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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

Listed on:

    Who's Your Favorite Brookston?
    • Jay: 17% (9)
    • Sarah: 19% (10)
    • Porter: 31% (16)
    • Alice: 33% (17)

    Total Votes : 52

May 11, 2007

Mother’s Day Friday

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah, Movies — J @ 4:39 pm

On Friday, Porter’s new school, BridgePoint Academy, held a special Mother’s Day event and invited all the Mom’s to come by in the afternoon.

Porter and Alice in the morning before school, dressed up to impress Mommy.

Sarah arriving to greet Porter at his school.

Inside his classroom, all the ids lined to sing their Moms a song.

Porter actually wanted to wear a tie for his Mom.

Though he kept playing with it throughout the song.

But he seemed very happy that we were there to watch him.

Press the play button to see Porter sing.

After the song, Porter ran to give Sarah a hug.

Then they both gave me a smile.

Then there were presents for the Mom’s to open.

Outside after the festivities, Sarah pushed Porter on the big boy swing.

• • •

March 19, 2007

John Sr. R.I.P.

Categories: News, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends — J @ 8:39 am

We got the word last night that John’s Dad, John Sr., who’d been battling a rare blood disorder for some time now, passed away in his sleep Sunday night. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to John’s entire family at this time of grief. John’s Dad was as much a part of the Big G as anyone and we will miss him terribly. Here are some photos from happier times. This is how I will remember him.

Trying to keep order at the Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.

Cutting a rug at John and Zenobia’s wedding.

Celebrating life, surrounded by friends and family, which is how it always seemed John lived his life.

Surrounded again by friends and family at Pebble Beach.

There are no details yet about the funeral. I’ll post details when I get them.

• • •

February 8, 2007

School Pix

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 10:01 am

I figured I better post these before they got too old. These are scans of the kids’ school pictures taken at their Montessori school last fall.

Alice at 2 1/2.

Porter at five.

Alice and Porter.

• • •

February 6, 2007

You Can Make It With …

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah, Friends — J @ 5:25 pm

At one point during the Super Bowl, Jen suggested to the kids that they all make play-doh. Porter and Alice excitedly agreed and Sarah and Jen worked the pots and pans on the stove until, like magic, there was play-doh.

Porter enthusiastically watches the play-doh factory ramp up production and get underway.

Pouring in the blue food coloring.

Mixing it up: red for Alice, and blue for Porter.

Ta da! Blue for me, and red for Alice!

Hey, what are you looking at?

C’mon Alice, let’s play.

I’m going to make a blob, what are you going to make, Alice?

Nothing, I’m just going to steal yours.

Inside, they mixed the red and blue together to make a purplish gray.

Where Alice found the one ring to rule them all.

Behold the ring! My preciousss!

• • •

February 4, 2007

Sarah Hoops

Categories: Photos, Sarah, Movies — J @ 6:02 pm

Jen had a hula hoop and so Sarah demonstrated it for the kids, who took a great delight in watching her. Of course, so did the rest of us.

Sarah takes her hips out for a little spin.

Will it go round in circles?

• • •

Colts 29, Kids 30

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Friends, Movies — J @ 3:09 pm

Our friends Melissa and Jen had their annual Super Bowl party and since Melissa was rooting for Da Bears, I decided we’d be Colts fans for the day. Plus, as a lifelong Packers fan it’s pretty hard to want Chicago to win. So we all dressed in blue and white and took Alice’s giant stuffed horse (surely a colt) along with us.

Our host, Melissa, down a PBR.

Outside, Porter blowing bubbles.

Our other hostess, Jen, shows Porter how to blow big bubbles.

Porter kept wanting to sweep clean the outside windows.

But by far his most fun was crushing the empty beer cans.

• • •

February 3, 2007

Nosing the Window

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 5:14 pm

At Angie’s party Porter discovered he could distort his face by pressing his nose against the window. Luckily, we were able to see it from the other window at a right angle from his. Curiously, Porter looked down the street and asked if we could go the toy store at the end of the block. What’s odd about that is that you can’t really see it from the window, it’s no longer a toy store anymore (now it’s a Best Buy) and it’s been more than a year since the last time we were at Angie’s place.

A pressing engagement.

Can I get closer to the toy store this way?

• • •

Wagnerian Partying

Categories: Events, Photos, Alice, Sarah, Friends — J @ 2:46 am

Today our friend Angie had a little end-of-the-holidays/Groundhog Day soiree at her place in San Francisco. We only knew the beer people there, but had a very nice time meeting everyone. The kids were reasonably well-behaved, at least, and no actual mayhem ensued.

Our host Angie getting slapped around by Porter.

Alice had a hard time keeping her hands off the food.

Porter plays with the spinning clown.

Alice shows off the wonderful spread of food.

• • •

February 1, 2007

The Snuggle Olympics

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, J — J @ 1:02 pm

After the kids tired us out, I held a little snuggle contest. The great thing about this kind of competition is that everybody wins.

Porter and me.

Alice and me.

Porter’s turn again.

Alice giving me attitude again.

Now that’s a smile!

• • •

Bed Tricks

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

After Sarah got home from work, the four of us played on the bed in our bedroom.

The calm before the storm.

Porter throws the world at me.

Sarah gives Porter an airplane ride.

Then it was Alice’s turn in the air.

Everybody wanted it to be their turn all the time, making it difficult for Sarah to keep them flying.

• • •

January 31, 2007

Pirate Swinging

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 1:52 pm

Porter took his new pirate shirt out for a swing at Occupational Therapy.

This is how I practice boarding ships so I can pillage them.

• • •

The Pirate Kids

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 8:34 am

Alex got Porter and Alice some way cool pirate t-shirts from Greenwich, which is right next to where they live in Lewisham. Greenwich is, of course, where the “0″ or prime meridian is and time begins, so to speak. It’s also where a lot of the naval history for England is, such as the Maritime Museum. For kids, it’s also home to pirate history.

Porter got the “Pirate” shirt while Alice, quite fittingly, was a “Buccaneer.”

Getting a big buccaneer smile from Alice.

• • •

January 28, 2007

Last Day in London

Categories: Photos, J, Friends, Beer, Trips — J @ 12:52 pm

We had nothing planned for Sunday so we all wen our separate ways on our own adventures. I did some shopping for gifts for the kids and Sarah and then met Keith near Piccadilly in the afternoon. We spent a nice day catching up and sightseeing.

I took the tube to Piccadilly Circus to shop for the kids at Hamley’s toy store.

The Crown on Brewer Street.


Trafalgar Square at night.

Keith trying to take a night photo, too. We’re standing on the front porch, so to speak, of the National Gallery.They were getting ready to close, but we did get to see a new exhibition, Manet to Picasso, which featured some great pieces like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Renoir’s The Umbrellas, among much else.

Then we strolled down to the Houses of Parliament to see Big Ben.

Looking up at Big Ben from the Westminster Bridge.

The giant London Eye ferris wheel across the Thames.

That night Keith and I had dinner at the Seven Stars pub.

The Seven Stars in Holborn is an ancient pub that celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2002.

Keith and me before I dropped him off at the tube station and walked back to my hotel, stopping at the Queen’s Larder for a last pint.

• • •

January 27, 2007

The Old Ale Festival

Categories: Photos, J, Friends, Beer — J @ 11:00 am

Our primary reason for the trip to London was to attend the 24th annual Old Ale Festival at the White Horse on Parson’s Green, which is located in southwest London. Landlord and cellerman Mark Dorber, who’s been at the pub for decades, is leaving this year and we wanted to visit him at the bar while we still could. He was, as always, a gracious host and we spent a fabulous full twelve hours there at the festival, from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Of the 47 beers listed for the festival, we tried all but eight, and that’s because those beers were not yet on tap while we were there.

The White Horse on Parson’s Green.

The Parson’s Green that the White Horse is on.

Pulling a pint behind the bar.

Landlord Mark Dorber pulling my first pint of the day, Bass No. 1.

Our little corner of the world for the day. From left: Motor’s friend Chris’ wife, Motor, Doug, me, Christian Kazakoff and Shaun O’Sullivan. Doug was a retired engineer and homebrewer who came down for the festival. He was sitting alone at the table doing a crossword puzzle and so I asked him if we could join him.

Motor orders some haggis to soak up the beer.

We all tried a bite. Here Shaun shovels his haggis.

My first Cantillon after visiting the brewery the day before.

Doug and me mid-afternoon, just before he headed home. We had a great time talking with him, and I think he had a good time, too, spending his day with us Yanks.

Later we had a tour of the cellars below the pub.

Mark Dorber conducted a tour/tasting of the cellars.

Where he opened several bottles of J.W. Lees Harvest Ale.

While upstairs the jazz band began playing as night fell.

Finally the Norman’s Conquest was put on, which I was happy about. I’d been waiting to try it again. I had it at a CAMRA festival in Peterbrough about ten years ago. It has an Original Gravity of 1066, which I always found a clever joke.

Eventually, the evening wound down and I had my last pint.

Motor and Shaun O’Sullivan with a couple of Burgundian Babble Belt members at the festival.

Roger Protz and me at the end of the evening.

• • •

January 26, 2007

The Brewery Museum at Cantillon

Categories: Photos, J, Friends, Beer, Trips — J @ 10:41 pm

Our first stop upon arriving in Brussels on Friday was a tour of the Brasserie Cantillon.

Brasserie Cantillon, the last remaining brewery in Brussels proper, is located in a dicey area of town, in the southern part near the Midi train station. It’s an unassuming building that belies the treasures that await the visitor inside.

Inside is the tasting area and the brewery offices, in, of course, the same building since 1900.

Where we enjoyed our first Cantillon of the day. From left: Thomas, Christian, Motor and Shaun.

Cantillon owner Jean-Pierre Van Roy with Shaun Christian and our tour guide, Yvan De Baets.

An old, no-longer used bottler is on display in the tasting area.

This old, still-used contraption looks like it could fly away.

The styles of beer Cantillon makes use old hops to keep their bittering qualities restrained, usually around three years old.

The mash tun on the second floor.

Inside the kettle.

The grain mill.

The grain itself is stored one floor up, in the dry attic.

Where there’s also an old hand bottling machine.

Another half floor above the attic is where all the magic happens, in the shallow square copper cooling tun.

Where slatted windows are adjusted to allow spontaneous fermentation.

Then the beer is stored in wooden casks of oak or chestnut for up to three years.

Where individual codes are put on each barrel to indicate what and when is inside.

A sign in one of the barrel rooms reads “Le temps ne respecte pas ce qui se fait sans lui,” which translates as “time does not respect what is done without him.”

This barrel, for example, is a Lambic (L), and was part of the 13th batch (13) done during the brewing season over years 2005-06 (I).

Inside one of the barrels that’s been aging over a year.

After bottling, they are racked tightly against the wall for further aging.

Yvan pours Thomas the Rose de Gambrinus.

Jean, the heir apparent, will apparently succeed his father Jean-Pierre in running the brewery as of this March.

Cantillon owner Jean-Pierre Van Roy and me after our tour.

• • •
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