What’s Up This Week in The Bloom – 1.14.22

As luck would have it, our family is taking turns getting sick. It all started New Year’s day, and it’s not run its course for all of us yet. The good news is, our symptoms are reasonable. The bad news is it’s Covid. Then I got to thinking: When was the last time we all were sick? I had to ponder long and hard to remember. It’s been two years since anyone in our family has been ill with anything. Yes, I do still feel sorry for myself because it hurts to think, let alone get anything work-related done this week. And even though I am having a pity party, I know many people dealing with Covid are having a much harder time than me. So in light of that, I’ll take my symptoms, feel grateful for my minor misery, and be thankful for my health and the health of my family during these unprecedented times. This week, we’re excited to begin a series called “Our Winter Escape.” Our first stop: Adams Springs. In our opinion, wintertime in Lake County happens to be one of the best times to visit. Not only is it beautiful here in the winter, but you truly get it and all of its glory to yourself. So have a great weekend Lake County. May you stay in good health.

Our Winter Escape, Part 1: Adams Springs

A welcomed winter rain twists and turns around our feet as we make our way up the steps from the greens to the lodge. No, it’s not a lodge, but that’s what best describes the clubhouse. Its exposed wood and log beams give it a feel like a ski resort. Only a few days before, snow blanketed the golf course, welcoming families from all over the mountain to come and play in a winter wonderland. Inside, people warmed their cold fingers with hot cocoa or lunch in front of the club’s open fire pit. See, a lodge, right?
Today, the snowstorm has turned into a rainstorm outside the clubhouse. Inside, the same warm fire greets us, beckoning us to come closer, and we do. It’s near closing time, and most patrons have already come and gone except for a few locals sitting at tables. A television screen flashes pictures at the end of the bar. We find a spot near the fire and are soon greeted by our waitress. We order a beer and my usual, a Bloody Mary. I know when I find a good one—not too salty and the horseradish is just right. At the bar stands Eddie Mullins, owner and visionary of all that is Adams Springs. Before too long, he makes his way to our table like he always does to greet us.

The Day My Heart Stopped but the Clock Kept Ticking, Part 2

A few days after my dad’s passing I was alone at the cemetery, visiting his crypt, which was outside amongst a fragrant, colorful garden. I heard the sounds of laughter and cheerful voices up the road as the annual summer fair was in town for the week. I thought to myself, how can they be so happy when my life is filled with so much sorrow? It was in that moment, the younger version of me distinctly realized…the clock isn’t going to stop ticking due my pain. Life goes on. From that day onward, harsh realities clicked within and I tasted the unfairness life can bring, but I also devoured the joyful memories.

Lake County Music Guide 1.12.22

I woke up this morning overwhelmed by a profound revelation – there’s not much live music going on this week. Kind of a “duh!” moment, but no worries, my fellow Lake Countians, because there are many legitimate reasons for this, and all are in preparation to the upcoming music seasons, (sorta like Spring cleaning, only it’s not yet the middle of winter). One could call all it a blessing in disguise – with Covid cases spiking throughout the County, maybe it’s a good time to take care of other business while this new outbreak naturally diminishes. And, besides, we can all expect the music scene to get bigger in the weeks to come, so please be patient…In the meantime, here’s the live music guide for the week of 1/12 through 1/17…

What’s Up This Week 1.7.21

This is the time of year when life goes back to normal, and pants fit a little tighter. It’s a bitter-sweet thing, isn’t it? In some ways, I wish the holidays lasted a little longer, and in others, it feels good to be back into a routine again. All week I’ve seen people greeting each other in coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants catching up with friends and exchanging the details of their holiday time. I love how we are coming back together again with so many smiles and happy stories. Our community and friendships make Lake County a great place to call home all year long. This week, we’ve got a fun piece for you; whether you live in the southern part of the county or not, chances are you’ve seen bits and pieces of the Geysers on the edges of the Mayacamas mountains bordering lake County. After living here for ten years, we finally got to go on a tour and are excited to tell you all about it. I hope that you were with those you love this holiday season near or far. Have a great Lake County kind of weekend!

Exploring the World’s Largest Geothermal Plant: The Geysers

The chartered tour bus winds up the mountain, swings around switchbacks, and groans against the steep grade before pulling out on a ridgeline that workers call the North Slope, referring to how cold it gets in the winter when the wind blows. Right now the clouds rest below the tops of the surrounding mountains, dropping a mist that promises to turn into full-blown rain. Tim Conant, Calpine’s Director of Engineering, steps out of the bus first, followed by Danielle Matthews Seperas, Director of Government and Community Affairs. Both hunch their shoulders against the breeze and walk to the edge of the ridgeline. Just below, one of many geothermal power plants hums away, turning treated recycled water into electricity.

“When you flush a toilet in Clearlake Oaks, we pipe it up here inject it,” Tim Conant explained earlier at the visitor’s center located in Middletown. He pointed at a large, lit model stretching across the wall. “We get about eight million gallons a day from Lake County and twelve and a half million from Santa Rosa.”

Lake County Music Guide 1.5.21

Right now, as I compose this week’s music guide – the first of 2022 – I have the “Best of Boingo blasting on the stereo. In particular, I’m listening to the song, “Just Another Day”, and from it I’m reminded what a bittersweet year 2021 was for many of us. Well, 2022 is a new year and hopefully with it comes the promise of better things for all of us. And although the music line-up for the week is limited, (I like to say, small but mighty…), as the days get longer, we can look forward to more events being added each week to our schedule. So, here’s the live music guide for the week of 1/5 through 1/10…

Lake County’s Beautiful Bald Eagles: by Kathleen Scavone

Bald eagles, seen across much of North America, are expert at constructing huge nests around wetland habitats, that are five to nine feet in diameter and around three feet deep. The grand birds use the nests year after year  Expert at fishing, bald eagles feed on various species of fish using their specialized hooked beak, along with their powerful orange talons.

The Day My Heart Stopped but the Clock Kept Ticking, Part 1

Our lives are constantly evolving – at least we hope they will for many years to come. Time doesn’t stop for anyone, for any reason; the darkest and deepest depths of our traumas may bring us to our knees but life goes on. Reflections of my father’s sudden passing and the coroner’s determination that his death will never be solved rears its ugly head from time to time. Realization that the clock isn’t going to stop ticking due to my loss, pain or trauma provides lessons on future struggles to come. I think most of us can relate when it comes to the loss of a loved one as we all handle the inevitable quite differently.

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom 12.31.21

Happy New Year’s Eve!!! It looks like we will make another trip around the sun and are still here. There’s no doubt that 2021 has had its challenges and losses. By now, most of us have been personally affected by the pandemic in one way or another. However, I believe our resilience as a community will bring a bright and hopeful new year for Lake County. At the very least, we have had plenty of practice to face whatever comes our way. So let’s celebrate! In light of that, this week we’re doing something new. We’ve always wanted to write a little something on how to handle a New Year’s hangover. We had some fun putting it together, and I hope you enjoy it too! Plus, we’ve got a great piece by Lori Armstrong on New Year’s Resolutions, some fiction by Jennifer Mills Kerr, and poetry by Joyce Anderson. Whatever you plan to bring in the New Year, please make safety your first priority so you can have the most fun.

Three Ways to Handle a Holiday Hangover

New Year’s Eve is one of the best party nights of the year. It’s a great chance to get together with friends, enjoy some good food, and laugh the night away. If, like me, you enjoy having a good time on December 31st, you may have experienced a vicious New Year’s Day hangover. You go to bed happy, albeit a bit dizzy, and wake up the next morning in misery. Your head’s pounding, your stomach’s in knots, and you can’t quite remember the three hours leading up to midnight. But have hope! (Sorry for the exclamation point; it even reads too loud.) Here are three great ways to handle a hangover.

Lake County Music Guide 12.30.21

Well, Folks, we’ve come to the end of 2021 and the excitement is overwhelming as we draw down to our favorite day of the year – National Bacon Day! Imagine all the recipes Bubba would have mentioned to Forrest if he was a bacon farmer. I believe shrimp would have lived up to its name by comparison. But to not mention the day after – New Year’s Eve – would surely be a pointless omission. And because this week’s live music schedule is also pretty shrimpy, (although there IS live music on each of the next 7 days!), I’ll list all the local Lake and Mendocino Counties’ NYE celebrations (which include live music) as I have the last few weeks – at the end. So, here’s your live music guide for the week of 12/30 to 1/3…

Instead of Making a New Year’s Resolution, Do This

Do you automatically crave new beginnings once the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve? I long for change and the hope of new opportunities, declaring realistic resolutions for the New Year and beyond, but realizing I waited until the end of the year to make life-changing decisions. For the past few years, I started a new tradition and wait no longer to practice mindful resolutions. Why am I waiting until the end of the year to execute positive changes in my life? Do this instead.

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom – 12.24.21

And just like that, it’s Christmas once again. It always amazes me just how fast it comes around. I think the pandemic has made me even more grateful this year than in years past. I’m thankful for my and my family’s health in the midst of things. I love our community and all the ways we continue to support one another. But, more than anything, I am blessed with happy memories as the year comes to a close. Lake County came back to life, and we were more than ready to make up for anything we missed in 2020. This week we’re posting on of our favorite Christmas stories, A Child’s Christmas in Wales. It’s a fun read of Christmases long ago. We’re also sharing a piece titles “Loneliness During the Holidays” by one of our dear friends, Gene Paleno. He passed away earlier this year, and we still miss him. I’m not sure where this holiday finds you; I hope you are with those you would most want to be with, even if it’s your furry friend and that you are healthy and well. That is my greatest wish for all of us. Merry Christmas wherever you may be.

Holiday Reading from The Bloom: A Child’s Christmas in Wales

Over the years, our family has enjoyed some Christmas reading. We’ve read through The Little Match Girl, The Elves and the Shoemaker, A Christmas Carol, Sherlock Holmes and The Adventures of the Blue Carbuncle, and many other great stories. But one of our favorites is poet Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, which we read every Christmas Eve. It’s a beautiful story that shares Christmas memories from over one hundred years ago. If you’re looking for an enjoyable short read, here’s a link to a public domain version:

Loneliness During the Holidays

At a time of the year, when many of us are the center of a human bee-hive of family and friends, and have work we enjoy, feelings of loneliness don’t pay us much attention. Still, there are many of our friends, who are older, or because of illness or the loss of someone near and dear to them, feel alone. They suffer more often from those great cripplers; loneliness and depression. In a world so wonderful and amazing, some may wonder why being lonely has gained such control over so many people’s lives.

The Cold Facts About Frost: by Kathleen Scavone

When minuscule ice crystals appear as though by magic on ground, grass and windows, an artist’s palette of wonder can be found in our own backyards in the form of frost.  Then, the delicate and fleeting structures created by frost leave their fanciful sculptures and swirls all across the landscape. But the star-shaped crystals seem to melt away with such speed, you are left wondering if they ever existed in the first place. Frost begins during wet, winter conditions when moisture freezes up, clinging to branches, leaves and your car’s windshield.  Patterns which frost deposits can range from symmetrical and mathematical, like fractals, to an even layer of sugar-like crystals.

Wine, Ice Cream, Gifts, and a Facial: Sophie’s Day Spa

In their expanded location at the old Wildhurst tasting room, Jamie still will greet you at the front door. Odds are she’s chatting with another of her many friends, but she’ll always take time for you. And, if you’ve booked an appointment, you’ll get a chance to experience Sophie’s beauty skills. She offers complete makeup services, facials, waxing, and many other treatments. But if you didn’t make an appointment, don’t worry. The store’s full of beautiful things and stuffed with a combination of locally-made and thoughtful gifts, beauty supplies, and unique items. Each time we visit, we end up picking up something. And, as a testament to Jamie and Sophie’s eye for lovely things, the decorations change regularly. Right now, the store’s a holiday extravaganza. In Spring, it’s bright and festive. And each decorative change creates a new experience; it’s like stepping into a new store each time we visit.

A RealAge Journey: The Holiday Test

How’s your RealAge journey going? If you’re like me, trying to fit in a health plan in the middle of the holiday season comes with its ups and downs. But I just downloaded the Sharecare App, and already I’m learning new things. Did you know that how long you can stand on one foot with your eyes closed is another indication of your real age? It is worth looking at once you’ve finished your RealAge test. Going back to the holidays, I can honestly say there are many things I did well over Thanksgiving and one thing I’m going to improve on during this Christmas.

Peppermint Dreams and Why Your Positive Thoughts Can Help Promote a Healthy Brain

Feeling discouraged at times but realizing the importance to always discover a solution to pick myself up serves as one of the key traits to achieve true happiness in life. This rule of thumb should be in in all of our playbooks. We all have our burdens to bear but no one can make a better life for themselves until they look deep and rediscover the past magic. I am not referring to a hocus-pocus type of magic but a sense of recalling better days. It may be different for every one of us. Think back. Keeping the warm memories alive is not hard. It is a habitual ritual that began for me after my father’s sudden death at the young age of 57.

Reese Ranch Retreat Wins $20,000 1 Team, 1 Dream Competition

Catherine Reese sits at a table, her $20,000 check resting against the back of her chair. “Thank you,” she says when congratulated. “I do the best I can, and the judges decided in my favor. We plan to launch our popup camping in spring; we’ll be online in January with an incentive to pre-book. I always hear people ask me what things there are to do for family and kids in Lake County, and this popup will provide something. Young people need common activity. They want connection. “Whatever I do, I do it heart and soul. If it doesn’t feed your soul, don’t do it.”

Photography, Art, and Whimsy: The Painted Bird Gallery

Bob Phillips stands in front of one of his photos, his feet spread slightly wider than shoulder-width, a facemask hiding his bearded face. Under his opened flannel shirt, a ‘D’Art Frog logo shows, half-hidden. “I consider myself a landscape photographer,” he says, thinking for a second. “I’m really an old school photographer.” On the walls around him hang his photographs. Sure, there’s a spectacular photo of Mt. Konocti shaded in the purples and blues of sunset on one wall, but near it, an image filled with holiday revelers hangs. Close-ups of radial airplane engines and painterly photographs of downtown Lakeport fill the walls next to them, showing that Bob’s more than just a landscape photographer. When I mention it, he smiles. “When the gallery was just my work,” he says, “I would have people come in, look at my photos, and ask, ‘How many photographers do you have?’” he laughs.


Your Lower Lake Holiday Shopping Guide

Lower Lake is a town filled with history. It’s home to the Historic Schoolhouse Museum and Lake County’s first jail, still standing and available to visit. It also has the honor of hosting the first jailbreak in the county, one of my favorite stories. The builders, happy to finish their work on the jail, celebrated a bit too hard and ended up being the first incarcerated. However, the roof wasn’t secured, so, in the middle of the night, they lifted it and made their way out. It’s also a great place to spend a holiday afternoon filled with shopping. Park your car anywhere on Main Street and spend the day wandering. Not only does it have a broad selection of unique items, but it also has some great restaurants. Here are a few recommendations of great places to grab a bite to eat and pick up the perfect gifts for your loved ones.

A Gamer’s Paradise: The Game Hub

Kyle’s owned The Game Hub for ten years now, and he’s gotten to know his customers. “I wanted to be a teacher,” he says, “but went a different direction. I fell in love with running a business. But it’s cool to see people grow up and keep coming in.” In light of that, Kyle has made the game section of the store easy to understand and broken down into sections: New to the Hobby, Family Fames, Kid’s Games, Small Games, Intermediate Games. Anyone from a young parent to an involved RPG junkie will feel at home.


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