By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 09, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Just like everyone, 80-degree weather, with full sun, has me eyeing the backyard. Should we bring out the patio table and chairs? Time to hook up the hoses and turn on the water? What about planting?

But, I've gotten smart and learned to wait out the tricky Wisconsin weather. The table is still stored away and the outside taps still don't run. But I find myself gazing at the hazelnut bush wondering when the buds will pop open and turn the stand of brown/gray sticks into a big ball of vibrant green.

This year, like most, I haven't been able to fight the urge to get out there and tinker. A couple weeks ago I crossed my fingers and dug up two grape vines to move them. The buds still look alive but my fingers remain crossed.

Then I sawed down the mostly dead, gnarled bush/tree of indeterminate type with plans to replace it with something evergreen. (The City of Milwaukee picked up the brush within about seven hours of receiving the special pickup request!)

This weekend, I braved frigid temps at Stein's to select the two tallest arbor vitae in my price range and enlisted a kid in a green shirt to help me load them into the car. My plan was to have them ready for a nice day to plant.

But then I thought, "why not dig the holes?" Then I'll be even readier on that nice day. You see where this is going...

Once the holes are dug and I've got the peat moss for my acid-loving evergreens, I might as well just put the darn things in the ground.

So, now our alley screen is in the ground and ready to go. And that's got me thinking it's time to feed all the shrubs and trees. Frigid temps or not, spring is here, I guess ... at least for me.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.