Tag Archive | author

Points to Ponder on this year, 2020

“I am satisfied that one active campaign… burning two or three of their towns, will set everything to rights.”

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“Between you and me I think we are in an exceeding dangerous Situation.”

“War is when the government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide that for yourself.”

Similar words I’m hearing from American voices on all social media sites. The heinous threats and words that are being thrown about as effortlessly as breathing air shocks and cuts my soul. Have we not learned anything from our history? Obviously not.

All of the quotes above are from the Revolutionary War 1775-1783. You may have studied it in school, though what we learned in our generation is quite different from what my children are learning today. Corrupt government and corporations have twisted and eliminated anything that resembles the truth because to teach the truth is dirty and ugly. But aren’t all beginnings dirty and ugly?

We are supposed to learn, grow and become better than our generations before but it appears to me that we are going backwards. There is no respect for anyone who has a different opinion than you. When did we raise our children to think that their values and opinions are better than everyone else who has a differing one so therefore it is justified to attack, kill, maim and eliminate? When did we lose the art of communication and listening? All I see are keyboard warriors who are so full of their own ego that they easily latch onto and publicly bash anyone who has an opinion they don’t agree with.

I have several friends AND family who believe differently than I do. During these dangerous times, we also have admitted to having opposite political candidate preferences. We are definitely not voting for the same person. But guess what? We are still friends and family. We still have meals together, have drinks together and talk about so many different subjects, even politics. We are respectful to each other when we are stating our opinion and LISTEN when the other person is stating theirs. It’s a quid-pro-quo relationship. And if things start to get a little touchy? We agree that it’s time to change the subject onto something lighter, SO WE DO.

We are on a fast-track to another revolutionary war. We are not listening. We are turning into bullies and we are turning against each other. Have you figured out are you an instigator or a solution? I used to be an instigator. I would hear something that I didn’t agree with or maybe I did and I posted my opinion all over my social media sites. My blood pressure would raise and my heart would pump and I would check my comments every couple of seconds ready to attack. Then I found peace and I kicked my ego in the ass and took a step back. How was I helping ANYTHING with hate and that large chip on my shoulder? I wasn’t.

So now I choose not to react. If a war happens, my family and I are prepared. I live by the saying prepare for the worst but pray for the best and praying I am. I’m praying that more of us knock our egos down a bit and check your chip at the door. Listen more than preach. Stop before you start typing and ask yourself; do I want to be the trigger that starts another war or do I want to be the saint who brings forth peace? I’ve heard people use the excuse, well I’m just one person, that won’t make a difference. But look around you. Look at how all of this negativity has spread ONE PERSON AT A TIME. So yes, you can make a difference. Imagine what it would look like if just ONE PERSON AT A TIME choose to spread joy instead of anger; love instead of hate; blessings instead of curses.

Just my little thoughts to ponder today. Off to play with unicorns and faeries! Peace be with you.

Society of black, white and extremes

I Facebook it, I Tweet, I’m beginning to Musical.ly, I see the world through cyber eyes. And the more I see, the more I realize that we are becoming a black or white society. If you hate this, then there is NO way there is anything good about it. If you like that, then there is NO way there is anything is bad about it. Whatever happened to the grays in life?

I live in a coal mining community. Have for the past 8 years. We moved from a tree hugger community. When we first moved up here, I informed my husband (yeah, never inform anyone ANYTHING because that will guarantee that they are going to do it!) that I NEVER wanted to be a coal miner’s wife. I knew nothing about coal mining except it was dangerous. Well I have been a coal miner’s wife for 5 years now. They are NOT a bunch of inbred, uneducated hicks like many believe. They are dedicated, hard-working, family and community minded souls. They are risking their lives every single day so that we have electricity, heat, power, your Xboxes and PlayStations. So when I hear about people bashing coal industry and how much it RUINS the land and how amazing solar power is, I get frustrated. So I posted on my Facebook page pictures of a surface mining operation in progress, the reclaimed land a few years later of that SAME mine and then one of a solar panel field, in which ALL life was decimated. My entire point was there is good AND bad aspects to EVERYTHING.

Another thing I read, I believe it was on MSN, is a group who is complaining about our youth. Our youth is self entitled, lazy, disrespectful and it’s ALL because parents coddled them as babies, spoiled them, never let them cry in their cribs. As a mother of two beautiful young ladies, I call bullshit on that. I NEVER let my girls cry in their cribs. When they needed me I was there. They didn’t have to cry themselves to sleep. My girls have everything they need, and quite a bit of what they want. The difference is my girls know that they need to work for things and continue working. They have A’s and B’s in school, volunteer when needed, will help a fellow friend who is down and is right out there repairing fencing and plow trucks in the cold and mud with the adults. Hhhmmmm, okay, so that theory was blown to hell.

Now the thing that is blowing up our Internet and news are the presidential candidates. Everything is black and white. IF you like this candidate, then you MUST be a terrorist, or capitalist, or extremist or …..it goes on. No one is willing to admit that there can be good AND bad in each candidate (heck, they are all politicians so we KNOW the bad is there, now to find the good) and society is quick to jump on the lynching bandwagon if you mention anything you MIGHT or MIGHT NOT like about a situation. I choose not to discuss politics. My founding fathers gave me my right to vote quietly, discreetly and peacefully, following my heart and soul, without having to be socially flogged or berated for my beliefs. I know that whoever is elected, there is going to be good AND bad and I pray that the good will outweigh the bad. I have my daughter’s futures to worry about.

How I’m going to handle things is TRY to practice tolerance. The big T word that so many people talk, preach and post about but so little actually act on. I’m different, unique, as are we all, so why am I going to jump on a judgmental bandwagon that only knows extremes? I’m not. JMO.

Remember, Life is meant to be fun; Enjoy the journey!

Children, Animals, Kryptonite and Antibiotics

Since my last blog, I’ve received quite a few comments and questions as to whether or not I am alright. It seems that my normally friendly, sensitive nature took a vacation and my blunt, less than kind comments really concerned a few people. So I’ve taken the past week to really reflect on what is going on.

I have always been an animal lover. Anyone who knew my in my childhood can attest to that and my current friends also are aware of my passion. It’s one of the reasons we have so many critters on our little ranch. Since I’ve had my own two, beautiful little girls, I’ve become aware of the wrongs done to children and in turn, become very passionate to their rights. Children and animals have no rights, are often treated as objects and with social media bringing it to the front, it’s hard for me to ignore it. So my blood boils and I become physically sick when I see abuse, blatant or otherwise. What fired me up that day was a person who was trying to argue as to why they had allowed the abuse to continue. For over four years! I don’t care if you felt sad, lost, waiting for God to make that decision. You were the adult, this soul depended on you to protect and take care of it. By allowing the abuse to continue, you allowed that soul to suffer. It honestly broke my heart and I publicly lashed out. My bad.

Along with this dangerous combination is the fact I have been very, very sick for the past two months. The amount of prescribed medication is mind-blowing and my days are scheduled around when I have to take pills. This is not an excuse, it’s a fact, but I do need to hold myself accountable for how it reacts with my body. As my family has told me, I am a crabby person on this medicine. This is noted and I will not forget.

I have been struggling with what is proper, how to get back to the kindness, how to fight for those who have no voices. I have heard that everyone has an opinion so you just need to keep yours to yourself because your children are watching and will model yours. Well, guess what. I don’t want my children to keep quiet. They were born to be heard, just as I was. I want them to stand up to injustices and abuse. I want them to say, “Oh, heck no! You cannot do that to me! It is not acceptable!” I want them to know that sometimes you have to make a stand. But I do agree that there are respectful ways to do it. Calling other people stupid is probably not a good way to do it. So while I will not apologize for feeling pain and hurt for a soul who was lost to something as horrid as abuse, I will promise to try to take a breath, go for a walk and think out my blog before I post it. I will try.
Have a blessed weekend and remember; Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

Changes Coming Soon…

I’ve been sitting back and reading, listening, watching. Society on the whole is failing, miserably. We are quick to judge, quick to condemn and quick to jump in with a lynch mob without getting facts, (real facts, not what someone has twisted and posted on social media) and it’s been disturbing. I’ve had to take some time to do some soul searching because I was finding myself being brought down. My Miss Susie Sunshine personality was fading behind the clouds and I was starting to behave along with the masses. This was not acceptable to me because honestly, I know I’m better than that.

So here’s to a new chapter in at least my life. We are getting ready to move to a new city, my girls will be going to a new school, I have new books ready to be published and released to the world, we are beginning to travel to other countries, life is good. Why? Because of all of these things happening? Partly. They were brought into my life because I created this good, I asked for it, accepted them into my life then let it go (as Elsa would sing) I knew God had it. Yes, God. No, not religion. I’m am not a religious person by ANY means. I’m spiritual, I believe in God, believe in Jesus and believe that there are many angels and souls who guide and protect us. I do NOT believe that because someone is not a specific religion that they are going to hell, not going with God, not saved. But these are MY beliefs and I won’t push them on anyone. I respect everyone’s beliefs just as much as I expect them to respect my beliefs. But again, I won’t go farther into this. I’m not a preacher of God, I’m just here to learn lessons, enjoy life and be the best version of myself that I can be.

I’m not going to post everyday because well, heck, you’d be bored within a week. Plus, we all have lives, right? I’m hoping that this year will bring you as many blessings as it will me. It’s the year of the horse! All is well! So as I fix up my house to sell, I’ll share pictures, ideas, thoughts and frustrations because as we all know, you are NOT alone!

Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

Happy May Day

I used to make fun of “older” people, like my mom or dad, who used to say that as you get older the time starts slipping away. Being ADHD and slightly, ahem, immature for my age, time felt like it took forever and certain days, activities and accomplishments were always just beyond. Now I’m part of that “older” group as my eleven year-old and eight year-old daughters like to point out and I have to admit, my mom and dad were right. Time slips by faster and faster each year.

I know we can’t bring back time, recover lost years or create more hours in a day but I’ve decided to start weeding out the things that I thought were important and giving that time to the things that really are important. Happiness, health, family and friends. A little over two years ago, as you may remember, my then nine year-old daughter became ill. After biopsies and a very scary endoscopy, we found she had a large stress ulcer. It was during this time that I stopped writing; no blogs, no novels, no journals, nada. I stressed, I fretted and I worried as any mother would. I lost myself and became the “worried” mom. This past Christmas, my lovely husband pulled me aside and informed me that I was sad, I was not the happy-go-lucky person I used to be and he suggested that I get back into my writing. I was happy when I wrote and he wanted to see me happy again. “Happy wife; happy life” he joked. So I picked up a novel that I had almost finished a few years back, tweaked and changed and completed it a couple months ago. I sent it off to one of my editors who informed me that she saw huge growth in my writing and believed that this was possibly my best novel yet. Words every writer loves to hear, no matter how long you’ve been writing.

So this spring, I will release my latest novel, the first in over two years. I will also be getting back to writing on my blog and while I won’t promise you every day, I will be more dependable than I have been in the past. But be prepared. It’s not going to be just about my writing, or my children’s health. It’s going to be more about life, the time we have here and what we choose to do with it. I’m getting back to my basics, baking my bread, growing my vegetables, raising my chickens and loving the blessings I have in my life. I’ll also introduce you to some pretty interesting people who have agreed to be a part of my crazy journey. Again, I’m very blessed that I am surrounded by those who embrace my wacky thoughts and “younger” ideas on what time really means.

Life is supposed to be fun; Enjoy the journey

Happy Easter 2014

At least it hasn’t been 24 months! Though I’m being pulled in a bazillion directions, writing is always on my mind. It’s not something that I can get away from nor do I want to but in my desperate attempts to make my family’s lives better, I’ve missed out on major signs and lessons.

There is hope though. I’ve learned so much this past year, about myself, my husband, my children, my friends. I’ve learned that I can’t make everyone happy, nor is it my job to. Friends are going to move, people are going to come in and out of my life and I can’t change that. Nor can I change jobs/work opportunities that come flitting in and out of my life. What I can change and focus on is what makes me happy and how I can keep that joy in my life.

I have a very blessed life. A husband who, after 11 years of marriage, is still my best friend and I his. Two beautiful children who are growing up to be compassionate and kind souls. Friends, family and fans who support my seemingly numerous career paths I have tried the past 2 years. I thank everyone for that because it really allowed me to find myself and figure out who I enjoy being and what I love to do.

Within the past twenty-four months I have developed a business plan, opened a business, was a substitute teacher, sold a business, fell onto another business and finished a novel. What I learned from all of this? I really enjoy leather work and I LOVE writing/editing/anything to do with the printed word! I love my imagination, my creativity and the freedom that it allows me. I also enjoy getting to know other author’s, editors, illustrators, agents and fans. It’s a very enriching field if you allow the positives to flow into your life and block out most of the negatives.

The moral of my story is that I’ve finally figured out my career love, the people who allow my light to shine and I can bring light to theirs. A place where I feel like I fit in and don’t have to explain myself. A love that is reciprocated and never ending. I hope that you have found your unconditional love, that “thing” that drives you every day and makes you wake up with a smile and a song in your heart. And as always, Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

What do you mean it’s been over 24 months???

It’s an amazing thing how fast time flies and even with you’re most pure and sincerest intentions you can accidentally let people down or be unable to keep promises. That is so true with my writing.

Right after my novel, With Love; Now & Forever, hit #1 on Amazon, I had quite a few not-so-nice people take advantage of me and it really hurt my feelings. I know, no one can hurt your feelings unless you allow them to but I was very trusting and riding high on becoming a best selling author. I decided to take a sabbatical for a year and now, twenty-six months later, am just now getting back into the swing of things. But let me tell you what a ride the past 26 months has been! I’ve learned more about myself, done more changes and have had more thrust upon me than I ever imagined.

When I took my sabbatical I spent the time playing on my property, planting a garden and playing house. I enjoyed the time with my daughters and my husband and really took a look at the man whom I had chosen as the father of my children. He had become an underground coal miner when the building recession hit and in the 16 months he’d been working there, I saw how much he had aged. His joints were hurting, he was graying and he was tired all of the time. I am a self proclaimed savior. I try and save everyone and work even harder when it’s someone whom I love so much. I created an amazing business plan to open a tack store and submitted it to my bank. My logic? If we built up a business then Steve could quit being an underground miner, we would have our own family store and all would be perfect. The problem? No one ever told us how much time that business would take and how precious that time would be if your child became ill. And that’s exactly what happened. Our 9 year-old daughter started having severe stomach pains. None of the doctors could figure it out and when she stopped eating and quickly dropped weight, they told us this was serious and to get to Children’s Hospital in Denver (over 200 miles away) immediately.

By this time we had been having to close the store several times to get to doctor’s appointments or the hospital for tests and the grumbling from customer’s did not fall on deaf ears. Steve wanted to shut the store down and I panicked and sold the store for pennies on the dollar. My main goal was that our hard work would not just disappear, it would continue on without us. And so it has. The great news in all of this is after performing 8 biopsies and a scope, the hospital found a bleeding ulcer in our daughter’s stomach. It was caused by stress and not disease. Yes, this was great news because they figured out what it was, what had caused it and we could treat it. It was no longer a mystery and we could move forward on healing her. What a blessing!

In the midst of all this chaos, I found out, with the help of an amazing medium down in Fort Collins, that I am an empath. This is VERY hard for me to talk about and I don’t take having this conversation lightly because during the time that I realized something was different about me, to finding out WHAT was different about me, I struggled with the fear, anger and resentment of having this gift, to where I am now, which is, grateful. This is me, this is who I am. If you don’t like it, there is the door because I’m still RaeAnne. I’m just able to make more sense of things that have and do happen to me. I’m still learning, and believe me, it is a serious learning process! I’m learning how to protect my own thoughts and my own emotions and figuring out how to keep them separate, not take on someone else’s feelings. And it’s hard because when I’m the only one in a room and “someone” wants to be heard and subjects their feelings/thoughts onto me, I have to stop and take a moment to protect myself before I can acknowledge them. It’s harder than anything I’ve studied in my life.

And that’s where I’m going to stop the conversation about that. I’ve learned that not everyone is as open minded as I am and the subject can make many people very uncomfortable. It’s something that I am still learning about and dealing with, not you, so I won’t impose this upon anyone. I have a select few that are comfortable with me talking with them, my support group you could say, so when I’m overwhelmed, not understanding or feeling frustrated with my gift, I feel safe enough to seek them out.

My biggest lesson over the past 2 years? Change is going to happen whether you like it or not, whether you are prepared for it or not. It’s how gracefully you embrace the change or if you are drug in, kicking and screaming, accomplishing nothing but exhausting yourself. I’ve left my tracks and I’m too tired to fight anymore so here I come, gracefully embracing the change. I’m excited that I will be able to reconnect with my fans, to hear what THEY think about my new books and have my writing therapy back in my life. I’ve also learned that I have some amazing friends, who have stuck with me the past 2 years, and even though I can’t “see” them every day, they let me know that they are there for me. That is one of the greatest gifts of all!

Life is meant to be fun! Enjoy the journey!

Juggling ADHD Balls

Wow, it’s been a while folks and for that I am sorry but as I look back on my posts I can see the defining path of self destruction that I was laying before me. Here I am, at a cross-road that can either ruin me or make my life more fulfilling and more successful. It’s this reason that I am taking a moment, taking a breath and looking around.

As you know, 2012 was all about my writing. I won the Master Koda Extreme Author Makeover Contest in January. In April, my metaphysical romance, With Love; Now & Forever, hit #1 on Amazon and I released another novel, Love’s Everlasting Song. Things were going great, I was writing and things were smooth for a few months. Then my youngest daughter got sick and I had some run in with people who took advantage of me professionally. The combination was too much and I decided to take a sabbatical from work. No writing, no publishing, no reviewing. I was done. Or so I thought.

I should know, being ADHD, that my mind is in constant motion. It’s one of the reasons there are many nights I get very little sleep and my ideas appear endless. It was during one of these restless nights that I realized we didn’t have a tack store in our town. For non-horsey people, it’s a place to buy saddles, bridles, items for you and your horse. Our community is still very old west; in fact the day we moved here, there was a gentleman who rode his horse into City Market, tied it to the lamp post and went grocery shopping, I am not lying. So to not have a place to buy these necessities was just crazy so I decided to approach the hubby about opening a store. To my extreme surprise, he agreed! I quickly threw together a business plan and with the help of a wonderful local banker, found the perfect company and applied for a small business loan. Within a couple of weeks, we were approved, secured our store location, came up with a name, secured the proper license and was in the process of remodeling the store for our May 1st opening.

Now as if that wasn’t enough chaos in such a short period of time, we started having people walk into our store with bags of boots asking if we were going to do boot repair. No, we replied, we didn’t know how and hadn’t even thought of it. After the 46th person walked through our yet-to-be-open doors requesting boot repair, we realized we had better start looking into it. By chance, (man does God/the Universe really look out for you if you let Him) a gentleman called about my gelding for sale. He came out and began talking about our store. He asked if we were going to do boot repair and I explained we were considering it but had never gone to school for it. He laughed, told me he was a retired cobbler and though he had taken some courses in cobbler schooling in Oklahoma, it’s basically a self taught art, and a dying one at that. He told me that if we were serious, he would teach us how to do boot and leather repair!

Needless to say, we were thrilled and after inquiry, found out this man has an amazing reputation as a boot repairman. We were learning under one of the best. After pricing the equipment, we decided that we would make a six month plan. We would open the tack store May 1st, and then if it did well enough, we would buy the boot repair equipment, remodel the store and start doing boot repair in November. Well let me tell you, I should know better than to make plans. Today is July 25th. We bought our boot repair equipment last week and this past Sunday and Monday remodeled our store. We have already been learning the boot repair process, (I did a pretty good job on some heels if I do say so myself) and will be “officially” be taking work August 1st. Though that hasn’t stopped the numerous people who have already dropped things off at our store stating they are fine with waiting.

My point to my ramblings is that you never know where life is going to take you and the saying “Be careful what you wish for” is oh-so-very true. I will never give up on my writing; it’s in my blood and in my soul. But I now have a new business, a growing new career and a new respect for business owners. I’m also happy to report; I have a healthy daughter again!

Life is meant to be fun; enjoy the journey my friends

In sickness and health, in survivorness and wealth

Boy has it been a crazy few months. Few months? Try almost a year! I can’t believe how long since I’ve last posted in my blog but as I’m finding out, there are MILLIONS of bloggers out there so I know you’ve had plenty of reading material and haven’t missed mine. But in the absence of my posting thoughts, I have been busy so with knowing that I might bore you, I’m going to share what I’ve been doing.

As many may or may not know, my youngest daughter has been sick. We have been in and out of the hospital for blood tests, regular tests, anything to Winter 20012.2013 005 Winter 20012.2013 038 Winter 20012.2013 041 Winter 20012.2013 047 Winter 20012.2013 056 Winter 20012.2013 060 Winter 20012.2013 063 Winter 20012.2013 064 Winter 20012.2013 065 Winter 20012.2013 067 Winter 20012.2013 068try to find out what’s wrong. My children are so very precious to me so every tear she shed I also shed. During this time I attempted to keep writing, marketing and promoting my books, along with many other talented writers and keep up on my chores of our little ranch. In the midst of this I ended up having to have a hysterectomy (I know, let’s just add a little more stress, eh?) but trying to keep up with everything I ended up ripping my incision twice, delaying my healing. Two deadlines were missed getting my latest 2 novels out, I was struggling to keep up with marketing and finally, after a mini-meltdown, I went on an author’s sabbatical to get a handle on things. Deep breath.

It’s a good thing that I did. We had one of the coldest winters in history and I struggled to keep my animals safe and fresh water to them. My husband was driving 52 miles one-way to work in blizzard conditions, alternating between 13 hour day and graveyard shifts. The medication the doctor’s had put my daughter on was not working and my oldest daughter was not understanding why Mommy was spending so much time with little sister. Of course during this chaos, we had a presidential election and our country has been split and building into a crisis mode. Unease is flourishing throughout the country. It’s time for a change, literally.

I have always been aware of hormones, processed foods and the health of our beings. I’ve bought organic for my family and have been learning how to make my own anything. When the price of beef skyrocketed in our small town, I began to eye our deer differently. What if our society collapsed as we know it? How would we feed our family? I need to take care of my own. So begins the Hadley Ranch. We are fixing up the small barn for pigs and goats and because our property isn’t large enough to grow our own beef, Steve has applied for the tags to get the deer and elk that wander on and around our property. I’ve started my non-GMO seeds so the plants will be ready for our greenhouse and will be taking my hunter’s safety course so that if need be, I can help provide and defend my family. Do I think we are headed for a collapse? I don’t know but I’d rather hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

As far as how my writing is going? Well, you can put an author on sabbatical but their brain never goes on vacation. I’ve started writing the story about my father who suffered and ultimately died of a stroke. I want to write a help book for those families affected by stroke to hopefully help them understand the emotions and side-effects of it. I’ve also started doing research on our home, which appears to be haunted. With the help of some amazing people, I have uncovered some really interesting history in the place we now call home. I think it should be interesting and I know will turn into an amazing story.

So there it is in a nutshell. I’ve gone from best-selling author of metaphysical romance to a survivalist, pioneer woman, natural healer, detective. My ADHD is loving this though my calm nature is screaming out for a time out. We shall see…we shall see….

Why I have been MIA part II

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As you can imagine after reading my last post, I have been quite busy. Fighting hormones and having a subsequent hysterectomy is hard enough but I’m like all of the other mothers, wives and career women out there, unless it’s bleeding or broken I’ll keep adding stuff to my plate. In addition to moving to our 35 acres and bringing the horses home, I knew that we were going to need the proper equipment for us to function this winter. We live on the western side of the Colorado Rockies so that means we usually get A LOT of snow. I knew that a front wheel drive minivan and a front wheel drive VW Passat were not going to dig us out if we got hit so we knew we had to get a truck. Our problem? With all of the surgeries, doctor’s appointments, moving, getting hay, etc. our savings account was NOT in the black. Putting the word out to my friends that I was looking for a cheap truck a friend of mine text me that a friend of his had a four-wheel drive truck for $250, just needed a front brake caliper. I’m mechanical, I can handle some light work so after walking around it decided to buy it.

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In my excitement that I got such a great deal, I didn’t ask how long it had been sitting, which turned out to be a year. A vehicle that sits for a year means that all of the gaskets, rubber parts have dried out and your vehicle will start leaking vital fluids. So after this baby was running for a while, puddles began to form on the ground underneath it. In addition to the seals and gaskets I found out that it didn’t need the brake caliper replaced because it was missing, it needed replaced because the person seized up the brake on that side, destroying the entire braking system in the front. But that’s still ok, I can do that and I have the tools to do that. I started taking the front end apart and to my terror found out that in order to replace the brake rotors (big flat metal plates that your brakes grip onto to stop your vehicle) I had to remove the hubs (parts/gears that make a four-wheel drive a four-wheel drive) I have NEVER removed hubs or repacked wheel bearings so this scared the bejimminies out of me. What if I did it wrong? Thank heavens for cameras in cell phones because I took pictures of every step of disassembly and I referred back to it often!

All in all I was able to replace the entire front brake system, resealed the critical leaking gaskets and have our $250 truck running for about $500 including the purchase price. I have taken it four-wheeling so I know it’s going to work great in the snow and it is now at the welder’s to get the snow plow put on. It was a lot of work but I have to tell you that I am super proud that I stuck with it, even when I was scared and doubted myself and now when I fire up that truck a wonderful sense of accomplishment flows through me. I did it myself and saved us thousands of dollars that it would have cost had we taken it to the dealership. We have a very functional, working truck for winter. Now to start figuring out how to do the body work!

Never doubt yourself. It’s ok to be scared and even ask for help but if you’re determined and want to do something new, just persevere! Remember, life is meant to be fun; enjoy the journey!