Thursday, November 19, 2015

Braille and Other Updates

About six months ago I wrote to tell you that I was going to learn Braille.

I recently completed my grade one Braille lessons, so I now know all of my Braille letters. But that is as far as I will get.

Over the Summer practicing Braille became more and more difficult as the fingers of my left hand in particular showed they were less sensitive than is required to learn Braille at more than the basic level.

Three years ago, I had a stroke the affects of which were, I thought, mostly gone. I do have a slight tremor in my left hand but nothing else noticeable. Well it seems that the feeling in my fingers is not up to scratch.  As the Braille print got more and more densely packed on the page at higher levels my fingers could not cope.

So disappointingly, my teacher and I had to agree that Grade one was my limit. The good news is that now I can read the numbers on an elevator keypad and find an hotel room number and read it. So two of my original goals were achieved.

A few years ago I also set up a store on zazzle.com called Bretsuki's  The store has been added to over the years, I now have hundreds of designs available on everything from T-Shirts to greetings cards and mugs. The store generates a reasonable income and I have moved up the ladder in terms of selling beyond the level of a basic seller.

My Amazon projects have also terned out pretty well. I am an affilliate and receive some residual income from sales from links on this page. Also my used book store has done pretty well over the two years that it has been in business. The most difficult part of that job is actually finding enough inventory to maintain good stock levels. One thing that has helped me there is moving to a new city where there are lots of good quality thrift stores.



My plans for a Master's degree were placed on hold at the same time that I had my stroke. At present I am interested in returning to school, especially now I live near a good school in the California State University system. But  with only about a ten year working life left, I wonder at the cost effectiveness of a Master's degree now. We'll see.

As you can see. Some of my hopes and plans have not worked out so well, but some have worked out very well. We never know which way things will turn out. So I am glad that I have seized some of the opportunities that have come my way.

Blindness is not a reason not to try things. It can hinder some progress, but blindness is only a problem to be solved, not a reason to give up.