Pecan Grove ( Pecan Grove and Senior Residence

April 30, 2013

April 2013

Filed under: Pecan Farming — knewman @ 9:09 pm

Barbara Hilligoss (93) went down quickly in April.  She was admitted to the hospital April 16th, moved to hospice the 22nd, and then to a nursing home on the 26th.  For several days in the hospital the local friends, PG staff, and our workers, sat with her 24/7, until the doctor was able to get her medications figured out.  Karen Wright came down from Indianapolis while she was in the hospital, then Janet Nicol (her niece) came down from Indiana for several days.  Now… Barbara still gets anxious when the pain medications wear off.  Most of the time she sleeps, eating and drinking very little.  Her family is trying to move her back to Indiana… not sure if that will work out or not.

Her roommate in the nursing home is a hoot… Erma is one of our best sources of information about Barbara.  She tells us when Barbara eats, when she sleeps, when she tries to get out of bed, and a lot more details you really don’t want to know!  She says Barbara had 15 visitors on Sunday (which is probably right).  She wonders why someone from Indiana has so many friends here.  She speaks loudly and freely… wondering if we’re a “close group”.

Here is a picture of Barbara at the end of March (repeated from the March blog) with the Millers from Indiana, and then one with Karen Wright and Kathy in hospice.  Also of Kathy and Janet in hospice just before Janet returned to Indiana and Barbara was moved to the nursing home.  The wisteria picture is inserted because 4 pictures fit better than 3, and because we’re enjoying so much new spring life while trying to help in the final winter days of Barbara’s life.

Barbara with the Millers WisteriaBarbara, Kathy, KarenKathy and Janet

Barbara came to PG at the end of January, 2012, from the nursing home in Indiana that they are hoping she can return to now.  Some have questioned the wisdom of her coming here for just over a year, but we’re certainly glad she came.  She had many good days here, lots of meetings, visitors, and fellowship.  We’ve been glad to get to meet the folks who visited her… and appreciated what she meant to so many.  We wish we’d known her earlier in life… but are glad for the wisdom and influence she shared with us in her time here.

Frances McPherson spend a few days in the hospital, at the same time as Barbara, with bronchitis.  Frances has recovered nicely and is back with us at PG.  The rest of the residents are doing well.

Mary Jane Pike is an interesting resident.  73 years old, in wonderful physical shape, she suffers from loss of short term memory.  She’s a “free spirit”, wandering around doing what she likes.  She likes the outdoors… spends a lot of time weeding.  With the size of this farm, and the rate weeds grow in this humid climate, she has a full time job!  She’s fond of some weeds, and tries to decorate her room with them, much to the chagrin of those who try to clean her room.  The pictures below show her pulling weeds, clowning for the camera, and playing with one of the twins (not sure, I think it’s Maven), the weeds in her room, and the twins again (because 6 pictures are better than 5 :).

Mary Jane weeding Mary Jane behind the residenceA twin playing with Mary Jane Mary Jane's room Maren and Maven

The wild flowers in April have been unbelievable.  The top soil here at PG is basically nonexistent.  We have sand at the top of the hill, and clay at the bottom.  Getting anything (useful) to grow is difficult, yet the wild flowers are beautiful.

Flowers in front of the residence Looking toward the bunk house

At the beginning of April Samuel was pruning the pecan trees (see the cut limbs around the trees).  He’s shown below with sisters Andrea Lund (Minnesota) and Jenny Waldo (who lives here), and Jenny’s girls, beside the shredder he uses to shred the limbs to mulch.

Pruning Samuel with sisters Andrea Lund and Jenny Waldo and Jenny's kids

All of the paper shell pecan trees are grafted.  The root stock may be from a walnut or native pecan tree.  About 18 inches above the ground, that tree is cut off and a paper shell pecan (we have 5 varieties) is grafted on.  The old root stock, below the graft, continues to put out “sucker limbs” (shown below).  These limbs draw the energy from the tree, and would produce the fruit of the old root stock.  Samuel has to cut these limbs off every year.  There’s a good spiritual lesson in that for me!  The pecan pollen is produced from a male flower (shown below) and transferred between trees by the wind.

Sucker limbs DSC_0035

The orchard at the end of April looks much different than it did at the beginning of April, with the wild flowers and leaves on the trees.  We’ve lost many trees to the drought of the last few years.  Unfortunately we’re loosing this huge oak along the drive into the farm.

Pecan orchard with wild flowers Old oak tree dying

Doug Murphy from New Mexico visited for a weekend.  He’s shown below with a half size Elk sculpture he made several years ago, which we keep at Pecan Grove.  Virginia’s sisters visited her for a few days, staying at the cabin and enjoying PG.

Doug MurphyVirginia and sisters





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