Vintage Flamingo Figurines, My Goofy Collections Part 4, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

Pink plastic flamingos have been popping up on people’s yards for decades (say that fast 3 times). I’ve only got the china kind. At some point in my Art-Deco-to-Midcentury-loving past I must have acquired a flamingo figurine and tended it lovingly enough to inspire friends to give me flamingos. We hoarder-types are always appreciative, so thank you friends, but now I need to downsize. My fabulous flamingos must fly to new homes.

Flamingo figurines - collection

Conflagration of flamingos…

A few flew away earlier – there were souvenir flamingos on my desk at work through a few moves, finally given to an especially nice office-cleaning lady who admired them. My sister in law gave me a feathered one who brightened up flower pots but eventually succumbed to the damp, and an early-inspiration plastic lawn ornament.

As for flamingo lawn ornaments, they were born in Massachusetts in 1957 and achieved their ironic celebrity with the opening credits of John Waters’ film Pink Flamingos (1972).

“The real plastic flamingo is in a sense extinct, Waters says: ‘You can’t have anything that innocent anymore.’”  — Smithsonian

I’m glad I switched from plastic to china. With a little googling, I’m alarmed to see that pink flamingos and garden gnomes are the most popular lawn ornaments. You can get your own “garden gnome eating pink flamingos” and of course,  zombie flamingos and garden gnomes… and so on. I see I’d better be careful about where I let my china flock go. But wherever it is, those pink question-mark necks will always be graceful.
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering: I don’t have any garden gnomes — do you?

 

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

More on pink-flamingo lawn ornaments from Smithsonian

Warm Winter, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience

Nothing contributes to a little outdoor ambience like a 70-degree weekend. Out for a walk last Sunday, I finally stopped to appreciate the design of this raised walkway in Piedmont Park…Raised walkway in Piedmont Park, Atlanta GA

Looking  back, and back again ….

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And here’s a little Atlanta Beltline ambience from Saturday…

Sign painting, restaurant on the Beltline, Atlanta GA

Touching up, sign painting on the Atlanta Beltline: New Year, New Food

And on the home front: outdoor ambience from yesterday. This squirrel found something tasty on the rim of a flower pot in my back yard. This pot-licking went on for several minutes.

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Or maybe it was some kind of new squirrel-yoga?

squirrel-dsc00046Of course warm days in January can affect our feelings in less positive ways too — waking thoughts of climate change. There’s always a niggling fear beneath the delight with warmer temperatures. But this is the South, so there’s some chance it’s not that unusual. I’m hoping it’s just what we Mid-westerners used to call the “January Thaw”.

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience and the January Thaw

P.S. – what should I be feeding that squirrel?

How Much Coffee is Enough? and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

I figured out a long time ago that if I want to be resilient, there will have to be coffee. Organizing shelves and unpacking boxes of stored stuff showed me I must be really resilient by now — I have way too many coffee makers.Cafe Press, Chemex, and Drip Cup

My once-beloved Pyrex stove-top percolator is long gone but not forgotten. The Chemex on the left was a lucky find of the same era. At the time, Chemex was the epitome of cool and way out of my price range. Then one day I walked into the local Salvation Army store and was astonished to find one for $2.00… Sold! The French-press pots are recent, and make me feel ever so continental — not to mention green, for being filter-free — but they’re a pain to wash.

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Cappuccino makers basking in a ray of morning sun…

Two of these cappuccino makers were packed away in Bob’s boxes, so before donating, I’ll have to see if they still work. (It’s hard to believe now that in pre-Starbucks days we went all the way to Italy to discover cappuccino) I won’t include a photo of my standard coffee pot – it’s been misbehaving anyway.

Lately it’s all just too much trouble and this has been my coffee-maker —

Instant Coffee

We discovered it as hotel-coffee when traveling – it’s actually pretty good

Here on earth our relationship with a morning cup of coffee is complex. And now we hear that climate change is threatening coffee crops. (Do you hear that, politicians? How can anyone resist fighting climate change when coffee is at stake?)

But wait — when I savor that morning cup, I may feel slightly virtuous if I throw my coffee grounds into the compost, but I haven’t even been considering climate change, or excess waste and pollution from processing plants that pollute waterways, or deforestation resulting when farmers replace traditional shade-growing methods with sun cultivation.  I just get up in the morning and stumble into the kitchen to make my cup of instant-gratification. I haven’t noticed any shade-grown instant, but when I switched to instant I wasn’t thinking, wasn’t looking.

I need to get back to shopping and consuming more responsibly. Guess I’ll start by dusting off one of the coffee-makers (and we’ll see if I have the resilience to give up my instant gratification). Surely I can at least manage the over-the-cup drip coffee (first photo) —  I even found the cute little filters that go with it. I’m hoping that’ll help me work my way back to filter-free with the French-press pot.

How do you like your coffee? And do you have enough coffee-makers?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

How to Green Your Cup of Coffee