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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas holiday

I have just returned home after spending the holiday in Göteborg and Borås. It was a very nice Christmas with lots of good food and interesting people to talk to. I felt sorry for many of the other family members, because they had bad colds and were not doing well. I'm still ok, but I might get sick later.

We had the main meal at my sister's sister-in-law's house, for the first time. It worked out very well, since the house is in three floors. The kids were of course excited about Santa, but they have figured things out already. They got lots of presents, naturally. I got some very useful presents; three pairs of socks, hand lotion, apron (made by my mother), knitted scarf (made by my mother), gift certificate at a spa and a book with 500 cookie recipes! The present I got from my employer was an envelope with four gift certificates to go and see movies. Earlier my father had given me a new microwave oven (the one I had was about 20 years old I think)...

The after-Christmas sales started Monday, and my mother and I went downtown Borås to see if we could find any bargains. I got two tops and several pieces of beautiful Christmas ornaments at very low prices. Basically everything was half price off now. Tuesday we went to the shopping center area and got even more things. I made some purchases in the (expensive) plus size store, but the amounts were very moderate. A top and a pair of leggings. Apart from this we have taken it rather easy, we have been watching TV and solving crossword puzzles. My mother also gave me a hair cut before I returned home today.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Last week before Christmas

The last part of the work week was rather slow. It seems like most people have gone home for the holiday. There were quite a few returns, though. We were just two staff members in the stacks today, and we managed very well.

This week we were treated to even more cookies. It was the last end-of-the-semester coffee with the current organization. I will get a new boss next year, and there will be a new boss for the entire library also. Lots of other changes have happened and will happen.

I have received some nice Christmas cards, both real ones and a few e-mails. It's fun to hear what people have been up to this past year, and how they will celebrate the holiday. I was surprised to get a card from one of the patrons at the library, mainly because I retrieved one book for her that she ended up not picking up. She praised me on my hard work - for one book! There are patrons asking for 50 books a week, and they never say thank you.

Today I did the very last of my Christmas shopping and it was an ordeal. There were huge amounts of people in town doing the same thing. This evening I have baked a few cookies to bring to Göteborg tomorrow. It didn't go so well, actually. I was sure of the fact that I had walnuts at home, but I didn't. I had to change the recipe a little and the cookies turned out to be thin and hard. They were supposed to be thick and chewy. I'm bringing them anyway. I will go by train in the morning, and will celebrate the holiday with my mother, sister & family and her in-laws. Return date is Wednesday.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Great party

The amount of Christmas related events are increasing. Last week we had the traditional saffron bun for coffee one day, and Wednesday we were treated to the Christmas lunch with herring, ham, meatballs and a few other good things. Very nice, I must say.

The reorganization at work is progressing, we have now been told the library will get another boss in March. There will also be changes at the middle level. We have had quite a few meetings relating to these changes, one more boring than the other.

This past Friday I was invited to a party celebrating the fact that a colleague of mine had published her thesis. It was the woman who gave the lecture on Queen Christina's librarians a few weeks ago. Her thesis was approved of Friday after spending years working on it. It was about the queen's manuscript collection, now housed in the Vatican Library. The party was great; there were so many interesting people, the speeches were worth listening to and the food was incredible (especially the salmon). I enjoyed the evening very much and left later than I had planned on.

Today my boss placed goodies (chocolate and fruit) in our room, so there was even more snacking. It's the last week before Christmas and we thought the students would go home. They asked for so many books today that we had problems handling all the requests. I hope they calm down soon.

And where is the snow!?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas party

Last week was busy. Several meetings, some colleagues were on vacation and there were a few other things going on also. We had a cake celebration for the guy who retired. His absence is already noticeable. I have driven the extended storage round for a week and it's not particularly fun. It takes longer time and I hardly make it back for lunch.

There was a new exhibit opened last week. We have received a donation of books about pigeons and some of them were displayed. It sounds odd, and I didn't think it would be anything to look at, but it was rather interesting. The collection is apparently very large with about 4000 books, several only existing in one copy. The earliest was printed in the 1600s. The handcolored illustrations of extinct species were interesting to see.

Friday evening we had the Christmas party. This year we had to have it at a restaurant, because of renovations at the library. We ended up chosing the most expensive place of all, Grand Hotel. The food was amazing; six kinds of pickled herring, several kinds of salmon, lots of meat, ham, sausages, ribs, roast beef, cheeses, paté, cabbage, eggs and lots more. For dessert there was rice pudding with raspberry sauce, cookies, crullers, pyramid cake, almonds in chocolate, dates, toffee candy and almond cake with whipped cream and cloudberry jam. There was so much food you couldn't even try all the different kinds. Very high quality also, most of it was from local producers. We were almost 70 people, and we had a very good time.

It was a little difficult to get out of bed Saturday morning. Around 11 my father and his girlfriend came to visit. We went to the mall. There were a lot of people doing their Christmas shopping. I didn't get anything there, actually. I did buy some heavy and/or canned groceries in town because I had access to my father's car. Later we exchanged presents and then they returned home.

Sunday was spent cooking lunches for the upcoming week and decorating the tree. I did watch some sports on TV also (the winter season has started with biathlon and downhill skiing).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas concert

Since my own (by now rather old) computer takes forever to load a website, I will have to use the one at work even more for private reasons. I might have to get a new computer at the sales after Christmas.

Last week at work was rather boring. I spent a lot of time correcting items in the database, and that is not fun at all. I must have checked many hundreds of entries. One fun thing I do recall we did was to go out for lunch with a colleague who is about to retire (tomorrow, actually). We will miss him, because he helps out retrieving books at two of the remote storages. The rest of us will get a bigger workload starting Wednesday (the position will not be filled).

This weekend was again very windy. I stayed at home Saturday, but Sunday was the Christmas market in town. The local societies and clubs were selling baked goods and decorative items, there were pony rides and music entertainment. I did shop a little. One other event was the Christmas concert in the church. It was the Skåne Region Police Choir and Band giving a very nice concert with the traditional tunes of the season. One tune was particularly familiar to me: Sleigh Ride!

At home the fake tree is installed, but has no decorations yet. The Christmas candles and tomtens are all out on display. Now all we are waiting for is the snow.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shopping at packed mall

It has been a rather ordinary week at work. I drove the storage round all the days, because I had other things to do at the storages as well.

This weekend is traditionally the time to start decorate your home for Christmas. I exchanged the curtains and tablecloths. I still haven't decided if I should get the fake tree down from the attic also. Maybe.

Yesterday I went to Helsingborg by train and bus to go to the big mall, Väla. I knew already before I started that it would be a very bad idea to go shopping, because it was pay day Friday. I was right. The mall was packed with people. I was on the first bus getting there a few minutes after opening, and the parking lot was already full. The bus was too. It takes focus and determination to get any shopping done in a situation like that. I managed to get some more Christmas presents, and also some things for myself. The mall has been enlarged recently, and there were several interesting new stores. Väla is by far my favorite place to go shopping (in Sweden).

There still isn't any winter weather to speak of here. About 5-8 centigrades, dark and rather wet. Right now there is a severe storm, I have heard about winds up to 30 meters per second on the west coast. I have stayed indoors all day. The authorities have issued a high level warning. They don't want people to go out in this weather, you can get injured by falling trees and other objects.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pay raise

It has been a busy week at work. I had desk duty twice, both Monday and Thursday. Especially the Monday was hard to get through. It required a lot of chocolate to stay alert. We are in the process of a major reorganization, and there was a big staff meeting Wednesday. Several of the bosses are retiring, and they haven't been able to fill their seats. No one wants to take over. There are four vacancies and they are encouraging people to apply. I think about 15 colleagues have been on my case about this, but I have decided not to participate. I will be occupied with the big move for the next two years or so, and I can't take on any additional work. According to the latest info, the shelves at the new storage will be installed in March, so we are making preparations the best we can.

The most interesting thing at work was really the letter stating what my new salary will be. They were very delayed with the negotiations, so I will get the pay raise for all the months of this year with the next salary. It's going to be a pretty impressive amount, and I am of course very happy about this. All the university employees will get a larger sum on Friday next week, and I think this will have effect on the Christmas shopping in town.

Speaking of shopping, I have again been in Lund for this purpose. It went very well. In several cases I took the easy way out and bought gift certificates for Christmas presents. Today I started on a creative endeavor to make my own Christmas ornaments, and it was quite fun until I cut myself on the metal wire. I made hearts with beads on a metal wire. My friend Eva came to visit, and we had a nice chat. I have once again cleared out some clothes and other things, and she got some of it. The rest will be handed over to a charity shop in Lund.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book sale in Lund

The week at work ended Friday afternoon with an interesting workshop. They are planning for a new addition to the library, where we will have climate controlled stacks for the old collection. This is in the very beginning of planning for it, so they invited some staff members and architects to have a discussion. We came up with several different ideas for the location of this building. We'll see if the architects will make use of any of the ideas we presented.

I have come pretty far in my Christmas shopping, surprisingly enough. I have been shopping both downtown Lund and at a mall after work several days this past week. I was in Lund also yesterday, mainly for the second hand book sale arranged by the local Amnesty organization. I don't really need any more books, but it was still fun to see what was offered. I bought one book that I didn't think we had at work, but when I checked the catalogue later, I saw that we did. It doesn't matter, I will just add it as a second copy. The Christmas ornaments were already out for sale at the second hand store, and I got some small things there.

Sunday evenings there is a TV show called "Allt för Sverige" (Everything for Sweden) here. It's a show where ten Americans visit their ancestral homeland and compete in various strange sports like catching the meatball, in order to decide which one will eventually meet his/her living Swedish relatives. It sounds odd, and it is. It has been fascinating to see the Americans experiencing Sweden for the first time. This is a link to their Facebook site (some of it is in Swedish): http://www.facebook.com/AlltforSverige.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend at the summer house

The main event at work this past week was the cake party on Monday afternoon. One of my colleagues, who has an unbeatable record of 51 years on the job, was going to retire. It was the end of an era. He was the one who taught me everything I know about the book collection. He was nervous about leaving me in charge of it now... He has always said that it takes 30 years before you have encountered all the kinds of problems relating to book retrieval there are. I have worked there for 15 years, so he thinks that I have a long way to go. Unfortunately, I have no one to ask for advice now.

It was a four-day work week for me. I took Friday off. Thursday evening, after desk duty, I took the train and bus to the summer house. My mother had been there for a few days already, and my sister and her family arrived the same evening as I. We had a very nice weekend; playing with the kids, eating (a lot), going for ice-cream in town, solving crossword puzzles and visiting the beach. All Saint's Day (Saturday) we put flowers and lit candles at the family graves in Norra Strö cemetery. After this family oriented weekend I took the train home again this afternoon.

It's not that cold here, if you look at the statistics. It's about ten centigrades, very dark and often misty. It's usually colder here at this time of year. I have just removed the furniture from the balcony and brought down the winter coat from the attic, so I'm prepared for a change in the weather. I hope this winter will not be as difficult as the last one.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Interesting lectures

It has been a pretty normal week at work, apart from Thursday afternoon. Over 90 librarians attended an event with several lectures that afternoon. It was very interesting to hear my colleagues talk about their areas of knowledge. One gave a speech on the collection of 2000 year old papyrus pieces written in Greek. She brought in two real papyrus plants to show us also. Another gave a lecture on Queen Kristina's librarians. The queen reigned 1632-1654 and took a huge interest in reading and literary matters. Her librarians travelled around Europe to purchase books for her. She abdicated and moved to Rome in 1655. A part of her manuscript collection is still there (in the Vatican Library). One colleague talked about the book production during the 20th century. That century saw an enormous increase in the number of books published, notably large sets of encyclopedias and reference works. That was the time when the book became a common item in every man's household. Prior to that people had basically owned a hymnal book and an almanac. Some younger colleagues had taken a look at the future prospects for the book. They showed us hand-held electronic readers, where the text rolled on the screen, sometimes even with sound effects. Some books are now produced entirely for this market and are never printed properly. I was very impressed with all the speakers, they did a great job of presenting their pieces. Afterwards we talked and mingled for a while.

This has been a rather slow weekend. At least I haven't been anywhere else than here. It may sound a little strange, but I have actually wrapped quite a few Christmas presents. Next weekend I will meet the other family members at the summer house, and I thought that I would bring the presents with me, for them to take home. I have also looked through my clothes collection again, and thrown out some items.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Winter shoes

It was a moderately busy week at work. It seems to be off-peak season when it comes to requests. I managed to avoid driving the storage round, since I was able to persuade others to do it. The desk duty was busy, though.

The rug I messed up when I dropped the container with curry sauce was difficult to get clean. Even though I put it in the machine, there were still stains. Luckily, I could turn it over on the other side so it doesn't show... I dared to cook another dish with curry sauce today, this time with chicken (salmon last week). It turned out to be very tasty.

This weekend I went to the nearest mall by bus. The trains are cancelled for three weekends due to track maintenance, and they have been replaced by buses. It takes much longer time to travel then, so I don't want to go to Malmö or Lund to go shopping. I hadn't been to the nearest mall for quite a while. There were some new stores, but there are still many spaces empty. There aren't many people here, so it's a good place to go shopping, because you don't have to wait in line. I found a pair of winter shoes, surprisingly enough in the women's section. That almost never happens. I have big and wide feet and usually have to buy men's shoes. I also went to the gigantic hardware store and found that they had brought out the Christmas ornaments. Some of it was last year's, and it was on sale at ridiculous prices. Wrapping paper rolls for 0.80 SEK (10 cents) and candle holders for 1.50 SEK (20 cents). I stocked up a little there.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cleaning weekend

This past week was also busy, but not so exhausting as the previous one. I brought the German intern on the storage round, and he got to see what a heavy job it is carrying crates filled with books. I had desk duty Thursday afternoon, the first session in a long time. Nothing had changed, so there were no surprises. One of the scholars, who has an enormous amount of books in her locker, has finally published her thesis, and we are very happy about this. We hope this means that she will empty her locker soon. She is a demanding library user, and she did thank us for our assistance in her book.

I have been rather active at home this weekend. I have planted new flowers (heather and some silver grey plants) in the box on the balcony. It was very nice weather and I sat out there in the sun wearing a sleeveless top. It was about ten centigrades, but warmer in the sunlight. I have also taken several walks to get groceries (since I don't have a car I have to shop more often). The apartment was in desperate need of attention, so I dusted all of it, moved items to the attic, cleaned the kitchen thoroughly (I dropped a container with curry sauce on the floor), threw away some indoor flowers and went to the recycling place with some cardboard. During the cleaning process I unfortunately slammed my foot into the bathroom door and injured my hand against a metal book case. Not nice, but I will live.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Exhausting week

What a week..... It was the first full week at work for two months and it was terribly busy. People basically lined up at my desk with all their problems. They want to move journals away from the open collection, and asked if I could possibly find some space for them in the stacks. No, I can't. It's packed to the maximum already. The German intern had to find his own way in the stacks, because I had very little time to show him around. We host a visit every year, and it always works out very nicely, because they are very meticulous and learn fast. We have number systems as shelf locations, so they don't need to understand Swedish in order to retrieve books.

Tuesday evening the social club arranged a bowling tournament with dinner at a place in Malmö. It's a tradition, and we always have a great time. The food is a buffet with high quality meat and fish. I go bowling once a year, and it shows. I ended up somewhere in the middle on the result list. One of the guys in stacks won the tournament.

Thursday it was announced who will get the Nobel Prize in literature. It was a Swedish poet this time, Tranströmer. We always check to see how long time it takes from the announcement until his books are requested. It seems like many people have already read his works, because it took several hours and only one person asked for them.

This weekend I have mostly rested. It was an exhausting week and I really needed to take it easy. I did get the apartment vacuumed, though.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Interesting conference

The conference in Göteborg was one of the most interesting ones I have ever attended. It was a two-day event hosted by one of the large foundations, and it dealt with just about every aspect of digitization of old materials you could think of. There were speakers who were archivists, librarians and scholars. The first two categories keeping the material, the last one using it. The scholars gave presentations of their research projects, and explained how they have benefitted from getting the material available online. Statistical and historical comparisons that were impossible before, can now be done fairly easily. It still takes a lot of work, but it has meant a great deal to have the material right on the computer screen (instead of perhaps travelling to the other end of the country). The archivists presented some map projects and the medieval letters online, where the possibility for users to make comments has meant a great deal to get the material correctly transcribed. The librarians talked about the easier access to bibliographic information, and also expressed concern with long term storage and funding. It is very expensive to store these large files and the libraries don't get any extra money for it. I have a long list of books I would like to have scanned, but it is not possible yet, mainly for lack of server space. After the conference we got a guided tour of the university library. We viewed some old and rare books, and then we got to see their brand new (and very expensive) scanner.

Friday evening I went by bus to Borås, an hour east of Göteborg. I spent the weekend with my mother (the others were on vacation). My mother had booked a space for selling some fleamarket-things on the Saturday. It was a disappointment, because there were hardly any people coming. We didn't sell much. We actually had more things with us home than we had when we got there. My mother found some cheap Tupperware items to buy. After a slow Sunday I returned home by train in late evening.

It was hard to get up early today. This is the first full week at work for a long time. Another colleague, who has been away for five months on paternity leave, also returned today. We had some catching up to do. There was also an intern from a library school in Germany coming today. He is here for two weeks and will work in the stacks. I was not prepared for this, but I hope he didn't notice it too much. Even though I can speak English, it's a little difficult to remember the specific words we use for things. It also turned out to be a little strange to speak English with my colleagues, but we did so that the intern wouldn't feel left out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back to work

The end of last week was spent shopping and doing research. On Thursday I went to Ystad by train and noticed that they had changed the schedule, so the trip is now 40 minutes shorter than before. I didn't have to change trains in Malmö, like before, so that was a good thing. Ystad is a nice town, even in the fall. Fewer tourists at this time. On the way back the train stopped at a station near Ikea, so that was the next stop. I got some plastic boxes there and looked at the new collections. There is also a fabric store in that area that sells affordable sewing materials. It's a nice store and I did get some fabric there. We'll see if I get time and opportunity to make something out of it.

Friday I ran errands in town. Saturday I went to the archive to use the databases I don't have access to from home. It answered a few questions for other people. Sunday I went to the library to use the computer and do more research. I am starting to catch up on things now. There are still unanswered requests, but nothing that can't wait.

Yesterday was the first working day for seven weeks. Several of my colleagues sighed with relief when they saw me. They have had a tough time, with staff members sick and lots of incoming requests. I had to attend two meetings right away, none of them gave any real results. The piles of papers on my desk were looked at, but not processed. These two days I have mainly talked to people and straightened out some problems. Other people's problems, that is. It was slightly annoying to realize that I had forgotten the entry code to one of the locked book collections, but I guess it means that I have really been on vacation, both physically and mentally.

It will just be two working days this week, because tomorrow I'm going to Göteborg to attend a conference. I will take the opportunity to see my mother again this weekend, since it's close to Borås.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A week in Borås

There hasn't been any activity here for a while. I have been busy! The day after I came home I had to go to work to use the computer, and my colleagues were quick to tell me that they missed me tremendously. There were a few piles of papers on my desk. I ignored them. On the 10th I went to Hässleholm to meet my mother, and then we had arranged a meeting with two relatives I don't remember ever having met. This is on my mother's mother's side. They seemed interested in family history and I handed over some documents containing info on that side. They also gave me a research task that I don't think I can solve. One of their ancestors (on another side) went to America unknown year, leaving his family behind. His name is common and I don't think I will crack this one. But I will of course try.

After a few days of preparations, we packed my mother's car full of her belongings and then we drove up to her apartment in Borås. We spent a few days unpacking and organizing everything there. My mother is a volunteer at a large thrift store two days a week (minimum), so I joined her during the opening hours for that. We measured fabric and lace, tried to help the women decide how many balls of yarn they would need for a cardigan for instance, and tried to find matching ribbons for whatever the fabric was. No one had done much in that section during the summer, so we were very busy filling up the boxes and shelves with new items also. It was fun to hear what people would do with the fabric they bought, and we told several of them to come back and show us the result. I can understand that my mother likes it there, it's definitely her area of expertise.

During my visit to Borås I also went to several second hand stores (my mother was keen on seeing the newly added items), cheered on a greyhound owned by my mother's friend at a dog race (he came in 4th), went shopping at a store for plus sizes (no, it wasn't necessary, but rather affordable) and spent some time with my sister and her somewhat sick family (two of them were not well at all). This visit I couldn't stay at my sister's house (I didn't want to get sick), so I had to endure my mother's loud snoring a whole week. I survived, as did she (I snore too)...

I arrived back home two days ago. I still have vacation, I start working on Monday. Yesterday I stopped by at work to do some research and to book some train tickets for a conference next week. I talked to my boss and she was not happy about my absence. She implied that everything crashes when I'm not there. I can't see that connection completely, I have to say.

Today I made use of one of the train tickets sent to me as consolation for all the delays this past winter. It's a day of free travel, so I have been in both Helsingborg and Malmö. I have checked out the new collections in the clothing stores, of course. It seems like the fall colors are mainly brown, orange and yellow. My colors, even though I didn't find anything worth buying. My couch is still overloaded with clothes, most of them I got in the US, but there are also two loads of laundry added now. I will have to start sorting pretty soon. It will be interesting to see if I can squeeze it into my closets.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back in Sweden

I have returned safely to my home in Sweden early this morning. The last day in New York it was raining very much, so I skipped the idea of going to a show. Wednesday morning I checked out and went to the airport. The first flight (5 hours) was not even half full, so there was lots of room. I got three seats to myself. The second flight was very full, however, but it was shorter (3 hours). Everything went well. I arrived in Copenhagen at 6 AM local time. It is now afternoon and I'm trying to stay awake until this evening. If I make it to 8 PM it will be 32 hours. We'll see if there is enough chocolate and pepsi to keep my eyes open that long. (The record is close to 40 hours).

I have unpacked and all I'm saying is that I will not need to go clothes shopping for a few years. At least not for summer clothes.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one I met during my visit to the US; for driving me places, housing me, showing me around, feeding me and letting me take part of your lives! It was a great experience, I have had a wonderful time!

Saturday I'm going to the summer house to visit my mother and then some time next week I will help her move back to her apartment in Borås.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New York City visit

Saturday Joyce and I went shopping at several thrift stores in Rockford. I found a pair of jeans for 2.25 USD (18 kr), and some small things. We had lunch at a very Swedish style restaurant, Stockholm Inn. They had of course meatballs on the menu, however I did not try them. During the day we drove by several places offering Swedish pancakes, so the heritage is still evident in this town, even though it's a long time ago the Swedes dominated the area. Since it was raining quite a lot, we spent the afternoon at the natural history museum, where we saw the displays with First Peoples, dinosaurs, Illinois wildlife and different types of rocks. After a very nice chocolate cake at a riverfront restaurant, Joyce brought me back to Nancy's place in the evening.

Sunday it was time to leave. I got a lift to the airport in the morning. The flight to New York went well, JetBlue even serves snacks onboard (none of the others does). Arrived at JFK early afternoon. It took a long time to travel to Manhattan by subway. I found the Cosmopolitan Hotel right away. The subway station is literally outside the door from it. Checked in, but only dropped off my luggage, and then took the subway up to the Garment District. Went shopping at the world's largest store, Macy's. Also looked in other stores, of course.

Monday I got up early in the morning and walked down to Battery Park and took the ferry to Ellis Island. The ferry makes a stop also at the Statue of Liberty, but I stayed on the boat. I did take a few photos of the statue, though. The museum at Ellis Island is quite interesting. The displays depict every possible angle on the subject of immigration; statistics, quota laws, passenger manifests, countries of origin, reasons for leaving, reasons for immigrating, language difficulties, name changes, items brought on the trip, the ships, the receiving process, where the immigrants ended up and what they worked with and much else. The temporary exhibit was about Galveston, Texas as an immigrant port of entry. I have been to Ellis Island before, but it was worth a second visit. I returned to Manhattan on the ferry in the afternoon. I walked up Broadway about 15 blocks, but after Chinatown I took the subway even further up, to Times Square. This is where the majority of the tourists are. This is also where most of the big stores and souvenir shops are too. There is an incredible energy here, there are so many people and so many flashing billboards that it can be overwhelming. It was a national holiday (Labor Day) so there were not many shows. The ones offered I had already seen, so instead I had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe and then walked down to Macy's for a second shopping round there.

This morning (Tuesday) I took the subway out to Brooklyn. I remembered from another visit that there was a mall right above a station, Atlantic Center. It is raining quite a lot, so this was the best alternative. Did some purchases at the Avenue store. Had lunch at Applebee's. Took the subway up to 42nd Street on Manhattan and got soaked when I walked one block over to the Public Library. The hotel doesn't have any computers for the guests, so that's why I'm here. And also to do some research in the genealogy room. Found some small details.

Tomorrow it's time to go home, sadly enough. It has been a great trip, definitely.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mostly shopping

The last blog entry was delayed due to technical issues with a computer. This will be a rather short entry relating the events the last few days.

Wednesday I was dropped off at the train station and took the train to Chicago in the morning. I spent the day doing research at the Newberry Library again. I got quite a lot of help from the librarian there, she just wouldn't give up. Got several new details about people I'm researching.

Thursday and Friday Nancy and I went shopping at just about every thrift store there is in the local area. She found lots to buy, but I had to limit my purchases because of weight restrictions on the next flight. I got some Christmas ornaments. We also went to see a movie, The Help. I have heard people here talk about both the book and the movie, and I'm glad I got to see it. It was definitely worth seeing. It gave an interesting picture of the situation in the Southern USA in the 1960s. The Help refers to the black domestic servants working for the wealthy white families. A young white woman wants to write about the way the maids are being treated by their employees, and the stories she gets to hear finally end up in a book.

Friday evening Nancy, Rich and I went to Rockford. We met Nancy's sister Joyce and her husband Pat at a restaurant. After a very nice meal, I went with Joyce and Pat to the festival area in downtown Rockford. (Nancy and Rich returned to their place). There were live bands playing at three different stages, food vendors, carousels and lots of people out having a good time. We listened to a blues band and a country band, before we headed home to Joyce and Pat's place late evening.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Several museum visits

After a short visit to one of Jeane's friends in the morning, it was time to say goodbye to the Hagertys after lunch Saturday. That's when Nancy and some of her family members stopped by to pick me up. We found the park area where the paddleboat left from in St Charles and got onboard. It was a one hour river cruise on the Fox River, and it was very nice. My kind of boat trip, definitely. The three-year old boy also seemed happy, especially when the motorboats pulling waterskiers went by at a high speed. Later we went to a restaurant further north to meet the rest of the family. We also handed back the youngest ones to their parents again.

Sunday we got up early and drove up to Wisconsin. It was a different kind of landscape there, farmland and quite a lot of forest. We ended up in Dodgeville because we were looking for a restaurant. We passed by a sign there that said flea market, so we located a large hall. People were selling lots of memorabilia, ornaments, old books, collectibles and a lot of junk. Managed to leave without buying anything. We had lunch at Country Kitchen in the same village. The food was great, it might even have been the best bacon cheeseburger I have ever had, actually.

In the afternoon we went to a place outside Spring Green, where the architect Frank Lloyd Wright's home was open to visitors. The only way to get access to it was to join a guided tour, so that's what we did. Mr Wright had designed several buildings in the area. We got to see Hillside and Taliesin. It was a very interesting tour, the guide was very knowledgeable and told quite a few anecdotes about the excentric and talented architect. Wright's own home Taliesin was built on the side of a hill, with a wonderful view of the rolling green hills. He had experimented with design in his home, so some of the interiors seemed unfinished or done in haste.

In the evening we checked into a motel nearby and then went to another small village to a restaurant called The Feed Mill. The chicken was very tasty.

Monday we spent most of the day at The House on the Rock, which is also in the area of Spring Green. It was another architect/builder, Alex Jordan, who designed it. The house is built around a big rock formation. Mr Jordan had an endless energy, and he kept adding on to his creation. He collected just about everything also. His home is now a museum in three parts and we saw all of it. The view from the house was great, you could see miles away. There was an enormous amount of items in the museum parts; over 200 dollhouses, the world's largest indoor carousel (he had built it himself), old weapons, music boxes of all kinds (even large orchestras that played if you inserted a token in the box), church organs, painted glass windows, sculptures, signs, Faberge eggs, Tiffany lamps, models of ships, airplanes, trains and circuses, ivory carvings, crown jewels, a huge steamship engine, curiosities and memorabilia. I have probably forgotten some things in this list - there was so much to see that it was overwhelming. Incredible place. In the evening we arrived at Nancy's sister's house outside Rockford. We were treated to a very nice chicken dinner there. We were tired and came back home later that same evening.

Tuesday (today) we started a little later. Nancy and I went to their daughter's place at noon. The three of us spent the entire afternoon at the Field Museum in Chicago with two infants and a 3 year old. The latter required two visits to the dinosaurs before he was happy about his visit. The Field Museum is a natural history museum with large halls and very many items on display. I saw the parts on gem stones, evolution and North American native peoples. Very large and informative displays, but perhaps a little boring (and dusty).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Visit to Maywood

Wednesday I got onboard the same train as the previous two days, but this time I got off at Maywood. It was once a rather prosperous area with mixed population, but is now a poor neighborhood with very few white people. I think I was the only one there that day. I walked over to the library and asked for old volumes of the Maywood Herald. It was the local newspaper, which started in 1894. I went through a few of the early volumes to look for information about the Swedes who once lived here. It was a very local paper. There were entries like: Mrs Tate entertained a circle of friends last Friday evening. One other: Miss Nellie Olson is currently visiting her sister in Dubuque, Alabama. Also found a note about a banquet held at the Swedish church, and several of my relatives were mentioned. Incredibly interesting, but it was very time consuming to search the pages. I had to continue on to Chicago in the afternoon (because of the train schedule), and spent a couple of hours downtown. It was very hot and humid, so I didn't do much. The high-rise fountains in Grant Park gave some cooling shade. Returned to Geneva in the evening. Jim's chili was very tasty, and so was the fudge ice-cream.

Thursday we went to a mall in the afternoon. It was almost deserted, there were very few stores left. Maybe eight or ten in a large two story building. I got two tops at C J Banks. Jeane found the best bargain, a top for three dollars. On the way back we went to Colonial, a restaurant founded by Swedish immigrants in 1901. It was Ice-cream Happy Hour, so we got our sundaes half price off. I got a huge glass filled with ice-cream, fudge, chocolate sauce, nuts, brownie pieces and whipped cream. Delicious!

Today (Friday), we went to the Kane county recorder to get copies of some death certificates. Sadly, these didn't shed any light on the background of the people we are researching, but at least we got causes of death. We then continued on to another mall area. I had both a gift certificate and a discount coupon at Kohl's, so I did some shopping there. Looked in two other stores, but didn't get much.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chicago visit

The flight to Chicago went well. Even though one cabin crew member got a meltdown and insisted on the fact that it was a flight with service to Calgary. Her colleagues corrected her loudly and with arms waving. After about an hour in the air we landed at the right airport, O'Hare. I was picked up by my mother's second cousin Jeane and her son-in-law.

Jim, Jeane and I had a lot to catch up on, so we spent most of the weekend talking about family and viewing old photos. I have also learned several new words, but I'm not certain I will get any use for them. Maybe I can find way to include "goopy" in a sentence in the future, who knows?

Jeane is in the process of compiling her and her husband's family history in a large file. It's an impressive work with lots of names & dates, along with anecdotes and pictures. Someday I should probably do the same with my family history.

Monday morning I got a ride to the train station in Geneva. I got on the 8.17 train to Chicago. Since the research library is closed on Mondays, I spent the day shopping. Borders bookstore is having a closing-down sale, and I made some purchases there (not books, but calendars). Incredibly cheap. I couldn't resist the sale at Macy's either, so I got three dresses there. I can never get that affordable clothes at home (unless it's second hand). Most of what I have bought are summer outfits, so it will take a while before I get to wear them at home. (Since I didn't bring that many clothes with me, I wear the new outfits here, though).

Monday evening we got a visit from their grandson Derek with wife and a very active six-year old son. We sat in the living room talking about Sweden (of course) and the town of Lund. Very nice to see them.

This morning I got on the early train again and arrived in Chicago just before 10. I walked maybe five blocks and took the bus up to the Newberry library. It's a private research library open to the public. They have an extensive genealogy collection. I have been there many times before. I spent about six hours there, looking for more details about various relatives. Found some more info, but nothing worth reporting. It started to rain heavily, so I couldn't go out to have lunch. I ended up eating a small bag of potato chips and some peanut butter candy for lunch. Very inappropriate, but it kept me alive and awake enough to continue the research in the afternoon. When I left the library, there were no buses for about 20 minutes, so I gave that up and took a taxi to the train station instead. Speaking of food, the American "kebab" I had to eat this evening was chicken skewer with boiled rice and sweet potato. A little different than a Swedish one (which is more like slices of meat wrapped in a thin bread). But very tasty!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Visit to Scandia

Thursday morning Ron, Mary and I went to visit cousin Kathy in Minneapolis. She was unable to attend the family reunion, so we went to her place instead. We brought lunch with us. We had a good time eating and talking. She told anecdotes about life on the farm in the old days. After this, we continued on to an institution in Swedish America, Ingebretsen's. It's a store that sells every imaginable Scandinavian souvenir, textiles, glass, food, handcraft and much else. They have a counter with fresh meats and fish too. Ron got a bucket with pickled herring. We had dinner at home, and then Ron and I went to a couple of clothing stores. I did some shopping again, even though my suitcase is already too heavy. It's hard to resist such bargains.

This morning I went to the post office to ask what it would cost to send a package to Sweden. I packed a parcel that Ron will mail to me later. Lunch on the porch was risotto and vegetables, with the herring. It was very tasty. Then we drove up to Scandia, to a place called Gammelgarden. It's an outdoor museum with houses from the Swedish settler's time (1850s). There was a small church, immigrant house, vicarage, barn, cottage and a visitor center with souvenir shop and assembly hall. All made of wood. They had tried to keep the buildings in the shape they were 150 years ago. Ron and I took the guided tour of the place. Very interesting to see. On the way back we drove over a bridge and into Wisconsin. The only reason for this was the fact that I had never visited that state. Wisconsin and Minnesota look very similar, both states have farmland with quite large areas of forest. We came back to the house in Stillwater in the afternoon. After changing shoes I walked perhaps 100 meters down the street and 157 steps down a steep hill, and ended up in the center of town. It's really close. I walked up and down the main street, looking in the touristy shops. There were mostly antique stores, restaurants and places selling candy and souvenirs. I didn't buy anything (!), but it was still fun to see what is regarded to be an "antique" item here. The 157 steps were a lot harder to walk up than down.

Tomorrow I'm going to Chicago to visit Jeane and her family!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lots of shopping

Sunday we had a barbeque in the back yard. Chrissy's and Karen's brother Bill with family came over and we sat outside and talked and ate very tasty hamburgers. Their house is pretty close to the airport and the planes came in low, causing some noise. I got a very nice present, Bill's wife had made a handbag of precisely the colors I happen to like, and it was filled with Minnesota souvenirs and candy. Since the siblings have Swedish ancestry also on their mother's side, I got curious and asked if they had done any research, and they hadn't. So I got the brief information and logged on to the Swedish genealogy database remote. It was very easy to find their origin, the family had immigrated in 1890 from a small place outside Goteborg. I searched for the family name on the internet and came up with a website for the very family - in Sweden! They actually have an organized website where all the ancestors were listed, along with information on the descendants, even the ones who emigrated. The same family photo Chrissy has was posted on this website. It was incredible, you never have such luck in this kind of research! We sat up late that night talking about family history and looking at photos.

Monday was a great shopping day. Karen, Chrissy and I had breakfast at a restaurant, and then the shopping spree began. I cannot even remember how many stores we went to. They knew of all the second hand and thrift stores in the area. I made some huge bargains. I got several pairs of jeans very cheaply, and several other pieces of clothes, a handbag and two watches. It's the end of the summer and most stores have sales. Some even have sales on the new fall collections. That's how desperate they are here.

Since I was out of cash (for some strange reason), I had to get some more from the cash machine Tuesday morning. Then we went to Albertville north of Minneapolis. There is a large area with outlet stores. I did some shopping also here, but not as much as yesterday. Three tops and a pair of capri pants. Afterwards we went to town to get some pizza and brought it to Bill's house to eat it. We sat in the livingroom and talked about Sweden.

This morning I said goodbye to the relatives and then Chrissy gave me a ride up to Mounds View. I visited a genealogy friend named Randy that I have helped with research. He has a very Swedish style of interior decoration, which was interesting to see. After the guided tour and exchange of souvenirs, he and I went out to have lunch at International House of Pancakes. I had some very tasty pancakes with strawberry sauce. We also went to a few second hand stores, so I got some more clothes. In the afternoon he drove me to Ron and Mary in Stillwater. They belong to the Nelson family. They have an absolutely lovely home with a wonderful view of the St Croix River. My camera will never make any justice to that view. We were treated to salad for dinner and then Randy returned home. This evening Ron brought me to yet another thrift store called Goodwill. Got a top and some Christmas ornaments, and it was even cheaper than expected. The store had 25% off for seniors today, so Ron acted as a purchaser on my behalf.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Family reunion

Friday I spent the morning at my friend Diane's place. We were talking about libraries and the changing communities in Minneapolis. Her cat Licorice kept her distance, but was still curious. At noon Donna came and picked me up for further transportation to a place northwest of Mille Lacs Lake. She and Verlin have a camper there at a camping site, that they use as a summer cabin. It was a large place of more than 800 spaces for campers, in a wooded area. In the evening, we went back to Milaca for the family reunion dinner. It was at a restaurant where we got a room to ourselves. There were about 20 first cousins and invited guests. We had a really nice time talking and eating. I had met almost all of them before, and got most of the names right (to my surprise). The new guests included a couple from Iowa, who belong to the Johnson side (Frank Nelson's wife). They had been to Sweden, so we talked some about that. Before the evening was over, we had heard an Ole and Lena-joke, written cards for the ones who were unable to attend and heard Delores speak about the benefits of hugs.

After spending the night at the camper we took the scenic route alongside the western shore of Mille Lacs. Very pretty area, and it looked very much like a Swedish lake. We arrived at the park in Milaca just before noon. The family reunion potluck lunch was a great experience. There was so much tasty food; salads, fruit, "glorified rice", ham, chicken dishes, meatballs, herring, rye bread and much else. The dessert table was also large. There were about 60 adults attending and about ten kids. I think I got to talk to most of them. Several wanted to visit Sweden, and I encouraged them. They had lots of questions about Sweden and our common ancestors, and I did my best to answer. I had a great time at the reunion. They had a drawing for a wooden carving that Ron had made, and the six table cloths with Sweden's provincial flowers that I brought were also given away. After almost four hours of eating and chatting, I went with Donna's nieces Karen and Chrissy to their house in St Louis Park (western Minneapolis). We were greeted by the four dogs. Later Karen's husband Jacob also came home. We enjoyed the bbq chicken he made later in the evening.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Arrived in Minneapolis

I arrived in Minneapolis Tuesday evening. It was two long and boring flights with Icelandair, but everything worked really well. The hotel is a short distance from the airport and the Mall of America. This was intentional. I have spent the past two days shopping, both at the Mall and downtown. It has been very nice to see the collections here. I have found way too many clothes. Also a pair of sandals. It will be a problem to transport it all. I hope I can unload most of the souvenirs this weekend to make more room in my suitcase. Tomorrow morning I'm going to visit a friend north of Minneapolis and then Donna will come to get me for the family reunion dinner in Milaca in the evening.

The hotel I'm staying at seems to be a pretty good one. The pool is nice, I have been swimming a little every morning (totally alone). I accidentally booked one of the better rooms, so the breakfast (fresh fruit and berries) is included, there are unlimited free soft drinks, a light evening meal (very nice cheeses and vegetables) and the room is very large. I'm definitely not complaining.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Visit in Vittsjö

The visit to my mother's place was nice, and rather hectic, as usual. Friday we ran some errands in Åhus and also had a tasty lunch at that buffet restaurant we found back in July. Great food, incredible baked salmon.

Saturday we went to Simrishamn by bus again. For basically the same reason as last time. There was also a handcraft market that we looked at. We made a few purchases at the fleamarket, my mother got a top for 10 SEK (1.4 USD), for instance. I found two candleholders that belong to the collector's china I have. I have never had the candleholders, so the 10 SEK per piece they asked for them quickly changed hands. It is no longer possible to buy it new, so if you find it in a second hand store it is always very expensive.

Sunday we started early and went by car to a small place in northern Skåne named Vittsjö. Some relatives on the Mattisson side have a summer house in the countryside up there. It used to be the family farm, so there were barns and other small houses also. We had lunch there and we talked a lot about family history, of course. We also went for a long walk in the forest and picked wild raspberries. They brought us on a tour of the town, so we got to see the cemetery, local stores, the houses the previous generations had lived in and the pretty lakes and forests. Very nice visit. It was rather late when my mother dropped me off at the train station in Hässleholm.

Today I have mostly been packing. I think I can squeeze everything into the suitcase. I also went to work to do some last minute genealogy. My colleagues couldn't help themselves, they shared today's problems with me. Nothing I could solve, though.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to the airport for further transportation to Minneapolis. So the next message here will be written from there.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vacation - finally

Last Saturday I spent at home, trying to get all the things together for the upcoming trip. I didn't think I would bring that much with me this time, but it looks like I'm wrong. It's going to be a heavy suitcase.

Sunday I went to Lund, to the trunk fleamarket and the mall. Not much of interest to report, just needed a few small things (a new archive folder, for instance). These past three days have been hectic at work. I had to get everything (and everyone) ready for my long absence. I wrote lists of things my colleagues have to remember to do while I'm gone. We had a meeting today to talk things through. I have faith in them, and I'm sure they will manage. I think there are enough staff members, at least. They (jokingly, I hope) asked what my phone number would be in the US.....

The past few weeks I have received a few requests for research, so tomorrow I was thinking of going to the archive in the morning. Later I will travel to my mother's place for the weekend. Hope the sunny weather will last the next few days.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Visit to Ängelholm

Last weekend I did even more trips in the province. Saturday it was raining, but I still took the train to Ängelholm in the northwest. When I got there it stopped raining, so that was convenient. My mother had been there last summer and recommended it, so that's why I visited. She was right, Ängelholm is a very nice town. There was a farmer's market in the main square, a fleamarket in another square, a marching band entertained, there were small shops with a little different selections than the stores in the big cities and it was a pretty environment. There was a fabric store that was going out of business, so I made a huge bargain on fabric with dalahorses on. There was a pamphlet at the tourist information with all the second hand stores marked on a map, so I went to several of them and bought a few small things. A very nice visit.

Sunday I intended on visiting the trunk fleamarket in Helsingborg, but it was raining quite a lot (not so lucky as the day before), so I took the bus to the mall at Väla instead. It's the end of the summer, so many stores had a lot on sale. Only got a top and some souvenirs, though.

The week at work has been fairly busy. We are trying to get a few projects done while there aren't that many visitors. The only department that has a lot of visitors is the manuscript reading room. Lots of people come here to do research during summer, it's genealogists and scholars who are able to come here only during this season. They travel from all over Scandinavia (sometimes from much further away) to read old books and handwritten material.

A note about the weather: it's raining! A lot! Not very pleasant for those who have their vacation right now, but I don't complain that much. My mother actually thinks it's great, because she picks wild raspberries and blueberries in huge amounts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Visit to Simrishamn

I spent last weekend at the summer house. My mother and I went to Simrishamn by bus on the Saturday. The main reason being the large fleamarket in the park there. Very crowded bus, there were other things going on in that area also. We made a few purchases, I got a new wallet, for instance. Several of my mother's acquaintances were standing there selling things, so it took a long time to go through it all. She had to stop at a few places to chat. We also walked up and down the main street, looking in the expensive touristy shops. We had a lovely buffet lunch at an Italian-style deli. It was a very nice visit in Simrishamn, but we were pretty tired when we came home.

Sunday we got visitors for lunch, and we had a nice time eating out on the deck. It was not the best weather, but we endured. In the afternoon I returned to my apartment again. It took much longer time than it should have, the train service is not that reliable, apparently. That delay is going to get me another free day pass. If the train is more than 20 minutes delayed, they have to give you some sort of compensation, and it's usually a free day pass. Sometimes I don't bother about sending in the form, but this time I did.

The week at work so far has been slow. There are actually too many people working in the stacks this week. So I have spent most of the time trying to clear my desk and get those things done I never have time for during the semesters. Sort documents and file them, for instance. Very boring, but I really need to get it done.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Visit to Ystad

I don't seem to get much writing done here. I'm busy with preparations for the trip and then I make visits to other cities after work, so I'm not at home much. This Monday I totally missed my laundry time (I went shopping in Malmö instead), so I only got an hour and a half to do all of it. I have been in Helsingborg and the mall outside Lund also.

Last Saturday I made it to Ystad, a very nice town on the south coast of Skåne. It's an old town with small houses in medieval style, where several buildings actually are from the 13th and 14th centuries. There are about 300 old timber frame houses that are typical of the Skåne region. I visited the center of town, where there are small shops and a fleamarket at one of the squares. I also went to the monastery, which was built in the mid 13th century. I walked through the rose-, cabbage- and herbgardens right next to it. Very nice place. There was a flute concert that I listened to for a while also.

Sunday my mother arrived in Lund by train in the morning and we walked down to the trunk fleamarket area in the southern part of town. It was very crowded. My mother had brought a trolley on wheels for all her purchases. It was almost full when we were done a couple of hours later. The weather was hot and sunny, and I started to get burnt so I bought a large scarf to cover my shoulders. Later I also found a nice white linen jacket for 25 SEK (=4 USD). We had lunch in Lund and since it was rather early in the day, we took the bus to the mall Nova. My mother had never been there before. We just browsed through most of the stores and didn't get much. In the afternoon we returned by train to our respective homes.

The weather is not hot and sunny anymore, unfortunately. It has been raining a lot and it's pretty cold. But my mother is happy, because there are lots of blueberries in the forest. Also mushrooms.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Projects at work

There were a few things on my desk at work this Monday, but it wasn't anything urgent. During the summer we try to do some projects and one of the extra staff members had finished checking the entire open collection for missing books. She wasn't happy about the results. Of 300 missing books she had found four. This week I also instructed three students in the art of making the compact shelving system at a storage function the way you want it to. Not particularly successful, the technician had to come and fix the lights in the ceiling and then the shelves got stuck several times. But the students were persistent and managed to start on the project I had given them. They are moving journals from an open collection into storage, because these journals are now scanned and availabale online, so no one uses the physical volumes much.

I had desk duty twice this week and there were few visitors, but I got some paper work done while I sat there. There is an endless amount of documents they send you that you should read through, so I did some of that. We are re-organizing the library and there are lots of documents relating to that right now. We are turning the information-, circulation- and reception desks into one large desk in a few months.

One interesting thing at work happened today. I passed by the information desk looking for a misplaced book when I was asked by the attending librarian to help out with a question. First, the visitor asked for family information for a well known person who lived in the early 19th century. So we tried to find that, but then he said he was related to this person, but couldn't find out how. He based this on the fact that they had the same last name. (This is the moment when experienced researchers sigh and roll their eyes, but I tried to hide it). So we started with the visitor's family instead. It is rather easy for me to do it, since we have access to most records online. He was clueless, he had never done research before. So I was nice and found his ancestors several generations back until he understood that there could be no connection to the famous person.

Since I have the summer pass to ride the trains and buses, I have made some short excursions this week. Mainly to shopping centers. I'm looking for souvenirs to bring on my trip in August. Tomorrow I was thinking I would try to get to Ystad, if it doesn't rain. Sunday perhaps my mother (who also has a summer pass) will come to visit.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Midsummer and fleamarket

The day before the Midsummer holiday was a really bad day in the history of local public transportation. It's a day when enormous amounts of people travel and there were so many problems. The train I was on was lead onto the wrong track and had to return to Lund for another attempt to go north. It sounds crazy, but it's not the first time it happens. When we got close to Kristianstad, the train stopped out in nowhere and we were told that all trains had a red light due to technical problems. I am extremely experienced and spent most of the waiting time half asleep. I had a place to sit and the air conditioning functioned. You can't have higher standards than that.

The Midsummer weekend was nice, the food (herring) tasted really well and we had the family oriented kind of holiday. My nephew insisted on the fact that we should build Hagrid's house of lego blocks, so we did. It was complicated, but turned out great. Even a few spiders and some of the characters from the Harry Potter movies were included. Apart from this I spent as much time as possible just relaxing (often in the folding chair on the deck). The strawberries tasted also great, by the way.

The work with the fleamarket at Furuboda started Monday and ended Saturday. There were lots of items that we needed to sort through and place on different tables. We organize the items in a rather detailed way, we decide on the prices beforehand. So the items on one table all cost the same amount (it's easier for the one selling). The actual sale was on the Friday. There was some last minute panic when three people didn't show up as planned, but we made it. I sold books and paintings. My sister sold lamps, and my mother the items on the 20 SEK table. Selling books went really well, we got comments from the antique book dealers about the high quality of the assortment. We have no way of arranging this, the books (and all other things) come from people who have given all their belongings to Furuboda in accordance with their wills. Some of the better things were auctioned off, but it didn't go that well this year. There were some paintings and pieces of furniture that were sent to an auction house also, I hope they will do better. The fleamarket was open also a few hours yesterday, and we sold some more things then. It had rained very much during the night and the items outside were soaking wet. The buyers got big discounts on the things that were left.

During this past week we have also celebrated my mother's birthday with a cake, been in Åhus for a delicious buffet meal, been in town to check out the sales (no purchases!), made our own elderberry lemonade and taken a bicycle ride to pick wild strawberries in the forest. My sister and I also managed to visit two fleamarket stores in Åhus yesterday, and we both found nice things. I got several egg cups and a few old books with cookie recipes. My sister and her family went home yesterday.

When my mother and I woke up today we noticed that there was no water..... Not good. We found out after a while that there was a water pipe leak in Åhus. I still don't know if they have fixed it, but I hope so. It's difficult to manage without such a basic thing as fresh water. I left in the morning and came back to my apartment in the early afternoon. It's 30 centigrades on my balcony but most of the flowers are still alive. The weather changed a few days ago, so it's now more like a Swedish summer - hot and humid. The messages in my work e-mail were not that disturbing, but I don't know what is waiting for me on my desk tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Upcoming holiday

There have been more requests this week at work than the same week last year, and we don't really know why. It's mainly scholars and teachers at the university who ask for material during the summer. They don't like the shorter opening hours, but we wouldn't be able to keep open like normal with so few staff members. This is the last summer before we have to start moving those 40 000 meters of books to a new storage. So this is the last chance to organize the collection so that it will be possible to move it without making too many mistakes. This week I got three extra people (students) to help out with one project. I have also engaged some of my colleagues in the other 16 projects we have to finish before the end of the year. It will be interesting to see if we can make it.

Desk duty today is not particularly busy. Three visitors and they manage without my assistance. It's the last working day before the Midsummer holiday and there aren't many people here. This evening I'm travelling by train and bus to the summer house. My mother and sister + family are on their way there also. Next week we will arrange a flea market at Furuboda, so we will be very busy. I will not have access to a computer, so there will not be any entries here for a while.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer sales

Desk duty on Thursday was slow, but interesting. A visitor from Ireland had challenging questions and she was really happy with the things she had found at our library. It's hard to believe that we would actually have something handwritten in the Irish language, but we did.

Friday afternoon I finally had time to do what I should have done several weeks ago - book my plane tickets. I had to use the computer at work for this, my own is not working properly. So I needed free time, and even though I was disturbed five times or so I managed to go through all the necessary processes. You not only have to book tickets, you also have to apply for entry to the US. It's a questionnaire online you have to fill in and then pay a fee. I booked a hotel room also. Arrival is August 9 in Minneapolis. I'm staying at the hotel (conveniently located close to the mall) for three nights and then I will be attending the Nelson family reunion in the Milaca area. I will probably leave to go to Chicago around August 16. Departure date is September 7 from New York. Nothing is really booked the last part of the visit.

A few days ago the summer pass on trains and buses was introduced, so now I can go anywhere in Skåne on one card. It's very affordable, two months of travel in the entire region for the cost of one normal monthly pass (restricted distance) for me. I have already been to two different malls, because the summer sales started this week. There was also a trunk flea market in Lund today. I haven't bought much, though. Just a sleeveless top and some socks. And a brand new backpack at the flea market.

The weather isn't that good here. Around 18-19 centigrades, windy and often rain showers. I hope it improves soon, we don't want the midsummer holiday next weekend to be like this.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Library meeting in Stockholm

I got out of bed early Sunday morning to take the train to Stockholm. I arrived at 3 in the afternoon. Walked around in town for a while first before getting to my relatives' apartment. There were other visitors there, so it was a full house. They left later, though. We had dinner and talked about recent trips (they had been to the island of Åland).

Monday all of us went shopping in different places. Or maybe not so different, we discovered afterwards. I had been walking down the same road as Inger about the same time, but we never saw each other. It was fun to see the stores and collections, but I didn't get much. It seems like quite a few of the second hand stores overprice their goods. It's in fashion now to buy vintage items, so they charge very much for it, sadly (for me). I only got an egg cup made of wood. In the evening we were invited to the daughter of the house, Åsa. She has a cute dog that required our attention. We had a nice time chatting and eating cookies also.

This was a short visit, so Tuesday morning I said goodbye and walked off to the subway. The university is only one station away, so it was a three minute ride or something like that. I knew where the library was from previous conferences, so it was easy to get there. We were seven people who got a viewing of the brand new (and extremely expensive) scanner. It was noisy and seemed to have problems flipping the pages of even the easiest book. Not so impressive, in other words. We also got to see the old and rare collection and I'm probably damaged by my job, because I didn't think much of it. In my trade the only thing that matters is that the patron gets the requested book. What the book looks like, how old it is, or what illuminated illustrations there are in it don't interest me particularly. Okey, the one with real gold illustrations was a magnificent example of incredible craftmanship from about 20 years after the printing press was invented, I can admit to that. After a very nice lunch (roast beef) we had the actual meeting. We managed to agree on several things so there was some progress. We have different types of collections that we want to digitize and we discussed what the priorities should be. After the meeting I had a little time to go sightseeing before the train departed at 5 in the afternoon. I came home at 10 PM. A really long day that got even longer when my mother called me at 10.30 PM and wouldn't stop talking until I told her (twice) that I actually had to go to bed.

Today was a rather bad day in the stacks. I was tired, first of all. There were some unsolved tasks from the past two days (this I counted on). The number of requests was quite high for being mid June. I also had a meeting with a shelving construction company, so my new colleague had to drive the storage round. She had bad luck with several requests, and it meant that I had to drive off after lunch to get some things done. Locate the entry card she had forgotten in a transportation box, for instance. The day ended nicely though, with a strawberry cake to celebrate a colleague who had turned 50.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Picnic in the park

Wednesday evening the social club at work had a picnic in the city park. We arranged a boules tournament. We were only about 15 people (plus one very cute dog), but we had great fun. We also had a catered meal and drinks. I'm glad we have access to a car, because it was a heavy job to get everything delivered there. I was on the team that ended up last in the tournament, but it didn't really matter. The winners got books as prizes (what else)! We were lucky with the weather also, about one hour after we finished it started to rain quite a lot.

Yesterday morning we had the "end of the season" coffee and sandwiches. It's already summer, and it's hard to believe. Time really flies. This week the high school students graduate, and they do this in a very loud manner. They rent a truck and a very powerful CD-player and then they drive around town singing and shouting "school is out". So this week I make sure I stay away from the center of town, it's just too noisy.

On Sunday I will make one more trip to Stockholm. The meeting at the university library there is Tuesday, so I have a day and a half to visit with my relatives and do some sightseeing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trip to Copenhagen

Last week was shorter than usual, because we had a holiday Thursday. It was Ascension Day and the library was closed. Friday very few wanted to work. Just three people in total in the stacks, but we managed. Saturday I went to Ikea in Helsingborg. When my mother visited last time she gave me an idea, so I had to get some small things. I added a section to a small box standing on the floor in the hallway. So now it's more of a book case, with baskets in the openings. Good for keeping my handbags in. Also bought some more plastic containers and napkins.

Sunday I didn't do much, but yesterday I went to Copenhagen. June 6 is our national holiday. There are some celebrations with folkmusic, speeches, and people have lunches in the parks, but it's not really a big thing here. Many people have instead discovered the fact that it's a normal working day in Denmark. The shops are open there. I hadn't been there in a long time, so I had a list of shops to visit. I have never used the local transportation system as much before as I did now. The metro runs very often, and it's fast. There are no drivers on the metro trains, and that's a little concerning, but it seems to work well. I spent the entire day in Copenhagen and visited two large malls, the usual shopping streets downtown, two second hand stores, and a large number of clothing and shoe stores. I had lunch at Hard Rock cafe; grilled chicken and brownie+icecream. I found so many nice clothes! They have (mostly) different kinds of collections there. Even the visit to H&M was successful. I bought a very long rusty brown dress with covered back and very flattering front. I have never seen such a dress for sale at H&M, I was really surprised. In total I came home with ten pieces of clothing and one pair of sandals. It must be the closest to a shopping spree I have ever come. I made quite a few bargains, there were many clothes on sale. It was warm weather and I was very tired when I finally came back to my apartment at 8 in the evening. There had been problems with the trains also, several trains were overcrowded and I (and about 30 other people) were left stranded on a small station just before the airport (where Scandinavia's largest mall is). It took about an hour longer to get home than I had planned on.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A little shopping

Nothing much to report from the week at work. We had two meetings and we decided to try to manage the summer with the staff we had planned for. The number of requests went down considerably at the end of this month. At the same time the returns increased. When I had desk duty Thursday there was a scholar from Harvard visiting to look at some manuscripts. One other scholar from Italy also came this week. There was a new exhibit opened at the library this Monday, and the staff usually have to show up to fill the seats. Not this time, though. It was about a famous painter who lived in Lund, so lots of locals were interested in it. Even the press came.

This Friday evening I got a hair cut, and that was very needed. It was a new hairdresser and I told her to cut it really short, and she did. This weekend I have been doing a little shopping. I don't think anyone is surprised by this. Saturday at the mall and Sunday at the trunk flea market. Not so many great bargains, only some necklaces (we usually take the beads and make other pieces of jewelry with them) and a top at Kappahl.

And if anyone of my relatives in the US would like me to visit in August/September, but haven't heard from me yet, will you contact me, please. It looks like I will be in Minnesota ten days (starting about August 9), Chicago area 3-4 weeks and New York one week. This can change, though.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Flea market weekend

It has been a tough shopping-weekend. My mother has been visiting. We started early Saturday morning and managed to browse one large fleamarket, three second hand stores and a mall in just a few hours. My mother had a list of things she needed for the summer house, and we found some of those items. A wicker basket, for instance. Back at the apartment she engaged herself in my sad-looking flowers. I got some additions to have on the balcony. One plant was really beyond hope, so I threw that one away.

Today there was yet another large flea market at the soccer field in Lund. People park their cars, open the trunks and sell the items from there. Very affordable goods and we found lots of things worth buying. It is very unusual to find plus size clothes at such places, but this weekend I found a curduroy jacket, a jean jacket, two pairs of pants and a pair of leggings at a ridiculously low price. All of it fits me also. My mother bought lots of candles, colorful napkins, pots, several bracelets, two more wicker baskets, CD records, a small electric heater and some other various things. We were both very happy with our findings.

This evening I cleared even more things out of my closets and cupboards and gave those things to my mother for further transportation to either charity or the dump. There were a few things to give away, definitely. It's strange how things accumulate. We try to recycle the goods, there might be other people who can use it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Competition prizes

It was an easier week at work and the weather is also cooler. The new employee gets challenged every day and she seems to cope with it. She asks a lot of questions and that's a good sign.

The only way I could get a pair of white leggings was to buy them on mail order, so that's what I did. And some other clothes also, of course. I have just been to the second hand store with two bags of clothes and shoes, so there was a little room in the closets. I don't like throwing clothes away, but I had several tops that had stains on them that I couldn't get off even with the best detergents, so I had to give them up.

This week I got a package in the mail, containing two books and a dvd (detective stories by a Swedish author). It was the consolation prize in a competition where first prize was a weekend at a hotel (which my sister won)!

Yesterday I went to Lund to go to the flea market, but I never got that far. I bumped into a former colleague in a store and she was very talkative. There were also sales in several stores on the way, so I got distracted. One (of the three) Kappahl stores had a closing down sale. They had everything 70% off. There wasn't much left now, but I did my shopping there earlier this week, when it was 50% off. I got a top and underwear at a very affordable price.

I have been in Lund also today. I spent a few hours at work to delete emails. I have three email addresses and there were hundreds of messages in each one of them, both received and sent messages. It was getting difficult to manage, so I printed most of the older ones and then deleted them. In this process I noticed that I have forgotten to answer a few of them. They drowned in the flood, apparently. Not good. I also re-organized my word files, so that my private ones are now separated from the work related ones.

Speaking of emails, I have received a "final message" from Lester in Minneapolis. He is the one who started my interest in emigrant research, when he and his wife came to Sweden in 1991 to search for his relatives. He found us and it was the start of an educational journey for me and several others in my family. It opened up my eyes to the world, basically. He helped me get in touch with many other relatives in the US and the network we have created is quite large. Lester now feels that he has reached an age and health status when he no longer is able to use the computer, so he sent out the last message, saying goodbye. It was so sad to read it. It took a lot of mental strength to answer it, but I did.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bad week at work

Last week is really a time I would like to forget as soon as possible. It was a terrible week at work. The new employee got sick, one was on vacation abroad, one was sick but physically present (and not very productive), and the two or three remaining staff members worked like mad to get things done in time. Really exhausting. I hardly ever fall asleep in front of the TV, but I did one of the evenings last week.

This Saturday I went with my friend Eva to Lund. We attended a lecture/speech event with several authors. There were both writers of fiction and non-fiction. One talked about her new book project, another read out loud from his book, and another discussed her (and other people's) retirement, for instance. It was an interesting event, the first one of this kind I have been to, I think.

Sunday there was a trunk flea market in Lund. Did some minor purchases, a nice necklace for 10 SEK, for instance. Very cheap. It was windy out and it made commerce a little difficult. Their items sometimes blew away.... I continued on to the mall and got some small things. There is a brand new grocery store near there, and it looked quite nice, but I don't think they can compete with the two other stores.

It's getting rather warm outside, and it has been sunny for a long while now. It's about 20 centigrades. The room where my office is has no air condition and it's already now getting unbearable.

Monday, May 2, 2011

New colleague

The big party weekend in Lund, with 25 000 participants, just passed. The young generation celebrates Walpurgis Night by partying in a park. This year broke all records, not only for the number of participants, but also for the very few issues the police had to deal with. It had been a success, apparently. Even so, I make sure I don't even go near Lund that day. I had planned on spending the weekend at home. There was a note in the staircase saying that my neighbors were going to have a party Saturday and they apologized already beforehand for the noise. They started really early, at 10 in the morning. And they were quite loud. Loud and happy, though. I quickly decided to take the bus to the mall, so that I would escape at least some of it. There were two new stores I had never been to, but they turned out to be not so interesting. There are several empty spaces in the main building, and there aren't that many visitors anymore. The competition is tough from the new malls in Malmö, I think. But it's nice to shop when there isn't any waiting in line. The tulips in the balcony box had completed their life cycles, so I got some new flowers; two yellow ones and two light blue. Apart from that, I didn't get much. When I returned home the party downstairs was still going on. I think they gave up early the following morning.

It's a little colder out now, so I haven't been using the balcony much. They are doing work on the main road through town, so they have rerouted the traffic right past my apartment building. Not very pleasant to get all that traffic here. I hope they finish the work soon.

This past Friday my colleague went on paternity leave. Today his replacement started working, a young woman. She already has some experience from working with our database and at a circulation desk. I showed her some of the storages and also brought her on a tour of the library. It took most of the day and it was rather tiring, but it was a good day to do it, because we had very few requests (most of the students had been too busy partying, probably).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Injuries and chores

Easter was another four day weekend here, ending today. Very nice to get time off. I have tried to take it easy. Thursday at work I had an unfortunate incident with a metal book end. It had sharp edges and I dropped it on my foot. It caused a minor injury to a toe, but it bled quite a lot and it still hurts. I also tried on my new shoes, and of course I got blisters from them. In addition to this, I have just been to get treatment by the chiropractor, so my back is a little sore. Despite all these problems, I got some things done this weekend. I mended that long cardigan and another top that was ripped when I got stuck in a metal book shelve at work. I also did some translating and genealogy work, cleared out some old clothes, moved some winter clothes to the attic, cooked herring in the oven (first time ever, turned out delicious), disposed of the recycleables, went grocery shopping (twice), cleaned the kitchen (very necessary) and tried to keep the balcony flowers alive in the warm weather (so far successful).

It is a little ridiculous, but they don't empty the mail boxes in my town on weekends. I wanted a postcard to be delivered to my aunt tomorrow, so I had to go to Lund to mail it. While I was there anyway, I took the opportunity to go to the mall. There is a cheap store where I stocked up on hygiene products. Also looked through the other stores, and noticed that many of the clothes I had seen just a few days ago were now sold out. That cardigan, for instance. It was very nice and affordable, so I can understand that there weren't any left.

Today I went to my favorite mall outside Helsingborg. I have been looking for a pair of white leggings or pants for quite a while. I can't believe that it should be that difficult to find any that fit me. I came home with some sleeveless tops instead.

The weather has been very nice this weekend. I have spent some time on the balcony, enjoying it. It seems like the summer has already started here. The trees and flowers are blooming like never before. The train was passing by pretty hills filled with yellow and white flowers. It's around 20 centigrades out and rather sunny. This kind of weather is endurable to me, as long as I remember to bring my sunglasses. In July it will be different, I will be complaining most of the time then.

I need to know if any of my American relatives are thinking of making a trip this way within the next four months - please contact me if you do.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shoes, books and clothes shopping

The weekend was busy, like they often are. Saturday there was a book flea market in Lund arranged by the local Amnesty organization. They always have their books in such a good order. They divide them into categories like History, Geography & travels, Social studies and so on. It's appealing to a librarian, definitely. I spent most of the time going through the books in the History section, but browsed through all the others also. I only got three; a book about Sweden in English, one on emigration and one on cultural history. I was at the sale with a colleague who lives in the same town, and she bought many more books than I. After the sale, a coffee & cake and some chatting, we parted and I went shopping, first in the city and then out at the mall. I found quite a lot, actually. There was a knitted long cardigan that had been slightly torn, so I got it cheaper and will be able to mend it myself. I think I tried on something like eight items in one store, and that is unusual to find that many. Though I couldn't wear all of them, of course. I ended up buying only one item there. Also found underwear at half price off the reduced price at another store.

Sunday I was at the library, mainly to use the computer. I did some research for the trip I'm planning for August/September. Also some genealogy.

Yesterday evening, when I was waiting for the laundry to get done, I read through some of the paper ads you get in the mail several times a week. I noticed that there was a pair of shoes for sale at a store in Malmö that I might be able to wear. They were sandals with adjustable front almost all the way. I have serious problems finding women's shoes, my feet are both long and wide. I knew that if I would have a chance at buying them I would have to go there right away, so this afternoon I left work early and took the bus to Malmö. They had two pairs left in my size (EU 42=US 11) and I got both. They were cheap and might not last that long, but it doesn't matter.

When I was in Malmö anyway, I went to some other stores also. I found a blouse at half price off the reduced price, so it was really affordable. There is, by the way, a saying in our family that none of us rarely makes a purchase if the item is sold at full price. So true. After this extensive shopping, I had dinner at TGI Friday's. A very nice bacon hamburger and mud pie for dessert.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Several flea markets

The outdoor flea market in Lund started several weeks ago, but this Saturday was the first time this year I was there. It has been too cold before. There was a new thrift store nearby that I also visited. I found an EP record there with the Boston Pops/Arthur Fiedler, performing a few pieces (one was Bugler's Holiday). Very unusual to see something like that here. I got it for 5 SEK (less than a dollar). There was a large flea market in the indoor sports arena this Saturday also. It was very crowded, but interesting. I got a few egg cups there.

Sunday my father and his girlfriend came to visit me. For this reason I spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning cleaning the apartment and the balcony. We went to the mall and I got flowers for the box and pots on the balcony. My father got me the flowers as a birthday gift, which was nice. I brought down the chair and table from the attic also, so now I'm ready for sunny and warm weather. In the daytime it's about ten centigrades and occasionally sunny. Still chilly in the mornings.

The week at work has been very hectic, like it usually is at this time of year. I have started to teach an intern at the library how to retrieve books also, so we are rather busy. I hope that we will get help from him this summer, in addition to the one who will be hired in May. I have been given permission to take six weeks of leave in August/September, so the planning for a trip to the US has begun. I will leave about August 6-8 and spend about a week in Minnesota, then two weeks in the Chicago area, and maybe a week or so on the east coast.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Busy week

It has been a little difficult to get through this week. Lots of things have been going on here. One of the most interesting ones was the annual meeting of the social club. We have to have a public meeting once a year, to elect new board members. Usually about eight people show up. This time we asked a colleague to give a speech on a historical person after the meeting, and it proved to be a success. We were more than 20 attending the event. There was food served afterwards, and that was also appreciated. It was the first time I had acted as a chairperson at such a meeting, and I think I managed to get everything right.

This week I have been involved in the process of interviewing people for a position in the stacks. I have never had to do that before. I was completely unaware of how it works. It has been an interesting experience. We will interview about ten people, and hope that one of them will be able to learn the trade very fast. I really want vacation this summer. I have applied for six weeks of leave.... I was thinking of spending one week in Minnesota, two weeks in Chicago and one week in New York. I will know next week if I get all the vacation I want.

My birthday passed by almost unnoticed. My parents called me and I got a few cards in the mail. Some delayed e-mails too. For the coffee break today (a few of us arrange coffee and sandwiches every Friday) I baked peanut butter chocolate cookies. They were praised. Surprisingly easy to bake, but next time I will try not mistake the baking soda and the vanilla.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Trip to Borås

The long weekend in Borås was very nice. I went by train Thursday afternoon and arrived at 7 PM. The relatives from Stockholm, an elderly couple, had arrived there also. They stayed in my mother's apartment and we stayed at my sister's place. Friday afternoon we visited the textile museum. I had been there before, but it was still very interesting. They have old looms and sewing machines and other types of machinery used to process textiles and clothes. We watched a documentary film about a former tailor's shop in the area also. Historically, Borås was known as a textile center, with several factories and many people out in the small villages did sewing work at home. We also looked at a gallery of clothes from the 20th century, arranged chronologically. We recognized many types of clothes from the later decades, of course. Saturday was the big flea market day. First we went to the second hand store my mother works at as a volunteer. They were very busy. We looked at many of the items in the two buildings. All I found to get was a book on baking from the 1940s. The others shopped quite a few things. After a couple of hours we went to another place outside of town, where there are two different stores. After coffee and even more shopping, we went back home again. We got waffles at my sister's place, and later a delicious fish dinner. Somehow I also got time to play with Lego, have a pillow fight and watch a cartoon movie with my nephew. Sunday the relatives returned to Stockholm and I went back to Skåne (by three trains and most of them were on time).

The day at work didn't start well. One colleague was sick and another on vacation. It was a challenge to get everything done in time, but we made it. I could see that the Friday had been challenging also during my absence, because they had forgotten (or hadn't had time) to do several things.

I would say that the weather has changed and it feels much more like spring here now. The flowers of the season are already blooming in the park in front of the library. I don't have to wear my winter coat anymore either. It was a really long and difficult winter and we are all glad that it's finally over.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shopping and more genealogy

The weekend was pretty busy. Saturday I was in Malmö to go to my favorite second hand stores. There are two additional train stations in Malmö now, so I can get directly to one of the malls. Rather practical. There was a little shopping done, but new items. An orange colored top and a denim jacket. Sunday I totally missed the fact that the daylight savings time had started. I got to Lund one hour later than I had planned. It was the first visit I made to the library on a Sunday. There weren't that many visitors there, but I was told that normally it was a popular place on weekends. I spent most of the day devoted to the genealogy - both for myself and for others. Monday it was a little difficult to get out of bed because of the time change. Everybody at work seemed to be tired. Since I'm going on a trip later this week, I had desk duty today. It was rather busy. I tried to help a visitor to find a phone number for a person in the same town and that was surprisingly difficult. I actually had to call my boss, who has access to a fee database, to get help. It turned out that I had been given a slightly incorrect name, one letter made all the difference. Thursday afternoon I'm going to visit my mother and sister & family in Borås for a few days. The relatives in Stockholm are coming there to visit also.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Genealogical research

I have had a cold for more than a week now and it's really annoying. Of course it's better than last week, but not pleasant at all. I shouldn't have worked those two days of last week. I had desk duty Thursday and it's difficult to change it with such short notice, so I sat there and sniffled. My brain wasn't really connected, but I don't think I caused any disasters. My colleagues had had a tough time without me, and they made sure I understood that.

Friday I was asked to go to Malmö to look at a work jacket for me to have while driving the storage round. It has been very cold this winter and I said already last fall that I wanted a warm jacket. There simply isn't one to be found in my size. They are all made for men with really long arms. This was the second attempt to get one and by now the weather has changed, so I have given up. On the way back we stopped at Ikea because the janitor was going to purchase new cutlery for the lunch room. We had lunch at Ikea also, a nice chicken filet.

Saturday I spent at work to do some private research. We have a family tree online, and I have added information to it. There are some ancestors traced back to about 1550, but I haven't filled all of that in yet. There is more work to do also on my father's side. Not to mention the fact that I have very little knowledge of the current generations. This weekend, when I flipped through some estate inventories to see if I had a particular one, I was able to solve a mystery from many years back. Just now I noticed that my great great grandfather had one more child mentioned in his estate inventory (taken after his death) than his wife. My grandmother told me (a very long time ago) that he had had one son before he was married, but I was never able to find the son. It turns out that I have had this information for many years, without understanding it. I did some research now and found his deathdate, and also found out that his line ended with him - he had no children.

Apart from this, there is also more research going on, both for myself and others. It's rather time consuming, but since I now have access to the scanned church records (and some other databases) at work, it is a lot easier. It means of course that I spend way too much time at the library, but it's really interesting research. There will always be more answers to search for.