Did you guys all have a good summer? 

Before we go any further, Susan wants to thank you for overlooking that she's missed an entire season of BLAHging. She's only one little person and can't always get out of her own way, but she promises to do better & appreciates your support.

Now, let her catch you up;

Susan's daughter made the Dean's List for her first year of sleep away college. Susan would like to remind you that the kid has been operating with a dead father & a mother whose ability to pay attention is wobbly. Any ability to pay the tuition will hold up for as long as the kid continues to pull in those scholarships & grants. 

While her daughter has been out working two jobs through the summer to keep from coming home (um, maintain her off campus housing), the son joined the Navy.

Susan's son joined the NAVY!

He came home one night complaining that he didn't like his job & was only going to school because Susan wanted him to.

What? Since when did either of them do anything because Susan wanted them to? 
Ever the fearless mentor, she encouraged him to quit the job and change his life.

It took a few weeks of testing but once he was gone, that was it. Susan is now alone in the house with only the dog to keep her company. During his two months of basic training she got five legible letters in his upgraded naval recruit handwriting and a number of telephone calls, the longest of which lasted more than an hour.

Sidebar: Three years ago Susan would have argued that you obviously didn't know what the f*ck you were talking about if you predicted her son would engage her in an hour long conversation. On any topic, ever.

At the end of July the allotted four family members flew out to Great Lakes, Illinois to see their boy become a Sailor.

And then they hit Chicago for two days!

The rest of Susan's summer was filled with lighthouses, street fairs, a week at the beach with her wonderful work family, Wednesday picnic dinners at the local harborfront, getting three cars repaired, a mother-daughter trip to a riverside town, and a few days of skipping work to accept invitations on the Lisa Ann: 

Thanks for sticking with her, she'll see you tomorrow real soon.