This happens to be one of my favorite times of the year in Lake County. Some rain in the forecast, the first cozy wood stove fire of the season, a great book, and a puzzle on the table make these shorter days a refreshing change of pace. This week The Bloom sets off our shop local for the holiday season! If there ever were a year to support our local businesses, this would be the year. We are excited to share just a few gems with you. This week we will feature some of our favorite wines in the county to accompany your holiday meals and small gatherings. We hope you find something new; thank you in advance for supporting our local wineries. So sit back for a minute and enjoy some time with The Bloom.
If you’re looking for some great wine to pair with your holiday feasts, look no further. Lake County has an abundance of high-quality wines. It’s all because of our unique volcanic terroir, the secret that makes every Lake County wine unique. Here are eight recommendations to make any meal better.
And just like that, it’s already November. With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving still a few weeks away, it’s the perfect time to catch the best of the beautiful fall colors and enjoy the great outdoors. No one can deny, this is the calm before the hustle and bustle yet to come. Something we’re excited about is the “Mum Madness 2020 Show,” presented by the Clear Lake Garden and Trellis Club. It’s all digital; just visit their Facebook page or read more about it in The Bloom. It’s a chance to see some vibrantly colored mums. If the Holidays aren’t coming soon enough for you, the Moose Lodge will soon be hosting their annual Craft Fair, and word has it, you can preorder your Thanksgiving desserts! Check out The Bloom’s calendars for more details. Until then, sit back and take a few minutes to enjoy The Bloom as David shares more about the history of Loch Lomond Resort and an evening we spent with a couple of lovely Italian ladies. Whatever your plans are for this beautiful fall weekend, we wish you the safest and happiest of times.
Soon after setting up the lodge for Loch Lomond, Lilburn and Ruth Prather Moody opened a campground, had the land subdivided, and began selling lots. At this time in America’s history, a working-class family could own a vacation home. And the Loch Lomond Resort was no exception: If someone wandered into the bar on a Saturday afternoon, they could have a chat with Ruth, and she’d write up a deed of sale on the placemat. For $500, a person could buy a lot and build a cabin.
Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.’ The simple act of pretending happiness, or pretending courage, or beginning a task you know you cannot do, accomplishes other miracles. When I am sad or fearful or dead certain I cannot accomplish some formidable task, the simple act of acting and pretending as if I am brave or happy or see that job already finished makes me happier, braver, and, somehow able to finish the job in style.
Halloween 2020 is something I’ve looked forward to more than in years past. It’s not because we’ll be doing all the same traditional things: far from it. However, it is a promise we still can make many good memories this year. As we get used to the new normal being the new normal, our Lake County community has once again risen to the challenge to make this Halloween a good one. If you haven’t made plans, no worries. Check out The Bloom’s Big Calendar, and you will find more than enough COVID-safe things to do. If you can’t wait until the evening for the fun to get going, begin your day in Middletown, where the festivities start at noon! From there, you have the entire county offering trunk or treats, scary drives, and corn mazes. And don’t forget the Drive-in in Lakeport. This Halloween they’re showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show, always a fun time. In the meantime, The Bloom has some great reads this week: we’ve got short fiction from Jennifer Mills Kerr, poetry from Marilyn Hung, and one more installment of the history of the Prather Family and Loch Lomond. So sit back, relax, and take a few minutes to enjoy The Bloom. As always, please be safe, and don’t forget to set your clock back one hour Saturday night so that you can enjoy some extra sleep Sunday morning.
It’s seven o’clock in Middletown, California. The sun has just set, leaving its last beams to stretch across the rugged Mayacamas Mountains. As the last glimmer of purple eases from the ridges of Mount St. Helena, the lights around Twin Pine Casino begin to glimmer. Located approximately thirty minutes north of Calistoga and just south of Middletown, a rural town with an incredible art gallery and spectacular Thai food, Twin Pine has been a part of the Middletown community for decades. It hosts free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, supports the local community, and serves as an evacuation center during fires. And, like everyone else, Twin Pine has had to adapt. Following the COVID shut down in March, Twin Pine made some large adjustments to ensure that the guests were safe when they visited.
It’s Halloween weekend and there are some live music events happening in the County. Here’s another mini-music guide for the last weekend of October/first weekend of November. Please let me know if I’ve omitted anything. Please bear in mind, masks and social distancing is required at all live music events.
It’s not too early to start planning your Halloween adventure! With so many drive-throughs this year, it is quite possible to meander around the entire county, making 2020 a fun and memorable Halloween for the family. Check out The Bloom’s Calendars to find out how many stops you can make in an evening. If you don’t have kids and still want to have some fun, Haunted Lake County’s Scare to Save the Fair is a worthy cause and fun for all ages. And while you’re there, check out Lakeport’s Pumpkin Decorating Contest. If staying at home is more your style and you still want to get into the spirit of things, Kelseyville is hosting an online pumpkin decorating competition with prizes! So, don’t despair; this year’s Halloween can be one of your favorites. Until then, take a minute to read more of David’s history of Loch Lomond and catch up on some of the things happening in our community. Enjoy this beautiful fall weekend, and be sure to follow all health guidelines as you make your plans.
Danny Prather bears a striking resemblance to his great-grandfather, William Robert. Broad-shouldered and solid-footed from years of felling trees, he hunches over the steering wheel, winding among dirt roads that zigzag across the mountainside. A controlled burn heads into the distance off to the left, eating away at the greenbrown leaves and needles and leaving behind a smoldering haze. I first met Danny at The Roadhouse, Loch Lomond’s long-time, and now closed, bar, where he and his brothers would regularly play music together. He peers through the dusty windshield as we climb a steep hill. “Some people call this Siegler Mountain,” I say. The woods around spread in a patchwork of pine, fir, cedar, and oak trees, all groomed and free of undergrowth. “Yeah, and some people call it Prather mountain,” Danny quickly replies. “It’s been in our family longer than anybody else’s. Siegler was there only a few years.” He cranes his neck to look up the road. “It looks like Gary’s doing some burning,” he says, slowing down. “There he is!” He pulls over and begins walking up towards the burn line.
Last weekend I traded in my afternoon iced tea for a cup of hot mint tea, and I have to admit, I kind of like the change. Cooler temperatures bring some of the happiest memories to our home. But it would seem that Summer isn’t over yet as we have another warm weekend ahead, making it the perfect time to fit in one more barbecue. If you don’t have plans for the weekend, here are a couple ideas. If you feel like being out and about, there’s still live music: check out the Lake County Music Guide. We’ve got things going on, but stay safe out there. If you’re in the mood to take in some fall colors, now would be the perfect weekend to follow the quilt trail and see the season change in our beautiful county. It always makes for a pleasant drive. But for now, sit back and enjoy another story about the Prather family and Loch Lomond. In this week’s article, David talks about Ruth Springston Moody, the woman who named Loch Lomond, worked there for decades, and would back down to no person. She was quite a character; it’s worth a read. As always, have a safe and enjoyable weekend, no matter what your plans may be.
To understand Loch Lomond, you need to get to know Ruth Springston (Prather) Moody. You met her last week; she’s the one who named the place, helped build it, and maintained it for years. Ruth was there from the beginning. She cleaned rooms, checked guests in and out, filled in at the restaurant, ran the bar, and did everything else in between. After her divorce from Lilburn Prather, Ruth took over the resort and ran it for several years, influencing many. Her strong opinions and tough-mindedness still can be seen in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Lately, I have not been up to par. After a couple of consults at Sutter Emergency Hospital near my home (with the VA’s okay) I gave myself to the good graces of the Veterans’ Administration Medical Helpers. The VA Medical people are thorough. Give them an inch and they will take a mile. A first minor symptom, which they thought might be a ‘pre-stroke’ was the cause of every test for heart and lung problems known to the mind of man. After taking all those MRI’s, X-rays, and examinations, the long and the short of all that investigation was there was nothing wrong with my ticker. It was pumping away pretty well and behaving as expected. It was a lung problem.
Bright Fall days and cool evenings make fall an excellent time to be outdoors in Lake County. This is the time of year when our family trades swimming and days at the lake for walks and hikes, taking in the beautiful fall colors. Clear Lake State Park is a great spot for that; if you haven’t been recently, bring a picnic and make a day of it! Don’t forget the Wildhurst Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze if you’re looking for fall adventures. Also, Running Creek Casino is having their annual “Oktoberfest” event this weekend, promising great German Food, beer and music. Check out our calendars for other great live music in the county. In the meantime, take a few minutes to enjoy the second article in David’s series on Loch Lomond and the Prather Family. This week, we interview Bob Prather, who shares his 90+ years of memories. As always, be smart and follow all social distancing protocols to ensure your family stays safe while you have fun.
Its Friday! The good news is that we are one week closer to our first rain, and that will be a day worth celebrating. Until then, here are a few things we are excited to share. Today The Bloom’s releasing a several-part history of Loch Lomond and its founders, the Prather family. It’s something David’s been working on for months, and we can’t wait for you to hear the stories we’ll be sharing over the next several weeks. Don’t forget: Farmers’ Market is happening in Middletown tonight and in Lakeport Saturday morning. It’s a great way to support local farmers and artists as well as listen to live music. Talking about music, be sure to check out The Lake County Music Guide. We’ve got it on The Bloom, and you can follow it on Facebook. That way, you’ll never miss the fun. And if you haven’t visited Ely’s Stage Stop for the Fiddler’s Jam, this is a great weekend to go. These are just a few fun things happening in the county; we’ve got more on our calendars. As always, please keep safe by following all CDC and social distancing guidelines while making your weekend plans. And thank you for supporting your favorite local business during these unprecedented times. For those of you affected by the fires, please know our hearts and prayers are with you.
Where once stood a kitchen, only an old stove remains. It lays on the ground, flopped on its side, once-white enamel slowly rusting to grey-brown. Sheet metal and tin scatter across the grounds, holding back the scotch broom and blackberry bushes. Bedsprings jauntily poke out of the creekbed, sagged and twisted. Among the debris, a thick piece of handblown glass dating from the turn of the 20th century sits, only a small slice of what once was a gallon jug. The winter sun barely pokes through the hazy sky. It doesn’t look like the map Steve Prather had scribbled on the bottom of a 24 pack of 7-Up a week earlier. His map had squares on it, marking houses and the location of the spring. I look at the torn piece of cardboard in my hand one more time, then look up. There’s nothing here. Only couple of flat spots in a steep-walled notch that drops down into the depths of Big Canyon. In the tip of the notch, some fir and pine trees that made it through the Valley Fire still stand. A trickle of a creek winds through them, shaded in the depths.
When you have arrived at the big decision to probably sell your property in the next two to three years, it’s not time to sit back and mark time! After a decision like that, with all the considerations, it is tempting to take a deep breath and decide to consider “the details” when the time gets closer. Wrong! Preparing for a successful, profitable sale is best served by first making sure your preparatory check list covers all the bases, is accurate and is doable in the two or three years you have in mind. Maximizing the return on your original investment requires excellent presentation to the field of relevant buyers.
“Do you think we’re going the right way”? I ask, brushing a leaning corn stalk from my face. The Fall sun filters through the maze around us as we turn down a trail cut through the never-ending cornfield. I hear chatter and voices of other visitors coming from somewhere just out of sight. “I have no idea. I’m not the one leading the way,” David chuckles as we shuffle along behind our kids. “It’s a dead-end,” announces our son. We all turn to retrace our steps. We’re about a third of the way in the maze, and our goal at this point is to get to the snack shack provided Wildhurst Vineyard. Walking through the fourteen-foot tall corn, it seems that the maze is bigger this year. More invisible shouts and giggles draw closer, then fade away again as others continue to get lost.
It can be hard to start a new career, and in a rural county like ours, obstacles can prevent it from happening. If you’ve ever wanted to teach, but felt that it was impossible because you didn’t have a teaching certificate or the financial means to get one, take heart. The Lake and Mendocino County Offices of Education offer Teach Lake County, a program that will help you reach your goals and give you teaching experience at the same time. The Bloom spoke with Jamie Buckner-Bridges, Coordinator of Teacher Development for Teach Lake County, about the program.