Is the calendar moving faster than you can handle? Did you wake up last week and cry out in agony at the realization that it was already August? Are you spending too much time inside? Then you might have the summertime sadness! There’s no way to stop summer from slipping away, but there are still four more August weekends to keep the dream of sunshine and good times alive. If you’re suffering from any of the following (totally real) symptoms, you could consult a doctor, or you could follow our (totally unlicensed) diagnoses.
Symptom: You wake up in the middle of the night and shout “SUUUUUUMMMERRRR!” like you’re Marlon Brando in
“A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Cure: Head to the beach.
Drive up the East Coast to one of Delmarva’s many beaches. En route, stop at a brewery — like Evolution Craft Brewing Company (201 E. Vine St., Salisbury, Md.) — for a drink, then hit the beach and dip your toes. Once it gets dark, head to a restaurant — we’re fans of Dogfish Head’s Rehoboth Beach brewpub (320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.) — and try to forget that you’ve wasted spent the past two months at something called “work.”
Feeling caged in?
Symptom: The only time you get to enjoy the weather is during your trips to and from work.
Cure: Go outside — for fun!
Nothing will make you forget about work faster than a short trip to the great outdoors. The scenic and peaceful Great Falls Park (9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, Va., or 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, Md.) is easily accessible from both Maryland and Virginia and offers hiking trails for beginners and veterans.
Ride a bike around the Tidal Basin (rent one from Capital Bikeshare if you don’t own one).
Symptom: Your skin is dry and your Vitamin D count is low.
Diagnosis: Sunemia Cure: Hit the pool or head to Splash Yards.
The easy cure: Head to your local pool for some fun in the sun. For a list of D.C. pools, visit dpr.dc.gov/page/aquatic-facilities.
Or, you could nip this in the bud Saturday by heading to Splash Yards at Yards Park (355 Water St. SE, Sat., 2-6 p.m., free). The adults-only (21 and up) pool party turns Yards Park into an outdoor water festival complete with two pools, a giant waterslide and a water battle. Frozen drinks and Bluejacket beer will be for sale, and all-’90s cover band White Ford Bronco will soundtrack the day.
Symptom: You’re hungry, but nothing fills your appetite.
Diagnosis: Restless stomach syndrome
Cure: Dine out, al fresco.
Here are three picks for outdoor eating (and drinking):
Vinoteca (1940 11th St. NW): This wine bar has a peaceful patio out front, a sophisticated menu meant for sharing and an extensive wine list. The draw for those in need of outdoor eating is the plaza in the back, with its outdoor bar, picnic-style seating and a bocce ball court.
Republic (6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park, Md.): The restaurant has a patio just big enough to feature live music. Bonus: Locals who remember when Video Americain occupied Republic’s space will appreciate the video store’s restored neon sign, which helps light the intimate outdoor area.
Garden District (1801 14th St. NW): The popular beer garden formerly known as Standard gets a bit less crowded in August, leaving room for you to sip on liter mugs of beer while eating smoked meats. Pro tip: Grab a doughnut — baked in a doughnut robot — for dessert.
Symptom: You haven’t left your home in a month because you got caught up binge-watching “Ghost Whisperer.”
Cure: Go see a movie outdoors
Here are our suggestions for your open-air movie viewing pleasure:
Catch a classic — “Casablanca” — by the water in Reston, Va. (Lake Anne Plaza, 1609 Washington Plaza, Reston, Va.; Sunday, sundown, free).
Belt your heart out with the “Frozen” sing-along in Fairfax while enjoying $3 Dolcezza push pops in the park. (Strawberry Park, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax; Aug. 22, 7 p.m., free.)
Consider this a slow binge: Each Sunday from now till Aug. 31, you can watch a different James Bond film (all with Sean Connery as 007) at National Harbor’s plaza. First up is “Goldfinger,” followed by “From Russia With Love,” “Dr. No” and “You Only Live Twice.” (165 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md.; Sundays, 6 p.m., free.)
Summer is the perfect season for backyard barbecues and outdoor activities with family and friends. However, this time of year brings an increase in heat, humidity, allergens, foot traffic, and pet hair, which can all diminish the cleanliness and appearance of your carpet and rugs.
Here are four tips for summer carpet care:
During the summer, your regular once-or-twice-per-week vacuuming schedule may not be enough with kids home from school running in and out, pets shedding their coats, and open windows allowing more dust and allergens into your home. If vacuuming daily seems like a daunting task, just take five or ten minutes to thoroughly vacuum high traffic areas.
Use Mats and Rugs
High quality, course exterior mats in doorways scrape off larger chunks of muddy debris and dirt and remove excess moisture from shoes. Softer, more absorbent wiper rugs inside the doorway remove smaller particles and remaining moisture. Be sure to shake off or clean mats and rugs, as needed. Better yet, establish a no-shoes policy in your home.
Maintain Proper Ventilation
Carpets exposed to excessive, persistent heat and humidity become breeding grounds for dust mites, molds, bacteria, and allergens. To help prevent offensive odors and allergic respiratory symptoms from carpet, maintain proper ventilation. Running a quality air conditioning system cools, dehumidifies, and circulates the air and reduces the concentration of air pollutants that can collect in your carpet.
Professional Cleaning and Protection
Professional carpet cleaning is, by far, the best way to maintain clean a clean carpet. Vacuuming and spot cleaning are important, but professional cleaning removes pollutants that get trapped deep within carpet fibers, without leaving soapy residue that can attract more dirt. An application of professional carpet protection treatment will form a barrier against pollutants and make your vacuuming and spot cleaning more productive.
By: Amy Movius MD
Sneezing. Itchy, watery eyes. Runny nose. Dark under-eye circles. Anyone with allergies is familiar with these symptoms. Allergies often flare in springtime with all the spectacular blossoming and blooming -and pollen production – going on. Allergies don’t take a summer holiday however, and pollen remains the main culprit. The source of the pollen does change though: in spring it’s trees, in summer it’s the more mundane grasses and weeds. Ragweed, a top allergy offender, swings into full gear in August. You don’t have to see it to feel it either, since ragweed pollen can travel hundreds of miles on the wind. Pollen isn’t the only summer allergen. Summer air pollution – think ozone – can worsen allergy symptoms. Higher temperatures and less wind (=summer) increases ozone. Also, there are allergies to beware of an entirely different kind – the kind that stings and bites and seem to be everywhere in summer. Bees and wasps and other stinging/biting insects commonly cause pain and swelling locally. Some people will be terribly, dangerously allergic to them however, even if they’ve never been bit before. Anyone who gets a rash or swelling all over, even the first time after a bite, should be very concerned. These types of allergic reactions frequently get worse each time they occur and can be life threatening. Staying inside all summer wouldn’t be much fun – nor would it protect you from all allergies. Mold loves damp and humid places, a description that applies to probably every bathroom and basement in Maine during the summer J. Also, dust mites – a relentless year-round allergen – peaks in the warm and humid summer months. They don’t bite but rather eat dead skin cells (gross, I know) and so hang out where people do; in beds, pillows, upholstery, and carpet.
Management of summertime allergies includes avoiding and limiting exposure to allergens, removing allergens as much as possible, using over-the-counter medications, and seeking medical advice and sometimes specialized care and treatment when allergies are more extreme. For outdoor allergies, checking pollen counts is a good start. They tend to be higher on warmer, drier and windier days, and peak midday to afternoon. Exercising inside and keeping windows closed can be helpful on high pollen days. Likewise, a good rain can temporarily clear pollen away. If you know you will be exposed to an allergen, taking an over-the-counter antihistamine can prevent symptoms more easily before they start. If pollen sensitive, wearing a hat and sunglasses outdoors will keep some pollen out of the face and eyes. Wear gloves when doing activities such as gardening and avoid touching face. Washing hands when coming indoors and rinsing eyes with cool water is helpful as well. Showering and washing hair at night and changing clothes before getting into bed will also remove any leftover pollen clinging to you from the day. As for stinging insect exposure, avoid going barefoot in areas they inhabit. They are attracted to bright colors and sweet smells so avoid like clothing and scents in these areas as well. Also, don’t drink from open cans outside (they like to fly in for a sip) and keep food covered. Those with severe allergies should always carry an epi-pen with them as prescribed. For indoor mold, keep prone areas as clean and dry as possible, and use dehumidifiers if available. Dust mites are everywhere and just the right size to be inhaled. Vacuuming and just walking on carpet will send them floating into the air. An estimated 90% of people with allergic asthma are dust mite sensitive. Covering mattresses, pillows (polyester ones best), and box springs with airtight dust mite covers is an excellent idea since we spend about a third of our life sleeping. Weekly washing of all bedding in very hot water and drying on high heat is recommended to kill dust mites. For other indoor areas, floors should be damp cleaned or vacuumed with HEPA filter at least weekly. Laundering throw rugs, opting for blinds over drapes, and avoiding dust mite loving collectors such as stuffed animals can also help keep the population down.
1. Summer Allergies. webmd.com
2. Top 5 Summer Allergens – ABC News. abcnews.go.com, May 29, 2012
3. Don’t Let Allergies, Asthma Spoil a Summer Soiree and Keep Your Green Thumb. accai.org
4. Dust (Dust Mite) Allergies: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments. webmd.com>
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Before heading out of town for a family vacation Richmond Police are encouraging people to take advantage of their free home watch program.
Residents can call their local precinct and, in turn, police will drive-by their home while they are on vacation to make sure everything is in order.
"It may be every 30 minutes, may be an hour. But we have officers out there 365 days, 24 hours a day,” said Richmond Police Officer Alice Snell. She said you must always be careful because, "You don't who's looking or who's not looking.”
Officers will also come out and do home surveys to ensure homeowners have the right safety measures in place before they leave
“Try to maintain the yard,” Officer Snell suggests. “When people see that your yard is kept then that's a deterrent if someone is watching your home." She also said it’s important to make sure you have working lights around your property and deadbolts on all doors. Snell said it's also vital to keep up the appearance that things are normal and suggests having a neighbor or friend pick up your mail and newspapers.
Donald Cook has used the service several times before and said it's a major stress reliever. "It was enlightening to have someone to come by to learn about ways to better... I guess, protect my house."
For more information on how to sign-up for a check visit the Richmond Police Department's website.
VCU expects to have the footings poured for its basketball practice facility in mid-August, and Tim Lampe, the director of facilities and Siegel Center operations, said he expects construction to “move pretty quick” thereafter.
The $25 million, two-story building is expected to be completed by October 2015, in time for the basketball season.
The 60,000-square-foot building will house two practice courts — one each for men’s and women’s basketball — as well as locker rooms, coaches’ offices, strength and conditioning areas, a sports medicine center with a hydrotherapy room, viewing decks, lounges and a dining room for players, an academic center, a laundry and equipment room and video viewing rooms.
Recruits should get chances to make impact
VCU basketball coach Shaka Smart is on the recruiting trail as one of the live periods for coaches began this week.
His four-man recruiting class for this season has been together on campus for a little more than two weeks, taking classes and getting on-court instruction from coaches that the NCAA allows in the summer.
The class of 6-foot-8 wing Terry Larrier, 6-9 forward Michael Gilmore, 6-7½ Justin Tillman and point guard Jonathan Williams was ranked 14th by ESPN. With the loss of 6-9 senior forward Juvonte Reddic (11.8 points, 8.4 rebounds), VCU’s biggest need is in the frontcourt, and the incoming big men will get opportunities to make an impact.
The Rams’ returning big men are 6-6 Mo Alie-Cox, a rising sophomore, and Jarred Guest, a 6-8 rising senior. Alie-Cox averaged 3.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 14.4 minutes last season. Guest averaged 1.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in nine minutes. Rising senior Treveon Graham, a 6-6 wing and the probable preseason player of the year in the Atlantic 10, often moves to the frontcourt as well.
The Rams also have 6-9 Antravious Simmons, who redshirted last season.
Practice starts Sept. 26. VCU opens its season Nov. 14 against Tennessee in the inaugural Veterans Classic at Navy.
VCU led the Atlantic 10 for the second consecutive year in winning percentage for all sports combined. The Rams’ men’s and women’s teams won 63.4 percent of their games, according to the Virginia Sports Information Director’s Association. Leading the way were volleyball (26-8), men’s basketball (26-9), women’s basketball (22-10) and baseball (37-20).
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