I’m happy to see wildflowers still blooming. Every week new types pop up, reminding me spring is far from over in Lake County. It’s a great time of year to get in those last few hikes before summer sets in, and we trade in our hiking shoes for bathing suits—the heat is coming! This week we’re ecstatic to announce our second podcast, Gathering, hosted by Michelle Scully. In her first episode, she interviews Christian and Rachel Ahlmann from Six Sigma Ranch and Winery and chats with them about their debt-free life with five kids in an Airstream trailer. Plus, Lake County’s got a new band! Read up on Breaker One-9, then see them live at Middletown Days next month. Have a safe, fun- and sun-filled weekend Lake County!
One thing 2020 taught me is never to take a tradition for granted. This time last year, instead of making last-minute plans for Mother’s Day, families were making do. This year, Mother’s Day represents hope and the beginning of a year filled with continued and renewed traditions as more holidays are on the way. I am reminded that in 2020 I had more Mother’s Days than I could count, whether it was playing board games, having movie nights on the patio and so many shared meals together. For those things, I am grateful that we were lucky enough to have each other, grow together, and make the most of what Covid brought. I am thankful that families will once again gather together this weekend and that this only the beginning of many more happy gatherings. This week, we couldn’t be more excited to announce the winners of The Bloom’s first poetry competition, Poetry of the Body, created to bring awareness of the importance of organ donation. Plus, we’ve got a great nonfiction piece by local writer D. R. Darvishian and lots of other good news. Whatever your plans are for Mother’s Day, I hope your weekend is filled with joy, laughter, and the beginning of many more happy memories for 2021!
It happened as it does every year, actually multiple times a year. I venture off of our lawn, patio, or trails built into the hillside behind our house to do some gardening, and, inevitably, poison oak finds me. I wish I could say I find it first; however, that hasn’t been my luck so far. At three a.m. this morning I woke up and found myself scratching in my sleep, again. My dermatologist has prescribed me four tubes of ointment for which help, but don’t end the itchiness fast enough. I love where I live; I genuinely do. I live in paradise as long as I never leave the “safe” zones of our property. A while back, David wrote a piece called “I Love Poison Oak”, which helps explain not just my misery, but everyone else who has dealt with poison oak. It always makes me laugh, and I hope it does for you as well. This week we are excited to announce The Bloom’s foray into podcasting. Our first podcast is in conjunction with Lake County Poet Laureate (and Bloom Poet in Residence) Georgina Marie. In the first episode of Rooted in Poetry, Georgina interviews poet Beulah Vega, who also reads some of her poems. Plus, The Lake County Music Guide is back! After a year off, musician Mike Guarniero has started up his comprehensive guide to live music in Lake County again. It makes me feel happy inside to see it return! And, after a seven-year hiatus, the Middletown Farmers’ Market has returned to the park. I wish you the happiest of weekends, and may you not encounter poison oak!
It’s springtime again, and all the bushes and flowers are slowly coming back to life. This slow budding of the new season also is happening with one of my favorite plants: poison oak. Even in its budding, it’s beautiful. Three small leaves poke out, bright green and red-orange. They spread across the ground, wind their way up trees, and work their way across fields. Then, as summer is followed by fall, they turn golden, red, and orange, covering those fields with a painter’s palate-worth of color. However, not everyone feels the same way that I do about this plant. “I hate it,” most people tell me. But that is something I could never, ever, do. You see, my love for poison oak is hard-earned.
There’s some rain coming! When I saw the clouds in the forecast, I got excited. It’s been getting a bit dusty at our place. Won’t it be nice to have everything get washed clean again? While you may spend your Sunday at home with a cup of hot chocolate, don’t miss a chance to get out and see some of Lake County’s amazing wildflowers. This rain should bring out some beauties! This week we’re featuring a relaxing hike at Highland Springs, known for its wildflowers, and a great rain poem by Joyce Anderson. Plus, be sure to check out our calendars; more and more things are happening in Lake County. Wherever you are, have a wonderful, hopefully damp, weekend.
Never again will I take live music for granted again! I had no idea how much music is a part of Lake County’s life. It’s as much a part of our culture as the Pear Festival, Lake County Fair, Boat Races, Christmas Parades, and so much more. Although it may be another year before some of those things come back, it’s beginning to look like the good old days when it comes to live music. We have multiple restaurants booking gigs throughout the county, and I have my fingers crossed for the Library Park concerts and Kickin’ it in the Country. But this is the opportunity to show our support and appreciation to the restaurants that have kept their doors open but are bringing back a little bit of normal Lake County livin’. This week we’re excited to share a review of 350 North in Lakeport, as well as some great creative nonfiction and poetry. Here’s hoping to see each other at one of our favorite venues for live music in lake county.
We had the pleasure of our daughter’s company over Easter before having to drive her back to college in the Bay Area this past week. Like bad luck, fate, or whatever it was would have it, I began my drive back home in the heart of rush hour. I told myself, “You haven’t had to sit in traffic in years. It’s no big deal; it’s a small test to see how you do.” I smiled confidently in agreement. That thought began to battle with the truck’s thumping base directly behind me, its reverberations running through my car as my rearview mirrors pulsed in its rhythm. Meanwhile, the driver next to me seemed to be racing me in slow motion to the next stoplight as he passed me, and later, I’d pass him. I wasn’t sure who was going to win, but we were both giving it our best. At some point, I began to realize I was failing the test. Claustrophobia was building inside me. And suddenly, I understood road rage in a whole new light. Yes, I was failing my small life lesson miserably as the boom boom boom continued behind me and someone tried to cut me off. I think you get the idea, and to not cause you imparted anxiety, I will say the additional thirty-minute commute thanks to traffic once again reminded me how truly blessed we are to live in Lake County. Isn’t it nice to know that there is no Friday traffic to worry about today! This week, we’re thrilled to announce our new Poet in Residence, Georgina Marie. You may already know her as the Lake County Poet Laureate or have read her Rooted in Poetry column on The Bloom. This month we’re co-hosting a Poetry Competition to celebrate National Donate Life Month, and soon we’ll introduce our first poetry podcast. If you’re interested in poetry, you could make some money for a hobby. Plus, we’ve got a review of the Lunchbox Museum. Yes, one of our county’s delightful oddities is open by reservation. Have a great weekend, Lake County.
Spring for our family always includes a hike at Highland Springs. One would think that with the combination of warmer temperatures and readily available water, I would be prepared for the spontaneous rope swing swim. Yet year after year I bring home soggy kids and, yes, you guessed it, a soggy car. I guarantee towels will be in our trunk before we leave the house again! This week we’re excited to promote the second week of the NCO/EPIC Poetry Competition. Enter a poem, and you could win a $100 gift card and be eligible to win a night away at the Tallman Hotel. And if your Easter weekend isn’t already scheduled, be sure to check out the Bloom’s calendar for some fun ideas.
A couple of evenings ago, while the kids were in a Zoom meeting, I found a quiet moment to enjoy a glass of wine on our patio when I realized things around me were anything but quiet. Jasper, our dog, was all ears and eyes watching our resident blue jays in their spring flurry. Acorn woodpeckers chuckled in the pines, and ravens circled overhead, utterly unaware of our . As I watched them, I realized there is always something going on in Lake County. At that moment, I appreciated how lucky I was to be watching springtime happen and not stuck in traffic! How happy I am to live in Lake County! This week we’re excited to announce the NCO/EPIC Poetry Contest, hosted by Lake County Poet Laureate Georgina Marie! This contest is a huge deal and begins today. Each week, the winner will get a $100 gift card, and the grand prize winner gets dinner and a night away at the Tallman Hotel. How cool is that? For more information, head to the NCO Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/NCOEPIC/events). Plus, this week, we’ve also got a review of Gregory Graham Winery, a great place to enjoy some fantastic local wines. Wherever you may be, have a wonderful day and a beautiful springtime.
Indoor dining begins again in Lake County. How crazy is that? It almost felt strange to do something that used to be so common and ordinary. Who knew the highlight of my week would be eating a taco salad in a restaurant! I can honestly say, I think this new, new normal is something I can get used to. A huge thank you for those in our community that have helped keep our businesses alive through the ups and down of life the past year. This week we are excited to share a review of Happy Garden in Clearlake Oaks, written by Hilary Devine. Now that we’re getting more authors, it’s great to be able to share more reviews in The Bloom. Remember, we’re still looking for writers, so if you’ve got an idea or something you want to share, get in touch with us.
This week has been a cloud watcher’s paradise. We’ve had clouds bring snow, rain, and hail, and I am loving it. Sure, spring is already rounding the corner, but thankfully winter and its rain is hanging around a little longer. This week, we’re excited to share with you our wine adventure at Vigilance. We’re putting our Wine Passports to good use already! And, of course, we’re still looking for creative writers. Send us a short story or some creative nonfiction. It’s a chance to get noticed and make some cash as well. Whatever you do, be sure to have a great weekend.
So it’s Friday again, and another month of 2021 has begun. The verdict may still be out whether or not we like this calendar year better than the last. We shall see. One thing that has remained a near-constant through our year of COVID is the Blue Wing’s commitment to local music. Four days out of the week, the Blue Wing has provided a sense of normalcy and a place where food and live music still thrive in Lake County. If you get a chance, check out the Bloom’s Big Calendar and pick an evening to support a local business and enjoy some great tunes. And don’t forget they still have their take-out menu, another great way to help them and say thank you for all they’ve done. This week we’re excited to share with you True Grit Coffeehouse in Loch Lomond. Owner Dottie Bates makes consistently good coffee. Imagine a place that uses coffee cubes instead of ice cubes in their iced coffee drinks, creates smoothies from whole fruit, and has the county’s only juice bar. It’s well worth the trek up to the pine trees of Loch Lomond to get a drink.
Happy Friday! This week, we’re excited to promote two local poets, Melissa Bentley and Sama Morningstar. Plus, we’ve got a new favorite restaurant: Live Oaks Grill. Owners Jennifer and Jamie Taylor create incredible food, and we can’t recommend them highly enough. Seriously, they’re worth visiting several times. Lastly, we’ve got some almost “normal” news. Crab […]
Valentine’s Day weekend is here! I can’t think of a better excuse to celebrate locally. Whether it’s picking up a bottle of wine from your favorite winery, planning an evening in with food from a local restaurant, or picking up a gift for your loved on at one of our great local shops, it’s an excellent time for us to support our local businesses once again. This week we’re excited to share a review of a new business: Mix in Lakeport. It’s a great place to pick up a healthy smoothie. Plus, we have some Valentine’s poetry from poet Joyce Anderson for you to enjoy. So kick back for a few minutes and enjoy this week’s Bloom.
And just like that, Spring is back! Even though we’ve still got a few piles of snow left in the shadows, this week we picked our first manzanita blossoms from the top of our property, and hummingbirds are looking for their feeder on the back porch. I couldn’t be happier. Thanks to your contributions, we are excited to publish our first paid articles in the Bloom, a poem and powerful column by Lake County Poet Laureate Georgina Marie. And we’re looking for more writers. If you enjoy telling a good story, you might be able to make a few bucks on it. We’re currently looking for restaurant, winery, and small business reviews. For more information, click on the “Submit” button at the very top of The Bloom’s homepage. Whatever Spring is bringing to your corner of Lake County, I hope you get a chance to enjoy our gorgeous weekend.
The Bloom seeks quality restaurant and winery reviews. If you love Lake County’s food and wine and have the ability to tell a story, get in touch with us. We’re looking for storytellers, not reporters, and consider the ability to communicate an experience of vital importance. For more information, check out our submission guidelines.
How about some snow? This week brought some needed moisture, especially in the mountains. We ended up with fourteen inches at our place, turning it into a winter wonderland. This week we’re re-releasing an article on the Wholly Bowl, a great restaurant hidden away in Lakeport. If you haven’t been, give it a try. Jenn Allen-Malinowski is always up for a good meal and conversation. We’ve got more moisture in the forecast, so kick back with a cup of tea and enjoy your weekend.
This past week, we took our first walk of the year at Anderson Marsh State Park. It was sunny and warm, and we enjoyed our first picnic. I am thankful to live where there are many incredible outdoor adventures to enjoy safely. This week we are excited to share some good news with you. Thanks to your donations and support, we are now able to pay our writers! If you’ve got a good idea or story, send it in and see what happens. Whatever your plans are, we at The Bloom wish you the happiest of weekends.
If the calendar didn’t say it was January, I would think it was already spring in Lake County! My guess is that many of us will be enjoying the great outdoors this weekend. Traditionally, our family has our first picnic of the year on Clear Lake’s shores or in the nearby National Forest, making the most of living in Northern California in the winter. This week we’re re-releasing an article on Beaver Creek Winery. If you haven’t had the chance to meet Martin and Tara, and try some of their unique wines, this might be a great time to make the trip to Middletown and give them a visit.
Happy January! The holidays are officially over. the decorations are put away leaving our homes a little more spacious than before. The best part of winter is having all of Lake County to ourselves. The pleasant, cool temperatures make it the perfect time to hike and explore your favorite outdoor spots whether it’s Mt. Konocti, Boggs Mountain, Highland Springs or Cache Creek. No matter where you live, there’s a scenic destination not far. This week we’re happy to share a review of Betty’s Tacos in Clearlake Oaks. It’s a great place and a chance to get out and take a drive around our amazing lake. Have a wonderful weekend!
Happy New Year! Looks like we made it through 2020. . .whew. As we move into January, we’re going to start promoting local restaurants and wineries. Our first is Cache Creek Winery, a great getaway for an afternoon. And it’s your last chance to read up on the great local businesses in our Holiday Shopping Guide before it’s gone. Thank you everyone for supporting Lake County’s small businesses (including us); there’s no better place to call home. Here’s hoping 2021 is a brighter year for us all. We wish you health, happiness, and well-being in the New Year.
Wherever today finds you, we hope that you are surrounded by those you love, even if it a four-legged friend. Considering today is Christmas Day, we thought you might enjoy reading one of our favorite holiday stories. “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”, a short story/poem by Dylan Thomas, tells the story of a Christmas over one hundred years ago. It’s a good way to kick back for a few minutes and enjoy the season. Plus, we’ve got more history and good news for you to peruse. We at The Bloom wish you the Merriest of Christmases. We will see you next year!
There’s still time to support your favorite local businesses, restaurants, and wineries this holiday season. This week, we’re excited to share with you two more great local businesses! Lakeside Arts and Gifts is the perfect place to pick up a few last-minute gifts, and if you are looking for fun family nights, be sure to swing by The Game Hub to pick up something for hours of enjoyment. Plus, if you plan your holiday shopping just right, you can enjoy a scenic view of the entire county. What a great time of year to see our local communities all decked out for the Holidays! Thank you for your part in supporting the fine small businesses of Lake County. We at The Bloom wish you the happiest of holidays.
The good thing about a COVID Holiday is it gives us time to do ALL our favorite at-home traditions. We’ve made a list of our favorite holiday cookies, movies and meals, and books. We may be spending more time at home, but we will be busy. Whether we like it or not, this may be one of the coziest holidays ever! We’re excited to share with you more local businesses you can support, The Painted Bird Gallery and Two Sisters Antiques, hidden in the courtyard in downtown Kelseyville. Also, don’t forget to share some holiday cheer: check out our calendars and find a toy drive nearest you. We at The Bloom wish you the merriest holiday season.
December is upon us, and Covid hasn’t stopped the Holiday cheer in Lake County. Check out our calendar page and see some safe ways you can do to join in the fun! Between holiday decorating contests and toy drives, you’re bound to find something right for you. This is the year to support the community in whatever way we can. On that note, we’re excited to share with you another great business in Lake County, The Soap Shack. Handmade soaps, lotions, bath balms, and even chapstick are the perfect stocking stuffers for someone you know. Whether you are buying local gifts, wines, or supporting your favorite restaurant, you’re supporting local businesses. We at the Bloom wish you and yours a happy holiday season.