I never saw myself as Mr. Fix-It until we bought our first house.  Now, with a family, it is my official job title.  (This radio thing is just what I do for fun outside of that.)

Things I have been able to do because of the generosity of people who have made instructional videos for YouTube:

  • Remove popcorn ceiling and re-texture it for a more modern look.
  • "Double dig" a garden with a spade, mixing in manure, so we could have crops even though we live in Colorado.
  • Remove and replace the pull string on a gas lawn mower after the old one broke and got sucked up into the top of the engine.
  • Flush out my power steering pump so it would stop making noise.

Those are just the ones I can remember right now.

But I don't think I'll ever go as far as this courageous woman:

Cara Brookins in Little Rock, Arkansas, got out of an abusive marriage about ten years ago, and had four kids to take care of.  She couldn't afford a house that had enough bedrooms for all of them.  But she realized she had just enough money to build one if she didn't have to pay for the labor.

So even though they had no idea what they were doing, she and her kids decided to build it themselves.  And they learned everything they needed to know by - you guessed it - watching YouTube videos.

They laid the foundation in 2008, and moved in less than a year later.  It's about 3,500 square feet, with five bedrooms and a three-car garage.  Cara's oldest daughter Hope is in her mid-20s now, and says it taught her that you really can do just about anything if you put the work in.

Cara just wrote a book about it that comes out this week called "Rise: How a House Built a Family".