It's that time of year.Home improvement show time. They come at the time of year I find myself most vulnerable: Pent up by winter (even a mild one) but not yet so busy with outside chores, I still believe all things are possible. That's when grandiose plans develop, swelling like balloons until reality bursts them.

The only thing more dangerous than a home improvement show in town? A legitimate excuse to go. Since I wound up at the recent Home & Garden show for work-related reasons, naturally once my shift was over I had to check out the latest, greatest and the oddest, joining the shuffle of other potential home improvers there to get a whiff of spring from the gardens, listen to the burbling water features and pick up literature for enough projects to redo three houses. So many windows, so many hot tubs and saunas, and oodles of gizmos, like the one that converts from water feature to a fire pit.

I thought perhaps I would be immune to the usual sudden enthusiasm for a project I didn't know I needed. We've already upgraded to the kitchen not of our dreams, but of our reasonable expectations. The big upstairs master bath dream can't possibly happen until the mortgage is paid off. So with no tremendous needs and no budget, I thought I would be safe from the lure of projects.

And then I saw the screen porch windows I'd never heard of, and then possible flooring options for the porch, and my imagination was off to the races. By the end of the afternoon, I'd mentally furnished our revamped screen porch , complete with a hefty virtual price tag. But by the end of winter, the inspiring literature likely will be safely tucked away in the "Porch" folder in my home inspiration files. I'm guessing the porch might get a much-needed new roof this year, but those windows will probably fade into memory, at least until next year's home improvement shows.  By the time it's finally warm enough to wash winter grime off my windows, I'm over it.

How about you? What home improvement projects live in your winter imagination? And which of the latest and greatest home innovations caught your fancy?  If you missed the big home fairs so far, there are a few more coming up. Find our calendar of home improvement related events by visiting and selecting "all events" and searching for "improvement."