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

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