Category: geneaology (Page 1 of 2)

Three Sisters

I recently read a book titled The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown, and while this is NOT a review of that book, it might be a good title for the pictures I’m posting.  Both of these pictures were taken this month.  The first is a picture of my mom on the left and my Aunt Rene, Mom’s older sister on the right.  They look pretty good for mid-70s and early 80s, don’t they?



They are both still busy as ever, gardening, riding horses, enjoying life.

And then there’s this picture of my Aunt Violet, mom’s oldest sister, who just celebrated her eighty-something birthday.



Doesn’t she look wonderful?  She just recently downsized to a smaller house, less yard, but still enough bedrooms for family to come visit.

And yes, they are weird, in the most wonderful , Hayes-family way.

Sewing Project Finished!

Last Friday’s Just a Moment was the beginnings of a sewing project. I haven’t used my sewing machine in years and it has been even longer since I did anything more than simple mending with it. We’re talking decades here! And I have never taken an existing item and copied it, making my own pattern. But that is just what I did, with a lot of written instructions and long-distance hand-holding by my friend Carol (thank you!).

I started with my favorite blue jeans skirt, which I have worn so often that it is beginning to show extreme signs of wear and tear. I have looked and looked for a replacement, but been unable to find one. And then inspiration hit! I could use the skirt as a pattern and recreate it!

Here’s how it went:

blue jeans skirt

Favorite Skirt

sewing instructions

Emailed instructions from Carol, plus skirt measurements and layouts

skirt material


first two layers

First two layers joined

three layers

Three layers joined

four layers

Four layers joined

hemmed with lace

Hem with lace

finished skirt

Waistband in and finished!

I felt so brave attempting this, since I never considered myself very good at sewing and even less good at using patterns. I wonder if the difference is that with this project I had the finished product in front of me and I didn’t have to “visualize” how the pattern + material equation was going to work out. Now I am excited with the possibilities! I can sew!

Actually, I am crediting this inspiration for this whole project to my grandmother, Mabel Esther Austin Gibson. Early in July I was asked by a distant Austin relative to write a short essay about my grandmother. One of the things I remembered about Grammy was what a great seamstress she was. And then I had a revelation (one of several I had while writing the essay)! I realized Grammy was probably not a great seamstress from day one … what I saw was the result of years (decades!) of necessity, effort and practice. Surely I could “channel” some of her creativity and skill and effort and begin my journey towards becoming at least a good seamstress.

So, thank you, Grammy, on your 105th Birthday, for continuing to inspire me!

Mabel Esther Austin Gibson

Old Family Pictures

Last month I spent some time going through a box of old pictures and other memorabilia left to me by my grandmother, Mabel Esther Austin Gibson. I scanned a lot of papers, cool things like her 1926-1928 college transcript. I also found a lot of pictures, many of which were labeled, and I have been scanning them for posterity and to share with family.

Here’s one of my dad, Robert Warren Gibson, dated September 1937. He would have been three months shy of his second birthday, although he looks bigger than that here. He was a big guy, though, so the date might be correct. There was no name for the girl in the picture and it is definitely not either of his sisters.

Robert Warren Gibson

This picture is dated September 1946, so 9 years later. Dad would have been just shy of his 11th birthday. And with him is his younger sister, Lois Elaine Gibson, who would have been one month shy of her 8th birthday.

Robert Warren Gibson and Lois Elaine Gibson

It is kind of surprising to see dad with a cow, but I suppose milking the cow was his responsibility then. I know he never ever wanted anything to do with cows as an adult!

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