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June 16, 2010

Bad Mom

I feel like such a terrible sulcata mother. Frankie's outdoor living arrangements are just not ready for this terrible heat. But really, it's all the rain's fault: three weeks of rain and I had hardly a chance to get him set up.

Usually, during May, I set up the patio so Frankie will have plenty of shade and space underneath to stay cool. Six different drapes collected over the yeas from garage sales to people's garbage's (yes, I dumpster dive) keep the sun from baking him all day.

A old brightly colored outdoor table cloth is draped above his night shelter. This decorative table cloth keeps the morning sun from turning his shelter into an oven.

An outdoor green and white canopy picked up at a garage sell for $5 serves as a shade around the patio so the sun doesn't get underneath where Frankie spends the majority of hot sunny days.

Then there is this monster yellow umbrella from a patio table (dumpster dive prize) that I drape under the stairs as Frankie likes to sit here in the late afternoon. Since the umbrella is rainproof, he can sit under it when it rains without having to retreat into his night shelter.

And his night shelter....the completely Hubby-furbished, electrified, insulated, plastic strip door, easy-to-clean-poop-out-of, that is nearly five years old is now too small for Frankie to turn around. And he still uses it. This is where I am the "bad mom".

Frankie can get inside alright. He only scrapes the plastic only slightly when entering the cut out door area covered with plastic strips. He must come in the cut out area straight or he can't get in at all. Once his head is in he has to maneuver a 45 degree turn into the shelter to get cozy. Entry is manageable but there is no easy turn-around for exit for the ever growing beast.

In the morning, I can hear him negotiating a backward, forward, backward, forward movement as he attempts to turn around in a space that no longer allows him to turn around. His shell has gouged into the insulation a half an inch so he can accommodate that turn. Sometimes his "bump and turn" will just cause the two front opening doors to burst open. And they don't open enough for him to then get out. They are open enough just to help him complete the turn, negotiate the 45 degree turn back though the plastic covered opening.

Daily, as I sit at my computer by the window which is six feet above his enclosure, I hear the crash bang of a sulcata who may just be intentionally making louder noises than necessary to get the message across that he needs a new shelter.

Hey, Hubby, remember that neat Frankie enclosure designed three years ago that you were going to put in. Well, it's past time.

The guilt is knowing that Hubby and I are heat-haters. It has to be below 80 degrees FÂș, and full cloud coverage before we wander outside for heavy duty yard work.

And as I type, a thunderstorm with flash flood warnings approaches quickly. I am never going to get done unless I finish while it is raining. Tent city is just going to have to wait like Frankie.

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