Saturday, March 7, 2009

Adventures with McIver

Olivia went over to play with the Netherys this morning so McIver and I decided we needed to come up with something fun to do during another showing of our house.

McIver has been collecting cans for months now and had a HUGE trash bag full. We took them to C&D Scrapmetals (thanks, Margaret!) in The Heights to see what he could get for them. We weren't exactly sure what we were doing when we got there. It was an odd sort of place. In the back of the parking lot, there were some old lawn chairs with old babydolls tied to the fence behind them. McIver told me not to worry: A little girl probably just left them there so they put them on the fence for when she comes back to find them. (I didn't know how to tell him that most children don't visit the scrapmetal yard for fun!) Anyway, the men at the scrapyard took our giant bag of cans and weighed it on their scale. The man behind the glass slid out the bank drawer (which was cool enough in itself), with the $2.10 that McIver's cans earned him. Then he told us to wait, he left and returned with a Houston Rockets hat for McIver. What a day - and this was only our first stop!

Check it out - they pay in $2 bills!
As we made our way to the 11th Street Cafe (another suggestion of my friend Margaret), we saw some pet adoption stands. Since we didn't have anything else to do, we stopped and visited with the puppies. McIver was heartbroken when I told the volunteer that we weren't actually planning to take a dog home today. (He's still holding out hopes for a bunny, anyway.) This little guy was super cute and so sweet to McIver.

Once I was able to tear McIver away from the puppies, we found the 11th Street Cafe. I could tell I'd like it simply because they had outdoor tables. It was a perfect lunch with my guy! There was even a big-Marmaduke type dog on the porch eating with us. He was only 4 months old, but he was huge and very well-behaved.

Margaret also told me about the Beer Can House in The Heights. Apparently, this man got tired of cutting his grass so he started putting marbles into concrete to decorate his driveway and front yard. Then he started adding aluminum siding in the form of cut-open beer cans to the side of the house. Not only did that save him from having to paint his house, he also saved on energy bills. The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art operates the house as a musuem now.
McIver couldn't believe his eyes!
Those 'curtains' are made from the lids of beer cans and make all kinds of noise when the wind blows. I wonder what the neighbors think.

Even the fences are made from beer cans. Most of the colors of the cans have faded over the years (he started the project in 1968), but I bet it was really quite beautiful when he first finished.

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