Sundry information, thoughts and links to sort us out

Friday, July 31, 2009

July Recap

My friend Kevin does these monthly update posts on his blog. The way life has seemed to become so overwhelmingly busy of late, I'm beginning to think he's on to something!

So, the month of July featured two major highlights for Chez Loebrich South. The first, obviously, was Suzanne's and Tim's wedding (and the visit home which encompassed it). The second was my 6th year hosting a Kalamazoo College student externship. The two events even dovetailed nicely, as you'll see.

We drove up to Ohio on June 26th and spent the weekend in Columbus with Debbe, Duncan, and Derek. Mom and Dad Loebrich were there, too. We had a delightful day at the Origins International Gaming Fair, and also enjoyed a wonderful afternoon visit with Steve and Pamela and Alex. Of course, we spent a great deal of time playing with our dear nephew, too! From there it was on to Toledo where we got to see Dad's and Cindy's fabulous remodeling job, spend some more quality time with Mom and Dad Loebrich, and visit Mom Stahl and Larry in Ann Arbor before the Wedding Stuff truly began.

Suzanne's and Tim's wedding (as previously described) was lovely! In the days leading up to the Big Day we did some fun family/girly stuff including time at the salon and trips up to Aunt Karen's and Uncle Chris' to help set up. The rehearsal dinner was a lot of fun - even though we had to learn a special dance - and the wedding itself was just perfect.

The day after the wedding, we drove into Ann Arbor to meet my new student - Dahlia. She and her mom had driven from Kalamazoo (90mins away) to meet us at the mall. We had a yummy lunch and a good visit before getting on the road home. Debbe and Duncan graciously agreed to be our "midway point" on the way home, too, so Dahlia got to meet Derek - who immediately wanted her to join in our Batman and Handy Manny game!

We made it safely back to NC and Dahlia began work at the station. She was an editing whiz which was a huge help to me as I had had a large archival editing process backlogging on my desk for months. In addition, she went out on two shoots, ran camera for a couple live broadcasts, and helped work on editing for the daily broadcast. Outside of work we took her to the usual touristy spots - Duke University and Gardens, UNC campus and Chapel Hill, Foster's Market, etc. - went out for some yummy dinners, and even took in a free outdoor concert one evening. She is now in Ecuador for her Junior Term Abroad.

Busy month. And more of those ahead. I tell you, my friend Kevin is on to something with these synopsis posts! Kevin, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :-)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Recycling Woes

When gas prices got really ridiculous last summer, we decided to move closer to work. We found a really nice apartment which we dearly love. It has a lot of amenities that our previous home - while adorable and in a great neighborhood - did not. The one thing our complex does not have, however, is on-site recycling.

Let me amend that statement. They do recycle cardboard - specifically boxes such as moving or shipping cartons. That's it. Sometime before we moved in, there was a more robust recycling program on-site. Unfortunately, so many of the residents violated the regulations by not only not sorting their recyclables, but (grosser!) not even separating their trash from their recyclables, that the provider canceled the contract. As was their right.

This was not really a big deal because, a few weeks after we moved in, we discovered that there was a county recycling drop-off site just up the street from the grocery store we frequent. So, we bought these great Rubbermaid bins with lids that seal shut and every other week we took our recycling with us on our usual grocery run. In fact, we last did that on Sunday, July 12th.

In a most amazingly bad fluke of timing, Durham's county recycling program shut down all but the main drop-off site on Monday the 13th. With no posted notice that we saw. We didn't find out until we went there today...and the hoppers were just gone. There was still no sign, by the way, we had to look it up online just so we could figure out where to take the stuff. (Oh, yes, I was quoting Arlo as we drove off looking for somewhere else to put the recycling!)

So, now, it turns out that we can only take our recycling to the main center on the north side of town. It is a very nice facility - huge! - we've been there before because that was the only place you could take stuff like old antifreeze. The people who work there are all super helpful, which is good because there are multiple buildings and figuring out which one takes your stuff is tricky, but their hours are darned inconvenient if you, say, work for a living. Their only weekend hours are Saturdays from 7:30am till Noon. Saturday has traditionally been my only morning to sleep in, it's also when I talk to my mom.

So, I guess we're going to have to plan to get up early every other week so we can hike over to the recycling center. Or, go to Orange County where we can drop stuff off at Southern Season and then pop in to buy some imported chocolate. Nice perk, but I really wish folks could just figure out how to sort their stuff so this kind of thing wouldn't happen.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hilton Head Flashback

You probably guessed, from the previous post, that we recently took a trip up to the Midwest. Well, we also traveled this spring and I somehow did not get around to posting about it! So, before recapping our July trip, return with me now to yesteryear...or, at least, May....

The Annual Loebrich Family Vacation spanned the last week of April and the first week of May. Debbe and Derek flew into Durham a few days early and enjoyed spending time with Uncle Bruce at the Museum of Life and Science - their playground is awesome! Mom and Dad Loebrich drove down and joined the party on Saturday. On Sunday, the four of them headed on to Hilton Head where the weather was lovely.

Bruce and I joined them for the second week in the timeshare - which also happened to include my birthday. I got a pleasant surprise upon our arrival, Derek had chosen a balloon for me, even though it wasn't my birthday yet. It's even more impressive when you know that Derek is 3 and picked the balloon himself from among all the ones in the store, Dad just told him we needed a birthday balloon and he chose it (it says "happy birthday" on it and was amid many graduation-themed balloons in the display). It is still in my apartment, by the way, and has only recently lost enough helium to stop floating.

Anyway, we spent our time in SC enjoying the wonderful swimming pool by the condo and the gorgeous weather on the beach. The nearby pool had an added bonus - the maintenance folks were repairing the accompanying hot tob and had drained it into the pool, so the water temperature in the pool was a balmy 85, which was just perfect at 9am! Derek loves to run and play on the beach and in the ocean, and he is fearless, we "old fogeys" often had a hard time keeping up with him! I got some fabulous pictures of the family as we relaxed and enjoyed our time together.

On my actual birthday we had a quiet day capped off with presents, family dinner, cake, and a thunderstorm that was pretty to watch. Besides celebrating birthdays and swimming, we took in our usual favorite activities - shopping at the outlet mall, tooling about downtown Hilton Head, and, of course, I bought fudge!

Bruce and I returned a day early because I had committments at church. Then, on Sunday evening, the rest of the family returned to Durham. Cousin Amy was able to come over and join us for dinner that night, which was also nice. Mom and Dad headed back to Ohio on Monday while Bruce took Debbe and Derek to a different hands-on museum to wrap up their time in NC.

Some good quality family time filled with fun and R&R, to be sure!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Congratulations & Best Wishes, Suzanne & Tim!

It was a beautiful day in Onsted, Michigan as Katy's sister, Suzanne, and her beloved, Tim, were united in marriage. The weather was perfect for the gorgeous outdoor setting - special thanks to Aunt Karen and Uncle Chris for opening their home and yard for the Big Day! - despite forecasts which predicted a slight chance of rain, the clouds parted and the sun came out, temperatures were in the low 80's, and there was a gentle breeze off the lake. The gathered family and friends witnessed a very personal ceremony filled with laughter and tears, and followed by a delightful reception that was much more of a party than a formal event. Great food and great fun capped off a perfect day celebrating the wedding of two people very much in love.

Katy was delighted to stand up as a bridesmaid and Bruce graciously did whatever was necessary (his biggest task was transporting The Dress to Aunt Karen's house!) to help out. We were both just thrilled to be there and to participate in Suzi's and Tim's special day. Congratulations, guys, we love you both!