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A Petaluma360 Blog

Disparate Housewife

Colleen Rustad: wife, mother, entrepreneur

Countdown to China

What seemed so far off at the beginning of summer is almost here. Next weekend, we’re driving our youngest daughter Jennifer Lynn back down to school in Southern California. On the following Wednesday, she’ll fly out of LAX to begin her year studying abroad in Shanghai. Why China? Steve and I joke that one of Jennifer Lynn’s life goals is to be as far away as possible from her AARP parents and the possibility of having to live out her… Read More »

A very cultured event

There is a growing interest in fermented products. As evidence, last Saturday the Finley Center in Santa Rosa bubbled with energy as practitioners of the ancient art of fermentation shared their knowledge and sampled their products with a huge crowd of Sonoma County residents. And it wasn’t just wine and beer that folks were interested in tasting. All sorts of fruit and vegetables strutted their pro-biotic best at the 6th Annual Farm to Fermentation Festival – the brainchild of Jennifer Harris, self-described bacteria… Read More »

Cat Cafe

Our middle daughter Valerie loves cats; she gets teased by her siblings about turning into a crazy cat lady when she gets old. In the five years since she left to go away to college, we’ve never been sure who she misses more…us or the cats. Many, many photos of our obnoxious orange cat Nigel have been texted to her. Since she can’t have a cat in the townhouse that she shares in Southern California, maximizing her facetime with cats when… Read More »

Pod people

I guess it was about five years ago when I got my first Smart Phone and one of my daughters introduced me to the joy of listening to podcasts. At first I didn’t get the concept. Hadn’t video killed the radio stars? Wasn’t YouTube the source for all on-demand entertainment? But with her encouragement, I downloaded a podcast app (I use Podkicker) to my phone and subscribed to the Freakonomics podcast. I discovered how much I enjoyed the intimacy of… Read More »

China is where she wants to be

A couple of Saturdays ago, when we were driving through the city from Hayes Valley to the Golden Gate Bridge, we happened to go past the Chinese Consulate on Laguna Street. I was pretty excited – not quite as excited as when we were driving through San Francisco and I saw a naked guy (except for cowboy boots) walking along Market Street – but excited nonetheless to have accidentally found the Consulate. You see, visiting the Chinese Consulate has loomed… Read More »

Time share

In about six weeks, our daughter Jennifer Lynn leaves for her year-long study abroad program. She will be spending her entire sophomore year in Shanghai; we’re excited for the adventure ahead of her but my stomach knots up when I think about not seeing for more than eight months. I wish I could take the time that we’re spending with her this summer and “bank” it, so we could withdraw it over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and weekends – times that I… Read More »

Mommie dearest

It’s news to me, but according to the experts, the family relationship that is the most troubled is the one between mothers and their teenage daughters. Think of the door slamming, the silent treatment and the snarky comments hurled between Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan (back when she was cute) in “Freaky Friday” – a movie which we have watched and enjoyed many, many times. Psychologists say that the root of these conflicted relationships is the result of the… Read More »

Spoiler alert

For more than 20 years, Steve has had the opportunity to do the marketing communications for Bubbies. In case you’re not familiar with Bubbies, they are best known for their kosher dill pickles and sauerkraut. As they say on TV, “Look for them in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods and Petaluma Market.” The owner of Bubbies is a very creative and forward thinking entrepreneur who saw the expanding interest of the food world in fermented foods. So a few… Read More »

Get a job Sha na na na

So here’s a statement that will make me sound like I’m 110 years old: life is very different for teenagers today than it was when I was growing up. The latest evidence to support that? Only one third of American teenagers had a job last summer; down 40% from 2000. I don’t have the statistics on the percentage of teenagers who had summer jobs back in the dark ages when I grew up, but unless your parents were super rich… Read More »

Family ties

There are lots of different activities that families do together to promote family bonding. Things like playing sports together or having family game nights, or camping, hiking. But our family’s favorite bonding experience? The bunch of us plopped on the couch with a cat or two strewn amongst us, watching TV. I’ve always felt a little guilty that something so inert and seemingly non-interactive has been one of the most memorable and enjoyable ways that our family has spent time… Read More »