A Petaluma360 Blog

Disparate Housewife

Colleen Rustad: wife, mother, entrepreneur

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 »

It’s not in the bag

Given the environmental righteousness of Sonoma County, I’m going to say something that might be downright sacrilegious: I like plastic bags. You know, the ones that were ubiquitous at every store before the ban on plastic bags went into effect last Monday. Now what am I going to use to line the garbage cans under the sinks? And what do we use to scoop the cat litter into? And how about dog owners – when we had our dog, if… Read More »

No news is good news

On Wednesday, it will be two weeks since we said goodbye to Jennifer Lynn at Pepperdine where she is beginning her freshman year. Since then, my Inbox has been filled with emails from the Federal Student Loan Department, the company assigned as the loan servicer, and the Financial Aid office at the school. I feel very well informed about the indentured servitude that we have entered into in order for her to attend college. But when it comes to hearing… Read More »

It’s downhill from here

It was a week ago that we loaded up the car – good thing Steve has a roomy xTerra and not a Mini Cooper – with six boxes, two suitcases and a trash bag full of the stuff that Jennifer Lynn determined was essential for beginning college life at Pepperdine. Fortunately, we were able to arrive the day before “Move In Day” so Jennifer could scope out the campus – which she had never set foot on – before it… Read More »

Emptying the nest

A week from today we will be on I-5, heading to Southern California to get Jennifer Lynn moved into her dorm room at college. Other parents I talk to tell me that yes, it’s hard when your youngest child leaves home but that you get used to it, and in fact, it doesn’t take all that long to really start enjoying having the house all to yourself.   I’ll have to take their word for it, because if you were… Read More »