My barista

My barista

StarbucksHusband and I made a quick day trip to Washington DC on Sunday. We needed to pick up some supplies from Ikea for our kitchen renovation before Dad comes at the end of the month. Every time we go on a road trip (no matter how short), we always stop for Starbucks. We don’t treat ourselves to this when we’re in town, because we simply don’t have the money. But when we’re on the road? We splurge.

The problem is that I never know quite what to order. Oh, I know I want a chai latte. But I don’t know how many pumps or what kind of milk or any of that. And every time I hesitate when ordering, I feel this pang of grief. Every time.

You see, Michael was a Starbucks barista, a good one. Husband and I would stop in his Starbucks every chance we got to say hi and get a quick drink. The first time I ordered chai, he took a moment to think and said, you won’t want it full strength. He came up with exactly the right combination for my tastes. I never asked him what it was, he just remembered and gave it to me every time.

Now he’s gone. And I don’t know how I like my Starbucks. And it kind of hurts a little every time.

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?