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June 20, 2012

UPS Man Cometh

Today I got a package delivered by good-ole UPS.  I was expecting this package.  I didn't expect that the box it came in would be HUGE .

Someone decided a roll of outdoor fabric needed something extra special to help keep it safe on it's journey to my house. The small roll of outdoor fabric was cushioned with yards and yards of brown know that UPS brown paper wrap?

I have this small roll of outdoor fabric, a huge box (that is quickly claimed by Newt the cat) and yards and yards of UPS brown paper.

Not wanting to waste all the UPS brown paper, I decided to take it out to Frankie's cave to use it as bedding.  The UPS brown paper tears easily, it doesn't cause me to break out in hives like hay and straw, and after Frankie poops all over it the UPS brown paper can be composed.

So I went outside with the huge armful of UPS brown paper and I set it down by Frankie's cave. 

Frankie saw me come down the stairs so obviously (to him) I must have a treat and he wasn't about to be late for a treat.  Frankie's speedy sulcata shuffle-trot brought him to my side in an instant so he could claim his deserved treat.

Only I don't have a treat.

My purpose was just to get the paper into Frankie's cave and there were yards and yards of it so I had no available hand to bring him a treat too.  He was disappointed but quickly became distracted by the pile of crumpled UPS brown paper sitting on the ground which I was planning on tearing up from one very long piece of paper to lots of shredded paper.

Frankie has seen this kind of paper before.  He has slept many delightful nights snuggled in UPS brown paper. 

But this is Frankie's backyard. 

Frankie can decide if something is allowed, or if it must be given the "Frankie rules". 

The pile of UPS brown paper was going to get the Frankie Rules.

Frankie first decided that the pile of paper needed to be rammed.

Set squarely up against the pile of paper and his head pulled back into his shell, Frankie did a complete forward shell ram. Frankie dove deep into the pile of paper with such a force that had that paper had bones they would have all been broken.

The paper played smart and just laid there and accepted it's doom.

Frankie then decided that the UPS brown paper must then be trampled...several times.

All the while I am tearing up the paper into smaller sheets which are better sized for burrowing.

When Frankie was finished tramping and tromping all over the UPS brown paper he went about rewarding his excellent demonstration of how-it-is-in-Frankie's-yard by grazing on some local green grass.

Ya' gotta smile.

[This is dedicated to Frankie's dear friend, Spring Pace]

June 4, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Devoured

Greg and I were about to run errands so I thought I would set aside my shopping list to check on Frankie before we left.

I got outside and noticed that Frankie had finely gotten up out of his cave and had been in his pool.  Evidence of the pool visit was three poops now swimming in the kiddy pool water.

Good Frankie...I need poops for my Miracle Frankie Poo Garden.

So where is Frankie?

I take a walk around peeking under the patio even though I don't expect him there on such a warm and overcast day.  I proceed to the West side of the yard.  No Frankie.  I head up o the top of the yard and the wooded area.  No Frankie.

Maybe he is by the back 40 fence.  I walk into the wooded area and then walk the whole back fence.  There are trimmings still on the ground from my earlier trip to the back for wild berries.  Onward I go toward the East side of the fence and Frankie's favorite pile-o-leaves.  No Frankie.  I proceed down the fence into the open area of the yard.  No Frankie.

Hmmm.  Maybe I overlooked him.  Back to the kiddy pool to check the cave.

Holy shells!  The gate is open.  My heart drops.  How long has Frankie been out?  How far down the street could he walked?

I run through the gate.

To my great relief I spy a large Frankie shell butt on the drive.  GOOD Frankie!  He hasn't gone far.

Oh, shells and turtle tails!  Frankie is in the miracle garden and he is grazing!

BAD Frankie!

I rush to him to find he is happily munching on pumpkin leaves.

At least hasn't started eating the pumpkins yet!

I have to get the BAD Frankie outta the garden and back into his yard.

I'm not picking him up!  I'm just getting over my last back pain from last week.

Luckily, my car is ten feet from Frankie and I and I know I have a Frankie lifting strap inside.

Eight seconds later and I have the strap over him before he can finish off another pumpkin leaf.

"Help! Greg!"  Will Greg hear me?  This will be less painful for me if Greg could help get Frankie back into the yard.

Using the Frankie lifting strap I spin Frankie around off the pumpkin leaves.

Frankie starts moving.  Oh, no!  The zucchini squash, tomatoes, peas and cucumbers!  What a huge disaster if Frankie grazes he through the garden on his way back to his yard.

Surprisingly,  Frankie walks briskly toward the gate.

I stand for there for several seconds in utter amazement.

Okay, I stood there for several more seconds because I was completely astonished.

Frankie walked past the garden full of tomatoes and didn't attempt to eat a single one.

I was prepared to sacrifice my back, hands, arms and all to keep him from those home grown treasures.

Frankie keeps walking toward his yard not stopping at all.

I stood for a few more moments with my jaw wide open.

Good Frankie.  GOOD Frankie.

As Frankie ambles back into his yard without me pushing, lifting or crying, not a muscle strained in my back, only one little turn with a strap, and he looks happy to oblige me by returning to the yard all by himself.

I look back at the garden.  I-am-huge-mister-Frankie could have devoured three months of home grown yummy vegetables in ten minutes, yet only ate five pumpkin leaves. 

GOOD Frankie.

The garden goes UN-devoured.

Someone pinch me.  I must be sleeping.

What could possibly possess Frankie to be so good?

June 1, 2012

What a Pain in the Back

That is it.  I am never going to pick Frankie up again.

Yes, I should have tried giving up picking Frankie when he was 45 pounds but instead I just started to get clever and invent ways to pick him up.

This morning I woke up with such a back ache that I would gladly have traded it in for a migraine headache.  Forget snuggling with hubby.  My back was so wrenched that I didn't even want to move so my back would be snuggled against Greg-the-living-heating-pad.  Oh I love to have my back against his toasty body.

I just couldn't move.  I grumbled.  "Don't touch me!  My back is in so much pain!"

Curses that my beloved sulcata is now tipping the scales near 100 pounds.

I ran into Dr Atlas, Frankie's veterinarian, last week.

"When is Frankie coming in for his yearly check-up"  (his office loves Frankie)

"Well, Dr. Atlas," I returned.  "As soon as I rent a Knuckle Boom Truck."

Go look it up, Knuckle Boom Truck. Articulating Crane. If you own a small sulcata you will want to start saving your $$ now.

Frankie's next trip to the veterinarian will involve a minimum of two people.  Two to load him into my Toyota Prius, two to unload him at the vet's office and the same two person to repeat this procedure in reverse.

Yea, amazingly, Frankie still fits into the Toyota Prius.

If he can get lifted into it.

A ramp.  Sure.  Got an hour to wait for Frankie to do a ramp.  Bring lots of carrots and that time could be reduced to a mere 30 minutes.

All I did yesterday was move him a little.  Off my toe.  When he nearly ran me down for a carrot.

If I had known then that the pain in my toe was trivial compared to the pain in my back today I probably would have ignored him.

Or thrown a carrot.

Always bring a spare carrot.

Leann's 2012 Christmas Wish List