COVID SUMMER  2020                                  Back to OutdoorCountry Bishop Texas

Gina working on big tree out front

Day 1

Keep it out of the power lines, Gina

Gina gets the heebie jeebies when she goes high


April 1, 2020

 Lee and Gina have decided to distance ourselves

 from the world as best we could during the pandemic.

We like fresh air and sunshine and decide to build

a little 2/1 house on Henderson St.


First we have to clean up the lot

Chain saw day Bill cutting out the top Cutting down the woodpecker restaurant

Gina Cutting Down the Woodpecker Restaurant



Gimme five,  Ginger

Ginger Dog  Apr  2020

What happens when you drop a gallon of fix a flat

Neighbors told me to clean up this mess.

Oke Doke

Cutting up trees and digging up driveway 


Trees from Henderson Lot

What a pair to draw to

Ma and Pa Kettle Ready for the Summer Heat 


Digging up sidewalk


Loading the dumpster with a chain


Lotsa weight in this dumpster

Gina and I had to stop while we broke up concrete driveway   So we worked on pier at Baffin Bay.   High tide took out the center.
Connecting to T head Last few feet I think that is 253 feet back to land
Sweet Gina resting with Ginger
This is a great picture of us working at Baffin Bay. 

 We had two big tables that rotted and fell apart

 and we made one small table out of the pieces.


What you can't see is the cool breeze

that blows in from the water that keeps

the knats out of your nose and eyes.

   It makes it very comfortable outside.


Lee leaning on the fence

This is the new fence we built.   We used the two mesquite

trees for fence posts and they look like they belong on a

fence.  We left a gap at the end to get a lawnmower through.

I didn't hear it but Gina did.   It was just a little one and had a big rat inside him. I wanted to catch and relocate but I got outvoted 3 to 1.   If you are ever in a firefight you want Lori on your side.   She went into camphouse and got her service pistol.   One shot blew off his head.   Gina and I skinned him and I fried up the meat.  Very small so I got only a few strips.   I ate 2,  Susan ate 2,  Gina ate 2,  Ginger ate one and we had a Marine in the store from Illinois.  He ate one piece.  Nobody else would eat any.   We saved a few more pieces for Gina's daughter, son and husband. I have the hide drying in the sun.

I wanted to relocate it.    Bill said it was a danger to kids, he would have voted to kill it too.   And Gina squashed a black widow the other day on the fence.   I wanted to let it go too.


Gina and the little rattlesnake

Later we found another one about the same size  floating in the bay.


That is Lori in the shorts without her .40 cal.

She is very sweet but don't mess with her.

Lee and Lori Ginger and Gina
We did some chain sawing and clearing We ended up with a big brush pile to burn Then we started reroofing the tin building

Baby Hawk

Slow and easy through the rough places

Big grub in the dirt.  A feast on Naked and Afraid.

Sucker has pincers on the front end.  Did not hurt but it startled me.

 We put him back in the dirt from whence he came.

Before we started we had to call the bee man to get rid of some Africanized bees.  Gina is deathly afraid of bees because of prior experience. Old roof was rusty and holey.  We screwed down some boards and plywood for support.  We ran out of tin and Lowes was also out.  So we had to buy the last 3 sheets from

McCoys.  It was heavier tin and 2 bucks cheaper too.

Gina surveying the finished roof.

Gina was working on the pier.  She looked around and Lee and Ginger were hiking down the beach..  Took me a few days to corrupt her but now we all three go hiking on the beach every day.   We find caps and bait buckets and corks and lures and building materials.  One day we started finding eggs.  We did not know what kind of eggs they were but we found seventeen in all.  Bird eggs, rattlesnake eggs,  turtle eggs,  we did not know.  So we buried fourteen of them in the sand in case they were turtle eggs and took 3 home to do research. Turns out they are quail eggs.   We don't know where they came from to float up on the beach.   So this batch won't hatch but there are still lots of baby quail in the field.

We also saw some javelina,  buzzard, turtles, hawks, and coyotes on the side of the road and in the fields.  We like watching wild creatures.  

Rain shower ran us off the roof.   So now we are working on deck around the pool.

Gina knows how to swing a sledge better than me

Nice big drum Kids have found the new pier,  They had a blast and caught some fish too. Drum and trout
Lori and her big Redfish eye to eye Lori found a coupla reds worth mentioning

One was 39 inches the other 42

Caught in Baffin Bay - June 2020

Much Fun Catching and Just as Much Fun Releasing

Lori and her big Redfish
International Bridge over the Rio Grande International Bridge over the Rio Grande

Went to Mexico for Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Zinc Sulfate.  I found them all but the prices have gone up.   My pharmacist, Hector, said the Chloroquine still costs about a dime a pill to manufacture but the drug companies and wholesalers have raised prices due to new demand.  I paid 1.50 per pill but other pharmacies wanted 2 - 3 bucks a pill.  My friend Joe took this picture of the line to get back into the US.   It started in Progresso and went all the way across the bridge to the border patrol checkpoint on the US side.   I think it was more than 2 hours of waiting.  They checked me pretty close too.  Wanted to make sure I didn't have contraband.  I had antibiotics, hand sanitizer, vanilla, mop, and a bottle of tequila for Bill.

I chose this picture because the lady behind me had such a

 cheerful wave. 

Duck Pic

Duck that hangs out at Gina's house


Pretty Bird May.June 2020

Gina's pet dove that fell out of the nest and she hand raised for months.  She took the cage outside and gave her freedom but she comes back every day or so to visit and eat inside the cage

Gina said she would mush up baby oatmeal and soy milk and put it into a syringe and feed it until it got large enough to eat from an eye dropper.

Then she would mush up bird seed and soy milk.   It roams free now but comes back to visit every couple of days,  flies back inside the cage and eats and drinks and then flies off again.    When Gina would call "Pretty Bird" it dips its head at her.  It thinks of her as it's mother.  

Gina 6-20

New deck looking South

New deck looking North

New deck on far side, old deck up close

Bill wanted some stain and water seal on his trailer

Gina  sprayed  it on and I smoothed it with a brush

Water Seal had a pink tint

Susan did not want pink deck.

She got the stain but not the pink water seal.

Notice that fine hand rail that Gina designed.   Plenty sturdy.

We found a pan and roller worked best.    Ginger on guard duty 


Old step in front of Morgan Bldg - An ankle twister

Not too pretty but safe enough for GingerDog

Can;t find a concrete crew to pour slab for the little house.  So  Gina and I

decided to  build the storage shed first.

Back to our building project.  Lot got overgrown.

Mower and a shade first.  Heat index  113 -  114 here in July


We started building the storage shed second


Heavy duty bridge timbers around foundation.  How do you get it square?   I am teaching Gina the Pythagorean .Theorem.   Dan Wright calls it a 3,4,5 problem.  We used 15, 20, 25 ft.   When we finished we pulled the diagonals and we were within 1/2 inch,  Plenty close enough for our work.    

Those bridge timbers made a rash on Gina so we went with treated 2X8s on floor joists

I am the chain saw man

Folks that know me know that I do not own a watch.   Or a phone.  We have started working 7 to 11am because that is the coolest part of the day.  So how do we know when it is quitting time>?   Our sundial.


Gina driving more stakes in the ground.  Lots of cement blocks and treated stakes in the ground also.   That is a foundation that will be there a long long time.

Gina can swing a sledge

While Gina and I were working on our storage shed in Bishop, we had a little setback on Baffin Bay.   Ordinarily a Cat 1 storm is a nothing event.  But Hurricane Hanna came in south of us on Saturday July 25 with winds of 80mph and high tides.  We lost the whole pier Gina and I had spent 2 months rebuilding, tree fell on my catamaran sailboat crushing it, another tree fell on the boat shed that we had just put the new tin on top, and Marina Del Sol in Corpus Christi was destroyed causing considerable damage to my 32 ft Irwin sailboat knocking a hole in the bow.  Very few piers sustained no damage, some just lost the T head on the end.   But many, like mine were totally destroyed and needed rebuilding.   

Baffin Bay pier after Hurricane Hanna Aug 25, 2020

Nothing left but a few pilings

Tree limbs crushed the center of boat shed

Catamaran sailboat under that tree

The pier to our north was still there.   But the rest of the piers past it were completely gone.

Cleanup crew on the beach to north

Debris on the beach looking south



Lot of other piers piled up on the beach.  We are pulling out the timbers we can use and making a pile for later use.  Extra pilings are half floating out in the water.   I have been swimming out, tieing a rope around them and dragging them up on the beach.   Someday I will start digging post holes and plant them in the water.
Well..... Gina decided building a storage shed was too much work and sweat during a Texas summer.  So she just bought one from the folks out in Riviera.   They brought it in with a motorized forklift and we cut a hole in the fence and slid it in.   It fit perfectly.  Gina built shelves inside.  She likes to do yard decorations for every holiday.   Within 24 hours she had it stuffed full.


Back to work on shed on Henderson Street

Nailing the supports between the floor joists with a nail gun.


Gina holds hammer for backup while I nail

I watch while Gina nails


That little storm Hanna also blew down the exit sign to Bishop Tx

So we built our own sign and wired it to the post.  This is the 3rd time we have had to make our own exit sign because the Tx Highway Department does not care about small towns.  When our exit sign blows over they just let it lay on the ground for months.











We got the decking screwed down and shot down with a nail gun.  Then we started building the first wall.   Gina and I got it lifted up and shot it down.  She remarked how heavy it was.

I told her she had the window side, it was nothing but air.  She spoke me, no.  It had a lot of studs and headers around the window making it heavier than just the 9 ft studs that I was lifting.

  It almost fell over once but we caught it.  Put two bruises on Gina's arms.   We got that wall braced with 2X4s so it could not fall again. 

 Now let me tell you about construction work in Texas in the middle of August.   The temperatures are running around  99,  100  but the heat index is 108 - 115 due to sun, humidity, and no breeze at all until afternoon.

We are working only half day at a time but we get drenched in sweat early and have to take breaks to drink water and gatorade and cool off a little.  And now, since there is no wind,  the knats have come out by the thousands.  They get in your eyes, nose, ears and of course any wounds on your body get covered with knats.



Gina carries a wet cloth in an ice chest to cool off

I call this picture Raghead


Billboard people would not help rebuild sign and the vinyl tore

Somebody had to crawl up and nail and screw down the vinyl

I call this guy dumbass, all he had was a rope tied around his waist


Gina is a great gal.  She likes to work and likes to build things.  I thing she has been building something her whole life.   She can swing a sledge hammer with the best of them.  But her strength is in figuring out problems.  She will look at it from different angles and decide the best solution.   If I can understand what she is saying and do what she says,  it always works out beautifully.   We have worked together for over a year now, through the hot hot days of July and August and the cold days of Dec / January.   She is a delight to be around and I am happy to be working on different projects with her.   And she is kind to animals.   I think she likes dogs more than people.  Like me, she has stopped killing animals except for food.   It is usually only a couple of fish for supper.   Did I mention that she is a great cook too.

Putting on the roof.   We hoisted the osb up with a manlift and got it nailed down.

Then we rolled out the tar paper.  It is mighty hot in Texas working on the roof in August

Like Gina said........  we gonna die

We were all sitting in the shade taking a break when Jimmy showed up.  How wide is this shed he asked.   15 ft 3         Jimmy said it should be 16 foot to accomidate a pool table.    Gina said she did not like pool tables.   Why not, Gina?         Felt Rash.    Gina's son Kaleb was sitting there.

Oh mama, I don't want to hear that.

Finish Roof --  Kaleb's Smilin Face

We got the tar paper on before the rain

Now we are doing soffit on the ends.   We got an early rain shower that cooled everything off.  Big dark clouds kept us cool for a while.   Then the sun came out and humidity went to about 100%.   We sweated and nearly died the rest of the day.
Installing Soffit

Installing Soffit is hard work

Gina telling me how to do it

Me doing it like I was told

Rest Break Room

OSB on the front

OSB on the back

The fire is behind my little camper.  It was parked too close and burned to the ground.


Big Fire out the backdoor in the middle of the night.  First there was an explosion at 4am.  My Ex who lives 40 feet away said it sounded like a bomb.   It could have been the 55 gallon barrel of gasoline or it could have been the new bottle of propane I had put in the shed the day before.    It exploded the shed and burned my little homemade camper parked behind it.  Fire department took 45 minutes get there but it would not have mattered. 


Winston Churchill said Success is going from Failure to Failure without

losing your enthusiasm.


This is the new deck that Gina and I just built. Everything we have built this year has been destroyed.  We rebuilt pier on the bay and put new tin on the top of the boat shed.  Hurricane Hanna came in and washed away the whole pier and a tree fell on top of the boat shed and crushed it.  I also lost my sailboat in Corpus Christi and another tree fell on my little catamaran and crushed it.  Now 1/3 of our new deck has been burned.


Tammy's new pup.  He is cute as he can be.

Pup Pup weighed in at 2 lbs 4 oz   Oct 7, 2020

He does not yet have a name but Tammy calls him Pup Pup

Giant snail found in lake outside Angleton. They call them Apple snails

and they are from the Brazos River.  I put a bowl of them on the checkout

counter and give them to the kids.  They love them.

Finishing up on OSB and now we are starting on tarpaper

We did the back side first. This is our first experience with Hardie Poank

:Lee and Gina nailing up the Hardie on long side


New metal roof  Oct  2020

Gina and I did the metal roof in 2 days...Looks good too

Well, Gina and have never wired a house before.   So we are learning new things.

My whole life I thought electricians did the least amount of work and got paid the most.  Now I am learning that drilling holes and pulling wires is hard work too.

Receptacles are easy.   But switches are harder, especially when you are doing 5 at a time.  I did 3 by the front door,  Gina is doing 5 by the back door.   We are learning as we go.

We take breaks around this table and try to figure out what to do next

Almost finished with the front.  Needs a paint job

Bill's son Jeremy has a spray gun.  He has volunteered to paint.

Jeremy put underwear on his head and went to work.  He did a great job of painting, Thanks Jeremy

Nov 12, 2020   Started cleaning up the burned building and the burned deck around the

Cleaning up burned building is a nasty job

Quit that dirty burn building cleanup and started on the pier rebuild 11-19-20

Hurricane Hanna took the whole pier except for the pilings.

We started picking up boards on the beach and nailing them back on the pilings.  Found out pier building is slow hard work.  

Told Gina we would be fishing in December

We have two dogs that help us every day.

Ginger and Bianca swimming and playing in the water

Little fiberglass boat is deteriating and we both itched for days after working out of it.  Bill found us a bigger aluminum boat, much sturdier and safer.

Gina with Ginger and Bianca.  Ready for their after work treat.

We hit some cold days in December and went back to work on Henderson shed for a couple of days.

Gina watched electrician put in a breaker box.  She said that is easy, I can do that.

I told you she is a special girl.

Found that if you put X's in the middle of the spaces it takes the sway out of the walkway.


Break time at pier project.  It was cold so we hid behind truck to keep the cold north wind off of us and the dogs.

Gina getting close to end of pier

It was a cool morning but I got a smile out of her

It was a couple of cold days but Gina kept working.

We are all the way out to the T head now

Bringing boards across the Tee head

Gina taking a break with Ginger and Bianca

Pier almost complete.   We are building the bench seat now

Dinner in Lake Jackson    Feb  2021

First time eating out in a year


March 21 ---  Started rebuilding pumhouse that burned down

3/4 plywood is very expensive now

Back to building pumphouse for swimming pool   4-2-21

We are using old 2X4s we found in the weeds.   2X4s are $10.49 each now

Pumphouse turned into a little apartment now.

I decided to waterblast my big toe see how much pressure that

 machine had.   It nearly took the hide off the top of my foot.

Painted the bottom with two part epoxy

May 2021   Water was cool but felt good

Frozen water lines in the ceiling of garage.  I changed out

 pieces of the line about 8 or 9 times until I had the whole line changed out

We lost Mary May 13, 2021 after a year of illness  We went to the funeral and

said a prayer for her.

Lisa and kids  July 2021
Gina and I put tin roof on Ave C  and then screwed tin on our

little pool shed.   White tin reflected the sun and made both

places cooler.

Lisa and kids  July 2021


Stella and Ginger

Tammy working with Jude on websites.


Ginger Shake

Workin' on store overhaul

We all got together and built a new boot section in the store.

New boot section July 2021

New Boot Section

Sand bags on back of store

Sandbag Project

More sandbags

Trying to stop water from running into back of our building 


Extra ceiling over computer shed

Two pony walls and wood and tin roof to direct rain away from the building