Thursday, August 31, 2006

Taking A Short Break

Earlier picture of Bill & I
Bill's parents (Jerry & Molly)
Molly & I in an earlier picture. (I call her the perfect mother-in-law)

Bill and I will be taking a short five day trip down to Florida this weekend to visit his parents. His mother was just diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, the cancer is in three areas; brain, lung and rib.

Four years ago, she had breast cancer and it appears it has returned. She is still undergoing a series of tests that should be completed by the time we get there.

Just this past month, Bill's parents spent two weeks up here in the area. First they stayed with Bill's brother Jerry in King of Prussia then they stayed with us before they spent the remainer of their vacation with my parents in (Washington's Crossing) whom they have been friends with for many years. Actually, my mom and Bill's mom have been friends since childhood so you can imagine how hard this is on her too.

And to make things even stranger, my mother is Bill's godmother.

Talk about keeping it all in the family.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Finished Product

We kept with the military theme by adding pillows that are made into an airplane and a tank but since Nikolas is totally "Elmo" crazy, we added a few stuff animals for him.
The walls went from a very "pink" to "sandstone", a color more fitting for a boy's room.
In addition to the various toys and games scattered around the room, we added a variety of hats that the boys love to wear when they play their favorite game of "make pretend".

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

When Pink Does Not Cut It

We converted the middle bedroom from a very "pink" room decorated for girls into a very "sandstone" room decorated for boys. Pictured here with paint brush in hand is my youngest son Joe whom I had no problem conning him into this painting project.
He brought along some assistance in the form of "Ben".
I did not notice it at first but they managed to paint this entire room without even removing the curtains from the windows and even more amazing is they did not even get one spot of paint on them.
The project took only two days to complete.
I was nice enough to provide the coffee and whatever food they found to eat in the kitchen.
They did a great job. I decided having sons "with" friends may have been worth the labor pain after all.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Last Spring's Project Has Finally Found A Home

Last March, Shaun worked tirelessly on his birdhouse.
Today, it proudly adorns the front yard of our new home.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

And The Winner Is

Congratulations!The Double Duty Diary Summer of 2006 Grand Prize goes to PAT, for her classic worm as fish nemesis double entendre. (Plus, it fit just perfectly in the speech bubbles.)For her wry caption Pat will receive, whenever I can get my act together and to the post office, a 99 Ranch Starter Kit, complete with Mai Fun Rice Sticks (aka noodles), jasmine-infused green tea (delish!), a trio of soaps--sandalwood, jasmine, and ginseng--and sweet cookie balls.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Instead Of Writing Family History

I have been too busy staring at this thing and trying to come up with a caption for Karin's contest.....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The First Collum McCaffery

Collum, a most unusual name given to sons in the McCaffery family. When we think of Collum, we think of Uncle Coll who married grandpop's sister Anna (Aunt Nana) and who was grandmom's second cousin. Uncle Coll was born here in Philadelphia in 1899 and was father to two children, Collum (Buddy) and Mary. But before Uncle Coll, there was another Collum who was born in Ireland in 1860 and came to Philadelphia at the age of 15 yrs old in 1875.

Collum Owen McCaffery was sometimes known as simply Owen and though I do not know the name of his wife, I wonder if it were either Anna or Katherine. Collum lived at 4300 Cresson Street in 1890 and appeared to have had a shoe business on Main Street in Manayunk.

In 1910, he was a widower with four young children, Annie, Katie, John and Collum Jr. The reason I wonder if his wife was either an Anna or Katherine is because he had two daughters with these names and it was common practice among the Irish to name their children after their parents or themselves. Collum had two sons. His eldest son was named John after his own father and his second son (Uncle Coll) was named after himself. Collum also had a brother named John who came to Philadelphia in 1876. This John was the father of grandmom's Dad also called John McCaffery.

In 1920, Collum was living on 148 Hermitage Street with his oldest daughter Annie and her husband, Robert Pester. There were also two children living in the house, Margaret age 3 and Robert age 2.

By the 1930 census records, Collum was no longer listed which leads me to believe that he died between the years 1920 and 1930.

I recently discovered over the last few weeks that another Collum McCaffery currently lives in Florida. He is the son of Buddy, Uncle Coll's son. He would be the fourth generation of Collum McCaffery.

It should also be of interest that grandmom and grandpop named their third son Collum Eugene Gallagher . But, we know him today as Uncle Gene.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

You Gotta Love The Headlines

As I was reading the news on the internet the other day, there was a headline that immediately grabbed my attention, "Body Parts In North Carolina Are Recalled". Now, I do not know about you but I did not know "body parts" could be recalled. I mean what do they actually do? Send a letter to the body part recipient and notify them they need to return that kidney or liver they received because it had a defect? It sort of reminds me of that major battery recall Dell just had because the battery in question could catch on fire. "Pop that battery out and return it before it catches on fire." "Pop that kidney out and return it before it causes a problem ."

But for all of those who need to return those defected body parts, there is a bright side. The second biggest health headline report for that day was "Genital Herpes Is Declining." I know you were worried about that.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Being A Nay Sayer

#1. Having a shoulder that constantly hurts all day.

#2. Taking twice as long to do the most simplest things.

#3. Feeling ten years beyond my current age.

#4. Worrying that my career in patient care may be over.

#5. Getting second and third opinions that amount to nothing different.

#6. Subjecting myself to painful physical therapy three times a week.

#7. Wishing I never had surgery on my shoulder to begin with.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Let This Be A lesson Learned

I recently was at my local grocery store and as I was checking out I noticed a little old very petite lady who had to be either in her late 80's or early 90's. At first I thought she was waiting for someone to carry the bag she held in front of her at the end of the checkout line until I got closer and realized this woman was not waiting for someone to carry her bag but she was waiting for me to place my groceries on the belt so that the cashier could scan them and SHE could bag them.

Now I have nothing against the elderly working. Many of today's retired folks either need to make some cash (god knows you cannot live on social security) or they like to stay busy. But, do you think there could be a better job at the store for her than bagging groceries? For one, this woman was not only very elderly but she moved like a very elderly person. Then there is the question of her strength. She could barely lift the groceries to place them in the bag. I really felt bad for her so I started to bag the groceries myself and it was a good thing I did because she not only had a difficult time bagging the groceries, she had a difficult time picking up the bag and placing it in the cart. So she began placing one item in each bag. So now I have several bags with one item in each.

And then there was that expression on her face when I began to bag my own things. Let's just say, I clearly jumped with both feet into her territory. The look she gave me was one, only a rabid dog needing a serious meal would give.

Now, I am a little "gun-shy" about old folks and their ability to knock me over. You see, it was only six months ago I had a 80+ year old man in Cardiac Care with two IV's and a wicked temper who did not appreciate the fact that I inserted a needle into his arm. Let's just say, the end result was a shoulder that required surgery and months of physical therapy and pain-relieving drugs.

When I was little and took walks in the park, grandpop always told me to carry a big stick to chase off any wild dogs . With my recent experience with the elderly, maybe it would be a good idea for me to carry that big stick after all.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Where Did The Time Go

With this post, I have officially passed my 300th entry to this blog. And I have to ask myself, where did the time go? I am amazed that I actually had this much to say or that many pictures to post.

For me each day is a testament to "Living History". Everyday we make history as well as discover it.

This year I have made some strong progress with my grandmother's maternal side of the family, the Bolands. In recent posts I wrote about the ships they entered the Port of Philadelphia on as well as their arrival dates. It also was discovered that there was another Boland who already lived in the East Falls Section of Philadelphia whom was their official contact. His name was Martin Boland and he is most likely the brother of John Boland, grandmom's grandfather.

Mary Boland Cafferty was the first of the family of John and Ella Boland to come to Philadelphia. She came with her husband Bernard and rented a house on the same block in East Falls as Martin Boland, Calumet Street. A most interesting fact about Bernard and Mary was they left their newborn son Michael back in Ireland in the care of her parents and did not see him for more than two years until her parents came to Philadelphia.

Agnes Bridget Boland, grandmom's mother was the second member of the family to come over from Ireland. She traveled with Bernard's younger sister.

The third member of the family that came over was Katherine Boland followed by the rest of the Boland family, John, Ella, John, Ellen and baby Michael.

It is at this time that I want to mention that I may not have gotten this far with the Bolands if it were not for the clues Jean Nicholson gave me during a conversation I had with her a year ago. Jean's grandmother was Katherine Boland Malervy, the aunt who took grandmom in after grandmom's mother then grandmother died when she was a small child.
Sadly, Jean passed away last December and like her parents is buried in Westminster Cemetery.

The family I am currently researching at this time is grandmom's paternal family, the McCafferys. Though I have been able to find a lot of information about Coll McCaffery, grandmom's cousin and grandpop's brother-in-law. I am still trying to piece together the information about grandmom's father, John McCaffery. So far it appears he was born in Philadelphia and not in Ireland in 1884. From what I have gathered so far is he may have had at least three brothers and his father may have come to Philadelphia from Ireland in 1875. A most interesting fact about John McCaffery that has come up is his father is from Ireland but his mother may have been from Scotland. If this is the case, our dear grandmother may not have been 100% Irish as we always thought and with that red hair
and green eyes, she could very well have Scot in her. It has already been established that grandmom did not have her mother's dark hair and blue eyes and it is most likely she looks like her father.

Hopefully, I will get to the bottom of the mysterious McCaffery family and have an update soon.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fifteen Years Old "1975"

# Take note of my parents' 70 style wallpaper.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

When We Were Small

My brother Michael and I in 1962.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

When The Lap Top Does Not Want To cooperative

Ok it has happened. My lap top would not turn on today. How will I be able to write or research in the comfort of my bed without my beloved lap top?

No longer can I relax comforted by six down pillows at my back. Now I will be forced to sit upright in a chair at a desk using the desk top computer.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I am your classic insomniac or simply defined as one who cannot sleep. Oh yes, there are some who tell me it is stress or the fact that the dreaded change of life is closely at hand or even the Gallagher curse. (insomnia is known to plague the family especially those with the name Gallagher) But whatever reason I do not sleep I can only say not doing it really sucks and I do not mean that in any polite form.

So I tried everything from warm lavender baths to valerian to tylenol PM to alcohol to ambien and so far the only thing that gives me any form of sleep is the ambien but with a very down side. First, it is a prescription drug. Second, it makes me feel as though I have a major hangover the next morning.

This ability to stay awake while most of the world is asleep has even given me the thought that maybe just maybe I should get one of those jobs that require a person to stay up all night. (but then again there is that little issue of a bum shoulder, another story for another time)

Hey, why not, I do not sleep anyway so I may as well make some money.

Anyway, whatever the reason why I stay up to wee hours of the morning only to stay exhausted throughout the day, I hope it passes soon because no rest makes one hell of a cranky "me".

Oh and by the way, if this blog entry makes absolutely no sense and is littered with misspelled words and incorrect punctuation, it is because a person who does not sleep much wrote it.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Daniel and Catherine (Boland) Melervy

There is not information known about the Melervy family other then Catherine Boland daughter of John and Ella (Doherty) Boland and sister to Agnes Bridget (Boland) McCaffery married Daniel Melervy on April 30th, 1913 and together they had two daughters Helen and a child who died at birth.

According to the 1920 Census records, Daniel was born in Ireland and emigrated to America in 1907. In 1920, Daniel and Catherine lived with their four year old daughter Helen in a rented house on 17 Osborne Street located in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia. The 1920 Census records listed Daniel as being a "chemical worker".

I found a little more information about Daniel Melervy when I looked up the draft records for World War I. Daniel was listed as being born December 24th, 1895. He had at least one brother John Joseph Melervy who also was listed on the draft records for World War I. I also saw that his father's first name was James. Catherine (Boland) Melervy, Daniel's wife was one of the children of John and Ella (Doherty) Boland who came to this country in 1907. One of her sisters, Agnes Bridget (Boland) McCaffery is the mother of my grandmother Anna Marie (McCaffery) Gallagher.

When Anna's mother died in 1915, Anna was sent to live with her maternal grandparents. When her grandmother Ella died, she was then sent to live with her Aunt and Godmother Catherine (Boland) Melervy also known as "Aunt Kate". I do not know the exact year Anna went to live with Aunt Kate but it had to be after the 1920 Census because Anna was not listed as living in that household.

The above photograph was taken in 1916 of Catherine (Boland) Melervy holding baby Helen sitting next to her husband Daniel Melervy.