A Year of Thanks

1 post a day for 365 days showing gratitude

ohhhh, all the catching up to do February 27, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — courtsbrogno @ 3:20 pm

So I don’t know about you, but life has been super busy for me, so instead of doing a day by day gratitude blog, I’m going to just post categories of gratefulness that has happened in the past week.


Maddie got into the same university that I teach at! As much as I wanted her to move away from our small town, I didn’t realize how much I actually wanted/needed her to stay until she got accepted. And she is beyond thrilled!!!!


Family came in from Minnesota that I haven’t seen in forever, but we had a great time.



As much as I love the rain, I’m so glad to have a reprieve. The hills are so green and the creeks are flowing. I need this sunshine. Just walking around campus with the sun shining has made me feel better.


I’ve read some pretty funny memes this week that I just can’t help but share because they make me laugh so hard.


I had coffee with my best friend, Rich, whom I haven’t seen in forever, and he brightened up my day as always.



I made my friend Andy and his partner, Rob, dinner that turned into a small dance party.


I had a kick ass house show this past Saturday and managed to fill my tiny house with 43 people. The band that played was Matt Pond, PA and even though I didn’t really get to enjoy the music as much because I was the host and off helping people, I’m so glad I held this event.


And in case you’re interested in his music, here’s a live performance of him from a few years ago. Now imagine that energy in my tiny house. It was lovely:


Finally, I saw this meme and just thought YES! YES! YES! This sums me up so much right now:




family day wednesday February 16, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — courtsbrogno @ 1:53 pm

On Wednesday, I got home from work and had dinner with the kids. It’s so rare for us to all be together these days, so it was nice to catch up. Then I even had time to sit down with Luke while he went through every single Valentine he got and told me about who gave it to him. It was adorable. He was genuinely excited that he got Valentines:)

Also, my brother moved in with me last night, so that’s cool. I think. No, I’m pretty sure it’ll work out just fine. And it’s not permanent, although I have no idea how long he plans on staying.


It’s been a glorious few days February 14, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — courtsbrogno @ 9:37 am

So yeah, I’m catching up again, but oh well….


The day just started off great as I had a meeting with the faculty member who evaluated me and other than a few questions she had for me (which makes sense considering she dropped in for a 1 hour class and didn’t really have the structure of the class down), she praised my class, my student engagement, and my dedication to teaching and service to the university (which I did politely tell her I would no longer be doing).

Then I found this beauty of an image and just thought SO SO SO TRUE!!! And props to Senator Warren for inspiring this. she-persisted

Maddie texted me her last senior pictures and MY GOD, she is beautiful! I think I’ll keep her:)

Then I ended my long work day by meeting my friend Kelly for wine and catching up on our friendship:


All around, Thursday was a fantastic day!!!



Friday is always a good day when I get Luke, so that made me super happy. But it’s also my day off, and while I usually have a bunch of grading to do, I spent most of the morning/early afternoon drinking tea and reading:


Then as a family outing that evening me, Maddie, Luke, and Maddie’s friends all went to  her boyfriend’s (high school) basketball game:


I know! Hard to believe, but Maddie actually hung out with us!!!!



Saturday was a BIG day because I took Luke to the Planned Parenthood demonstrations in our town. Just in case you’re not in the know: Anti-Planned Parenthood groups decided that on Feb 11th they would–nationally–demonstrate against Planned Parenthood. As a response–nationally–Planned Parenthood responded with a Pro Planned Parenthood demonstration on the same day.

But the rules were firm. If you were protesting to keep funding Planned Parenthood then all protesters were to remain silent out of respect to the other side. And we were to keep it peaceful. I decided this was a perfect opportunity to take Luke to a peaceful protest (we kind of discussed what PP is, using more words like cancer screening and checking blood pressure then birth control)  because he’s been quite interested in MLK day and “peaceful protests” in general. So in my town what it looked like was one side of the street demonstrated against funding planned parenthood under the umbrella of religion and also holding up those horrible, blown-up signs of abortions, of which all are 3rd trimester abortions that ARE ILLEGAL IN EVERY STATE ANYWAY (unless the mother’s life is in danger). On our side, it was just a bunch of women, men, and kids, holding signs that ranged from “Don’t de-fund Planned Parenthood” to “I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit..”


It would have been a perfect event except for one obnoxious man, carrying a horrible picture around and yelling at everyone on our side. Our side stayed silent (I seriously don’t know how people kept their composure because I wanted to throat chop him), but it did; however, Luke and I to leave earlier than planned as it was just really disruptive. I’m still thankful we went out and showed our love for Planned Parenthood. I truly am grateful for them as they provided me with free healthcare when I was young and poor (haha. now I’m just old and poor. But with good insurance)



All I have to say is I finally weeded the front yard. My whole body aches from so much time spent in the yard, and even though it’s going to rain again in a few days, it seriously needed to be done. I’m so thankful it’s over (for now):



Monday was such a busy day, and Luke and Maddie didn’t have school but I did, so I have to give mad props to Maddie for watching Luke while I was working. What am I going to do without her next year??? I’m so thankful for her.

But as soon as I got off work, I picked up Luke and headed to my friend Natalia’s house for a friend dinner called, “I love you every day.” It was so great to see friends and eat some amazing food!


And my friend Cyndi gave me these amazing Valentine’s Day cards. I just love them so much!




It’s Valentine’s day and even though I usually deplore this holiday as just another way for consumers to spend money they don’t have, I am embracing it this year. I bought Luke a cute stuffed animal that he loved and I bought candy for all my students. Today I’m going to choose to be positive rather than negative. I’m just so thankful for all the love I have in my life right now.



Some time with Maddie February 9, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — courtsbrogno @ 12:10 pm

Basically if I want to see Maddie lately, I have to ask for an appointment about 1 week in advance. But last night, Wednesday, we finally had a dinner date. I got home from work and we ate dinner together for the first time in what seems like forever. Then we talked about life before we got down the nitty gritty of what Maddie wanted to discuss: her 18th birthday and her high school graduation.

I took notes and we made a plan, so I’m glad we got through that. And surprisingly, she didn’t really say she wanted anything for her birthday except maybe money because she’d like to go on a trip with some friends this summer. I offered that–if I could afford it–would she want to bring 4 friends to Big Sur for a weekend and I can bring one friend and we’ll celebrate our birthdays kind of together like we did last year. She really liked that idea, so I’m going to try my hardest.

We also discussed that just because she turns 18, she still has to follow the house rules. She was totally fine with that, but did ask, “when I turn 18 can I get a cartilage earring?” to which I said, “of course.” I mean, I already let her get her nose pierced and she has a small tattoo on her finger (given to her by a friend at school with a poke and ink set while–just to set the record straight–my parents were watching her because I was in Ireland), but for some reason, I’ve put my foot down on anymore earrings, even though I have a cartilage earring and have since I was 18. Sometimes I think I just make up rules as I go on this parenting path.

Finally, she gave me list of things I need to do: I have to finish paying for her senior portraits,  I have to do my taxes and complete Maddie’s FASFA in the next few days. God, it seems like the work it takes to get Maddie into college is never ending.

We also had a date to watch a movie in her room, but she said, “Mom, I have to watch The Bachelor tonight, so I can’t do the movie. Do you want to watch The Bachelor with me?” she asked. Ummm, I’d rather poke holes in my eyes. But even though the night wasn’t a complete date, I’m still thankful of the time I spent with Maddie.


a good, long day February 7, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — courtsbrogno @ 5:45 pm

Today was a long day with 6 hours straight of lecturing, but I am so grateful for a few things:

  1. My students seem to be getting into the political section of my class and that makes me happy, and even if I did lecture a lot, they seemed engaged (at least I think. Teachers can be horrible self judges)
  2. I had 2 cavities filled today and I LOVE MY DENTIST so much. I’m so thankful for him and his office staff. They make going to the dentist a pleasure.
  3. A friend sent me this and I think it speak for itself:the-courtneys

Thursday-Monday catch up February 6, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — courtsbrogno @ 2:58 pm

Really, I’ve been busy this week at school and with the kids, and with my own life, and yes, perhaps I have been binge-reading and binge-watching, but I feel okay with that.

And there is just no way I can go back and remember everything I was grateful for from Thursday-today. But I can provide a partial list:

  1. Today, my classes start talking and writing about politics. I got to school by 7am to make a PowerPoint because we are living in weird times and even I had to figure out what I was going to lecture. I even thought of not doing this section but I went with it and so far, the students seemed excited (well, as excited as you can get when having to do an assignment).
  2. My good friend Rich told me to watch this show called No Tomorrow on Netflix. This is so not my type of show. I like grainy murder mysteries and British stuff, and this show is peppy and funny. The premise is a really uptight, 30 year old woman who works at like a FedEx kind of place meets this bohemian, free spirited man who believes the world is going to end in 8 1/2 months, so he has an “apoclist” of all the things he wants to do before the world ends. I know, it sounds so stupid, but it actually made me laugh and consider making my own “apoclist.” no-tomorrow
  3. Sleeping in! On Friday night I stayed up to 2:30 am hanging with some friends and slept in until 10:45a.m. THIS HASN’T HAPPENED SINCE BEFORE MADDIE WAS BORN. I must admit, though, that starting my day at 11 felt terrible, like I had wasted so much time.
  4. I had a really, really bad Friday morning when I found out someone very close to me basically back-stabbed me in a way that I will never forgive (and that takes a lot from me). On the outside, I’ll still be cordial and kind, but any respect for this person is gone. However, I was uplifted by this quote:quote-3
  5. I’m not one for quotes in general because I feel like people send them to me and I’m just supposed to read them and instantly feel better. Such total bullshit. But the country I live in is falling a part at the seams, and so I have appreciated these two quotes:

6. Finally, I’m just really thankful that I’m on top of my work, my kids are doing well, and overall life is incrementally getting better.It may be a one step forward, 2 steps back kind of thing, but it is still moving in a forward motion.


Wednesday catch up February 2, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — courtsbrogno @ 10:21 am

Today was just one of those days where I felt like I woke up at 6 and didn’t stop going until I finally lied down in bed around 9. It was one of those days that when I got home, the name “mom” made me cringe because it was followed by, “..I need….” and I was just wiped.

But I am thankful that in between all the craziness I did have time to do my daily action, which was: “to call the Customs and Border Protection office at a randomly selected US airport to demand that they follow the law of the land (the Immigration and Nationality Act) and fully comply with all of the judicial orders that have been issued about the recent executive order banning the entry of Muslims and refugees into the United States.

Ask the officers point-blank if they are currently detaining any travelers.
Ask them if they have anyone in custody who does not have access to a lawyer (and report back on what you hear).”

I called several different airports in California only to find that they were no longer answering their phone because of the onslaught of callers. daily Action reported that, ”

As a result of our many, many calls, Customs and Border Protection has released a statement tonight that includes *actual statistics* and committed to using discretion in favor of green card holders who don’t have criminal records. We will expect these statistics to be updated regularly–or they’ll be hearing from us again.


But what I did do was email the federal Customs and Border Protection office and this is what I said, “I am wondering if your office–a United States office–is following the law of the land (the Immigration and Nationality Act) and fully complying with all of the judicial orders that have been issued about the recent executive order banning the entry of Muslims and refugees into the United States.

I want to know point-blank if you are currently detaining any travelers and if you have anyone in custody who does not have access to a lawyer.

I expect an email withing the next 2 days answering these questions, otherwise I will publish this and your lack of response immediately.”

Considering the website stated that they usually take 3 weeks to return messages, I was surprised to see an email from them within hours.

It stated:

“Thank you for taking the time to email the Compliments and Complaints Branch (CCB) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the President’s Executive Orders on Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of the President’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people. The President’s Executive Orders remain in place—prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety. The President’s Executive Orders affect a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America’s borders and national security.
Approximately 80 million international travelers enter the United States every year. On January 28, 2017, less than one percent of the more than 325,000 international air travelers who arrive every day were inconvenienced while enhanced security measures were implemented. These individuals went through enhanced security screenings and are being processed for entry to the United States, consistent with our immigration laws and judicial orders.
We are committed to ensuring that all individuals affected by the Executive Orders, including those affected by the court orders, are being provided all rights afforded under the law.  We are also working closely with airline partners to prevent travelers who would not be granted entry under the Executive Orders from boarding international flights to the U.S. Therefore, we do not anticipate that further individuals traveling by air to the United States will be affected.
The Department of Homeland Security will faithfully execute the immigration laws, and we will treat all of those we encounter humanely and with professionalism. No foreign national in a foreign land, without ties to the United States, has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States or to demand immigration benefits in the United States.
The Congress provided the President of the United States, in section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), with the authority to suspend the entry of any class of aliens the President deems detrimental to the national interest.  This authority has been exercised by nearly every President since President Carter, and has been a component of immigration laws since the enactment of the INA in 1952.
The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement the President’s Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people.
We appreciate your comments and concerns.
Compliments and Complaints Branch”
Now this is, of course, a bullshit, beating around the bush answer, but still I made a difference by voicing my concerns and that feels good.
I’m pretty sure by this point I’m on some kind of watch list, but I don’t care. So long as Donald Trump continues to do such immoral acts as the United States president, I will resist.
Or I will look to marry someone from another country. I hear their are websites for this kind of thing. I’ll have to research more, but so far, most countries are looking better than ours right now.