Pecan Grove (

April 30, 2016

April 2016

Filed under: Pecan Farming,Ponds,Senior Residence — knewman @ 9:26 pm

We’ve had some bad storms in April… thanks to those who have been in touch to make sure all were ok here.  In the first major storm, we were fortunate to only get 4″ of rain when Houston got 20″.  A second storm earlier this week caused a lot of damage in Willis (10 miles from PG), but hardly any damage here.  In the third storm, early this (Saturday) morning, we had 5″ of rain in a little over an hour!  Here are pictures taken this morning, the first of the lake and the second of the secondary overflow from the lake.  The secondary overflow should only have water going over it when the water volume is too great for the normal pipe to handle.

Flooded lakeSecondary lake overflow

Ann and Alice Harris visited from New York.  Elton was the elder in the meeting they went to for many years. Here they are with Elton, and then with the 3 in nursing homes Roger, Naomi and Teresa.  Naomi isn’t doing well… loosing weight, not eating… is very weak.  Roger and Teresa do well.

Alice, Elton, Ann HarrisAnn, Roger, AliceAnn, Alice and NaomiAnn, Teresa, Alice

Jon and Gianine Peterson brought Diane and Leland Broughton (sister and brother) to visit.  Here they’re together and then with their old friend Duane Hinkley.

Diane and LelandLeland, Duane, Diane

John caught a bunch of fish… here he is with a bass… so we had a big fish fry when the Broughtons came… over 30 of us.  Kathy and Gianine helped John fry the fish.  The Hawkins boys enjoyed our new dog Sandy.

John with fishCooking FishGroup for fish fryHawkins kids with Sandy

Herman Anderson came with the Makis, while my sister Ronda and Mike Rosamond were visiting.  Dad got cut off in this picture.  Andy and Dorlene Anderson visited Jean.  Ted and Teresa Westerbur brought Ted’s parents for a visit.

Makis, Herman Anderson, Newmans, RosamondsJean with AndersonsWesterburs visit

Alice and I share a common birthday in April.

Alice 87thKens Birthday

Elton’s family arranged for a barbershop quartet to visit PG and sing… it was very harmonious!

Barbershop Quartet

Jennifer and Rachel visited Teresa in the nursing home.  Teresa can still play the piano.  Our meeting Wed evening at Milles is shown in the second photo.  The couples from left to right, Maki, Valdez (with Josh Maki behind), Mille, Newman, Hinkley, Overby and Colson.

Jennifer and Rachel with TeresaWed evening April 27th 2016

Last month I wrote about the pecan tree grafts we had performed.  Here’s two of them (on one tree) a month later.  The graft on the left has a new branch growing out of the top of it.  The one on the right has a new bud.  We’ll have to choose between them when they get bigger.  The leaves at the bottom are new branches that sprang out of the old wild root… we call them sucker branches… and cut them off.  They would quickly outgrow the branches that have been grafted in.

Two pecan grafts


March 31, 2016

March 2016

Filed under: Pecan Farming,Senior Residence — knewman @ 1:03 pm

Leah Bolt left in March to return home to PA.  We certainly miss her and hope she comes back next winter!  So we’re down to 6 residents.  The first picture below is of David (Leah’s son), Leah and Dominique.  The other pictures below are of the Swensons with Alice and the Hinckleys who brought the Paulsons for a visit.

David, Leah, DominiqueAlice with SwensonsHinkleys and Palson

The Larsons came to visit John. While they were here they celebrated John’s 90th… we weren’t allowed to but they could! The staff made a cake with a fish on it.

John, Larsons, NewmansJohn turns 80

Speaking of John and fish, he’d been saving up the fish he caught until he had enough for a fish fry.  One day for lunch he fried them up… we really enjoyed them.  The Vissers came to see John, shown here with Mireille and Dominique.  Calvin and Nedda Pinland also visited John.

John Frying FishVissers with John and MillesCalvin and Nedda Pinland

Lyle and Barbara Davies came to see Alice (Barbara is Alice’s niece).  They were with us for a special evening at Samuel and Conchita’s, with the Makis and the Milles.

Lyle, Barbara, AliceMakis, Milles, Davies, Valdez, Alice, Kathy

Monte and Gail Townsend visited, and the Jagielskis visited with Rachel, Jennifer and Joyce.

Monte and GailJagielskis visit

Samuel turned 53.  Elton, Lety and Hannah visited Roger and Teresa in the nursing home.  Naomi is in another nursing home, and is not doing well at all.

Samuel 53Roger, Elton, Teresa, Ken, Lety, Hannah

Blanca and the Rodriguez family visited Raymond.  Also the Davila family.

Rodriguez and Blanca visit RaymondDavila family visits Raymond

We had 7″ of rain which caused some flooding problems.  Samuel and I learned how to graft pecan trees, and the wisteria bloomed.

High waterGrafting Pecan TreesWisteria

For those interested, I’ll tell more about the grafting… All of our pecan trees are grafted.. a paper shell pecan grafted onto a native (wild) pecan root.  The native pecans have much better roots than the paper shell… the paper shell have much better fruit.  Every year some trees are damaged for some reason, and are cut off, so only the native root is left.  It quickly sends up branches which would form a native pecan tree.  We cut those branches off (there are 2 from the same root in the picture above), and graft in a short piece of pecan wood which was cut in December and refrigerated till the trees bud in March.  In this case the graft wood came from a Kiowa paper shell pecan tree, so if the grafts take, this tree will be a Kiowa.  The little piece of Kiowa was sharpened with a knife and inserted between the wood and the bark of the native pecan.  It’s critical that the green cambium layers between the bark and the wood, be in contact with each other…. that’s where the life is.  Tape is used to hold the graft together, and a plastic bag is taped over the graft to prevent it from drying out.   In a few weeks, if the graft is successful, the buds on the graft wood will turn green and produce a new branch.  We grafted 2 on most trees just because we expect about a 60% success rate, so hopefully 1 of the 2 will take.  If they both take, one will be cut off at the ground, so there is only 1 tree trunk.

We have the choice of grafting (this is the first time we’ve tried it) or purchasing a new tree (already grafted) from a nursery.  Grafting ourselves has two advantages… it’s cheap… and it takes advantage of roots that are already established.  A grafted tree will grow much more quickly than a new tree, because it doesn’t need to grow new roots.


February 29, 2016

February 2016

Filed under: Senior Residence — knewman @ 9:50 am

Most probably know that our dear Esther passed away just a few weeks after arriving in Morrow Ohio from PG.  We were glad to go up for her funeral, and enjoyed meeting many friends there… a wonderful experience.  Naomi is not doing well in the nursing home here in Willis.  She is in bed all the time, sleeping most of the time and no longer takes an interest in her correspondence.  The doctor is increasing her pain and depression medications, which makes her more comfortable but less awake.  Teresa is doing better than expected in the Conroe nursing home.  She takes physical therapy, and gets around some in her wheelchair.  We’re hoping to transfer her to a nursing home in Birmingham AL in the near future, to be near her family there.  Doris had a bad fall in February and had a lot of bruising on her face.  That’s clearing up nicely and she seems to be her usual again.  Alice was on special meeting rounds much of February, and just returned to PG.

Elton’s son and daughter, David and Cheryl, came to visit.  Here are pictures of them with Roger in the nursing home, with Dominique and Mimi, and then with a group that included the Pointers and the Makis.

David, Roger, Cheryl and EltonDominique, Mimi, Cheryl and DavidGroup with Clevelands, Pointers, Makis

Later in the month Elton’s granddaughter (David’s daughter) Sarah came to visit, driving Elton’s old car.

Elton and SaraElton with his old car

There were lots of workers visiting here during special meetings.  Here are some pictures.

Special meeting groupRachel, Jim, KelvinDoug, John and RonaldCarl, Alice and Lyle

Kathy’s aunt, Jane Jacobsen, was here for a while.  Her daughters Faith and Jennifer were here for a visit also.  Jane and Leah enjoyed playing Scrabble together.

Jane, Jennifer, Kathy and FaithLeah and Jane

Lety turned 28.  Here she’s with her husband, Marcos and her daughter Hannah.

Lety's 28thMarco, Hannah and Lety

We have an over abundance of turtles in the lake!  They’re hard to get close to… Darren got this picture using his cell phone camera and taking it through  binoculars!



January 31, 2016

January 2016

Filed under: Newman Residence,Senior Residence — knewman @ 4:44 pm

Many changes have already occurred in the new year, some good and some sad.   We’re  glad to have Leah Bolt back for the winter.  We’re sad that Naomi, Esther, and now Teresa have had to leave.  Naomi’s arthritis pain got to the point she was unable to walk, so she went to a nursing home here in Willis, 11 miles from PG.  She had been at PG since August 2011.  These pictures show Leah with Naomi, some of us with Naomi when she left, and then Hannah and Lety with Naomi in the nursing home, braiding Naomi’s hair.

Naomi and LeahGroup telling Naomi goodbyeHannah, Lety, Naomi

For a few months Esther had bouts of confusion, during which she needed 24 hour care.  Martha and Lois Houston came from Ohio and took Esther back to a nursing home in Morrow.  She had been at PG since July 2010.  The pictures show Esther with Jennifer, then with Don, Clarence, Martha and Lois, then the PG group when she left, and lastly with Linda at the airport.

Esther with JenniferDon, Esther, Clarence, Martha, Lois Group bidding Esther goodbyeEsther with Linda

Teresa fell and cracked her elbow and a vertebrate in the lumbar portion of her spine.  She’s currently in the hospital in Conroe, after which she’ll need to go to rehab, and likely a nursing home after that.  She’s been at PG since May 2009.  Here’s a picture with Kathy, ready to leave for the hospital.

Teresa leaving

Joyce came to PG with Marilyn and Nadine for a few days, for Joyce’s 70th.   Patty Maki made a fruit birthday turkey for those who couldn’t eat cake! They had a visit with Roger and at the Mille’s while here.

Nadine, Joyce, AliceBirthday  TurkeyJoyce, Roger, Marilyn, AliceGroup at Milles

Ron and Sharon Hanson and family from Washington came to visit Alice.  Also Ron and Delberta Trevithick from Anchorage came for a visit with Linda Ronhaar.

Sharon and ROn HansonAlice with the HansonsRon and Delberta Trevithick, Linda Ronhaar

Some have asked about our new house at PG… we did manage to move in the end of December, but there’s still construction, especially outside.  Here’s a picture taken today (it’s 77 deg F), and a picture of frost on the Sr. Residence one morning a few weeks ago.

New house at PGFrosty morning


December 31, 2015

December 2015

Filed under: Senior Residence — knewman @ 4:56 pm

Alice Oteken (86) arrived this week to be our 9th resident (not including my father Jack).  We’re very glad to have her with us.  Here are pictures taken when she arrived with John, Joyce, Rachel (who brought Alice) and Ken.

Alice ArrivingJohn, Joyce, Rachel, Alice, Ken

Raymond turned 90 in December.  He insisted on wearing a tie for his birthday celebration.  The staff tried to put a tie on the cake, but he didn’t recognize what it was.  Naomi, who is normally our wardrobe insultant, for some reason doesn’t try to change Raymond.   Regi tuned a couple of pianos for us.  Here he’s with his wife Tanya and her mom Elena from Ecuador.

Raymond's 90thRegi, Tanya, and Tanya's mom

Naomi was significantly worse in December, falling several times.  But then she seemed to recover, and quoted “Letty Brown’s Cow” for us.  Today I asked if she would quote it again so I could record it.  Previously she would quote part of this poem and give up… but now she can remember the entire poem again.  Here’s the recording:

Kathy’s sister, Pat Johnson, currently on the Iowa staff, came for a visit.  Carl and Gloria (from Kansas) were visiting Joan and Duane (who live not far from PG), and visited their old friends Raymond and Pat.  Also, Howard and Mary Ann, (who live 20 miles from PG) were here for a visit.

Kathy and PatCarl andHoward and Mary Ann

My sister and brother, Ronda (from Arkansas) and Brent (from Houston), were here visiting.  Ronda was the manager at PG for a few years.  Also Nita and Derald from Minnesota spent a few days with us on their way to Florida for the winter. Finally, Chuck (the tall guy) came to visit John.

Ronda, Ken, BrentNita and DeraldJohn and Chuck

Speaking of John, he’s still fishing (with his new pink fishing pole).  The cold weather and then a cold slowed him down, but not until he had a mess a fish big enough for a fish fry.  His cold seemed a lot better today.  Also, LeRoy came by to check in on his friend Raymond.

John FishingJoyce, LeRoy, Raymond

Shirley Spunagle brought most of her family (plus a few extra) for a visit. Glenn was in Haiti for the convention, so didn’t make it to PG.  Roger and Diane came to pick up Pat and take her back to Iowa.

Spunagle FamilyIMG_2601

Lety (Valdez, not Brown) and her daughter Hannah sometimes take Elton to visit Roger.  Here they are shown with Roger.  Elton wore one of Samuel’s sombrero’s while visiting Samuel and Conchita’s

Lety, Hanna, RogerEltonSamuel and Conchita

Esther also had a bad spell in December… was seeing folks that weren’t there… was afraid they were taking her stuff, etc.  But she got better again, and seems like her old self again.

Happy New Year,


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