I had a huge list of things I was going to get done this afternoon, but I had a really hard time concentrating and ended up just drawing this picture of my mother. She's having an eight-hour operation right now to remove a tumour from her brain (an 'acoustic neuroma') and I thought I was okay with it, but actually I'm a little bit freaked out. She was totally fine when she went in (she just thought she needed a hearing aid, til the doctor sent her in for a brain scan). But it will take her awhile to recover after they dig this big thing out of her head.
I once heard someone say that the hardest thing to draw is your own mother. This is the closest I can get. My favourite photo of her is at a Girl Scout roundup that she went to in Vermont when she was a teenager. In the photo, she's wearing big white knee socks and a cowboy hat. It's really cute and she looks a real eager beaver. 'Chipper' is a good word to describe my mother. But that is not a beaver on the left, it is a marmot. Because we get a lot of those where we go hiking near Seattle. When I lived in Moscow, I met a nice man named Orlando, from Portland, Oregon, who was a world expert on marmot mating behaviour. He used to go to marmot conferences and things and he was in Russia to meet up with Russian marmot experts. He didn't speak Russian so he usually felt kind of out of things. He also made this sort of whistling sound out of his nose when talked, which made it hard to listen and keep a straight face.