We've had some gorgeous weather over the past three days and I've taken advantage of the situation to get out and start getting the house ready for spring and summer.

The weather in Wisconsin really warmed up on Saturday, so I jumped into action. First, I put almost all of the screens back on the windows and the sliding screen door on the kitchen door. Since the temperature was north of seventy, the next order of business was to get those screens in use by opening the windows. It's amazing how much of a difference that makes with the general air quality in the house. After that, it was time to get tortoise into his outdoor pen for the first time in 2007. Once I got him in there, he basked heartily in the sun for most of the day while chomping on dandelion greens. He obviously missed the natural light and grass. While I was putting in his pen, I noticed that it needed some repair because a dog jumped on the wire mesh roof over the winter and broke a couple of the tie-wraps that hold it together. I'll have to add that to my list of projects.

Getting the laundry out on the line was the next order of business. That meant getting the clothesline and clothespins out of the basement and the clothespole out of the rafters in the garage. Once I had that setup, two loads of laundry went out on the line.

Finally, Dalla and I jumped in the car to run some errands. I needed a sledge hammer to take apart the stone and brick planter next to our front steps, along with some softener salt, and some ladder hooks. I tried to buy the sledge hammer at Menards, but when I asked where the keep the sledge hammers, the woman asked me, "What kind of sledge hammer?" My response? "A sledge hammer." After all, how many different types of sledge hammer can there be? As it turned out, they only had short-handled sledge hammers, so I ended up purchasing one at Sears.

Dalla patrolled the yard while I dug the dirt out of the planter (three wheel barrows full) and then used the sledge hammer to break up the stone, brick and mortar. I got about two thirds of that thing broken up before I had to walk the dog, make dinner, and take the laundry in. Once we get that broken up, we can start rebuilding it using a concrete form, but that's another project for another day.

While I was working around the house and whatnot this weekend, Sarah was in Memphis with her friends from college. They try to get together every year or so and this year they picked Memphis as a destination. They had a good time checking out Beale St. and Graceland. They also at some tasty barbeque, of course.

Yesterday, several people around my office developed a hacking cough that forced us to go home early. Of course, we were really going home because the weather was so nice, so the cough was just a joke that we were all in on.

Tonight, Sarah and I are hoping to bottle the beer that I brewed a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully, that won't take more than a couple of hours.