Emilie McVey

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since Oct 28, 2014
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I am originally from (the great state of) Texas and have been an expat living in PA for 34 years, the last several of which have been in beautiful central PA. I love gardening and the outdoors and the concept of sustainable living; that said, neither my beloved of 36 years nor I are handy - we feel very accomplished to be able to paint a room and have it look nice.
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central Pennsylvania
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Recent posts by Emilie McVey

Dear Paul,
Thank you for sharing; I'm sure it felt very difficult and awkward, but it's done and now many, many of your "peeps" can join you on the journey and/or keep you in their prayers.  You'll probably hear from a lot of people who can sympathize with what you're going through.

Good for you for seeking your own path through this!  And it's impressive that your doctor is supporting you in your "alternative journey".  Too many do not.  Their way or the highway, as it were.

Best of luck with your journey, I'm so glad you're finding success with your choices.  You'll be in my prayers.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, and its relative sodium laureth sulfate, are hormone disruptors.  I have no idea if they are harmful to plants or soil, but they are definitely harmful to humans!  If you read labels of the various soaps, shampoos, body lotions, detergents, etc., you may be shocked at how prevalent these hormone disruptors are. So, IMO, avoid anything that contains them.
1 month ago
It's a bit off subject, perhaps, but hops is a great medicine.  It's a painkiller, for example, a muscle relaxer, including menstrual cramps, it has antimicrobial properties, is an aid for insomnia, it's useful in treating arthritis.  Recent (2018) studies indicates it may be helpful in treating cancer, but more research is required.  It's good for much more than beer!
3 months ago
I notice that many of you suggest comfrey as a plant for the tree guilds.  I know it has wonderful qualities in enriching the soil, and it's medicinal, of course. But it grows like crazy!  Wouldn't it overrun everything else in the guild? I cut mine back a few times a summer and it still is taking over the bed where it's located.
3 months ago


Until the true cost of disposal is built into the purchase price, landfills and incineration will dominate.
There is a way to recycle almost anything if the incentive is high enough.
During WW2 reusing everything was considered a moral imperative.
If we treated natural extraction as a moral impossibility that was like trading with the enemy, we would find ways to use what we have, rather than extract oil or gas to make a plastic do dad.



Totally agree!!  But there's either not the political will, or else the corporate "citizens" have bought off all the politicians.  Or both.
4 months ago
Here's a question.  I don't think I missed its answer in the messages extolling the virtues of leaf mold, but forgive me if I did...... If the neighborhood trees all have some sort of fungal infection (or it may be bacterial or viral, not sure), should I use those leaves?  Or will that just spread the disease?

This year everywhere I look, the tree leaves have orange spots, or orange and brown spots, or lots of little black spots.  Or growths on them.  Not healthy looking at all.  It's been this way since at least July, too.  So I'm really hesitant to try to do anything with them.

What do you all think?
6 months ago
I'm fine with crickets outside -- I love their chirping.  But they eat all sorts of cloth, including polyester, so they are escorted outdoors as soon as I locate them.
7 months ago
Dear Anne,
My heart hurts for you 💔.  I totally agree about the chemotherapy and the doctors and the money.  They all support you --until you say 'no!' to the chemicals.

"The Truth About Cancer" is an excellent video about it and things that will help.  Frankincense and orange essential oils (from a reputable producer.  Purple Moosage me for a recommendation on brand) have clinically documented effects on cancer.  (See pubmed.gov; look under their botanical names).  But Big Pharma can't patent nature, so nothing will come of it.  Eliminate all sugar from your diet.

I'm in an herbalism school and I remember we covered some plants with anti-cancer activity, but I'd have to review that section.  Let me know if you want me to look it up.

Prayerfully your body has enough strength left to be positively influenced by natural healing.  I will pray for you.
8 months ago
I have desired an asparagus bed for years**, but have been deterred by the "fact" (where I read this, I don't remember) that a bed can't be harvested from for five years.  But it sounds like you all didn't wait five years before enjoying the fruits of your labor!

**this makes me laugh now, bc for the first 50 years of my life I wouldn't even try asparagus LoL.  Now it's on the shopping list every week -- which is why I want to grow it myself!
10 months ago