Pecan Grove (

July 29, 2016

July 2016

Filed under: Pecan Farming,Senior Residence — knewman @ 1:35 pm

In July it’s gone from too wet to too hot and dry.  All at Pecan Grove are doing reasonably well.  Ruth had shots in her back for disc problems, which seem to have helped.  Then she was a passenger when a fender bender happened on the farm and her airbag deployed… she’s doing ok from that also.  She had lots of visitors this month, includeing her sister and husband, Martha and Hubert Dawley, George Lee and Cecil Wise.

Hubert and Martha Dawley with RuthRuth and GeorgeRuth with Cecil Wise

George went with us, Karin and kids, and Karla and kids to the nursing home to see Naomi, Roger and Teresa.  All 3 love to see kids!  Naomi was up and dressed… first time I’ve seen her like that since she went into the nursing home!  Roger loves to tell us we all need to be childlike.  The last picture is of George with all 5 kids.  We didn’t get a picture with Teresa… she was in bed but still appreciated the visit.

George, Karla, Kathy and kids with NaomiRoger with Karla, Kathy and 4 grandkidsGeorge with 5 grandkids

Elton is having work done on his teeth… almost 99 years old, lives on sugar… lots of energy… amazing guy!  He’s our official photographer, so often isn’t in pictures.  He asked for the following picture with Kathy and the grandkids… to make sure he got included in the blog!  The second picture is of dad (Jack) with his 9th great-grandchild… Dylan Kelleher.

Elton with Kathy and kidsJack with great-grandson Dylan

Conchita had a birthday.  Here she is with Samuel, then the 2 of them with Dylan.

Conchita's birthdayWith Dylan Kelleher

Samuel’s cousins and others from Mexico visited Samuel and Conchita, and Raymond.  Sorry, I didn’t spend much time with them and can’t tell you all the names.

Samuels Valdez cousins and CeliaValde cousins with RaymondRaymond's visitors from Mexico

Jennifer and Rachel took Alice to Happy for preps and convention.  Carol and Mike Martin and their granddaughter Kayden visited PG. Carol is Alice’s niece… but Alice was at Happy.  That’s the way the timing worked out… glad for their visit.

Jennifer and Rachel taking Alice to HappyCarol and Mike Martin with granddaughter Kayden

Dub and Cindy Johnson came to visit Naomi, and stopped at PG for a visit.  Herbie and Paty Barnette came to visit with Justin Anderson… shown here with dad.

Cindy and Dub Johnson visitHerbie and Paty Barnett, Jason Anderson with Jack

Dominique’s cousin from Paris, Cathy, visited.  Here shes with the group at Clarences on Sunday morning, and then with Elisa (Mille) Herd and Elisa’s 3rd son Eli.  Kathy and I are in France now for some vacation and then for the convention at Chaintreauville which starts August 6th.  We hope to see Cathy, possibly at Chaintreauville and later in Paris.  Kathy and I return home August 11th.

Meeting at Clarences including CathyKathy, Elisa and Eli

After we left for France, Gerry and Margaret Gunderson visited Elton at PG.  Sorry we missed them!  The second picture is on a tour with dad, Sandy and Samuel.

Gunderson's with EltonGunderson's with Samuel and Jack

Dave and Nancy Schmertman came for a visit with Howard and Mary Ann Colson.  They’re in the same North Houston field… but so far away… were glad for the visit.  Bambi still drinks goats milk from a bottle, and makes a mess when she does.  Here Sandy is licking milk off of Bambi.  How old does a fawn have to be to be weaned from goats milk?  The pecan trees are looking good in spite of way too much rain followed by draught!

Schmertmans and ColsonsSandy licking BambiTypical pecan tree


June 30, 2016

June 2016

Filed under: Senior Residence — knewman @ 7:28 pm

June has been a wonderful month.  Naomi was moved to the same nursing home that Roger Cleveland and Teresa Goff are in.  She’s very content there.  John had some bad days with weakness and back pain.  Doctors didn’t find anything, and now he’s doing better, though he hasn’t been fishing yet.  Elton was able to attend Judy’s funeral in PA… and is still savoring the experience.

Some visitors at the beginning of the month came for Dale Maki’s memorial service.  These included Kim (Panama), and Esther (Mexico City), shown here with Alice.  Also Oscar and Oliva from Monterrey, shown here with their daughter Exie and family.

Kim, Alice, EstherRodriquez and Rosas

Jennifer’s parents came to visit while Marilyn and RoseMary were still here.   Here Jennifer is with her parents and Marilyn, and then a picture of the 3 Marilyns that were here.

Bartels and Marilyn3 Marilyns

Jeff Chenault came and did a lot of landscape work.  The first picture is at the Valdez with 2 of the Marilyns, RoseMary, Samuel, Conchita, Bambi, Joyce, Alice, Jack and Kathy.  Also, Lety’s family was here from Mexico.

Group at Valdez homeLety's family

LeRoy came through on his way to Canada for conventions.  Here he is with Raymond and with our youngest resident, Bambi.

Raymond and LeRoyLeRoy with Bambi

Marilyn, Doris (93) and Jennifer had birthdays in June.

Marilyn's birthdayDoris turns 93Jennifer's birthday

John’s sister Sue came to visit with the Garys.  Then the Gary’s daughter Allison and family, the Potters, came to visit also.

Garys, Culvers and RuthRuth, Garys, Potters, Alice, John

The 2 Roberts from Georgetown, with only 1 Linda, came to visit John.  Ty and Amy Nordic are moving here from Tulsa over the next few months.

John, Robert, Linda, RobertTy and Amy

Charlie and Rosie Erickson, and Karen Oetken visited Alice.  We didn’t get a good picture, but here they are with the group at Clarence’s last Sunday.  Clarence lives an hour from PG, and is unable to drive to meeting, so there’s a rotation started with friends going to his place each Sunday.  Karin had our 5th grandchild in June, Dylan Kelleher, shown here with Kathy and myself, and his sister Katelyn.  Katelyn tried to help Jennifer play the piano.

Meeting at Clarence'sK&K with Dylan and KatelynJennifer and Katelyn

Speaking of grandkids, here are the 3 Furrows with Bambi, and then Bambi doing something we’re still trying to teach the kids to do!

Kids with BambiBambi in the house

Thanks for your interest and care.



May 31, 2016

May 2016

Filed under: Pecan Grove,Ponds,Senior Residence — knewman @ 4:17 pm

Our dear friend, Dale Maki, passed away Saturday morning.  His soft spirit and friendship are already missed.  His memorial service will be this Sunday.  Here’s a picture of Dale with Patty and a friend from China, taken May 1.  The second picture is of part of the group that was together that day.

Moses, Dale, PattyPart of union meeting May 2016

Ruth Evans came from Georgia to join our residents at PG… so now we have 7 residents.  Here’s a picture of Ruth, and then a picture of her with the Colsons, George and Norma.

Ruth EvansColsons, George, Ruth and Norma

Marilynn Frye is here for a visit from north Texas, and Marilyn Nutt and RoseMary Fandrich (shown with Elton) are here visiting Naomi in the nursing home.  Naomi has rallied some with their frequent visits, but she is still very weak.  Ron Nutt (Marilyn’s brother) took Marilyn up to Tyler for the weekend.

Marilyn with dogsMarilyn, Elton and RoseMaryRon and Marilyn

Jeff Chenault came to do some landscaping and to visit.  Here he is with Elton.  Michaela and Katie visited, shown here with Kathy and Jeff.

Elton with JeffMichaela, Katie, Kathy and Jeff

Samuel found a very young fawn in the woods.  They are feeding it… it’s growing quickly… named it Bambi. Kathy had three 65th birthday celebrations in May.

Conchita, Bambie, SamuelBambiKathy 65th

A group of Spanish friends came yesterday for a Memorial Day picnic.  Here are some pictures.

Memorial day 1Memorial day 2Memorial day 3Patty and Joyce

Here’s a group picture taken this morning, including the 7 residents.

7 residents and friends

We had another flood last week, the worst so far.  Fortunately we haven’t had much damage at PG, but a lot of roads have been closed.  Some of our grass carp went out the secondary overflow and were laying in the pasture below.  Samuel picked them up and is cooking them… says they’re good!  Even John wasn’t interested in trying them.

Flooding again!Grass carp

All the moisture is causing scab (a fungus) to grow on the pecan leaves (black dots). We lost much of our crop to scab last year, so we’re spraying fungicide more often this year… but there’s more rain in the forecast.  We know now why farmers are like hound dogs… crying all the time!


Scab on pecan leaves



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.


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