Without beating myself up, here is what I did:
1. used steps from another site to root my Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and attempt to load Android 4.4.2 on it. First major mistake.
2. during that process, the steps to make a backup didn't work and I continued. I realize that was my second major mistake, one from which I cannot recover.
3. attempted to use a Factory Image found on this site. I followed the steps, and when I perform the "fastboot -i 0x1949" reboot command, I get the "kindle fire" orange logo, and it sits there. I'm guessing it's bricked.
4. without giving up, I attempted to follow the commands found on this site here (http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2128175), but I've been unsuccessful.
So, I'm stuck looking at the "kindle fire" orange logo. My thoughts were to get an image on the device and boot into it to at least get all the necessary files for flashing the image. Nope. I would appreciate any assistance. I will also state that I am a very fresh NooB when it comes to these things. I thought I was prepared, but I guess not enough.