The day started out with the boys helping me plant seeds in our garden.  They are pretty excited because they each got to have a say in which seeds I purchased.  I went with all of our favorites this year – no experimenting this time around.

They decided to “get a tan”.  I have nothing to offer as an explanation.

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It was quickly followed by dad finding a baby bird on the ground under our deck.  We went over to check it out and watched it hop around on the ground.  The mama bird was hiding under our grill so we decided to let her take care of the baby and check on them again later.

Baby bird

The mama bird had made a nest on Les’ ladder

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While the boys were pulling weeds out of the garden, they found an acorn that had sprouted.  Pretty cool!

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The boys also found a gigantic wolf spider hiding in a hole in the ground when they pulled up this plant. It had a large egg sac with it containing dozens of eggs.  Oh joy.  Those spiders always freak me out because they’re so big but they’re supposed to be good for the garden – eating bugs and such.  That just doesn’t help the “freak you out factor” though.  These are really common spiders in our state.  Ug.  I tried taking a picture of it but it was too dark in the ground for my camera to focus on it.  I’m leaving the size of the spider up to your imagination instead or you can click on the link above.

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To top the whole afternoon off, Les taught us about Swedish candles.  The boys were glued to watching dad light the log and were anxious to see how it would burn.  The initial plan was to heat up a kettle of water for tea but then we decided to make lunch on it also.  It turned out phenomenally.  The idea behind the Swedish candle is to give you a campfire in the snow (so it’s up out of the snow) or when you don’t want to be adding wood to the fire on a regular basis.  It burned for several hours until the rain put it out later in the afternoon.

I threw together lunch in the pot.  We’ll call it a Swedish Candle Goulash.

Swedish Candle Goulash Recipe:
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 pound ground hamburger
  • 1 package of baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • corn sliced off of 3 ears of corn
  • 1 bottle Irish beer
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

We cooked it on the Swedish Candle for about 45 minutes and stirred it twice to check on it.