A Petaluma360 Blog

Disparate Housewife

Colleen Rustad: wife, mother, entrepreneur

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 »

Happy Anniversary

Thirty-one. If you’re talking about a person’s age, a 31 year-old is a young person. But in the context of marriage, 31 years seems like a really long time for two people to be together. I guess that’s why it’s hard for me to believe that Steve and I have been married that long. Time has gone so fast…we can’t be that old! But there’s no denying the math; we were married on June 16, 1984 on a breathtakingly beautiful… Read More »

Permanent ink

I guess you could say that our daughter’s first year away at college left an indelible impression on her…because she came home with a tattoo. Long gone are the days when getting a tattoo cast judgement upon the wearer. Maybe you have the same impression that I had yesterday as I surveyed the checkout line at Costco. It’s more like who doesn’t have a tattoo? My forearms looked so plain and boring compared to the tribal patterns, Chinese characters, wolf… Read More »

Furiosa in the Family – Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, after seeing the new Mad Max movie, I wrote about Furiosa, the character played by Charlize Theron and the similarities to our 22 year-old daughter Valerie. They are both missing their left arm and both have warrior-like determination. That character trait in Valerie was obvious from the moment she was born – unexpectedly in our bathroom – but that’s a story for another time. When I pulled her little four pound body onto my lap,… Read More »

Overcoming obstacles on TV

If the networks all stopped broadcasting sporting events – from major TV draws such as NFL football to more obscure sports like archery – the only way our family would know about this huge black hole in the TV schedule was if we read about it in the newspaper – but it would have to be on the front page because we don’t read the sports section either. It’s not that I think there is anything wrong with watching sports or that not watching… Read More »

Furiosa in the family

We love getting phone calls from our son Ethan who is stationed at an army base in Korea. During his most recent call to us, he made a point of telling us that we should go see the new Mad Max movie. “The female warrior played by Charlize Theron has an arm that looks just like Valerie’s. It’s pretty cool.” It was actually the lack of an arm that Ethan was referring to. His sister Valerie and Theron’s character in… Read More »