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.

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!

What’s Up This Week – 5.11.23

Hello, my friends. This week, I am slowly returning back to the land of the living as I continue to recover from my surgery. Boy, oh boy, is recovery time-consuming. I’m not complaining; I just didn’t realize how long two weeks can really be until everything slowed down to a crawl.

This weekend, I will spend more time resting at home and celebrating Mother’s Day with my family. But, if I were up to it, and if you don’t already have plans and really want to wow the mom(s) in your life, boy, do I have an idea for you! We’ll get things started when we re-release my trip to Wild Diamond Vineyards. It’s a Lake County treasure and a truly spectacular experience for that special someone in your life. Then we’ll read the next Pay It Forward article, enjoy some poetry in the Our Voice Column, catch up on what’s happening with live music in the Lake County Music Guide, and read a little good news and some local history. I hope you have a special weekend celebrating the Moms in your lives. And remember, a visit to Wild Diamond Vineyard is a guaranteed win-win for oohs and ahhs. Have a great weekend, Lake County and Happy Mother’s Day.

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.

What’s Up This Week – 5.3.24

This week, I had to leave Lake County to undergo a minor surgery to allow me to breathe and smell like the rest of humanity. But even though I was in Santa Rosa, I had the joy of getting to know my nurse, Patty, who lives in Hidden Valley Lake. It’s a small world, and I run into people from Lake County all over the place. Thank you, Patty, for your wonderful, compassionate care. I couldn’t have been in better hands. So, this week’s email will be a bit shorter as I am on the mend.

Our wildflowers are in full bloom at our place, filling the air with fragrance. This week, take a journey with Kathleen Scavone as she shares the uniqueness of Lake County’s amazing blooms. Then catch up on some good news, the Music Guide, and a bit of history of Mount Konocti. I’ll be spending this weekend recovering, but be sure to go and enjoy all the beauty Lake County has to offer, and stay safe.

What’s Up This Week – 4.26.24

And just like that, we’re about to say goodbye to April and hello to May! This spring has been a blur of projects and must-dos to get ready for summer. And the one chore I’ve put off the longest is painting. Everything needs a touch-up this year, both indoors and outdoors. I think it’s worth the effort because looking at fresh paint is so satisfying, but I’m not very fond of the process. So there’s my complaint in my life. And if that’s my biggest complaint, life is really good when I think about it. So that puts things in perspective. I don’t know how your spring projects are coming along, but the calendar says we still have another month. So, it gives us plenty of time to procrastinate!

This week, I am very excited to continue my Blue Zone journey with you when I talk about the Power 9 principle of purpose. Boy, is this a fun one! It’s potentially a life changer–at least it has been for me. Then we get to catch up on the latest Pay It Forward article by Lori Armstrong, two poems by our very own Kathleen Scavone, Mike Guarniero’s Music Guide, a bit of good news and finish up with some local history. This weekend, I get to put off my paint projects because I have branches to collect for a local wood chipping day. Lucky me! Have a great weekend, Lake County!

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. 


“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.

The Ripe Choice Experience

Have you ever experienced something so wonderful that you struggle to find the words to describe it? That’s me at The Bloom’s Five-Year Anniversary party at Ripe Choice Farm and Catering. I’d been in contact with Tammy Lipps, owner of Ripe Choice, for several weeks leading up to the event. I knew I wanted it to be something unique and memorable. Although several of our restaurants promise all those things, I knew I was looking for something a little more intimate, quiet, and off the beaten path.

Welcome to the Ripe Choice Farm: The early evening glow reluctantly gives way to the onshore breeze that promises cooler temperatures. But for now, a glass of sparkling wine, under twinkling lights and the small chatter amongst friends, makes for a delightful distraction. The barn’s high ceiling helps absorb the day’s warmth amongst its exposed wood.

The setting seems right, country, rustic, and yet elegant. Locally grown flowers adorn the center of the tables. Linen napkins and a formal place setting all promise tonight is not an ordinary Sunday evening.

Blue Wing Celebrates Blue Zones Approval

Rarely have I had a meal so thoughtfully prepared and served. The Blue Wing serves consistently good food, so when I learned that they had just become Blue Zones approved in Lake County, I couldn’t resist attending their celebratory dinner; I have already learned that anything Chef Pablo Aguilar does will be nothing short of breathtaking.

The late August evening brings its predictable slow, leisurely pace when the days are still long, and dining under the late sun’s rays is almost a requirement for any dinner in Lake County. Welcome to the Blue Wing’s courtyard.

Escape to Finch Gardens

Just when one thinks they know all the hidden gems in Lake County, Lake County never ceases to prove one wrong.

The sun stands high in the firmament all summer long. Its rays bring radiant, glowing life to all it touches. All things green reach and lean toward its sustenance, and we gleam from their nourishing fruit while they tantalize our eyes with their glory. Gold embers of the sun’s hues frame and mold the weaving greens and bright floral colors of vines, branches, trees, and flowers, of Finch Garden. Helen greets my husband and me when we park in front of her home.

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