Me, in chaps

This is what my last two weeks have looked like:

My mom fell and broke her hip. But then, the next day, they rebuilt her, made her better than she was before: better, stronger, faster.


Okay, not really, but they did put a fancy pin in her hip. This is her surgeon’s (impressively doodly) whiteboard rendition:


Meanwhile, one of my best friends, who I haven’t seen in person for four years, was flying out to visit all the way from New Jersey.


For the next few days, I was visiting my mom, and my friend was visiting me, and I was squeezing in a little art on account of an unavoidable deadline, and on the last day my friend was here, my mother got transferred from the hospital to a rehab center, where, after one week, she was hula dancing.


She’s badass like that.


Oh yeah, and at some point, unrelated to my mom’s badassery, 35 contest stories, which I’d agreed to help judge, arrived in the mail.


It got pretty crazy.

Whatever, back to my mom, who is clearly the star of this post.

Once she started hula dancing, there was no keeping her in rehab, so my mom was sent home where she is now (as I type) zooming around her house like Mario Andretti… if Mario Andretti did his zooming with a walker…

Which he does not…

Because he’s not as badass as my mom.


For the last week, I’ve been traversing the 31.1 miles between my house and my parents’ house daily (62.2 miles, round trip). I can’t just stay at my parents’ house because a) my dog needs daily food, water, and love, and b) my parents’ internet keeps dying (which makes me feel disconnected and occasionally gives me hives).


In fact, I’m writing this post on Easter morning, after having called AT&T for the third time in as many days because the internet and television signal are down again at my parents’ house. AT&T said they’d get a technician right over, which I thought was kind of impressive given it’s Easter.

An hour later the technician called to say he was standing in front of my house. My house… 31.1 miles away. I told him that would be so awesome if only my house had the problem.


I’m sharing all this to explain why this post is two weeks late, in case you missed me. (I missed you!)

It won’t  might  will probably happen again, on account of my being alive and all, and this being the (scary, frustrating, wonderful, goofy) stuff that life is made of.



Hey, I have three new Mother’s Day cards in the shop! Come see!




Inside: “We all quote our mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!”


  1. lunajune on April 21, 2014 at 5:31 am

    I think I love explanations with doodles.. in fact I think I’d like every time someone comes to tell me what is going on in their world I want doodles LOL
    I love the fact that you had to put… your mom does not own a carpet like that :~)

    Life it’s all about the way we get through… dance…laugh, love, cry, try, and love some more
    I hope you had an awesome time catching up with your friend in between it all

    woo hoo.. go mom ! Motion is the potion… a great line shared with me by a man who nearly died and had open heart surgery at 70… that is what he said.. doesn’t matter how far you get but you gotta get up and move everyday even if it’s only 1 foot today… if you don’t get up, you won’t.

    always miss your bass assed self when it’s not around


    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:08 am

      She wanted me to tell you that she didn’t “really” hula dance, but she did. There maybe wasn’t as much hip action as usual, but she had her lei and she was definitely moving.

      I could not agree with your friend more. Action is the key to so many things – health, happiness, well being, fulfillment. “If you don’t get up (and start!), you won’t.” YES!

  2. Lance on April 21, 2014 at 5:56 am

    I love the drawings (sketches?) and best wishes to your mom. My mom has had two hip replacement surgeries and she turned 63 over the weekend. Speedy recovery, J’s mom.

    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:10 am

      I was wondering if hip replacements are harder or easier to bounce back from. They seem more extreme to me. My mom’s got more than a few years on your mom, but I think she’s going to be okay… I just need to keep challenging her to race me around the house. ; )

  3. Naomi Wittlin on April 21, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I think you are absolutely amazing in how you describe your life events in drawings and entertaining text. Thank you for your beautiful awesomeness.

    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Aw, Naomi. Thank you so much. xoxo

  4. Annie Neugebauer (@AnnieNeugebauer) on April 21, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I love your doodle story! I’m sorry your mom was hurt, but she does sound like such an incredible badass. As are you. I’ll be thinking about you!

    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

      Thank you, Annie. She’s actually more of a badass than I realized. Of my parents, she’s always been the quiet, much more accommodating one, plus she’s never been into exercise. But she knows this is the path to regaining self-reliance and she’s astonished me with how fast she’s come along.

      Hopefully it won’t slow now that she’s home. I’m not quite as much of a task driver as the PTs and OTs were at rehab.

  5. Pam on April 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Love the post!

    I’m so glad your mom is zooming already. 🙂

    Great news about the commissions! Brava to you.


    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:22 am

      I may have slightly exaggerated her zooming capabilities, but she is getting around, and she is doing extra laps around the house for the exercise.

      Thank you! xo

  6. hafong on April 21, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Love your doodles! I’ve just discovered doodling on my phone app and been doodling and doodling. So much fun and stress releasing drawing stick people! One day l would like to graduate to paper and pencil.

    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Ha! I’m not sure which way you graduate; feels like doodling on my phone would be harder! So glad you’re having fun with it though! Doodlers unite!

  7. Karin on April 21, 2014 at 9:00 am

    That is a very impressive story about your mom, and I feel the same about my internet service at the moment–a thunderstorm knocked ours out, and they didn’t tell me until 2 days into calling support that the entire area was out.
    (1 week without internet at home and counting).

    I love your doodly love piece too—whoever has that is very lucky indeed 🙂

    Hope you had a happy Easter!

    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Oh, holy cow, Karin! A week?!?

      I’ve been so frustrated here with the very spotty service – it’s up for a few hours, then down for several. For the past two nights, it’s died at around 10 pm and then come on again around 8 or 9 am. I’d finished this post with about 3 minutes to spare when the internet went down last night.

      If I lived here, I’d definitely be a thorn in AT&T’s side!

      Thank you for the doodle encouragement. The love piece is actually available as a print, or art card in the shop. I’m excited about the custom request. I’ll be putting some specific items in the dangling designs that are meaningful to my customer. It’ll be fun!

  8. jb on April 21, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Not that I’m wishing any more craziness on you… but this is one of my favorite posts ever! I love your doodled life. I think everything looks better when *you* doodle it. (Please feel free to doodle my life any time. :-D) Sending lots of love to you and your mom! <3

    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Yes, I agree. I thought it all looked better in doodles too. : ) Thank you! xo

  9. jemoyle on April 21, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Love this thoughtful, adorable (and yes, badass) post. Love the storied doodles…(J in chaps?)
    Love it all! Congrats to your Mom for being such a trooper, too.

    PS I may have to commission something one of these days too. My people will talk to your people 🙂 xo

    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:29 am

      I know! Not sure where the chaps came from. Sometimes you just get on a doodly roll and, you know… chaps! : )

      I’d love to work with you on something. Hugs!

      • KjM on May 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        Chaps, chaps, chaps, oh my! “Sometimes you just get on a doodly roll and, you know… chaps!…” Only you, J. Only you. 😀

        There was one weekend in one end of June one yes…and there was me, in chaps, tattoos visible for the entire world…or the local populate, anyway…to see. An older woman stopped us…so she could take a (or several, it turned out) photo. “Oh,” said she, “I just *so* love San Francisco.”

        “Badassery” Gotta get that word into the Oxford English. It so needs to be there!

        Glad your Mom’s getting around so well. And that she’s such a badass. As are you…but, of course you are. Consider the source! 😀

        • KjM on May 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm

          How did “one year” become “one yes”??? Computers hate me (or, at least, they hate my typing.)

          • j on May 16, 2014 at 7:02 pm

            Where are those pics, Kevin? The world wants to see. (And by the world I mean me.) xo

          • KjM on May 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

            I believe there may have been other photos taken, by other than that woman. But…I’m sworn to secrecy. 🙂

  10. Christie on April 21, 2014 at 10:11 am

    This is one of my favorite posts by far! Telling the story in doodles is the best thing EHVA!! Glad that you mom is doing so well and that you are powering through as well, like a champ. Badass super women must run in your family 🙂


    • j on April 21, 2014 at 10:30 am

      And to think I never quite appreciated my mom’s mild-mannered badassery! One good outcome from all this. That, and this post. ; ) xox

  11. Tina Tierson on April 21, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Love, love, LOVE the doodled explanations! And yay for your mom! (And you too, of course, for being such a good daughter!) I bet I’m around the same age as your mom and I think we older badass women will change the world!!! Setting a good example for the younger generation, ya know! Hula on, Judy’s mom! And sweet Judy keep on doodling – you’re art is amazing and makes me smile! xoxo

    • j on April 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Tina! Recently Chad asked me what kind of art he should tell people I make. I said, “Art that celebrates life.” He said, “I can’t say that. No one will know what I mean.” So I told him to say I doodle. 😉

  12. Tammy on April 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Hey! That’s ME on the plane! 🙂

    I love this post and now declare that every story should be told through your doodley-goodness.

    And, your mom is incredibly badass. Like her daughter.
    Also big shout out to Chad for taking over for a day so we could play.

  13. j on April 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    It is you (hence all the hearts)! 🙂

    Today I suggested that my mom and I play a game of cards standing up at the counter. She said, “Maybe tomorrow, honey.” (I’m wearing her down.)

    I’ll make sure Chad gets your thank you. xoxo

  14. Terri Flynn on April 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Hello There and Howdy Doodly (Yes, you can use that lol),

    Real quick. I loved every single minute of this story that has a happily ever after ending. I know it was hard, a struggle, crazy at times. But you got your badazz from your INCREDIBLE Mom and You, too, are a survivor. Yayyyy!! Cartwheels. You, not me. I’d end up like your Mom but not such a happy doodly do cause I am not such a badazz.

    • j on April 22, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      Somehow I suspect you’re every bit the badass I am, Terri! thank you for the comment. Your opening line made me laugh… fortunately I had already swallowed the drink of water I’d just taken. ; )

  15. Alarna Rose Gray on April 24, 2014 at 8:06 am

    I really love the illustrated rendition of your absence, and especially this line:

    “b) my parents’ internet keeps dying (which makes me feel disconnected and occasionally gives me hives)”

    because when I visit my folks, they don’t have internet and barely have TV, all of which really gives me the jitters.

    But I love it, too, because sometimes our lives demand our attention, and that’s ok. I hope your newly bionic Mum is doing well and finds her wings by Mothers Day (cute cards, BTW!) 🙂

    • j on April 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      You should have seen me yesterday. It was a very bad internet day, mostly down, and when they finally got it up and running, for the 4th night in a row, like clockwork between 10 and 10:30, it went down and stayed down until 8:15 this morning. It’s beyond frustrating to me. I feel totally disconnected from my work and my life, and I don’t have a smart phone so I can’t access anything!

      There. First-world rant over. I’m a product of my times, for sure.

      My newly bionic mom is doing well. She has her first out-patient PT session tomorrow, so I’m hoping they’ll give us some goals to try to achieve now that she’s home… with me… the one who is not a very insistent task master. Goals will help us both.

      Thank you for the well wishes! xo

  16. Nina Badzin on April 25, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Wow– you really have been BUSY. I love your mom’s bounce-back attitude and your descriptions of it and especially your drawings of it! So all that driving–yes–you NEED to get back into audiobooks! So glad your mom is doing better and that you got to see your friends. It does sound hectic! I really LOVE the love piece. Congrats on more commissioned work!

    • j on April 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Heading to the library this weekend to see what audio books are available. And thank you, Nina!

  17. Chris Edgar on April 25, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I love how your life is turning into a webcomic. I would definitely read the comic on a regular basis, or watch the cartoon show, or partake of whatever multimedia extravaganza you’d be up to in this scenario I’m making up.

    • j on April 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      You might be onto something, Chris. Hmmm…

  18. juliafehrenbacher on April 25, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Oh me oh my. Where do I even begin?

    Whew…first, I need to say that you are absolutely brilliant and so full of love I can hardly stand it (in a really good way). Your art, your words, the way you take care of your amazingly badass mom – your sense of humor – I adore all of it, all of you.

    How can we doubt that there is a brilliant, ultimate creator out there when Judy Clement Wall exists? Seriously.

    • Tina Tierson on April 25, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Julia – you said it perfectly! How good is life when Judy Clement Wall is in it? And you, too, I might add!!

      • j on April 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm

        Tina, <3<3<3<3

    • j on April 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Julia, I. Adore. You. And I’m so grateful for you. xoxo

      In the aftermath of my mom’s fall, I’m definitely learning a lot about myself, and my mom, and my dad, and the evolution of parent-child relationships, and how deep the stuff that came before this runs. Lots of emotional bags to unpack for me.

      This is the stuff evolution is made of, right? There’s always opportunity for growth. (I learned that from Oprah and Deepak.) 😉

  19. Milli Thornton on June 14, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I am SO glad you have a badass Bionic Mom. So glad she’s OK. And I would have drawn the same rug. 😀 Your illustrations made this story so fun! (even though I know it wasn’t all fun for the actual participants) Your commissioned work is a beauty. And YaY for 6 more than last year!

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