Pecan Grove (

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


June 29, 2014

June 2014

Filed under: Pecan Farming,Senior Residence — knewman @ 5:50 pm

The longest day of the year has already past!  Now for a hot and humid summer.  We’re receiving plenty of rain.  We made a big effort to repair the irrigation system for the pecan trees, so that should guarantee that we won’t need it this summer!

All the residents are doing well.  Bea had a cold in June but she’s over it now.  She takes this stuff called Echinacea, which I call her euthanasia medicine (she doesn’t seem to know the difference)…  it seems to work for her!  One of the staff, Melissa (see picture in May post) is in the hospital with severe vomiting and water on her lungs… has been in ICU but today she was moved to IMU.  We’re not sure the cause of her sickness… but hope she recovers soon.

Bea turned 94 and  Doris turned 91 in June.  Two of the staff, Jennifer (with Doris below) and Melissa also had birthdays.

Bea turns 94Doris and Jennifer

Doris’s sister Sandra came to visit from Alabama and brought Carrol Bush and Charles and Mary Lou Lewis with her.  They are shown with Doris in the picture below.  Sandra’s son Chris and his family came to visit as well.  The second picture shows Chris and family with Sandra and Doris.

Carrol Bush, Charles and Mary Lou Lewis with Sandra and DorisSandra and Doris with Alex, Chris, Annabeth, Amy Burden

Maria Lopez (from Houston) and her parents Benjamin and Rita Lopez from Monterrey came to visit Samuel and Conchita.  They’re shown below with Betty and Naomi.  Samuel and Conchita are standing.  Jennifer Benjamin from Oregon came to visit Don and Jenny Waldo.  The picture by the eagle shows Jennifer with Jaina, Ava and Don Waldo.

Maria, Benjamin and Rita LopezJen Benjamin with Jaina, Ava and Don Waldo

Cindy and Dub Johnson from NY came again to visit PG in general and Naomi in particular.  The second picture is of mom (Leona) holding her great grandson, Evren Furrow.

Cindy and Dub JohnsonLeona with great grandson Evron Furrow

The pecan trees are doing well.  Here’s a picture in the orchard and of some small pecans.

Pecan OrchardPecans on Trees

The residence across the lake with the lily pads…

Residence across the lake 


May 31, 2014

May 2014

Filed under: Senior Residence — knewman @ 8:12 pm

The residents at PG are doing well.  We’ve noticed an improvement in Doris recently, she’s much more aware and involved.  Some days she goes into the kitchen and washes dishes (by hand).  She’s reading better in the morning bible studies.  Mary Jane spends time with her, rubbing her back and talking to her.  We’re not sure what caused the change, but are glad for it.  Teresa continues to do better, Esther is speaking up more often in the studies, all are getting out to the meetings.

We had another granddaughter in May, this time our daughter Karin (who helps us manage PG) and Patrick Kelleher had a daughter, Katelyn.  Here’s her picture with her parents the day she was born and then a picture at her first meeting, 6 days old.  Yes, Karin had that much hair when she was born also!

Katelyn Alexis Kelleher first picture May 9 2014Katelyn Kelleher

There are sure a lot of babies around here, and more on the way!  Here’s Patrick and Katelyn with Don and Oscar Waldo.  Patrick and Don work together at PG.  Then Anna and Evren Furrow with mom (Leona).

Patrick, Katelyn, Don and OscarAnna, Evren and Leona

Mary Jane turned 74 in May.  She’s the youngest of our residents.  In last months post I thanked our staff, so here’s a picture of 3 of them, Melissa with her daughter Kirsten behind, Jennifer and Andrea.  Conchita wasn’t in this picture.  Several others work part-time or volunteer including Salena (Kenny’s fiance), Kathy, Leona and Mireille.

MJ BirthdayMelissa, Kirsten, Jennifer and Andrea

Dominique and Mireille Mille are buying some acreage on the back side of PG and building a house.  Here’s a picture of the Milles, and then of Samuel and Dominique eating Mary Jane’s birthday cake!

Mireille and DominiqueEating MJs cake

Elton Cleveland (96) came to visit his brother Roger (94) who is now in Park Manor nursing home.  Elton stayed at PG during his time here… we sure enjoyed his visit!  He played the piano at the nursing home (shown in the second picture) and at PG… entertaining the residents in both places.

Elton and RogerElton at the piano

Jeff Chenault, his son Trevor and Trevor’s wife Heather came down from PA to work on our construction projects (our home and the Mille home) at PG. The second picture is of Elton and Jeff.  They go to the same meetings in PA.

Heather, Trevor and JeffElton and Jeff

Clarence comes to visit fairly often… the staff enjoy his visits and wish he’d move in!  Ruth, Lorraine, and Betty (from San Antonio) came to visit Betty.

ClarenceRuth, Lorraine, Betty and Betty

Hannah and Jennifer are having a few gospel meetings at PG… which we really appreciate.  Some have accused PG of being a church, which is so ridiculous it’s humorous, but we are glad for a few gospel meetings from time to time.  The second picture is of dad (Jack) on his golf cart (his primary transportation around PG) ready for meeting.

Hannah and JenniferJack

Dominique took this picture of a humming bird at a feeder by the cabin.  I’ve included pictures of the 2 new grand kids, so will add one more picture of the twins, who turned 2 in May.

HummingbirdMaren and Maven




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