A Petaluma360 Blog

Disparate Housewife

Colleen Rustad: wife, mother, entrepreneur

Supper at school

An article appeared in the paper a couple of weeks ago that continues to roll around in my mind and whenever I think about it, it really makes me feel sad. I can hear someone saying, “Really?! There’s just the one article that left you depressed?”  No…and taken in the context of the truly horrible stuff that is reported in the papers, this article seems downright benign. But I found it disturbing nonetheless. So what was the article? It was:… Read More »

In case of emergency

So I was at the gym on Saturday morning, working up a sweat on the elliptical machine with my headphones on. I was totally in the zone, keeping tempo to One Republic’s “Love Runs Out” on Spotify on my phone and watching a Food Network chef make Mexican lasagna on the little TV screen in front of me. My brain was a million miles away from what was going on around me when I suddenly become aware that someone was… Read More »

Fear of filing

On Saturday morning, Steve and I were sitting at the table waiting for the caffeine to take effect and discussing the to-do’s for the day. I was sipping my coffee when Steve saw a look come across my face that looked like someone had substituted salt for the Splenda. “What thought just crossed your mind?” Steve asked. “Taxes,” I answered. “I knew it!” he said. He knows me well enough that just the thought of preparing the information for our… Read More »

Another mouth to feed

In the spectrum of where a cat could live out its life, our two cats, Nigel and Blossom, certainly won the lottery. At the first twinges of hunger, they can saunter over to their food dish. There is always food in it and it’s the expensive stuff – not the bargain brand kibble. They can munch away until they have had their fill and then without them lifting so much as a claw, their empty dish is refilled again and again.

The most difficult decision our cats have to make on any given day is deciding which comforter on which bed that they want to curl up on. Then in the evening, Nigel comes downstairs and situates himself in his box in front of the fireplace where he gets so comfortable that he actually starts snoring. As Steve and I frequently comment, these are a spoiled couple of felines; their pampered pink pussy paws never encounter anything rougher than carpet and tile.

Nigel baking in front of the fireplace

Nigel baking in front of the fireplace

But of course, not all cats are a lucky as ours. There’s a little gray cat hunched on our fence reminding us of this every time we come in and out of the house.  This dust bunny of a kitty started coming around our place at about Christmas time. We know the outdoor cat community at our condo complex and we had never seen this cat before the holidays. One of our neighbors thought that someone had moved and left the cat behind. Given that our pets are almost as beloved as our kids, it’s hard for us to imagine someone abandoning a cat.


Griselda casting a spell on us to let her inside

Griselda casting a spell on us to let her inside

Steve named her Griselda. “Gris” is the word for gray in French and with her glowing yellow eyes and long fur, she – we’re quite sure she’s a girl because of her small size – she seems well suited to being named after a fairy tale witch.

It’s obvious that she is very accustomed to being around people because as soon as we open the door, she starts meowing for attention. Lucky for her, Steve is totally a soft touch when it comes to animals. He makes sure there is food and water in dishes just outside our front door and takes breaks during the day to step outside and pet her which makes her start kneading and drooling like mad.

Griselda would love to come inside but we’re quite sure Nigel who is a big bully tomcat would terrorize her. On the other paw, Griselda has street smarts and she may very well be able to hold her own against his posturing.

However, there’s another reason we won’t be letting her in anytime soon. It would put the census of cats in our household larger than the number of people. And as our daughter tells us, we would be entering crazy cat people territory.

Celebrating at Cucina Paradiso

Usually on Friday night, we’re happy to be tucked in at home, scrolling through Netflix for something light to watch to cap off the week. However, last Friday was Jennifer Lynn’s last night home from college before going back for spring semester so doing something more special than watch me nod off on the couch was in order. We wanted to go out for dinner but where to go? We wanted cozy with dependably great food and service… Cucina Paradiso… Read More »

Brunch for dinner

Our youngest daughter, Jennifer Lynn has always enjoyed cooking and baking. So while she’s been home on winter break from her first semester in the dorms at college – in addition to not sharing a bathroom with eight other girls – she has really enjoyed being able to whip up a batch of cookies or make a breakfast burrito whenever she’s in the mood to cook. So a few days ago, she told me that during her time at home,… Read More »

That’s how I roll on Christmas

When I was growing up, I knew that as I raced past the kitchen on the way to the living room to see what Santa had left us, I would catch a glimpse of my mother standing at the kitchen counter. She was chopping celery for the giblet (what is a giblet and why would anyone want to eat one?) dressing for our Christmas dinner which was an exact repeat of our Thanksgiving dinner…with one minor change: my mother usually swapped… Read More »

2014 Family wrap up

This week, I’m re-purposing (I love that word, it sounds so much better than saying that I’ve found a way around doing more work) our 2014 Christmas letter as my blog post. If you follow my blog, (so you’re the one!) thank you for the time you haven taken to read my ramblings and hear about the happenings in our household. I wish you and those dear to you a very Merry Christmas. Dear Friends and Family, We hope this letter… Read More »

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 »