Cacti, Colonoscopies & the IRS

 Preparing the tax returns always makes me grumpy!

Preparing the tax returns always makes me grumpy!

We had an interesting weekend. Perhaps, the blog title does not do the weekend justice because, other than fasting in preparation for my early Monday morning once-a-decade colonoscopy, it wasn’t a bad weekend at all … except I had to do our 2017 taxes which puts it in the same category as thorny cacti and colonoscopies. BAH!

We had planned a youth symphony orchestra concert in Henderson on Friday night, but it was postponed due to wind (50 mph gusts in an outdoor venue), so we had to come up with another option for “date night”. It ended up being a movie on the big screen … “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” ... with lots of popcorn. Popcorn was allowed till Saturday, so I took advantage and, truth be told, ate more than my share of a huge tub washed down with Diet Coke. The movie was great, by the way.

 The Lynn Bros building the backyard deck.

The Lynn Bros building the backyard deck.

On Saturday, while the Lynn boys were working on the backyard deck, I decided to finish up the 2017 taxes which I’d been procrastinating, dabbling at, but not finishing for the past two weeks. I can feel knots in my stomach as I begin this odious, annual task. I get grouchy. I keep good records, but plowing through everything is onerous especially when I can think of at least a hundred other things I’d rather be doing. Don’t get me wrong, IRS guys and US Treasury. I realize everyone needs to do their fair share in supporting this country. It’s the preparation (much like a colonoscopy) that causes all the angst.

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Which leads me to Sunday … fast day! I’m not a “fasting” kind of girl. I’m a grazer. I eat constantly throughout the day, so going without and eating nothing is not an easy task. I purchased a good supply of popsicles, Crystal Light and Stash tea to get me through the day. The list of “do nots” on my instruction sheet began 5 days before the procedure and got increasingly rigid, but nothing untenable.

Sunday, however, was the challenge. We did our usual walk around the golf course, but no cream in my morning coffee. I drank black tea. Reality really set in as I watched David have his bowl of cereal and nothing good for me ... clear liquids only.  I could have had chicken or beef broth (yuck!) or lemon/lime jello (double yuck). Nothing red, purple or orange … pretty limiting since those are my favorite color popsicles!

 Springs Preserve specializes in native desert gardens and plants.

Springs Preserve specializes in native desert gardens and plants.

In order to minimize my starvation agony, David suggested a visit to Springs Preserve, one of my favorite places in Las Vegas. He worked it well because since I was fasting, he didn’t have to buy me lunch which he admitted was mighty clever on his part. (NOT!) And, since it was the first weekend of the month, we received free admission compliments of our Bank of America ‘Museums on Us’ benefit. We walked and wandered and explored the native desert botanical gardens there, looking for ideas for our own backyard.

 Queen of the Night cactus on our front lawn.

Queen of the Night cactus on our front lawn.

 When in bloom, it's gorgeous.

When in bloom, it's gorgeous.

We already have quite a few cacti in our yard … Queen of the Night, cholla and prickly pear … and we probably don’t want more. Our criteria for adding plants? Drought-resistant/tolerant (no watering required), low maintenance (we’re lazy), colorful to attract bee/butterfly/ hummingbirds (we like photogenic flora and fauna). We  received some good ideas and help from the knowledgeable docents/master gardeners there and will see how and where to implement them once the deck is completed.

Then we were off to wander through a few sporting goods stores in search of the perfect backpacks for our upcoming Thames Path walk in September. We’ve decided that we want to be able to pack everything we’re taking in two reasonably sized packs, so we don’t have to have them transported from one hotel to another nor worry about checking them on trains, buses or airlines.

Sad to report, even shopping didn’t curtail my hunger. We headed back home where lemonade, more hot tea and a few lemon popsicles did absolutely nothing to stave off my hungries.  I should be able to live off my fat for a few days in silence, but in reality, complaining didn't make me less hungry, but it helped to have someone pretend to listen.

And then, it was time to drink down the “lemon-lime flavored oral solution for colonoscopy preparation” aka 'colon blow'. A whole gallon of the wretched stuff which, I’m happy to report, worked as advertised … and then some.

I’m hoping that after a night of trotting back and forth to the loo, I can manage to get myself together for an 0530 departure to the surgi-center. I was assured that I’m the first in line tomorrow which is good because without coffee, I can tend to be somewhat grumpy and Lord knows I'm hungry.

The plan is for tomorrow's  procedure is for it to be over in a snap at which time David will whisk me away to a hearty breakfast. Then I plan to spend the day browsing and grazing, sending off the taxes and planning out a garden.