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Trudy Wakefield

Trudy is the owner and editor for The Bloom. The Bloom's dedicated to showcasing all the good parts of life. If it's good news, you'll probably find it here.

What’s Up This Week – 6.7.24

Summer showed up in a big way this week. We already have our first sunburns of the season in our house and all the complaining that goes with it. But we’ve also made our first-season memories at our local pool and have had more meals than I can count on the patio. I rarely put shoes on these days unless I’m leaving the house, and I’m worrying too much about the plants I just planted getting enough water. Oh, the joys of summer!

This week, I’ll tell you about a musical adventure I recently went on. We have our most recent Pay It Forward article for you to enjoy, as well as a short story in the Our Voice column, The Lake County Music Guide, good news, and local history to kick off your weekend. I feel like it’s a race again. It’s a race to see, do, and make as many new memories for the season as I can. It’s a great challenge, isn’t it? Have a great weekend, Lake County!

A Tranquil Atmosphere in the Heart of Napa – The Blue Note

With a plethora of live music events happening locally, it’s a rare occasion for me to venture elsewhere. However, when my son’s idol, the very inspiration for his college degree, announced a visit to the Blue Note in Napa, I had little excuse not to go with him. For locals, the Blue Note is the go-to spot for some of the most exceptional artists and musicians touring the United States. And on this particular evening, the stage was graced by the incomparable guitarist Trace Bundy.

What’s Up This Week – 5.31.24

We are in full swing in the graduation season. Whether graduation has happened or is going to happen, we at The Bloom wish all the 2024 graduates success, joy, and happiness in all you have accomplished and will accomplish. I never get tired of graduations, and that’s a really good thing since they happen yearly. I think for me, it’s a similar feeling to holding a baby and imagining all the possibilities and achievements that are still to come. It gives me hope for a bright future where anything is possible. So, hats off to all of you graduates. We couldn’t be more proud of you!

This week, I will continue my Blue Zone journey with you when I explore the Power 9 principle of downshifting. It’s kinda one of those things we talk about doing on our next vacation but forget the little ways we can downshift throughout our week. Then Kathleen Scavone has some good news about Cole Creek and our beloved hitch. Take a minute to read a poem in the Our Voice column, all the live music happening in the Lake County Music Guide, and finally, some local history. Have yourself a great weekend, Lake County!

Experiencing the Secrets of Downshifting

I have the privilege of having email correspondence with our local Blue Zones Project – Lake County team members. And every once in a while, I will get a reply to my email saying something like this, “I am currently out of the office for the day “downshifting” and look forward to reading your email Monday.” The words may vary in the email, but the message is clear. This individual is taking time away from work and spending time doing what gives them rest, joy, peace, socializing, or whatever it may be that meets their bigger needs at the moment. 

What’s Up This Week – 5.24.24

This weekend launches us full-on into summer, and there’s no going back. This is also the time of year when I marvel at all the events, live music, and festivities our cities, parks, restaurants, wineries, small businesses, and farms put together for us to enjoy. It’s also a time when we, as a community, can show our support coming out of some of the leanest months of the year. It may not be the holidays, but shopping locally and supporting live music and the venues hosting these events make all the difference in the world to our small business owners. And what can I say? Lake County sure knows how to have a good time!

This week, I’ve put together some more of my favorite extraordinary picnic spots as we wrap up our picnic series. Then, check out our new Pay It Forward Article–this week’s featured small business is definitely a Lake County treasure. Be sure to take a minute for the Our Voice column and a little something extra in the Back Stage Lake County column. And, of course, fill up on all things live music in the Lake County Music Guide, some good news, and local history. Whether your weekend is taking you out of town or you are staying local, let’s not forget those who gave their all for us. Have a great weekend, Lake County.

Three Unforgettable Picnic Destinations Await

Some of my happiest memories of living in Lake County are the times our family packed a picnic and disappeared into nature for an afternoon. With so many scenic destinations, it’s been rather difficult to narrow them all down. But here are my three top picks for the ultimate picnic experiences in Lake County.

Four Great South Lake County Wineries Perfect for Picnics

One of my favorite months of the year is May. Not only does it continue to bring spring flowers, but also picnics! With North America’s oldest freshwater lake, mountains, parks, vineyards, and wineries, it would seem Lake County was destined to be a picnic paradise. Drive just about any direction, and a scenic view made to enjoy awaits. And if you love wine, here are some of the most scenic spots and fantastic wine picnic spots in South County.

What’s Up This Week – 5.17.24

While driving this week, my daughter commented on seeing more sports cars than usual in Lake County. I smiled and reminded her that we live in a tourist destination and people from all over are visiting and opening their vacation homes up again for the season. And come Memorial Day through Labor Day, Lake County will be hopping with so many events, live music concerts, and winery events. And if that’s not enough, there are lakes, parks, and mountains waiting to be explored. It kinda reminds me of visiting the Lakeport Speedway and hearing the engines all revved up at the starting line, ready for the race to begin. It’s a wonderful time of year, isn’t it?

This week, we’re going to kick off a two-week series on one of my favorite things to do in Lake County: picnicking. I, for one, absolutely love, love all things picnics, and if you add wine to the occasion, well, that’s just about heaven. So we’ll get started with that, and then Kathleen Scavone will talk about Clark’s Island and Nylander Park and how they came to be. Then, you won’t want to miss out on the Our Voice column when David Donihue brings us another poetry video. Seriously, don’t miss it. Then, catch up on what is happening with live music in Lake County, some really good news, and local history. Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope it includes some outdoor time. Have a great weekend, Lake County!

Get Away From it All: Wild Diamond Vineyards

Let’s face it; Lake County is truly the place you go to get away from the real world. There are few better ways to leave the city, relax, and enjoy some incredible wine. Let me take you on an adventure. 

It all starts on Spruce Grove Road–meander through rural Lake County before turning on the gravel driveway that winds upward towards Wild Diamond Vineyards. Traverse an oak grove, winding higher and higher in elevation as the oaks slowly turn to pine trees. That’s when you know you’re almost there. At the tasting room–or more accurately, mountain top–the world turns truly silent and still. A strong breeze greets you first as you step out of your car, a reminder that the world is far, far below.

Exploring the Blue Zones Power 9 Principle of Purpose

Fun fact. Did you know that the majority of the Blue Zones Power 9 principles of healthy living are less about diet and exercise and more about your overall well-being? It’s true. Only three of the Power 9 principles have to do with food and exercise or, in Blue Zone language, natural movement. This is a potential game changer for your life, not just your physical health.

Retail Roulette: Exploring the Surprises of Lake County’s Falling Price Store

Can I be perfectly honest with you? I’ve spent weeks debating whether to write about this unique shopping experience or not. You can guess what won the debate. 

Do you think you’ve seen it all in Lake County when it comes to shopping? I thought I had. But then my girls came home a couple of times with new clothes and kept telling me about the Falling Price Store in Lakeport. At first, I dismissed them. But then I saw the items they kept finding, and it piqued my curiosity. So, with time to spare on a rainy, blustery Friday, I decided to see just what there is to see in this unique, one-of-a-kind store.

Exploring the Power 9 Principle of Move Naturally

My Blue Zones journey is far from slowing down. But I’ll be perfectly honest with you: the Power 9 principle of Move Naturally has had me stumped for the past year or so. But that’s because I was looking at all wrong. Let me explain. 

Nostalgia on the Menu: Exploring the All-American Charm of Main Street Bar and Grill

Take a trip with me down memory lane for just a minute. It’s summer vacation and it feels like it’s going to last forever. You’re on a thrilling road trip with Mom and Dad. The wind rushes through the open windows, drowning out the radio as you lean out, basking in the early morning sun. You open your mouth only to have your voice and air taken out of your lungs, leaving them dry and pasty. You’re not just on the road; you’re soaring. You push the limits, leaning out a little further until Mom’s voice brings you back to reality. Seatbelt laws are a thing of the future, so you sit, squirm, trade seats, or lie down to pass the time. 

Five Great Ways to Beat the Winter Blues in Lake County

It’s that time of year when winter never seems to end, and Spring seems to be in no hurry to arrive. Sure, there are things to watch on TV, books to read, and board games to play, but sometimes it’s best to get out of the house, even if it is windy and raining. If you’re ready for fun, here are a few great ways to break the monotony of winter.

The Ultimate Burrito

Now, I’ve been in pursuit of the perfect burrito, and it turns out I’ve already found it! 
It’s a hot summer’s night on Main Street in Kelseyville, Lake County, when the air is still, and vapors of sunlight have already saturated the earth. Music plays from the stage where friends gather, swaying to the tunes. Patrons enjoy local fairs before joining in the fun at one of the Keleyville’s Kickin’ it in the Country street dance. My family and I are one of them. And at every street dance, we get John’s Market Taqueria burritos.

Power Nine: Part 1 – Food

Well, I thought we’d get the “diet” out of the way when I tell you about my two-year Blue Zone journey with food–one of the Power of 9 principles. Two things that I love about the Blue Zones are that it’s carb-friendly and loves wine. Whew, that was a close one! First of all, this is a lifestyle, not a diet. Instead of forcing you to remove carbs or drink shakes, Blue Zones encourages increasing your plant-based foods while eating smaller portions of meat and dairy. I realized I had to live with the changes I made forever, not just for a short time like I would on “diets.” That took some real thought. And here are some tricks I’ve learned so far.

The Power of 9: The Key to a Full and Happy Life

Well, it’s that time of year again. We’re either still fully committed to our New Year’s resolutions, we get to them when we think about it, or we just don’t get to it at all (We can live with the guilt just fine, thank you.) Or maybe you’re the one who is already living out your fullest potential! Wherever you are in the spectrum, have hope; this isn’t a diet article! The Bloom has partnered with the Blue Zones Project – Lake County because it’s all about living the fullest and happiest life possible. That doesn’t mean focusing on clothes size but rather considering all aspects of our lives, including our mental and emotional well-being.

For the next few months, I’ll be exploring the Blue Zone’s Power 9 principles. And did I mention it’s not a diet? Well, I’m saying it again. Rather, it’s a total well-being process. Look at the nine principles and see for yourself.

Coffee Cake to Impress

Nothing says comfort food more than what comes out of the oven, right? One of our family’s favorite breakfasts starts with a Betty Crocker-inspired Sour Cream Coffee Cake. With the help of a bundt pan and a little glaze, it becomes nothing short of decadence not only to the eye but, most importantly the tastebuds. 

Three Must-Visit Antique Stores in Lake County

Not too long ago, I found myself lost in time in one of our local antique stores. There in front of me stood a cream and brown metal range and oven kitchenette, every detail thoughtfully in place from a little sink to two burgers, oven, and shelves with storage. Once I got past the shock and realization that, yes, I am old enough to see some of my childhood toys in an antique store, acceptance set in. Suddenly, I was six again, making muffins, pies, and cookies in my own playroom, serving my tasty morsels to my imaginary company, and having the best time!

If you are an antique lover, we’ve got some great places to explore. Here are three must-visit antique stores in Lake County.

What’s Up This Week – 10.27.23

This weekend there are more things going on than anyone could possibly do, but I know many of us are going to try. There are costume contests, parties, and trick-or-treating happening all over Lake County. Here are a couple of ways to have fun and support worthy causes: Vision of Hope Village, which supports adults with autism/neurodiversity, is putting on a celebration for all ages at the Nice Event Center. And if you missed out on Haunted Lake County’s event last weekend, you get another chance this weekend to support local organizations such as Operation Tango Mike, SPCA of Lake County, Sponsoring Survivorship, and Lakeport Volunteer Firefighter’s Association. Wow! That’s a whole lot of fun and good we can do for our community!

And keeping on the subject of fun things going on in Lake County, The Bloom is thrilled for Charise Reynolds to give us a backstage peek at the upcoming 9 To 5 Musical happening at the Soper Reese Theatre starting tonight. Then slow down with Kathleen Scavone and catch up on what’s going on with Boggs Mountain since the Valley Fire, and hold onto your seats as Mike Guarniero brings on the party scene in the Music Guide. And, of course, we’ve still got a whole lot of good news, poetry, and local history. Have a fun and safe weekend Lake County!

What’s Up This Week – 10.20.23

Well, there’s no going back now, or is there? The days are shorter for sure, and the leaves are falling, but it sure feels like summer to me. Boy, am I savoring every minute of my favorite season. And here’s my pitch on what to do this weekend: Check out Haunted Lake County. It’s an experience. If you like the spooky side of Halloween and you haven’t gone before, then this is a must-do event. Visit their Mythical Mayhem at 500 N Main Street in Lakeport this weekend and next. Plus, on the 29th and 30th, Haunted Lake County will be hosting Field of Fears at That Ranch in the corn maze. That sounds terrifying! To top it all off, they’re raising money for good causes in our community. Sadly, you won’t see me there because the first year I went, I was so scared I never made it past the parking lot! This week, Lori Armstrong shares about the recent Resilient Re-entry event at our local Woodland Community College. At the event, justice-involved individuals were given guidance and tools for a fresh start. Talk about inspiring, heartwarming, and very good news for our community. Then catch up on our recent Pay It Forward article, music, poetry by Kathleen Scavone, and, of course, a good dose of history. Have a great weekend Lake County!

We Can’t Fix Everything, But We Can Fix Dinner – The Experience

Something about the Fall season always reminds me of coming together again. Maybe it’s a natural progression of changing seasons from frolicking in the great outdoors and sunshine. Slowly, as the temperatures cool, it naturally brings us back indoors and inevitably closer to those we love. 

GETTING LOST IN LAKE COUNTY: ENJOYING THAT RANCH’S CORN MAZE

“Do you think we’re going the right way”? I ask, brushing a leaning corn stalk from my face. The Fall sun filters through the maze around us as we turn down a trail cut through the never-ending cornfield. I hear chatter and voices of other visitors coming from somewhere just out of sight.

“I have no idea. I’m not the one leading the way,” David chuckles as we shuffle along behind our kids.

“It’s a dead-end,” announces our son. We all turn to retrace our steps. We’re about a third of the way in the maze, and our goal at this point is to get to the snack shack provided Wildhurst Vineyard. Walking through the fourteen-foot tall corn, it seems that the maze is bigger this year. More invisible shouts and giggles draw closer, then fade away again as others continue to get lost.

Mad Mac’s Knows Good Food

It’s a bright fall day. The first colors of autumn leaves reluctantly give way to the shorter days and cooler nights. It’s a quiet, calm evening at Mad Mac’s Bar and Grill just off Highway 20 in the heart of Clearlake Oaks. A young couple casually make their way inside, even though it’s cool enough to enjoy the spacious outdoor patio seating. Inside, a full bar welcomes locals for a quick bite and friendly conversation. 

The Ripe Choice Experience, Continued

Wanna have it all? Well, you can. Nestled in the heart of Lake County’s wine country rests a picturesque vineyard, orchard, and working farm, complete with a pot-bellied pig, tortoise, and chef Tammy Lipps. It’s a unique place where it’s possible to check in and never leave. Here’s how you do it.

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