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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July 31, 2005

On Safari

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah — J @ 3:13 pm

Today Sarah’s work sponsored an outing at Safari West, an animal preserve in Santa Rosa. We went there for Mother’s Day this year but this time we had no rain and a beautiful, if hot, sun. Porter and Alice were both having off days, but it was still fun.

One of Safari West’s giraffes.

Alice on the tour bus.

Alice hugs the daughter of one of Sarah’s co-workers.

Watusi Cattle.

Porter shows just how unimpressed he is.

An ostrich performs its mating dance.

Porter insists that Cheetos are the perfect food.

But at least he shared one with Cassidy, the daughter of another of Sarah’s co-workers.

A Scarlet Ibis and her chick.

• • •

July 30, 2005

It’s Like I Never Left

Categories: Photos, Porter, J — J @ 7:27 pm

Mark and Lisa dropped me off at the airport with plenty of time. As luck would have it, Amy and her husband Mark were on the same flight. Amy and I worked together at BevMo years ago and she’s currently the assistant beer buyer there and I’d seen them both at the festival on Thursday. We’d been over to their house a few times and even played golf together but had lost touch since I left BevMo and we both had kids so it was great to catch up with them on the flight home.

I got home about six and Porter came running out to me when I got home, which made me feel great. The four of us went for a swim to cool off and wash the airplane off of me.

Porter and me in the hot tub.

• • •

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig

Categories: Photos, J, Friends, Beer, Trips — J @ 12:30 pm

Saturday morning I woke up feeling refreshed and very glad I made the trip to Portland this year. It felt great to just let go and enjoy myself without worrying about the kids. Lisa and Mark took Tom and me to a really cool place for lunch called Concordia Ale House. Besides having a fabulous beer selection and great food, it had the added advantage of being on the way to the airport.

Me, Tom, Mark & Lisa in front of the three pink elephants. There’s an interesting story about the mural. It turns out that the building used to be a speakeasy called the Pink Elephant. The mural was discovered during renovations hidden behind several layers of wallpaper and paint along with an old matchbook that gave away the original name.

• • •

July 29, 2005

Stumping at Stumptown

Categories: Photos, J, Friends, Family, Beer, Trips — J @ 10:04 pm

The last few years, Elysian Brewing Co. of Seattle has been hosting an after-fest gathering at Stumptown Coffee, just a few blocks from Waterfront Park. This year my cousin Matt, who recently moved to Portland, and Sean, a great friend who also lives there met me at the festival after work and the three of us ambled over to Stumptown in the early evening.

Celebrator writer Lisa and our co-host for the evening, head brewer Dick.

My cousin Matt and my buddy Sean.

Outside Stumptown, from left, Lisa’s hubby Mark, John from Full Sail, Jessie (who’s party we went to the night before), and Jessie’s girlfriend.

Sean’s wife Ann came to pick up Sean toward the end of the evening.

• • •

Festival Friday

Categories: Photos, J, Friends, Beer, View-Master, Trips — J @ 2:28 pm

Friday began early at the media tasting at 11 a.m. Noelle Blake, whose winning recipe became Ommegang’s Three Philosophers, generally leads the tour taking newspaper, tv, and us beer writers around the empty festival and tastes all of us on some of his favorites.

From left, the other Bob B., Celebrator editor Tom, Celebrator writer Lisa, and John, a reporter from the Oregonian.

This year the Celebrator booth had its back to the water and, as usual, we were next to the good people of HopUnion.

With Tom, behind our booth.

Me and Ralph, from HopUnion.

By our booth, from left, John (head brewer at Full Sail Brewing), Tom, and Fred Bowman, co-founder of Portland Brewing Co.

Some of the beer highlights of the festival included (in no particular order):

Yuzu’s Belgian-Style Golden Ale (Elysian Brewing)
Black Gold Imperial Stout (Full Sail Brewing)
Organic Deranger (Laurelwood Public House & Brewery)
Flip-Flop Pilsner (Walking Man Brewing)
Halo (Widmer Brothers Brewing)

There were many other fine beers, a lot of which I’d tasted before so this list is essentially only beers which were new to me.

In the afternoon, I took a short break from the festival to visit a view-master dealer I’ve gotten to know through eBay. He brought out some cool stuff for me to see and some to even buy to add to my collection.

Greg, with some of his stuff.

• • •

July 28, 2005

Eleven Hours Later … Portland

Categories: Photos, Beer, Trips — J @ 4:27 pm

Tom and I left Oakland at 5 a.m and 11 hours later arrived in Portland just in time for the beginning of the Oregon Brewers Festival.

Chris, the P.R. goddess for the festival, and Tom, my ride to Portland.

We were at the fest until nine then had dinner at Lauro, a cool mediterranean restaurant near my friends Lisa and Mark’s place. After that we went to Root’s, a new Portland brewpub (where I had a terrific Imperial IPA) and then to a party at Jessie’s place (Jessie used to be a bartender at the Toronado in San Francisco). Also there were Vinnie and Natalie from Russian River Brewing, among others.

• • •

July 27, 2005

Going to OBF

Categories: News, J, Beer — J @ 11:27 pm

Tomorrow way freakin’ early I’m leaving for a quick trip to Portland, Oregon for the Oregon Brewers Festival. It’s probably the second best beer festival in the country (after GABF), and I’m looking forward to seeing many beer friends. I’ll be driving up with my former Celebrator boss Tom and then flying back Saturday afternoon in time to meet Sarah and the kids at Safari West in Sonoma County.

Because I’m traveling light, I won’t be able to post to the blog until I return home on Sunday. So look for several days worth of postings either Sunday evening or first thing Monday morning.

• • •

Proof That Porter’s Train Phase May Be Ending

Categories: News, Porter, Friends — J @ 9:53 pm

Our friends Christi and Pat, whose sons John and Henry are close to Porter’s age, recently sent us the following e-mail. In it, their research has effectively proven that Porter’s train phase may be coming to a close.

Hello – We were enjoying a hot afternoon when Henry requested to look at pictures of Porter. So of course we went to check out the Blog. But the current photos were not good enough. He then requested a picture of Porter with his trains. I thought – oh that will be easy – but in fact we had to go back to June 24 to actually see a train! I guess Porter is really in a plane phase!

Anyway – we had fun – and the boys can clearly name everyone – including Alice’s Grandpa!

Thanks for Blogging!! We love it!

See you soon.

Christi and the boys will be in town for two weeks in early August so hopefully we’ll all be able to get together a few times so the kids can play together. I know Porter will be thrilled to see John and Henry, as he still talks about them from time to time.

• • •

Watermelon & Blueberries

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 6:14 pm

It was a very fruitful day for Alice, who ate both blueberries and watermelon this afternoon.

Alice stuffs herself with blueberries.

Ditto watermelon.

• • •

Calling the Magic School Bus

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 2:21 pm

Porter has been playing with the phone all afternoon, pretending to call the Magic School Bus. The Magic School Bus is, for those of you who don’t know, an educational cartoon about a group of kids who go on field trips in a school bus that can turn into a spaceship, an airplane, a submarine, or whatever the writers’ imaginations can conceive of it turning into. Lily Tomlin stars as the voice of the teacher, Miss Frizzle, who wears outlandish outfits that fit each episodes theme. Sarah recently got Porter a DVD of MSB adventures in space. Porter has been absolutely loving it, even though it’s really aimed at older elementary school-age kids. At the end of each show, the producer takes phone calls from people commenting on and pointing out errors in each show. I think that’s where Porter got the idea to call the MSB.

Calling the MSB over the loudspeaker in his keyboard.

• • •

Return of the White Airplane

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 12:29 pm

The Kids spent the afternoon yesterday at their grandparents’ house. Unfortunately, Porter left his big white airplane there when they came home that evening. About fifteen minutes before Grandpa and Grandma left to go back to their house, Porter discovered his plane was missing. Grandpa searched the car but, of course, it was nowhere to be found. Porter did not take the news too well, and it looked like a meltdown was imminent. I went to The Cabinet of Wonders, the closet where I hide toys for future use, and pulled out some Jay Jay the Jet Plane toys. This seemed to head off the meltdown and although he kept asking about the white plane, he was very happy to play with his new toys. Again this morning, he wanted to go get the airplane at Grandpa’s. When he got off the bus this afternoon, his first thought was to get in the black car and go to Grandma and Grandpa’s to get the white airplane. Porter is nothing if not tenacious. He was very unhappy when I told him we were not going to get in the black car and began to cry. I urged him to come to the stairs, but he would not move. But I had a trick up my sleeve. Unbeknownst to Porter, Grandpa had delivered the white airplane a few minutes before Porter got home from school. So I continued to coax Porter to the stairs with the promise of a surprise. When he finally came to the bottom of the stairs he looked up as I had told him. Upon spying the plane, he let out a scream and tore up the stairs faster than I think I’d ever seen him climb before. He was very, very happy to have his plane back. All’s well that ends well.

Porter reunited with his white airplane.

• • •

Still Thumby

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 8:15 am

Alice demonstrates that she still loves her thumb while watching the Teletubbies.

Ummmm, thumb-flavored.

• • •

July 26, 2005

Another Nocturnal Nosebleed

Categories: News, Porter — J @ 7:45 am

In the middle of the night last night, Porter came into our bed covered in blood again. He’d had a nosebleed and must have been wiping his nose on his arm, etc. because his hands, arms and most of his face were covered in blood. He even had gotten some in his hair. After washing him off and stopping the bleeding he settled down in our bed but seemed like he was having trouble getting back to sleep. He had this wide-eyed, almost scared, expression on his face so we held him tight to reassure him and I sang him the Beatles’ song Goodnight. We’re still not sure what triggered it, but everything seems okay now.

• • •

July 25, 2005

Milk Maid

Categories: News, Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 5:15 pm

We’ve made it a year without giving Alice even one ounce of that poison known more commonly as baby formula. This is a fact we’re pretty proud of, and today we started Alice on whole milk so she should be able to make it through life without ever having had any formula. I began by mixing about 25% whole milk into Alice’s bottle this afternoon. Everything went fine, woo hoo!

Alice’s first taste of cow’s milk.

Porter and Alice tussle in front of the couch.

• • •

Bat & Ball

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 4:04 pm

In the afternoon, Porter and I played catch and then he got out his baseball bat and he played a makeshift form of tee ball in the bedroom.

Porter tosses one to me.

Porter, channeling Babe Ruth, points to the stands to indicate where his next hit will go.

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