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EDITORIALS

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

Not Your Ordinary B&B: The Featherbed Railroad, Part 1

“Where are you staying?” her blonde hair frames her bright smile. 

“The La Loose?” my husband states with an I’m ready for anything at this point sound in his voice. 

“Oh, the La Loose!” Jami’s smile brightens even more. “Well, be sure to add a bra to the collection if you have one you want to spare. Some of our guests have done that,” she says it so motherly, hospitably, and oh so matter of factly, like I’ve heard this conversation so many times before in my life. 

My shock is real. I try to hide it. I’m sure I fail. I’m equally sure my husband is too. “Oh!” I say as delighted and with as little fear and trepidation as possible.

Snow Day

The early morning sun’s bright winter yellow-blue hues glow between the slats of the window shades. There’s a stillness and unearthly quiet that can only mean one thing–the world is covered in a blanket of snow. Consciousness continues to drift in as a low hum of a generator from a distant neighbor pierces the stillness telling everyone the power is out. The realization that today is a snow day announces itself as a fact, not a maybe. No one is going to work or school today. Mother nature has decided that for us. Another reality sinks in–there’s no rush, no hurry to start the day or to leave the comfort of a warm bed. A smile and sigh seem the only definite choice for this moment.

My Blue Zones Journey: The New Year

My hat’s off to those of you who kept your New Year’s resolutions regarding diet throughout the whole year. As for me, I didn’t go overboard, but I enjoyed every bite, morsel, and crumb of all my favorite holiday foods knowing January and healthier choices were just around the corner. And here we are, well into January and the start of our new year. Now I know a thing or two about vegetarian food and may share some of your concerns regarding, shall we say, the way it tastes? I was raised vegetarian, and I am pretty familiar with a vegetarian diet. I know for sure two things: I hope I never eat my mother’s lentil/walnut meatloaf again. And I will always have bacon in my home from time to time.

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.

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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