What’s Up This Week – 2.23.24

Have you ever self-diagnosed? I was sure I had allergies until I saw a pulmonologist who said I had a treatable case of asthma leftover from Covid. Then, I found myself with an ENT because my ears were bothering me. After she searched, probed, and explored every orifice on my head, I found out I have a complete blockage of my sinuses, which can be easily fixed. But before I could address that issue, my doctor sent me to see a cardiologist (yes, another doctor) because I have a non-threatening heart murmur. After a jovial conversation with her, she sent me to get an echocardiogram and a stress test for my heart. I wanted to decline the offer but decided to go ahead with it because doctors so love their tests. Fun Fact: Did you know that when you are getting an echocardiogram, and the clinician says to squeeze your stomach, they don’t mean with your hand? Yes, I’ll keep that thought just between us. Here’s another Fun Fact: Did you know that when you do a stress test, you wear nothing but your birthday suit from the waist up? Yes, I wore a gown, but I don’t count a barely tied-together open-in-the-front hospital gown as an article of clothing. It makes sense when you consider the number of bells and whistles connected to me. 

As I ping-pong between my doctor’s appointments and they review each other’s tests, you should see the satisfaction on their faces, marveling at each other’s handiwork on me, their guinea pig. The good news is other than my sinuses, I am healthy and well, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel after nearly a year of tests, tests, and more tests. Soon, I will go back to just annual check-ups. That is if I don’t self-diagnose again!

This week, I continue my Blue Zones journey with you, and Kathleen tells us all about Lakeport’s newest park! Then we have a lovely short story in the Our Voice column, the Music Guide, some good news, and of course, more local history. Have a great weekend, Lake County, and stay safe and healthy!

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.

What’s Up This Week – 2.16.24

This week, life has gone back to normal in our home: meaning, life with Wifi and electricity, of all things. And although the weather is telling us we are still in the middle of winter, I noticed the calling and “tweet tweet” of our birds’ return and the first bit of green from our tulips. Spring is in the air. For those of you who commute to Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma, you are already seeing wildflowers! And one more thing I’ve seen this year: so much color in gray. I know how weird that sounds, but with enough visibility, rolling hills bring layers and colors of gray that have captured my attention. It is sheer beauty. There is no doubt that this rain will bring a spectacular spring!

This week I am happy to tell you about a new restaurant. Well, it’s new to me, not to Lake County. Then we’ll catch up on the recent Pay It Forward article, a poem in the Our Voice column, and all the usuals. And for those of you who are small business owners, The Bloom is offering special ad rates just for you! Contact The Bloom for details. We would love to help your business grow. Have a great weekend, Lake County.

What’s Up This Week – 2.9.24

Well, Cobb got its first snow day of the season. Unfortunately, it also brought damaging rain and a windstorm along with it. The devastation is unspeakable. We were lucky; only an oak branch broke and fell on our roof, hanging over our electrical wires. Thanks to PG&E and a local arborist, we have a plan to get it removed without causing more damage. 

Others did not fare so well. Trees blocked roads, preventing people from leaving their homes, and numerous homes had trees fall on them. In areas where so many trees fell, it looked like matchsticks blown over, leaving massive power outages and no internet for days. That’s the bad news. The good news is the stories of neighbors helping neighbors and everyone coming together to do what they can to help. And in record time, considering the massive damage, PG&E and our county have been tirelessly working to restore power, clear roadways, set up a warming shelter, give away food bags, provide showers, and so much more. And so, as this week comes to an end, I can’t help but feel grateful. So many lives threatened have been spared. Sure, there’s a lot of damage, but that can be fixed. Sometimes, we are reminded that every day is a gift, and today is no exception. So, I will continue to be grateful for life and the community I live in and thankful for all who have lent a helping hand this week.

With a whole lot of distractions and days without power and internet, I’m going to keep things short and simple this week and let Kathleen take the lead when she tells us all about feathers. How calming and wonderful is that! Then we’re going jump right to the Music Guide, a little bit of good news and some local history. I’m going to take more than a minute to focus on gratitude as things slip back into the ordinary and life resumes its normal rhythm and routine. I hope you do, too. And whatever your plans are for the weekend, be safe, Lake County.

What’s Up This Week – 2.2.24

I was emailing a friend this week that I am still thankful for the rain. But I can honestly say at some point, my thankfulness might move to complaining. But since I’m still thankful, I have a small confession to make. I did it. I’m doing something I promised myself I’d never do. I’m telling you about one of our family’s best-kept secrets in Lake County. It’s truly an experience to be shared, or so I’m telling myself. And for the record, it’s not actually a secret. It is on the map and talked about, so to speak. I’m just finally now telling you about it. I’ll leave it at that. 

On a less controversial topic, I’m happy to see our most recent Pay It Forward article feature one of my favorite small businesses that I discovered only a few months ago: Middletown Antiques. Be sure to check it out. Then, take a minute to read this week’s Our Voice column, especially if you are a music lover. And talking about music, the Music Guide is full of great live music choices happening in and around Lake County. And last but not least, we have plenty of good news and local history. 

For those of you brave enough to go out and about, I salute you. As for me, I’m hunkering down for the possibility of snow on Cobb. How fun would it be to have a snow day on the weekend instead of on a weekday! Wherever you are and whatever your plans are for the weekend, have fun and be safe out there, Lake County.

What’s Up This Week – 1.26.24

Well, we are well on our way into the new year, and we have so much to be grateful for. Take the rain, for example–it won’t stop! Our lake isn’t full, but it promises to be, and the drought is another year behind us. The other thing that comes to mind is that Lake County doesn’t sit still for long. Oh, we tend to relax a bit in January, and then we start planning all kinds of community events. Our annual crab feeds and auctions are just around the corner. Isn’t it great that we get to get together, have a whole lot of fun, and give money away to worthy causes all at the same time? I mean, does it really get better than that? I hope you are planning on fitting these events into your calendar!
This week, I’m excited to launch my personal Blue Zones journey with you. I want to introduce to you the Power of 9 Principles. I promise it’s not a diet and not boring, and you can’t fail at it, trust me. I’ve got more personal stories to share about it in the future months. Then join Kathleen Scavone as she talks about our relationship with the weather, and boy, are we experiencing that right now. Also, be sure to sit back and enjoy a recipe for you foodies out there in the “Our Voice” column. The Our Voice column showcases all the things you, our readers, love. So if you’ve got a story, recipe, poem, song, joke, or idea, be sure to send it to us here. Remember, We’re always looking for new ideas and submissions. Then check out the music scene in the Music Guide, some good news, and local history. Have a great weekend, Lake County!

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.

The Bloom Turns Five!

Well, well, well, The Bloom is turning five! Can you believe it? I feel like a proud parent bragging about their kid. And perhaps that’s appropriate when considering how The Bloom became The Bloom.

Five years ago, the editor of The Middletown Mercury announced his retirement. It was a huge bummer for us readers because it was one of the only sources of good news about Lake County.

So my husband and I had the crazy idea of taking over the Mercury, you know, as a hobby. Well, six weeks later, we became proud owners of a local newspaper. But, for a few legal reasons, we couldn’t keep the name or the subscription list, so we were on our own.

Celebrate With the New Bloom!

My, how time flies, The Bloom is turning five this year! Can you believe it? Not only that, but The Bloom just incorporated and, you may have noticed, we have a new domain name, thebloom.news. Thanks to your monthly donations, The Bloom has been and continues to be free to all who subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

So what does all of this mean? We want to celebrate, of course! So here’s the deal. Donate $10 or more monthly, and you’ll get Bloom stickers in the mail. Donate $20 a month or more, and expect to get a Bloom hat or T-shirt–your choice! And for our top monthly donors, you will be invited to a one of kind dinner with The Bloom and its writers in late summer or early fall. So if you’re already donating, keep it up! And if you’re not already donating, it’s not too late. If you donate for three consecutive months, you’re in on the goodies. So let us spoil you as we celebrate together! Click on the button below to donate.

This week we’re happy to tell you about our recent trip to one of our local theaters. And don’t forget to check out our recent Pay It Forward article as we visit another local small business! Plus, don’t forget to check out our weekly poetry. Finally, in between visiting your live music venues, be sure to check out the annual Buckingham Test and Tune as the tradition returns to Lake County once again. 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.

A RealAge Journey: The Holiday Test

How’s your RealAge journey going? If you’re like me, trying to fit in a health plan in the middle of the holiday season comes with its ups and downs. But I just downloaded the Sharecare App, and already I’m learning new things. Did you know that how long you can stand on one foot with your eyes closed is another indication of your real age? It is worth looking at once you’ve finished your RealAge test. Going back to the holidays, I can honestly say there are many things I did well over Thanksgiving and one thing I’m going to improve on during this Christmas.

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.

Complimentary Tastings, Free Appetizers, Discounts on Rooms – Why Wouldn’t You Want to Get a Lake County Winery Passport?

Spring’s in the air, and it’s a great time to get out and support some of our local wineries and businesses. And what better way to do it than by getting a Winery Passport? It’s got complimentary tasting at eighteen Lake County wineries, plus a host of other perks. Pick up a free appetizer at the Saw Shop Public House when you purchase an entry, enjoy a complimentary kayak rental from Clearlake Campground, or get a discount on a room at one of several places, such as the Tallman Hotel or The Lodge at Blue Lakes. You’ll pay $66.95 per passport, and once you go to a couple of wineries, you’ll have paid for it already. For more information about the program and to purchase, head to the Lake County Winery Association Website.

Got Some Writing Skills and Want to Make Some Cash? The Bloom is Looking for Restaurant and Winery Reviews

The Bloom seeks quality restaurant and winery reviews. If you love Lake County’s food and wine and have the ability to tell a story, get in touch with us. We’re looking for storytellers, not reporters, and consider the ability to communicate an experience of vital importance. For more information, check out our submission guidelines.

It’s Easy to Help Out: Support The Bloom and Watch Us Grow

We want to thank you for being a part of our vision. It’s you, our readers, who make what we do possible. And we’re succeeding! In our first two years, we’ve shared our vision with over 104 countries and tens of thousands of different people.
However, our mission still needs some love to grow. With your support, we can add more columns, write more restaurant reviews, profile more of our best businesses, and showcase the tremendous outdoor opportunities our county has to offer.
That’s why we’ve set up an option to support The Bloom financially. It’s a great way to help promote our positive message and further The Bloom’s vision. We’ve set up donations to be simple: starting at $5/month, you can help us move forward. Once you donate, then comes the fun part: watching us grow. The Bloom has lots of plans in the works, and your support will allow them to become a reality.
We believe that when we help each other, we will all succeed. Financially supporting The Bloom will not just help us grow; it will also help our local economy, as we are all about encouragine local businesses. We are a community-focused organization, and none of our efforts would be possible without the help of people and businesses like you. Your support is greatly appreciated and will make a difference.
Thank you for being a part of our community and our story.

TO SUPPORT THE BLOOM, VISIT https://thebloom.wpengine.com/support

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.


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.

error: Content is protected !!

Your Cart

QTY : 1
$26.81 (incl. tax)