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Pentimento Fading (Changing Hues)

It was on my first visit to Europe, a college trip, and I was convinced that the woman selling chestnuts in Paris’s Place de la Concorde in 1974 was an old woman, who had smelled that steam rising from her roaster for decades. I took a photo of her that hung proudly on my wall; it kept my desire to return to Paris vibrant.

Years later, I returned to the Place de la Concorde. There she was, in what I think was the exact spot she stood in 1974. She looked just the same.

Except she really wasn’t.

Lake County Music Guide – 7.23.24

I just noticed that KC and the Sunshine Band will be playing at Cache Creek Casino in Brooks on Friday, celebrating their 50th year. Well, get down tonight! What that means to me is that it’s been 50 years since I retired my Madras shirt, bell-bottom pants, and platform shoes. I actually bought this outfit for a wedding in 1973, but during the night following the event my dog chewed up my new boogie shoes, and without any other appropriate shoes to go with my new ensemble, I decided to toss them all. Other than for that specific event I’ve always been a Levis, tee-shirt and sneakers kinda guy, (as many of you have wryly mentioned…). But, hey – I like comfy clothes – that’s the way I like it, uhuh uhuh. For all of you who want to shake shake shake your booties, here’s the comfy live music schedule for the week of 7/23 through 7/29…

What’s Up This Week – 7.19.24

Just yesterday, I found out that a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with leukemia. Whether this is the kind of news we find out about ourselves or those we love, it always comes as unexpected, even though we always feel it lurking nearby. Today I am reminded to take every day as a gift and to never take for granted the moments we share with those we love. This moment is our treasure, my friends, because tomorrow is not guaranteed. These aren’t new words, only words we can never forget.

This week, I have the pleasure of letting Jim Steele take the lead article when he talks about NASAS’s recent photo in an article on our beloved Clear Lake. It’s a must-read. Then we move on with our most recent Pay It Forward article and a fun read in Our Voice by our newest regular contributor, local writer Jordan O’Halloran. It’s a fun read with a great twist at the end. Then, we’ll wrap things up with the Music Guide, local news, and some history. Have a great weekend, Lake County!

A Green Clear Lake?

If anything was going to catch your attention, NASA’ Earth Observatory did with a photo from their Landstat9 satellite showing a very green cast to Clear Lake. The story author’s takeaway was that Clear Lake in Lake County, California, has so much nutrient in its water column that the lake has a runaway algae bloom, and went on to describe potential negatives. Social media had so much to say about this, that visitors on the following holiday weekend were nil. They just stayed away.

Pay It Forward – CJS Property Services

CJS Property Services is locally owned and operated by Chad Elliston. He is an honest handyman that specializes in property vegetation management, junk removal and demo. Chad’s property services include everything from fence & gate repair to maintaining a fire safe property through the recommended method of STRING trimming.

“Sample Gone Wrong” by Jordan O’Halloran

Turning into a vampire is nothing like the way they show in movies. There’s nothing romantic about it. There’s no beautiful woman or bodybuilder-looking man with their teeth in your neck preparing you for your new life. The process is quick, mostly painless, and leaves you wishing for complete darkness, from your clothes to lighting at restaurants.

What’s Up This Week – 7.12.24

This week, I’m covered in paint again. And once you start painting one project, it seems a thousand other paint projects rear their ugly heads. It’s been so hot these past few days, the paint was drying before I could actually paint anything. So, I took a few snow days off from my paint projects. I mean, if winter can have snow days, can’t summer have them too? Maybe we’ll call them sun days. I don’t know, but I know one thing for sure; I am beyond grateful for air conditioning!

OK, OK, I hear you! Many of you have been asking The Bloom to expand beyond Lake County, and I’m listening to your wishes. This week, Jonah will tell you about our family’s favorite sushi joint in Calistoga. Then, right back home, Kathleen is going to take us on a trip to Lake County’s Black Forest. Then, sit back and relax with a poem by Tom Squitieri in the Our Voice column and catch up on some good news and local history. Have a fabulous weekend Lake County!

Leaving Lake County: Sushi Mambo

It always amazes me how a few miles over a mountain can make such a difference, but coming down St. Helena into the Napa Valley is like entering somewhere uniquely different. Growing up, I always heard about the area and how people called it ‘Disneyland for adults,’ but until we moved to Lake County, I never knew what it was like. Lake County is rural, neighborly, and absurdly beautiful. Calistoga is tamed, agricultural, and filled with people from all over the world. That’s what makes eating at Sushi Mambo so fun. With just a short drive, I get to be a tourist, eating out at a restaurant filled with people from Europe, Asia, and Milwaukee. 

The Black Forest of Mount Konocti

Lake County’s 225-acre Black Forest was saved from development and logging by the Lake County Land Trust (LCLT) in 2004. Locals had been concerned about the fate of the forest since 1999 when a committee called Save the Black Forest took shape.

Lake County Music Guide – 7.9.24

Nobody likes to cancel a gig because of the weather, but especially if it’s too hot. Last week, there were a handful of venues that canceled their live music events, and with temps pushing 110°, it should’ve been a no-brainer. I played last Thursday and suffered a slight heat stroke during the first set, and I haven’t been right since. One should never mess with extreme heat. This weekend may bring us much of the same, although forecasts show it is dropping down to the low 90s on Saturday and for several days thereafter. Unfortunately, I have been reminded that the Humpday Howler at the Smiling Dogs Ranch has been “postponed” to a later date, and who knows what else will also be. But bear with it – the below-the-century mark events are just around the corner. Here’s what’s happening during this week in Lake County…

What’s Up This Week – 7.5.24

Have you ever started a project that took longer than expected and cost more than you thought? Well, that’s the kind of project we are in the middle of. Here’s what we thought when we bought our shed kit: Get it done in June, and we’ll have the rest of summer to have fun. But when we started digging out the hillside, we found boulders, yes, rock boulders that had no desire to be moved. So, with the added purchase of a jackhammer and all its parts, we finally had a foundation put in by the end of June. Today, I am painting just like I was yesterday on the 4th. But, on a bright note, the colors are appropriately white and red. All that’s missing on my hands, arms, feet, clothes, hair, face, etc, is the color blue, and I would be downright patriotic!

This week, I’m going to tell you about a local spot that should be everyone’s favorite. I recently visited Santana’s Cottage in Lakeport. Then, read up on our most recent Pay It Forward article, and we’ll go straight to the Music Guide with more fun-filled things going on this weekend than you can possibly do, no matter where you live in the county. Then, we’ll wrap things up with some good news and local history. Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Lake County!

A Taste of Santana’s Cottage: Lakeport’s Culinary Retreat

It’s a warm summer day in downtown Lakeport. The morning’s long shadows are giving way to the sun’s rising glow and warming temperatures. Main Street’s bustling traffic slows at the edge of town when coming from Main Street. Practically a Lakeport landmark, Santana’s Cottage is conveniently located on the lake side at the corner of Main and 11th Street. You see it all the time going from destination to destination. But today, it is the destination.

Pay It Forward – AMP’d Studios

AMP’d Studios is locally owned and operated by Amanda Santana. She specializes in preserving your special moments with breathtaking photography. Amanda offers a variety of sessions, such as weddings, family, prom, business, sports, events and more.

Lake County Music Guide – 7.2.24

Since I write this up on Monday and Monday the 1st, I’m also paying my monthly bills. It’s gonna be a long day! And it’s gonna get hot – and I ain’t just talkin’ ‘bout the temps – there’s a whole lotta live music happening this 4th of July Week. Plus, I’ll try to list all the 4th of July parades, concerts, and fireworks displays in the last section of the guide. So, let’s get started – here’s the live music schedule for the week of 7/2 through 7/8…

What’s Up This Week – 6.28.24

Well, there goes June, and here comes the 4th! And holy smokes, does Lake County do the 4th right! It starts early at Austin Park with a carnival and continues through the 5th of July with fireworks at Konocti Vista Casino and Clearlake Oaks. This is the time to either visit Lake County or stay in town! Check out the details in the Big Calendar. This week, I realized I had already written about the “easy” Blue Zones Power 9 principles. When I say easy, I mean the topics I feel most comfortable writing about. Now come the ones I feel I either struggle with or can improve on. We’ll see which one I save for last, hahahah! Moving on now, Kathleen Scavone will tell us all about one of my favorite places, Highland Springs Reservoir. Then we’ll catch up on all the live music happening in the Music Guide, enjoy quite a bit of good news, and wrap it up with some local history. Whatever your plans are for the weekend and the 4th, I hope it’s filled with many happy memories to look back on.

Putting Loved Ones First in the Real World

When I decided to go on the Power 9 Blue Zones journey, I thought the principle of “Loved Ones First” was a done deal. I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I truly thought I had this one in the bag. However, on closer inspection, I think I am still redefining this principle in my life. Let me explain.

Highland Springs Reservoir – An Oasis of Beauty

Have you ever visited Highland Springs Reservoir? I can’t believe that in the over four decades of living in Lake County, I had never visited Highland Springs Reservoir until recently!  Highland Springs is located off Highway 29 between Lakeport and Kelseyville at 3600 Highland Springs Road.

Lake County Music Guide – 6.25.24

It is believed that we all have seven chakras that provide subtle energies that direct our minds, organs, and intellect to work at optimum levels and aid us in keeping our bodies and minds healthy. These are the focal points that, when viewed in a state of meditation, can simultaneously bring together the physical body with the subtle body. The psyche plane interacts with the body plane, and the belief holds that the body and the mind mutually affect each other. In regard to music, the bass instruments are more likely to affect your lower chakras, while more trebly instruments affect your higher chakras – and the five chakras in between all respond to the timbres of certain other instruments. Listening to a full orchestra can easily stimulate each of your chakras, making the experience both aurally and psychically complete. Get ready for a vast array of tonal timbres from our local musicians during this last week of June… Okay, sorry folks, the mushrooms are just starting to kick in and before I get way too esoteric, I’ll get to the business at hand – the live music schedule for Lake County for the week of 6/25 through 7/1…

The Absolutely True Story About the First Electricity in Lake County

So here’s how this story goes. It’s February 2020, just before Covid settled in like an unwanted houseguest. I’m sitting at the table inside the Prather’s cabin on so-called Siegler Mountain. Everyone in the cabin calls it Prather Mountain because, as Danny says, “Siegler was hardly here at all. We’ve been here lots longer than him.” I’m well into my second drink of Crown Royal and 7-Up, listening to three of the Prather brothers tell me stories about the history of their family, Loch Lomond and Adams Springs Resort. Mike Prather sits in a reclining chair, leaning far back. Steve sits at the table, and Danny moves from chair to chair, hopping up to pull ice cubes from freezer trays and pop them into red solo cups before filling them with more whiskey and 7-Up.

 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.

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.

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