Shade Tree Mechanics; or, Putting My Jeep Back Together.

So back on January 4th, someone pulled out in front of me and we had a fender bender. We elected to put my XJ, Bernadette (named after a character on The Big Bang Theory), back together ourselves. It took nearly two months to get the insurance money, so we had to wait to buy the parts, and then wait for the time to do it.

Today was the day! My hubby and I took off the busted fender and front end, and put her back together again. He did most of the work; I’m pretty good with a screwdriver, lol, and holding parts in place. Now the old girl needs paint, and her 3″ lift. After that she’ll be ready to hit the sand dunes and the trails.

Here are a few pictures during the process, and what she looks like now. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

A Summer of Jeeping Starts Now!

One of the best parts about the weather turning warm in May is getting our 1995 Jeep Wrangler (a YJ in Jeep terms) Shifty, back on the road. Last Sunday we as a family took his soft top off and headed a few miles north of our town to the next, where we got ice cream. Well, I got sherbet, which I was informed is “not ice cream.” I’m okay with that. It tasted amazing!

If you follow me across my social media, you know that my 1999 Jeep Cherokee (an XJ) was smashed up in an accident on January 4th. Bernadette is in my author photo with me at the back of my YA novel, Lift. I love my Jeep. We are fixing her front end ourselves; this Saturday we intend to replace the bad parts with her new ones. Once that is done, in June we are taking her to my hubby’s younger brother’s place where she is getting a 3″ lift kit installed. This will make it easier for her to navigate trails and the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

And, you know, it will make her tough(er) 😏😎

So let the summer start, because this Jeepin’ family is ready!!

Slippery When Snowy, or, Jeeps are Tough

Here in west Michigan, we are in the thralls of a real winter. That means our roads, if not full of snow, are sheets of ice. Yesterday morning, on my way to work at the library, a person pulled out directly in front of me. My Jeep’s left front met her Buick’s right rear. Not the way either of us intended to begin our mornings. 

The person said they didn’t see me and pulled out, catching a glimpse of my Jeep as they committed to going. Neither of us were hurt, but now my beloved Bernadette will look as she does until spring, when we can get a new front clip and fender on her. I am quite happy and relieved that she is drivable, though.

In short, beware pulling out onto a slippery winter road. The snow banks are high at the ends of several local roads here, marring visibility. It’s best to go slowly, and please, for every other drivers’ sake, put your phone away. Nothing is so important that it can’t wait when you are driving on icy and snowy roads. We would all like to make it safely to spring! And no, the person who pulled out in front of me was not on their phone. 

As a point of interest, this the second Jeep Cherokee I’ve owned and been in a front-end crash with. Both took it like champs, but my dark blue one never drove again. That was a much more serious accident, and a blog post for another day. I suggest driving a Jeep, though. Subarus are not the only safe vehicle in a crash, and Jeeps are just plain cooler.