Surviving the End of Summer
Check your home’s air filter. While most homes don’t have a dedicated air filtration system to help reduce smoke, pollen, and dander in the home, making sure your HVAC system’s air filter is clean can go a long way in ensuring easier breathing. Better yet, we can provide a dedicated home filtration system to allow you to breathe better during the fire season and all year round.
August in the Lower Mainland is a strange time. It can get hot and smoky, and once that smoke settles in from fires raging throughout B.C. and Washington, most people head indoors — and stay indoors until the smoke clears. Forecasters are predicting another bad fire season this year. It’s been drier than normal, and, because of unseasonably warm weather, the snowpack has melted off at a fast rate, meaning much-needed moisture isn’t in the mountains. It’s hot, it’s dry, and all it takes is a lightning strike, a hot car, a cigarette butt, or poorly maintained campfire to officially ignite fire season. It’s a “perfect storm” for fires and smoke around B.C. While there’s not much we can do about the fires, there are steps we can take to protect ourselves from the smoke and pollution. When it comes to you and your family’s health, staying out of the smoke is very important. It’s doubly important for infants, the elderly, and people with breathing and lung issues. The best thing you can do is simply stay indoors with the windows closed, but that’s not always ideal. Here are some tips to decrease the amount of smoke you breathe in. Limit commuting. If you do need to commute (as many of us do), try to carpool, if possible. When out and about in your vehicle, keep the windows rolled up with the A/C on recirculate. Also, make sure your vehicle’s air filter is in tiptop shape. Avoid vigorous outdoor activity. This includes running, hiking, biking, and even extended periods of walking. If you can’t avoid working outside, invest in a filter or respirator mask to filter out smoke and pollution.
You want to stay cool and comfortable, which means the A/C will likely be running longer than it normally would during the day and possibly during the night. Here are a few quick tips to ensure you’re not overtaxing your A/C. Make sure your windows are sealed. Windows can allow a lot of heat to get into the house — and a lot of cool air to escape. Make sure there are no cracks or poor seals around the window frames. At the same time, keeping the blinds or curtains closed can help keep the inside air cooler. Keep the A/C at a reasonable temperature. In other words, don’t set the thermostat too cold. The colder the temperature, the harder the A/C has to work. Find a temperature that’s comfortable but not too exhausting for the A/C. Most people are comfortable around 22 or 23 degrees C — a good temperature that isn’t particularly hard on the A/C. Finally, don’t forget routine maintenance. Before we get ready for the push into fall, regular maintenance will help keep your A/C in great shape. You certainly don’t want it to give out in the middle of this hot and dry fire season. But if it does, you can always rest assured that we are only one phone call away. With that, we hope you stay safe and breathe easy this fire season. And as you’ve come to expect, we’re standing by the phone, ready to take your call 24/7, no matter your plumbing, cooling, heating, or drainage needs!
1 604-532-9625 • –Tyler Dillon
3MarvelMovies toWatch Out For What’s Next for Marvel Movies?
Sometimes it gets warm in your home and you don’t want to turn on the air conditioner — or perhaps you simply don’t have an air conditioner. But you still want to stay cool and comfortable, especially at night. Here are a few great ways to keep cool while keeping the air conditioner off (or out of the picture). Utilize desk, floor, or ceiling fans. Chances are you already have at least one fan running, or you have one ready to go should you need it. There are several ways you can actually get more out of these types of fans. One of the best ways to cool down your home with fans is to place them in specific spots. If you have two or more fans, place one by an open window with the airflow pointed out. This collects warmer air and sends it out of the home. Place a second fan elsewhere in the home (but near the first one and without obstructions) to drive air to the other fan. If you only have one fan, try placing a large bowl of ice directly in front of it. The ice will cool the air as it blows through, acting as a makeshift air conditioner. While you will have to replace the ice every once in a while, this is a remarkably effective way to cool down a room. Change your sheets. It might not seem like much, but changing out your bedsheets can make a world of difference in temperature regulation. If you typically use flannel, fleece, microfibre, silk, or satin sheets, swap them up for 100% cotton in the summertime. Cotton breathes more than many other types of sheets and doesn’t retain heat as readily. Microfibre sheets, for example, are often made out of polyester, which is a champion at retaining heat. To make matters worse, polyester isn’t the most breathable, making it harder to relax and fall asleep. For an extra cool kick, place your cover sheets in the freezer before you head to bed (about 30 minutes before). Then spread your chilled sheets over your bed. It’s a temporary chill, but on extra warm nights, it can be just enough to help you drift off to sleep. KEEPINGCOOLWITHOUT ANAIRCONDITIONER Summer Breeze
For the past 10 years, Marvel movies have delighted families and comic book nerds alike with their memorable characters, incredible action scenes, and sprawling, interconnected storylines. The Marvel Cinematic
Universe (MCU) is the story of the Avengers so far, told through 23 movies. Even though this year marked the end of a massive arc that
Marvel Studios dubbed “The Infinity Saga,” there are still more movies coming out that will feature everyone’s favourite heroes. Here are a few films coming
up next in the MCU.
A Black Widow Solo Movie International assassin Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, was the first female member of the Avengers and made her debut appearance in “Iron Man 2.” She never got her own movie, but Marvel announced recently that a Black Widow movie is officially in the works for the next phase of Marvel movies. Besides the fact that they’ve started filming, there’s not much information about it yet. But for many excited fans, this movie has been a long time coming. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, and the gang are all back in the third instalment of this smash-hit franchise. Without getting into too much detail, “Avengers: Endgame” and the post-credits scene of the second “Guardians” movie provided some clues about the plot and possible main villain. Though details are slim, “Vol. 3” is sure to be another rollicking ride through the cosmos. ‘Black Panther 2’ “Black Panther” was immensely popular (it earned nearly $700 million domestically), and its success removed all doubt that there would be a sequel. Audiences will journey back to Wakanda and see the newest adventures of King T’Challa and crew, although not much is known about the plot or the release date as of now. But you can rest assured that the creative minds behind the sequel are taking their time to make it as good as the first. The future storyline of the MCU is up in the air, but, if the previous movies are any indicator, families, fans, and audiences everywhere have a lot to look forward to.
Even if you don’t have an air conditioner or you’re looking to save some money on your energy bill this summer, you can still enjoy a cool, comfortable home with just a little bit of effort.
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Treat Yourself With Travel
Vancouver is a beautiful city, but no matter how much you love your home base, sometimes a vacation from the daily grind is just what the doctor ordered. Luckily for Vancouverites, there are plenty of worthwhile destinations within a quick drive. Here’s a rundown on three of our favourite late- summer getaways, perfect for banishing the workday blues. Granville Island Once the beating heart of Vancouver’s manufacturing industry, Granville Island has gotten a major glow-up in recent years. It has become a chic weekend destination better known for its food scene and Zero Waste Island initiative than its history. As TheCrazyTourist.com put it, the island (which is really more of a peninsula) is an ideal place to “shop for organic produce, sip on premium teas, sample fine chocolates, listen to buskers, and watch sleek yachts sidle on up to the dock.” With live flamenco, stand- up comedy, and even whale watching on offer, it’s a lovely spot to spend the summer. Whistler Self-proclaimed “Canada’s favourite year-round destination,” Whistler isn’t exactly a local secret. Still, the mountain-ringed ski
town is well worth the trip in the warmer months, when visitors can access its zip line courses, top-notch golf scene, breathtaking hikes, and world-famous mountain biking trails. The art museums, food, and shopping are also highly rated, and the way you get there is just as special as the destination. Visiting requires a 2 1/2-hour drive down Canada’s iconic Sea-to-Sky Highway, which includes stunning ocean views. For the full experience, stop to ride the Sea-to-Sky Gondola and adventure down the 100-metre- long Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, which rewards the brave with breathtaking Squamish vistas.
The Sunshine Coast Just a 40-minute ferry ride away from Vancouver proper, The Sunshine Coast is equally suited to daytrips and long getaways, and in contrast to Whistler, it’s considered one of Canada’s best- kept secrets. “The roads are as lackadaisical as the wonderfully quirky people,” TheCrazyTourist.com said of the community. Those looking for a truly laid-back vacation will appreciate this area’s funky cafes, craft breweries, and miles of secluded hiking trails along the water. For an extra dose of relaxation, rent a cabin and bring a book; your sanity will thank you later.
August Word Search
L C K S C J Y C S
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L R O X S H P N E R D L I
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Inspired by CookingLight.com
2 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes; cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 small cucumber; peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 red bell pepper; cored, seeded, and sliced into ribbons
• • • • •
1/4 cup basil leaves 1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small Vidalia onion, peeled and cubed
1. Place a blender and medium mixing bowl on your workstation. 2. Divide the tomato chunks, cucumber pieces, and bell pepper slices evenly between blender and bowl. Place entire onion in blender. 3. Add basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to blender. Blend on low, gradually raising speed to high until smooth, about 2 minutes. 4. Add blender contents to bowl and mix until just broken up, about 10–20 seconds. 5. Let mixture sit in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Transfer to bowls and serve.
AUGUST CHILLY FALL SUMMER
BACK COOL LEAVES SUPPLIES
CHILDREN END SCHOOL TEACHERS
3 604-532-9625 •
23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com
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Surviving the End of Summer The Next Phase of Marvel Movies Keep Cool Without an Air Conditioner 3 Late-Summer Getaways Near Vancouver Summertime Gazpacho The Art of Stargazing
The Art of Stargazing HELPINGHUMANSSLOWDOWNANDLOOKUP
Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. The Higher, the Better If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum. 2. Extra Set of Eyes While novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need to identify several anchor planets or constellations to
help you navigate the sky before using a telescope. 3. Utilize Assets Put your
phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a
unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. 4. Mark Your Calendar In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.” The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work.
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