books too by commenting.

Baby Got Back…PAIN

For the past couple of days I have been working on my Thesis Paper so I can graduate. My bamboo chair is not very comfortable. Usually my rear end goes numb and I have to get up and let the blood flow once again.

Tomorrow the first draft of my paper is due so I had tons of work to finish.

I got up to get a cup of coffee and decided to take the garbage out. I bent over and BAM! A shockwave of pain rolled through my back and I had difficulty standing up. I went to my room and lay down on the floor to see if that would help. Nope.

As I tried not to breathe too deeply I reminisced about the other times I threw my back out.

The first time was around 2001. I bent over to pick up a sock and felt something strange happen to my back. There was no pain at that precise moment but when I tried to stand up I couldn’t and searing pain attacked me.

I didn’t know what to do. My whole body hurt when I tried to move even a little bit. I lay down and realized the pain eased when I put my legs up.

I was stuck there until my roommate came home and to helped me to the recliner. I stayed in that chair for three days.  It was miserable but I got over it.

The next time was several years later while at Wal-Mart buying kitty litter and cat food.

When I picked up the 15 pound bucket of kitty litter I felt it happen but decided to use mind over matter. By the time I got through check out and to my car I was hunched over the shopping cart and in tears from the pain. A very nice man loaded my stuff into the trunk for me.

Since I didn’t have three days to spend waiting it out I called my dad and he told me I needed Ibuprofen and a heating pad. I did not have a heating pad. He said to go to the Walgreens drive-thru window and tell them what happen and see if they can help.

The gentlemen at the window understood what I was going through and grabbed the things I needed and brought it out to my car since it hurt to lift my arms.

At home I got the heating pad ready and was just about to take the Ibuprofen when I remembered I still had some muscle relaxers from when I dislocated my shoulder. I was so happy.

Twelve hours later my back felt weak but pain free.

This time I am not so lucky. The Ibuprofen is not working and I think I keep burning myself on the heating pad but it is the only thing stifling the pain.

It’s going to be a long and painful night as I work on my paper.

The Road Back (part 2)

Evenings seem to be the times I think of my dad the most.  Since he became ill this is the time we would talk on the phone. He would talk as much as he could before he “ran out of air”. Since the liver cancer had spread to the lymph nodes around his heart and the morphine caused fluid to buildup in his lungs he was unable to speak for long periods at a time.

I remember the last time I spoke with him. My mom had gotten him a new I-Pad 3 so he could continue to email while in the hospital. His laptop was too heavy for his already weak body to hold. I called him through the FaceTime Feature and showed him my apartment; told him about my day; and how my thesis paper was going. He could see me and everything I was showing him but he didn’t or couldn’t hold the I-Pad correctly and all I saw was his hospital gown for most of the conversation.

It was a great conversation, however, I didn’t know it would be our last. I guess you never know when your last conversation will be with a loved one.

Graceland Mansion

Lisa Marie Plane

During my tour of Graceland and Elvis’ Car Museum I kept earmarking things to tell him about Elvis.

Gold sink on plane

I heard a rumor that the inside of Elvis’ plane, the Lisa Marie, was made of gold. It’s not. The seats are leather and there are television sets all over the place. The only thing that I saw that could have been made of gold are the sinks in the bathrooms.

Jungle Room chair

According to the audio tour, The Jungle Room was decorated by the King himself. He decided to put green shag carpet on the floor, walls and ceiling. He picked a great big round chair that was Lisa Marie’s favorite chair to sit in.

The wall-to-wall shag carpet insulated the room so well that Elvis moved his practice sessions into the room.

Outside the building that housed The Colonel’s office was a swing set for Lisa Marie. Connected to the same building was an indoor shooting range.  I thought it was weird that out of all the places it could have been placed on Elvis’ 13 acres of land the swing set was place outside a shooting range. Different times I guess.

Spent his final morning.

Elvis loved racquetball so much he built a court on his property. The court also contained a room with leather couches and a piano. On the day he died he was at that piano playing songs and singing with family and friends.

Out of all the pictures of Elvis there wasn’t a single one where he had gained weight. It was all the fit or “skinny Elvis”. I was told the family didn’t want visitors and fans to remember him that way. I can see how they would want everyone to see and recall happy memories of Elvis.

Elvis’ Final Resting Place

The Meditation Garden is where you will find Elvis Presley’s grave; along with his mother’s, father’s and grandmother’s grave. His grandmother, Minnie Mae, outlived her son, Vernon, and her grandson, Elvis.

Pink Cadillac

At the car museum I saw Elvis’ Pink Cadillac.  According to the audio tour Elvis was very generous with his vehicles, usually giving them to friends and even strangers. But the only car he would not give away was his mother’s favorite… the Pink Cadillac.

At the end of the tours and museums I picked out a postcard for my dad and then remembered he was gone. I’ve been told that may happen for awhile. It depresses me when I forget he is dead and then remember. But it saddens me more to think that at some point his death will be normal to me.

Visiting Graceland was a great way to wait out Hurricane Sandy. At least so I thought, I spent three nights in Nashville because of the snow from Sandy.

In part three of The Road Back I will tell you some things about our 16th President Abraham Lincoln you may not have known, including he may not have been as poor as we thought.

Abraham Lincoln Bust

(NaBloPoMo: I’m still counting this as a post for November 6th. I got caught up watching the election coverage and posted late.)

“School Daze”

ImageMy last two classes in Pace University Masters of Science in Publishing Program start this week.  I am very excited, not only to be almost finished with my degree but the start of school.

I, like millions of kids, look forward to first day of school. I love the possibility it brings. The possibility to make new friends, wear a new outfit, use brand new school supplies and hopefully be the best student the teacher has ever seen.  That last one never happened for me when I was younger but as an adult student I like to think I bowl the teacher over with my amazing insight and knowledge.

To me it’s like that first spring day where you go outside, take a deep breath and you feel refreshed, renewed and hopeful. No bad things have happened (such as you embarrass yourself so badly you decide to convince your parents that homeschooling is the best way to go), you only have good intentions and a fantasy of how the day will progress.

By the time I was in high school not one first day of school had gone the way I had planned or wanted, but they were made better if my best friend Jennifer was in my class. In college I wasn’t sure what to expect but I always left each and every class feeling inspired.

Now in graduate school I take my classes on line so I can work and this semester I have a 25 page thesis to write, one class, two internships, and hopefully a third job so I can pay bills. I plan on getting ahead of the curve and finish assignments early every week.

Let’s hope I can do it.

How did the first day of school make you feel? Share your experiences.