So I made a bet with my Grandpa (Part 2)

Bob

Bob

Really, this story starts in February with a very hard truth that I had to accept. I had to accept that even though I had been doing really well I was no longer coping with my PTSD effectively on my own and that I desperately needed help. I was honest with my friend, Gabrielle, who stories I love illustrating, but whose schedule has been affected by my disorder. I got some good advice from her and she pointed me in the directions of a fabulous therapist and the idea of a service dog for PTSD.

My therapist got to know me and my unique issues and I did a lot of research until we did both agree that a service dog would benefit me in a big way. I began to read and watch everything I had access to on the net and I spent a lot of time really looking at my life and trying to decide if this was something I could handle. I’ve gotten so much advice at this point that I’m not sure what to do with it all, as some of it is conflicting.

And conflicting information is really hard for me to deal with. There’s no way I can afford to go through an organization, they can cost anywhere from $20,000-$40,000. It was apparent pretty early on that the only chance I’d have is to train a service dog myself.

But that’s a huge task! And while I know how to teach the basics, I have no idea how to train a dog to snap me out of a panic attack or a flash back or to wake me up during a nightmare. On top of that there’s all kinds of questions like should I buy from a breeder so it’s health is more reliable in the long run or should I adopt a shelter dog because they really are just as good? Should I get an adult or a puppy? All of these have different things to think about.

It was really too much for me to feel comfortable making a decision with no direction. As much information as I can find online, there’s still so many things I need to know about the socialization and training process. I started getting really stressed when trying to think about what the hell I was supposed to be doing and planning for. It’s generally much harder for my to feel confident about making decisions for myself. I had talked to my Gransparents, a very few select friends, and my therapist about this decision, but not really anyone else.

But I digress. How does all this have anything to with the bet I made Grandpa and that adorable dog named Bob?

From reading Part 1, you know Gramps has lots of business ideas and lots of trouble with computers and the internet. He needs lots of help running his blogging business, but I really don’t want to run it for him and he essentially needs someone to do that for him, or to sit there and explain a lot of stuff every day or several times a week.

I’ve been feeling like shit because my own mental health often keeps me from doing anything productive for myself, that doesn’t really leave a lot left over for also helping someone to run a business from home. I’ve been feeling really guilty that I just can’t do a lot for him. I have no money to give him. I can’t do all the things he needs help with, I don’t have the skill or energy. I can’t make him physically less ill.

Well, when I was doing research for my own dog, I found lots of lists with tasks service dogs can be trained for to make their handler’s lives better. It clicked into place really quickly, the idea of how much a service dog would help Gramps around the house. He falls a lot. There have been a lot of times where he’ll lose his balance and spin around and crack his head on something ten feet away.  Sometimes, if there’s not something sturdy nearby he can’t get up by himself. I’ve found him on the floor in a few places where he just couldn’t stand on his own. My paternal grandfather died because he fell in his home and couldn’t get up. He laid there for three days before someone did check on him and he died of pneumonia in the hospital. I do not want this to happen to Grandpa Jim.

So I was thinking about all that and I’d also been looking around at adoptable dogs. Bob had been on my radar, but I didn’t think much about it because I wasn’t ready to make my decision. At some point I realized Bob was big enough to help Gramps brace if he falls.

So that’s when the idea began. I started talking to his Foster person, asking all sorts of questions about the dog. We talked for a couple of days before I sat up a time to go see her. And then I sat down and had a talk with Grandpa.

I explained my idea. I don’t know if Bob will make it as a service dog, but at the least, he can give us something to do together and more importantly, he can keep an eye on Grandpa around the house. Bob can give Gramps companionship when he’s lonely, depressed, or unable to communicate his feelings with a person.

He told me that he’d actually been thinking about getting a dog to keep him company. I showed him a picture of Bob and told him I sat up a meeting on Tuesday. I told Granny as well and talked to her about it and we all made plans to go together.

Waiting for Tuesday was damn difficult and I only had to get through Sunday night and Monday, but the time did eventually come and we all drove to Killeen to meet Bob.

Everything went fantastically. Bob was adorable and sweet and very friendly. The kids made lots of racket and played with him. I walked him around on the leash to make sure he had manners as Gramp’s would need to be able to handle him.

Once all that was decided, it made more sense to me that our videos would feature this project heavily because with both I don’t know where the hell we’d find the time or energy to accomplish everything.

We’re going to work out the budget and equipment details tomorrow and start making space for the dog and cleaning up the yard. We’ll have the adoption papers signed before the week is over.

This will help assuage my guilt at not being able to help Grandpa. It’ll also give me some structure and something to be responsible for, as Gramps needs to be able to rely on Bob’s good behavior and willingness to obey the commands we teach him. It’ll give us a good project to work on together, and that’s really cool.

And as far as I go, well, I’m still not sure if I’m supposed to buy a puppy from a breeder or adopt a dog from a shelter. If I get one from a breeder, I may have finally picked out a place that looks trustworthy, but damn, German Shepherds are expensive and White American Shepherds more so. (I was looking at the second because someone told me they were healthier dogs, or lived longer or had fewer dysplasia problems or something.)

If I get one from a shelter, than I have to go through this process all over again, except I have to be even more on my shit because here I am needing to pick out a dog that can be trained to sense my anxiety spikes. Either way, it’ll take me about a year to save up to buy one (and if I adopt that money can be put towards training, or paying someone to locate an adult dog with potential.)

So that’s the story behind the bet. I hope you stay to enjoy the show.

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So I made a bet with my Grandpa recently…(Part 1)

I could definitely describe my 76 year old Grandfather as obsessed with the internet. He can’t tell you what a URL is or a web page and he doesn’t understand just exactly what a Web Browser is, but he’s still able to search around and find all sorts of neat things.

The first time I remember him getting really into it was with one of those get rich quick things for selling things on eBay. He bought tons and tons of stuff that stayed in the house. (On top of whatever he paid for the eBay course BS.)

After that he got into real-estate. He even bought some “tax” properties, but I don’t think he has sold anything and after working at that and spinning his wheels for a while he found his newest obsession, which is that Empower Network stuff.

He’s really into the idea of blogging now. This is fascinating to me because he has so much trouble with computers. His memory is unreliable with recent things and he has trouble staying with one thought sometimes and it’s really difficult for him to learn new things involving the computer. On top of that, he still “invests” a lot of money in the businesses without really knowing what it is he’s paying for, how it works, and how to avoid being scammed.  (He’s a repeat offender on the getting scammed list.)

I don’t know if Empower Network is a scam or not. I do know that they’ve told him over and over how anyone can blog and make money, no matter what they’re skill level.

That is a lie. I know that’s a lie. There’s more to writing. There’s more to holding a conversation and catching people’s attention. There’s something said about rich content and providing something to offer. You need all that and some kick ass talent for the mechanics of running a blog (or painfully won skill.) If it were as easy as they market it to be everyone would be doing it.

Here’s the thing. I don’t want to crush Grandpa’s dream. I understand why he wants to do this and that drive doesn’t just disappear because the method isn’t working. I understand that he wants money and because of his own physical limitations, the internet seems like a powerful tool. I believe he’s right and what’s more I’ve  seen him be passionate about something he loves.

I’ve seen him sit and learn the same things over and over. I’ve seen him write dozens and dozens of letters to strangers in the name of business. He’s sat on the phone with tech support for hours and hours. My Grandfather was reclusive my entire childhood. But now he looks through one of the three web browsers he uses regularly to see another world and talk to people thousands of miles away. That in itself was a powerful thing. But it wasn’t the only thing.

I showed him how to use Google Docs (although, he’s kinda forgotten and we’ll have to go over that soon) and he started writing blog articles. I told him to write about his life. To share his memories and experiences so our family can read it, but also to share his story with the world because he has a genuinely interesting life.

But I don’t think blogging is perfect for him. He has a hard time writing, although he enjoys it. I think it would be perfect if there was someone who could work with him once a week to edit his recollections. He can read like a pro, I’ve never met anyone who is as voracious a reader as my Grandfather, but his grammar is poor. (Sorry Gramps! Love you!)

Videos would be better with a good mic. We’d still have to do a lot of takes and some editing, but Gramps is pretty charismatic and with a familiar script, I think he’d do fine.

But there’s really only one way to prove it to him and that’s results. I also wanted to help him and to do something with him. I love him a lot and I want to see him accomplish the feat of telling his life story however he can. So I walked into his office and sat down and said, “Gramps, I wanna make you a bet.” I explained that I thought using YouTube for free was better than paying for whatever it was Empower Network was actually accomplishing for him.

The bet is as fair as I can make it. We’ve both spent about two years learning about blogging. Neither of us know shit about recording or editing videos. I also thought that since the purpose of this bet was for Grandpa’s benefit we would be working together in a fashion.

I will be vlogging on YouTube. Gramps will put his videos on his blog. At the end of the year, the person with the most subscribers wins. I told him I would help him some. I plan to shoot and edit videos, but I’m leaving it up to him to do the writing parts because I’ll also have videos to shoot and edit for me.

Now, this story is running a little long and it’s getting late so I’ll have to end it here, but I’ve gone and left out one very important little detail. I haven’t told you what we’re going to be making videos about. Here’s the hint…

It involves a dog named Bob.

Bob

Bob

Go to Part 2.

Sometimes living is speaking even when you don’t know if anyone is listening.

  • I felt like I had to say that first. If you read no further, remember the words and let them echo around in your heart. I will try to do the same.

Something happened the other day that jarred me out of an addled daze. Something that punched me in the gut with such force that I was left breathless, senseless…at a loss for how to respond with any intelligence or decorum.

I was talking to someone I love, someone who is family. Someone I have known for my entire life and until that moment trusted without question. Right then, that someone uttered a scant handful of words that let me know without out question that he did not know me. That he had an entirely different idea of who I was. And that the chasm between what he perceives and who I am was a vast and terrible thing.

And I was horrified because in that moment I realized with painfully sharp clarity that he would never see me. That he could never see me. There’s a fundamental difference in him that means he can’t acknowledge something fundamentally different in me. And if he can’t even acknowledge it, how can he ever even begin to really understand me.

I can’t even be the person I want to be around him. How sad is that? How doomed is that relationship? And I find myself distancing from him because it’s the only way we can have a good relationship. But as Captain Jack Sparrow once said there’s only two things that matter, what a man can do and what a man can’t do.

In this case he couldn’t accept that I had PTSD. It’s not just PTSD, it’s the whole concept of emotional trauma or mental illness that baffles him. It makes me sick to think of how he rationalizes my illness. He didn’t want to hear about the treatment I’m undergoing or looking into and basically said the science was all bullshit and I can just get over it on my own.

I just felt so deflated. Because let me tell you what I know in my heart right now, what has me tearing up in the corner while he watches a movie nearby with the others and none of them the wiser about my tumultuous feelings; I know that I can not get over it on my own. I simply don’t have a choice. That’s what PTSD does, it makes you relive the past sometimes.

It makes you feel that weakness, or that fear, or that intense feeling of alertness when you were in survival mode and doing everything in your power to keep from being prey. It makes you feel like you’re in a horror movie, even when your logical sense tells you everything is okay now and that you just have to wait it out. I will get over this ‘relapse’ in time, but it is a real injury, one that flares up from time to time and when that happens I need to do whatever the hell I have to in order to heal.

Some people will always need help. That doesn’t mean they’re not worth helping. I heard that on Game of Thrones and I just about started crying. I need help sometimes. Sometimes I panic. Sometimes the thick ass walls I’ve built just don’t exist because my body is in the past and the sorrow and cruelty and ugliness of everything makes tears just run down my face. That’s the worst of all for me because I was raised to not show unpleasant emotion. Losing control is the worst part for me. It’s the most embarrassing and the part where people have been the cruelest.  But I’m not always like that and even if I was I don’t think it would make me less of a person. I don’t think that it should mean that what I have to say is any less important or human or normal. Him not even being able to acknowledge that I have PTSD made me feel like I wasn’t even worth helping.

I won’t sensationalize my childhood. I have PTSD for a reason, I’ve had it since I was 11 and I didn’t get out of the shitty situation I was in until I was 19. Here is the most important bit of information you should know about me. I’ve achieved balance already. I’ve made peace with my past and who I am and I strive to live a life that pleases me. I have PTSD, but I’m not just some damaged girl. I triggered last year and have been in a relapse since, but nothing has changed other than the fact that I’m currently experiencing the symptoms of the trauma I’ve suffered.

I’m not ashamed of anything about me. It’s harder to say that when my eyes are swollen from crying and my face is apple red because I had an out of control meltdown after watching the news or reading reddit too often, but I don’t think that I’m seriously fucked up or anything. I’m technically ‘non-functioning’ and my therapist thinks I should get a service dog to help with the panic attacks and flashbacks, but with the exception of the PTSD hiccups, I’m a pretty normal for the “eccentric writer” category. 🙂

I’m not crazy. I just remember what it was like to be hit across the face for having the gall to be girl and angry. I remember what it was like to be dragged to the basement and told no one would hear me scream and that the metal belt would be used. I remember what it was like to lay there wanting to die. And I remember what it was like to have so many nightmares that one lost track of time and the horrible dreams became just as real as what I actually experienced. I remember what it was like to question whether or not my mother’s friends might rape me because the medication I was forced on knocked me unconscious for hours and hours a day.

I was no older than 15 when any of that happened. I don’t think about these things anymore. There are new things to think about, but in the middle of a relapse…I don’t have a choice in remembering. I don’t have a choice in what my body relives. It doesn’t play back like a movie. Your instincts just tell you that you’re in danger, you have to protect yourself, and certain things just aren’t safe.

It’s a new normal, one in which you can’t trust your instincts and in which you must always be on guard to keep from getting swept away. And I’m only human, I can’t always be on guard. I fuck up. I get emotional. I get scared and frustrated and upset.

It’s just a part of being me. And I am at peace with who I am. If someone else isn’t…that’s too bad.

For them.

What things should be free for every human being?

Snevilly

Let’s thinks about what we can attain as a society. What things should be free and accessible for every citizen, provided by the government or the community?

Free and completely accessible to all humans:

  • Food
  • Healthcare, physical, mental, spiritual, for all ages.
  • Education (For all ages, a free education society for everything from the basics, to politics, to technology.)
  • Legal Representation
  • Social Advocacy
  • Disaster Relief or Support in States of Emergency

Can you add to the list? This may sound silly or strange to you, but I’m trying to think about what a Utopian society would look like. I think Utopia would be a republic and I think that capitalism can work, but there are standards of care for our fellow human beings that we should strive for. If we can identify these things and find a way to fund them, to encourage people to get into these fields and benefit from it in a real way, in the same way that they would be befitting society, I think that would be the first step.

I can’t save the world, but I’d like to think about what I’d believe if I could. What I can work towards. Could we get there? What sorts of things are being researched now that could help out? Its a very exciting conversation and I hope you’ll chip it.

I was voted “Most likely to Save the World” in 8th Grade, but you can help too…

Can we start a Fellowship to Save the World too?

Snevilly was voted “Most likely to Save the World” in 8th Grade.

-I feel like there is no place for someone like me in the real world. It’s easier to see I’m not alone when I’m in the cloud of cyberspace, but when I’m staring into the real world with its noise and its intense messages I feel like there is no place for me to exist, for me to feel safe, or for me to learn and grow as a person. The majority, it seems, would rather do things the way they’ve always been done, push the issue off to someone else, or can’t even be bothered to look and acknowledge.

-But I know that’s not true. I know there are people out there who look around think things are fucked up. I know there are people out there willing to put aside our differences and skepticism, that know it’s possible for groups of people who believe very different things come together. We know that regardless of our beliefs, regardless of our moral ethics, our greatest strength and our truest accomplishment as human beings is our ability to work together and achieve the impossible. The immortal power of the human spirit- as goals and dreams are passed from one generation to the next, from one hero to the next, from one scientist or politician to the next…this is a story that we all know. And the only thing stopping us from becoming that intelligent, compassionate people of a Utopian world is…us. But that’s not really a secret, is it?

-So what is the answer then? We can’t just leave it there. If this thought resonates with some part of you, then I hope you’ll say something. Ask something. Express your solidarity or your criticisms, but be a part of the conversation. Only you can speak up for you right now.

-I want to teach, I want make connections, but most importantly I want to learn. I want to come together with other individuals who want to learn, who want to enlighten and enrich themselves in different ways for different reasons.

-I envision it like a church, but that seems like such a dirty word for some valid reasons, so lets use Fellowship. Let us be hobbits, elves, dwarves and humans that work together to save the world. They didn’t ask each other to change, they were themselves, they grew to understand and love each other despite their differences. One may have gone temporarily insane as the darkness in the world corrupted him, but he wasn’t hated or spited. He wasn’t all evil. He was remembered as a brother.

-I don’t care if we’re the same race or social class or nationality. I don’t care if you think there is no God, or if you believe in many Gods, or if you pray to Joe Pesci. I don’t care if you support Presidents or Royalty. If you believe in people coming together to make the world a better place, in educating each other, in caring for each other, if you believe that the the government and media are probably not going to get it right, then I want to talk to you about how we can make things better.

-The internet is a powerful tool, but I also think its important for people to actually meet and gather in person to experience things. What would both of these Fellowships look like? How could they be supported and what sort of rules would need to be set up so they are safe, inclusive places for all types of people to mingle and learn? How would they be supported? How can we utilize the internet to its maximum ethical potential? What sorts of issues would this Fellowship to Save the World talk about? How the hell would we organize?

-To me, these are 6 things must change in some way before the world can have a more humane and evolved society:

  • Logical Education & Socialization (for people of all ages)
  • The entire Prison System
  • Government Ethics and Transparency
  • Healthcare and how we’re going to address those in society who can not afford it.
  • For Profit Industry and Ethics.
  • Social Advocacy for perfectly normal people, who don’t fit into what we’re lead to believe are perfectly normal boxes.

They’re important things, but it’s still only six things. There are so many, many things. And they’re only going to change if we change them, right?

If you’re not sure what to say, but you’d like to get the conversation going, can you just share this message with the people you know? I’m not asking for monies or likes or internet fame, I just feel like a lot of the problems individuals face, people can overcome.

P.S. I posted this on Reddit first, but I wanted to post it here as well, because just being on Reddit doesn’t guarantee it will be seen and this is too important to not talk about, don’t you think? If you happen to find the Reddit post, please don’t cross post/link. I don’t want to shout out my identity on Reddit to the internet because I talk about my PTSD and sexual assault anonymously there and I don’t want the wrong people cyber stalking me. That’s why I’m not posting a link to my Reddit post.

Also, please help me think of ways to tag this, because I’m not really sure…

**I do not mean to imply that churches are bad things, just that they tend to embody something in practice that they don’t seem to support in theory. My perfect church preaches love first, the freedom and personal choice of faith, and encourages its members to be free and critical thinkers about all manner of subjects. I haven’t been able to find that church yet and I’ve visited a lot, so now I tend to think that my religious beliefs are something that I continually enrich through my experiences loving, helping, and serving all the many different types of people in the world. That includes people who do not believe at all or who believe differently than me. If the Save the World Fellowship were ever really a thing I would love for atheists and and people of other faiths and beliefs to have an equal say as I do in the issues that we face, how we should approach them, and the impact involved. It should be about working together to create a more Utopian place for all people.

Cheap and Fun Spring DIY Gift Wrap Idea

Its a beer garden box. This is pretty cute and very easy to make.

Its a beer garden box. This is pretty cute and very easy to make.

  • The Set Up:

My fiance usually gets the short end of the stick when it comes to gift giving occasions. My Birthday is well before any of the expensive holidays and he’s just a bit after Christmas and Valentines Day. This year things have been good. We went from a very low income  ramen noodles and cold showers kind of budget to where we have enough to comfortable pay our own way and eat real food, lol.

We still couldn’t afford “spectacular” but I wanted to make sure he got gifts and a party this year because he always does something nice for me. For Valentines day, I told him not to get me anything this year and he brought my some discounted flowers a few days after. 🙂 He’s just sweet like that.

So when I get presents, I tend to get one actual gift and one silly/gag/impulse type gift. I didn’t have a real budget in mind, but I wanted to try and keep it less than $100 for all gifts and party type stuff. (I’d secretly invited a few friends over.)  So I headed to the store with a few indistinct ideas thinking I’d order him a fancy gaming mouse for his computer online.

  • Wandering around the store…

I knew I’d get him a case of Blue Moon because its his favorite beer and we had some miniature oranges at the house he loved. He doesn’t indulge often and never buys the stuff for himself even though he likes it, so I wanted to make sure to grab some. You can obviously substitute beer for something of similar packaging, like glass bottles of Cream Soda. Just find something indulgent that you know they like. 🙂  It could be a bottle of wine, or maybe even ice cream flavored coffee creamer. You can experiment with this wrapping idea and come up with some cool and unique gift ideas that you dress up with a very simple, cheap wrapping technique.

Clementine oranges are small and peel easily. You can drop a slice or two into the bottle and retrieve it with a chopstick or something similar.

Clementine oranges are small and peel easily. You can drop a slice or two into the bottle and retrieve it with a chopstick or something similar.

I went down the party isle kind of on a whim. I wasn’t expecting to really get anything because most of what’s on that isle is really expensive crap clearly marketed towards kids. I still hadn’t found his gag gift and was looking for ideas. There was a package of very simple party decorations for like a dollar. It had balloons, table confetti, two banners, some streamers, and other kinds of birthday themed wall art. Just kind of cute stuff. We’ve never, ever decorated before, so I thought it might be cute for his very “official” birthday, lol. I also grabbed a roll of cheap tape.

I couldn’t find any wrapping paper, which blew my freakin mind. How do you have an entire party section with no damn wrapping paper? Seriously? I’m not being cute with news paper and old magazine pages this year. I’m gonna buy some wrapping paper that Lou will appreciate. But I’m thwarted by expensive giftbags…ugh…but it did lead me to this:

Less than $1 for 20 descent sized sheets of colored tissue paper.

Less than $1 for 20 good sized sheets of colored tissue paper.

Colored Paper

There was also green and blue tissue paper.

After looking around some more I found a poster display and decided to see if there was anything worth notice. I didn’t expect to find anything there either, but I was kind of running out of ideas. I did find a great Big Bang Theory Poster. Lou isn’t really a poster guy, but I thought he might like this. The right character and show, the right catchphrase and the right colors. Perfect and inexpensive. I also grabbed a cheap, plastic poster frame so that he could put it up on the wall and take care of it if he wanted.

  • Wrapping phase…

Wrapping a poster tube and sticking a bow on the end basically looks like a goofy flower. Since I had tissue paper, I decided to  experiment:

white flower

Not bad for winging it. You just kinda play with it and mold it, pinning back some places with small pieces of tape. Then wrap tape around the base. I attached flowers like this to the end of the wrapped tubes.

red flowerAs I was making these blossoms, I realized that each sheet was big enough to wrap the bottles individually. I had plenty of paper and nothing else to wrap, so I began to wrap the blue moon bottles and shape the ends to look liked grass or flowers.

1

2

After that I just wrapped two sheets over the cardboard box and tucked the edges down.

I even used the colorful sheath of tissue that the sheets were wrapped in. I just folded it so the company logo wouldn’t be visible.

a

I made it into a sign for the bag the little beer garden box was going to sit in. It says, “Happy Birthday Louie. I got you a …really cool garden! xoxo Love Tephy.” Next time I will make sure I have a better sharper or pen. They make metallic ones that would have been pretty cool.

bOnce I was done I put my two flower stems into my bag and the end result is this:

c

Yeah, that’s also a Darth Vader bag in the corner.

Blogging with an Old Timer

My grandparents pretty much raised me. My Gramps was born in the 30s and isn’t really known for being too computer savvy. Before he retired he flew plains for the Navy and traveled the world. For as long as I can remember he and Grams have had some of the best stories. I remember many of them from when I was a child.

Recently I’d been thinking about family archives and how there’s so much information we just lose when people die. My youngest brother is only eight years old and I wondered how many of Grandpa’s stories  he would miss out on.

Around the same time, Gramps got into this blogging thing. I don’t really understand all the particulars, but its some blogging business deal that he’s been super excited about and chatting my ear off. I don’t really think he’s going to make millions, but this is the first time I’ve seen him excited and chatting about things with people in a long time. He’s happy.

So if blogging is what makes him happy, sure, I’ll help him blog. He’s hopeless bad at internet stuff though. A windows message will pop up and he thinks his computer has been hacked. He’ll run into the room and shout, “Come quick, my computer’s been hijacked!” It’s not that he isn’t intelligent enough to navigate the digital world, he used to fly air planes and even today he could probably MacGyver together some electrical tools into a bad ass zombie slaying weapon for someone to use. His memory just isn’t what it used to be and his hands aren’t as steady.

I thought this would be a good chance to hit two birds with one stone. He didn’t really know what he wanted to write about and a lot of his stories center on when he was growing up in the orphanage in the 30s or when he was in the Navy. He likes telling those stories and he talks about airplanes and different funny things they did. I set him up on Google Docs so that I can look over all his posts. His education was spotty (because of the whole growing up in a 30s era orphanage thing) so I basically edit them into bullet point style thoughts about his subject. They’re not too long, which is good for both of us. I could find the time to do this a couple time a week for my Gramps, you know? Plus, the stories are pretty cool and I’m learning something new about him all the time.

He’s been doing this blogging thing, studying, watching videos, buying ads and lots of extra stuff he wasn’t ready for. He hadn’t even written any blogs that weren’t about how his “blog had disappeared and he couldn’t find it.” After the post uploaded, it took him to the current post’s page, instead of his home page, and he never knew how to get back. We’re talking months and months and he’d maybe posted five very poorly articulated blogs about how he couldn’t/didn’t know how to blog. He was buying ads for this blog. We’re trying to talk him out of that. I think he’s promised to wait and not get anymore.

He’s grateful for the help, because he wants to attempt this business thing. And I’m happy that I am helping take care of him in my own way, while preserving his life somewhere for our family, friends, and the world to see and appreciate. I want my younger brothers and my nieces and nephews  to be able to read these recollections when they’re old enough. I’ve had almost 26 years with him and there’s still so much I still want to learn.

My Granny is also writing a blog. She’s can write on her own and has a ton of great stories, just like Gramps. I’m really excited that both of my grandparents are doing this and I wish them all the success.

Excerpt from The Many Perils of Love at First Sight…

People began forming up and Sarai turned, stepped back and bowed at the man who caught her, “Thank you for catching me. Those jerks pushed me on their way up.” She spoke slowly and enunciated her words as best as she knew how.

“Aww, it was nothing. Any man would have done it.” He rubbed the back of his neck and Sarai could sense the gathering of energy filled blood flushing over his skin. She couldn’t help the soft smirk that quirked at his words; several men had moved out of the way to let her hit the dirt after all. This boy, though, vibrated with the same pure energy she’d seen from children. He was long past that age though, even if his friend standing beside him didn’t shine as purely in Sarai’s mind. The second boy had a firestorm going on under his skin, but it gave of a completely different feeling from the red head.

“So are you here to become Genkai’s disciple as well?” This came from the shorter boy, his voice held more than a hint of incredulity as he stared at the bandages that covered the top half of her face.

“Uh…I’m not sure. Is that why everyone else is here?” Sarai pondered the situation.

“WHAT?! You came and you don’t even know what the hell is going on?!” His voice was filled with energy and heat, like annoyance.

She touched the bandage on her face, “I’m cursed. I was hoping Genkai could either remove it, tell me more about it, or teach me how to live with it…”

“Oh wow, a curse, really?” That was the tall one again. “I’m here because I’m psychic and I want her to lower the levels so I don’t have to listen to ghosts and stuff anymore.”

Sarai raised her eyebrows, although it was hard to tell with the layers of white strips clinging to the skin above them. “Huh, I haven’t been around all that many haunted places. I bet that would get annoying after awhile.” She paused and then bowed suddenly, “By the way, I’m Sarai Mayfield. Pleased to meet you.”

“I’m Kazuma Kuwabara and this is Yusuke Urameshi.”

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This is from Chapter 3, start from the beginning here.