Dec 28th

Holidays 2017

By Admin JoJo Matthews

The holidays were a little different for me this year as my mom went back to work part time and couldn’t get the time off. She did pay for a ticket for me and my daughter to visit her. My mom lives in Manitoba Canada where it has been freezing since a day or so before Christmas. That kind of put a damper on our plans. This is my daughters second Christmas here but her first one she was 2. 

We had plans of playing in the snow, building snowmen, sleigh rides, rides on the snowmobile and whatever else we could think to do outside in the snow. Temperatures below zero and the windchill kept us inside for the holidays. 

We still made the best of it and ate delicious food and spent time with family we haven’t seen in years. 

This trip has also meant no visits with my love for 2 weeks. It’s been hard and if 2 weeks has been this hard I can’t imagine how long 3-4 months will feel this summer. 

Anyway I hope everyone had a blessed holiday despite our struggle and I wish a Happy New Year to all filled with peace, good health, and many other blessings. 

Nov 28th

Seasons Greetings project

By Admin JoJo Matthews

If you are looking for a project for the holiday we’ve got one for you.

get creative as you want just don’t forget to follow the rules.

seasgreet1722 // Y

Nov 20th

Difficult decisions

By Admin JoJo Matthews

Don’t worry this isn’t a blog where I say I am leaving my loved one ok maybe I’m leaving him but not breaking up with him. 

Some things have happened in my life over the past couple of years that have really made the life is short saying ring true and right in my face. 

Last September my mom had a triple by-pass. Most children believe in the tooth fairy, and Santa Claus I believed my mom is invincible and nothing bad could or would happen to her. Since then I’ve wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. 

We live far apart from each other. I live in Arizona, she lives in Canada. Usually she is a snow bird and will come see me for the winter months then return to Canada for spring and summer. So roughly she is here with me for 6 months and in Canada did 6 months. 

I don’t want to be one of those people that wishes she spent more time with her mom so I’ve decided I’m going to be a snowbird like my mom. There are few things I must work out before it’s a for sure thing though. 

So while my love is a big part of my life he isn’t my whole life and he’s doing life so I have to do what’s best for me. 

There is mail and phone calls and I will make a trip to visit when I can and then for fall and winter I will visit all I can. 

Aug 22nd

Invisible shackles

By Admin JoJo Matthews

The countdown is on until my daughter returns to Oregon. It makes me sad to think of the loneliness I will go through again. I pray her dad lets her come for Christmas otherwise I won't see her until spring break which would be 6 months later.

The one thing I hate about her going to school versus home schooling is now my time with her is based on her school vacation schedule. Her dad also wants time with her. I try to explain to him that her time off from school is the only time I get to see her. He gets her every day. 

I just want my love home so he can hold me after her plane takes off and I can cry instead of being strong. 

I have looked in to moving to Oregon to be closer to her but they live on the coast so it's pretty expensive. If my love were home it wouldn't be an issue because we would be a two income family instead of me all by myself. 

It is so frustrating and this is one of those times I wonder if I really can walk this journey forever. It's days like this where I have no hope at all that laws can change that

he could have a chance to come home. I usually have a small sliver of hope that he will walk out those gates into my arms but today isn't one of those days. Today is a reminder of how alone I am in this free world. I would rather be in that tiny cell with him than deal with this. 

Today is an emotional roller coaster that I must ride alone and make it look like I'm ok when I'm a disaster on the inside. 


Aug 17th

Since February

By Admin JoJo Matthews

My last blog was February 1st and after re-reading it and seeing how much hope I had. Well 4 short days later I landed in the hospital with Ileus. It was awful. I came home from work Friday night, actually sent home because I was nauseous. Within an hour I was driving myself to the hospital after I managed to quit puking long enough to get there. The doctor never really said much about it other than if it didn't resolve itself then I would need surgery. I wasn't allowed any water or food the whole weekend and those hospital beds are horribly uncomfortable. Well come Sunday I was suppose to be let out but once the doctor made his round and discovered I had a migraine he decided to keep me another night. Monday I was suppose to start my new job. When I landed that new job things were going to turn around for me. Sunday afternoon I had to email my new boss explaining that I couldn't start the following day as I was in the hospital. She emailed back saying no problem, start Tuesday. 

Tuesday rolls around and I wasn't feeling 100% it made me nervous because I threw up so much I was afraid of it happening again. I emailed them once again explaining I'm still not 100% and would hate to start and I get sick again. I had 8 weeks of training to get through and I couldn't miss a single day otherwise I would fall behind. I had already missed day one. She emailed back saying she would speak to my department manager about me starting the next training class in April. Hallelujah I was able to start in April. 

Having given up my job at the grocery store a few days before the hospital I went back full time at the restaurant. Things were still iffy with my digestive system. I struggled to find something to eat that didn't make me feel ill. I went back on lactaid pills, I started taking beano, and I cleaned up my eating habits. No more eating things with ingredients I can't pronounce or isn't natural. 

April rolls around it's time to start training. I ended up declining their offer because I was so afraid of getting sick again. I went into a pretty bad depression in March and I think my anxiety got the better of me by April. I was tired all of the time and could barely stay awake. My emotions were all over the place and sadly my loved one took the brunt of it quite a few times. Thank sweet baby Jesus he is a forgiving and understanding man and we've made it through my crazy time. I was super sad and crying one minute and angry the next. He found himself apologizing when it wasn't him that started it, it was me. I know he felt helpless. 

I ended up finding something called Maca powder it's made from a Peruvian root. I was taking it for 2 months, it seemed to help. I started taking vitamin B12 again the methylcoblaminin one. I have a history of being seriously deficient in it and have been on shots twice. Anyway I stopped the maca powder because it's expensive and I was going through it too quickly. The B12 seems to be sustaining me. I did research on all my symptoms and of course it can be a number of different things. Being that I don't have health insurance I can't get diagnosed properly. 

Honestly I think it's a few different things, B12 deficiency, D deficiency(diagnosed with that at one point as well) and I think thyroid may be giving up on me finally. Thyroid disorders run in my family and I think my mom was just a tad older than me when diagnosed. I've been tested since I was a teenager and was fine. A few years ago I was tested and the doctor told me that my levels were low enough he wanted to put me on meds. He said I was borderline. I took the meds I think for 6 months in which point I moved back to the U.S. from Canada and ended up not taking them anymore because no health insurance again. Later on I was tested a few different times. One doctor wanted to put me on meds. One doctor sent me to and Endocrinologist where I had a thyroid ultrasound done. They told me it didn't show any signs of being under active. This is when I was diagnosed with b12 and D deficiency. 

Anyway I'm ok as if right now so I will take it. I'm sorry my blogis all

over the place but that's part of what I've been going through.

I am staying as positive as I can and just going with the flow and trying to realize God's purpose for my life. 

Feb 1st

Hello February!!

By Admin JoJo Matthews

A brand new month, a clean slate. If things have not been going your way today is the day to shake it off and start fresh. There will always be hard days. Life was never promised to be easy we were only promised we won't be alone. Life is what we make of it how we react and respond to everything daily. If we only choose to see the doom and gloom in the storm clouds then that's what it will be. Storms have a way of washing everything clean and then bringing us that awe inspiring rainbow at the end.

Don't get me wrong this isn't always easy for me either, I recently went through a very dark time that I wasn't sure was going to end but it did. 

2017 is a brand new year and February is a brand new month for us. January brought me a new job that is going to be so much betterhan working at the grocery store. I start my new job the 13th of this month. 

We did get some news that we didn't want to hear, right now he is a 5 yard which means he is locked up 23 hours a day, actually it's 24 because they get rec a couple times a week for a couple of hours at a time. Rec is in a cage and his visits are behind glass. Well with his points being so low he was hoping he could bypass a 4 yard and go straight to a 3 yard(med security) but the CO III said no because of his charges he

has to do a minimum of 4 years on a 4 yard. This is bad news bears for us, he hasn't heard of any yard yet where he won't have trouble from other dudes. We know of a 3 yard hut not 4. Because he is refusing to gang up, while the winds are shifting in AZ DOC it's still one of top worst for prison politics I think only to be outdone by Cali. Plus his charges the older population that happens to be gang population doesn't like the fact that the victim in his crime happens to be a female so because of his refusal to gang up its now out to kill him. Sadly he can't get approved for PC because staff needs proof either his name must be found on a hit list or an attempt must be made. Well he took himself out of the situation so an attempt can't be made and he will just max himself out if he can't find a yard where he might be somewhat safe. I don't think staff is checking real hard to find his name on any list. 

Anyway he took the news like a trooper and has his plan in place should things go bad. 

How he remains the way his is calm and positive for me is amazing because I would have lost it already. This dude is serving a natural life sentence with a hit out on him and he still manages to positive for me and laughs and has faith it will all work out!!

where the heck he came from I can only think of one place heaven, he is heaven sent.

So my advice for you when you are in a storm is learn to dance in the rain, if Joey can do can all of you! 

Jan 8th

Being silly is good for the soul

By Admin JoJo Matthews

One of the the big things I love about Joey is that I'm able to be myself 100% and know he will still love me. We started out as friends so I think that helped a lot I didn't put on my best face like a lot of us tend to do on a first date. By the time we actually went out on a "date" he already knew the real me. 

Visits are always amazing with him, it's filled with silliness and laughter. That's the basis of me silliness if I can't be silly I can't be comfortable. 

So even though it's hard because we miss them so much and there are lots of details that have to be discussed when it comes to calls and visits don't forget to be silly too, it's good for the soul. Laughter keeps the blues at bay. 

I know Joey carries those memories with him for the week and that laughter that silliness we share lights his darkest moments. 

Jan 1st

My words to you for 2017

By Admin JoJo Matthews
Loves today is a brand new day to a brand new year let's all make the most of it. Times are tough righ now and we are all sad and missing our loved ones dearly but we cannot take for granted the gift of life we are given every day. For many of you this situation is temporary. For those of you like me that's in this for life the situation isn't ideal but the love must be amazing for you to walk this journey, I know mine is. We do the best to make the best of the crappy situation. 
The last 2 years have taught me how short life really is and we just don't know know when our time here will end. Take advantage of every moment and make a memory. To those that have children they won't be children for long, you don't want to be sitting one day wondering where time went, regretting what you didn't do. 
I know it's hard because the one you love isn't there and you can't figure out how to continue on. Get up and fake it until you make it and remember life is a gift so don't waste it!
Dec 12th

Return address for the card swap

By Admin JoJo Matthews

Just in case everyone forgot the return address you are to use for the cards when you send them is 

P.O. Box 85, Gillette NJ, 07933.

Please be patient if you haven't recieved names yet for the swap. We had a lot more sign up than ever before and it's a bit of a tedious task. 

Thank you everyone.


Dec 9th

Last minute swap info

By Admin JoJo Matthews

Last day for the card swap everyone. I will start sending names out late tomorrow afternoon, I'm on AZ time for anyone curious. Please don't panic if you do not got your names tomorrow, I will be sending names out as well

On Sunday. If come Monday you do not have your names then please email me, any questions please email me. I will get them answered as soon as possible. Also you will be emailed the flyer explaining the program, it is your responsibility to print and email

This to your loved one so they have an idea about the program. And why they are getting all this mail for the holidays. This is a wonderful program, thanks to all those participating