Wednesday, December 31, 2014


To all our friends ... may your new year be 
everything you desire!

~Maryann   ~Olly   ~Paris-Ivy

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Wishes

Yes, we try our dogs' patience sometimes.  And it happened again today ... but with a good purpose in mind! 

Yes, Olly has been a good boy!  He didn't particularly enjoy his new Santa hat, but he did put up with it.  

Paris-Ivy, on the other hand, was a bit less cooperative.  And upon occasion, she deserves the "naughty" hat.  ☺

From the desert ... We wish you a holiday season filled with joy and love and fun!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Art of Fish

Fish are beautiful as they are and I love to photograph them.  But I also love to play with the images and the resulting "artsy fish."  Here are a few so you can develop a new and different perspective on these creatures of the water.  :)

The School

Golden Boy

The Dive

Purple Haze




Water Wings




Salient Green


Dobber Blue

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Andy visits the desert!

My good friend, Andy Waterhouse, made it across the pond from the U.K. for a conference in San Diego and then made a stop in Phoenix!  Andy is a long-time member of the Boxer Mailing List and we first met in person in 2006 when my son and I visited London and Normandy, France.  These photos show a bit of Andy's brief stay in the desert.

First stop after arriving at Sky Harbor International Airport ... a high school football game!  My son, Callan, coaches varsity football for Valley Vista High School and Andy became an instant American football aficionado.  This is a pre-game shot.

After the game, Callan's victorious defensive linemen adopted Andy!

Then it was home to meet the Boxers!  Andy has two Boxers - Timmy and Ben - so he was looking forward to meeting Olly and Paris-Ivy.  Surprise! My grand-dogs, Dempsey and Josie,  were visiting so Andy got a Boxer greeting x 4!  Olly, Ivy and Dempsey all want to give him kisses! Or maybe they want to kiss the Boxer on his shirt!

Yes, it's clear Andy is a Boxer person ... Olly, Josie and Dempsey know that for sure!

Josie tries the over-the-top strategy to get Andy's attention.  :)

After a night's sleep (all four Boxers slept with Andy), everybody had some play time outside.  Ivy is intent on getting that toy!

Around and through!  Paris-Ivy is up for all challenges.

Four Boxers in one yard ... there's always something going on.

Olly is almost 9 years old, but he's still a very energetic, athletic Boxer ... and it's clear he loves playing with Andy!

Andy leads the parade followed by Olly, Ivy, Dempsey and Josie.

Almost time to head to the airport ... but first, Andy shows off his Boxer whisperer skills.  All four Boxers. Quiet. Calm. Relaxed.  I'm sure his long-time experience as a Specialist Trainer with Bark Busters in London helped.

And then, all too soon, Andy's visit came to an end.  Back to the airport to begin the next leg of his journey to Trinidad to visit friends there.  When I got back from the airport, the dogs couldn't believe Andy wasn't with me!  And they even searched for him the next day.

Come back across the pond again soon, Andy!  We really enjoyed your visit - and we miss you!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cooper joins the pack!

Thanks to a very special Boxer rescue - S.M. Rescue - a third Boxer joins the Watkins Pack!  And, today, Paris-Ivy meets the new guy.  His name is Cooper.

"Hey, Mom ... just who is this ... or ... what is this?"

Cooper, being a well-bred Boxer with good puppy training, allows Paris-Ivy to investigate the way doggies do.

"Okay, this Boxer guy sure is quiet!  Maybe I can get a bit closer."

 "I think he likes me!"

"Yep ... he's a Boxer.  He can stay."

Paris-Ivy and Cooper are now getting to know each other and they will probably have more adventures to share.  :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

"Strange Pines" ... my attempt at painting!

Okay ... my second grade teacher told me I had NO artistic ability at all - and I believed her.  I didn't even attempt any artistic endeavors from then on.  Until now.  Why not have some fun and create something ... even if it won't win awards or end up being sold on the auction block?

So ... I joined a friend and we went to Painting with a Twist in Tempe, AZ.  It's a fun two-hour class with an instructor who leads students through a formulaic process of painting a particular piece.  You can bring wine or beer (and some students did).  Super music is blasting during the evening.  And the entire experience is based on FUN!  Of course I documented the class with photos.  Here we go ...

You can find franchise studios in a lot of places.  On the left is the painting we're working on.  On the right:  the instructor's work as we go through the class.

Our instructor, Eli ... a professional artist.

Students are set up with a canvas, brushes, and a paint palette.

This is the topic painting we were working from:  "Summer Pines."

We started by painting the background ... three layers to indicate light.  And then, in chalk, we drew our trees on the canvas.

Now add some deep green foliage.

At this point, it's time for some mustard-colored highlights after painting the tree trunks and branches.

I've already added some lighter green foliage and here I am painting more highlights.

Here is my masterpiece:  "Strange Pines."  Yes ... I WILL hang this because it is my first - and probably my last - acrylic painting on canvas.  

It was a fun evening.  If you have a chance, give it a try!