March 9, 2009

Paraguayan Ingenuity

A popular saying around here is "Don't buy what you can make yourself." It's much like what Ken and my brother, Dino, used to say when finding an item to be overpriced: "Well, I could make it for THAT!" And so we did. Lots of times we'd just construct whatever item we thought we needed at the time, from clothing items to furniture, and even our own house. Ken was looking at costs of having one built and finally said, "You know, we've never done anything like this before, but I could build a house for much less than that." And that's exactly what he did. Every free moment, including all our weekends and each evening after work, I was his assistant as he handbuilt our house. We'll not elaborate on the times the handy assistant shot him (twice) with the nail gun, or any of the other near-disasters over the course of the two-and-a-half years it took us to get the house built. I was just proud that I'd married a man with SKILLS!

So here we are in Paraguay, where he fits right in. I've already shown you the lovely little bird cage he made, which now serves as a chicken coop at night or in the rain. Paraguayans are always filling a need by making something ingenious, like the picture above. This is our tv antenna. Now, we could have gone into town and purchased one for about $10, but someone told Ken you could make an antenna from an old flourescent light bulb. We had a bulb that needed replacing, so the old one was put on a cane pole and hooked to antenna wire on each end, then the cane pole was hoisted to the side of the house. It works like a charm! (Okay, not exactly like a charm, but if you don't count the times one of us goes outside to twist it so that whichever channel we want to see comes in clearly, then it works as well as the $10 one!!) PS--Don't click below...


  1. He sounds like my husband! He'll do great here!!!

  2. haha, you will fit in perfectly!

  3. I did not know that a flourescent light bulb would help TV reception. Don't tell my husband or we will have one on our house soon too!


Wanna leave a comment? Be nice, please, and if you can't, at least leave your email address...