A Petaluma360 Blog

Disparate Housewife

Colleen Rustad: wife, mother, entrepreneur

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 »

College incommunicado

It’s a good thing that I follow our freshman daughter on Instagram so that can I get some insight into what she’s been doing in the six weeks that have passed since we helped her move into her dorm at Pepperdine in Malibu. I have yet to see any Instagram posts of her in the library with her current “Great Books” reading assignment – Plato’s The Republic – spread open in front of her or any snapshots of her typing… Read More »

Heart and Seoul

When the phone rang at 7:30 on Saturday morning and the caller ID showed a number with 13 digits, I almost didn’t answer it. Good thing that I did, because it was our son, Ethan, calling from Korea to tell us he had arrived safely. To bring you up to date, it was two years ago – almost to the day – that Ethan enlisted in the Army. In the year after he graduated from SF State, he had not… Read More »