January 2005
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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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January 30, 2005

Up in the Air, Junior Birdmen

Categories: Photos, Porter, Family — J @ 6:54 pm

While Sarah and I were being domestic (more on that later), Porter’s grandparents took him for the ride of his life. They went to the Napa Airport where Porter went up in an open cockpit bi-plane! He apparently was thrilled and not scared at all. He did duck down out of the wind, but then popped his head up to see the sights throughout the twenty minutes they circled Napa. Our own little red baron.

The red biplane.

Porter and Grandpa in the plane’s cockpit.

• • •

January 29, 2005

The Wine Train

Categories: Photos, Porter, Family — J @ 7:13 pm

Porter’s Grandpa & Grandma took him on the Napa Valley Wine Train this afternoon. The Wine Train is a 3-hour train tour of Napa and this is Porter’s second trip on it. He apparently had an outstanding time and even got a pin from the engineer after touring the engine. You ride the train, eat a meal, and look at the sights from Napa to St. Helena and back again. Below is what the train looks like.

The Wine Train

Porter with his grandparents, Lyman and Ruthanne just before boarding time.

• • •

January 27, 2005

Coastal Playtime

Categories: Photos, Porter, Family — J @ 6:11 pm

Porter’s grandparents took him to a few places along the ocean in Marin and Sonoma counties. Ruthanne took these photos with her new digital camera.

Grandpa and Porter go three-wheelin’ at Point Reyes where California meets the Pacific Ocean in Marin.

This was taken at Goat Rock, which is where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma County. Porter, whose motto is if it can be climbed, it will be climbed, ignores another beautiful sunset to play with his trains.

• • •

January 26, 2005

An Elevated Train Layout

Categories: Photos, Porter, Other — J @ 2:15 pm

Porter’s been into bridges and elevated track lately, so we built a layout almost entirely up in the air, our own “el” train.

• • •

January 24, 2005

A New Triptych

Categories: Porter, Art — J @ 4:37 pm

Working in a new medium of water color paints, Porter’s newest work is an abstract triptych in bold colors. Several techniques were employed including bold brush strokes, sponging, using his fingers and dripping drops of paint directly onto the canvas. Note the bright blue in the left panel contrasted with the morose dark greens and violent blood reds of the right panel. A strong yellow sun shines down from the top middle onto a chaotic third panel where the forces of dark and light mix uneasily symbolizing man’s struggle to remain human amidst the opposing dualities of the optimism of man’s potential for good against the practical violence (signified by the red) and greed (signified by the green) that forms the predominant state of our post-millennial society today. The goodness of humanity is symbolized by rounded peaceful blue shapes where reason prevails. The red of the right panel (note the positioning to the far right) denotes those pockets of our country where reason no longer prevails and has been overshadowed by money, greed and corruption as illustrated by the green’s near covering of the red blood of a corrupted people so confused by their own greed and so naively accepting of the lies told to them that they would vote themselves out of existence. Certainly this is Porter’s most mature work to date.

Abstract Triptych No. 1

• • •

January 22, 2005

Bed, Bath & Beyond

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 3:19 pm

Porter takes one of the beds out for a spin during a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond in Larkspur.

All tucked in.

• • •

Son of Popovers

Categories: Sarah, Food — J @ 10:16 am

Sarah’s third attempt at her beloved popovers. These were also yummy but very eggy.

Ummm.

• • •

January 21, 2005

Trains in Zooland

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 1:57 pm

With hundreds of exotic animals in residence, what did our little engineer obsess about at the zoo? The train tracks, of course. Unfortunately, the train itself is off line, so to speak, and will be for months to come, but that didn’t stop Porter from following the tracks where they led.

Tracking the train.

• • •

Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh Porter!

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 1:22 pm

We borrowed Sarah’s sister Margaret’s zoo membership and took the kids to see a special members-only bear exhibit to highlight the two new juveniles the zoo recently acquired. They had a good time and Porter especially liked the tigers and lions.

Porter rides Kimba (not Simba, that Disney stole from Japan)

Alice joins the pride.

• • •

Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh Porter!

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 1:22 pm

We borrowed Sarah’s sister Margaret’s zoo membership and took the kids to see a special members-only bear exhibit to highlight the two new juveniles the zoo recently acquired. They had a good time and Porter especially liked the tigers and lions.

Porter rides Kimba (not Simba, that Disney stole from Japan).

Alice joins the pride.

• • •

January 20, 2005

Climbing Fool

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 9:13 am

Climbing fool up another tree.

Porter in the big tree at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

• • •

January 19, 2005

Mocha Dick

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 5:13 pm

Apparently the name Moby Dick may have come from a real whale, famous in the early 19th Century as Mocha Dick. Don’t believe me? Read all about it. In this picture from his play date, Porter steers the brown whale.

The Whalerider

• • •

Play Date

Categories: Photos, Porter, Friends — J @ 5:00 pm

Porter and I met Ryan and his dad, my friend Shaun O’Sullivan, brewer at 21st Amendment Brewpub, at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. We were going to go to Habitot in Berkeley where Shaun lives but it closes early on Wednesdays. Ryan is 17 months old and is also a towhead. Here Shaun looks on as the two kids play in the carved whale boat.

• • •

January 17, 2005

Alice Crawls

Categories: News, Photos, Alice, Movies — J @ 9:44 am

Over the past few days, Alice has started crawling backwards and is trying to move forward. It should be no time at all before she’s crawling all over the place and we’re spending all of our time running after her.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Alice crawling backwards on our bed, which Porter conveniently stripped. 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).

• • •

January 16, 2005

Fun with Hippos

Categories: Photos, Porter, Sarah, Family — J @ 8:20 pm

During our meeting with Porter’s teacher last Friday, she suggested some creative toys they used at school such as Legos (the plain, old style ones - like when I was a kid), Lincoln Logs and the game, Hungry Hungry Hippos. The Hippo game was the only one I could find at the store so we tried it our during a visit to Porter’s grandparents. Here he’s playing the game with Grandma, Mom and his Aunt Margaret. It was a big hit and he loved playing the game, though rules were not something he showed much concern for following.

Playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.

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