Pecan Grove ( Pecan Orchard and Senior Residence

November 30, 2020

November 2020

Filed under: Pecan Grove,Senior Residence — knewman @ 11:05 am

As November ends we are having to “lock down” again at PG because of the virus surge, including a “no visitors” policy.  We’ve been so fortunate that no one has been infected yet.  But we feel we need to be even more careful with this surge.

All are doing as well as can be expected.  Marilynn did have some minor surgery last week in Arlington, which went well.  We hope she’ll be back this week.  Gilbert has an infected cyst on his back which the Overbys and Dominique are looking after… currently redressing twice a day.  It has improved a lot, but still has a ways to go before the cyst can actually be removed.

Marilynn Frye was Rachel Potter’s first co-worker.  Soon after Marilynn arrived they had a gospel meeting together here at PG.  Tanner Shomin, Jerome Frandle and Marjorie Lehman brought Esther Duncan (85) to be our 33rd resident since we opened PG… our 11th current resident.  (For the list of residents see the upper right corner of this blog).  Esther came to the US from Ireland when she was in her twenties, and a year later (1962) she started in the work in Florida.  Now in addition to Canadian, Arkansas, French and Spanish accents, we’ve added an Irish accent!  None of our residents are from Texas!  In fact, only 2 of the 33 residents we’ve had were from Texas (Bea and Betty)!

Current residents:  Gilbert Reese, Clarence Rochelle, Elton Cleveland, Ronald Elliott, Alice Oetken

Della Bolt, Marilynn Frye, Fern Duncan, Esther Duncan, Lois Culver and Marybelle Armstrong

We did have a few other visitors in November.  We were glad when Robert Eberhardt and Don Barber came for a brief visit.  Clarence’s children came often for porch visits.  Otherwise, it’s been fairly quiet… and safe!  Here’s a picture of Robert and Don with those who were present.  Marilynn had her 77th birthday.

For thanksgiving, we had only the 11 residents and 8 staff, so decided to forgo social distancing for one meal.  It was wonderful to all sit at a table and actually pass food around!  That probably won’t happen again for a while.

Someone requested a picture of Gilbert.  I stepped into his room and snapped one… it turned out good so I’ll include it.  Because of Covid, we’re serving breakfast to the residents in their rooms.  The next picture is of dad (Jack) at his assisted living center in Conroe with Katelyn and Dylan (Karin’s kids).

There is a Chinese persimmon tree on the farm.  The residence is behind the fountain.  We do get a little fall color!  Beautiful weather to do some work on our roads.


October 31, 2020

October 2020

Filed under: Pecan Farming,Pecan Grove,Senior Residence — knewman @ 9:15 am

October has been an amazing month.  A short summary:

  • John Culver’s funeral on October 1  Funeral of John Culver in Willis Texas – Notes
  • Elton Cleveland’s 103rd birthday, October 10
  • Abigail Hoffman’s birthday, October 13
  • PG Special meeting, October 15
  • Anita Bass’s birthday, October 25
  • Georgetown and Mountain Peak special meetings
  • Marilynn Frye came to PG Oct 26th as the 32nd resident (since opening in 2009), 10th current resident
  • Pecan harvest

Karen Cleveland and Alicia Weaver came for Elton’s birthday.  All 3 like to take pictures, so we have lots!  Here are several… I won’t try to describe them all!  Sorry, some of these pictures aren’t working right.  Click on the picture if you want to see it correctly.

Birthdays for Abigail Hoffman (22) and Anita (53) (with husband Shawn):

We told Lyle we didn’t think it possible to transport the residents to the 1 day special meeting at Georgetown.   He suggested we have 1 day at PG between Georgetown and Mountain Peak, which we had on October 15th.  The 3rd meeting was tested and Shawn Bass (shown above with his wife Anita) professed.  Again, a group of pictures… the workers that day, the room set up for social distancing, Titus and Domenic, Betty and Jack Poage with Domenic, Alice and Ruth, Tom Davis with Gilbert, Titus helping with crows (the day before).

Marilynn came after Mountain Peak.  Ruth and Emma brought her.  We’re so glad for her influence at the residence.

Other visitors in this difficult time included Jim and Sue Roachell visited his father Clarence, Marlee Freesmann and her mother Mavis Morgan, visiting with Gilbert, and Dan and Bev Oaks with Marilynn, Ronald and Alice.

We farmed less than half of the pecans this year.  At the end, the crows and squirrels got more than we did.  But we have enough to be satisfied.  Here are a few pictures from the outdoor process, Wayne shaking the tree, Dominique picking up the pecans (plus leaves, sticks, stones…) with the harvester, then Wayne, Dawn, Dominique and Kathy using the cleaner to separate pecans from the rest.

The indoor process is long, starting with drying tables.  Once dry the pecans are run through a cracker, separator (which separates shell from meat), air separator (which blows the shell away, similar to winnowing, with Ronald’s cane), and then to the hopper of the vibration table.

After that the process becomes fairly manual, sorting out bad pecans, stones, shell… on the vibration table, then running through the sizing table to separate out small pieces (which are discarded because of small shell bits), larger pieces and “halves”.   Finally the pecans are weighed and put in bags.  Here are pictures of Kathy, Dawn, Wayne, Ronald and Joyce working at the vibration table (the slowest and most labor intensive part of the process), then Dawn and Kathy at the sizing table.

Thanks for your interest in us here!


September 30, 2020

September 2020

Filed under: Pecan Farming,Pecan Grove,Senior Residence — knewman @ 5:09 pm

Clinton Goff passed away September 4th at the nursing home near here that he’s been in since 2016.  We hadn’t been able to visit him since the end of June due to the virus.  Rachel and Brenda were able to have a brief visit with him a week before he died using Facetime.  Here’s a link to notes from his memorial service which was held in Virginia.

Clintons Memorial Service

John Culver was taken to the hospital September 2nd because of congestive heart failure.  He improved and was moved to a rehab hospital, but then went down quickly with pneumonia, was moved to an hospice wing of another hospital and passed away Sept 25th.  His funeral is tomorrow (October 1) here in Willis.  There will be another funeral and burial in Owensboro, KY on Saturday.  Here is a picture of John in the bible study the day before he went to the hospital (at right across from Fern).  He was very weak but did try to have a part.  Then a picture of him in the rehab hospital with Lois and myself.

Here’s a link to the folder for John’s funeral tomorrow:  Service Folder

Otherwise, all here are doing ok.  Dad fell and was in the hospital for stiches in his head, but seemed clearer afterward!  We’re all getting older!

Karen Cleveland was still here for several days at the beginning of the month, visiting Elton.  On her 50th anniversary of being in the work we had a sing and she told us some of her story.  Here’s a picture from the sing and the workers that were that were there.

Here’s another picture of the workers, Brenda Townsend, Rachel Potter, Ana Laura Olivar, Alice Oetken and Karen Cleveland.  Another picture of the sisters “talking” to each other!

Here’s Clarence with his son Wayne and Mary, visiting and playing dominos outside on the porch.  Marybelle likes to “walk” back to the residence from meeting (it’s downhill).  Dominique helps her.

We’re getting near harvest time and the varmints are sure making a mess.  Crows, squirrels and pigs eat pecans and make a mess.  We’ve managed to get rid of some, but not enough!  Deer aren’t a problem for the pecans, but they eat the bait we use for the hogs.  We don’t try to get rid of the deer… sometimes we have to save them from the hog trap.  Hopefully there will be some pecans left for us.



August 31, 2020

August 2020

Filed under: Pecan Grove,Senior Residence — knewman @ 11:18 am

Lots of excitement at PG this month.  Hurricane Laura was exciting but we didn’t get anything… no wind and no, much needed, rain.  Karen Cleveland was finally able to leave her bach in Colombia where she’s been locked down since March, and return to the States for her home visit.  She came to PG to spend time with her father Elton.  Here’s an informal and formal picture of Elton and Karen, and Karen with her first hot fudge sundae in years!  Priorities!

Clarence Roachell came to PG as a resident (finally!).  He had been here for a few weeks before, but this time he’s here to stay.  His children brought him and are faithful in visiting him.  BTW, the state of Texas is relaxing the “no visitors” policy for nursing homes and assisted living centers… somewhat.  We still need to be very careful.  For example, Clarence’s family visits with him on the back porch.  We’re supposed to have all residents and staff tested weekly for the virus… before having visitors.  We’re hoping to have the first round of testing this week.  So here’s Clarence with his daughter Becky and her husband Mike, and again with his daughter Mary.  We didn’t get a picture of his son Wayne and Mary when they were here.  We’re glad some of his family is able to visit him regularly.

Joyce Lawrence returned from North Carolina and spent a few weeks at PG before going to the south Houston field with Ruthie Taplin.  So for a short time we had two additional residents, Karen and Joyce.  We took a picture of the residents including these two temporaries.

We also took a staff picture.  Dominique and Mimi Mille weren’t present, so they have their own picture.

Shawn and Anita Bass were married at PG.  Here they are show with Shawn’s aunt Linda and husband Kent who performed the wedding ceremony.  Later on his wedding day Shawn was bass fishing and got a fish hook stuck in his thumb so far that we had to take him to urgent care!  So… hooked twice in the same day!  This time a 200 lb bass!  (His last name is Bass… he hooked himself).

Fern Duncan turned 90, and got hearing aids!  She’s a happy camper!  Rachel, Karen and Joyce had a gospel meeting here. Karen and I had a visit with dad through a window.  He’s able to hear a lot of our meetings, but is still in lock-down.  His short term memory is very short!  But his long term memory is good (he remembered Karen).

Albert and Maja, with children Ana and Danny McSpadden visited us.  Here they are with Joyce, Kathy, Rachel, Brenda, and Dawn and Wayne Overby.

Last week, one of our field workers, Rachel, was able to have a video call visit via Face-time with Clinton Goff.  Communication was enabled by the social worker who helped amplify what was said. Clinton was able to understand that many are thinking of him and he said “Thank you”.  She explained that we would like to be with him but the current situation prevents it, and she felt he understood.  He is in a declining state… on hospice and bed-fast.

Duane and Joan Hinkley moved to Minnesota.  They’ve been in fellowship here for several years… and will be missed.  Darby brought her dog Clover in to visit the residents… Marybelle loves dogs.  The bird feeder is an important part of daily life at PG!



July 31, 2020

July 2020

Filed under: Pecan Farming,Pecan Grove,Senior Residence — knewman @ 4:56 pm

In the June post I told of the 1 hour seizure Dad had.  It may not have been clear… since November 2019 he was living at The Wellington in Conroe.  The picture of him in the June blog is through the window at the Wellington, where he was when this seizure happened.  He was hospitalized, and for a while we didn’t think he would pull through.  But he did improve, and with the help of my sister Ronda, was able to come back to Pecan Grove (on hospice) for several days.  Then he had to go back to The Wellington where he is still on hospice.  One of his caregivers at The Wellington is Tinnette, who came to visit him at PG (1st picture).  Most of the family was able to spend some time with him… Karla and her 4 children (2nd picture), Karin, her 2 children, Kenny, Salena, Kathy and myself (3rd).  Mimi gave him a much needed haircut (4th).  He was able to be in a few morning bible studies, at a family dinner, and in 2 meetings.  The 5th is a meal with distancing while Dad and Ronda were at PG.  Then Ronda, Brent, Ann, Kathy and I took him back to The Wellington (6th).  Tinnette and the other caregivers take good care of him there and make sure he can hear the gospel meetings by phone.  Since he’s on hospice, they allow us to visit him once in a while through an open doorway in his room.

The residents at PG are all doing about the same, frustrated by not being able to get out or to have visitors, but glad for the fellowship and meetings we do have.

July was a difficult month for the Milles.  Dominique had a hip replacement, which went very well, but requires time to heal.  Then Mimi’s brother in France was killed in an accident… and they can’t travel.  Then Mimi fell and hurt her back… so she’s healing also.  They’re both improving nicely.

The workers switched around July 1.  Lyle and Dale left this north Houston field and Rachel and Brenda came.  The residents liked Salena’s July 4th costume.

Our 2 fig trees produced a nice crop of figs in July (1st pic).  John doesn’t use his golf cart much anymore, except when the figs are in… he makes sure we don’t get them all!  We’re working with about half the pecan trees this year as a hobby.  The high humidity we have here causes a fungus called scab.  The scab on the leaves doesn’t really hurt anything, but the scab on the pecan husks keeps them from fully developing.  The 2nd picture shows pecans with scab and the 3rd picture shows some without scab.  We’ve sprayed fungicide 5 times already and will need to spray a few more times before the September/October harvest, and hopefully we’ll have some good pecans.



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