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As we've reached the half-way mark of the Fall season, it's time to get serious about Fall Cleanup since Winter is just around the corner. While it's been sunny, and some might say, "unseasonably warm" around these parts of late, reality is that the first major snow dump of the season arrived here in mid-November - so you never know how quickly things will change. With that in mind, it's worth taking a look at the trees around your property to see what's gotten unruly, identifying what should be trimmed before the cold winds and heavy snow start snapping branches. From Snow Joe + Sun Joe comes their new 10-Inch 8-Amp Multi-Angle Telescopic Electric Pole Chain Saw (SWJ803E) which I was sent for review this season. Check it out in-action...

Published in Gardening

Last month, we had a chance to sample an early batch of Thomas' Salted Caramel English Muffins and Bagels - the latest limited-edition flavor offering from the folks at Thomas'. I took them up to a lake house we were staying at in Wisconsin, serving them up as part of breakfast for our entire crew, and as expected - they were delicious. Salted Caramel is one of the latest flavor trends to really take off after building steam over the past few years, and while a few people have indicated to me that they expect it to challenge Pumpkin in the years ahead, I say that's foolish. As a pumpkin enthusiast, I can tell you that nothing will ever overcome the mighty gourd as The King of Fall! Compliment it, sure... and with chunks of Salted Caramel baked right in, these new offerings from Thomas' are really good - available through early October. Then it's Pumpkin Spice time!

Published in Food and Drink

It's not even summer yet, and I'm already thinking of the most glorious season of the year... Fall. As an unabashed fan of all things Pumpkin and Pumpkin Spice (when done well), I have high hopes for one of 2016's newest offerings, Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. Revealed via Bloomberg, it's a wonder that General Mills has waited this long to bring some pumpkin-y goodness to their famous oats since they already offer a ton of Pumpkin flavors throughout their other brands. While there's no release date announced just yet, I'd bet we'll start seeing Pumpkin Spice Cheerios on shelves (and pallet stacks, endcaps and other gloriously massive displays) right around the same time that the General Mills Monsters crawl out of their crypt... usually August/September.

Published in Food and Drink
Craftsman CrewTHE ROCK FATHER has partnered with Sears as a paid member of the Craftsman Crew.

As I write these words to you right now, the cold November rain (GN'R reference) is coming down outside our home, the gutters overflowing and solid sheets of water running down the windows of my office. The harsh reality is that my favorite season will soon come to a close, with Fall making way to Winter. If the preliminary predictions are to be believed, winter 2015/16 in the U.S. is gonna be harsh - and that's saying something since we've lived through a bevy of Hoth-like conditions here in Northern Illinois during the past few winters. If previous years have brought forth those news-worthy catch phrases like "Snowmageddon," what's looming in the not-so-distant future might well be the Snowpocalypse, and we must be prepared. Thing is, we need to finish our Fall Clean-up to be ready for winter - and being prepared for both will help everyone get back to normal come Spring, and getting our lawn and garden ready for a new year of fresh growth is something I'm always looking forward to.  My friends at Craftsman have all the tools to get you through every season, and to help bridge Fall and Winter, I'm throwing down five helpful tips!

Published in Gardening

When my wife and I bought this house a few years back, one of the first things I bought for the yard was a Toro Blower Vac from The Home Depot. The corded blower vac saw a ton of action - spring and summer finding it used as a blower-only, for post-mowing cleanup, while Fall saw it transform into vac mode to help with the leaves that one would expect from an Illinois autumn. For 2015, Toro has upped their game the the new UltraPlus Blower Vac - one of which arrived here for review in my own State-of-the-Art Testing facility: Rock Father HQ. With the leaves having begun to fall here at home, it was time to go hands-on to see how the latest model matches up against my trusty old Fall friend.

Published in Gardening
Friday, October 09 2015 22:03

31 Days of Halloween: OVER THE GARDEN WALL

It's been a very long time since a new Fall special has come along and truly captured the vibe and essence of the classics I grew up on in the 80s. There's so many elements to hit on, and somehow Patrick McHale's OVER THE GARDEN WALL managed to find the right combination, positioning itself as a modern perennial classic. Originally airing as a miniseries on Cartoon Network back in 2014, OVER THE GARDEN WALL was presented in 10 parts - with two shown each night for five nights. A 2015 DVD release brought them all together in one package, and there is definitely some real magic there. In fact, our entire family was captivated by the tale of two young brothers on a quest to escape a mysterious forest called "The Unknown" - my wife and I watching the entire thing in one shot, cuddled on the couch with our girls. OVER THE GARDEN WALL secures a place in my annual 31 Days of Halloween here at THE ROCK FATHER Magazine. Check out the entire first episode below!

Published in Movies, TV and More
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