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About Us

Welcome to the Brookston family blog. We'll post updates here on what's going on in our part of the world, and especially with our son, Porter, who has been diagnosed with some form of autism. Our hope is that this blog will help us deal with all the issues we'll be facing and keep our friends and family informed as well.

Jay B.

Sarah J.

Porter Brookston
born September 10, 2001

Alice Brookston
born July 7, 2004

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August 21, 2006

Popsicle House

Categories: Porter, Art — J @ 5:05 pm

Last Friday, when I tried to pick up Porter’s building projects from camp, there was only one remaining there. It was hard to figure out what happened exactly, but according to what I can get out of Porter — nobody else seems to know anything — they all blew away. It was a windy day, but it’s hard to see how they could have all blown away without anybody else noticing, but who knows? I went back to Porter’s camp to help look, and I found this house wedged under a fence near his tent. This was the only project left from Porter’s week at camp. Oh, well.

The lone popsicle house.

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August 12, 2006

Alice’s Next Masterpiece

Categories: Photos, Alice, Art — J @ 4:18 pm

While Porter slacked in the next room, Alice worked on her next masterpiece.

A rare glimpse into the start of another masterpiece.

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June 28, 2006

Crayoning at G’Ma’s

Categories: Photos, Alice, Art — J @ 2:37 pm

While Porter rode his trike around outside, Alice was inside drawing on the table.

Purple, it should be purple.

No, I think need green.

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Masked Man

Categories: Photos, Porter, Art — J @ 10:11 am

Yesterday at Montessori the art project they all did was to make mardi gras masks.

Porter in the mask he made.

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June 22, 2006


Categories: Photos, Alice, Art — J @ 12:44 pm

No story here, just a cute picture — in my opinion — of Alice practicing her craft.

Alice crayoning.

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June 14, 2006

Jays by Jay

Categories: Photos, J, Art — J @ 1:40 pm

I have always loved Jays, especially blue jays. But they’re not native to California so I’ve had to contend myself with Stellar’s Jays, the closest jays that are native here. With my new zoom, I managed to capture quite a few good shots of jays during our recent trip to Lake Tahoe. The first four were taken Saturday in the snow while the last four were shot at the mis0named Eagle Lake at the end of our hike on Sunday.

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June 13, 2006

The Next Jackson Pollock

Categories: Humor, J, Art — J @ 11:59 am

Jackson Pollock is one of those modern artists that when people see his work they say “I could do that.” Well, here’s your chance. The Jackson Pollock Art Generator by Miltos Manetas lets you drip paint on your own canvas just like Pollock would have done.

This is my effort, my own Pollock-esque painting.

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June 11, 2006

Morning Draw

Categories: Photos, Alice, Art — J @ 10:46 am

The other morning, Alice was happily drawing — on paper for a change — with her crayons.

Alice drawing on a tablet.

Alice scribbles.

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May 15, 2006

Alice’s Gift of Art

Categories: Photos, Alice, Art — J @ 10:27 am

Art, the gift that keeps on giving. Our budding Cassat, Alice, didn’t just give Grandma a Mother’s Day gift, she made her a work of art. And not only that, she did it for us live right on the sliding glass door so we could witness her artistic genius at work.

Alice making Ruthanne’s Mother’s Day gift.

The finished piece, entitled “Flowers for Grandmama.”

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Shooting Goldfinch

Categories: Photos, J, Art — J @ 9:07 am

When I was little, in second grade to be exact, I fancied myself a bird enthusiast. I most likely got it from my Aunt Helen, who always had a number of bird feeders in her back yard along with a pair of binoculars and a bird book by the back window. I loved being able to identify all of the different birds. I still have a warm spot in my heart for birds to this day. In second grade, for some reason, I was especially keen on one particular bird, the American Goldfinch. I’m not really sure why. Perhaps I liked its bright gold and black plummage. Perhaps the flouride in the drinking water turned my brain to mush, who knows? Anyway, I even had a “Goldfinch Club” that I formed with about four or five of my friends being the only members. Naturally, it was a male-only club as was de rigueur for clubs started by seven-year olds. I don’t remember anything about the club’s function, assuming it even had one.

Anyway, the backyard of Sarah’s parents also has a number of bird feeders and attracts a lot goldfinches. I’ve taken photos of them before but this weekend was my first chance with my new camera and its 10x optical zoom. I’m still learning how to get the most of the camera but a few of the shots didn’t turn out half bad.

Two goldfinches flying to the feeder.

A full feeder.

Sticking his head in to get some seed.

An all-gold feeder.

Emerging from the feeder with a seed in his mouth.

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April 19, 2006

Easter Painting

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Art — J @ 12:05 pm

After the basket had been emptied, Porter wanted to use his new paints. So he and Alice started an art project with his watercolors and a Bob the Builder book.

Porter and Alice browse through a new coloring book looking for a subject to paint.

Porter choosing his new favorite color, blue.

Like Picasso before him, he’s definitely going through his blue period.

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April 3, 2006

Porter’s Photo Phunnies, Part 745

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, J, Sarah, Art — J @ 10:27 am

The camera is definitely in Porter’s mind again, as he wanted me to give him “his” camera again Saturday morning. These are some of the highlights of fifty or so pictures he took.

Melman naturally was the subject of many photos.

Including his freshly brushed mane.

Followed by a couple of abstract photographs emphasizing forms and blocks of color.

In this one, it almost looks like an angular Mondrian.

Then it was back to the mirror shots.

And close-up self portraits.

Although he also caught his “friend Mommy” on camera.

Who spent most of the weekend working so Porter could have new toys.

Porter’s “friend Daddy” after he’d just woken up and come downstairs.

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April 2, 2006

Porter’s Photo Phunnies, Part 744

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, J, Art, Movies — J @ 4:08 pm

After a break of over four months, Porter was again interested in using the camera to take his own pictures, with some interesting results. He’s finally figured out that he has to hold down the button to snap a picture and he literally took around seventy pictures in less than hour.

Naturally he took a photograph of Melman.

Then he specifically asked to take a picture of me with Melman.

After that he wanted me to ride Melman.

Then we went upstairs to Alice’s room.

Where he became obsessed with photographing himself in all of the mirrors upstairs, like this one in the bathroom mirror.

And the hall mirror.

Seriously, he literally took several dozen of these.

This is our bedroom mirror.

Porter was jumping up and down on his bed with the camera held sideways when he snapped this one.

Here’s a Quicktime movie Porter accidently shooting a movie of me and Melman. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

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February 16, 2006

The Angry Beaver

Categories: Photos, Humor, Porter, Art — J @ 5:42 pm

During Porter’s sit down work at O.T. yesterday, he completed an art project that involved several steps: cutting, coloring, gluing all in a sequence that eventually resulted in the groundhog pictured below.

Porter’s finished product, a beaver on a stick. Now you may be asking yourself, what’s with the red lips? It’s a fair question, and certainly the first one that I asked when I was first confronted with it and had to stifle a laugh.

Apparently the whole time they were making the beaver, Porter was convinced that it was an angry beaver. And he kept imitating what an angry groundhog sounds like with loud growling noises. “Roarrrrr.” He cried. And cried. Theresa told me she couldn’t get Porter to see the groundhog as anything but angry. Then it hit her. So she drew a big red smile on its face. That way it couldn’t possibly be angry, could it? I guess not, but frankly I think now it looks not a little creepy and much more maniacal. Every time I looked at I kept thinking “don’t drive angry, don’t drive angry” from the Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day. When Sarah got home and stopped laughing, she agreed so we decided to stage a recreation of the seminal part of the movie.

Don’t drive angry!” Notice a resemblance?

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February 13, 2006

Pasta Necklace

Categories: Photos, Porter, Art — J @ 5:39 pm

When Porter came home from school he was wearing his latest art project, a pasta necklace. I guess he wants to be more like mommy, who’s recently taken up beading as a hobby.

Porter’s original creation.

A pasta necklace.

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