Monday, July 13, 2009

Emma Turns One!

I'm a "bit" late on this post. I drafted it in July, but never published it...

Emma was born on July 1, 2008, in Livermore, California.

First meeting

On August 21, 2008, we met Emma for the first time. She was a mere 7 weeks old, and I don't think she was much over 1 pound in weight. We met at the breeder's home in Livermore, CA, to see if we there was a connection. While we knew that just seeing a puppy is enough for most people, we felt there had to be some kind of initial bond before we made a final decision. She was quite a little handful, and started out a little shy, but soon warmed up to us. When she flipped over on her back and stared at me, we knew she was the one!

Who you lookin' at?

Take me home soon OK?

I think this person should be my new Mom!
Having made the decision, we needed to wait until she was 12 weeks old before the breeder would release her. There are developmental things that need to occur in that time frame, including dog and people socializing.
On October 1, we picked her up. After spending a few hours with the breeder (Georgina - check her website at getting orientated, we headed out. We were staying with our daughter and her family in San Jose, so the trip home was quick and uneventful. Once we got there though, things changed! It had been years since we had had a puppy...they are a LOT of work! One thing about new puppies: you never know what's going to happen. They eat a piece of fuzz - they throw up. They swallow a leaf - they get the runs.
One of the feeding instructions that Georgina had given us was to take 1/4 cup of dry food and mix it with a tsp of canned food. Emma seemed interested, but would not eat, so I called Georgina and asked for some suggestions. She had neglected to tell us to soak the dry food in a little warm water, then mix in the canned. As sharp as those puppy teeth are, little Emma didn't have the jaw strength to chew the hard dry food. After we softened it up, she caught up on her meals quickly.
Last winter, in February, we were staying with friends in Benson, AZ. While there, we were referred to a vet in Tucson, who spayed, micro-chipped, and pulled her remaining baby teeth. That day was her worst day out of her young life, but the next day, she was amazingly back to normal.
We never thought we'd get through the demanding puppy stage with Emma. She turned into quite a wild child. People we met on our journey told us to wait until she was about 10 months old, and then she would settle down. Well, at least their Yorkies had! Gradually though, she did seem to mellow slightly. At one year, while definitely still a pup, she has matured quite a bit (she's almost 14 months now, and is still quite a handful!).

Guard duty
At our summer place at Stoneridge, in Blanchard, Idaho (, she is known throughout the Motor Coach Village, and she is getting recognized around other parts of the property now. She has been called the "town slut" by some, due to her submissiveness around dogs she is just meeting (she flops over on her back so they can get a good sniff). We are hoping she will get over this soon! Emma has lots of dog friends there, including Abby, Jaxson, Jake, Kate, Cobber, Sadie, Tucker, Yogi, Zoie, and "big" Sheila. By far though, her best friend is another Yorkie, also named Sheila. Sheila is about twice Emma's weight, but that doesn't matter. When we let them off-leash, they play crazy Yorkie games until they poop out. They would do this all day if we would let them.
Emma at 1 year
Emma now weighs somewhere between 5.4 and 5.7 pounds, well within the breed standard. Her black puppy hair is gradually changing to silver. She's one year old, and we're glad she's a part of our family!! Happy Birthday Emma!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ketchup Time

OK, where have we been, and what have we been up to?

After leaving Texas, we headed for our home park in Monument, Colorado. We planned to be in Colorado for about 5 weeks, before heading to our summer spot in Idaho. If you have followed our blog, every post about Colorado involved "cleaning out storage". This time was no different, and we were focused on the task at hand! When we began full-timing, virtually everything in our 3300 sq ft home put into a 15x45 storage unit. It was jammed full floor-to-ceiling. Last October, we managed to get rid of enough stuff so that we were able to move to a 10x24 unit. This time, we FINALLY managed to close out our paid storage unit! Our son and his wife graciously allowed us to construct a 8x12.5 storage shed on their property last October, and we began transitioning. After bombarding Craigslist, Castle Rock Task Force, and Goodwill for the past 2 years, we managed to downsize enough to get everything to our shed. Whew! We have not been able to enjoy much of Colorado for the past 2 years, as it was "work" every time we passed through. This October we'll finally see some friends on our way through!

We had one interesting week that I can recall on our last visit. We had put a set of Caphalon cookware on Craigslist, and Donna got a call on it. After about 2 minutes on the phone, she said, "I'm going to give the phone to my husband." She whispered to me "I can't understand a word this lady is saying!". Another 2 minutes went by while I listened and tried to respond. Eventually, after a few more phone calls, we arranged to meet for a possible deal. I swore to Donna that the lady was Asian, maybe Vietnamese. We had agreed to meet at Costco in Lone Tree, by the gas station. We arrived on schedule, and waited...and waited. Finally the phone rang, and they told us they didn't know where Costco was, but they were a a big mall, outside of
"Richards". I had no clue. They spelled it: D-I-L-L-A-R-D-S, and then said "Richards". Wow, again I was speechless, but we headed over there and found them. And, they were not Asian, they were Iranian! They were very apologetic about their lack of English skills. We all laughed. And they did buy the cookware!

The second interesting thing that happened occurred while we were donating some things at Goodwill in Castle Rock. As I was backing the Jeep up to the door, I saw who appeared to be Ed McCaffrey of Denver Bronco fame. I told Donna, and she got out and said hi to him. Turns out he was trying to donate a treadmill, but Goodwill wouldn't take it. I told him about "Play-It-Again-Sports", where he could consign or sell it outright. I asked him what he thought about the Broncos this next season, but he laughed and said we'll just have to see. He thanked us for the tip and headed off.

We had a great Mother's Day with Todd and Victoria - they took us out to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse in Parker. Yummy steaks and good company!

We are excited to get back to Colorado in the fall - there will be a new granddaughter waiting for us there!

Towards the end of May, we decided it was time to head for Idaho. Last year we purchased an RV spot on a golf course in Blanchard, Idaho (check out and click on sales, then Motor Coach Village). It's hard to believe we've been here 5 weeks already. I'm playing lots of golf, and Donna has been busy with many activities, although she hasn't done as much quilting as she'd like. That will probably change! We've also started playing Pickleball, which is quite popular as a winter sport in Arizona with RV'ers. I've played a few games, and find it fun and a good workout. We traded our golf cart in this year on one of the new street-legal golf carts that qualify for a tax-rebate as an electric car. It can go a whopping 25mph, quite fast for a golf cart.

We plan on doing some offroading in the Jeep in the coming weeks. August will be a busy month for us. We have some friends who will come up and visit us for a week or so. Then we will head over to Albany, OR for an RV rally, and afterwards will drop in and visit my sister and her husband, who are living in Florence, OR while they build their new home.

The weather is warming up, and the golf is good, so if you're in the area, drop on by! Please be patient with us, and the Internet and cell phone service here suck. Verizon will be putting in a tower on the property "by the end of summer", so things will improve significantly next year.

By the way, Emma turned 1 year old on July 1. Stay tuned for a special blog entry!!