Pecan Grove (

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.




July 31, 2014

July 2014

Filed under: Pecan Grove,Senior Residence — knewman @ 1:01 am

The residents at PG are doing well.  There’s always something happening… Esther broke her hearing aid, Mary Jane lost her glasses, Bea can’t figure out how to turn off her new electric toothbrush, Teresa’s blood is too thin so she has to have it tested every week… but overall, they’re doing well.

Dominique and Mireille Mille completed the purchase of 11 acres of forest on the back side of PG, along with an easement through PG to access their land.  Jeff Chenault put a driveway in for them.  They have a builder lined up to start building a house on their property in September.   Here’s a picture of Jeff, Ken, Kathy, Mireille and Dominique at the entry into their property, and the driveway that Jeff was building between the pecan orchard and the power lines.

Jeff, Ken, Kathy, Mireille, DominiqueMill driveway under powerlines

Our addresses are changing slightly.  With several homes and businesses entering through the same gate, we were required to assign letters to them so if there is a 911 call the emergency vehicles would know where to go.  The addresses are all 929 State Highway 150, even though the Mille property is no longer part of PG.  The only place without a letter is the residence.  Now they are::

929  – Sr. Residence

929A – bunk house

929B – Hoffman home

929C – Valdez home

929D – Athena Engineering

929E – Cormorant Engineering

929F – Ken and Kathy Newman home – under construction

929G – Cabin – Dominique and Mireille are renting the cabin until their house is built.

929H – Mille home – to be built

My parents place has its own driveway (even though it is part of the PG property) so it has it’s own number:

987 – Jack and Leona Newman home

Sorry for all that detail… hopefully our addresses will stay the same for a long time now!

We added another part-time staff member, Macy,  in July, because Melissa continues to have poor health.  The picture below shows 4 of the staff, Jennifer, Andrea, Macy and Salena.  The second picture is of Bryce and Emma Mille (kids of Pierre and Crystal) playing with the twins, Maren and Maven.

Jennifer, Andrea, Macy, SalenaBryce, Maren, Maven, Emma

We didn’t get pictures of the other visitors in July, which included Heidi Angus, Scott, Brenda and Oliver Lee, Ed and Linda Lloyd and Trevor and Heather Chenault.

In July we had the first cutting of hay, and the figs were ripe.   Doris proved she could eat a dozen fresh figs in a few minutes!  They didn’t last long.

hay bails20140719_183130

We found an interesting and scary looking caterpillar!


Kathy and I are in France with Kathy’s cousin and husband, Marcia and Jack Cahill.  Kenny and Salena will join us in time for the convention which starts Saturday.  These were the folks in the bible study at Roudiy’s yesterday… Roudiys, Barnes, Cahills and Newmans.

Wed PM chez Roudiy


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