Thursday, November 6, 2014



"A friend knows the song in my heart 
and sings it to me when my memory fails." 

Recently,I was hanging out with my dear friend Marsha. She rents a room to Phillip, a young German interning at Siemens. He is really enjoying the "American Experience", the food, people, places--just having a great time.  He said his brother did an internship in San Jose and generally disliked it and was only too happy to return to Germany. That's when Phillip said: "He didn't have a Marsha!"

A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart. 

As I was driving home, those words struck me!!  How grateful I am that I "have a Marsha"! An extraordinary friend, nurse practitioner, therapist, caregiver, cook, with firm shoulders to laugh and cry on!  Over the last 31 years, we've ridden the roller coaster of life, through ups and downs,marriage and kids, sickness and health,births and deaths . . . . . What a ride-- with many moments of sheer hanging on for dear life!

  My friendship with Marsha started in 1983 when she started working with me in Labor and Delivery. Even though we were seasoned nurses, we were "new" to Sacramento and the "veteran" nurses basically ate their young! So we bonded immediately, in our efforts to survive and blow them away with our awesome teamwork.  Not only did we have similar mid-west roots, we were born in '52!  So as Bogart put it--that was just  "the beginning of a beautiful friendship"!!

A good friend is cheaper than therapy.

Yes, I am truly blessed to have THE Marsha!!  I must not be remiss in saying that, "Oh, by the way, she saved my life!"  Probably in more ways than just one, but in 1995 on a routine exam, she discovered lumps in my groin and sent me to a surgeon for a biopsy.  .  . and consequently my diagnosis of lymphoma.  So I am eternally grateful for her clinical expertise as well, plus all her support through that crisis. "The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it!" 


Let’s swear each with our pinky
We’ll be the best of friends
Until we are old and wrinkly!

Mother and Son

Keep smiling and keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me,

 for sure
That's what friends are for
In good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for


Saturday, July 12, 2014


As many of you might know, I have been on a extensive exercise program for several months.  Now that I am on vacation, I am not just sitting back and letting that muscle turn to jello.  My "host family" is nestled in the trees here in Crescent Valley, Eastern British Columbia. 

Everyday, I have been exploring the trail that leads to the Slocan River.  This has been a good workout, even according to my Polar monitor. Although I prefer fast and flat, these hills are just beautiful and there are so many different trails to follow.
Yesterday, I met Michael, the owner of the property I have been exploring. He purchased the land (@300 acres) 20+years ago. It had been heavily forested or rather "raped" were his words. It had been bulldozed and the best trees taken and the others left in shambles.  Michael brought his parcel back to life, with meadows, trails, and even planting more groves of  trees.  

What is here now is a jewel.  I loved this unexpected covered bridge with hanging flower pots. The bridge over troubled waters! 

The beach by the river was perfect for cooling off today.

There is even the occasional surprise. . . like a sculpture or two. The lion's den and the temple, I have yet to find!! But I have been told the vicinity!

 He says that he likes to think of himself,
 not so much the "owner", but the "steward of the land".
 Thank you Michael, for seeing the possibilities and making it happen.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Only "A" senior moment, I hear you say?  I actually have many but only this one that I want to write about. 

So last winter, my Canadian Cuz hand carried a Heirloom Homestead Squash picked from the fertile Creston Valley, BC.  We cooked it up and it was just delicious and moist. So we saved the seeds and when it was warm enough here, I planted an entire grow box with the Homestead.  At the same time, I planted another box with another one of my favs, butternut squash.  Alas, I did not mark either box.  One box spouted immediately and in just a few days had lots of foliage.  The other box had not one sprout.  So for some reason, I assumed the the box that sprouted was probably the butternut. I proceeded to replant the derelict box with some more Homestead seeds.  Now that both boxes are producing, I have discovered the error of my ways!  Yes, I have 2 grow boxes of Homestead squash.

Fortunately, this is such a flavorful squash, I should be able to interchange it in my recipes for the butternut.  I cooked up an immature one and it was wonderful eaten as a "summer" squash.  Who says you have to wait till "winter"?!

Now speaking of seeds, I was told that I just had to plant a Moon and Stars Watermelon. It is ultra-sweet and delectable with a rind as attractive as the flesh is delicious! The foliage is also spotted.

So I sent off for some seeds from  StoneySoil Seed Co.
When the small package arrived, there was this lovely personal note wrapped around the seeds. 

 Thank you Ira!  That is just so sweet!  Such unique customer service.  I will order from you again. I will report when I have tasted the final product. 

I will also share my prize winning recipe for butternut squash soup. Well, to be honest, I haven't won any prizes with it, but I am sure I would if there was a contest!


The glory of gardening:
Hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.  
To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


National nurses week is coming up and I got an email at work saying "we'd love to hear from you  about why you became a nurse, or what you love about being a nurse".  I was close to hitting the delete button, but gave it a little extra thought and since I am in the "twilight" of my nursing career, I decided to accept the "challenge".  In my 40+ years of nursing, I have seen the highs and lows, the ends and outs of nursing.  I've been the patient, Ive been the nurse. . . I seen life from both sides now.

So let me begin with why I became a nurse.

When I was 6 years old, my favorite uncle-- Marvin, was in medical school at Loma Linda. He was good looking, funny and witty and I adored him. (Later when the Ben Casey tv show came out, I was sure Marvin could have been his double) I think that was when I thought, if I could be a nurse, than I could work with him in his office when he became a doctor. Together, we would save the world!!??

That Christmas, my aunt Marilyn made me a authentic nursing uniform, pinafore, hat and all. I also got a medical kit complete with a real stethoscope, bp cuff, bandages, etc. I was thrilled, and in business!

Over the years, after spending some of my teen years working in a sanitarium and nursing home, the glam of nursing was obviously a little "tarnished" to put it mildy and I briefly wavered in my decision to be a nurse. It was the 60's and I considered being a social worker to solve all the social inequalities of the times.  However, when I got to college, nursing seemed like a more direct path to becoming independent and self sufficient. So I jumped into the nursing que. Little did I know that when I graduated, I'd have no benefits for many years and would get barely $5/hour.

But,I must say my life has not been boring. 

Once I took my state boards, I joined my family in New Guinea where I was drafted since it seemed I was the only medical person in the vicinity, to give lectures to the locals, who had never even heard of a germs. I had some sophisticated public health lectures probably conceived by a Harvard grad with some slides that I realized were almost useless in this situation.  But I managed to keep the people entertained with a few of the slides and making up simple lectures. 

After a stint in Singapore, we moved on to Borneo, where among one of my dad's duties was a bush pilot. I gave him a crash course in triage, suturing, medi-vac, etc. Once he got a flat tire on the cessna, landing on a marginal runway. (We had radioed him to follow the cow path and watch out for the long house built at the end of the runway.)  As we sat around wondering how to fix the tire, I suggested we patch it with some rubber from the local rubber trees and patch from a bicycle. After checking for any escaping air with a stethoscope, he had a successful take off. Whew!!  That was a close one.

Sarawak, Malasian Borneo, was a beautiful island at this time, untouched by the deforestation that came all too soon, moving the simple inland hunter-gather tribes from thatched long houses to urban housing. While doing research on goiters with a medical student and some other friends and family, we stayed with the Iban tribe in their long-house. I remember getting little sleep, cause if you were anybody, you would have a prized rooster tied to your front door.  The cocks were out-crowing each other most of the night.   
Almost everyone living inland had a goitor. Due to the research,though,the government began to give the people iodine supplements and sell iodized salt in the shops. My uncle Marvin and his family came out for a vacation and he helped with some clinics. That's about the closest I ever got to working with him as his nurse!?!

This quote sums up what has kept me in nursing for over 40 years:

When I think about all the patients and their loved ones
 that I have worked with over the years, 
I know most of them don’t remember me nor I them.
 But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them 
and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind
 that is my career in nursing. – D.Cardillo-


Saturday, April 12, 2014


That time of the year when I celebrate another birthday for my bone marrow!!

15 Years Lymphoma-free!!

Friday, March 14, 2014



Math lovers rejoice. Pi, 3.14, is the ratio used to compute the circumference of a circle. It's also pronounced pie — making it the appropriate day to eat pie.  
Even the House of Representatives supported the designation of March 14 as National Pi Day in 2009.(Must have been a slow day at the capitol, or perhaps they were just longing for a piece of PIE) Actually the resolution "encourages schools and educators to observe the day with appropriate activities that teach students about pi and engage them about the study of mathematics." 

 What's more, Albert Einstein was born on this day. 

Pi Day has been observed in many ways, including eating pie, throwing pies, and discussing the significance of the number π. Some schools hold competitions as to which student can recall Pi to the highest number of decimal places.

Next year's Pi Day will be even more exciting. On that day, math geeks will get one, shining moment in which they can write the date as: 3/14/15; 9:26:53. Which, everyone knows, are the first ten digits of Pi in perfect order.


I think I will celebrate your birthday with PIE!


Friday, February 14, 2014


If you have read my blog "OVERDUE"before, you will know that 
All the libraries have displays of best-selling, hot titles published within the past 6 to 12 months on the "LUCKY DAY" rack.  You can avoid long waiting lists if you are lucky to find these popular books on a first-come basis. You can be the first to check out a new and popular book. . . . .Like I was today. I walked into my local library and the first thing I saw on the "LUCKY DAY" rack was a best seller I have been anxious to read.  I was on a long wait list to reserve it from the library so was contemplating if I should just go ahead and purchase it. But today was my "lucky day" and I no longer have to wait. It is Valentine's day and guess what I am doing tonight. . . . Opening a fine wine, and . . . . READING A GOOD BOOK! (Ernie's hacking and coughing and under the weather anyway!)

In this day of dwindling newspapers and popularity of the e-readers, I am glad to see that my library is still going strong.  My son wanted to buy me a kindle and I told him-NEVER! I love going to the library and perusing the titles, checking out the "lucky Day" rack, movies, cd's,magazines and picking up books that I have ordered from the interlibrary loan request or Link+.  Link+ is a catalog of participating libraries in California and Nevada.  I can electronically request an item and I get an email when it is ready for pick-up at my library. Just awesome!

There was a rare out of print book that I had wanted to read so I went on the library catalog and hit the LINK+, ordered the book to be delivered to my local library.  Lo and behold, when it came, it had come from my college alma mater.  Small world made closer by the touch of a button.
I have loved books as long as I can remember.  As a kid, I would walk to the library and hang out there for hours, looking at books and later on reading and checking out as many books as I could carry.

 Today, I discovered the library created a new link. "ZINIO--the world's largest newstand" .  Now one can download magazines and newspapers. The Zinio newsstand carries more than 5,500 magazines. That should keep me busy! Who needs a subscription?  

So. . .Take a look, it's in a book!! Guess I better get to my book.  Got a fire going and a nice glass of vino. . . See you later!



Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I was trying to be on time for my Pilates class at the gym, however, when I steered into the parking lot, I was astonished to see it was just PACKED and my usual spot on the front row was occupied. Once inside, the machines were busy, the locker rooms full. . . Alas, it is the:



Ring in health and wealth of soul and spirit,
Ring in joy and peace for all to hear it,
Ring in new beginnings, hold old friends near,
Ring in hopeful hearts this brand new year!