Friday, November 17, 2017

Healing and Reading

Since my October 30th back surgery and being home on medical leave, I have finished two books and started a third last night. I read a very long book on Truman by David McCullough which was well written and I recommend if you are a lover of history as I am. The book left me respecting Truman more and caring for Eisenhower less. The book is about 1,000 pages so be prepared to sit for the long run. The second book I finished since the 30th of October was Queen Victoria's Children by John Van der Kiste. It gives a fairly decent description of Victoria as well as her children and allows a window into the history of Germany/Prussia as Victoria's children married into those families. The book I started yesterday and which has held my interest a.k.a I stayed up late last night reading is The Last Republicans by Mark K Updegrove which highlights George H W Bush and his relationship with his son George W Bush. I am assuming the title is indicative of the current Trump Presidency.
I will let you know what I think of the book upon its completion however I read ten chapters last night and find it very well written so far.

I am feeling so much better and I am healing from the surgery however I find myself wanting to do more and knowing I have restrictions I must follow for the next four weeks as it will take time to heal on the inside. Until you are not permitted to lift anything you do not realize how much of daily life is "lifting something". I cannot carry the laundry basket to the basement but I can place clothes in the washer. I cannot carry the clothes back upstairs but I can fold them and put them away. I cannot grocery shop or bring the bags into the house however I can put the groceries away as long as it is not a case of water or a gallon of milk. I can wipe down a counter top but I cannot mop a floor or vacuum a carpet. When I have my granddaughter she knows she must climb up onto the bed if I need to dress her because I cannot lift her.

As difficult as it is following restrictions, I am following those restrictions because I do not want to undo  what has been fixed. I have always been an avid reader so read I shall. I have other books lined up as I will be on medical leave until December 18th when I return to work.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Memory Lane

Some old family photos.

Christmas Morning 1969 of myself, Dad holding my brother Frankie,  brothers Artie, and Michael and sister Marianne. (Maier Weleski)

 Uncle Jack, Grandmom, Aunt Ann, Mom and Uncle Gene in 1978 together to celebrate my grandparents' 50th anniversary. (Gallagher)

 Uncle Gene and Uncle Jack probably around 1976 in Newport Beach California. (Gallagher)

Uncle Gene and Uncle Billy (Gallagher)

My cousin Charles Walsh and some of his military buddies in Vietnam around 1968/1969. Charles is the one with the cigarette in his mouth. Charles would be killed in Vietnam in March 1969 at age of 19yrs old.

 My three brothers Artie, Michael and Frankie when my brother Michael was married in the 1980's. (Maier Weleski)

My youngest son Joseph and my brother Artie in 1986 Thanksgiving Day. Artie was Joseph's Godfather. Artie died at the age of 32yrs old in 1997. (Maier)

Bill and His dog "Jerry".

When we discussed moving back into our house, I informed Bill that I would go back to our house under two conditions. First, I needed a housekeeper to help manage this large house. Second, I told Bill I wanted a dog. I was granted both. We moved back to Philly June 2017. Since our return, I noticed the man who never wanted a dog was the same man who has gotten very attached to the dog.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Ranting,Gratitude, Him, I

People limit themselves by having beliefs about self then making choices that fulfill that prophecy. If you believe you are unable to do something then I guarantee that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was fortunate enough to be raised by two strong parents. As a result, I believe I am a strong person. Of course that does not mean I did not have adversity because anyone who knows me understands completely the adversity I encountered. But what makes me different than some other folks is I never gave up and I continued to move forward despite it all. When a female crosses my path and I hear all the reasons why they cannot do things, I cringe inside and think to myself "There goes those beliefs again" which ultimately result in a ton of excuses. Then, I proceed to counsel and teach what it means to be a self-sufficient woman who is independent and able to stand on her own two feet. First and foremost, I believe in education. If you did not complete a college education, I suggest you enroll in a class or two. Education is never a waste as it opens your mind and increases your self-esteem. And the beauty of education is it is never to late to start as education is meant to help you change and grow as a person and as human beings we are always changing and growing. Second, I believe everyone should have a job whether part time or full time. Work is a huge part of who we are and if you are fortunate enough to love the work you do then it never feels like work. When you go to work everyday you have a routine, meet new people, learn new things and with that paycheck you can achieve your goals. The added bonus is it takes you out of yourself.  We can become too self-absorbed. Third, I believe you need to stop making excuses why you cannot do something. If you are being held back by a particular issues then get help for that issue and put yourself out there. How are you ever going to grow and learn if you never take a chance? Last, I believe in love and with love comes another unexpected source of strength. Bill and I compliment each other. We like to travel together and share an interest in genealogy. We share a love of family. We take care of each other. He works  at Vanguard maintaining the computers on the trade floor and his photography hobby became a business with an additional source of income. When Bill was in his twenties and thirties, he was a roofer. When he fell off a roof and broke his back, he placed himself back in school and changed careers in his forties. He plays the guitar, writes music and sings. He is both strong and gentle at the same time. On the other hand, I am considered the "nerd" but I excel in science and always did well in school. I am fond of books and  I am a reader. I consume books and love historical fiction especially English History and American Biographies. I recently branched out into German History. I am a therapist who works in the mental health/drug & alcohol field. I have been a therapist the last ten years. Prior to returning to school and changing careers, I spent twenty years working in a Lab in a medical hospital. I always worked and I am the type of person who remains with the same employer. I have only had two employers in the last thirty years. I also raised three sons. Once upon a time, I played the piano however I do not play any longer. I keep thinking perhaps I will play again one day. I prefer to research and write. I have written a book and several articles as it relates to genealogy. Recently, I discovered I am fond of computer games. One thing I am not is domestic. Grant it, I enjoy decorating a house however I rarely cook and clean. I have a biweekly housekeeper and Bill does most of the cooking. However, I do all the shopping, laundry and bill paying so I guess we are even. As I mentioned earlier, we compliment each other. We are partners in this marriage.

Of course, I am home on medical leave recovering from back surgery so Bill has been doing double duty around here. I must admit that I hit the jack pot when I married him. I could not ask for a better person to take care of me as I recover. He is caring and attentive and no one has ever loved me more than he does. On that note, I believe I will close this post. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Our Littlest Grandchild

Aubree is our youngest grandchild. She follows three other grandchildren, Shaun (age 16y), Nikolas (age 12y), and Ava (age 10y). When the older three were little they had each other for company. Bill and I would often travel with all three and/or have them at our house on the weekends. But as they grew older, we do not see them as often as we would like to though we still travel occasionally together. The last time we traveled with the boys was a year ago when we took them to Canada. Prior to Canada, we had taken the oldest grandson to Ireland and numerous other trips to Florida, Mountains and Gettysburg. As Shaun is the oldest grandchild, he has traveled the most with us.

Then came Aubree (our little princess) when we thought we would not have any more grandchildren, she came into our lives at the exact right moment and has brought us so much joy and happiness.

The Doll House

Pop Pop promised her a doll house for her birthday and a doll house she received one month before her actual birthday.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Surgery and Genealogy

I am officially eight days post surgery and I feel pretty good. When I woke up from surgery I realized the chronic nerve pain in my right leg and buttocks was gone replaced by a throbbing surgical site. It appeared the surgery was a success as it had corrected the problem. I spent two days in the hospital and struggled with a low grade fever for three days. By the time I was five days post surgery, I was getting up and down with minimal help and had taken my first shower without assistance. Six days post surgery I took a walk on the supportive arm of my husband however later on that day I noticed fluid from the wound which increased suddenly and resulted in an emergency room visit where I met my surgeon to rule out a CFS leak (complication of spinal surgery). Thankfully, it was not a CFS leak but a hematoma which was removed and received a set of new stiches. Seven days post surgery was a tough day because the new stiches caused pain and it was difficult to get comfortable but now I am here at eight days post surgery and I feel so much improved.

In the days a head and as I convalesce, I thought about researching the history of the hospitals of Philadelphia past and present. I do not always have the time to engaged in the genealogy side of myself these days with a busy career and family so this could be an opportunity to engaged in the creative side of myself.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Thoughts. Dreams. Conclusions.

Choices and decisions can have far reaching consequences that could last a lifetime. I personally cannot stand drama and though some folks like to try and drag me into their drama I try to stay clear from it. Let's face it. I am a therapist by profession and I hear enough of other people's drama that I have no interest in it being present in my personal life.

I had a weird and disturbing dream last night about a nuclear bomb and nuclear explosions happening around me. I was trying to protect my grandchildren and I had them in my arms while seeing explosions in the distance and knowing that the explosions were getting closer and closer. According to dream interpretation, dreaming of bombs or explosions signifies one feeling out of control of a situation. If I thought about it there are several things in my life in which I feel no control so I guess my dream was a reflection of that feeling.

In reality, how much control do we really possess in our lives?

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Saturday Visitors

Mom, Dad, Aubree, Josh and my sister Marianne.