Friday, December 31, 2010


well, tonight is the (duh) last night of the year. the end of 2010. a year that flew by. a year of incredible changes. i hope it has been good for y'all. it has been for me. i am excited about this new year and ready to catalog the old one. i send my best energies to you friends. here's to 2011!

adieu for now!

2010 countdown: 1

one of the two of our favourite songs. the gardener by the tallest man on earth. this is a really cool video for it. i hope you listen and enjoy.

the second song is our song. it is sweet and silly and romantical.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 countdown: 2

you gotta love the carolina chocolate drops. mississippi and i have sang (sung?) this song loudly around the house for several months now. enjoy!
adieu for now,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


hello kiddos. 'tis wednesday and the holiday break is going by way too quickly; but i'm really excited about spending the next five days with mississippi. major Q time. i'm hoping we will haunt a few bookstores, get the new online shop ready to go, and maybe just maybe clean our filthy nest.
as for right now though? i'm going to get some shuteye. i'm a very sleepy gal today. more posts of interest to come (i'm also hoping)!
adieu for now,

2010 countdown: 3

one of me and mississippi's favourite songs. edward sharpe & the magnetic zeroes, home.

lovely, no? home is wherever i'm with you.
adieu for now!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


good morning friends! 'tis sunday and mississippi and i are having a very slow start to our day after christmas. there is wrapping paper everywhere.
i had too many christmas spirits last night because my head be hurtin'. we had an awesome christmas though. mississippi and i spent it with mama and b which was really special. the food was great, i got to participate in some of the very special christmas family traditions that mean so much to me. awesome stockings first, then presents, then mom makes a killer breakfast (which she did again: orange glazed french toast), then me and b watch old movies. it was important to me to have that again this year and to share it with mississippi, who had an awesome christmas too.
yay! i'm glad the holiday is over though. whew! but it was my favourite christmas in a really long time.
much love friends, i hope your holiday was awesome too!

2010 countdown: 4

and just in case the computer has another episode like yesterday, my countdown song for december 27th: serge gainsbourg & jane birkin je t'aime mon non plus. mississippi and i listened to a lot of serge in late summer. particularly when we moved into our new house, the album this song was featured on was on constant play.

adieu for now, friends!

2010 countdown: 5

and now for something completely different... (warning: if you are in a chill mood today, just listen to the post for christmas day instead). i love this song by visqueen. i put it on one of the cd's i made for mississippi and every time i listen to it, it reminds me of that exciting time.

adieu for now!

2010 countdown: 6

for christmas day, since i didn't get a chance to post (computer problems). this is lay low.

i listened to this album over and over again in the spring and into early summer.

Friday, December 24, 2010

chunk of coal: 7

good morning christmas campers! 'tis friday. the town hath rolled up its sidewalks and mississippi is at work! i just ate half a pumpkin pie for breakfast and have been debating over which of the two songs i wanted to post in the countdown today to choose. so, i decided to post both. one because it's been stuck in my head all morning and because i think it would amuse me on christmas eve, to post it. mississippi put this on one of the many mix cd's he has made me and i listened to it a lot in the spring and summer.
the other is romantical. that's right, romantical. every time i hear this song i get all swoony for my man. heh. what else is new? alright alright, i'll cut the sweetness. enjoy these two lil gems.
happy christmas eve, friends! so much love!
adieu for now,

and for my sweet man... and yes, it makes me tear up every time i listen to it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

merry rantmas!

good evening, friends. 'tis thursday and i've spent countless hours running all over town nailing down crafty christmas accoutrements and last minute stocking stuffins. whew!
wanna know what i was reminded of constantly since i left the comfort of my motown christmas pandora station? i reeeeeeallly don't like "classic" christmas music.
the garbage that is piped into every single place of business from the day after halloween until...well, thankfully until tomorrow night is mind-numbing. totally mind-numbing.
growing up in our house, christmas was cozy. vince guiraldi (charlie brown christmas), and nat king cole, maybe a little emmett otter's jugband christmas (who doesn't love a muppet gift of the magi?!). that was pretty much it, maybe a little deano if we were feeling particularly feisty.
as a grown up independent gal, the selection became quirkier. the waitresses and the aforementioned motown. guiraldi and cole have to be played at least once for nostalgic purposes; and because they're awesome, frankly.
but this being my first holiday in which i haven't worked retail (and controlled the christmas music i was exposed to), i found myself contemplating shoving ribbon candy in my ears to get the saccharine pop country ballads and lame-o covers of bing classics out of my head. sacrilegious. ack!
who knew cindy-lou would be such a grinch in her older years?! wowsers. rant over. time to listen to the new 80's classic, "christmas wrapping".
adieu for now!

and the countdown continues... 8

i listened to this a lot this spring. introduced to me by mississippi, it quickly became a favourite video as well. it's very other-worldly and scandinavian. some random ancient mythological water nymph struggling through the modern, sterile suburbs. weird and awesome. it makes me want to watch "let the right one in" except i don't want to be scared witless.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

hiromi & a canon: 9

this is the second post in the musical countdown of my 2010. such an interesting year. this is hiromi. she does a really unique spin on pechelbel's canon. it's a long spin, but worth the listen. my favourite version didn't have an interesting video, so here's a live one. it's a little different, but i've given you all the details needed to find the record cut on you tube. in the meantime, take the time to listen to this. it is really such an enjoyable take on the song. i listened to it a tremendous amount this year (and was tickled to death that mississippi loved it when i put it on one of the mix cd's i made him when we first met). it relaxes me. hope you like!
adieu for now!
p.s. she's not playing a harpsichord, she placed a metal ruler on the strings to give it that sound. r.a.d.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

and so countdown begins... 10

i have been trying to figure out how i wanted to send off this year's blog. i tinkered with the idea of posting ten of my favourite photographs from the year, but considering that my photo-a-day project ended when my laptop died in september, there are dozens of photographs that were never taken from those very special months.
i've thought about posting a goal or resolution for the next year every day until the new year arrives, but i have grown more superstitious as i age, and feel that it would be a poor idea to broadcast them out into the vast universe of the interwebs.
instead, i've decided to chronicle some of my favourite songs of the year. not songs that were necessarily released this year, but that have moved me or embedded themselves in the scent & sound womb of the 2010 memory bank. music affects me more than just about anything else; and many palpable memories have been established in the wrinkles of my grey matter.
indeed, it has been quite a ride.
i've moved three times, struggled through depression and a lot of self-discovery (as per usual), unemployment, a couple of major losses and realizations. all in all a great deal of floundering and a buttload of growth (yes, buttload is a recognized unit of measurement).
i've also had some brilliant fun times, pool parties, laughter, bb-gun shootin', and discovering once again just how deeply i love my family & my chosen family.
also, the most incredible life-changing and beautiful person i've ever met decided he wanted to spend his life with me, of all people in the world. pretty righteous stuff.

i reckon, for the music posts, i'll go in some sort of order. so from january through the beginning of march 2010, i listened to this song pretty much nonstop. it always makes me cry a little and i would sing it ad nauseum on meridian, a road here in town that is lined with live oak canopies.
Jolene- Ray Lamontagne

and because it's a time to reflect, not wallow (or waller as we say down here), here's something new.

have you any?

good morning friends! 'tis tuesday and the moon is hanging big and low in the sky like a giant snickerdoodle after the lunar eclipse early early this morning. it really makes me want a cookie.
well, i've got a tremendous amount of christmas things to do today. i basically got nothing done yesterday with a mixture of emotional and physical obstacles. today i have to make up for it.
i do have to say, i keep getting confronted with touchy interpersonal situations that i have a hard time navigating. i try very hard to do what's best for myself, but often find that i am trying to do right by everyone else instead. it's exhausting.
it's times like these that i wish one could hire a liaison to mediate. "i'm sorry, lu can't make it to __insert event in question here___. she sends her love and asks that you have a happy christmas." if only it were that easy. instead i tread through sadness, obligation, guilt, an oxcart of emotional baggage, and a steamer trunk of reality.
on the great scale, i'm often made to feel that my side couldn't possibly be enough to pull rank on what everyone thinks i should be doing (in others' opinions). very touchy stuff, man. never really learned the skills on how to best proceed in those kinds of situations. my instinct is to be cut & dry, not make excuses and say "here, this is why i am (or am not) going to do such & such, so deal." but then my tender heart and empathetic nature come into play and i wrap all of my words in bubble wrap and dress it as a completely different word and get stuck in terribly gut-contradicting situations. *sigh* anyone else deal with this? am i the only one too afraid to upset loved ones to say what i really mean? i can't fathom that i am.
nonetheless, this little black sheep has to figure out how to do what's best for the black sheep not all the white ones in the flock.
an unhappy sheep renders itchier wool, methinks.
adieu for now,

image of "the little outcast" featured from etsy shop: thelittlefox

Sunday, December 19, 2010


if you don't check orleans apothecary on tumblr yet, then you haven't read my bombshell rant.

soooo, i've been reading my lucky guide to mastering any style all day, and wish-listing the bombshell look i often dream of.
i'm not much of a bombshell in the fashion department per se, but i definitely have my moments of lusting after all things leopard print (grandma always said it was a neutral) and halter-topped.
in all of that day-dreaming, i happened upon several lovely photographs of one miss rita hayworth. enjoy friends! bombs away!

adieu for now!


good afternoon friends! 'tis sunday and while mississippi is rigging and cursing our dreary vacuum cleaner into submission, i'm taking a moment betwixt sneezing fits to post a little bloggimans.
it is a beautiful cool day here in the sunshine state. we have corn chowder (that we totally swiped from mom's christmas party last night) on the stove warming up, dirty jobs on the television, the christmas tree all lit up and a sonny & cher vinyl record sleeve being used as a makeshift mousepad.
it's a nice day at the nest.
adieu for now,

Friday, December 17, 2010


i have quite the affinity for rain boots. i have had in my possession three-five pairs at a time. that is more rain boots that nice dress-up shoes. i'm too practical for my own good. my favourite pair are my trusty leopard print ones with the major grip soles. i got them for $19 about three years ago (maybe 4). i have to say though, that i often covet the classic wellies. they are just so... well, classic!
me wanty.
more to come! happy weekend, campers!
(for more rainy weather styleymabobs, check out

happy splashing!


good evening friends! 'tis friday, and it is a fantastically grey and rainy dusk kick-starting this weekend. most people wouldn't dig that but over at the ortolano house, it's a happy-maker. we have plans tonight; and while our intrinsic nature precludes any and all outdoor galavanting on such a snug-in evening, our schedule simply will not allow such hermit behaviour.
i am terribly happy about getting a little more visiting in with one of my dear sweet friends in town this weekend. i am terribly excited, as well, to get home tonight and crawl into an unfathomably hot bath.
i hope you are all enjoying your fridays, and safe travels to all y'all making the requisite holiday travels. i'm thinking of you!
adieu for now,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

tea for the spirit

good evening friends! isn't it amazing what tea & chat time with friends can do for a spirit? i was feeling a little hormonally blue today (i don't like shopping, particularly during the holiday time...yuck); and though i was somewhat uplifted by the fact that i totally scored something i needed to complete a holiday project, i was still quite a bit testy.
enter sweet friend #1, tea at a bookstore. chatting, laughing, affirmations. mucho love. how i cherish this ray of sunshine. he often does and did once again, make me feel terribly blessed and proud to be a part of his world.
shortly after numero uno left i received a call from sweet friend #2! off i went to a local coffee shop to have tea (and receive amazing coconut macaroons...that totally look like boobs, which we giggled about). there we chatted, and laughed and were girly. she is another blessing in my life. she sneaked up a bit on me too! we've known each other for years and suddenly *kapow* i have another ray of sunshine in my life.
how lovely! i came home this afternoon to the sweetest card for me and the mister, heartfelt and handmade by miss tennessee. it meant a lot. it was our first christmas card at that!
now i get to spend the evening with a handful more rays. the pup, mississippi, and family dinner at the folks' house. i'm a lucky girl. a very grateful one too.

stan's the man

i have fallen in love (once again) with thermoses. i actually have never fallen out of love with them, but have recently felt the spark return! i have always geeked out a little for the classic stanley thermoses, especially with the handle. it's so... "takin' my metal lunchbox to work buildin' skyscrapers".
i have recently discovered their awesome flask too. i don't like to admit that i love flasks, but i do. i'm also terribly particular about the ones i would bring home to mother, so to speak. no girly, rhinestone-encrusted cheeky-messaged ones for me. no ma'am. no sir. a good ole green stanley. mmmhmmm!
adieu for now!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


hello friends! 'tis wednesday, and i am snugged in bed with the pup checkin' ma sites and chatting with a dear friend on the telly. phone that is, not vision.
anywho, i'm feeling all cozy and wanting a glass of wine and a good movie like its my job. what i should be doing is cleaning the house and doing laundry. but it's too chilly to get out of bed!! plus my snugglebuddy will be here soon and he's really good at convincing me to stay put in our warm fluffy bed. speak of the devil... time for hugs and snugs. later!
excuse the saccharine-ness of this post. more insight, creative thinking, humour, and substance to come.
adieu for now,


i wish for today:

1. that i didn't talk so much.
2. i had a steady supply of body butter, face & eye creams.
3. i had my christmas projects completed.
4. no credit card or student loan debt.
5. i had milk in the fridge. i'm craving milk insanely lately.
6. i had cold-weather exercise clothes. i miss my morning walks!
7. i had wedding-themed stamps. not ones that would make me want to barf though.

that is all. don't worry, i'm grateful for what i do have. just wishes and wants. it happens, right?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

bit-chompin' & yardbird roastin'

good afternoon friends! 'tis tuesday, it's almost time to pick up mississippi from work and i haven't crossed off a thing from my to-do list. i've been busy writing up a storm for a project and am feeling rather energized about finding a new opportunity. yesterday went well, i haven't a clue as to the outcome and that is okay with me. it stirred up the stagnant water and now i'm clacking away like mad.
mississippi and i are terribly excited about our new etsy shop opening on january first. so much so, that i don't want to wait another minute. to keep steadily building anticipation, we are both posting daily to our inspiration blog it is so much fun! it is keeping me on point with all the ideas swirling around the nest on random scraps of paper, and mississippi's idea notebook. it's exciting stuff and carving out a projected timeline to (re)photograph everything in the new style and upload all of it at a steady, constant clip has me just a-chompin' at the bit.
well, i had but a moment to check in. we have company for dinner tonight and i haven't even begun cleaning the house or preparing the big honkin' yardbird i'm supposed to be roasting.
adieu for now!

Monday, December 13, 2010

dirt roads revisited

I posted this story nearly a year ago. Today I found it, edited it a little and wanted to share it with some of my newer blog-followers. I'm still not entirely happy with it, but I dig it nonetheless. I have no idea what happened to the spacing when I moved it over here. Oh well, I hope it doesn't irk you as much as it irks me!

Dirt Roads

~a rather short story by lulu carpenter ortolano

She sat in a truck bouncing along down a dirt road that was flooded in places. The cab was filled with laughter and music and books sliding off of the dashboard as they rambled on, drinking out of cans.

The four o'clock sun pushed through the gaps in the trees. It touched the spread fingertips of the saw palmettos that seemed to be elbowing their way up out of chaotic brush and ceasing defiantly at the knees of the pines.

The dappled light, quick-moving clouds, the pines and the palms rushed past the window of the truck and she knew a very lovely, very bittersweet memory was being formed inside of her.

There have been other dirt roads. There have been barefoot walks with a lover in the summer. Barefoot walks with pockets full of small, rough-edged stones as a child. There have been frost-bitten treks down clay and sand backs roads that lead to marshes with large grey cranes huddled under each others' wings.

This time there was a tail-gate and dangling feet. This was swaying to meloancholy songs and an arm around her shoulders. This was realizing how long it had truly been since she had laughed with her head thrown back.

Later that evening she sat at her table, drinking cheap wine and looking around the house. This house would be empty soon. Pieces of her world would be empty soon as well. Great big pieces. For someone so seemingly full of life, sadness always seemed able to creep in and sit down with her; a drinking buddy of sorts.

The tantalizing simplicity of the day on the dirt road left her wanting. It had her longing to be able to shut down her mind for a minute and just shut up in general. It made her want to smile wide and laugh as a truck cut through water and fanned mud above the windows, jostling her closer to...something.

Perhaps toward a simple and pleasant peace that she could keep with her all the time.

morning express

good morning, friends! 'tis monday, the sunrise is an insanely gorgeous shade of grey-blue, kind of like the eyes of a weimaranar pup. lovely lovely!
this weekend was insane. we had to get a mississippi visit in, but since money is so tight, our friend conductor ben, offered up the trip on his tab. and though it is so wonderful of him to do so, and we had a lovely time replete with exploding traffic cones and a big bouncy red horse named Rody; i still felt bad accepting it all. i'm too proud of a boar sometimes, methinks.
we ended up driving through the night saturday to get home in the morning sunday. we rolled in to tallahavegas near sunrise and i spent pretty much all day sunday researching and preparing for the big joe opportunity i have today.
i'm terribly nervous because it is a big deal to me and i'm trying not to get too worked up over it. my nerves are eating away at me a little but a sweet note from my man is going into my pocket for calming reminders throughout the morning.
at the moment, i have an insatiable craving for a sausage biscuit (um, delicious says what?!) little bud is playing hysterically with his toy (as per usual the moment we get home from dropping mississippi off at work). he's just like me with his little routines.
we have our mama-baby mornings. it's quite nice. i reckon it's time i get a move on for the day. send me positive energies, friends! sorry so random this morning, i'm going off about 4.5 hours of sleep right now! i hope you are having a fantastic monday!

Friday, December 10, 2010

sweater puppies

you may remember earlier this week i had a crisis of pants. today is a crisis of online window shopping. sweaters. cardigans. sweater coats. all things knitty and cozy and snuggley. anthropologie is a cruel, cruel mistress indeed.

promises to keep sweater coat/cardigan $188
winter fern sweater coat $228
bright and bold sweater coat $188
hanakatoba cardigan $168 (how sexy is that?!)
time to gather sweater cardigan $148 (and yes i would totally rock a squirrel sweater)

adieu for now friday friends!

cross that off the list

well well well, an anti-climactic result to the situation in question. a bizarro non-relieving sense of relief. now on to the other monsters underneath my bed.

delicious little deep-fried stress ball

boy howdy am i thisclose to being in a foul mood today. i am highly overstimulated. i'm craving hermit time like a pregnant lady craves pickles and ice cream. i have an incredible amount of things swirling around in my head and just enough pieces missing from the puzzle to keep me truly full of static and vinegar.
all that aside, i'm dealing with a situation that is very delicate and frustrating right now. a situation in which i can honestly say i've never really succeeded; and yet every so often am faced with once again. it's silly really. everyone around me can give plain and simple advice about it. very solid, cut and dry advice that sounds delightful in theory. however, in practice would be quite messy and i'm tired of having to clean up all of the messes.
alas, my gut tells me that the plain and simple answers are the easiest, though they won't cover the situation completely.
it is the route i have taken with it, but we shall see where the shrapnel lands. i need to hire a diplomat on my behalf. that or let it all out, consequences be damned and leave the relationships in questions altered forever. hmmm...
now it makes sense as to why i've been wanting a sour cream donut so badly the past few mornings. delicious little deep-fried stress ball.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

news from nido di!

oh and by the by, mississippi and i have decided to close our etsy shop at the end of this year and reopen with a new plan, a new aesthetic, a new (collaborative) inspiration blog, and of course... a new name.

as of january first, nido di gazza will be no more, and orleans apothecary will be open. we have already started the blog:, and the shop is created (however the shelves are empty for the moment). we are terribly excited about this, and hope you take the time to check us out on january 1st, 2011.
we will be keeping our personal blogs as well (so no worries for those who fear change), but this new venture is just wonderful and we are chomping at the proverbial bit to get it up and running.

'tis all for now!

'tis the season

good grief i am so behind this week! i swear, this has been the lost week. i woke up this morning and couldn't believe it was already thursday. do you want to know what i have accomplished this week? nada. minus a really good meatloaf dinner and an excellent batch of my corn & sausage cheddar chowder. nada.
this little lady is so terribly overstimulated that i cannot even turn on the lights on the christmas tree without twitching a little. i have learned that over the course of over a decade in the retail/customer service industries that i am rather scroogey this time of year.
i thought this year would be different because i am well...unemployed and hence have no reason to be pissed at the rampant greed and consumerism that weasels in around my "nat king cole sings the christmas hits" record-enjoyment time. however, with the astonishing lack of funds on our end, with bills looming, and required travel eating away at our mental and emotional well-being... i want to just say bah-humbug.
however, existing as a somewhat rational (though far more optimistic than rational) being, i still find pleasure in the simple things. i am still a grateful creature. i am still a wallower in the solstice delights. i have a tendency and inherent knack to revel in holiday cheer.
at this juncture though, mississippi and i both want to disappear from the hustle and bustle and travel and superficial b.s.
is that possible to do that this time of year without becoming that lady in front of you at the grocery checkout line on christmas eve that is buying twenty cans of cat food, a carton of pall malls, and a case of Tab? ish kabibble. i choose to believe so.
do not be offended though, local friends at the inevitable holiday disappearance of the florida ortolanos. we will not be seen for a while. at least not until the bills are paid and we have fun money again. which may be spring, who knows! we will return again rested and ready for the new year.
adieu for now, lovies!

Monday, December 6, 2010

crisis of pants

it's a tie between financial restraint, and expanding hips; but i'm having a crisis of pants. anthropologie is not helping.
AG Angel Cord, $158
7 For All Mankind Slim Trousers, $169
Citizens of Humanity Dita Petite Jeans, $189

thanks a lot, anthropologie. really.
adieu for now,

Saturday, December 4, 2010


i want one so seven and the micro-pig (that i also want) can all keep each other company.

if you have time to kill, browse you tubes many many clips of caplin rous the capybara. i am a nerd. i am aware of this.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

shiny happy frostbitten lawns

good morning, friends! 'tis thursday and my how this week has flown by! today i am getting some of my christmas supply shopping done. notice i didn't say "christmas shopping", for i am making, assembling, crafting my way through the holiday season. i know i'm not the only one, but i'm excited about it. what i really need to do is sit down at the singer and make some holiday stockings, but i'm...what's the word?...too lazy to do it. plain and simple.
today is chilly in the ole sunshine state. a balmy 29 degrees when i woke up. it's my favourite kind of weather and this morning, the ground was so delightfully frosted and the pink morning light made everything look that much more majestic. that's really saying something considering the kind of commute mississippi and i have to make each morning. *le sigh*
tonight we hang mississippi's photographs for his art show on saturday. we are both so excited about it and are tickled that a big glorious handful of the folks that we love and invited are showing up to celebrate with us!
well, i must scoot. i have things to do and craft stores to haunt. i hope that today is a beautiful day for you, kiddos!
adieu for now,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

new treasury + stocking stuffers + superstitions

good morning friends! we have another new item up on the shop, plus i just completed a new treasury of awesome stocking stuffers for just about everyone you know, so check it out!

it's called STUFF IT FOR $25 OR LESS...stocking stuffers for every oddball in your tribe. or click on the treasury list from our shop...

by the way, happy december 1st! i hope you said rabbit rabbit this morning! i nearly forgot this morning! good luck december firsters!

adieu for now, lovelies! happy shopping!

p.s. wallet by GypsyTailor, rum balls by denisesdelectibles