Pruning Overgrown Tomatoes

need pruning

I just love how gardening relates to life.  It’s been a beautiful, sunny day in the Pacific Northwest and I’ve been puttering in my garden on and off all day.  My tomatoes have not been getting ripe very fast and so I decided to work with them a little and see what I could do since we only have about 4 weeks of summer type weather left to ripen as many tomatoes as I can.  I got my pruning shears out and went to work.  The tomatoes are all over the place and outgrew their super-sized, jumbo tomato cages many weeks ago.  The plants have tons of foliage, 100’s of baby green tomatoes and lots of flowers for future tomatoes, but few tomatoes are ripening. I started by cutting back the tops of the plants, then I leaned over inside the tomato cages and pruned out lots of leaves. Next I cut back every branch that had flowers, but no baby tomatoes.  I cut and cut until I could see through the cages. For my efforts I created a huge pile of green limbs, many with lots of little unripened green tomatoes still attached, and lots of leaves next to the now not-so overgrow plants.  I know that with more air circulating around the tomatoes there will be fewer diseases and the fruit (baby tomatoes) will ripen sooner.

I think this is exactly how coaching helps us.  Sometimes we get a little overgrown with all kinds of things that don’t help us work on what we want to happen in our lives.  Sometimes we get distracted by our phones, Facebook, Netflix – or by feeling very busy – but not getting much done.  We have all leaves and blossoms, and not very much fruit.  Sometimes we need to get to work pruning away those distractions so we have space around us to actually concentrate on bringing our plans and dreams to fruition.  For many women those dreams include losing weight and making our bodies healthier, clearing the clutter that we live in, doing more meaningful service, starting our own business, or anything else we’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t found the time. 

I am a life coach for empty nest women who feel stuck and want to move toward the goals they’ve always meant to get to – but haven’t.  I can help you identify your hidden dreams and perhaps prune away the things that are stopping you from producing what you want to become and share with your family or the world.  Message me, I may be able to help you see things that may need pruning in your life. 

I am Jennifer with JennieB Coaching and I help food, flowers and people grow. 

Forty-One Wonderful Years

41st anniversary

My husband and I celebrated our 41st  anniversary this week.  Forty-one wonderful years.  We were sealed in the Oakland Temple and we have four beautiful daughters and eight amazing grandchildren. We are just a normal couple and we have gone through the usual ups and downs of a life spent together.  About 3 ½ years ago, shortly after I was called to be Relief Society President, my husband stopped attending church.  It was the result of years of struggling and trying to build his faith.  It was so painful that he finally decided to stop attending church in an effort relieve some of the pressure.  This has been a good decision for him, he feels so much better without the constant inner struggle of trying to reconcile things about the church and God that he just doesn’t believe.

In this unplanned situation we both experience little challenges that are new and different:


  • I miss sitting in a pew with him and having someone to share what I see and hear at church
  • I miss attending the temple together and each year celebrating our own sealing
  • I miss co-ordinating my outfit with his tie
  • I miss the conversations we had between two believers  


  • He worries about being a disappointment to me
  • He struggles knowing that I believe things that he doesn’t, can’t accept and doesn’t agree with
  • He doesn’t like watching me struggle with my own questions (some of the same ones he did)

We continue to have the most amazing life together.  We hold hands, we walk, we garden, we talk, we laugh.  Each of us truly love being with the other and our relationship has never been stronger.  We have more candid conversations.  We talk about things that were always off limits, we work together.  We are truly partners in everything. 

I don’t know what will happen after this life, but for me – the believer – it’s been an increased time for faith that God is truly in charge, that nothing has gone wrong, that this is part of the plan.  We are both on the path we need to be on. It feels amazing to know and believe these things with every fiber of my being.   

Have you ever had a time where your life didn’t turn out the way you had planned on?  What made it work for you? 

Inner Mean Girl

mean girl

I substitute taught in Relief Society yesterday.  The lesson was the “Good Shepherd, Lamb of God” by Elder Gong.  I was well prepared, I felt guided by the Spirit and we had a good discussion with lots of participation.  I felt good during the lesson, but as I gathered up my things to go home my inner mean voice started in.  These are some of the things she had to say to me – “You didn’t share enough scriptures”, “You didn’t have enough quotes from the lesson”. My inner voice had a LOTS to say – all the way home from church and into my house. The inner chatter continued during the afternoon while I ignored it, but soothed my thoughts with dark chocolate almond butter cups, a bag of popcorn and a nap.  After my nap I felt ready to take charge of that inner voice.  “Hey – inner mean girl – I don’t listen to you any more – you are not helpful to me.” I interrupted her every time she pointed out a new short coming. I repeated, “I don’t listen to you anymore”, with my hands over my ears and saying “La, la, la – I can’t hear you” over and over. 

This is something that has plagued me my entire life.  I do something and then the inner critic starts.  I usually end up doing the things that I planned to do, but feeling like I did a terrible job and everyone hated it.  Sound familiar to anyone? I’ve spent a couple of years working on that inner voice and I think that she and I are coming to terms with each other.  I continue to talk, write, speak and share however I know this mean girl, inner critic comes along for the ride.  I know this part of my brain is trying to protect me and keep me safe, but I can’t stand up and share if I let her take over, she’s too pushy and if I listen to her, I would never speak in public – or publish a blog post, or take a stand or anything else.  My response to her now is, “Ok girlfriend, I know you are there, but I am NOT listening to you anymore.” I still need to watch out for times when I am really tired, and do my best not to turn to chocolate for comfort. I know that causes more problems than it solves.  Knowing when I am weak gives me a chance to plan ahead for those times when a nap will work better than a snack.  I am learning patience with myself as I learn to overcome that inner mean girl voice.  I am not perfect, merely learning and trying.  She’s probably never going away, but I’ve convinced her to stay in her corner most of the time and be very quiet.

What about you? Do you have an inner mean girl talking to you?
What have you done to stop listening to her?

Thinking about my future self

I listened to my life coaching teacher’s podcast yesterday.  It was called “gifts to my future self”.  I started thinking about gifts that I have given myself today because of my actions in the past.  I workout 4 or 5 times a week and I have been doing this for many years.  I always told my husband that I was investing in our future together.  I have an auto-immune disease that affects my joints and I thought that if I ever stopped moving, I wouldn’t be able to get going again.  This week my rheumatologist told me that I am in remission and I don’t have to see her for a year.  I have no idea why I am in remission – I have been taking steps to improve my health for years, but I am so grateful for this gift.  I believe that the small and simple things I have been doing over time have compounded into this huge blessing.  I am not taking any prescribed medication, I move freely, I have minimal pain in my body, I walk and swim and dance. I am GRATEFUL for my body and what it can do. 

I am excited to continue giving more gifts to my future self because I love her and I want her to have the best life that she could ever envision for herself. Just seeing how the little things I have been doing have added up motivates me to find new ways to create my future.

Have you ever thought about how the things you are doing today can be a gift to yourself in the future?

Weight-Loss Wednesday – What I Am Learning

Celebrate Good Times

I joined the Self-Coaching Scholars’ program in order to learn to lose weight almost two years ago.  To date, I have lost 30 pounds.  It’s been a journey. I have learned so many things about myself. I still have weight to lose. These are some of things I’ve learned recently.

  • I have a relationship with my body/self.  Sometimes my relationship is rocky.  I tend to be impatient and judgmental about my body. When I love, appreciate and am grateful for my body and the things that it can do, I tend to have a better relationship than when I don’t.  My body wants to please me. Sometimes I take an appreciation walk and just appreciate all the things my body can do.  Our relationship is better when I take these walks.
  • I haven’t lost a pound in 2 months.  My thoughts = “Something is wrong here”, “I must be doing something wrong” “What should I change?” “Why does everyone else lose weight faster than me?” Then I lost a dress size, not a tight dress size either – I’m wearing a loose size 12.   What’s up with that? My body got smaller, but the scale didn’t.  This is very curious. I must be doing something right.
  • Some foods make me feel amazing, some foods make me feel terrible.  I want more of the amazing foods and fewer of the terrible foods.  Avocado is amazing – ice cream is terrible.  I like avocado, but I love the way that ice cream tastes.  What place does a food that tastes wonderful but make me feel terrible after I eat it have in my life?

I love this journey.  I am learning more about myself than I could any other way.  I am trying to lose my weight the way that I will live with it the rest of my life.  I make mistakes and I make great choices.  I am learning to live with both of them.  Are you on a weight loss journey?  What are you learning?

What Do You Want?


Today I picked a handful of raspberries from my garden and ate them – they tasted like sunshine and sweet.  I picked a handful of blueberries and ate them too – and a few tomatoes. This is one of the joys I get because I have a garden.

I became a gardener because I wanted:

  • fresh food
  • beautiful flowers
  • to see nature up close and personal
  • to see how my garden is a metaphor for my life
  • a place to talk to God
  • to move my body
  • to have something to love and nurture

Now, I have all that and more.  My husband and I built our garden boxes almost 10 years ago.  I am the one who wanted the garden.  Fortunately, he usually wants me to have what I want – and is willing to help.  We plant, weed, water, fertilize, cut back, prune, remove diseased plants and pray over our garden.  It happened because I wanted it and was willing to do what it took to have it.

As a Life Coach, I teach women how to get what they want in their lives.  The first step is to know what you want and why. 

I can help you discover your “What” and “Why”.  Let’s talk.