Saturday, October 3, 2009

End of Summer

On September 30th Sam and I went for our Sunday drive. Temperatures were in the triple digits as they had been all week. I had a sense that this was the last really hot weather for a season, and felt this day was really the end of summer. We looked on a map, and realized that during the summer we had visited every town in Butte County and I had photographed most every cemetery in the county plus many from other parts of Northern California. I thought it fitting, therefore to end the day and the summer at the Forest Ranch Cemetery near where we live.

End of Summer

Forest Ranch Cemetery

Forest Ranch Cemetery

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back on the road

After a lovely and memorable vacation to Seattle, the coasts of Washington and Oregon, plus an unexpected stop in Salem for a few days of forced rest, we are back to the North State.
Last Sunday, Sam and I were able to explore Butte and Glenn Counties including an old train station in Nord and 5 cemeteries. It was hot, but a good day.

Graves Cemetery Angel

Tribute to Abstract Expressionism

Wall of old train depot

Friday, July 31, 2009

Yountville in Napa Valley

Wednesday was Sam’s birthday and we took a trip to the Napa Valley, my hometown, to visit some old friends. We ate lunch in a lovely restaurant in Yountville and even managed to stop by a Pioneer Cemetery in Yountville.  At the well kept cemetery we saw a dated memorial to the Caymus Native American tribe, the gravesite of George Yount, a gravesite with one of the earliest dates of birth we have seen,  and two very unique gravesites, true memorials for the Napa Valley.

Louise, Sam and John

Only in the Napa Valley

Unusual and colorful memorial


George C. Yount 1794-1865

Caymus Indian Tribe tribute from 1950

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A History Discovery

 Often, this is what makes life interesting: to have an idea or experience, grab a thread from that experience and keep following that thread to another unique experience. That’s what Sam and I did last Sunday. We went back to the site where we had seen the possible Gen. Moore grave from the road and dressed with proper shoes and long pants, we hiked to it. Not only did we find the General Robert Moore grave that our roadside stranger had told us about the week before, but found it in a very abandoned and neglected cemetery, in the area where John Bidwell discovered gold in 1848.  The cemetery holds the graves of people from the town that was the original county seat in Butte County.  Now on private land, the graveyard is all that is left of a once thriving town called Hamilton,(not to be confused with Hamilton City in Glen County.) A mining town, it had a number of taverns, a store and a blacksmith shop, then a courthouse and a jail. A post office was opened in 1851 and closed in 1865. The county seat moved to Oroville and Hamilton slowly became a ghost town.  Now all that is left is the cemetery. I never did figure out the significance of Gen. Moore to the area, although the internet gives a long history of the family, and their eventual settlement in Oroville.

General Rob Moores Grave

General Moores Grave

Brownsville Cemetery

 From this wonderful site we drove on to the small towns of Feather Falls, Woodleaf, Clippers Mill, Strawberry Valley, Challenge and Brownsville.  In Brownsville we toured a beautiful cemetery. There we found the grave of a person born in 1788 —the oldest we’ve found so far in California.  and then stopped for lunch at Bonnie Lou’s cafe.  

Forbestown Cemetery

 In Forbestown we found another neglected and abandoned cemetery, deep in the woods and looking like it hadn’t been cared for in quite a while.  

Forbestown Cemetery

Lone Childs Grave

Lone Childs Grave

          Our last stop was the grave our previous roadside guide had told us about near Bangor. In the middle of a field was a small fenced grave, and in it was the gravestone of a 9 year old girl who died in 1855.  What made it tender and unique was that someone had layed two white teddy bears next to the marker, and 2 small pairs of childrens tennis shoes. It was a memorial as sweet as any tribute could have been. 

Lone Childs Grave

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bangor Cemetery

Bangor Cemetery

I celebrated my Independence Day by going for a drive over the July 4th weekend with Sam, continuing to explore the towns in Butte County, and particularly the Pioneer Cemeteries. Sam and I took the Oroville Bangor Highway until we got to Bangor and the Bangor Cemetery.  We were having some trouble finding it and asked a man walking on a country road for directions. It was Sunday afternoon, and a beautiful day, so he took great pleasure, and time in telling us where it was, as well giving us directions to an unknown cemetery near Honcut and a lone grave near Oroville....where he claimed a “General Moore” was buried. Later, I found out that Honcut is derived from “Hoancut”, the name of a Maidu village that was changed to Moore’s Station, then back to Honcut.  The man told us he found these places from exploring and hunting in the area since his arrival in the 1960s. 

Bangor Cemetery

Honcut Cemetery

Honcut Cemetery

Honcut Cemetery

Honcut Cemetery

The Bangor Cemetery was beautiful, but nothing compared to the abandoned Honcut Cemetery unmarked and completely wild, situated on 3700 acres of farmland,. It was an enchanting experience, the wind blowing the tall weeds and the giant oaks protecting the abandoned graves hidden in the tall grass. We didn’t realize until I was finished photographing and a large pick-up drove up that we were on private land. A farmer with his young son told us that he was leasing the land from a lawyer who lived in Taiwan. We chatted a bit and thanked him and drove out, feeling lucky we had the chance to visit the site, and that the gate had been open. I told Sam my story, that the land owner was Asian, and just as the pioneers whose remains we were just honoring had come in and destroyed most of the native people and their cultures for the land, now an Asian person owned that same land, including the cemetery. Sam’s story was the man was just a rich white lawyer living in Taiwan. I like my story better, it has more symmetry.


RIP Bobby B.


From Honcut we traveled to the Butte/Yuba County border, and I photographed a different kind of memorial on the Highway, “R.I.P. Bobby B.”  

RIP Bobby B.

General Moores lone grave

Amazingly enough, Sam remembered the man’s directions for the  Gen.Moore grave site, and we drove there. Even though we couldn’t access the grave from the road, Sam did spot it, and I was able to take a photograph with my telephoto lens from the road. One day we’ll go back and figure out a way to walk to it. In the meantime, we’re planning our next adventure.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wealth and Well-Being

We're happy to say our full website and blog are finally up at website announcing our new book. We began our journey encouraging therapists, counselors and helping professionals to consider addressing financial consciousness as part of over all well-being. The following is a page from our website.  We are hoping this will be a useful contribution. 
About the Book

The taboo against talking about money with your clients is over!

This book guides you in addressing the connection between self-care, self-worth and net worth with your clients.

People spend money on what they value.  Help your clients build the "values nest eggs" they need for a fuller, richer life.

Wealth and Well Being, a book for therapists, counselors and helping professionals, delivers the message that speaking about money should not be taboo. It teaches about money in the United States and addresses the emotional roadblocks that stop clients from achieving the wealth and abundance they desire. These roadblocks include anxiety and compulsive behaviors with money and spending, depression, trauma, and poor self-care.

The book is a guide to help counselors in the recovering community to address specific issues in money and recovery with their clients. It is filled with helpful worksheets and vignettes that make a complicated issue in our society manageable and clear.

Buy the book now.

A complete set of the exercises and worksheets in the book is now available in convenient PDF format.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whats the Promise?

I was e chatting with my sister Jo this morning about keeping the faith in the joy of our lives when we often can’t see or control the means for the outcome. We said that often we forget that despite or maybe because of conflicts, our lives always seem to work out. When I ask her for ideas of what to write about this morning, she said write “ that you are happy to be alive and enjoying life!” What a great idea, because in fact, that’s true. I continue to actually see the end of the rainbow, it is not illusive. When I see it, it is not the traditional pot of gold, but the promise that the gold is the gold of my intention and creation. True, I am creating my life often times in the middle of chaos, confusion and fear, but I believe in the promise that things will work out even if I don’t know how. In that I have faith. I am happy to be alive and I do enjoy my life! Thanks for the reminder Jo. Oh, and happy birthday to your first born, how lucky you are to have him in your life, as I am for mine!   Life is good.

Rainbow on Orchards

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Berry Hill, Lake Madrone Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery, Berry Hill, Lake Madrone

Berry Hill, Lake Madrone Cemetery

Sometimes as a photographer, I get excited about doing a series of photographs on a certain theme.  I will focus on that theme for awhile, and then move on, and come back to it again. These small projects usually are part of a whole set of interests that I seem to be drawn to as a photographer and artist. Themes that I have been interested photographing over the years have been the disapearing icons in California and elsewhere. Movie theatre marquees, drive in movies, phone booths, old gas stations and pumps, weathered barns, and other "echos of the past"  are all images that I like to photograph. Pioneer Cemeteries have been my latest interest in our travels around and about the north state. 

Grinding Rock next to Cemetery

Maidu Cemetery

Maidu Cemetery

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dana Cemetery

Northern Trip

On a recent weekend trip, Sam and I drove further north, winding our way through little town after little town and ended up staying overnight in Shasta, California. We found some amazing pioneer cemeteries, peacefully nestled in the pines and redwoods, silent witness to our California heritage. They are a small slice of history, a memorial to the people who came to California during the gold rush. There are no clear obvious markers for the native peoples who were here before time and the Californiano’s who came next, but these monuments mark this time, this change, and in that way tell a silent story. 

Fallen Wooden Cross

Dunsmuir Cemetery


Tehama Cemetery

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wealth and Well-Being

May 20, 2009

For our 20th wedding anniversary, Sam and I received the first copies of a book we wrote together entitled: Wealth and Well-Being: How Therapists, Counselors, and Helping Professionals Can Assist Clients through the Emotional Barriers to Financial Independence., It has been a labor of love, in more ways than one. We began writing it over three years ago, and it will be published and ready for purchase in the beginning of June. Who knew that when we met over 40 years ago as teenagers, that we would end up creating this book and the the lives we are now blessed to live full of true wealth and well-being. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Some "North State" Photography

  “North State”

Photography Exhibition

by Suzanne Lorenz

 May 7, 2009- June 3, 2009

South Feather Water and Power Lobby

2310 Oro-Quincy Hwy.

Oroville, California 95966

8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. 

(530) 533-4578 option 1 


Chico Art Center, “Contemporary Women 2009"

May 2-31, 2009

All photographs for sale. Contact the artist

South Feather Power, Oroville Exhibit

Mother's Day Mom at 90

Birthday Brunch with Sam, Esther and Jack

Murphy Barn with Poppies


I had a great birthday and mother's day weekend. I got to drive in beautiful places, which I like, and see and hear from people I love. I felt very loved and acknowledged this year.  For that I am grateful. Birthday’s are always a chance for me to reflect,  assessing my life’s intentions and goals.  Are my values and my life’s actions lined up? Am I doing what I intend? How do I want my life to be now? I’m entering into my sixth decade, which has with it the knowledge that I don’t have unlimited amounts of time left. I’m more reminded than ever that time and the people in my life are precious, and what I value.  This year I gave myself the gift of being with family and friends, giving and receiving love from my children, funding my art, and showing my photography in two public places, and always the gift of being married to Sam.  I am thankful. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Echos of the Past

Following Changes

Sunday, we drove to Cohasset, California, 15 miles northeast of Chico on top of a forested ridge with canyons on both the east and west sides. Originally used by the Maidu Indians in the summer, it also had occasional visits by the Yana, Yahi, and Wintun Indians until the 1800’s when the European invasion of trappers, gold seekers, and lumbermen blew through with the typical results. Prize winning apple orchards made a brief claim to fame in the early 1900’s but as the soil and water was depleted, farming and people moved on. Today, 750 people reside in a slowly declining community. The store, gas station, fire station, and school all have been closed, and the only remaining business is an antique store, the site of this gas pump. The owners' granddaughter said she thought the gas station was active when her grandmother bought it in 1966, and long before it was built. a stage coach station, but she wasn’t sure. It’s California, always changing, never still, always changing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mustard Hill

Mustard Flowers

Spring Road

Spring Day


Spring in Northern California is always unpredictable and uncertain. Last week, I was wearing sweaters, this week, shorts, you never know about the next week. What is certain is how beautiful everything is outside, the spring flowers, the orchards blooming, everything so green and lush, not yet the summer browns that are coming soon. Words seem inadequate. I’ll show some photographs I’ve recently taken. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wagon Wheel in the Sun

Do nothing

I’ve just finished reading The Tao of Pooh. The last chapter is called, “Nowhere and Nothing” where the author, Benjamin Hoff  attempts to illustrate the concept of the “empty mind” .  He describes through the Pooh characters the art of doing nothing. Christopher Robin says in answer to Pooh’s question how do you do nothing? “Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do, and you say, Oh, nothing, and then you go and do means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Hoff uses the books of Pooh to explain Lao-tse’s writings in the Tao Te Ching. He goes on to quote the forty-eighth chapter of The Tao Te Ching, “To attain knowledge, add things every day, to attain wisdom, remove things every day.”  Every day I hear people, including myself, complain about how much they forget, how many times they can’t remember the names of people, places and things. We are a nation of people frantic about their forgetting, yet it’s in our forgetting that we have a chance to clear our minds, and just be. Do nothing. Sit in the sun, look into the eyes of a loved one, do nothing. When I pick up my camera, it's a way of reminding myself, by the things I focus on, to just be, and although I often times click the shutter, I often don't .