Category Archives: antiques and collectibles

Ray’s Insides – Our Garage

Ray and I have been cleaning our garage today. This is not a small task since we physically handle so many antiques and collectibles when dealing with estates. Still, this space is so cool and unique I wanted to share some pictures of it. This is classic Ray Beaty with tons of stuff hung on the walls and a plethora (you’ll see) of tools and accompanying supplies to tackle pretty much any project. This space reminds me of the art installation at LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) of the old garage. I loved that place. Someone told me it is currently in storage, which is too bad since it speaks of a certain type of person with a clear sensibility. There is a smell that comes with this place too which is a mixture of paint thinner and oil. And the air is cool in there even on a hot day since the walls are so thick. I love this space.

Ray said to me, “Is this what you imagine my insides look like?”

“Yes,” I said.

His response, “Me too.”

Here are the pictures:

IMG_4730IMG_4728 IMG_4734 IMG_4735 IMG_4736

Come See Us on Saturday for Our 2nd Neighborhood Garage Sale

Ray and I were up at 6 this morning, down at our bank building, pulling out lots of goodies for our next neighborhood garage sale which will be this Saturday from 8 – 5 in the front yard of our home here in Sherman, which is a historically marked Queen Anne Victorian known as Lyon House. We also brought a whole van load of antiques and collectibles from CA specifically for the garage sale and/or the antique mall. Several of our neighbors and friends are joining us for what we hope will be a repeat of our successful sale back in late May. We can only have two sales a year, so come one, come all! There should be lots to buy and the prices will be right. There will be antiques, collectibles, appliances, clothes, household items and books. Our address here in Sherman is 716 North Crockett Street. Just come on by to browse and visit. It should be a fun day.


A Few Thoughts and A Tentative HBO Recommendation

I am here in Texas, sitting in the room we call “the green room” because it has green floral wallpaper and a deep green ceiling, and I am struck with how odd “time” can be. Once I get here to this house, whether it is 6 weeks or 6 months, after only a few hours, I feel as if I’ve always been here. Very strange. It is as if my California life recedes into a pocket in my brain and I am fully immersed in my Texas existence, which includes life in a big Victorian, buying and selling antiques, organizing our rather large collection of odds and ends as well as dealing with renters either here or Fort Worth. I have a full set of friends and neighbors here just as I do in CA and we have many similar discussions about art, design, music, writing and concerns about the events in our country and around the world.

When I am in CA, I have a similar experience: Texas fades away and I am fully there with a life that looks a little different because of my teaching, the presence of our kids and grandkids and the orange grove, but very much the same in many other ways.

I suppose our brains have the capacity for serious compartmentalization.

I am hurrying tonight to finish this post because Ray is waiting on me to watch the next episode of the new HBO series, “The Night Of.” We saw the first episode last week and I can highly recommend what I have seen so far. A complicated story with lots of twists and turns. I will write more when I know more.

On that note, I’ll say good night. I hope your Sunday was relaxing and you are gearing up for a good week.

I’ll be checking back in with you tomorrow.


The Room Where I Write

The room I am sitting in has a red Persian rug, a brown leather couch, a green brocade wing back chair (plus ottoman), a green Morris chair (plus ottoman), a cane back rocking chair, an art deco blondish coffee table and a low oak table upon which rests our television set. The curtains (which are insulated blackout curtains) are peach colored and they match in color, purely by accident, a large photo we have of orangish sand and distant rock formations of somewhere in either Arizona or New Mexico. We also have an orangish antique Carrom board hanging at an angle on one wall, plus a vintage needlepoint on another. The needlepoint reads:

Give Me Time

Time for patience
For understanding too
Time to remember
Thoughtful deeds to do
Time to believe in
all fellow men
Time to perceive
The value of a friend.

The needlepoint has a clock flanked with flowers in the very middle between “…thoughtful deeds” and Time to believe…”, and there are backward and forward S shapes all around the edges. It is beautifully framed and is one of my favorite possessions.

There is another needlepoint on the far wall, plus a clock in an oak case, two pictures and a painting. There are also a couple of small tables, two lamps, a Mission Oak drop front desk plus oak desk chair, and an old round oak stool. It sounds like a lot of furniture for a relatively small room, but it all fits together nicely and gives the room a lived-in feeling. All the colors and textures work nicely together to convey warmth.

This room is right next to the kitchen and was the official diningroom before we arrived. We wanted our living room to be a television-free zone so we need a den, and this has been our den/tv room for the 21 years we’ve lived in this house. We have a big table in the living room that serves as a dining table for major events. We would need to be in there anyway since this room – our den – is on the smallish side.

When people come into this room, they often say, “Ah, it’s so cozy in here.” I agree. It’s a comfortable space in which to relax. It is also in close proximity to the kitchen, which is handy for a quick snack. There is a ceiling fan that keeps everything cool, plus a big bay window and two side windows that make it nice and light. We have a rectangular stained glass window that hangs in the bay window.

When my kids were at home, I used to see all my students in the living room. The den was part of our family space and was their domain for relaxing after school with a snack and a little tv time. But now I typically see my students in here because it’s pleasant and Ray will go upstairs if he needs family space. We have a door that can close if he is in the kitchen when I have a student. That way he gets the privacy he needs and we get the quiet we need for writing.

Because Ray and I have been antique dealers for a very long time, our home has an eclectic assortment of antique or collectible furniture and decor, all of which means something special to us. This room is no exception. I can look at every piece of furniture or needlepoint or lamp, table or picture and tell you where it came from and what the story is that goes with it. And if I can’t recall the story, then Ray can. That is just part of the deal when you buy and sell antiques. The story is almost as important as the function of the piece. In some cases, even more important.

I am happy to have such a nice space in which to write and work. I am surrounded with old and treasured possessions that help create an atmosphere that I find soothing. Plus, I have my beloved needlepoint with its reflection on time. I think this environment nurtures those who enter. I certainly hope it does since that has been my intention. It definitely nurtures me.


An Early Morning Trip Out Into the Rain

Ray and I were awakened around 5:30 this morning by the rumbling of thunder and the flashing of lightning as a thunderstorm rolled into the Sherman area. Rain came pounding down, which normally would be comforting when all snuggled in bed, but not this time. We had not completely covered the trailer out back, which had several remnants from the garage sale that we were taking to the antique mall. Alas, that meant getting up and going outside.

We crawled out of bed and the dogs were right on our heels. Cordie was barking with every clap of thunder and Frankie was shaking. Ray and I both got dressed and headed out to the back porch, but then Ray turned to me and said, “You wait here and watch the dogs.”

Far be it from me to argue over that suggestion…

By this point, the lightning and thunder were no longer simultaneous, but the rain was coming down in buckets. Ray went out and tightened all the tarps that were already on the trailer, then returned to the house. “Do we have any trash bags?” he asked, and I ran off to the storage closet to grab the box. I returned and watched as he cut out two arm holes and a neck opening and slipped the trash bag over his already wet clothes. He then reached into a nearby drawer and pulled out a plastic bag, which he put on his head, then added his baseball cap. “No need to get any wetter than I already am,” he said and then headed back out.

This time, he went into the barn and retrieved another big tarp which he took out to the trailer. After wrestling the tarp over it, he then closed the barn door and headed back into the house. All the while the dogs and I were standing on the porch watching as the rain continued to pour down and the lightning and thunder moved further westward.

Ray wiggled out of his trash bag raincoat while I ran and grabbed a towel for him. In just a few minutes, he was back in his robe. “Let’s go back to bed,” he said.

We and the dogs headed back to our bedroom.

We settled back into bed, and could now relax and enjoy the rest of the storm. The rain drummed on the tin roof of the porch next to where we slept, and rain-cleaned air blew in through the open window next to our bed. We snuggle back down into the warm covers and slept another two hours.

How lucky I am to have such a chivalrous husband. That level of gentlemanly behaviour does not go unnoticed. While I was ready and willing to go out and help, I must admit I appreciated Ray’s generosity. I am always willing to jump into the fray to help and I was ready to head out in the rain and get soaked to the skin. Still, I so appreciated getting a reprieve from that duty.

Thank you, Ray Beaty, for being such a good husband. You are a good man, now and always. Your wife loves you.


Sunday in Texas

I am sitting in what we call the “green” room in our Victorian, named for the dark green wallpaper with maroon flowers and the accompanying dark green ceiling. Two clocks in the room are ticking out of sync with one another, and one just rang four times though it is actually 10:03 pm. Clearly some adjustments are in order. However, I love this room; one of the coziest in the house.

green room

I am sitting on a rocker that is part of a three-piece Mission Oak set that includes 2 rockers and a couch. This was my 60th birthday present from my husband, Ray. We had both been admiring the three-piece set at Touch of Class Antique Mall for several months when Ray decided this would be an ideal birthday gift for me. We have been enjoying these pieces of furniture ever since. They work beautifully in the room and have the added benefit of actually being comfortable, which isn’t always the case with older furniture.

mission oak

As always, I am enjoying being here in this lovely old house. I feel enveloped in a warm swirl of color, texture and memories. We visited with friends earlier today in the front parlor with all the windows wide open and the lace curtains fluttering from an easterly wind. The air was so fresh it was lovely and Ray remarked, “People may very well have sat right here in this room on a Sunday afternoon 120 years ago.” Now if that doesn’t give one pause…

We went to church this morning at St. Stephen’s Episcopal church here in Sherman with our friends, Dav and Carol Griffith. We saw old friends there: Helen and Craig Summers and Frances Neidhardt. Craig’s parents were our daughter Sarah’s Godparents and Frances was a close friend of my mother’s and is the Godmother of our youngest daughter, Rachael. These relationships go back 30 + years, which, of course, makes them that much more special. We will be attending a special memorial celebration on Thursday evening at the church for Father James Garrard, who was the rector at St. Stephen’s for almost 30 years, from 1968 -1996. Ray and I knew him well and he was one of the finest priests either of us have ever known. We’ll definitely be there to celebrate his memory since he not only blessed our marriage, but also celebrated requiem masses for my father, my mother and two of my brothers. We’re happy we’ll still be in town.

With that said, I will bid you goodnight.

I hope you have had a lovely Sunday, wherever you are.

I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.

A Day that Did My Heart Good

Today we had a fabulous garage sale with lots of customers, and I also had the chance to see some old friends who were kind enough to drop in and visit.

Judy Stevens Jeanes, Kathi Bowdoin and Elaine Bethel-Savage, all old friends from our hometown of Bonham, Texas, came by to say hello. Thank you all so much for taking the time to do that.

Me, Kathi, Elaine and Judy


Also, Jim Adams and his wife, Teena, came over for a short visit. Jim is family since his sister was married to my brother; it’s always good to see Teena and him.

In addition, Parker McComas and his wife, Gayle, were here not just to say hello, but also to put out some of their wares for the sale. Parker and Gayle are old friends from our Pig Branch Internet group and we keep in close touch online. It is always a pleasure to have them around and to hear of their latest adventures.

In addition, to all the visiting, we actually had a very brisk sales day. We are most grateful to the many customers who arrived with money in hand to bring a little bit of happiness to members of the four families involved in the sale. Again, a big thank you for making this such a successful day.

On that note, I will say goodnight. I am one pooped pup after working late yesterday and getting up early today.

I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.

Until then, I hope you will all stay happy and healthy.