<![CDATA[DayParentDad.com - The Castle]]>Sun, 18 Feb 2018 10:10:33 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Killer Free Wood Mulch App | Throw Away The Bagged Mulch]]>Sat, 11 Oct 2014 00:14:31 GMThttp://dayparentdad.com/6/post/2014/10/killer-free-wood-mulch-app-throw-away-the-bagged-mulch.html
PHOTO | AboutTrees.com
I'm all about spreading the word about great resources, especially when they are free. This one from AboutTrees.com is fabulous. It has released the Free Mulch App which can be found at Freemulch.abouttrees.com or in one of the smart phone stores. It uses GPS technology to connect multiple tree services to homeowners within their immediate working area who are looking for free wood mulch.

This app was developed to minimize the waste of everybody's time. Instead of multiple tree services keeping lists of mulch locations that are uncoordinated, this app does it all. A homeowner or business owner just puts in a request and the GPS technology does the rest. This way a tree service can immediately locate the next available location for mulch without any administrative overhead. It is beautiful! The best part is that it is free to join. So throw away that bagged mulch and click on the link below to sign up and leave your first request.

<![CDATA[When To Prune Trees And Shrubs In The North]]>Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:05:49 GMThttp://dayparentdad.com/6/post/2014/04/when-to-prune-trees-and-shrubs-in-the-north.html
My dad loves trees. He planted hundreds of them in neat little rows over the years. Really, hundreds - mostly Lombardy poplar, apple, Russian olive, ash, maple and spruce. We had windbreaks and shadow walls galore in our flat, frequently flooded piece of the prairie. For the most part, my job was to mow and trim around those dang trees. Remember hand clippers? They were like industrial horizontal scissors for trimming grass. I also had to prune and trim those trees by hand. My hands hurt. They still hurt. This week my dad called a few days ago and asked if could I trim his trees when I come to visit. He is nearly 80 now and has a hard time getting around. So of course I will. It is a bit late in the season for trimming, but who among us is going out in several feet of snow to trim our trees as we should in February and March? Fess us. We all trim a bit late. But I've found that works out just fine for some trees. So have no regret. Trim your trees a bit later and save the snow pants for skiing. Here is my guide to when to trim and prune trees in the (Minnesota - Dakotas - Wisconsin) north.
Late February through Early April
Before 60 degrees hits. Definitely do not prune in May, June, July or August.
  • apple (except for those listed below)
  • cotoneaster
  • crabapple (except for those listed below)
  • hawthorn
  • honeylocust
  • mountain ash
  • oak
  • pear

Late February through Early May
There are some sap flowing trees you can trim during this time, but I prefer to wait so they don't look so bad with sap flowing down the trunks. I put asterisk* by those with excessive sap that you may want to do later in summer.
  • Alpine currant
  • Annabelle hydrangea
  • ash
  • aspen
  • barberry
  • basswood
  • birch*
  • bluebeech*
  • boxelder*
  • burning bush (winged euonymus
  • butternut*
  • chestnut crab
  • cottonwood
  • dogwood
  • Dolgo crab
  • Douglas fir
  • elm
  • fir
  • Haralson apple
  • hickory
  • hackberry
  • Honeycrisp apple
  • honeysuckle
  • ironwood*
  • Kentucky coffeetree
  • Liberty apple
  • linden
  • maple*
  • ninebark
  • peashrub
  • poplar
  • purple leaf sand cherry
  • Red Baron apple
  • Snowsweet apple
  • smokebush
  • spirea
  • spruce
  • sumac
  • viburnum
  • wlanut*
  • willow
  • winterberry
  • Zestar apple


  • shrub roses (back to new growth as soon as new growth shows) 

Coniferous trees that you want to be bushier can be tip pruned after the new shoots sprout forcing them to double sprout the following year on the tips. Do not cut all the new growth off.
  • douglas fir
  • fir
  • spruce

May through June

Those that bloom in spring on last year’s growth should be pruned right after blooming.
  • apricot
  • azalea
  • chokeberry
  • chokecherry
  • clove currant
  • flowering plum
  • flowering cherry
  • forsythia
  • lilac
  • magnolia
  • serviceberry
  • spirea (early blooming)


  • arborvitae
  • ash
  • basswood
  • birch
  • bluebeech
  • boxelder
  • butternut
  • hemlock
  • ironwood
  • Japanese yew
  • juniper
  • linden
  • maple
  • pine
  • walnut
Silky Saws 
My favorite pruning and trimming equipment. I don't get paid for an endorsement. Cuts like a hot knife through butter. You'll thank me later.
<![CDATA[Cotton Is Rotten: A guide to better men's clothing fabric choices.]]>Fri, 10 May 2013 16:13:21 GMThttp://dayparentdad.com/6/post/2013/05/cotton-is-rotten-a-guide-to-better-mens-clothing-fabric-choices.htmlPicture
Every men's magazine I have ever read said, "Wear only high quality natural fabrics." I was oh so happy to toss every piece of polyester my mother had ever bought for me including those leisure suit components and those dang restaurant tops and slacks I wore for years as a server. They were heavy and hot and I couldn't understand why for Pete's sake anybody in management would want us to wear those. As for socks, please just give me a pair of thick, soft cotton socks with a comfort heel and no bunching in the toes. I began to collect everything in cotton, wool, linen, silk...seems my life had been saved and the world was wonderful. 

After I started amassing this collection of natural fibered attire, little chips and cracks in the foundation of this theory started to form. I discovered how quickly many natural fibers wrinkle and stain. Wear a cotton t-shirt, under a cotton shirt, under a wool suit in the summer and just try to stay fresh and clean without getting yellow, ugly sweat stains everywhere. Laundering those was almost worse. Put on a linen suit and sit in a car. Forget it - might as well call you shar pei. A cotton shirt at the beach - those pics of studly men looking breezy and put together by the ocean - not! You look like something old and ragged that the cat dragged in two weeks ago and was just discovered in the corner of the laundry room under the litter box. Not to mention you smelled like it too.

It really wasn't until two things happened that I discovered the secret behind fabric selection for the foundation of men's clothing: My trophy wife ran the 3-day and I had a heart attack in the same week. (You see the trophy wife running and you might have a heart attack too - just kidding honey.) But each event is related in the selection of clothing fabric. 

You see, she learned in her training that for runners, walkers and other athletes: "Cotton is rotten." Essentially cotton does not wick water away from the body. It holds onto it and creates increasing humidity next to the skin. Of course we know that evaporation helps cool the body and moisture on the skin can create chaffing, so this is a problem for athletes who need to stay both cool and scratch free. After my bypass surgery I had a number of scars that did not heal very quickly and were very sensitive. Every single time I put on a natural fiber shirt or undergarment, especially cotton, my sensitivity signals went off the scale. That cotton, linen, wool, etc. was so rough (Same goes for sheets, but that's another story.)  I could feel every, individual fiber and decided most of the time to go sans shirt which became a problem for most everybody else who had to view me and my scars - well, mostly me. 

Anyway, I went on a search for the best undergear and shirts a guy could buy that were not scratchy for sensitive body types, cool and comfortable, non staining, and look marvelous all the time. I discovered Tencel or Lyocell which is a biodegradable wood pulp fabric and Climalite from Addidas which in some cases is an all synthetic and sometimes a blended fabric that fits comfortably, cools, and looks great. Of the Climalite I prefer the Sport Performance which is all synthetic. This Climalite underwear is probably the best find for those with sensitive skin. They also make water wicking socks too. Many of my shirts are now Tencel based and I'm buying more and more of my clothing in these fabrics. I've found it everywhere both online and in retail stores such as JCP and Kohl's. 

No need to suffer with rotten clothing as technology really has made fabric better for guys.  Just go buy it! 


Reader Insights

A reader suggested Woodies for an eco-friendly option. They are undershorts made from Tencel and come in briefs, boxers and boxer briefs. They don't have trunks or t-shirts, but it is worth checking them out.