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OUR VOICE

Betrayal and Resurrection

You look in the mirror, and you can almost see the spot. Somewhere floating between your heart and your gut. That is where betrayal lodges once you realize the rug had been pulled out from under you, the wool was pulled over your eyes, the sap was you.

Evie & Will: a meet-cute

Evie Macomber watched as a big rig truck, then a massive, articulated tractor, and a few cars passed, going either north or south on Main Street. A girl born and raised on the edge of town in a single-wide mobile home, Evie seldom ventured far from home by herself, never farther than her school.

Fog

The interplay of land and fog,

Multiple micro-systems

Display dissimilar versions of vapor.

In places it floats, or rolls, billows or mists.

Energy captured and released in slow motion,

Vaporous kaleidoscope of muted winter colors:

Tan, brown, beige and grey.

Fog descends, deep penetrating cold,

Infiltrates my lungs, clings to clothes.

Drive Soda Bay Road for snapshots

Of a cotton-covered lake,

Panoramic Mt. Konocti framed by fog,

Wild nature sound of coots muted

As they disappear in a wet cloud.

Fog fades, a lone kayaker materializes from the mist,

Fog filters, sifts the past into the present,

Nature’s timeline.

Time Has Come: Revelations of a Mississippi Hippie

Some of you experts on new directions in Black music might be familiar with Betty Davis, née Mabry, the second wife of trumpet icon Miles Davis. Regarded largely as the Queen of Funk, Ms. Davis enjoyed a brilliant, genre-defying, standard-setting career and blew out her own flame, seemingly prematurely.

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. 

Deep Heart’s Core 

Two days into her retirement from the elementary school where she’d taught fifth grade for 30 years, Pam called her brother, Alan. Alan lived on the opposite side of the county in a small, Craftsman-style home on Clear Lake.  “I’m taking you up on your offer to hang out for a day or two.”

Five More Minutes!

Our daughter has become an expert at prolonging her playtime. “Five more minutes!” is a phrase she says to us when it is time to wrap up whatever she is doing – having fun with her toys, playing outside, or making splashes in the bathtub. It is a clever tactic of hers to increase her playtime. If you have a young kid, I am quite sure you can relate to it. Your child might tell you “five more minutes” when you tell them that their playtime is over or almost over.

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.

GETTING LOST IN LAKE COUNTY: ENJOYING THAT RANCH’S CORN MAZE

“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.

Changing Lives for Everyone in the Community: The Wine Auction

The day’s heat still wavers in the air, hiding behind tent flaps and resting in the still evening. The sun still has an hour to hang around before finally disappearing behind the mountains, and it’s gleefully watching over the hundreds of people milling around The Mercantile in Kelseyville. Here you’ll find winery owners and administrative assistants, school principals and county workers, exterminators and nurses, congressmen and construction workers. This cross-section of folk shows up every year for the same reason, and it’s not to swelter in the early evening heat. They’re all here for the Wine Auction, one of Lake County’s most important charitable events.

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.

Eight Great Places to Shop in Lake County (Plus Three Great Places to Eat)

Lake County’s home to amazing scenery, kind people, and a host of small businesses. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are. So take a weekend afternoon to get out and discover something new. We listed eight great businesses here, but don’t worry. Surrounding these wonderful places are dozens more, all waiting for you to discover them. 

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.

The Organ’s Breath of Life: Experiencing the Power of 7,455 Pipes

It is an unmatched sound that most of us have heard many times before. Its reverberating music fills the ear and body with notes high so high they prick the ears and so low they shake the ground. Collectively, its delicious music brings a full-body encounter. Nothing quite compares to an organ’s music, but absolutely nothing compares to listening to it in a cathedral. Welcome to the monthly organ recital at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. 

Four Great New Reasons to Visit Upper Lake

Not too long ago, I received an email from Lynne Butcher telling me there are several new businesses that have recently opened in Upper Lake. Lynne would know. Lynne and Bernie Butcher are the proud owners of the recently restored historic Tallman Hotel and Blue Wing, which hosts live music Friday through Monday in the courtyard year around. Their businesses are already two great reasons to visit Upper Lake, and I couldn’t wait to see more, so I eagerly set up a day trip to see for myself.

Essential Lake County: The Boat Races

The odor of heated fiberglass fills the air. I’m trying to keep up with what’s happening but can’t see through the smoke of the car with the blown head gasket trying to round turn one. Who’s in first? It doesn’t matter. A roar comes from the crowd watching turn three. It looks like a couple of boats got stuck together, and one car’s dragging the other around the track. I glance at it for a second, then get distracted by the major crash happening directly in front of the grandstands. A boat’s disconnected from its chain and cartwheels in front of the Blazer. The driver twitches the steering wheel, not to avoid it, but to ensure he gets a direct hit. He aims directly for the bow, and it explodes into a spray of fiberglass and old steering cables.

Not Your Ordinary B&B: The Featherbed Railroad, Part 2

There’s a crisp chill in the air this April afternoon. Gray clouds are high over Clear Lake, reminding us of recent rains and storms. But all is quiet today other than the sound of the residential Grebe calling for its mate. It’s easy to get lost in the view sitting on the porch of La Loose Caboose. But we’ve already decided to write about our experience. I mean, how often do you stay at a B & B and laugh as much as we already have after seeing bras hanging from the wall, mirrors over the bed, and the neon light glowing “La Playpen” over the sleeping area? It’s already too much fun.

20 Years, 25,000 Changed Lives: Operation Tango Mike

It’s another Thursday night in Lake County. We seem to be between rain storms, and even the sun has made an appearance as a promise of spring’s return. The sidewalks and streets of Lakeport are exchanging wet asphalt for dry. The day’s work is done, and most people are heading home for the evening. But on 11th Street, many are gathering, some strangers and some friends and acquaintances. My husband and I pull into the parking lot, dispersing a group of 4-H girls so we can park. Two men in Army uniforms approach the front doors to Umpqua Bank, and we know we are where we’re supposed to be on this third Thursday of the month in Lake County. 

Camping, Part 6: Surfing

There we sat week after week, watching the surf and our kids attempting to catch the perfect wave to ride into shore. Occasionally they got carried in standing, but more often than not, they came into shore tumbling and rolling. The thought of joining them in the wash cycle of the ocean didn’t seem all that appealing. Onlookers looked on with a little envy and wonder. There is definitely the feeling that those in the water were the cool people, and those of us on the beach in our dry clothes were definitely missing out. They were in the water, and we were not. Plain and simple. 

Exploring the World’s Largest Geothermal Plant: The Geysers

The chartered tour bus winds up the mountain, swings around switchbacks, and groans against the steep grade before pulling out on a ridgeline that workers call the North Slope, referring to how cold it gets in the winter when the wind blows. Right now the clouds rest below the tops of the surrounding mountains, dropping a mist that promises to turn into full-blown rain. Tim Conant, Calpine’s Director of Engineering, steps out of the bus first, followed by Danielle Matthews Seperas, Director of Government and Community Affairs. Both hunch their shoulders against the breeze and walk to the edge of the ridgeline. Just below, one of many geothermal power plants hums away, turning treated recycled water into electricity.

“When you flush a toilet in Clearlake Oaks, we pipe it up here and inject it,” Tim Conant explained earlier at the visitor’s center located in Middletown. He pointed at a large, lit model stretching across the wall. “We get about eight million gallons a day from Lake County and twelve and a half million from Santa Rosa.”

Seven Great Places to Shop in Kelseyville (Plus Three Great Places to Eat)

Kelseyville’s a great place, perfect for an afternoon or a weekend away. Resting at the foot of Mt. Konocti, it has kept that small-town, country friendliness. Plus, holiday shopping doesn’t get any easier than on Main Street. Just park your car and spend the afternoon perusing shops filled with local goods, tasting at award-winning wineries, and enjoying some great places to eat. We’re highlighting seven great places here, but that’s just a start: Kelseyville’s chock-full of great shopping.

Peace and Plenty Farm Wins 1 Team, 1 Dream Competition

The atmosphere’s expectant at the Soper Reese Theatre in Lakeport. The contestants nervously wait backstage while friends and neighbors mingle happily with each other around the tables. Maryann Schmid and Olga Martin Steele, co-founders and visionaries of the Hands Up Lake County competition, roam around the room, talking with people and addressing the innumerable details that attend an event of this size. With $100,000 offered in prizes, there’s a lot on the line.

Fashion, Friendship, Fun: Style and Soul Boutique

It’s another beautiful fall day in Lake County, where the days are shorter, and the bright golden light is slow to give way to cooler temperatures and blustery winds. It’s Tuesday afternoon, and it feels like fall could last forever. Orange, brown, and yellow leaves adorn the display window of  Style and Soul Boutique on Main Street in Lakeport, whether it’s autumn sweaters, tops, or dresses that tempt window shoppers to come in for a quick look around.

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