Archive for the ‘News from home’ Category

Hello all! We’ve had a very busy last few months, so I apologize for not posting too often. However, lucky for you we have our annual Groundhog Day card and letter for you to read to get you all caught up on our adventures.


Happy Groundhog Day everyone!

It’s that time of year again when giant rodents all over America come out of hibernation and predict the change of seasons for all of us based on the sighting of their own shadow. That also means it’s time for us to reflect on the last twelve months, which have had some ups and downs and big changes in our lives.

Shortly after our last Groundhog Day card, Stacy’s father, Gene Schacherer passed away on February 4. We came home for the funeral and to be with all of our family. There were a lot of sad and happy moments as we reflected on his 69 years of life. There was a very large turnout for the visitation and funeral – a testament to how much of an impact Gene had on everyone who knew him.

In June we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. You can see Stacy with her anniversary flower bouquet on our Groundhog Day card. Also in June we went back to Iowa to celebrate Colby’s brother, Matt’s wedding. Matt and his bride, Amber were married in Altoona, Iowa, Amber’s home town. It was a fun wedding, and a great opportunity to see all of our family again. You can see Colby and his brothers all dressed for the wedding in the top-right picture on the card.

In late June Stacy’s mom, Carmen, and Stacy’s brother, LeRoy and his family came to North Carolina to visit us. We showed them around Raleigh and explored NC State’s campus, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and tried out some great Carolina-style barbecue. We then took a day trip to Wilmington, NC to tour the USS North Carolina battleship and hang out on the beach. We also took a trip to Beaufort, NC to see a different part of the coast. The surf was up while we were there, so we didn’t get to go in the water. However we still got to walk the beach for shells, see some dolphins, tour the Maritime Museum, and tour Fort Macon–a Civil War fort that guarded the Beaufort inlet. When it started to rain we toured the North Carolina Aquarium. It was a busy weekend, but everyone had fun.

In August Stacy returned to Iowa for the centennial celebration of her home town of Wallingford, Iowa. She was home for a week and was happy to see all of the Schacherer clan. Colby stayed in Raleigh so he could continue working on his dissertation. He finished it during the fall semester and successfully defended his dissertation on December 18. Everything is now complete for his PhD except for the official commencement ceremony, which will be held in May 2014. His dissertation is entitled “Dynamics of Phosphorus Release from Wetlands Restored on Agricultural Land”. If you have insomnia and would like to read all 232 pages, let Colby know and he’ll email a link to where you can download it.

In December we packed up our apartment in Raleigh and started our move to Seattle, Washington (more on that in a second). Stacy’s mom and Colby’s dad came down to Raleigh and were incredibly helpful in getting us ready for the move. They stayed for almost a week to help box up our stuff and get our apartment in ship shape (so we could get our deposit back). While they were here, Adam and Marissa Howard very kindly hosted a going away party for us. It was a lot of fun, and made for a great send-off from all of our close friends we’ve made in Raleigh over the last five and a half years. We later shipped our stuff to Seattle in a “U-Pack Relocube”. We had to shed a bunch of our larger items (gas grill, couch, bed, etc.), but we got most of the rest of our stuff in the container. We sold Stacy’s car and drove Colby’s loaded-down Ford Fusion back to the Midwest for the holidays. We stopped in Illinois to celebrate Christmas with Colby’s Mom and her husband, Buck. We then moved on to Estherville to celebrate the holidays with the rest of our families. After the New Year we started the second half of our 2,800 mile drive. We stayed on I90 for two and a half days. It was a beautiful drive, and despite a lot of wind the weather was favorable.

On January 6 Colby started his new position as a “postdoctoral researcher” at the University of Washington Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is still doing soil and root research, but has switched from studying phosphorus to studying methane-a potent greenhouse gas. He has also switched from Carolina bay wetlands to Alaskan bogs and fens. Colby will be headed up to Fairbanks, Alaska for most of the growing season (June-September) to study methane at a “Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) station”. He is working on some laboratory experiments on campus in Seattle in the meantime. The picture of both of us on the center of the card is on UW’s campus near Colby’s new building.

Seattle is beautiful so far. It’s is actually as warm as or warmer than Raleigh in the winter, and isn’t nearly as rainy as everyone says. It is surprisingly hilly though. We haven’t explored the area too much yet, but we’re working on it. Our new mailing address is 6189 Radford Drive, Apt. 1911, Seattle, WA 98115. We’ll keep our current cell phone numbers and email addresses.

We had to leave our foster dog, Forrester with the Triangle Beagle Rescue when we left Raleigh. We had him for almost two years, and he was featured in our Groundhog Day card/letter last year. We’re missing him, but hopefully he finds a permanent home soon. Our beagle, Maisie is doing well. She handled the road trip to Seattle well (with the help of some meds from the vet). She’s adjusted well to Seattle, and is happy that there is a dog park across the street. The park goes all the way down to a beach on Lake Washington, as shown on the card.

In other news, both of Colby’s grandmas are now in the Good Samaritan nursing home in Estherville, IA. They both have Alzheimer’s, but seemed stable and happy while we were home over the holidays. They both have great men taking care of them too, so they’re in good hands.

That’s it for our news since the last Groundhog Day. If you are interested in visiting Seattle, give us a heads-up. We hope you and yours all the best.

Happy Groundhog Day!

Stacy, Colby, and Maisie

That concludes our Groundhog Day 2014 letter. Now that we’re caught up we’ll try to post more frequently with pictures and stories from our adventures in Washington and Alaska. Thanks for stopping by!


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Hello everyone.

Stacy’s father, Gene Schacherer passed away on Monday. Stacy and I are both back in Estherville now. The visitation is this afternoon, and the funeral is on Saturday. It’s been really tough for the family lately, but the community has been very supportive. Please keep Stacy, and the Schacherer family in your thoughts and prayers.

Gene Schacherer, 1944-2013

Here is Gene’s obituary:


  • BORN: January 12, 1944
  • DIED: February 4, 2013

In Lieu of Flowers, the family prefers memorials.

Eugene Gregory Schacherer the son of LeRoy and Elizabeth (Reuland) Schacherer was born January 12, 1944 in Estherville, Iowa. He died on Monday, February 4, 2013 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 69.

He received his education in Wallingford Schools, St. Patrick’s Catholic School, and Estherville High School.

On August 7, 1971 he was united in marriage to Carmen Hansen in Jackson, Minnesota. Following their marriage the couple made their home in Wallingford, Iowa. Gene lived all of his life in Wallingford. He was a farmer and raised cattle. He also worked for a time at Stylecraft in Milford. He was a well-known woodworker with many of his family heirloom type creations adorning many area homes of both family and friends. He donated oak gun cabinets to area fundraisers until his health caused him to cut back on his woodworking activities.Gene loved and cherished his family and friends. He was always willing to give a helping hand wherever needed. He was totally amazed and humbled by the support of the local community when he battled his cancer.

He was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Estherville. Gene was also a member of Pheasant’s Forever; Elk’s Lodge; Emmet County Relay for Life and spent several years as a volunteer with the Wallingford Fire Department.

Left to cherish Eugene’s memory are his wife of 41 years, Carmen; children; Brenda Harris and husband, Richard of Estherville; LeRoy Schacherer and wife, Amber of Osceola, Iowa; Corrie Schacherer and Shane Paskert of Emmetsburg: Randy Schacherer and wife, Melissa of Wallingford; Stacy Moorberg and husband, Colby of Raleigh, North Carolina; JudySchacherer of Ames; seven grandchildren, Weston, Hunter, Dylan and Macy Harris; Emily Miller; Layla Carney and Owen Schacherer; siblings, Mary Herum of Estherville; Lucille McCombs and husband, Lloyd of Ruthven; Louis Schachererand wife, Shirley of Estherville; Lorraine Origer and husband, David of Graettinger; Margaret Hunt and husband, Marvin of Dolliver; and many nieces and nephews.

He has been preceded in death by his parents; infant twin daughters, Elizabeth and Grace; infant twin sons, Brian and Brent; sister, Dolores Umscheid and several nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

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Hello all,

Stacy and I sent out our annual Groundhog Day card and letter last week to family and a few friends. Since I’ve been a little too busy with grad school lately, I haven’t really updated this blog as often as I should, despite there being a lot of big news in the last 12 months. I’ll repost our letter here. Consider this our “catching up on blog posts” post.

The 2013 Moorberg family Groundhog Day card.

The 2013 Moorberg family Groundhog Day card.

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!

It’s that time of year again when giant rodents all over America come out of hibernation and predict the change of seasons for all of us based on the sighting of their own shadow. That also means it’s time for us to reflect on the last year. This last twelve months have been pretty busy for us. Stacy is still working at the hospital. She’s also been busy working on a variety of crochet projects, including some afghans that will be auctioned off to benefit the Relay for Life. Some other notable projects include an afghan wedding gift for Colby’s mom and husband (more on that later), and some bearded stocking hat Christmas presents for Colby and his brothers.

Colby has been busy with school and research. As you read this he’ll be just finishing up with his preliminary exams for his PhD, and will be preparing for the oral exam to become a “PhD candidate”. He’s also been homebrewing in his free time, making a bunch of different styles of beer and hard cider. Some notable recipes include the “10YR Amber Ale” (a soil science inside joke), the “Hot Mess Pale Ale” (included 10 roasted Anaheim peppers that were soaked in tequila prior to fermentation), and the “MoBro American Black Ale” which was brewed during “Movember” (more on that later) and  included five ounces of hand-picked hops from the Department of Soil Science’s hop field trial plot.

For Memorial Day weekend, Stacy’s sister, Brenda and her kids, and sister, Corey came to visit us. It was the kids’ first time to the coast so we took them down to Wilmington, NC. There we visited the USS North Carolina (picture on the card). We also checked out the North Carolina Aquarium, and then headed to the beach so they could swim in the ocean for the first time.

In June we took a trip to the North Carolina Zoo for our fourth anniversary. It was a really fun trip, and one of the best zoos we’ve visited. We also did some traveling out of the state for some big events on Colby’s side of the family. In May we flew to Iowa to see Colby’s brother Matt graduate from Iowa State University with his bachelor’s degree in Agronomy. It was nice to have a break and get back to Iowa at the end of the semester to partake in the celebrations. Congrats to Matt!

In September we flew to Wisconsin to participate in Colby’s mom’s wedding. Ruth married her husband, Buck in the end of September in an outdoor ceremony with the foliage at peak colors. It was a pretty wedding, and a great opportunity to see all of the Green family. Congrats to her and Buck!

In November Colby’s grandmother, Dorothy turned 90 years old. It’s quite the achievement! We couldn’t make it back because Colby still had class, but we were celebrating from afar and over the phone. Also in November, Colby’s dad came down to Raleigh to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. All three of us also had a blast that weekend at a NC State football game (two of the pictures on the card).

There isn’t too much news from Stacy’s side of the family, other than everyone is healthy, especially Stacy’s dad who is now three years cancer-free!

Our beagle, Maisie is doing well. She’s had a new buddy for the last twelve months though. Forrester (the tri-color beagle on the card) is our current foster dog with the Triangle Beagle Rescue, and is our sixth foster dog so far. He is a senior foster dog who is around 11 years old. The older foster dogs don’t usually get adopted too quickly, so we’ve had him for a while. If we still have him by the time Colby finishes his PhD, he just might end up becoming a permanent member of the family.

As usual, we’ve done a lot of cycling this year. We took part in just one charity ride though.  We rode in the inaugural Velo4Yellow bike ride in September which raised money for the Livestrong Foundation. Off of the bike, Colby also organized a team in his department for “Movember”, a charity that raises money and awareness for men’s health issues, testicular and prostate cancer in particular. For “Movember”, each of the participants, referred to as “MoBros”, grow mustaches during the month of November. The team of four MoBros raised over $760! Colby also helped out with his Masonic Lodge’s barbecue fundraisers that sell hundreds of plates of Eastern Carolina style barbecue and brought in over $8,000 for the North Carolina Masonic Home for Children, and the Masonic and Eastern Star Home.

As you can tell, it has been a busy year. During all that, Colby has also been feverishly working on his PhD research. He submitted his first paper for peer review last November, but is still waiting to hear any news on that paper. He’s also currently working on finishing up his three PhD experiments, which will be wrapped up by the end of the spring semester. The plan is for Colby to complete the data analysis and writing as soon as possible, successfully defend his dissertation, complete his PhD, publish his current research, and become gainfully employed by the end of 2013. There’s a lot to do between now and then though, as Colby’s PhD adviser would surely tell you.

We hope all of you are doing well, and we’re always happy to get news from home – whether it is over the phone, in a letter, in an email, or on a Google+ hangout. We’d love to hear from you! If you want to keep up with us, Colby posts occasionally on <colbyandstacy.wordpress.com> with big news, or interesting stories and adventures. Colby also has his soil science blog <colbydigssoil.com>, just in case you want to learn about soil science, or Colby’s research.

 Happy Groundhog Day!

Stacy, Colby, and Maisie

So that’s our news from the last 12 months. As it turns out, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, so he is predicting an early spring. However Sir Walter Wally, the groundhog from the North Carolina Natural Science Museum, did see his shadow, so apparently North Carolina is still a ways away from spring weather. Also, Foursquare offered a Groundhog Day badge.

Happy Groundhog day everyone!

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My mother, Ruth Moorberg, and her fiance, Buck, were in a bad motorcycle accident on Friday, August 24. From what I understand neither one of them remember the accident and they both woke up the next morning in separate hospitals. Neither one of them were wearing helmets.

My mom had a bad concussion and had to get stitches and staples to help mend her head injury. I spoke with her last night and she said the concussion was causing her to get migraines. She got released from the hospital on Tuesday of last week I think.

Buck also had a concussion, along with a broken wrist, broken hand, and five broken ribs. He also had to have his ear sewn back onto his head. He was in intensive care for the first day. Buck got released from the hospital a day after my mom.

I have to give a special thanks to my brothers for going to stay with my mom in the hospital and making sure she was settled in at home when she was released. We found out about the accident Saturday evening. Matt (my older brother) went to visit her Sunday and stayed through the middle of the week. Joe (my younger brother) went to visit her when she got released and stayed the the start of the weekend. It’s about a one-day drive for me so I’m glad they were able to take care of things for us.

I’ll try to keep everyone updated with her improvement. Mom and Buck’s wedding is scheduled for September 29, so I hope they are healed up well enough by then.

If you ride a motorcycle, ATV, or even a bicycle, please never ride without a helmet. Stacy and I are avid cyclists and I can’t imagine ever riding without a helmet. I’ve been a cyclist for a decade, and in that time I’ve seen enough crashes on bicycles where the cyclists would have died had they not been wearing a helmet. Instead a simple piece of equipment like a helmet (regardless of how dorky they look) allows those cyclists to ride another day… and that’s on bikes that go upwards of 30 mph! I can only imagine how much of a difference a helmet would make in a highway speed crash. Please wear a helmet. 

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Matt (right) and Colby (left) at a St. Louis Cardinals game at the 2010 SWCS annual meeting

Colby’s older brother Matt recently got his first job in his new career field – agronomy. He will be a research associate with Schillinger Genetics, a non-GMO soybean genetics company. Matt was a contractor for several years, but eventually decided that it wasn’t for him. He ended up in the Iowa State University Agronomy Department. He is in his last semester there and will graduate with a BS in Agronomy in May.

You can read about what the genetics company does on the link above. Matt said they breed non-GMO soybeans for a variety of uses, but he mentioned specific uses including fish food for aquaculture, tofu, etc.

Matt’s always had a green thumb. We’re sure he’ll have success in his new career. Good luck in your new job Matt!

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Happy Groundhog Day from the Moorbergs!


In the beginning of every year we send out a Groundhog Day card (above) to family and family friends. Here’s our year in review that went with that card:

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!

It is that time again when the seasonal destiny of billions of people rely on the expertise of the wise (and sleepy) groundhog. We hope this holiday greeting finds you well. We have stayed pretty busy over the last 12 months. Before spring comes early, let us catch you up.

Colby is now roughly half-way through his doctoral program. He research focuses on nutrient release to surface waters from a wetland restored from agricultural soils. He finished up his greenhouse experiment in the fall and now has two field experiments in the works. The plan is for Colby to finish his Ph.D. in soil science by the end of the summer in 2013 and hopefully have a job lined up after that.

Stacy finished her first full year as a teacher at the psychiatric hospital where she works. She enjoys being a teacher more than her previous position at the same hospital as a “mental health technician”.

In May we flew up to Marionette, Wisconsin for Stacy’s brother, Randy and Melissa’s wedding. While in Wisconsin we got to see Lambeau Field (Colby’s still a Vikings fan, don’t worry) and try some good Wisconsin cheese and sausage. It was fun to meet Melissa’s family and to see all of the Schacherer clan. We also squeezed in a trip to the Twin Cities to make for a mini-vacation. We spent one day at Target Field with Colby’s brothers and dad. It was awesome to finally see a Twin’s game in the new stadium. Target Field is an awesome sports venue. We had great seats right behind home plate – though on the very last row of the upper deck. The next day we toured Stillwater, Minnesota with Colby’s mom and brother, Matt. Stillwater is an old river town and is now kind of touristy, but has a really cool river front area and some good craft breweries.

Over the summer we didn’t really do a whole lot that was noteworthy. In September we participated in a BikeMS ride in New Bern, North Carolina with Colby’s (now former) fellow grad student Amanda. BikeMS is a fundraising event for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. There were about 2,500 riders and 400 volunteers for the two-day event. Everyone camped in a park next to the convention center in the downtown of New Bern. New Bern is a 300-year old river town on the mouth of the Neuse River as it flows into the Pamlico Sound (the water between mainland and the outer banks) and dates back to colonial times. The event was a lot of fun, had very little hills, was well run, and was for a good cause. We rode 75 miles both days. We’ll definitely be participating in that ride again next year.

Also in September Stacy’s mother retired from Holy Family Hospital in Estherville – just in time to help out with the (Iowa) wedding reception for Randy and Melissa. Stacy flew back to Iowa for the reception and was happy to see all of the family.

Maisie is doing well. She’s still her same old spoiled, stubborn self. She has done well putting up with our foster dogs though. We are still fostering dogs for the Triangle Beagle Rescue or North Carolina. We had one foster dog throughout 2009 – a pup named “CD” was our foster dog for 9 months and was adopted right before Thanksgiving break. In January we got another foster dog named Smokey and he was adopted in less than two weeks. Now we are on our 6th foster dog with TBR. His name is Forester. He’s a senior dog (10 years old). Senior dogs usually don’t find homes as fast as the young ones so we’ll probably have him for a while.

We had visitors for Thanksgiving. Colby’s dad, Stacy’s mom, and Stacy’s sister Judy came to visit for about 5 days. This was our first time hosting a holiday get-together. We had a lot of fun. Since it was the first Southern Thanksgiving our guests ever had we decided to fry a turkey, which turned out awesome. We all went to the NC State-Maryland football game that weekend. It was the last game of the season and State had to win to clinch a bowl game birth. NC State trailed 41-14 in the third quarter, then proceeded to score six touchdowns in 21 minutes to win by double digits and clinch a trip to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte where they beat Louisville.

We went back to Iowa for Christmas. For the first time since moving away, our winter trip back to God’s Country didn’t have any snowfall. It was actually warm! This was the first Christmas we’ve had since Colby’s parents split up so it was a little different, but it was great to see everyone. It was also great to see that Stacy’s father still has a clean bill of health after beating lung cancer two years ago.

Colby is still the gamewatch coordinator for the local Iowa State alumni and fans in the Raleigh-Durham area. This season we got around 1 to 2 dozen people coming to each of our gamewatches. Iowa State had a memorable season with some marquee wins over #2 Oklahoma State, and of course beating the Hawkeyes. We have several gamewatches lined up for basketball season. It is shaping up to be a great year for both the NC State and Iowa State b-ball teams.

Colby also launched a website/blog, ColbyDigsSoil.com, which is a blog about soil and wetland science. It’s meant for a general, non-scientific audience. If you follow it, expect to learn some of the basics of soil and wetland science, and some posts about his trips to his field experiments. You can also keep up with news about Stacy and Colby at colbyandstacy.wordpress.com which we’ve kept up since our engagement.

That is pretty much it for our annual Groundhog Day letter. We hope all the best to you and yours. May you all have longer winters or early springs… depending on if you’ve gotten enough snow yet.

Yours in erroneous weather predictions, 

Stacy, Colby, and Maisie

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In addition to going to Kelly and Dane’s wedding reception, we also squeezed in a trip to see my mom. Let me preface this with a sad announcement. In March of this year my mother informed me that she had filed for divorce. This was a huge shock to my brothers and I, and my dad too from what I understand. I never posted anything about it on our blog because deep down I hoped that it was just a big bump in the road of their then 31 year marriage and that it might pass with no permanent changes to our family. Unfortunately those hopes did not pan out. Two months after my mother filed, she moved in with a guy named Buck who is a crane operator in the Chicago area whom she had met while on a trip to the North Shore of Minnesota when she was working on her children’s novel. It was a difficult spring for us boys and my dad. I couldn’t really get a read on whether it was difficult for my mom, but I would assume it was. I feel sorry the most for my little brother Joe who got caught in the middle of it since he’s the only one of us boy’s still living in Estherville. This is as much as I will discuss about this matter through this website because I feel that any further comments on the matter, or offering my opinions on the matter online would be inappropriate.

Now, for the real reason of this post. Stacy and I visited my mom who is living with her boyfriend, Buck. We stayed at their house that Sunday night, then drove home to Raleigh the next day. On Sunday My mom, Buck, his son Luke, Stacy and I all went to Bucks boat that he keeps in a marina on the river in Chicago. These pictures are from some trips we took up and down the river.

This is Luke in his Dad’s boat

Us two, getting some sun

A scene from Wayne’ World was filmed from this building

They have a water cannon that shoots out over the river at random times

Buck drove the boat slowly into the water stream so Luke would get soaked, then he stopped and turned around before it got the rest of us.

Stacy and I, Luke behind us

Trump tower is the building in the middle. This was the only night shot that worked for me. It was hard to get a long-exposure shot with a handheld camera on a boat on water… imagine that.

This was the first time I had spent any significant time in downtown Chicago. The other times I’ve been there I was just driving through and didn’t get to see much of the big buildings.  I was surprised how nice the downtown area is compared the sprawling industry you have to drive through to get downtown. Chicago is definitely not one of my favorite cities, but my mom seems to like it and I wish her the best of luck there and hope that she finds a publisher for her book soon. We did have fun on the short visit and on the boat tour of downtown. It was awkward, but good to meet my mom’s new family.

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