Sanity Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be!

Written By: JoJoisms - Feb• 14•18

This is MY mug!

I wrote this saying from out of all the times I’ve wandered into the family room looking for a sandwich.  I’ve had insomnia since before my son was born–18 years ago.  I’ve tried just about everything, but the only thing that works for me is a muscle relaxer.  It’s used for Fibro pain (which I have also), but has the added side effect of making you sleepy.  I take it at night before bed. Most nights I sleep much longer, though I still get up a few times a night. However, SOME nights are like last week.

I dreamed that Mug Man had to go somewhere and my son was supposed to drive us home from somewhere weird where we’d been for an unspecified period of time.  My son knew the way. I didn’t and it was late so he drove, but we quickly realized he took a wrong turn. So we stopped at a tri-level auto garage to ask for directions.  Leaving the garage, my son, my MIL, and I had to navigate down some steep yet narrow steps that almost resembled a ramp.  My MIL is 93 so I was a bit concerned, but in heartbeat we were in the car traveling down the street when we realized that it was covered with quite uneven ice patches.  I told my son to be careful when suddenly the street became a water slide ride.  Fearing the water would seep into the cabin of the car, it morphed into a Flintstone-esk log car.  After a minute or two, we noticed that the ride hadn’t finished construction yet and so we began yelling for the construction workers to help us.  Dressed as Keystone Cops in rain attire, they just looked at us and smiled.  That’s when I woke up.  Mug Man told me to go back to sleep, but I was not yet ready to finish that ride so I went into the living room to do a bit of social media.

Later, Mug Man couldn’t sleep so he, too, came out to the living room and, both sleepy, but unable to sleep, we sat there looking at each other.  Suddenly, Oatmeal Girl appeared!  She was so proud of herself for making all gone that she had quite a look of pride on her face.  Her father’s face was a bit different as most of the oatmeal was on his daughter’s face. She was especially cute at that moment when a man appeared next to her and told her she was so adorable that he wanted her to be his baby girlfriend.  I wasn’t quite sure I liked the sound of that.  That’s when I woke up.  Mug Man was snoring.

After a few minutes, a large cartoon looking woman dressed in a flowing blue dress with an orange scarf tied around her hair and holding a red bar of soap floated behind the couch. It occurred to me that nobody could float BEHIND the couch as it backs up to the wall.  That’s when I woke up.  That’s also when it finally seemed odd that she would be floating at all.

Looking down at the large pot of hot water that was sitting on the BBQ in the family room, I noticed that, as the pot warmed, the pot became pliable and morphed into a heart shaped pot.  But we don’t have a BBQ in the family room so it was suddenly in the kitchen on the stove.  That’s when I woke up.

I decided that, since I’d been asleep for maybe two hours total and it was already 7:45am, I’d might as well get dressed for church.  I was a bit concerned that I might shower with toothpaste, but it wasn’t IN the shower so-problem averted.  I hadn’t yet had my coffee…which might explain why I almost walked out of the shower before realizing I hadn’t yet washed my hair!

Cyclobenzaprine (muscle relaxer) does warn you that you may have “weird dreams” from time to time.  I think these would fit that description, don’t you? I’ve always said that my life is like a series of comedy sketches and all I do is write them down.  Having had chronic illness for almost 40 years, been married for 31 yrs, and a mom for 27 years, I think that Sanity Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be.  There are times when things are frustrating, but it certainly makes for an interesting life, don’t you think? 


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How’d it get to February so soon?

Written By: JoJoisms - Feb• 07•18

Does anyone else have the sinking feeling that life is just running by them at 120 MPH and the world is a blur or is it just me?

It’s February 2018 already!  Does anyone else still feel like it’s 2017?  Or maybe even 2010? LOL

In the last few years, I’ve had five surgeries, lived in two homes, and had my last kidling graduate from high school.  We will soon be a kidless home…an empty nest.

I think the thing that has made this seem even faster has been the amount of work I’ve picked up over the last few months that I’ve been recuperating from foot surgery.

I went from writing one blog, this one, to writing SIX blogs and TWO newsletters.  JoJoisms is where I’m writing my humor and oddities. The  Art of Eloquence blog is for communication issues I write once a month. Then there’s our Adventures of Mug Man and Java Jo monthly, and the Life Beyond Surviving one that shares my heart for those going through trials.  That one is weekly.  In addition to those blogs, I have one that shares weekly family things as this is our parent company, Grape Stuff.  Then I have two weekly newsletters in addition to those.

I’m having trouble keeping everything straight so I actually created a three ring purple binder called the Grape Stuff Operations Manual.  And, yes, I have to refer to it in order to remind myself when and what I’m supposed to post where.  Read that sentence again, it’ll make more sense.  LOL

At the time of this typing, I’m done with all ten of my blog posts for the month.  Ok this makes 11.  I still have to write eight newsletter posts and schedule them, but it’s now 3:06pm and I find that I’m still in my pjs so I think I’ll go clean myself up, stir the chicken mole in the crockpot and leave sleeping newsletters lie…until tomorrow.

I just wanted to say that I think I now know why you seem to age faster after the age of 50.  My theory is that life goes by fairly slowly until you reach adulthood.  Then, life speeds up just a tad picking up speed at the turn of the half century until you wake up one day and can actually watch your skin sag as you look at your reflection in the mirror…or is that just me?

Well, I can’t say I’m too disappointed.  Saggy and baggy is a much better alternative than the one I might have had-had I not had a doctor naggy who got me to go in for testing that avoided the cancer.  So…if I had a tail at this moment, it would be waggy.  😀


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Evolution of an Injury

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 29•18

As many of you know, I recently had my fifth surgery in a few years.  It started because I walked on the treadmill.  Yes, you read that right. I simply walked on the treadmill...and tore three tendons, damaged an already loose ligament-requiring a total of six surgical procedures. 

After more than four months of recovery, (which included a splint and a walker not pictured, a cast, an ankle brace, and months of physical therapy), I was looking at my foot and I saw this running through my head:

It struck me funny that I went to the surgeon because of a painfully swollen ankle and four months later ended up with…a painfully swollen ankle. LOL  Yes, folks, it’s all in the normal healing of an ankle surgery of this kind, but it just felt a bit humorous to me so I thought I’d share…

Go ahead. Laugh.  I am! 😀 


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I need 20 more JoJoisms

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 26•18

So here’s the thing…I wrote up all the JoJoisms I had in what I called, The Big Book of JoJoisms. I had 572 of them. But, as you know, I’m always writing them…always finding life funny. So I wrote a few more and got up to 577. And then it happened. I found a JoJoism I had written a while back and turned it into a Visual JoJoism. It’s numbered 597. So, I seem to have 20 JoJoisms that are either MIA or never existed in the first place.

What do you think went wrong?

Did I lose 20 JoJoisms in the brain fog of my mind?  or did I look at 576 in my uniquely un-bifocaled state and think it said 596 so I wrote 597?

Frankly, I have no idea, but here is 597:









Now all I need to do is write 20 more…



Sad but True

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 07•18

The Information Age comes with a sad truth that communication, as we know it, is on the decline.  I’ve written about this often on Art of Eloquence, but it continues with a certain flair this past month and so I had to share three examples of irony-the likes of which are rarely seen outside of nonfiction novels.

ONE: Long ago, in a College Prep galaxy far, far away (translation: ten years ago in California), we were looking for SAT prep books for my daughter and found this <===  highly successful publisher’s “latest” edition.  Somehow we felt it lacked a certain something and moved on to a slightly lesser known, yet much better edited, SAT prep book.

TWO: Just a few weeks ago that same daughter, who has since graduated from  graduate school, was sent an email from Phi Beta Kappa asking her for donations and announcing its 141TH anniversary.  No, it wasn’t just one typo, it was stated the same way THREE TIMES in that same email.

College prep sure “aren’t” what it used to be and here is the 3nd…3th…last reason why:

THREE: My son is now awaiting his SAT subject test scores which are extremely late.  His account on their website stated, and I quote directly, “Your score are pending.”

Perhaps this are why the Chinese are 1ndthst in academics?


What’s old is new

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 03•18

I thought I’d take the time to catch you up on all things JoJo now that this blog has gone back to the basics.  After many years, I finally put together the collected works of JoJo and published my entire body of JoJoisms in the aptly titled PDF, The Big Book of JoJoisms, (for which I now hold the registered copyright on almost 600 JoJoisms!)

Since then, I have been busy writing more JoJoisms as well as creating some other fun memes I have been posting all over social media.  I thought I’d share them here all in one place so they won’t be lonely and so that I can easily find them (relatively speaking) when someone either misquotes me or claims authorship.

Most of my inspiration comes from the struggles and trials the Lord saw fit to allow in my life.  Aside from making me rich in experience and strong of character, they have given me an endless source from which to draw humorous conclusions about life.  So, as life flings various objects aimed squarely at my noggin, I continually find new and unusual humor in the aftermath and will report back with my oddly crafted conclusions.

To that end, I’d like to catch you up, as it were, with a few of the ones I’ve already accumulated as I’ve been recovering from my latest and greatest surgery de jur.  Here they are in no particular order:

JoJoisms in 2018

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 02•18

The last several years brought some interesting opportunities and challenges into my life and, as I usually do, I dealt with them as any Sit Down Comedian would. I made fun with it, joked about it, and wrote about it…all here on You got to read the good, the bad, and the utterly ridiculous.  I pray you have been both encouraged and entertained.

2017 was an amazing year filled with new beginnings, many of which I pray become a trend in the coming years.  For one thing, I’ve grown accustomed to eating regularly and it will be nice to know we won’t run out of month at the end of our money.  Or is that the other way around?

I’ve been a busy little beaver this past year, and not just recovering from an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records under Most Surgeries in a Given Time Period.  And I have some new news that’s newsworthy.

2017 brought forth upon the internet some new websites conceived in humor and dedicated to the proposition that all issues are not created equal, but they ARE all more fun when they are told through the arthritic fingers of this Blog Corespondent.  So…each issue will have its own unique address on the internet super highway as follows:

1. Should you require information about how to be a more effective communicator for the mission God gave your voice, Art of Eloquence will remain open for business, though the blog will remain fairly quiet unless there is some earth shattering communication news to report.  Otherwise I will let sleeping blogs lie.

2. Grape Stuff, LLC is now our parent company through which all amazing things will be made known.  I suggest you run your fingers on over and sign up for our mailing list which will only find its way into your email box when we have something amazing to report.  This will include any special offers for various things that support families.  Go forth and check it out. You’ll be glad you did because we have a free gift for you just for signing up.

3. Grape Stuff has launched a brand new product line on Amazon: mugs that have my JoJoisms on them!  We call them MugXpressions and as you can see, they have their own website.  If you’re a coffee lover, tea drinker, or you just love the sass with which my JoJoisms deliver Life’s Truths…as I think of ’em!, you’ll want to head on over and read all about The Adventures of Mug Man and Java JoThat’s the monthly blog post about my dh and I as we go forth and multiply mug fun!  Join us won’t you?

4. Finally, if you are a family in trial, and you want to continue to read my weekly articles about living better during struggles, head on over to our newest site, Life Beyond Surviving and sign up for our mailing list where I will continue to deliver these articles you’ve come to know here at

So will be going back to its roots as I talked about when I launched this blog back in August of 2013 in this debut post.  I will leave this JoJoisms site up and continue to post new JoJoisms, Visual JoJoisms, and other memes that help bring humor to life’s issues.   So, if you love my humor and just want to be entertained a bit each month, come back and visit me here for the latest installments of my JoJoisms as my body ages and my brain tilts precariously just this side of madness to bring you endless giggles to get you through whatever life throws in YOUR face.

Step18: Getting Out of Survival Mode

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 01•18

It’s been a long series, but I hope it’s helped you deal with Survival Mode a bit better.  My last tip for Getting Out of Survival Mode is to make the invitation.  Often it’s easier for others to come to us than it is for us to get out to go somewhere.  It’s not always the case because then you’ll probably need to host, but it can be very beneficial for a few different reasons.  First, let me share what I originally wrote about this:

18. Invite others over so  you don’t have to go anywhere if that is easier for you. It is for me.

I invite people to come over to my house to visit as often as I can instead of having to drive out to them. It’s more taxing for me to have to plan and execute a car trip out than it is to have someone over for lunch.  You may find it different for you, but this works for me.

There really are several parts to this.  Making the invitation, instead of trying to get out, helps those in trial for several reasons:

  1. It allows you to keep control over your life a wee bit when so many things seem out of your control.
  2. It allows you to be in a more comfortable environment rather than having to do without the comforts of your home you’ve built into your health condition. It’s like home court advantage. LOL
  3. It keeps you from having to drive out and back.
  4. It helps keep down the expenses because there is less gas or wear and tear on your car
  5. It keeps you in contact with friends and family as some may stop inviting you because you’ve cancelled before or said you couldn’t come.
  6. It can help you feel connected to the world, especially if you are a home body.
  7. It can be a great help to you to keep your spirits up and keep you closer to sanity to ask a trusted friend rather than make it just a gathering of friends.  

If you find yourself in trail, take a look back at this series (scroll back to the first in the series) and read them over and over as you need them.  Joy is around the corner, even if your trial isn’t over.  You just need to make some changes, surround yourself with those who understand (check out ), and take some time to look for the joy hidden inside the trials each day.  

I hope you found some of what you seek inside these articles.  Stay with me for more on how to find the joy and get through life’s trials.  😀 


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Merry Christmas!

Written By: JoJoisms - Dec• 25•17



Merry Christmas!

No article this week!  Just wanted to wish all my readers a blessed and joyous Merry Christmas!

My wish for you this Christmas: May your trails be few and your health in abundance!

I wish you a joyous time with your family and friends.

Check back next week for the conclusion to my series, 18 Steps to Getting out of Survival Mode!





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Step 17:

Written By: JoJoisms - Dec• 18•17

This series is quickly coming to a close.  This week’s step is all about listening to your body. If your issues are health related (or even if they aren’t), trials can bring with them overwhelm and that means getting fatigued.  It’s important to keep your energy up when you’re in trial so you can better handle what life likes to throw at you.  Here’s what I wrote initially:

17. Schedule naps or take them when you need them

Sounds like a no brainer, but chronic illness usually means we get sleepy or tired–especially at about 3pm.  I used to schedule a nap around that time because I knew I would be good for nothing unless I did.  Sometimes I have to be flexible and nap at 9am if I wasn’t able to sleep much the night before. Now this works out great if you don’t work or work from home.  Those of you who work outside the home, will not find this helpful unless your boss is okay with your head down on your desk at 3pm every day.

It’s not just naps, but finding ways to keep your energy up during trials that can be very tricky so here’s some things to watch out for that can cause more fatigue:

  1. Skipping meals
  2. Not eating healthy meals
  3. Eating on the go
  4. Poor snacking between meals (choosing the chocolate donut instead of something that will nourish your body)
  5. No snacking between meals (it’s more healthful to eat every three hours to keep nourished and it actually helps you maintain your weight)
  6. Not eating big meals (Big meals can make you sleepy, especially if you have a lot of turkey or something with triptofan in it)
  7. Not getting enough sleep at night whether insomnia or not scheduling yourself enough down time.
  8. Not taking time to de-stress which can cause an energy crash before too long and usually at a most inopportune time.
  9. Not taking care of an underlying health issue. (See an internist or specialist if you have insomnia, thyroid issues, adrenal issues, etc. I finally got my insomnia mostly handled with a prescription and now my health issues are mostly controlled and I have more energy)

What things ZAP your energy?  What steps can you take to minimize or overcome them? 


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