Fixed the brake!!!
Might I mention I have no earthly clue what I'm doing?
I found the Chilton manual online and went at it. We had found out it wasn't the brake line, it was the rear wheel seal thingy. I got a ride to the autoparts store and got one and also a caliper repair kit for the front (today's task) and, in my merry ignorance, proceeded to take the car apart.
While I have no idea what I'm doing, I do have a working theory about fixing anything, which is;
It's already broken.
Unless I lose my temper and start pounding on it with a hammer (which I don't, though Handsome is prone to) I am not going to break it more.
Worst case scenario is that I have to hire someone to repair it - which I already have to anyway, as it is broken - and they are paid by the hour, so it can only be good if it is already taken apart for them.
Armed with only this theory, an online Chilton guide and a pitiful array of tools, I took it apart to discover drum brakes. I stared in horror at what can only be described to other un-mechanically minded folks like myself as Satan's jigsaw puzzle.
To top it off, the brake pads - wait, shoes (I learned the right word for drum breaks) were practically non-existent. Like OMG I cannot believe I was driving my kids around in this gone. I called up a friend who was going to town and asked her to pick me up some while she was there.
And ...and ... I actually DID IT!!!!
I had a little help. And I would like to shout out to my cousin who gave me a phone consultation that while the screws were not reverse threaded, it might have been nice to point out I'd be working backward from them so they might as well be.
But mostly it was me and I'm insanely proud and not even bleeding and I got both sides and today I'm doing the front ones.
Let's hope my streak holds.