EDITORIALS

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom: 7.30.21

This past week has been busy for our family. In between doing all the fun events happening around the county, our garden and friends’ gardens are demanding a great deal of our attention. I am happy to say we have a year’s supply of homemade pesto in the freezer and a fridge full of pickled cucumbers, onions drying, and herbs picked for teas. For whatever reason, our zucchinis are taking their time, and I have to admit I’m kinda grateful. I know more of everything is on the way! This is the kind of busy work and play that makes summer so much fun. This week we’re excited about all the great things yet to come in Lake County. Grillin’ on the Green returns to Lakeport next week, and in September the Soapbox Derby returns to Clearlake and the Big Valley, Small Farms tour will begin its third year. But there’s plenty to do before then. Check out our Big Calendar to see for yourself. Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope it’s filled with too many things to do in all the good ways and plenty of water, because the heat has returned.

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom 7.23.21

Going to live music events in Lake County this summer is a bit like going to a family reunion. You run into people you haven’t seen in a couple of years! I couldn’t believe how many people I missed seeing in 2020. One couple I bumped into told me they brought their boom box every Friday to Library Park in Lakeport just because they missed Friday night’s Concert in the Park. The good news is there’s plenty more live music in the calendar. And if you’re a Hot Roux fan, they’re playing everywhere in the county right now. This is your weekend to see them at least once. Check out the Lake County Music Guide or the Party Calendar and see for yourself. This week we’re excited to re-release an article we wrote back in 2019, The Best Way to Spend a Friday Night in Lakeport. You’ve got a lot of options for a lot of fun. Have a fun weekend, and stay safe. – Trudy Wakefield, Editor

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom 7.16.21

The cooler weather we’ve had these past few days has certainly been a treat. I was starting to feel like the Wicked Witch of the West, melting from the heat. It certainly makes dancing more fun when the sun goes down.

So here’s what we’ve got going this week. You may have seen them as you wandered through Kelseyville: poetry boxes are popping up all over the place. Last weekend, The Bloom talked with the masterminds behind the project and their plans to spread poetry everywhere in Lake County.

On a sadder note, Gene Paleno, writer of the Lake County History articles and one of the first supporters of The Bloom, passed away. Gene lived his life fully and had a profound impact not just on me but on all of Lake County. To honor his memory, I’ve written an article about our friendship. And if you get a chance, read an interview I did with him back in 2018. In it, I discover that Gene filled his life with new experiences and always looked for the best in people, something well worth modeling. Here’s to you, Gene. You ran the race well.

What’s Up This Week in The Bloom 7.9.21

Hats off to those of you who fit in multiple events during the holiday weekend. My goal was to do at least five things over the 4th of July; I could only fit in four in the end. The good news is, the calendars are full of things going on in Lake County this weekend again! You’ll be hard-pressed to choose how many things you can do. What a great dilemma that is compared to a year ago. This week we’re excited to share with you Finca Castelero, a hidden gem in the middle of Kelseyvile’s pear orchards and vineyards. Plus, we’ve got a new episode of the Gathering podcast and a new, updated Lake County Music Guide for this week. Whatever your plans end up being for the weekend, remember it’s going to be a hot one. So don’t forget sunscreen and plenty of water. Above all, have a great weekend, 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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