Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Blood, Sweat, and Metal Roofs

Huge sigh of relief, Chris and I have installed our first (and last, hopefully) metal roof. It took us four 12-14 hour days, but it is finished! And, I can now tell everyone that I helped put on a roof. We are pretty pleased with the outcome and the pleasure of knowing our roof has a 50 year warranty. For some strange reason, I assumed that you just nailed the metal into place, installed some trim and you are done with it; but no. For every piece that is placed on the roof, there are at least 4 steps before you've finished. I am the proud owner of new roofing vocabulary as well...ask me what an eave, a gable, a roof jack, a shear is; I can speak roof talk with the best of them. I am also physically exhausted. I've never worked so hard in my life. Bragging about one's accomplishments is obnoxiously boring, however, since I write this blog I will take certain liberties. Lifting 17 foot long pieces of metal, holding them steady on a slippery roof (I've never enjoyed being on a roof), getting burned to a crisp because it is HOT on top of the house, etc., these are all the experiences I gladly stumbled my way through. For some unfathomable reason I was gung-ho about helping Chris with this project. I decided not every woman can say she put on a roof with her husband (these are much smarter women than me, because I now know why they would not care to say this). It's good that I offered to help with so much gusto, because had I not been very willing to help, I would have given up the first day. Despite all my bravado, until the very end, I would not get within six inches of the end of the roof. I just knew I would tumble over and be paralyzed for the rest of my life. So, come check out our newly red-roofed house, I'll even give some free roofing advice: hire a roofer.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

She's Finally Home!

Hannah Joy has just arrived home and has completely swept the McKean family off their feet. Chris and I are so excited to meet her, but apparently (according to Aaron, Chris's brother), she's partial to the male species. However, I'm convinced that Carrie (my sister in law) and I can change that. Miss Hannah, apparently, feels that clothing should be optional and greeted her brother, Aaron, in butterfly wings, panties, and high heeled shoes. Oh, and a fairy wand. I can only imagine what Allen, the father of 4 boys is thinking.

If you are interested in pics, follow this link: This is the day they arrived in Amarillo.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Perfect Saturday

We do quite a bit of hiking, especially in the Pecos, but our favorite trail we just discovered last Saturday. We started out in exactly the same spot as our hike with Nick and Jenny which is by Truchas, New Mexico, down a long dirt forest service road (with Chris 4 wheel driving in his Maxima), and finally, the trail head. This trail to Trampas Lakes was longer (5.5 miles one way)but easier than the one we did with Nick and Jenny, but I believe the lakes, as well as the trail, were actually prettier. So far we've been impressed with Carson National Forest and although I love the hikes we've done in Pecos, this side of the mountains is more lush and beautiful. My partiality to this hike does not stem from the fact that A) I didn't fall down the mountain at all this time and B) it didn't rain/hail/sleet/snow on us on our way back. In fact, we were prepared for this eventuality which is probably why it didn't happen.

After our long hike, we were ready for some serious food and took the high road to Taos. We were craving pizza, and so we stumbled upon Taos Pizza Outback. The name threw us and we decided that we didn't want to eat at Outback pizza, but it was a great restaurant with picnic tables and huge cottonwood trees outside. The perfect casual atmosphere when you've been hiking all day. The only non-perfect element was the price...$23 for a medium pizza. We didn't even have meat! But, it was yummy and we ate the whole thing. And so, it was a perfect day, even the long drive back home was worth it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Wonderful World of Customer Service

I just had the most frustrating, amusing experience with a "Customer Service Professional" that I've had in awhile and to brighten everyone's day I thought I should share it: my bill with Comcast has gone up over $10 in the past two months (since we live out in the sticks, we use cable for our internet connection); anyway, I don't care for unexplained charges and decided to call customer service. After five minutes of unintelligible explanations about how the "state" wanted an increase in price, how my "promotional offer" had expired (now its a "promotional" offer when before it was just the regular old fee), I finally said matter-of-factly, "so Comcast took a rate increase." And the answer I was given: "No, there was an increase in billing, but not the price." Oh, I see. Now, why didn't he just say so in the first place? All I needed was a clear, logical explanation. If anyone needs me, I'll be spending the day banging my head on my desk.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Our New Little Sister

It is official! Chris and I are the proud brother and sister of Xiao Ai (Hannah Joy) McKean today. Chris's parents are currently in China, having successfully adopted a cute little 3 year old on August 6th, China time. She sounds like she'll fit right in with the strong-willed McKean girls as she refused to kiss her foster mom goodbye, she doesn't like her Dora the Explorer Doll because its ugly, and she apparently likes her new dad's attention and runs to him when she sees him. We are so thrilled to finally have this sweet little girl in our family. I don't have any pics of her yet, but you can check out her foster mom's blog at:; she's the little girl with the birth mark on her face. She's also the same age as the other little girl, Xiao Qing, but as you can see, she's very tiny. We get to see our new sister at the end of the month!