Hi there, welcome to Fifty To Life. If you are tracking over from A Broad In Costa Rica, a double-whammy, big fat welcome. Wish I had door prizes for all of you! For those of you new to da broad (me), here’s the herstory:

I fell into blogging about our lives as expats in Costa Rica Jan 2006. Fell hard. Then, September 2010, we moved back to the states for a variety of reasons, esplained here.

The blog plan was to continue A Broad in Costa Rica as “A Broad in the USA”; I even reserved the name. But, it didn’t seem right somehow to squeeze a round, fluffy broad into a square hole. Two completely different lifestyles, latitudes, foci. Where Costa Rica and the adventure of living there was ripe for blog posts, the USA has little ripe. Overripe, maybe… There is so little fun or funny about the USA today, I’d probably have to make stuff up to entertain us all!

My unexpectedly almost dying was a turning point in my life. I don’t ever want to go to a hospital again. I thought I was pretty healthy before: I was overweight, but ate well, took vitamins, no aches or pains to speak of. But, either I wasn’t that healthy or my personal strep bacteria was mighty! One day I was at a party, the next day I was in bed with 104 temps. Four days later, I was in the hospital ’bout dead. No kidding. I haven’t had a cold in years, ne’er a fever, not a flu. Nothing. Then bam: laid out. It was a shocker for all of us.

The lingering after-effects keep me on notice that the bod’s not altogether yet. I’m now on a mission for Vibrant Health, which, since I can’t possibly stop writing now, has rekindled an old blog idea: Fifty To Life. Geared to keeping the second 50 years as interesting as the first, I am totally into it.

I had planned to go to acupuncture school, back a few years ago. My plan was to go in ’05, after Hurricane Wilma devastated Key West. Instead, we went to Costa Rica for a one-year adventure with our teens. “Ok,” I reasoned, “I’ll go to school after that.” Well, the one year turned into almost five, because life in Costa Rica, she was sweet. Until I almost died. Acupuncture school is now definitely out of the picture. I figured I’d graduate with a debt of $50,000… even I know that makes no sense.

I still might train to teach the Barkan Method of Hot Yoga or Bikram, I’ll pick which one after I’ve done them both for a few months. I am still in love with this whole hot yoga thing: feels so good!!! Is it too late? Never! As Eric Butterworth asked, “How old will you be in three years if you don’t go?”

I’d still like to learn Ortho-Bionomy, a hands-on healing modality along the lines of shiatsu and chiropractic. During the years I taught fitness (1983 to 2000), Greg Henke‘s ortho-bionomy work kept me pain-free and able to walk.

I’d love to learn Auricular Therapy — “earcupuncture” — as well, but that may be a tad too much on the ole plate. I’ll at least do a couple of seminars. Fascinating stuff.

Those are the current plans. Expect revisions. God laughs when I make plans. You’ll see.

Oh, one more thing, I sorta forgot to mention. I’m in my political glory here.  In Costa Rica, I got to talk a lot. Here I get to do. There are Campaign for Liberty Meetups, long conversations with really smart people — young and old — about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, to amend or not. Food freedom is a hot sub-topic (overall freedom being the main event): raw milk, pastured beef and chickens. I’m lovin’ it!

Me in a nutshell: wife, mom, polloista (former Costa Rica chicken owner, current Lexington KY backyard chicken owner), Recovering REALTOR®, future student.

Thank you for reading. Keep on, ’cause I’ll be writing! The FAQs follow. Pura vida, more to follow prontitico!
aka Sally

Married since ’91 to un gringo viejo y muy guapo
Mom to two home-schooled gigantic teen boys
Key West resident since sometime in the late 70′s
Lived in Escazú, Costa Rica from Jan 2006 till Sep 2010
Active in local theatre

B.S. Theatre Arts & Sociology, Lindenwood University, 1977
Real Estate License, 1995

Have made a living as
Actress, Advertising Copywriter, Aerobics Instructor, Bartender, Fabulous Spectrelle, Graphic Artist, Guesthouse Owner/Manager, Homemaker, Holistic Camp Counselor, Office Manager, Real Estate Broker, Retail Salesperson, Secretary, Singer of Telegrams, Small Business Owner, Typist, Waitress

Have lived in
Escazú & Barrio Jesús de Santa Barbara de Heredia, Costa Rica; Key West, FL; Winchester, Lexington, Louisville & Stamping Ground, KY; St. Louis, MO; Venice, CA; New York, NY

  • Pete Hagan

    Glad to see you’re doing better. I’ve been reading your blogs and thinking about CR – PLUS I live here in Lexington. I would love to spend time with your family to better understand the pros / cons about expat living in CR. Send me an email sometime.

  • http://www.yourfamilysnaturalhealth.com Beth Wiles

    Hello Sally,

    I just found your website via a post on Facebook – isn’t Facebook awesome?????

    I LOVE your website!! What attracted me to your website first was your discussion about raw milk. What kept me here is two additional things: 1) your health emergency – WOW! I’m glad you’re in the recovery phase. How are you feeling now? and 2) I lived the life of an expat, too! My 3 children and I moved to Sousas, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1998 to finally be together as a family with their father, who had left in August 1996 for what was to have been a temporary 6-month assignment. The kids and I lived there for 2 years before coming back while the husband (now ex!) stayed. He did not return to the US until 5 years later – with his Brazilian girlfriend and very sick/dying (to get on a liver transplant list – he was dx’d with Sclerosing Cholangitis in Dec. ’93… would not give up his beer despite our pleadings….).

    I love your personality and great sense of humor! I really hope you’re doing well and feeling better. I’d love to connect with you on Facebook (my profile: http://on.fb.me/c3Zfod and my Page: http://on.fb.me/a1Dwt3 and Twitter (@bethwiles)!

    Take care of yourself! I’d love to hear how your study program progresses – I, too, am enrolled into a new study program that starts January 2011, the Health Coach certification program at Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

    Best regards,

    Beth Wiles

    • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

      Hi Beth, Nice to e-meet you! I signed up on your FB page and look forward to following you. We seem to be on similar paths, no question. I’m feeling so good now, really pretty much back to normal (normal?) and very excited about my current path. More to be revealed, eh?

  • Meg

    I don’t know if this is too personal a question to ask, but did you have INS or other private insurance before your near death illness last spring, or just caja insurance?

    I started reading your blog when we were considering places to escape to and CR was large on our radar. Insurance, as for so many, is the hang up.

  • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

    Hi Meg,

    No, we did not have any private insurance, just CAJA. We still have CAJA while here in the states so if one of us got something major, we could go back and get CAJA care. We are permanent residents in CR, so CAJA membership is required.

    When I got out, the first thing I wanted to do was buy private insurance. The CAJA is great, but I want the best medical care and that requires private insurance. But that would be $5,000 a year for the four of us with a $5,000 deductible. Because medical care is still relatively inexpensive, we still came out ahead paying out of pocket rather than having paid private insurance for the four years we lived there prior to my illness.

    A calculated risk, that’s all!

  • Meg

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. While you’re in the States, do you carry international insurance?

    I started reading your blog last Feb. When you were sick, but before you were able to let your blog followers know why, it was easy to assume the worst. It had to be bad if you weren’t blogging! I sent general “good” thoughts toward you and your family, and am SO happy that you’re happy and seem to be getting healthier all of the time.

    Wishing you continued Blessings of Good Health,

  • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

    We don’t carry any insurance other than CAJA. Just too expensive.

    Besides, we are less and less inclined to resort to Western medicine to take care of what ails us. It did save my life, no question. But I had allowed myself to get very sick. Frankly, any hospital in the states would have had to fix me up in an emergency situation, whether I could pay or not. They could not have turned me away at the door in that condition.

    Thank you for your good thoughts — I know I felt them, as odd as that sounds. Many blessings to you and yours as well!

  • Marsha

    Hi Sally!
    I love your blog!!!
    See you tomorrow!
    Oh, and thanks for torturing me with that fish farm link.
    I just got back from Texas where they were wearing shorts!
    Texas, or anywhere warmer, is sure looking good!

  • Tondra Bowers

    Hi Sally,

    I got to your blog through a number of channels on the web. I loved your web name, “A Broad in Costa Rica.” I began to feel a kindred spirit. After reading your US blog, I see we have a lot in common.

    I have been interested in Costa Rica for a number of years and following several sites to see if it might be a fit for me. I am surprised it took me this long to find you.

    I am 56 y/o, divorced and relocated from my home state of Michigan to the mountains of North Carolina in 2005. My friends often ‘accuse’ me of reinventing myself periodically. LOL As my mother said years ago, I am a gypsy at heart and love to learn about other ways of life and diverse people.

    I can empathize somewhat with your husband, as I am O+ blood and am a carrier for hemochromatosis. It took baggering my doctor a couple of times to do the test before it was verified. He seemed surprised, but did felt my body was not active with the disease.

    The other similarities we share is I have a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre, was a massage therapist for about 11 years, have been interested in and practiced Oriental therapies for years, have drunk bottled water since I was 30, researched alternative medicine for about 20 years, use natural medicine before resorting to Western medicine, etc.

    I am now in another re-inventing stage as I find myself recently unemployed. I am developing a website for 50+ single women who have little resources and share with them how I manage on a shoestring budget. I plan to also include living overseas.

    I would love to have an email dialogue with you, when your time permits. I visited the Dominican Republic twice (the first time by myself and the second with a friend who I encouraged to share the adventure), both times venturing off the ‘res’ and interacting with the locales as much as possible (twice bringing medical supplies to an area pharmacy and a local orphange). My friend was a little scared with some of our ventures, but she was a trouper.d

    I expect you are very busy and will understand if you are not able to reply. It has been wonderful to read of your experiences and know I am not alone in venturing into waters unknown.


  • cheri royal

    I like your blog. It’s funny, I read a broad in CR a few times and I didn’t know it was you. That was years ago.
    I like your knew blog. Are you going to keep writing?
    take care
    I know you from the Zoo.

  • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

    Hi Tondra, I’ve kept your email lo these many months and I will be in touch shortly. My life is uber busy right now trying to keep up with the bills. But that sucks mightily. Something has to give and I’d rather talk about Costa Rica than work, lol.

    Cheri, Yes, I’ll keep writing — my goal is to do this more than the other stuff. Except being with family and my chickens! I still hear from my fellow Zoo-ers, lol. Give them a big hug if you see them all before I do!

  • http://kylapink.com kyla


    I need you to send me an inspirational thought today please!



  • http://www.fiftytolife.com/who/ Sally

    Yeah, it was kind of a sad day… I was surprised to be so down knowing my guy was not going to be on the ballot. BUT: we just can’t give up. Too much at stake. I LOVE your photo — that is so beautiful, makes me feel like I’m at the ocean. Go give Pen a hug — she is the best and I miss her soooo much. We are living in the country now, love my new house. I’ll write about that soon. Big hug to you, beautiful!!! See you sometime. <3 (that’s a heart!)

  • Sandrine Love


    I was fairly disturbed to discover that you are using our food pyramid photo to represent your cause without our consent. Please contact us at your earliest convenience to rectify this copyright infringement.

    * Please reproduce our food pyramid photo only with our express written consent.

    Sandrine Love, Executive and Creative Director
    Nourishing Our Children

  • http://www.fiftytolife.com/who/ Sally

    It’s gone never to darken our pages again. Our causes are the same, by the way.