A Petaluma360 Blog

Disparate Housewife

Colleen Rustad: wife, mother, entrepreneur

Bypass surgery behind us

Friday, April 18th was a good Friday for our family. Steve went through five hours of bypass surgery and 24 hours later, he was sitting in a chair – albeit tethered to more monitors than on the deck of the Starship Enterprise – chatting with the nurse and experiencing very little pain from the 12 inch incision running down the front of his chest. The whole concept of bypass surgery is mind-boggling to me. The doctors who developed the procedure… Read More »

Anticipating a speedy recovery

So with Steve’s bypass surgery less than two weeks away, we are starting to think about what kind of preparations we need to make for when he comes home from the hospital – which frankly is a little scary for me, especially when the word “caregiver” is tossed around to describe my role in his recovery. As Steve will tell you, when it comes to taking care of people when they are sick, I’m a devoted and compassionate caregiver for… Read More »

Is a college education in the cards?

Jennifer has received the financial aid award letters from five out of the seven schools she has been accepted to. She’s a practical thinker, so to figure out how much she would need to borrow in student loans, she made an index card for each school. On each card, she put the cost of tuition, subtracted the amount she was awarded in scholarships or grants, and then multiplied the difference (the amount she would need to borrow) by 4 to… Read More »

A different kind of March Madness

We took a break this week from our “House of Cardio” and discussions of Steve’s upcoming bypass surgery to talk about the other “C” word that has consumed our household for the past four months: College. The news of acceptance or rejection at the schools Jennifer has applied to are arriving, in addition to the financial award letters.  So allow me to rant a little about the current state of higher education. One of the schools that Jennifer applied to… Read More »

House of Cardio

Now that the angiogram showed that the blood cells in Steve’s heart have to take a number and get in line before they can make their way through his narrowed ventricles, we spent last week coming to grips with the fact that bypass surgery is in Steve’s future…his very near future. When we were talking with the cardiologist immediately following the angiogram about scheduling his surgery, my thought was to find out how long we could delay it. Could it… Read More »

Bypassing the stent

Last week I wrote about Steve going in for a pre-birthday angiogram and possibly coming home with a souvenir from his overnight stay in the hospital in the form of a stent. Or another possible scenario from the angiogram was that the cardiologist wouldn’t find enough of a blockage to warrant a stent, and Steve would be discharged the same day. He could go on his merry way. No big deal. So on Thursday morning, when I got a call… Read More »

Birthday wish

Steve’s birthday is next Sunday but he might get an early birthday present in the form of a stent. He is checking into the hospital on Thursday and depending on if his arteries look like Highway 101 at the Atherton exit where five lines narrow into two lanes, he may come home on Friday with a teeny, tiny, chain link fence tube in his heart. The plan is that this little piece of metal will keep his blood flowing at… Read More »

Snack sense?

To pass the time while I creep through the Novato Narrows on the way home from work, I often listen to Podcasts. One of my favorites is Freakonomics. Although the topic of Friday’s Podcast – “Why Marry?” – was interesting, it was the commercial that aired during it that was really thought provoking. The ad was for a service that delivers a box of snacks to your house…sort of a snack-of-the-month club. But when you sign up for this service,… Read More »

In good form for college

A day off from work to take care of the details of life is a huge gift. And on this President’s Day, I’m celebrating having time to wrap up the last of the seemingly never-ending forms that are required in the college application process. I spent the day copying the tax returns, W-2s, and 1099s for us and Jennifer because a couple of the schools that Jennifer is applying to want to make sure that we didn’t under-report any of… Read More »

College love letters

Last week I wrote about the last ditch pleas through emails that colleges were making to our daughter, Jennifer, to encourage her to apply their particular school. The subject lines of the emails sounded pretty desperate on the part of the colleges – there were statements like “Application deadline extended just for you!” I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a subject line certain to get the attention of a 17 year-old; “Apply for FREE! And receive a yearlong supply… Read More »