About mrssmythe

Posts by mrssmythe:


Journeyman Camp at Old Sturbridge Village

Posted by mrssmythe on August 11, 2019 in Family, Garden, Museums, Out & About |

Before I forget, I want to share about Pepper’s experience at the Old Sturbridge Village day camp this summer.


Pepper had a wonderful time at this camp. In fact, I was surprised by how much she enjoyed it. She spent the week immersed in 1830’s life, wearing the clothing and performing the work that someone her age would have engaged in at that time in New England. She learned to sew, cook on a hearth, garden, work with wood, weave a basket, braid straw for a hat, and so much more. The week ended with a dance on the village green:

Pepper is at left in the green dress and white bonnet.

As you can see, all of the kids were in costume. Pepper was among the oldest, part of a small group of kids aged 14-17. She thought one of the nicest things about the camp was the kinds of kids it attracted. Overall, she found them to be very interesting and friendly.

Pepper says she would definitely like to participate in a similar program at OSV in the future. At seventeen, this is her last year to register for OSV’s youth programs, but there are volunteer opportunities for college students and adults, so she could possibly do one of those.

During the week, Ginger and I had fun visiting OSV twice while Pepper was “on duty” as a volunteer. It was so fun to see her in costume, cooking fritters or dancing on the green. (We tried not to embarrass her too much). OSV is always a nice place to spend the day, and I especially enjoy visiting the herb garden.

This time, a volunteer was on hand, tending the flowers. She demonstrated the miracle of Soapwort…are you familiar with this plant?

The volunteer tore off a handful of leaves, wet them with a hose and rubbed them together in her hands. Here is the result:

Isn’t that amazing? Actual soap from a plant! She told us that centuries back, people used Soapwort to wash their clothing! She also told us that she has an older home with quite a bit of soapwort growing in the yard. She hypothesized that an early owner used the Soapwort for this very purpose. Isn’t that interesting?

It would be fun to grow some in my own garden, though I did read that it can become invasive and isn’t considered very useful to wildlife.

Oh, and if you’re interested in the Old Sturbridge Village day camps, you can find more information about them HERE.

From the dining room table enjoying a deliciously cool evening,

Mrs. Smythe


Tags: , , ,


Behold, the Bachelor’s Button…(aka Cornflower)

Posted by mrssmythe on July 31, 2019 in Garden, Insects, Pollinators |

One of my favorite garden plants this season has been the Bachelor’s Buttons – aka Cornflowers. I used to read novels (usually romance novels) in which characters were described as having “cornflower blue eyes”. I never knew what that meant until I started gardening and put two and two together. Now, looking at the gorgeous […]

Tags: , , , , , ,


Life Amidst the Milkweed

Posted by mrssmythe on July 29, 2019 in Critters, Garden |

So, let me tell you about my Swamp Milkweed. First of all – my Swamp Milkweed is not in a swamp. My Swamp Milkweed is along a busy road, in a sunny part of my front yard, in soil that is not the clay-rich, wet soil that Swamp Milkweed is supposed to like. And, yet, […]

Tags: , , , ,


A Jumping Guinea Hen, A Visit to a Cave, and Lots of Insects

Posted by mrssmythe on July 21, 2019 in Books, Chickens, Crafting, Critters, Garden, Seasons, Travel, Week in Review |

Greetings to you! I hope you’re staying cool in all of this heat – that is if, like us, your area of the world is currently sweltering! For once, it’s too hot even to go to the pond, so we’re all hunkered down inside, cuddling up to the fans and window A/C units. The chickens […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


A Shift in the Color Scheme and a Shaved Cat

Posted by mrssmythe on July 9, 2019 in Crafting, Critters, Garden, Week in Review |

Quick! Does anyone know what sort of tree this is? I was walking in Holyoke last week and came to a full stop when I caught a whiff of its flowers. They smelled divine and the bees loved them! Meanwhile, in my own yard, the color palette is shifting from the purples and pinks of […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Copyright © 2013-2019 Mrs. Smythe All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.5, from BuyNowShop.com.