A long weekend

A long weekend

It was a long weekend…in more ways than one.

With Hurricane Isaac victims in great need, I was up at odd hours trying to work from home–getting the word out, raising funds as well as possible, trying to help those impacted the most. For my part, it included 3:00am emails and 5:00am writing sessions and so much more.

But my sacrifice is small compared to those who lost so much. I pray that my efforts, as comparatively insignificant as they are, can help impact the lives of those in real need right now.

And in the midst of it all, I managed to sneak in a few moments of weekend bliss. One thing I know: Starbucks, Five Guys and Cold Stone should not all be in a nice, neat little row…or at least we shouldn’t mix said row with a Saturday afternoon hour of free time.

Starbucks, Five Guys and Cold Stone.

Husband and I had Norfolk Tides baseball tickets that we hadn’t yet used, and this was the very last weekend of the season. So we headed to Harbor Stadium for a Sunday evening game, which (in typical Combs fashion) got rained on. In fact, by the time we hit the 6th inning, all those people in front of us in this photo had left, which gave us quite a nice view.

Norfolk Tides minor league baseball game.

I grew up going to ball games. We would attend at least one Orioles game a year, sitting in the bleachers behind the outfield–hardly able to see the action but having the time of our lives. In more recent years I have attended Orioles games wherever I happen to live…like Cleveland or Chicago. But being the only one in orange always made me feel like an outsider. Coincidentally, the Tides are a farm team for the Orioles, so I felt right at home with orange birds all around.

Baseball game with Husband

However, the rain ended up canceling the fireworks (boo) and causing a delay in the 8th inning. We were down 7-1, so Husband and I decided it was time to go get dry. As it turns out, they never did return to play, so 7-1 loss it is.

In other news I attempted my first batch of grape jelly all by myself. I’ll share more about how it went later. And Husband and I blanched and froze a good batch of green beans freshly picked from our garden. Looking forward to eating all this yummy-ness this winter!

Green beans from our garden.

How was your holiday weekend?

Adventure: American Rover

Adventure: American Rover

American RoverFor Christmas this past year, Husband gave me two passes for American Rover–a schooner that sails the Inner Harbor from Norfolk’s Waterside Marina.

It’s taken us a while to actually find time for it, but this past weekend we set sail for a tour of the harbor…including historical forts, hospitals and ships along with modern naval crafts and industrial ports.

The slight breeze felt great on a hot summer day, and the accumulating clouds gave us a nice break from the hot sun. Husband and I sat together for an hour and a half, just enjoying, talking, sipping wine… It was a delicious moment that we rarely have.

Spending time with Husband

I loved watching the crew tack the sails as we set off… those things are truly beautiful. It made me realize how much I really do love being on the water.

Aboard the American Rover.

And it reminded me of this little sailing adventure with my brother when I was 16… and I still have that sailor’s hat.

Sailing when I was 16.

Overall, I think it was a delightful Christmas gift. And I have to say, I’m a fan of Christmas gifts that keep on giving–like a date in June.

Date night in June

Oh, and to top it off, Husband and I used another Christmas gift (a gift card from my work Christmas party) to have a nice steak dinner afterwards!

Holding hands

Dear Monday…

Dear Monday…

Dear Monday,
Why do you come so soon? I try not to dislike you, but you are making it hard.

Dear Weekend,
I loved you, I will miss you. You gave me memories, and I do love memories. Friday started off a little rocky (somehow disasters always happen on weekends, or just before holidays…so a good chunk of my holiday was spent working from home to help victims of last week’s tornadoes in Texas. Of course, I really can’t complain, hundreds of families lost their homes, my sacrifice is so small in comparison.).

But the weekend included so much productivity too (and I do love productive weekends), like vaccinations and dental work for Chappy, cleaning the house, FINALLY figuring out the trick to making our washing machine run (all I have to do is slam the lid as hard as possible, and voila, it works!), cleaning the suggie cage, hanging art/posters/photos in the upstairs guest rooms and hallway (we live on the first floor, so we’ve kind of ignored the second floor since we moved in last year…).

The weekend was also enjoyable: a Saturday morning stroll through antique and thrift stores in Norfolk with a good friend I rarely see; making it to church on time (Husband ushering has a lot to do with our new-found punctuality); an Easter picnic and walk through Norfolk Botanical Garden (thanks to my MIL for a season pass!); a long walk around Oak Grove Lake with the puppy; sipping hot tea on the porch swing while the breeze fluttered through our new wind chimes; lots of conversations, dreams, and plans with Husband; and snuggling up to watch Winnie-the-Pooh Sunday night.

Tulips at Norfolk Botanical Gardens.

Oak Grove Lake Park

Dear Life,
Sometimes I complain, I grumble, I get stressed out, but in the end, I love you. I really do.

Puppy exploring the lake.


Flowers at the botanical garden.

Linking up with Happy Day.

A Sunday afternoon trainride

On Sunday afternoon, Husband and I decided the beautiful day was a perfect opportunity to try out the new light rail in Hampton Roads, called The Tide.

It cost us only $3.50 each to be able to ride the light rail all day, but it wasn’t a bad price just to go into the city for the afternoon either.

We started at the Newtown station, just across the Virginia Beach line. We took the train almost all the way to the end, and got off at York St. From there, we stopped into a local coffeehouse called The Cure (www.curenorfolk.com).

Although they were out of the particular drink I initially wanted to try (Gingerbread Rooibos tea), I would highly recommend them to anyone in search of an independent coffee shop with great selection. (They serve food too!) I ended up with a “Harvest” steamer (carmel and cinnamon) and enjoyed every drop.

From there we walked lazily through the old part of Norfolk (Freemason and Ghent areas) sipping our steaming beverages, exclaiming over the old architecture, and enjoying the city gardens. The live oak trees were absolutely amazing. I wish we could have gone in some of the homes that we saw, I can just imagine the stories those walls could tell…a few of the gated gardens too!

It’s hard to think of a more perfect afternoon…