Well, the good news here is that my mum has been a lot better the last couple of days, and I'm hopeful she'll be out of hospital next week.
My own lesser health problem also seems to be resolving - looks like it was, as speculated, a dental abscess that went a bit crazy. With some heavy antibiotics, my face has just about returned to a symmetrical shape already.
At the moment, I'm working like a fiend at this second Ph.D.; whenever I run out of energy, I tackle some of my target articles at Wikipedia, where I've done a lot of work lately on the Second Life article, among others. One article that is in very good shape already, but which I'm trying to improve as much as I can in my spare moments, is the one on Richard Dawkins.
Ideally, I'd be submitting the Ph.D thesis in March, but that seems like it might be beyond me if I'm going to read/re-read and properly consider everything that is still on my list - sometimes I'm perhaps too much of a perfectionist. In any event, the thesis will definitely be submitted in 2007 - hopefully in the first half of the year.
We currently have something of a short-term strain on the household finances - Jenny and I live in a house on which the mortgage is, fortunately, all paid off, but which nonetheless has all the associated expenses of a big house for two well-paid professionals, not a place for two people scraping a living by freelance writing and editing, some part-time teaching, and a much-valued but certainly not huge Ph.D scholarship. Sooner or later, something will have to give, but I'm sure we'll survive. It's essentially a short-term cash problem - our underlying financial position is healthy, or we wouldn't be doing this - but there are sometimes pressures from being income poor, even if you're relatively wealthy in assets. I may have to take an actual full-time job again some time, but it would have to be something I really wanted to do.