Mourning Doves

Before I see the swoop of gray wings that is a mourning dove I hear its gentle coo, which gives the impression of poignancy. Along with spring’s visual drum roll, you can add the sounds of birdsong to the season’s sensory experiences. Early daybreak brings the dawn chorus as birds of many species trill, twitter and chirp. Chiefly, males are out and about giving it their all as they sing to announce their territory or to win over a mate.

Lake County Music Guide – 6.12.24

Man, oh man! There sure is a lot going on this week in LC Land. The highlights will be Baconfest in Kelseyville and Middletown Days. So, fasten your seatbelts, folks, it’s gonna be an E-Ticket Ride. I only hope I get it all in the guide. And, fair warning – it’s gonna get hot this week. Here’s the live music schedule for the week of 6/11 through 6/17…

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.

Pay It Forward – Chase My Hair Salon

Chase My Hair Salon is locally owned and operated by Stephanie Chase. She offers a high-end salon experience for all types of hair, nail, eyelash and waxing services. Her experienced team is dedicated to helping you achieve the perfect look that suits your unique style and personality.

Tangled Web – By Marina Gallegos

Nobody understood the unusual nature of her comments or behavior several years after she’d arrived in the new country. She’d been interacting with her relatives and working just fine.

Lake County Music Guide – 6.4.24

I’m getting old and I don’t read so right. Can somebody enlighten me about the “Parade of Planets”? Did it happen this morning or is it tomorrow morning? In case you haven’t been told, Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars, Neptune and Saturn will all appear to be aligned with each other just before sunrise. It’s kinda cool stuff if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s awfully nice of the planets to be so orderly. Anyways, the live music in Lake County should be just as stellar this week, and so, without further ado here’s the live music schedule for the week of 6/4 through 6/10…

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. 

The Call of Cole Creek

The beauty of a heron’s clear and detailed reflection upon the water is always a delight. While peering into Cole Creek’s cool waters you may spy tree roots as they lie tangled under water like snakes. In her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, nature writer, Annie Dillard said, “It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed book on a shelf continues to whisper to itself its own inexhaustible tale.”

Their Score – By Tom Squitieri

The birds again
Fly up and sit on the corner
Of the railing on the deck.
They decidedly turn their heads to their right
To look at me through the writing window
They have little patience
And ruffle their displeasure
That food has not yet been scattered for them

It is a slow morning of melding,
I tell them.
They remain stern.
The coffee still needs to dance in me,
I plead.
They glare.
They refuse to sing again
Until breakfast is served

The sunrise offers new colors
To them
Even that, an unsuccessful cajole.
Squirrels wait anxiously;
They know they get leftovers.

So, soon seeds sown.
Sunrise can exhale
Landscape tells me its message
And magic songs follow

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.

Family First – by Jordan O’Halloran

“Babe, have you placed your bet for the wedding yet?” Tony shouts at me from the kitchen.

“What bet? You know I don’t gamble anymore. Remember Vegas last year? We lost almost  $10,000!”

“Babe, calm down. The bet is for how long Jessica and Scott are going to last. I bet 6 months. What do you think? The group text is waiting.” He says while flashing his one dimple smile. I may resent him for a lot of things. But, seeing that smile always melts my walls away.

Pay It Forward – Hernlund Business Solutions

Hernlund Business Solutions is locally owned and operated by Clarissa Hernlund. She is prepared to help you at any level; from impartial advice or a practical assistant to help you make the most of any business opportunity. Hernlund Business Solutions is designed to empower your team with tools through human resources, business marketing, virtual office assistance, business organization and so much more.     

Bringing Back the Beat: Lake County’s Lip Sync Journey

Lip Sync is back!   Depending on who you ask, Lip Sync got its start in Lake County either 14 or 15 years ago.  But, did you know that it did not originate in Lake County?  Robert Boccabella of Business Design Services recalls that originally, Lip Sync was an event that the Rotary of Petaluma hosted.  It was headed by Jan Parkinson for several years back in the 90’s.   Boccabella performed in the Petaluma iteration as Garth Brooks and appeared for multiple years before Parkinson moved away and Lip Sync died out.

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!

Experience Nylander Park and Clark’s Island in Clearlake Oaks

With myriad outdoor opportunities available in Lake County, sometimes it’s easy to overlook the small parks that dot the landscape. Two such parks are found in Clearlake Oaks, where you can picnic, fish, or simply bird-watch – Clarks Island and Nylander Park. Both provide a shady interval from a busy day. 

Everything’s Poetic: A Poetry Video

This is the 32nd official poetry video that Donihue has released this year, so if you have yet to see his series The Poetry Verse, make sure and visit the channel page when done watching.

Everything’s Poetic starts like the darkest of tales, a somber poem with a haunting original score carrying the desperate words of a former addict and present-day depressive. Yet in his momentary state of hopelessness, epiphanies are born. The philosophy of the empath is employed, changing his disposition entirely.

Everything’s Poetic will penetrate you in the beginning and then leave you cheering for our headless hero and life itself by the end.

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.

At Home in the Wild: What I Learned as Poet-in-Residence on the Boston Harbor Islands – by Brian Sonia-Wallace

Just beyond the skyscrapers, there are wild islands in Boston Harbor. A series of “drowned drumlands,” they are peaks formed by glaciers during the last ice age and are now sunk in the Atlantic. Today they are a dazzling archipelago of blackberry thickets and quaint New England cottages, with the Boston skyline looming on the horizon during sunset. Shortly before the pandemic, I served for two weeks as the islands’ Poet-in-Residence.

Pay it Forward: Toads Jump

I am happy to present to you our 32nd local business spotlighted in the Pay it Forward feature – Toads Jump.

Our recent Lake County business featured was Middletown Mail & More and Vehicle Registration Service and owner, Chanele Hellwege chose to Pay it Forward to Toads Jump.

Savoring the Hours of Flowers

Solar-powered flowers of spring and summertime have a way of putting a smile on everyone’s face. It’s comforting to observe the quiet and gentle unfolding of spring each year. I like to look for the ‘usual suspects’: flowers that show up almost like clockwork, such as plentiful poppies in the fields along Lake County highways, or the shade-craving trillium that materialize as stealthily as a grazing deer under the pines, appearing almost prehistoric with three petals and three bracts or modified leaves. Native trillium is understood to be a ‘tri flower’ and is also known as wake-robin. Trillium proliferates in the gentle climates of North America and Asia.


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