EDITORIALS

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom – 9.30.22

This week we say goodbye to September and hello to October and a plethora of things going on all month long. The Falling Leaves Quilt Show is this weekend at the Fairgrounds. It’s a great way to start your day because the Lakeport Harvest Festival is also happening downtown. I can’t think of a more festive way to start the season! And for those who haven’t seen the new local country band, Breaker One-9, they’re playing at Twin Pine Casino on Friday and Saturday nights. The band has talent, and I know they would love to see you there. Last but not least, our local wineries have their own festivals and benefit concerts. There. That’s my list of things I would be doing this weekend if I hadn’t caught a cold. Rather, a cold caught me. The good news is, it’s not Covid. The bad news is unless a miracle happens in the next twenty-four hours, I will be thinking of all of you having fun, making memories, and showing your amazing support to our local community while I rest and discover what’s new on Netflix. So it goes. I’m sure I’ll make up for my loss in the weeks to come. In the meantime, this week, we finish up our series about our trip to smalltown Kelseyville. Plus, Kathleen Scavone talks about Playing. Yes, playing. So whether you’re getting over a cold or doing all the things I wish I were doing, have a great weekend, Lake County, and stay well!

What’s Up This Week – 9.23.22

The weather is playing tricks on me. Two weeks ago, we were in the triple digits. This week, we’ve had our first winter storm of the season, and it’s only September. To top it off, I’m already entering Christmas events into The Bloom’s calendars. How is it all possible? Now, I’m all for planning ahead and looking forward to the holiday season. In fact, I’m usually the first to start listening to holiday music on a rainy day long before it’s appropriate. But, I’m thankful that fall is only just beginning. We have the Pear Festival this Saturday as well as the pumpkin patch and corn maze at ‘That Ranch’ starting up this weekend and every weekend in October. The forecast says we’re going back to 80-degree weather. Thankfully, all is well and it’s still a long way off before we begin wishing each other Happy New Year! So before the other busy season begins, let’s make the most of fall and enjoy the little things Lake County has to offer that make this time of year so special. In light of that, we’re excited to share with your our most recent Lake County adventure in Kelseyville. Whether you are local or not, it’s easy to get away from it all, have everything to do, and never leave Kelseyville. In addition to that, we also have a thoughtful piece by Lori Armstong and this week’s poem by Kim Schuck. I hope to see you at the Pear Festival! Have a great weekend Lake County.

What’s Up This Week – 9.9.22

Well, folks, I gotta say, there’s hot, and then there is holy hot. I don’t know what comes after holy hot, but I think we may have crossed over into that just a bit. It always takes me a little time to adapt to summer temperatures, but I don’t think anything could prepare us for this heat wave. There. I said my peace, and now I can move on. We may be on the other side of Labor Day, but the fun hasn’t slowed down. The circus is in town in Clearlake. And if you haven’t bought tickets to Driving Miss Daisy at the Soper Reese Theatre, I believe some are still available. And let’s not forget about the Big Valley Small Farms tour also happening this weekend. If you haven’t been, this is another must-do in Lake County. If that isn’t enough, there’s live music going on all over the place. Check out the Big Calendar for details. We might be glad when Monday rolls around to recover from all the fun! This week we conclude our Blackberry Cobbler Festival series. I have no idea how Cobb can do better next year, but I’ll be there to find out. We also have a column on aging by Lori Armstrong. I love her perspective. It made my day reading it. We may be closer to home now that it’s fall, but some of the year’s best memories are just around the corner. I’m beyond grateful for the weekend and cooler temperatures so we can all venture outside again. Whatever your plans are, I hope you have a great weekend Lake County!

What’s Up This Week – 9.2.22

Whether we like it or not, this weekend marks the end of summer and the start of fall. I always have mixed feelings when Labor Day rolls around. I love summer and all of its distractions. It’s always a fun challenge to see how much fun we can fit into those summer months. But, I also love transitioning into cooler weather and all things pumpkins and autumn. What I love most about September in Northern California is the chance to fit in the extra summer things. Whether it’s a BBQ with friends, a quick trip to the ocean, more time at the pool, or kayaking and bird watching, the weather is more than accommodating. How lucky we are. This week we’re excited to announce the winners of our Second Annual Poetry of the Outliers Competition! Be sure to read the winning poem below. Also, we can’t wait to tell you about the first Blackberry Harvest  Dinner. The plan was to include the Festival all in one article, but that dinner was too special not to have its own feature article. If you couldn’t make it this year, mark your calendar for the last Friday in August, and you’ll be glad you did. Next week, we’ll wrap things up with a piece on the Festival. Lake County has a lot going on this weekend! I hope you have time for the Fair. Be sure to check out the Big Calendar to see what’s going on each day. There’s live music all weekend long, and let’s not forget about the boat races–you’re missing out if you haven’t seen them. And Saturday, the Lakeport Auto Movies celebrate National Cinema Day with $3 everything. How fun is that? Enjoy your holiday weekend Lake County!

My Blue Zones Journey: The New Year

My hat’s off to those of you who kept your New Year’s resolutions regarding diet throughout the whole year. As for me, I didn’t go overboard, but I enjoyed every bite, morsel, and crumb of all my favorite holiday foods knowing January and healthier choices were just around the corner. And here we are, well into January and the start of our new year. Now I know a thing or two about vegetarian food and may share some of your concerns regarding, shall we say, the way it tastes? I was raised vegetarian, and I am pretty familiar with a vegetarian diet. I know for sure two things: I hope I never eat my mother’s lentil/walnut meatloaf again. And I will always have bacon in my home from time to time.

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.

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom – 10.22.21

While driving Highway 29 just past Kelseyville on a morning commute, my daughter commented, “Boy, Lake County sure looks different when it’s raining.” Big Valley opened up against the recent gray horizon hiding the normally clear blue sky ahead of us. I couldn’t help but feel like we were on our own tiny island. It was comforting to know the mountains surrounding Lake County are still there, just tucked away behind layers and layers of moisture. At that moment, I remembered how much I love Lake County no matter what season it is. I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. This week, we’re happy to share with you another one of Lake County’s treasures: its soundscape. Author Kathleen Scavone shares how the sounds of our county create a unique symphony you can’t find anywhere else. So whether you’re listening to the lap of the lake against the shore or the steady drip falling from the yellow-leaved oaks, have a great weekend Lake County and stay dry and warm!

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom – 9.17.21

Well, it’s finally here. It’s the weekend of the Big Valley, Small Farms Tour. As you know, we’ve been promoting it for the past month. That’s because it’s a great event. Big Valley has several great places to visit, from Ripe Choice Farm and Catering (mind the tortoise) to Peace and Plenty, North America’s Largest Saffron Farm. It’s coming this Sunday—for more information, visit their Facebook Page. Also, we’ve got a review of Richmond Park Bar and Grill, a Lake County staple. Situated on the water, it’s always got live music on weekends and massive burgers. It’s a great place to hang out for a few hours, dance a bit, and overeat. And if you’re still bored, check out our Party Calendar. You’re sure to find something to do. Whatever you’re up to, have a great weekend, and be sure to stay safe.

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom – 8.20.21

Well, Lake County made the news again. Say the word “fire”, and we’re suddenly famous. All of us have at least one story of how fires have affected us. This week was no exception. Once again, I found myself in awe of how quickly our first responders met the challenge to save property and lives. As a community, we have shown that we will continue to come together to help where help is needed. I’m beyond blessed to call this my home when I see everywhere individuals and organizations doing everything they can to help. These are the times that Lake County shines. A special thanks to our Fire Fighters and local law enforcement for all you continuing to do to protect our homes and well-being. If you want to help out, Clothing Closet in Middletown is looking for donations—you can find out in the Press Releases section of The Bloom.
Here’s what’s going on this week in The Bloom. The Big Valley, Small Farms tour is coming up. Over the next month, we’ll be re-releasing stories we’ve written about the farms; this week you’ll get to read about Peace and Plenty, North America’s largest saffron farm. Also, you can read the winning poem from the Poetry of Outliers competition we just held. It’s beautiful. And we have a new Gathering Podcast. This week, host Michelle Scully talks with canine coach Val Stallings about dogs—I’m certain you’ll learn something if you listen.
When you make your plans, be sure to call ahead of time as there have been many last-minute cancellations, and understand that many still are evacuated. Whatever you’re up to this weekend, please be safe.

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom – 8.5.21

Well, folks, it seems we’re not done with Covid. Well, we might be done with Covid, but it looks like Covid isn’t done with us! I am grateful we live in a place with plenty of room and lots of outdoor things to do no matter how long it hangs around. We’ve already proven we know how to look out for each other over the years, no matter how grim things have been. I am reminded that our businesses, restaurants, and the many musicians we know and love need our support as much now as ever before. If there’s one thing for sure, we’ve had plenty of practice learning how to be Covid-safe in our community. This week we’re excited to share a story about Konocti Vista Casino’s concerts; they’re right on the lake and always a lot of fun. Plus, we’ve got a great podcast by Lake County Poet Laureate Georgina Marie, the Lake County Music Guide, and some history you can also enjoy. Whatever you’re up to, save a fun weekend and stay safe, Lake County!

I Love 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.

Complimentary Tastings, Free Appetizers, Discounts on Rooms – Why Wouldn’t You Want to Get a Lake County Winery Passport?

Spring’s in the air, and it’s a great time to get out and support some of our local wineries and businesses. And what better way to do it than by getting a Winery Passport? It’s got complimentary tasting at eighteen Lake County wineries, plus a host of other perks. Pick up a free appetizer at the Saw Shop Public House when you purchase an entry, enjoy a complimentary kayak rental from Clearlake Campground, or get a discount on a room at one of several places, such as the Tallman Hotel or The Lodge at Blue Lakes. You’ll pay $66.95 per passport, and once you go to a couple of wineries, you’ll have paid for it already. For more information about the program and to purchase, head to the Lake County Winery Association Website.

Got Some Writing Skills and Want to Make Some Cash? The Bloom is Looking for Restaurant and Winery Reviews

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.

It’s Easy to Help Out: Support The Bloom and Watch Us Grow

We want to thank you for being a part of our vision. It’s you, our readers, who make what we do possible. And we’re succeeding! In our first two years, we’ve shared our vision with over 104 countries and tens of thousands of different people.
However, our mission still needs some love to grow. With your support, we can add more columns, write more restaurant reviews, profile more of our best businesses, and showcase the tremendous outdoor opportunities our county has to offer.
That’s why we’ve set up an option to support The Bloom financially. It’s a great way to help promote our positive message and further The Bloom’s vision. We’ve set up donations to be simple: starting at $5/month, you can help us move forward. Once you donate, then comes the fun part: watching us grow. The Bloom has lots of plans in the works, and your support will allow them to become a reality.
We believe that when we help each other, we will all succeed. Financially supporting The Bloom will not just help us grow; it will also help our local economy, as we are all about encouragine local businesses. We are a community-focused organization, and none of our efforts would be possible without the help of people and businesses like you. Your support is greatly appreciated and will make a difference.
Thank you for being a part of our community and our story.

TO SUPPORT THE BLOOM, VISIT https://www.lakecountybloom.com/support

The Thankfulness Game

Right now, our nation is being challenged. At times it seems like our current crisis can bring so much division that we forget what we have in common. We all want a roof over our heads and food on the table. We all search for happiness. We all want to feel hope.
Even so, we are in the midst of racial, health, and political issues that have yet to resolve. Each day seems only to stir the pot more. These in-between moments when everything is uncertain are the most discouraging. It’s hard to stay happy with so much fear, anxiety, and anger happening in our world.
On the days our family gets down, we like to play the Thankful Game. We call it a game, but it’s more like an idea. The only rule is to think of things we’re thankful for. No, it doesn’t solve the world’s problems, but it helps us remember the good things we do have while we address the stressful issues happening in our society.
Here are five things that we at The Bloom are thankful for, in no particular order:
1. We are thankful that we have the right to gather in peaceful demonstrations. No matter what we believe, we have the right to be heard.
2. We are thankful that as a community, we have looked out for small businesses and supported them when they might have otherwise closed their doors permanently.
3. We are thankful for our essential workers making sure our basic needs are met.
4. We are thankful for countless volunteers who look out for those who are most vulnerable.
5. We are thankful for you, our readers.
We realize that the Thankful Game doesn’t change anything, but it does remind us that we still have hope. It shows us that beauty and goodness can speak just as loudly as hate and fear. It shows us that even though the world is in turmoil, we can still find peace. We are surrounded by beautiful things. Let’s not lose sight of that.

The Lake County Howl: Letter from the Editor 4.3.2020

The day has finally closed; it’s eight o’clock in the evening. Daylight has settled into twilight, and the sky, purple-grey, slowly dims to black. Then, off in the distance, a loud, lingering noise rises from the valleys, bounces off the mountains, and echoes through the night air. It’s time for the community howl. People all over the county pop out of their homes, stand in their backyards, and do their best wolf imitation.

A little over a week ago, the howl came to Lake County, echoing across the rooftops in Hidden Valley Lake, reverberating off Cobb Mountain, and bouncing off the waters of Clear Lake. Perhaps it’s a whim, but every night, like clockwork, it happens. It’s true; we’re all cooped up right now. The evening howl is a great way to work off some steam and to remember that we still do have neighbors, and they may be a bit weird, too.

Our family looks forward to the moment when the clock strikes eight. Then we pop outside, stand on our patio and let go. “Hawoooo!” we yell, and our dog chips in for good measure. Then we stop and listen. There, in the valley below us, an answering “Oooooooo” rises in the night air. There’s another human out there! We howl back and forth for a few minutes, sharing a small connection during a time when our entire society is disconnected. Sure, it seems a little bit silly, but it’s so lovely to let all the frustrations and worries out and just howl. For those few moments, there’s no SIP, no COVID, no stress, just a call into the evening air. You can call it cheap therapy, a sure sign of our county’s loneliness, or just plain strange. Whatever you think of it, it’s happening all around you. And oh, it feels so good just to let go.

So, tonight at eight, head out to your backyard and give your best wolf imitation. And if you’re too cool to make a fool of yourself, don’t worry. We’ll howl louder for you.

I LOVE 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.

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