I’ll use this area to share what’s on my mind, musings, and other random ramblings. If you would like to subscribe to my blog, scroll down to the bottom of this page and provide your email address in the space provided.

“Evolved to Exercise”

“Evolved to Exercise”

Today I went to the dentist. Every 90 days I have my teeth cleaned. My body produces an extreme amount of tartar. Seriously, I floss, drench my teeth with a water pic and avidly use my electric toothbrush, but I cannot defeat my body. It needs/wants/ must produce too much tartar. I accept it. It is one of the minuses of my personal chemistry.

I believe that I have to have my teeth cleaned regularly and I actually look forward to it. My dental hygienist gives me little gifts of dental floss and sometimes a new toothbrush. Today I was lucky, she gave me a small tube of toothpaste. Really great for traveling.

In the waiting area I noticed a Scientific American magazine –the front cover and the featured article: “Evolved to Exercise”.  The premise was: homo sapiens (that’s me, too) have evolved to stay in regular motion. We are unlike the other primates who spend a great deal of their day napping and grooming. Their leisure leaves their hearts and muscles working just great. However, we are hunting animals who stand upright and out walk our prey. I went on and on about this in my book.

Hmmm. I know the information and I believe it, but I have spent the winter reading, napping, brooding and watching Netflix. I have nested in my comfortable, warm, snack ridden home.

Yes, It has been a long, cold and snowy winter and I do live up a steep scary driveway. But I am not a gorilla. And I am feeling the effects of my sedentary habits. Not in a good way.

And the odd thing is all my reading and research told me that the human body needs and demands regular exercise. Of course, viewing this information in the Scientific American gives it new authority.

Now that I once again have had it confirmed that I need daily exercise then I have to find new ways to look forward to it. I had plenty of advise (for my readers) about how to do that in my book.

Claire. Shame, shame.  Tssssk.

Thank goodness the weather is better.

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The latest government crisis has certainly brought into focus the disparity between the moneyed elite and the so-called middle class bureaucratic workers who help run the day to day of our country. How many Senators would work without pay?

Did you guess how close to edge the “average” middle of road family runs their show?  The economics of paying bills, feeding children, providing medicine and even filling the car with gas turned out for many workers to be a fragile balance pivoted on their pay checks. The assumptions of  “rich” politicians that, of course, everybody has plenty of financial back up with the resources to cover their daily expenses made their comments callous and disturbing. Missing a few weeks of income…that can’t be much of problem. Surprise, it turns out many of the common folk don’t have access to family money, cheap loans, off shore bank accounts … or even any saved money. A smaller and smaller group owns the “good life”.

All this made me think about my own finances. Now it is true that I do have resources, some cash, income (with its interesting ups and downs) and some non liquid assets.

I can wait out the skimpy winter months in my Gallery with the promise of happy tourist dollars in July. However, what if…. and more likely …yes I will eventually need a new car and the house (I am so attached too) will need serious attention.  Those are huge expenses that I can put off for a few years, but not forever.

What if I become ill, feeble or lose my brights?

There is no unexpected inheritance (I have out lived most of my relatives) in my future. Will I win the Lottery?  Marry a Billionaire? Sell all my sculptures …at full price?

I feel the pain of bewildered people who expected the comfort and safety that all their hard work entitled them to, but the house of caring is gradually being dismantled by the greedy few.

As for myself at some point (down the road around the corner), I will need to downsize or reshape my finances to make my life as I age (who me) work in an increasingly tough world.

The road is rockier than I expected.

Wishing everyone the wisdom and the luck to negotiate the “new” America.

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Too Old

Too Old

Often, a child identifies more strongly with one parent. This may be reinforced by comments: “You are just like your father.” said in a not necessarily friendly tone. Or “You remind me of my Grandma Marie.”  (the one who had nineteen children). By the way, my Grandfather Max was her last child born today in 1842. Wow.

I definitely identified with my father.  I had his nose and his memory and his sense of self-pity. He was an older father (44 when I was born) and had grey/white hair always.  I learned that his marvelous abundant mane turned grey in his early twenties. I was certain that I would grey early. Suddenly, I was 55 years old with dark hair and I realized that I was too old to grey young.

In a few months I will turn 73 years old, and my hair does have some grey strands and even a few white hairs, but I find it unnecessary and boring to think of coloring my still dark hair. In this genetic trait, I definitely inherited from my mother’s long-lived family.

Last year, a number of my friends passed on, leaving me with a less loving and colorful world. I look at the Obituary Column in our local paper. Browsing, I think, “She (someone with a friendly face who I never met) was born in 1949. She was so young to die.”

Maybe, Claire it is time to accept that I am now too old to die young. Not that I ever thought I would, but time is running away from me.

Am I too old to do important (even just to me) artwork?

Too old to find a loving partner?

Too old to ski?




Forget about it.

If I so strongly take after my mother’s family – then how long should I expect to live? Averaging the life span of my six closest female relatives, I calculate 88.5 years. The same number I came up with using all kinds of insurance tables and scientific formulas. Well.

Maybe, I am not too old, yet.




Choose your Pain

Choose your Pain

I never thought of “pain” that is physical pain as being a constant in my life.  I have known and experienced plenty of emotional pain: grief, insecurities, humiliations, rejections and anger.  I understood than human life brings frustrations and failures as well as accomplishments, love, satisfaction and occasionally bliss. I have learned (more or less) to go with the flow, to understand nothing stays the same, and to be patience with my own turbulent nature.

However, what I did not expect was that my aging body would experience so much constant physical pain. I have bone loss in my shoulders and I cannot whip my arms above my head with out a sharp answer.  If spend too much time on my feet they ache and burn. Bending my right knee in some quick move makes me wince.  Yes, I can pretty much do what I want and if I must lift than by gawd I will life the load, but I am much more careful with my body than I used to be. Should I be?

Many of my friends are around my age that is a few years older or younger. Some of them are much less mobile than they want to be, many of them are experiencing severe pain in their feet legs and knees. Some of them have pacemakers, artificial hips or knees. Only one of them has zero limitations and zero pain.  She has made strenuous exercise part of her weekly routine for decades.  She (nameless but highly praised) swims 3 to 5 miles a week without fail.

As for me, I will be diligent for a segment of time with a real exercise program. After awhile I slack off if some artistic project seems all-important, or the weather is gloomy, or I stay up reading all night and I am too tired.  Well, what if I worked harder at being fit?  Should I?

Sometimes exercise seems to cause more pain. Should I push through? Allow myself to feel more pain from exercise.  Of course, I won’t be crazy…after all I am 72 years old.

I am going to give it a go…. Stay tuned.






I have been working very hard. In the last six months I finished a 7 foot soft sculpture, completed and installed a 5’ x 7’ ceramic mural, put together a three figure life size ceramic piece that I had not touched in 25 years, and created seven new ceramic murals. I also continued the usual with my gallery Claireworks.  Proving that at 72 years of age that I could still work.

Now, I am sleeping a great deal, lack luster and I am depressed as in postpartum depression.” Now what? “ says that part of me that always wonders: “What does this all mean?”

In predicable cycles I become inspired with an idea or several big creative ideas. If I commit to the project then my mind is absorbed, my time aligned. I put all doubts and worries aside.  For the next few months or the greater part of a year, all the  grieves and emotional challenges that usually haunt me subside.

Some of my friends who are my age have retired. Observing them as they continue, I wonder if the benefits of leisure out weigh the lack of stimulus and connection.  I read that many people find the retirement years the peak of their life. I wonder.

My mother continued to work until she passed away at almost 85. In spite of failing health, she continued to teach, keep herself attractive, her apartment in order and her checkbook current. Work shaped her days, made her apply her “face” in the morning and diligently cream her skin at night.

I am not very much like my mother.  Yet, like my dancer mother my work is the core of my life. My relationship with community, my children and my friends have been shaped by my drive for expression.

I have learned new skills and reached into myself in significant ways this last year. I am proud and satisfied with the outcome of my creativity.

I know that when my energy is restored that I will again be seized by a project. I am grateful to my muse.  Work.



Birthdays etc.


I am one those people who remembers other people’s birthday. Are you?

I never thought that my memory would become so crowded with the birthdays of people that I loved and admired that have passed on. Adding to the congestion.  I often now remember the anniversary of their death.

Take May for instance: May 1s t my mother died, May  1st  Adam Haley died way too young, May 1st is Ron Kalom’s birthday, May 14this my favorite Aunt’s Birthday (deceased), May 14 is A.’s birthday, May 23 was mother’s birthday, May 24this Zoe Zimmerman’s birthday, May 27this the birthday of Jack Lees (my step-brother) and May 30this Bob’s special day.  I actually acknowledge these dates. Don’t even ask about December.

Happily there are some new young and healthy folks I have met or have been born that I can celebrate with. The check is in the mail.

This week is an anniversary of a major event in my life.  I am feeling extremely emotional and quite wistful.  If…he had lived and if we were still talking and if we could still stand each other.  If, if … then August 10, 2018, John Michael and Claire Lisbeth would have celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Sometimes, older couples come in the Gallery and say with pride, “We have been married 40 years, 48 years, and even 55 years.” Sometimes, they look at each with affection and respect. I nod and congratulate them.


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In the introduction to my book, I said, “I have a lingering hope for a last romance.”

In 2015, a collector (shall we say a gentleman) called me about a broken ceramic sculpture and I suggested that I repair it and use the original clay piece as a model for a bronze sculpture that would not break – ever. He said, “Let’s do this.”

We began a professional relationship – collector and artist. He was very supportive through the lengthy process of making his bronze. I was charmed.  When the bronze was finished in May of 2016, he came to New Mexico and picked up the sculpture and we began to be more than friends.

The summer of 2016 was a glorious and romantic time for both of us. He often visited me and the weather was perfect. Every afternoon it would rain and we would sit on the porch and watch the storms. Censored.

I was so in love, happy, surprised with joy that when the red flags of his irrational, terrible and uncontrollable temper appeared I simply shoved any doubts away.  I could not consider any possible obstacles to living the rest of my life with him.

Really. He had been married four times to my lengthy one marriage. He had a strange catalogue of troubles with persons and organizations. I ignored his rants and upsets. He moved in May of 2017 and he moved out in April of 2018. It did not work for either of us. Too much drama.

He had many angelic qualities (his good side was remarkable and generous): he was entertaining, he was/is (to this old lady) extremely attractive and yes I think carrying way, way too much mental baggage.

No, I am not perfect, no angel, no saint…neurotic, egocentric, prone to upset, and overly sensitive. I am controlling and demanding. I am also affectionate, a great cook, loyal, and a good friend.

Now am reviewing my history with this man and I am amazed how codependent and really blinded by love/hope/desire I was.

This summer I am enjoying the calm and the quiet. I am concentrating on my artwork and sculpture. Praying for cooler days and rain.





Small town people I slightly knew dying

For Elaine Sutton and Lee Driver

 The colors of my world seem to be fading

Deaths of people I hardly knew seen from the corner of my eye for


Yes, I barely spoke with them

I never stopped and said words –meaningful words

Just waves and hellos

I saw them from the corner of my eye

We intersected in bars, grocery stores and crowded gatherings in the park

I could not call them friends


Yet, yes, why certainly yes their otherness was important

I cannot really say acknowledged

Flecks of gold/silver /purple/ orange in the clumsy fabric of

My small life in a small town


I was content with their distance…. faint spice

Aloof… I could be certain that they were alive,

Were they happy or sad?

Celebrating birthdays and other occasions I never celebrated with them


Unknowing to me

They sicken and worsen and died

I never really touched

Still I counted on them

To overlap/transect

And to be seen from the corner of my eye.



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Holiday fare and unfair.

Holiday fare and unfair.

The big meal is coming!!!

A few words about holiday food: What should I eat?

The short answer: Anything you feel like! The long answer: Your human digestive system is built to handle an amazing variety of foods, however, your cultural history will affect what you think is “good” to eat.

And, this is a big “and “, if you’re a modern person you probably have tried the Paleo diet, the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the Atkins diet or become a vegetarian and/or joined Weight Watchers. I have been on every diet and food plan, and I have managed to keep my slightly overweight body perfectly stable. In addition, you may be lactose intolerant, glucose sensitive, addicted to sugar or vulnerable to gas. HMMMMM.

What should you do when faced with Holiday fare? What should you do when asked to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for ten people on five different food plans?

As a hostess for a modern gathering, I segregate foods that might offend or upset individual sensitivities. Just imagine here is a bowl of vegetables, here another dairy free offering, here is the protein, in a pretty basket white dinner rolls and shyly sitting something that is “bad” for almost everybody. What happens inevitably is all the “sensitivities” liberally eat the food that they have declared off limits.

And what exactly is my coping strategy? I just try to enjoy the company and the food.  No guilt. Happy Thanksgiving.


Holiday fare and unfair.

Holiday fare and unfair.

The big meal is coming!!!

A few words about holiday food: What should I eat?

The short answer: Anything you feel like! The long answer: Your human digestive system is built to handle an amazing variety of foods, however, your cultural history will affect what you think is “good” to eat.

And, this is a big “and “, if you’re a modern person you probably have tried the Paleo diet, the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the Atkins diet or become a vegetarian and/or joined weight watchers. I have been on every diet and food plan, and I have managed to keep my slightly overweight body perfectly stable. In addition, you may be lactose intolerant, glucose sensitive, addicted to sugar or vulnerable to gas. HMMMMM.

What should you do when faced with Holiday fare? What should you do when asked to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for ten people on five different food plans?

As a hostess for a modern gathering, I segregate foods that might offend or upset individual sensitivities. Just imagine here is a bowl of vegetables, here another dairy free offering, here is the protein and over here something that is “bad” for almost everybody. What happens inevitably is all the “sensitivities” liberally eat the food that they have declared off limits.

And what is my coping strategy? I just try to enjoy the company and the food. No guilt. Happy Thanksgiving.


showing up in surprising ways

Showing up for others


I woke up this morning needing to write a short note to say how appreciative I am of several friends who have been faced with major health challenges.

Another of the trials of the aging process is not just confronting your own personal senior moments, but rather seeing your friends who were once vibrant and healthy become quite ill and frail.

Surprisingly, my “sick” friends are holding steady and offering warmth and love to their shaken and quite stirred up community.

Unexpected is their love and compassion for all of us witnessing their decline.

A big shout out to their bravery and to their continued grace. Thank you for holding the light.





20 years ….20 years more?

I am celebrating 20 years in business in  Arroyo Seco. Should I try for 20 years more?!?

On Wednesday August 3, 2017 my gallery opened her doors and began her 21st year in business.

I started my space with little fanfare and I have recognized that 20 years has passed with very little fanfare, but really I should be acknowledged for my stick to it ness, my stubbornness, my caring response to the public and of course, my creative out put. Congratulations Claire.

Gazing at the past, I truthfully feel grateful for the support of my collectors and the wonderful blue-eyed ladies who help me sell what I make. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Looking into the future, without a crystal ball or even a friendly psychic, I wonder how long can this small woman owned and run business continue? The last year I have been hard hit by professional shoplifters, two burglaries, and the cost of making my space “safe”. Yeah, I have had twenty naïve years of very low profile security systems and a nonchalant attitude. Now I have cameras, motion sensitive lights, new locked spaces, an up-graded security system and a steel gate.

A headache for us all getting in and out of the gallery, and a heart ache for me because I have to face that it is a tougher/crueler world than I would like it to be.

Can I stay open for another twenty years?? I would have to bet against it. My fabulous staff (big words for my friends who I employ) is getting older. My New Mexico Casting Company (family run) has raised their five children. And I ain’t so young myself. Yes, I am feeling fine and looking good. However, I am sadly witnessing the unfortunate health decline of many of my friends. I, too, am vulnerable to all the problems of an aging body. I am finite.

My mother, a dancer and a teacher, worked to the very end of her 85 years…I think that she was still her “marvelous” self almost to the very last moment. Is she my ultimate example? Can I stay the distance? Should my end time include one last design, one last painting and one last sale of the necklace that is just perfect for you?

Stayed tuned and stay healthy.


Planned or Unplanned Obsolescence.

Planned or Unplanned Obsolescence.

On a Saturday in April, my refrigerator broke down. First we noticed that suddenly there was a puddle of water in the ice cube bin and that the frozen artichokes hearts that I had been saving for a great future were now limp and tired.

The freezer did not fib; all my good food was getting warm and spoiling rapidly.

We consumed the delicious Chioppino (Italian fish stew) that I had made with care and dollars immediately for lunch. The next day, Bill went back to Texas where he had a working refrigerator and lots of local fast food restaurants. I began to throw out left overs and new beginnings.

The local small town appliance repair company who did not answer their phone until early Monday morning, gave me their soonest appointment late afternoon on Friday. “We are sorry, but we are all booked up.”

Friday came and the now empty frig got a careful examination. “Yes”, said the charming lady appliance repair person whose parents I knew and I remember crawling happily as a toddler at a picnic. “ Your ____board isn’t working and I am not sure about your compressor. First we will have to fix the____, before we know if the ____ is done for.”

Two days later, I got the bad news that the part for my nineteen-year-old refrigerator was “no longer available.” Now, I am very fond of this appliance and it still really looks good…no broken shelves, no dents and no visible scars. And it fits in its own counter depth cabinet.

I looked online for the replacement. I felt quite discouraged by the prices. I went to town and I visited local stores to review my choices. I soon learned that new appliances are only expected to last ten years. Nineteen years is an aberration. I wasn’t convinced. Still in town, I stopped and I visited the repair company’s office. I sat down with the pretty young service manager. We had a heart to heart conversation.

I asked, “What will you do with my old refrigerator?” The reply: “We will take out the Freon and put it in the dump.” I must have looked quite dismayed. After I left, the manager went the extra step and called the factory. Later that day, I got the “good news” –I could send my part to the factory and they could repair the part in house. After the ___ board was put it and only then we would find out if the compressor was functioning.

I wanted to save my old and still good-looking refrigerator that fit perfectly in my kitchen. Yes, I gambled $500 to fix the part, meanwhile living on oatmeal and smoked oysters-urrp!

Three weeks later the part went in and the refrigerator. …Well the dear girl is up and cold.

What about the old girl, Claire. Will the parts be available if I need them???

Planned obsolescence. …hmmm me too.






Fear of trickle down marginalization

Fear of trickle down marginalization

Woman already are disproportionally paid for their skills and therefore receive lower social security benefits. Women age 65 and older are much more likely to be poor than their male counterparts—and older, minority, and unmarried women are at greatest risk.

We (the aging population of women) are really going to be slapped around and stomped on by any fraying of the safety net of social services, Social Security, or Medicare. Even increased pollution, deterioration of the environment, and decreased low cost transportation are all going to impact everyone’s ability to create and enjoy a quality life. Not to mention the impoverishment of the arts.

I will be fighting to dissolve the Electoral College – gerrymandering has created disenfranchisement. I want to have my vote count. One woman with one vote:used with wisdom and discernment. Any suggestions?

My efforts to create beauty will involve using my hard won clay and art expertise. I am going to donate my ceramic murals to dreary places in my hometown of Taos, New Mexico. Any suggestions?

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Weighing in or the media is the message

Weighing in or the media is the message

I am old enough to have read the Marshall McLuhan ‘s book The Medium is the Message published in the 60’s. What I got out of it is the idea that culture shifts when new technology changes the way things can be viewed, preserved or communicated: for example the invention of the printing press which occurred in Shakespeare’s time. The radical new ability to print his plays allowed us to save his great words. However, the modern audience is challenged by the intricacy of Shakespeare’s language. His contemporary audience (of mostly illiterate people) came from an elaborate oral tradition and their ears were trained to quickly pick up nuances of speech that go under or over our heads. So shifts in technology change our perceptions and the way we process information.

During this election period, I read the New Yorker that for months has run scornful articles about Donald Trump not mention disdainful cartoons mocking the man. However, I also read the National Enquirer (embarrassed as I am to admit it) and this gossipy vehicle ran vicious anti-Hillary and Bill stories in every issue. Apparently they knew who the true American public was and what they were feeling. And now we know who will be our next President.

These days we have fast, cheap, thrilling and sensational media often hidden from my generation (the readers, the radio listeners). The ways in which information is being communicated and absorbed is changing. I hope that my grandchildren will make better sense and think slower and deeper than it is appears that they are doing. The world will be in their hands.I am in mourning for a society that gave me (a poor female on her own at 16 years old) a decent chance to be educated and upwardly mobile. I am worried that this will be a hard time for the environment, indigent children and certainly for women’s rights.

I tearfully say good-bye to a President (however history will view his abilities to govern) who was dignified, well educated, respectful of women, cripples and old folks…. a man who stood tall.

I wish the best for my country and hope to find the best in every person I meet.


Claire L. Haye


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Ways to buy the guide…on Amazon

Yes, the guide is now on Amazon and in a bookstore near you!

After a beautiful and delightful summer of romance and lazy afternoons, the autumn breezes of Taos have cooled my brain and made me much more diligent and eager to complete and support my various endeavors.

Still trying to finish my large ceramic mural to be placed downtown in Taos, New Mexico. My second to last firing ended in an electrical fire with smoke and even flames coming from the electrical control widgets.   The tiles never reached the temperature to bring all the glazes to perfection, but the tiles seem undamaged. The kiln needs a small miracle and/or a new electrical system. Yet to be solved.

I decided to find ways to make the guide more available.

You can now purchase the guide in Taos at either Op Cit Taos at 124A Bent Street in the John Dunn Complex or at Brodsky Bookstore 226 Paseo Del Pueble Norte.

I have joined Amazon and placed the book on their site. In addition, I have listed my book with goodreads.com (a site that recommends and reviews books).   I would appreciate any reviews that you might put on Amazon and/or goodreads that might encourage more readers.


Hope it was a lovely summer for you as well. Best wishes for a healthy autumn.









the power of the word

Political movements have been fueled by the power of the word. I remember singing “catch a nigger by the toe if he hollers let him go” with absolutely no awareness that I was cheerfully mouthing an awful racial slur.

As a baby boomer and roommate of my dear friend who was both black and Jewish (she got to hear all the “words”), I journeyed with her through all the current PC terms as in black, African American, biracial and whatever seemed to prevail. And I was told by my children, in no uncertain terms, that referring to their friend as somekindof Oriental was shocking and very un PC.  “Asian American, Mom.”

I, myself, have taken great umbrage to being called a “girl”. Seems to me that my girl hood is gone with a lot of other things. And there is something denigrating about being put in a sub-category just like black men were called “boys”.

I also think how powerful names are. What comes to mind, of course, after the recent death of Muhammad Ali is his stand against war and his clarification of his identity. I do remember being puzzled and shocked when he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.

In my last post I decided that it might be time to lay down the burden of widowhood, and just to declare myself and put on the endless forms that modern life brings the self-identifier “single”.

Curiously, shortly after this decision I met a man who has become a serious romantic interest.




Widow or Single

Widow or Just Older Single

As I age I have lost many friends and family members. This month, I have been thinking every day about my husband (the one and only Michael Haye) who died: April 27,2001.

It was obvious for many years before he left that he was not going to go the distance with me. Whatever unique genetic make-up made him a great leader and athletic super man also made him vulnerable to atherosclerosis. He had his first heart attack at 34 years old and died when he was 57 years old.

Note: The effects of atherosclerosis differ depending upon which arteries in the body narrow and become clogged with plaque. If the arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood to your heart are affected, you may have coronary artery disease, chest pain, or a heart attack.

I seem to be made of mad Russian genes that have given me an extended vitality and a bad temper. I guess I am here for a prolonged stay. Alone it seems. Widow. I am tired of the word and the honor. I am simply an older woman and single.

A poem for Michael:

he has left but his tender scent remains

all the knots untied -just fragile oddments

threads or dust

I cannot say

all the sentences have proper periods

no exclamations marks allowed


The tears have been bled from my heart

and my  mouth now … thin line

my tongue silent and dry

we cannot argue or touch

for he has gone

I cannot find him

I cannot learn

I cannot say


Will I ever know again

his gentle soul

I shall keep for as long as there is a now his translucent good-bye






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The joys of being a klutz

I have noticed as the years pass that my friends are wearing out. It seems to me that my more athletic friends (the ladies that were actually good at sports) have had more surgeries on worn out knees and shoulders than those of us who were chosen last for any team. This just a thought.

My shoulders are fried. I think from ten years working in clay and lifting 50 boxes of the raw material. And pushing clay through a slab roller to create flat pieces that I later assembled into six-foot sculptures. Wow, I really did that.

The New York Times had a recent article on the value of exercise which concluded that exercise does lower your mortality rate recommending that we all exercise (as close as we can make ourselves) an hour a day.   There was also a hint that somewhere in our exercise schedule we do need to push our limits.

I have chosen Hot Yoga as my “this is almost too hard” physical challenge. Think about finding an exercise challenge that is also safe and easy on your joints. Good luck to our aging bodies.

And thank you to all the folks who have found my book and have ordered it.

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Whew! My book is finding friends!

I am delighted that the Guide is finding an audience. I am not sure how this is happening since I have been in a serious, there is too much snow and cold here in New Mexico, slump.

There is a definite warming trend  here and an amazing amount of mud. My mind seems to be awakening along with the hint of spring. I will be thinking of new ways to market my book and any suggestions are welcome.

Meanwhile visitors to the Claireworks Gallery in Arroyo Seco are purchasing the book and we often get orders on line.

Thank you so much.



Reading out loud at SOMOS, January 6th

I am delighted and slightly nervous. I will read from A Modern Woman’s Guide on Wednesday, January 6th at SOMOS. I intend to read a smattering – all the human parts and avoiding the heavy science that is of course part of the aging process. In other words, I shall attempt to be entertaining. The evening begins at 7:00pm. Hope you can join us.

SOMOS is located at 233D Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, Taos, NM 87571

, across from Smith’s Grocery store. Phone: (575) 758-0081.

2016 Winter Writers Series
Claire Haye, Morgan Farley, Alan Macrae, and Mike Burwell
Four local writers read: Poets Alan Macrae & Mike Burwell; prose writers Claire Haye & Morgan Farley


A Wonderful Mention In NM Magazine

How nice -a friendly and encouraging mention in the January 2016 edition of New Mexico Magazine.

And I am getting orders for the Guide.

This is all new to me -writing a book and finding readers who discover my book. .. just what they did not know they really needed to read, but will really like once they read it.

Thanks universe for all the unexpected encouragement.

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November 30th New Yorker

There are two terrific articles in the November 30 New Yorker

1. “OUR BODIES OURSELVES An artisanal funeral home”

Good news – a new generation of funeral directors/earth mothers are offering a modern take on burial practices. Or is their point of view simply an attempt to return to a more ancient and natural relationship to life’s ending?

These (just out of school) undertakers are providing customized funerals and loving guidance. Quite a change in the décor as well. And these radical female(surprised !) funeral directors often align with groups that campaign for right-to-die laws.

A very interesting article.

2. “INFLAMED The latest hope for a medical cure-all

This article is a thorough discussion on subject of the relationship of inflammation to disease and yes to aging. “Perhaps no aspect of inflammations is more compelling or illusory, than the idea that it may be responsible for aging.”

Apparently there is new clinical study of groups of healthy people as they age called GESTALT which stands for Genetic and Epigenetic Signatures of Translational Aging Laboratory Testing. Now that sounds like a serious study. Of course, by the time the results are in, I will be ninety and old by anyone’s definition.


A New Way to Purchase My Guide

Here is a new way to purchase my Guide:

The Modern Woman’s Guide to Aging will be available for purchase at Taos Folk. Taos Folk is an annual “pop-up store’ that will open Friday (Nov. 27) at 10 a.m., at the Stables Gallery of the Taos Center for the Arts, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Admission is free for this event, which continues through Dec. 24.

The public is invited to the opening reception Friday from 5-7 p.m. I am bringing my famous deviled eggs as a contribution to the hor d’oeuvres. Hope that you will come.

This is the fourth year that 50 Taos artists will have a specially designed venue to sell their “unique, handmade gifts”. The store will remain open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Christmas Eve. There will be a delightful selection of potential gifts most under $100. My daughter, Melissa loves  the colorful apron I gifted her three years ago.I love my green pitcher- all from Taos Folk.

And of course, we are always delighted to see you at Claireworks Gallery in the charming mountain village of Arroyo Seco.

Happy Thanksgiving,


Report from the Emotional Front

I “enjoyed” the conference: The Path to Truth and Purpose: Transforming Shame.

It was held at Rivera Funeral Home in Santa Fe New Mexico. Well, in truth it was on park like grounds of Rivera Funeral Home housed in a beautiful spanking new conference center. Much effort and for sure dollars were spent to make the space  welcoming to all religions and spiritual inclinations. Nice.

Do women care more about their emotional health then men? Women were certainly in the majority of the audience. Long lines at the ladies’ bathroom. Hey architects how about more generous accommodations for us to empty our bladders? Anyway.

Life is certainly tough. And the presenters shared their shames, various addictions, tragedies and their journeys to a better and healthier place. I was moved to tears. And motivated to want to dissipate my own clouds of remorse and anger and grief. It seemed I had to write a book to whole-heartedly forgive my mother.

I came home to find a dead woodpecker in my house. Somehow, it had gotten in a door as I was preparing to leave for the conference. A beautiful large bird with an under coat of red feathers. Obviously, it had tried very hard to get out. Messes on my furniture and rugs. I cleaned the house and buried the bird.


My Very First Reading

Applause. I hardly expected it. Well, I enjoyed reading smatterings and snippets from my Guide and I appreciated my audience of women and a few good men. Thanks you all.

This weekend I am going to Santa Fe to participate in the Transforming Shame Workshop and I ain’t ashamed to admit I have issues in this area. If only my mother had not dressed me in mismatched socks, sandals, not to forget weird outfits, I might have fit in better. Or was it something else about me that made the other kids yell bad words at me? Hmmmm.

I have discovered a wonderful new website by Bonnie Lee Black (bonneleeblack.com). The WOW Factor (words of wisdom from wise older women) encompasses a very juicy assortment of interviews, stories and reviews. Bonne features women over the age of 70. She says she will interview me when I am 70. Just a few months to go-March 27, 2016, I will be seventy and proud of it.

Hoping to return next week with old wounds bathed in light and a happier outlook on life.

My very best,



Tea and Reading

Tea anyone? And me reading from my book.

Please join me in Taos at Valverde Commons Community Building for tea, cookies, maybe apples, possibly pop-corn, who knows lasagna, conversation , a reading of my Guide and a following discussion. Free to all who are interested in the book or the subject of aging.

Saturday October 17, 2015    4:00 PM-6:00 at the Valverde Commons Community Building:  405 Valverde Commons Drive, Taos, NM

call: Claire Haye 575 776 2868 for more information or email: clm@claireworks.com

commoners can email: carolynschlam@aol.com

In addition I will have a sign-up sheet for a 4 week workshop. Free. I do recommend you purchase A Modern Woman’s Guide to Aging. The theme of the group will be “Know Thy Self” with a series of exercises and discussions. Our intention is to gain self-knowledge and explore our options. With my background in Theater Games and Improvisation this should be a lively and interesting experience.  The workshop will be held at the Valverde Commons Community Building starting Thursday October 22 from 3-5. The group will continue for four weeks with the last workshop Thursday November 12.



What a pleasure, I am hearing from the readers of the Guide.Today from a friend Carol: “Claire, you made a very good book for women with terrific information and suggestions. Thank you.”

From someone I do not know:

“I received your book in the mail and read it in one sitting.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, identified with it and shed a few tears in the process.  The format, spacing and photos made it very easy to read.

That is not to say that some of the subject matter was easy…. it will take (me) some time to get through all of it.  It really hit a nerve…. a good nerve, be it an uncomfortable one.  I’ve done all the practical things – will, health directives, final arrangements, etc.Now I need to work on my overall health – which I have been neglecting – among other things.  Thanks for the much needed kick in the ass.”

Surprisingly (to me anyway), a number of men have bought my Guide.The distinguished writer, John Nichols, commented on the book, “I know you intend it to be a “modern woman’s guide to aging,” but I certainly found it totally relevant for men also…” He continued, ”The book is really gentle and compassionate, often quite humorous, and never bleak. There is a kindness to it throughout, a really thoughtful approach to all the issues of aging that we all face… I think your words go a long way toward taking away the stigma of growing old and dying, and replacing that fear with a graceful acknowledgement of what is going to happen to all of us. ”

Well, after the lonely years of writing, it certainly is gratifying to know that people are getting value from my words. Hmm, before long someone is going to tell me they hate the book. I should be ok with that –well we shall see. Stay tuned.


Keeping My Promise.

Keeping my promise. I was actually thrilled to write a check for $1000 to the fund Making It A Better World for Women And Children. Yes, for every sale of the Guide, I am donating $5 to the fund. And yes, I have sold almost 200 books – I am being a bit optimistic. Better than the other.

This month Discover Magazine (Science for the Curious) has a substantial article on aging. Claims to halt or reverse Alzheimer’s seem premature, but promising. I know from my husband’s illness that claims for cures sometimes made us feel that a big turnaround was possible and then that research just disappeared in a cloud of poor results. So…stayed tuned.

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Great Turnout for Launch!

Happy!!! The book launch was successful. I have now sold over 100 books. I am ready to begin contributing to the fund Making It A Better World For Women and Children. Writing my first check today honoring my promise to contribute $5 to the fund for every book sold.

Hoping that the Guide is being read and thought about. Let me know what you think.

Thank you,



August 22, 2015 at Claireworks Gallery in Arroyo Seco 4-6PM -the Launch

First a book is an idea –maybe a crazy idea, maybe a good idea, maybe an idea you should forget about. Quickly.

You begin with a few paragraphs and think, “Yes, I do want to spend time thinking and writing about this subject.”

The concept ferments in part of your brain. And somehow every day for months and eventually years, you are reading, writing and rewriting shaping together what will become a book.

Well, that is how it happened for me and how I came to write the Guide. Of course, it would never have been printable without the guidance and input of Sally, Phaedra, Mya, Linda and Carolyn. Thank you so much, women of wit.

Now is time to take a private project public. And I do have many books to sell. I invite you to come celebrate the launch of A Modern Woman’s Guide to Aging: Together We Consider Our Options. This Saturday August 22 from 4-6 at Claireworks Gallery in the charming town of Arroyo Seco. Hey that is tomorrow. What should I wear?

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Yes… The Books Have Arrived

Yes, no, oh no, wow ….Yes my book is here – boxes, and boxes of A Modern Woman’s Guide to Aging: Together We Consider Our Options.
The publishing company promised me they (all one thousand books) would be delivered to Claireworks Gallery on Friday August 14. I marked my calendar. The call came at 8:00 AM. The truck arrived early in the morning bringing the books. The reality is quite heavy.

Earlier this month, frightened by the thought of a huge pile of books, I cleaned and cleared the back of the Gallery. I joyfully (woeful exaggeration) made room for my long awaited Guide. I threw out all the strange pieces of packaging, odd notes and redundant supplies. I consolidated. I occasional found a long missing object: “ Is where you have been all these years.”
Now the back of the Gallery has neatly stacked boxes and the faint smell of print. Living with jewelry, turquoise, lapis, carnelian, pearls,adventure, onyx and paintings.
I took one book home. The weight in my hands is very substantial. I opened it and I read the Introduction. Yes, the same words, but somehow it feels different.


Waiting for the Books

I called the printer today just to make sure the Guide was on its way.

Several people have asked to purchase my book (fantastic) and I am excited that so many people have expressed interest in my themes. And sad that the Guide is still in limbo. Yes, I am a bit nervous about the timely delivery of the book. I am hoping that the truck will indeed be bringing 1000 copies of my guide to Claireworks in Arroyo Seco on Friday August 14. I really do not know how much room all these volumes will take up. Will we be able to move around in our backspace or will the area look like a hoarder’s home with narrow paths between our normal areas for jewelry storage and assemblage?

Dare I announce the books will be available on Saturday August 15? What if I have to disappoint more folks? Sigh. Really having a finished printed guide to sell…is this the end of my journey and my learning or just the beginning.