Look ahead if gloomy weather makes you blue

tree blossomsWhile some local communities today are still coping with snow and ice, many more are getting pounded by torrential rain. Cabin fever runs rampant around the Northwest.

Cheer up! Though it might not comfort you to hear "rain is what keeps us evergreen," there's much to look forward to just ahead. Such as:

Crocuses, daffodils, and flowering cherry trees are swelling, ready to bud out.

Spring training. When the Mariners report to Peoria, you know rhodies will bloom soon. Maybe you need a sun break? Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14.

Daylight Saving Time. Sure it's a hassle to reset your clocks, but that extra hour of daylight should brighten your mood. We spring ahead (and change our smoke-alarm batteries) on Sunday, March 12.

man fertilizing lawn The Seattle Bike Show runs March 4-5 at the CLink. Tulip Fest starts March 24 in Woodburn, while the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival kicks off April 1.

You also can schedule a few weekends now to do spring maintenance around the home next month.

Fertilize your lawn. The sooner your turf thickens, you lessen the chance of moss invading bare spots come fall.

Power wash driveways and walkways to get rid of that green winter algae. Blast the slime off your deck too, but be careful not to harm wood fibers. If needed, restain and seal wood decks.

Do you have an air conditioner that needs service? Schedule it now before warm days arrive.

Does your lawnmower need a tuneup? Better schedule it now, before you need to use it.

trimmed branches Something else you should do now, before spring: prune trees, shrubs, and roses, and transplant vegetation while it's still dormant. For example, this is the ideal time to trim raspberry canes and transplant them.

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