Pruning the Garden, Pruning Life & Independence

new growth, empowerment, inspiration

Happy July Victory Chicks!

Last month I attended a funeral and a memorial service. The funeral, in early June, was for my brother, 63, who died unexpectedly. The memorial service was last Saturday for Rose, one of Joseph’s long-time clients, who died of Covid last Christmas Eve; she was 92.

My brother’s funeral was short and sad. Everything was at the funeral home and his son-in-law gave a lovely eulogy. There was no burial service. My relationship with my brother was problematic and we seldom spoke. When I found out he died, I wasn’t really sure how I felt. It took time for me to sort out my feelings.

The memorial service was joyful. It was at church and Rose’s minister, children, and nephew spoke about her. Joseph said they totally captured the essence of the woman who – until lockdown – was on his massage table weekly. The organist played Silent Night – Rose’s favorite Christmas hymn. A luncheon was held outside; it was hot. Several one-minute drizzles cooled us and were welcomed.

Pruning on My Mind

By the time we got home in mid-afternoon, my patio tomato plants were begging for water. I have 10 of them. I accidentally bought them – way too many for my 3 planters. I couldn’t let them die and my neighbor didn’t want the extras. So I googled and read warnings about how overcrowding could end up killing the plants, or making them diseased…thus stealing from me the pleasure of a home-grown tomato and basil salad (with evoo and lots of garlic). OH-NO!

new beginnings

So all season I’ve been watching the plants extra carefully. That’s what I was doing on Saturday when I found myself picking off big leaves that didn’t have flowers. I’d never done that before and after I did, got nervous that I might kill the plants. So I stopped and googled.

Turns out, I was doing the exact right thing. Those big and non-flowering leaves hide the sun from the producing parts of the plants. Pruning them not only allows more sunlight, but “removing dead, diseased, or just unnecessary leaves and stems from tomato plants increases the fruit.”

HA! Whodathunkit? Well, maybe you knew it, but it was news to me. I’m guessing my Italian ancestors – including my mother – were guiding my hands or whispering in my brain.

So I went back to pruning tomatoes, and while I did, my brother and Rose came into my mind. Why were they pruned off the tree of life? I believe that if their job wasn’t done, they wouldn’t have died. So they each served their purpose here. But how will their passings bring increase to those whose lives their tree touched?

What’s been Pruned for You?

What about other things in life – like Covid confinement? That was certainly a pruning – wouldn’t you agree? What was pruned from your life over that year-long lockdown? How will that thinning out bear fruit for you in the coming year? Maybe you’ve already seen some good? Cheez-Louise, if nothing else, you know how to use zoom!

But I’ll bet it’s more than that – so please share it on the Victorious Woman Facebook page – we can all always use a little good news!

Happily, unlike July 4th of 2020, on this holiday weekend, we can enjoy time with family and friends – and fireworks (one of my all-time favorite things!). I do that and also help Joseph set up his healing station so that it’s ready for him after next week’s prostate surgery. We’re nervous, so please keep us in your prayers.

growth, personal and garden

And, of course, I’ll be back on my deck pruning those tomatoes…looking forward to that tomato salad, and thinking about how lucky I am that my tomato-growing ancestors chose to leave Italy and come to the United States so they could have the independence here that didn’t have in their birth country.

Maybe your ancestors did the same…each looking for something better here than they had before…their own independence. We can celebrate their courage and victory as we celebrate ours this holiday. 

Guess What? Exciting News about the Five-Year Marriage!

I’m excited to be quoted in both Marie Claire Magazine (my first international publication), and She’s SINGLE Magazine.   

Don’t forget…I’ll be doing a few workshops for both Savvy Sizzle and Five-Year Marriage (that once-crazy idea is getting more notice these days especially with millennials!). I’ll keep you posted about when in August! Plan to join me because for one of both of them because they’ll be GOOD – and you don’t want to miss out!

american independence, your independence


With love and in victory,

I’m Annmarie Kelly, award-winning author, speaker, and lifestyle expert. I’m also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project, the empowerment resource for midlife women looking to make a change in their life or their relationships. Check it out…it’s full of helpful and inspiring articles, interviews with fabulous women who have been there and done that, and also classes and other tools that will help you find and nourish your inner spark. Oh…and that’s also where you can get one of my inspiring and motivating self-help books. Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal VictoriesVictory by Design, and marriage game-changer, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm.

Annmarie Kelly, speaker, author, lifestyle influencer for women over 40

I know how the past year has challenged you – body, mind, and soul. They’ve challenged me too. It’s been hard on everyone! But there’s good news – the future is what you make it! So it’s time to look forward to better days. And you can start RIGHT NOW. WANT MORE?

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What is the Victorious Woman Project?

Founded by Annmarie Kelly, the Victorious Woman Project is a female empowerment resource containing articles, classes, books, podcasts and other tools for women over 40.

blog: Victory Tips

An extensive listing of blog posts that help you take control of your life and live empowered. These articles are full of victory tips.

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