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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Back to work

It was very boring to stay at home those two weeks after the surgery. My colleagues missed me. At least I think so, because they sent me two large bouquets of flowers and two boxes of chocolate. Very nice of them. The wound is healing the way it should and the doctor is happy about the result. My biggest problem is the fact that I'm allergic to plaster of all kinds. I have tried about five different kinds but it doesn't help. The kind of sticky tape for sensitive skin I was recommended was itching so badly I removed it after only a few hours. You are really supposed to have some plaster on the scars for three months afterwards but the doctor told me to ignore that instruction. The itching would have made me crazy.

I did get some things done during my sick-leave. I went to a mall once and visited the archive center twice. There are always projects to do there, this time I looked at sailor's records. My great great grandfather sailed the seven seas but I have never looked him up in the sailor's lists. It wasn't as difficult as I thought, but the information given was meagre. The only thing I didn't already know was his listing as a cook onboard. I also asked for some old tax records and managed to write incorrect information on the call slip. It meant that they couldn't find the material. Slightly embarrassing. I hope the staff didn't understand that processing call slips is a large part of my job...

Today I returned to work. It wasn't overwhelming. I have just done some minor tasks like talking to people, making plans and answering e-mails. I was given three requests my colleagues hadn't been able to process and solved two of those cases. Heavy lifting is out of the question, so book retrieval is not possible right now.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Operation

Last week I worked Monday and Tuesday, basically tidying up my desk. I managed to hand in a report also, which my boss had asked for. Tuesday evening my father arrived. This was not the plan from the beginning but my mother got health problems and couldn't come. Early Wednesday morning my father dropped me off at the hospital. After a long series of examinations, tests and medicine I was wheeled in to the operation room around noon. It was quite an experience. They sedated me and I was completely out until a few hours later. I was of course in pain when I woke up but that was all. I thought that I would be wiped out for days afterwards. This was not the case at all. The surgeon came and told me everything had gone according to plan. My father came to get me at 6 PM and we went to the pizza place in my town. Not something I thought we could do either, just a few hours after surgery. But I was not so affected by this experience as I had anticipated. Thursday afternoon my father left again, after watching a (according to him) very interesting reality show about American loggers in Maine on TV. My father hasn't had a TV in about a year, so he doesn't know what there is to watch these days.

Since then, I have tried to take it easy. This Friday I went to the hospital for a check-up in the morning and stopped by work to join my colleagues for the morning coffee and sandwiches. Everybody was surprised to see me. I can understand that, since I had given warning I would be away for some time. Apart from this, I have mostly spent my time watching TV, solving crossword puzzles and reading that book about the DNA background of Europeans. It's quite interesting, I have to say.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Train trouble

I didn't get that much done this past week. I had three doctor's appointments. It takes a lot of time. Most of the week I tried to clear my desk and get at least some of the many projects done. Success was limited. The high point of the week was Thursday evening, when we had After Work at a nearby restaurant. It's nice to talk to the colleagues outside of the workplace.

Friday was a bad day. When I got to the train station at 7 AM I learned that all the trains were cancelled. Not only the next five departures or so, but all of them the entire day. Part of the track had a large crack and it was in a very inconvenient place because they needed to make all the train tracks in southern Sweden powerless before they could fix it. They didn't have any parts for it either. They had to do the repairs overnight. I was able to get onboard one of the regular buses instead. It was extremely crowded but we made it. I arrived about an hour later than normal. The janitor gave me permission to borrow the storage round car that evening. I made good use of it and transported some of my research home (those files with paper tend to get heavy). I also made a stop at the grocery store. Saturday morning I had to drive the car back again. So I spent the day at work to do more research (and yes, it produced even more paper documents).

In just a few days it's time for my operation. It may take a while before I get any writing done here.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

New stove

My father returned this past Sunday. We had to visit two different malls before I could get the stove I had decided on. It was a long drive to Malmö but it was a fairly smooth project. It's not difficult at all to spend a lot of money, apparently. The biggest problem was to get the stove up three flights of stairs (there is no elevator). We also brought the old stove along with some other junk to the big recycling place in my town. Already the same evening I tried the new stove when I cooked for lunchboxes. It works very well.

The week at work was no big deal. This week it was school sports break and the amount of visitors was rather low. The new temporary worker is learning the job fast and is asking for more tasks. She and I did some book moving. I had discovered that about 20 meters of books were misplaced so we corrected it. I also took the time to show her the section with books from the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. It's much more challenging to retrieve books in that section because of a complicated call number system.

Speaking of books, I have actually bought a book at the annual sale at the bookstores. It was an interesting subject; the DNA background of Europeans. I haven't started on it yet.

I did write to the person who had posted one of our old family photos on his website and received a very short answer back, thanking me for the correction. I don't think this photo had anything to do with his family (but perhaps he thought so because he had attached incorrect names to it). He has his ancestors posted there also and they are not connected to mine.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

New shade

The week at work was not that bad. It started very nicely this Monday when I received a chocolate box from a patron. We had given her a book (a dissertation) which had been written by one of her ancestors in the 19th century. We have an extra supply of old dissertations and we sometimes get asked to distribute them. Usually to other libraries, but we decided it was ok to give this woman the book her ancestor had written. I do wonder if she will understand it though, because it was a science topic and written in German.

Last weekend I went to Ikea. I have long been thinking about remodelling my kitchen. Everything needs to be done; wallpaper, flooring, cupboards, new fridge and stove. I got some brochures and looked through the displays in the store. It's slightly overwhelming. And rather expensive. Today my father came to visit and we went to the nearest mall. I looked at a new stove but was not impressed so didn't get one. Instead I got a freestanding clothes rack (drum major) to have in my bedroom (usually you have this in the hall). We assembled it and it looks very good. My father also put up the long shade for my bedroom window. This shade is thicker and will not let through light like the previous one did.

I'm sorry to say that my health isn't as good as it used to be. I have in fact been to the doctor (several different ones) six times in three weeks. For someone who never has to do that normally it's remarkable. It's interesting to be a patient in the health care system these days. I have heard a lot of bad things but so far I have been lucky. They are of course constantly lagging behind schedule but it's not strange at all. I have now received medicine for one health problem but will unfortunately have to be operated on for another.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Visit to Göteborg/Borås

Thursday last week I went by train to Göteborg around noon. In the afternoon I met my father and his girlfriend near the city library. We went out to a nice dinner at an English style restaurant/pub. After this we all went to the theater a few blocks away to see a show by a Swedish performance group. They made a very popular comedy series on TV in the 1990s called "Macken" (The Garage) and they had now done a remake for the stage. It was a very funny show where the audience knew most of the lines and could (and did) sing along. Truly marvelous, but there is no way I can explain the show or why it's funny to someone who isn't Swedish. Let's just say it's rather local comedy.

After the show we drove (my father had a car) an hour east to get to my sister's place in Borås. We spent the weekend there. My father got the job of felling a tree in the back yard. Saturday I joined my mother and worked as a volunteer at the charity shop, selling fabric, lace and ribbon of all kinds. It's quite fun. In the evening we went to my mother's boyfriend's place. I had done some research for him and now he had invited his sisters to meet me. I was asked to go through the documents and explain the details. The dinner afterwards was great, seafood and various cheeses.

My niece had a cold and since I don't meet kids that much I have no resistence. I got sick, of course. Sunday we went to the ice-skating rink. It got too cold rather quickly but at least one of the kids enjoyed skating there. We had lunch at a café and then my father drove me all the way home. It took three hours. This was not the plan from the beginning but I'm glad he did. I was a little too sick to take the train and then I had also bought a long shade for my bedroom window that would have been difficult to bring on a train.

Monday I was at home but worked short days the rest of the week. There are not that large piles with unshelved books anymore. The new person is doing a good job keeping the volumes down.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Staff changes

There have been several changes at work. We have lost two staff members for various reasons. One went on to another job at a college library and one had to leave since we couldn't afford to keep her. The latter one was working in the stacks and we are of course not happy about this. She knew a large part of the job. She will be missed. To avoid total disaster, we have rearranged the storage round, so now I have to drive Mondays and Fridays. Not what I wanted, really. We have also a replacement a few hours a week. It's a guy that worked in the stacks about 7-8 years ago but was moved to another department. He needed very little introduction, so that was positive, at least. Today we also got a temporary worker placed at the library to train job skills. She will work part-time with shelving and we are in desperate need of that. I spent the afternoon introducing her. Basically, I start out by teaching new staff members how to find their way in the building. It's an old and complicated house with lots of different levels (and you need to know what elevators go to those different levels because not all go to the same). We think this new worker will be useful, because she understood the task right away.

The project with listing all the emigrants from Hjärsås parish is progressing. The document is already over 80 pages. There were many emigrants but the parish wasn't particularly large. Many of them ended up in Rhode Island, Galesburg in Illinois and various places in Minnesota. When I searched for information about these emigrants I ended up on a Swedish website where someone had posted old photos with unknown people. I was very surprised to see one of our family photos there. It was from 1898, when August Nelson visited his sister's family in Sweden (she had died a few years earlier). If any one has the book about August and Lovisa, it's the photo on page 52. I still don't know why this photo is posted on that website but I plan on contacting the owner next week.

Apart from this, I managed to get a hair cut this week, do the laundry and remove all the Christmas decorations. I discovered that there was a box of ornaments I hadn't even opened. I weeded the collection a little before getting it all back up in the attic storage. Afterwards it required extensive vacuuming to get rid of all the glitter on the floor and in the rug.