Fence Staining Project Rain Delay and Minestrone

First, the recipe – yes, it was good enough to share! Added to the Main Meal Page too.


Slow Cooker Minestrone

Origin unknown – this basic recipe serves 6 – I didn’t want a bunch of leftover open containers of ingredients so I doubled it froze 1/2

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 28oz can of tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 8 oz can of red kidney beans – drained
  • 1 8 oz can of white kidney beans – drained
  • 15oz of beef stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/12 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1o oz of spaghetti sauce
  • 4 ounces pasta (I used mini pinwheels)
  • salt to taste – start with 1/2 tsp

Brown beef in a skillet & drain. Add all ingredients into the crock pot except pasta. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. In the last 45 minutes add pasta.

Per my tips above – the ingredient sizes are odd – I honestly don’t know where this recipe came from yet it is a fairly new one I printed out. But really – 10 oz of jar spaghetti sauce? 15oz beef stock? 1/2 an onion? And of course I couldn’t find an exactly measured 1lb package of ground beef either. Hence the doubling and NO leftover items 🙂 The recipe itself doesn’t call for salt, but we found it did need it. Otherwise – YUM! Fabulous winter day meal!

Day Two of The Great Fence Staining Project of 2012!

I *thought* I had another clear, dry day ahead of me to complete the fence, right? Wrong! Woke up at 7am and watching Up and thankfully I read twitter a bit and saw updates from LA friends about THUNDER and RAIN! Shit.

Checked San Diego and yep – now it was a 60% chance of rain TODAY! Argh! So I loaded up the local radar and it looked like I had until about noon to stain. That would make sure that whatever I did stain would be well dry before the first showers hit around 1pm. All right, then let’s DO THIS:

First hour - slow going because I had to get behind/around the planter again.

First hour – slow going because I had to get behind/around the planter again.


This was around 11am – I had to also stain the top of the fence up to this point because the neighbor behind me on that section has left hers without paint or stain so far. I didn’t want to leave any part “raw” like that because I was already seeing mold in this section – which is the darkest corner of the yard. Also, I swear that the side I share with my next door neighbor was done with wood that was better treated to begin with. As soon as I transitioned this morning to this back part, the wood seemed more porous and already showed some wear 😦 I’ve done my part – now I just have to hope since her side gets more sun that it’s not so bad over there. Thankfully the other backyard neighbor who I share the majority of the fence with did have hers stained right away. Still, since they used the same person for the entire section, I am still seeing some of the same mildew patterns at the bottom already. Even some bits of the wood splintering off on one post. And of course, I cannot say anything since they both took on this project out of their own pockets and have graciously allowed me to pay them back over time. Anyhoo…


Just to give a feel for the time it takes – I’m covering every surface – including up under those cross beams.


So, here is what I had left to do at 11am – that next section being more out in the open meant I figured I could get it done and have it dry before the rain (at this point the earlier section behind the planter that I started on at 9:15 was plenty dry. So, check the radar:


Gonna be close!


Noon! Mission Accomplished! No sign yet of rain – trouble is, my stomach was growling. I knew the rain would be there once I ate lunch (leftover minestrone of course). So then my strategy was to clear out the plumbago after I ate because it didn’t matter if I did that during a little rain:


That bush really grew in thick since the fence was put up! So, I knew it would recover after another hacking – especially with all this rain we are getting.


All clear! Left a small spray of the bush that is growing out about a foot clear of the fence – will be plenty easy to work around that – certainly easier that it was getting around the peach tree and planter box! So this was taken at 1:30 and the rain had just started spritzing a bit.

It’s now rained for almost 2.5 hours – all just light showers, but there is no way I will be hitting that last bit today. It needs to dry out first and right now there are these off and on showers predicted through tomorrow morning.


3 thoughts on “Fence Staining Project Rain Delay and Minestrone

Add yours

  1. Wow. Good job! When you invest in a brand new wood fence for your home, you should take the time to ensure that your fence is protected so that it will last for years to come. The most effective way to achieve this result is to stain your wood fence.


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