Pecan Grove (

December 31, 2014

December 2014

Filed under: Pecan Grove,Ponds,Senior Residence — knewman @ 10:02 pm

The 7 residents at PG are finishing the year well.  I forgot to mention last month that Bea went on a 6 day cruise with Virginia.  Not bad for 96 and nearly blind!  Esther has started telling folks she’s 16.  She’s going to make it to 100 (next September) or die trying!

The first picture below (taken today – Dec 31) of the residents: Doris, Bea, Esther and Naomi in front, Betty, Jean and Teresa in back.  The second picture is of the residents with those of us that were there for lunch, including my sister Ronda and her husband Mike from Arkansas.

ResidentsResidents and staff

Today is mom’s 83rd birthday.  Yesterday Liz Wilbur brought Jerry and Kathleen Fredrick to visit.  The Milles children and grandchildren were also here, with Mike and Ronda.

Leona 83Milles, Rosamonds, Herds, Wilbur

Samuel and Conchita are with Ronda and Mike in the first picture, in the house Ronda and Mike used to live in at PG… now rented by Samuel and Conchita.  Scotty and Dorothy Scott visited with their daughter Glenda Kadir and her children (who live in Dubai) and their son-in-law Galen Grillo (who lives in California).

Valdez, RosamondP1040263

Terry (all hat and no cattle) Hoffman’s family visited from Wisconsin and Georgia. Ron and Anna Furrow (Brendan’s parents from Ohio) came to visit with Karla, the twins and Evren.  Esther is always glad to see folks from Ohio.


Mary Sitton brought Bernie and Sarah Hatchett for dinner on Christmas day.  These pictures show Mary with Hector, Conchita and Samuel, then Betty with Sarah and Bernie.

Hector, Conchita, Mary, SamuelBetty, Sarah and Bernie

Sisters Betty Goss and Mary Stanton visited their old friends, Betty and Bea.  Lyle and Ginger Meyer and their 3 – Jessica, Austin and Blake – were down from Minnesota.


Howard and Mary Ann Colson and Wayne and Dawn Overby babysat our residents so the staff could go to a holiday dinner.  Ava and Oscar Waldo enjoy Naomi.

ColsonsNaomi, Ava, Oscar

Our road signs (needed for 911) were installed.

2 signs4 signs

Terry made a Texas slab at the bottom of the flag pole.  There are still a lot of pecans on some of the trees!  We’re to busy (or lazy) to bother with them.

FlagpolePecans in December

Good progress was made on the Mille home… rafters were going up today.   Our place was started in January… windows are going in now.  That retaining wall turned out to be a lot of work!

Milles HomeHouse from Orchard

Dominique took these pictures one frosty morning.


Happy New Year!  Thanks for your interest in PG.


November 30, 2014

November 2014

Filed under: Senior Residence — knewman @ 4:35 pm

The 7 residents at PG are doing fairly well.  Jean has a stress fracture in her foot, so is using a wheel chair to get around… she says it’s improving.  She didn’t fall… doesn’t know how it happened.  We hear Mary Jane has settled in well at her new place in North Carolina… we’re glad that transfer went better than we could have hoped.  Naomi’s having more difficulty walking because of arthritis.   We’re giving her some supplements and they do seem to be helping somewhat.  There were 2 birthdays in November, Betty and Macy (one of the part-time staff).


Visitors included our good friend from New Zealand, Geoff Murry, and the McSpaddens.  Geoff is shown here with the eagle (a Kiwi and an Eagle!).  The Milles set up a tent on their property… the second picture shows the Milles with their 2 grandchildren, the McSpaddens, Geoff and Kathy.  Construction has started on the Mille home… hopefully the foundation slab will be completed in December.

Geoff Murray Milles Woods

Dub and Cindy Johnson brought Fern Duncan for a visit.  Fern knows several of the residents… especially Naomi.

Dub Fern and CindyNaomi and Fern

Elton Cleveland spent several days at PG while visiting his younger brother, Roger, in the nursing home.  We’re always glad for Elton’s visits… livens the place up!  Roger stays about the same… his memory is poor but he’s content and has a thankful spirit.  Unfortunately he continues to need more care than we can provide at PG.

Elton and Roger

Other visitors included Kari and Del Campbell and Cory Stevens… we didn’t get pictures.

November was a busy month on the farm, finishing the pecan harvest, cleaning, bagging and shipping… all is well that ends!  We were glad for the help of Samuel, Hector, Kenny, Jack and Leona, Dawn and Wayne….

We tried to take some family pictures, which was challenging with 4 young grandchildren.  Here they are… and a picture of a meltdown!

4 grandchildren Meltdown

Lots of traveling in November… I’ll include one picture from Scotland for those who know Alex and Betty, and one from Minneapolis for those who know Kathy’s siblings.

Aberdeen Scotland Johnsons



October 31, 2014

October 2014

Filed under: Pecan Farming,Pecan Grove,Senior Residence — knewman @ 2:20 pm

Sadly, the time came for Mary Jane Pike to leave us.  Her dementia had reached a point that she needed to be in a special facility.  Her family found a place for her in Mount Airy, NC called Twelve Oaks.  Jennifer Grady, Waverley Pierson and Daniel Farris came to take her.  Here are pictures of them with Conchita, Samuel and Hector, and then leaving.  I just heard from Waverley that they’ve arrived and all went better than expected.

Daniel, Conchita, Samuel, Hector, Jennifer, Mary Jane and WaverleyJennifer, Mary Jane, Daniel, Waverley

We hope Mary Jane settles well into her new place.  It’s sad to see someone in such good physical shape but so confused…

Only 3 of our residents were able for convention this year, Bea, Jean and Teresa.  The rest were able to listen in the residence, which they really appreciated.

Two birthdays in October, Naomi turned 86  and Teresa turned 94.

Naomi turns 86Teresa turns 94

Visitors in October included Stephen and Daniel Bentz with Dorthy and Scottie Scott.  Stephen had spent time with the Milles in Vietnam, and didn’t realize they were here!  Also Hector’s wife Betty visited, shown here with Conchita and Samuel.

Stephen, Scottie, Dorthy, Dominique, Mimi, DanielHector, Betty Escaamilla with Conchita and Samuel Valdez

LeRoy Sanford came by after Mountain Peak, shown here with Daniel Farris.  LeRae Sullivan visited Don and Jenny Waldo and their kids Oscar, Jaina and Ava.

LeRoy adn DanielLaRae Sullivan, Don, Jenny, Jaina, Ava Waldo

Our residents enjoy the kids, here’s Naomi with Ava Waldo, Doris with Katelyn Kelleher (who sits still), and Doris with Evren Furrow (who doesn’t!).  Also a picture of Kathy’s sister Kim Schneider from Minneapolis and our 4 grand-kids.

Naomi and AvaDoris and KatelynDoris and EvrenKimmy and kids

David Bolt (from Newry PA) comes to PG to work with his son Travis about once a month.  This picture shows Karin, Travis, Patrick, Katelyn and David.  Bob and Cindy Erickson moved to Washington state.  Cindy worked at PG for over a year, a few years ago.  This is a picture from their going away get together at Colson’s.  We miss them in our meeting!

Karin, Travis, Patrick, Katelyn, DavidBob and Cindy Erickson

Ken Johnson told us something at Georgetown I wish I’d heard earlier… you don’t prune a fig tree!  In 2013 our fig tree had many small figs.  We decided to prune it in hopes of getting larger figs.  It worked… we got a lot fewer, larger figs (see picture in July 2014 post).  Then the fig tree promptly died!  Here’s a picture of a much smaller fig tree at Georgetown, taken in October, which has figs on it!  And a picture of our pruned, dead tree.  We’ll leave it till next spring to see if there is any life, but we don’t have much hope.  I wonder what that fig tree in the vineyard thought watching the vines get pruned?

Fig tree at GeorgetownOur fig tree

The pecan harvest continued in October.  They are now all in the pecan room being dried… some have already been cleaned.  We probably have about 10,000 lbs (in shell)… far more than any previous year.  The crows and squirrels never showed up this year!  The second picture is of a Chinese persimmon tree that bears a lot of fruit… we don’t really know what to do with the persimmons.  They’re sweet and tasty, but not a very nice consistency.

PecansChinese Persimmon


September 30, 2014

September 2014

Filed under: Pecan Farming,Senior Residence — knewman @ 3:11 pm

September has been a good month at PG.  Doris has improved to her usual again, Betty has found a new medication that relieves her pain and Mary Jane hasn’t lost her glasses again.  Esther turned 99 and Jean turned 91 in October.

Esthers 99th originalJean at 91

Martha Houston brought Jeannette Ford for a visit, in time for Esther’s birthday.  Jeannette stayed most of the month… everyone is excited when she comes… she sure livens the place up!  Here’s Martha and Jeannette in the cabin.  Dominique gave Jeannette a horn for her walker, so she’s demonstrating blowing her own horn (not that she needed encouragement).  The second picture is of Jeannette holding Evren.

Martha and JeanetteJeannette and Evren

Not to be outdone… here’s Naomi holding Katelyn.  A group of brothers met here, some headed to conventions in Arkansas and Missouri.  Lyle Waldo also visited from Oregon, but I lost the picture I took of him.

Naomi and Katelyn DSC07020

Samuel and Conchita fixed Cabrito (a Mexican delicacy made from one of Hoffman’s young goats) for a group of us including Betty, the Maki’s and the twins.  Hector Escamilla has come to work with Samuel temporarily… for the pecan harvest and some work on the new house.

Eating Cabrito Hector and Samuel

The Pawnee pecans (about 20% of our trees) came ready for harvest in September.  The rest of the pecans (5 other types) will be ready in mid October (just in time for conventions).   Last year the crows and squirrels cleaned out many of our pecans in October, so this year we got ready!  We built the crow trap shown below, set out 4 crow cannons (propane noise makers), and set 2 dozen squirrel traps.  As usual, both the squirrels and crows have proven themselves smarter than we are.  We haven’t caught one crow or squirrel.  That may be because there aren’t hardly any here!  Last year the crows would blacken the sky in clouds.  This year there are about 6 crows hanging around… they’re here all year round… but that’s all!  The first picture below is of the crow trap with a few decoys in it.  The second is of the tractor shaking a tree.  If you’re interested, the bottom half of the October 2012 posting (listed in the upper right of this page) tells how we harvested pecans.

Crow Trap Shaking a tree

One thing we’re doing different now… then we caught the pecans on tarps…. very labor intensive.  Now we’re using a “harvester” shown below, which picks them up from the ground… a machine we’ve had all along but didn’t know how to use correctly before.  It picks up the pecans, and a lot of other stuff as well.  The first picture is of Kenny running the harvester.  The second is of Wayne and Dawn Overby working at the cleaner with Kathy.  The third is another picture of the cleaner with Kenny, Kathy, Hector and Samuel working.  The last picture is of Wayne and Samuel putting the pecans on the drying tables.

Pecan Harvester Overbys and Kathy Cleaning Pecans Cleaning PecansDrying tables

We already have more pecans from the Pawnees than we’ve had from a complete harvest in past years… so a very good harvest so far.  In the past we’ve been guilty of not being ready, and not paying enough attention to the harvest.  This year Terry made sure the pecans were fertilized and sprayed, we’ve had plenty of rain, we prepared for crows, and now a good harvest.  It is amazing to see how many pecans are wasted.  When we shake a tree we probably only get about half of the pecans.  Then the harvester doesn’t pick them all up, so some are left on the ground.  The cleaner throws away a lot of dirt, stones and husks, but it also throws away a lot of good pecans.  If someone wanted to… there is plenty of gleaning that could be done.


August 31, 2014

August 2014

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

The residents at PG are doing about their usual.  Doris was sick with a kidney infection, which is better now, but the doctor is still doing some tests.  Samuel found Mary Jane’s glasses down in the grass by the pond, so she’s seeing better.  Teresa’s blood is still too thin, so the testing continues weekly.  Most were able to get out to the Sunday afternoon gospel meetings in August, which were about 45 miles away.

Robert Doecke from Australia visited the Milles for a few days on his way to Mexico.  He had spent some time with the Milles when they lived in Vietnam.  We enjoyed visits with him at PG and one evening at the Makis.  He told many stories about the early days of the gospel in Australia.  The pictures below show Robert with the Milles, with the 4 residents at PG who were workers, telling a story after the morning bible study, the group at Makis (picture taken by Robert), and demonstrating how to throw a boomerang!

Mireille, Robert and Dominique Robert with 4 worker residents Robert telling stories Group at Makis Robert throwing a boomerang

Three friends from San Antonio came to visit Betty, Hilde Jackman, Betty Gauss and Sylvia McPherson.  The picture below shows them with Betty.  Karin had a birthday in August, shown below with Katelyn.

Hilde, Betty, Betty and Sylvia Karin and Katelyn

Melissa continued to be sick in August and decided her health wouldn’t allow her to continue to work at PG.  Jennifer’s family decided to move to northeast Texas, so we lost 2 staff members.  We added two part time staff, Aschsteion and Iishia (both Certified Nursing Assistants).  I don’t have a picture of them yet… will include one in September.




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