A Petaluma360 Blog

Disparate Housewife

Colleen Rustad: wife, mother, entrepreneur

Biscotti season

Last weekend I began my annual Christmas biscotti bake-a-thon where I bake about 25 dozen biscotti to give as gifts to close friends and family. This has been a holiday tradition in our house for 22 years. How do I know? Because I always use the same recipe from the December 1992 issue of Gourmet magazine. Gourmet …remember it? That publication was the go-to source for fine dining and “good living” – as it said on the cover – long… Read More »

Cheers to Thanksgiving

As I’m writing this, I can hear in the background “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…” Some families have a tradition of watching football over the Thanksgiving holiday but in our house, “Cheers” is the go-to television entertainment. I’m sure it’s true for most people that certain shows evoke memories of a specific place and time in their lives. “Mary Tyler Moore” is the show that I associate with my high school and college years, but… Read More »

Thanksgiving menu musings

We’re going to a Thanksgiving potluck tonight and based on how quickly everyone responded with their contribution to the meal, no one spent time scouring the internet for new recipes but instead signed up to bring a dish that is one of their traditional family favorites. That is certainly true for me as well because I’m making the same Apple Crisp that I have made for dessert for Thanksgiving ever since Steve and I got married 30 years ago. Every… Read More »

Seoul: News from the Front

It had been more than two months since we had heard from Ethan. When we last we spoke to him in early September, he had just arrived at the army base in Korea where he will spend the next year of his military duty. He was so fresh off the plane that he hadn’t had a chance to figure out the one thing that he considers absolutely essential for survival: a high speed internet connection. As the weeks passed and… Read More »

Office harmony

We don’t choose our coworkers, yet on any workday, we find ourselves spending more time interacting with our coworkers than with our family and friends. A co-worker’s temperament, outlook on life, sense of humor, and even the way they move around the office, makes a big difference in whether being at work is a stressful, “grit your teeth and get through it” kind of experience or whether the feeling in the office is,“ it’s work, but I’m glad to be here.”… Read More »

Car-less in college

I’m sure our college freshman daughter Jennifer Lynn never reads my blog. Ever since her sixth grade teacher commented to her that she had read about Jennifer Lynn’s stress over preparing for the school’s spelling bee in my blog, she ignores it so she doesn’t have to go online and find out that once again, her mother has revealed embarrassing details about her life. It’s no wonder she always wanted to live like the kids on the Nickelodeon shows like iCarly… Read More »

Studying abroad…way abroad

Around the time Jennifer Lynn was in 4th grade, a primary topic of conversation around our house was how my sister and Steve’s sister were consumed with making arrangements to care for our aging   mothers. I remember saying goodnight to Jennifer Lynn one night and watching the light bulb go on in her head when she realized that the daughter living in closest proximity to the elderly parent was usually the child saddled with the responsibility of making sure Mom had… Read More »

Best of Broadway

You know that you’re really enjoying something when you don’t want it to come to an end – that was the experience I had on Friday night. My boss was unable to use her two tickets to a performance of Pippin at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco so she generously offered them to Steve and me. At 10:50 p.m. when the actors took their final bow on stage, I could have happily had the show start all… Read More »


An added blessing for us that Jennifer is attending Pepperdine in Malibu is that it puts her in the same part of the world as her older sister who graduated from Chapman in Orange County last spring. However, just because two sisters live within 60 miles of each other, it certainly doesn’t mean that they will want to have any kind of a relationship with one another. As I have seen between me and my siblings, just because we share… Read More »

A ticket to drive

When I was driving home from work on Wednesday and glanced at my rearview mirror to see the flashing lights of a police car indicating that the cop wanted me to pull over, you can image that “thank you” were not the words that flashed through my mind. However by Friday, while I still wasn’t cheering that rolling through a stop sign in Novato was going to cost me about $300, I had come to the realization that the cop… Read More »