Sailing on the Edge – The Blue Moon

I’m taking a break in my Life and Deaf memoir to post a memorial to my dear friend Nat Fain.

Blue Moon over the Blue Moon
Capt. Nat

“The whole idea of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is to set foot in one’s own country as a foreign land.” G.K. Chesterton

I found that land in my own backyard. I knew I was home when I saw the infinite unobstructed vista of grass and water, sea and sky straight to the horizon that is the Florida Everglades. The ability to see all around me; clear of tall mountains, trees or buildings, is part of my South Florida heritage.

Captain Nat was a perfect sailing companion for our adventure along the Lower West Coast. A rare Florida native, he embodied the traits of a true southern gentleman and accomplished sailor. A smile showed readily on his handsome tanned face as he loped about the boat on his tall lanky frame, tightening lines or checking GPS settings. He was easygoing, but calm and direct in the face of crisis. He had been engaged in boating, from marine mechanics to sailing the Caribbean for many years. I was new at the game and had a lot to learn.

I met Nat, Phyllis and family over 45 years ago, when my husband and I moved next door and into the best neighborhood I’ve known. Their daughter Tamy became our first and best babysitter (along with her mom) as our family grew. Our families remained close friends through the years though we both moved away from Ormond Beach. –It was one of the few relationships that lasted a lifetime. The years passed. Nat lost his wife to cancer and I lost my husband to divorce. I’d always dreamed of sailing and finally got the chance. Nat bought a new boat and needed a first mate to fill out the crew. After taking deep-sea sailing lessons and getting on-the-job training from a great and patient teacher, we were ready to go.

First Mate Jill

The 38 ft. Krogen sloop with a nice shallow draft was fitted out like a queen for the week. We left Key Largo during the spring equinox on a perfect wind. After learning to work together as a team and getting a few kinks out, Nat gave me the wheel, “Give it a try. Lady Luck’s with us and the weather’s perfect.”

“I’m ready to fly!” I pulled in on the sail and laughed as the Blue Moon leapt ahead. We sailed smoothly through the Long Key Bridge, north along the West Coast and spent our first night anchored under a clear starry sky.

We established a daily ritual. I made breakfast, washed dishes with the salt water hose and shaped up the ship. Nat puttered in the cockpit preparing for the daily sail, first through Florida Bay. Being new to the modern technology, I marveled at the accuracy of our GPS and automatic pilot maneuvering the boat through the narrow channels. We took turns sailing, one carefully navigating the Florida Straits, while the other took care of the daily chores. The weather remained beautiful, cool but sunny, windy, with a few fluffy clouds.

After attending to sailing duties there was plenty of time for all those leisurely pursuits one is always interrupted from doing at home. I read books, wrote and listened to music on the fancy sound system. Nat was an excellent captain. I respected his deeper knowledge and he delighted in the exuberance I showed for my newfound sport. We worked things out together, gave each other space, and had fun. Best of all was the sailing; the wind filling the sails and my face, the boat heeled and running fast. I liked trimming the sails for that extra spurt of speed, the boat a spirited filly shivering in excitement to be released.

“ I love it out here!” I sang out hauling in the line an extra inch for that extra bit of speed.

“You’re a natural,” Nat observed as the boat leaned into the wind.

“I couldn’t be doing this if it hadn’t been for the sailing lessons you made me take. You’re a great teacher – and eternally patient.”

“Let’s hope the winds of fortune remain with us.”

We anchored off the beach of East Cape, the most eastern point of Cape Sable where Florida Bay ends and the Gulf of Mexico begins. Appreciating the east wind on this unprotected shore, we boarded the dinghy to explore the isolated beaches. The setting sun bathed the thin strip of beach in its golden light. Ours were the first human footsteps to grace the shore, dancing in and out with those of the raccoons, shore birds, and trailings of myriad mollusks. Behind the beach was Glade. Dry saw and wire grass stretched in all shades of brown to the eastern horizon,  interspersed with yucca in bloom, cactus, sabal palms. The gumbo limbo trees’ bark, shining red gold in the sweet light, lent substance to the legend that pirates buried treasure under their roots. A baby coon sauntered playfully downwind until it detected our scent. Scampering up the closest tree, it shook with fear, surprised by us giant predators invading its space.

We rambled on careful to watch for dangerous plants or animals, seeing visions of crocodiles and pythons hiding in the grass. “This might be the only place left that humans rarely tread,” I sighed.

“We haven’t seen any yet. Probably won’t either, the only way to get here is a long boat ride.”

When the blood red sun leaked empty into the sea we returned to the sloop to enjoy a simple gourmet meal of grilled lobsters and vegetables, the gentle rocking of the waves and the cool breeze rippling across our skin. As the night darkened the shore and the stars peered through the giant sieve of a sky, my thoughts turned from the peacefulness of our first day to the past when civilization was just arriving. I fell asleep dreaming of being a biologist, catching a ride on a pirate ship, surveying all types of weird and wondrous species on these inhospitable shores and praying that if we encountered wild Calusa Indians, they would be friendly.

We spent the next day sailing the Ten Thousand Islands up the West Coast with the best winds one could ever want. Reaching the Little Shark River, we motored up river and anchored at Oyster Bay.  Mangroves and water surrounded us in a green silence. We found a small canopied waterway into the giant mangroves and followed it as far as the roots and mosquitoes would allow. I could see only outlaws, the likes of P. Matthieson’s Mr. Watson or explorers like DeSoto’s conquistadors braving such a harsh environment. We were neither, and gladly returned to the sloop and the Gulf winds. At dusk flocks of ibis in tight formation, filled the evening sky on their way to roost in the swamp. The wind and our luck held. Our evening was bug free.

At first light the disturbed surface of the sea gave me an inkling of the drama occurring beneath it. Schools of fish surfaced and arcked over the water escaping some larger threat. Cool mist softened everything to gray. Flocks of white dots glinted over the Seurat sea. The sun leaped above the gumbo limbos and a breeze picked up so lovely, damp it gentled my sun-parched skin. As we neared the Keys, we followed a procession of sailboats heading south for home. Anchored on our last night, dense grey clouds adorned the bright giant red sun dissolving into the ocean, marking the end of our pristine and peaceful dream trip sailing on the edge of the Everglades – one place in Florida left as a reminder of the uncivilized past.

Thank you dear friend Nat, for making this adventure possible and sharing it with me. I love you and will miss you terribly.


Free to Bloom Free on Kindle latest Statistics


It’s my first day that Free to Bloom is FREE on Amazon Kindle. I’m monitoring the statistics and my progress. I really had no expectations on the low end, but I also had read Cheryl Tardif’s book How I made $42K in 1 mo. on Kindle Select about all the money she made and had twinges of possible sales. That remains to be seen, but I’m thrilled so far.

Here are the first statistics:

  1. 150 books ordered free.
  2. #1607 Free in Kindle Store.
  3. #1 in Kindle Store Travel Adventure

Wow. Better than I ever expected. Now I’m monitoring more closely. Two hours later I can’t stay away from the computer. Second statistics:

  1. 200 books ordered free.
  2. #900 Free in Kindle Store
  3. Still #1 Kindle Store Travel Adventure

Moving right along. I’m smiling. At 7:30 this evening, still the first day and I have 2 more days to go:

  1. 255 books ordered free.
  2. #755 Free on Kindle
  3. #1 Kindle Store Personal Growth and Inspiration

This is fun. One of my goals as per Cheryl Tardif is getting on the top 100 Free on Kindle. Maybe there’s a chance. I’ll check in with you tomorrow. Wish me luck.


Free To Bloom FREE on Amazon


First a little back story. My computer guru son Ray gave me the tip to join Amazon Prime and KDP Select, an author’s subsidiary of Amazon. He told me of the perks, I joined and read ‘some’ of the fine print. I found out I had to sell my book exclusively on Amazon. Free To Bloom was listed on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. I’d only had a couple of sales. I was doing much better on Amazon. Even taking my book off of a site is difficult for me and I hate reading directions, but I finally did it. I took advantage of some other KDP Select/Prime offers and uploaded Cheryl Tardif‘s How I Made $42K in 1 Month Selling My Kindle ebooks. Thank you so much Cheryl for getting me off my butt. I followed her directions and figured out how to offer my ebook free on Amazon.

So here it is. From June 28-30 Free To Bloom by Jill Green is FREE. Please check it out, order it, tell your friends, and if you feel up to it write me a review. A description of my book follows:

Through eleven partially linked chronological stories we follow Danielle as she splits from a long-term marriage to find her way as a single woman living alone in a foreign country. Her search for both physical and emotional contentment and independence leads her to take risks in life and love from jumping off waterfalls, to discovering a gorgeous young caveman, and learning the art of marijuana growing and harvesting. Follow her journey as she intertwines intimate personal insights with wild adventures.



Coconut on My Mind

Update from last blog: George Zimmerman is finally arrested on long-overdue murder charge in the Trayvon Martin killing. And enough of death.



Today I celebrate life; one with a healthier mind and body. I’m on one of my kicks. This time it’s coconut oil. It all started with an article I read in The Tampa Bay Times about Dr. Mary Newport who says coconut oil has significantly lessened the effects of Alzheimer’s on her husband, Steve. I read her book from Amazon, Alzheimer’s Disease, What if There Was a Cure?, and found it amazing. Not only does coconut oil help reduce the ravages of memory loss, but also it helps in weight loss and a host of other neurodegenerative diseases. I immediately hacked down a coconut from my Costa Rican farm and started experimenting.

Some notes about fresh coconut:

  • The water is tasty, refreshing, a natural electrolyte and a benefit to bladder health. This part does not contain oil.
  • Once the coconut has been stripped of its husk, pound a nail through the softest of the 3 holes in the top and one of the others, to easily extract the water.
  • Place coconut on its side, the ends parallel to you, and hit a sharp blow in the middle with a hammer or the non-sharp side of a machete until it cracks in half – perfectly. Don’t believe it? Try it.
  • Let it dry out a bit. With a knife or hammer remove flesh from shell.

Now you’re ready to prepare and eat this wonderful nut:

  • Just eat the flesh as is.
  • Break flesh into small pieces and grate in blender, food processor or by hand.
  • You can extract the oil from the flesh by placing in hot boiled water, then straining through a cloth or fine sieve. Reserve the liquid coconut milk for use in smoothies, Thai food or other recipes.
  • The remaining flesh can be eaten, used in baking, or placed on a flat cookie sheet and toasted in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
  • The toasted coconut (yum) can be sprinkled on ice cream, salad, or as a coating for fish, vegetables, meat, or fruit. No sugar added.
  • The oil can be used in baking, sautéing, frying, salad dressings, smoothies and for skin and hair care.

Now for those of you without a good source of coconuts you can buy organic, non-processed, virgin oil from health food and some grocery stores (Publix). If you buy coconut milk make sure it has no sugar added. There are many websites with more information about the benefits and recipes. Just google it and enjoy.

Just got an email from my friend Jolly with a wonderful video of Dr. Mary Newport and her husband Steve’s progress. See here  on


Check out my new story here, under new pages Old Times, Good Times, High Times




My Reviews of Books posted on Goodreads

Goodreads is my favorite book site now. Of course I use Amazon and Barnes & Noble too, but I have more trouble negotiating  there. Here are some of my recently posted reviews. I won’t inundate you. More later. Thank you Goodreads helping me get the word out.

Read from October 14 to 29, 2011
Amazing. So many layers to this book. Wroblewski’s words leap into the air in ever-changing patterns of sounds and meanings, and the main character, Edgar, can’t talk. This man understands the many other ways of communicating.Who else knows that dog’s paws smell like fresh popcorn, or new mown hay. It’s true the intricate mysteries were hard to unravel but richly drawn. One of the best understanding of animals I’ve ever read. A thought provoking beautiful book.



Jill Green‘s review
Dec 18, 11  ·  edit
Read from December 12 to 18, 2011
I heard about Nicole Kraus’ book while in NY where she was doing a book signing which I was disappointedly unable to attend. The idea of following the history of a huge old library desk around the world and through the years, following the writers that used it, was very intriguing. Love and loss is tantamount, but the methods of expressing the theme get draggy and repetitive. I had trouble keeping the characters sorted out and had to go back consistently to straighten things out. All in all it was a wonderful multitude of stories with strong interesting characters.
Jill Green‘s review 

Dec 18, 11 · edit
Read from October 29 to December 18, 2011

The Unnamed is a good title for this unstory. Read along through about a third then threw it in the Goodwill bin. When I got to the stream of consciousness stuff I looked ahead to see how far it went and then I gave up. It was such an intriguing idea, but for me came to nothing. Oh well, I tried.

Jill Green‘s review 

Dec 12, 11 · edit

Being a former Marine and Environmental Science teacher I relate to T.C Boyle’s subject in When the Killing’s Done. He has done his research. The fight between the environmentalists and the save-all-animals activists kept changing sides, but Dave Lajoy being such a creep tipped the scales for me. Loved the backdrop of the harsh islands off the coast of California and a bit of their history. Coming from Costa Rica and Florida and their warm waters, his environment really chilled me.


Great Review of Free to Bloom by Dorothy MacKinnon of the Tico Times

Adventures of an independent woman in Costa Rica

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011 – By Dorothy MacKinnon
OPEN BOOK: Southern Zone resident Jill Green relates her experiences living as a foreign woman alone in Costa Rica in her book, “Free to Bloom.”

What is it about Costa Rica that attracts so many accomplished, independent women to start new lives here? In her first book, “Free to Bloom,” California-born, Florida-reared Jill Green tells a personal story about starting a post-divorce, new life as a pioneering homesteader in a remote area of the Southern Zone. Although thinly disguised, these are autobiographical stories told with heart and humor, leavened with soulful introspection.

From the trials and tribulations of building an off-the-grid house to romantic encounters and harrowing adventures in the wild – including an intimate relationship with a botfly – Green’s tales will resonate especially with like-minded women already living here, and with anyone contemplating the leap into life in Costa Rica.

Green is an excellent storyteller, weaving flowing conversational prose with lyrical passages that capture her love affair with the “stark, shocking beauty” of the southern Pacific coast where she has chosen to live. Along with evocative descriptions, she segues seamlessly into perceptive philosophical musings about the simpler, but never boring, life in Costa Rica. She learns to appreciate, too, the slower pace of life here, accepting the Tico approach to time: “… time isn’t something to beat, it’s a continuum of life from morning to night.”

Green’s book grew out of her personal blog, which she posts to keep friends and family apprised of her adventures. Many women will find her personal aperçus concise and compelling, too. After 25 years of a rocky marriage, Green finally sees her way through to breaking free: “I don’t need to be afraid with him any more. I’m no longer afraid without him.”

Living alone in a foreign country can be challenging for anybody. But in light of some recent horrific attacks on extranjera women living in remote parts of the Southern Zone, does Green have any new concerns about single life on her mountaintop?

“When I look at what’s happening worldwide with the bad economy and the poor getting poorer and hungrier, I don’t think things are much different in other locations,” Green answers. “… On my mountaintop near Uvita, I have lots of big barking dogs and a wonderful caretaker and his family nearby. My daughter and her family living in the area also helps. I don’t have second thoughts of living alone here any more than in the U.S.”

“Costa Rica is the place where I became an independent woman,” Green adds. So the title, “Free to Bloom,” is apropos. And although her author’s note states, “This is a work of fiction,” many local readers, from Dominical down to Uvita, are enjoying some entertaining gossip, trying to work out just who is who in the book – especially a mysterious “caveman” who provides a very steamy interlude in Green’s personal growth.

“Free to Bloom,” published by A Cappella Publishing in Sarasota, Florida, is available as an e-book ($2.99) from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or as a real book ($14.99 plus shipping). for ordering details and access to Green’s blog.

There’s nothing like a great review. Thank you so much Dorothy. For those who have asked. My soft cover edition is available in these locations in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica.

  1. Green Leaf Art Gallery in Ojochal.
  2. Rincon de Uvita Farmer’s Market at Diana’s Made by Scratch booth and at the DAWG Library every Saturday from 8 am – 12pm.
  3. Call me at 8892 8135 or email me at and I will arrange a delivery.
  4. will be publishing the soft cover edition by the end of November. It already carries the ebook.

Books Inc. – Best Indie Bookstore Gainesville – Free To Bloom

Books Inc. – The Food Lovers Cafe


Follow me to Books Inc – The Book Lovers Cafe at 505 NW 13th St. Gainesville, FL on Oct 23 from 4-6 pm

It would be greatly appreciated if my Florida Facebook friends would share this with theirs.





A description and biography follows:

Description – Free To Bloom

Through eleven partially linked chronological stories we follow Danielle as she splits from a long-term marriage to find her way as a single woman living alone in a foreign country. Her search for both physical and emotional contentment and independence leads her to take risks in life and love from jumping off waterfalls, to discovering a gorgeous young caveman, and learning the art of marijuana growing and harvesting. Follow her journey as she intertwines intimate personal insights with wild adventures.

The first story Of Time and the Mountain reveals that beginning a new life and building a house in an isolated part of a foreign country, Costa Rica, is rampant with challenges: physical, emotional and personal. The frayed threads of a long term marriage begin to unravel one by one.

Learning a new language, meeting new people, living in a strange culture, subsisting in a primitive environment without basic necessities bring a need for a little respite wherever it can be found. And find it Danielle does, whether it’s going to local festivals in the mountain villages, finding archeological artifacts, or getting to know both locals and expats.

Danielle travels back and forth between the U.S. and Costa Rica finding adventure wherever she is. New relationships blossom, grow strong, wilt, revive or die, but all are worthwhile experiences. With Danielle’s newborn independence, taking risks in both love and life becomes necessity. A U.S. doctor is shocked by her little parasite in My Friend George. A scary alligator plies Florida waters in Alligator Dreams.  A Costa Rican cave dweller falls in love with her in God’s Caveman. She is horrified by the ‘dog-eat-dog’ world in Puppy Love. At turns she is terrified and exhilarated by conquering the waterfall in Fear of Falling. Getting to know Adrian in California includes experiencing his illegal lifestyle and feeling his paranoia when the cops appear at the pot growing fields in Getting To Know You – Humboldt County.

Join Danielle as she deals with both the highs and lows of her adventurous life; how she deals with conflict, has fun, learns patience and gains contentment as her life blooms into full flower.

Author Biography

Though born in California, and living in France as a child, Jill Green’s formative years were spent on Florida’s Gulf Coast. After college at the Univ of Florida, marriage, two children – one deaf, she started teaching, helped run two businesses and after 30 years, got divorced.

What a turn life took! Now living in two countries, Sarasota, FL and Costa Rica, she forgot her French, but learned Spanish. Living alone took many adjustments, eventually she has become a self-sufficient, adventuresome individual, traveling the world, volunteering with many organizations, climbing mountains, surfing the seas and teaching ESL in Costa Rica and Florida.

After many years working and bringing up a family she has finally become a published writer with her book of connected short stories Free to Bloom about life in Costa Rica and the United States, hopefully the first of many. Although she has written stories and essays for small magazines, her next big project is auto-biographical: the trials, tribulations, joys and sorrows of living with and educating a deaf child who after the fact designed and now runs a successful website, one of the top U. of Florida Gator football websites.

Back to my more personal revelations next time.

Visit Jill’s personal blog at and her Free to Bloom blog at

Print books available at selected Indie bookstores and on my Free to Bloom website. Ebooks available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords.