EDITORIALS

What’s Up This Week – 02.03.23

One thing that rolls around this time of year is the annual charity crab feeds and dinner auctions. The Clearlake Rotary hosts its in-person crab feed to benefit the local community, and boy, let me tell you, it’s unlike any crab feed I’ve been to. If you don’t have the time to set aside a full evening, the Lakeport Rotary is doing a drive-through crab feed and online auction, also benefiting the local community. And for all of you who love the Lake County Fair, don’t forget that their annual Wrangler Roundup Dinner and Dance are just around the corner. All of these dinners support our community. Pick one, or better yet, try to do them all! For more details, check out The Bloom’s Big Calendar. This week we’re excited to continue our RV camping adventures with you as we explore Harvest Hosts in Lake County. And Kathleen Scavone talks about rain power. And a huge shout out to everyone supporting our restaurants, wineries, and other small businesses during these slow months. This is the time of year they depend on us the most. Whatever your plans are for the weekend, make it a great one!

What’s Up This Week – 1.27.23

Yep, there are a lot of things I love about January. Not only do we celebrate a new year and new beginnings, but–bonus–things tend to move a little slower, and we sometimes have more time for them. It can take many forms, such as more time reading, trying out new recipes, visiting with friends, going on more walks, bird watching, photography, and the list goes on and on. Something I haven’t had time to do, or rather, take the time for, is sewing. A few years back, I took on quilting and spent every spare minute on my quilting projects. Then life happened as it often does, and recently I’ve only spent time looking longingly at my sewing machine. This week, I set aside a couple of hours and resumed working on a quilt that’s been sitting untouched for over a year. I can’t tell you how good it felt to get back to work on it. What’s your favorite thing to do when you have the extra time to do what you want to do. I’d love to hear about it. Just reply to this email and let me know. And let’s not forget to get out and about and support live music and the restaurants/wineries hosting them! Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope they are exactly what you want and need them to be.

What’s Up This Week – 1.20.22

For all you small business owners, you know how hard it is to take a break once in a while. And yet, that is exactly what we are supposed to do, according to experts in the field of mental health and self-care. It’s been three years since I truly unplugged from it all for any period of time. I went to visit out-of-state friends and chose not to bring my computer. The first day seemed weird and unfamiliar, and so did the second. By the third day, I became a pro of not caring and spent the rest of the week in that state of mind. And boy, what a difference it has made. I feel refreshed, inspired, and excited for the future and new adventures of 2023. The worst that happened was being a little late in replying to a couple of emails. The sun kept rising and setting, and the world seemed oblivious and unconcerned with my absence. Anyhow, I wish you the breaks you need so you can not only give a hundred percent at what you do but actually love what you do because you took a short break from it all! It certainly was the best start of the new year for me. This week I’m excited to tell you about a small treasure in Lake County. It’s one of my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Well, it’s actually its own building, but it certainly has that feeling. Then catch up with Kathy Scavone as she talks about nature and its repeating patterns. It’s definitely a good read. And, of course, we have some wonderful poetry from M. R. Mandell. I’m not sure if your plans for the weekend simply involve a lot of rest or adventures; either way I hope it’s exactly what you need it to be. Have a great weekend, Lake County!

What’s Up This Week – 1.13.22

Here we are in mid-January, and the year’s already off and running. The rain may have slowed down some of your plans, but there’s still plenty happening in Lake County. Even though the music scene’s a bit slow (see the Music Guide), there’s always something going on here. If the weather’s got you inside, you can always catch up on Lake County Poet Laureate Georgina Marie’s Rooted in Poetry podcasts. We’ve got a new episode this week. And, if you’re looking for a new experience, be sure to sign up for a music class taught by local musician Jeremy Jernigan. Jeremy’s a musical savant, and every class he teaches is worth its weight in gold. Plus, we’re also re-releasing The Bloom’s all-time most-read article. If you haven’t had a chance to tour the Geysers, it’s a spectacular place and one of Lake County’s unique treasures. Not only will you get a chance to learn about the world’s largest geothermal facility, but you will also get to see some of our county’s most amazing landscapes. Right now, they’ve got availability on some of their tours, but be warned, they fill up fast–we had to wait six months. Whatever your plans are for this new year, I wish you all the fun, joy, and laughter you can fit in. Happy weekend, Lake County!

What’s Up This Week – 12.9.22

Hello, snow! Yes, we have snow in Lake County. And with it came a snow day for our family. Now being from Washington state, we are rather familiar with the white stuff that falls from the sky from time to time. But one thing that’s quite different in Washington is that no one in their right mind would have a forty-five-degree driveway leading up to their home. Most of the year, it’s no big deal. But once in a while, the combination of snow and ice makes us homebound for a day or two. And I would like to say all has been well since our wintery day at home. But that would make for a boring story, wouldn’t it? Now it’s no surprise to any of us that when temperatures rise, snow melts. You can shovel snow all day, and wherever it is, it still melts, then freezes into sheets of ice at night. That point struck home particularly hard when I heard the unmistakable clatter of a water bottle, a work bag, and a coffee cup tumble down our asphalt driveway. Sound travels exceptionally well in the pre-dawn hours of a wintery morning. No surprise to me, I stood looking out our living room window down at my husband’s bewildered form assessing his situation at the bottom of our driveway. He managed to retrieve his work bag and water bottle and looked longingly at his hot beverage, now de-icing a section of our driveway. There was no way he was coming back up that ice glacier of a driveway, and there was no way I was bringing him a fresh cup. We said our goodbyes again, and he very carefully trudged off to his car. So it goes living in the mountains. I’d say it’s a small price to pay for paradise, although it wasn’t my back end that so rudely and intimately met the rather hard and cold asphalt. In the end, I learned he had enough time to stop by one of our locally-owned coffee shops to ensure his morning consciousness. Hooray for our coffee shops saving his day! Another week of December is passing. But there’s still plenty of time to do some more shopping. This week we’re taking you to Kelseyville for your next holiday adventure. I hope today finds you warm and full of cheer. Have a safe and festive holiday weekend Lake County!

What’s Up This Week – 11.11.22

With even shorter days and cooler weather, it seems to be getting more wintery despite the sporadic fall-colored leaves still appearing on our oak trees. I can remember several Thanksgivings we’ve enjoyed dining on our patio, but I’m thinking this may not be one of those years. So when we have a stormy, wet fall season, I can’t help but get in the holiday spirit despite the calendar telling me otherwise. Don’t get me wrong; I do not want to rush the holidays. No, I plan to enjoy every moment of November and my leisurely time before things get crazy busy. And yet, I’m kind of enjoying holiday music playing in the background while I’m working on dinner. I think any time of year is a good time of year to welcome happy memories and soak in their warmth and all those warm fuzzy feelings they bring. It’s wonderful to be thankful and to look forward to new memories still to be made. So, to all of you enjoying a little holiday cheer, know you’re not alone! Speaking of thankful, this week we celebrate eight local businesses that competed in the 2022 1Team 1Dream business competition. And Kathleen Scavone is going to tell us a few fun facts about fall. 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 – 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.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE POWER’S OUT AND THERE’S FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN? A STORY OF LAKE COUNTY

It’s getting dark outside, and inside the Rosenthals’ tasting room, it’s even darker. The power’s already off in Middletown, and battery-powered lanterns, LED candles and glasses of wine sit on the tables, around which sit groups of women committed to our county and part of the local Soroptimist group.

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