Okay used some of the tips on here and I am actually leveling up and getting better. Took down my first boss in that one cave I was suggested to go to. Basically I just sic'd my wolves on him and he died. The problem was then I just got stuck. I wasn't powerful enough to do anything else. So I pretty much would go into that gate ruins in front of the castle where the soldiers are and I would just practice backstabbing, but sure enough if I caused any ruckus, the whole army would come down on top of me
Since I didn't have many ruins so to speak of, I just decided to do a suicide run on my horse and try to get as much of the map revealed and lost grace sites exposed. I died a lot again as I would accidentally run into some massive dragon or crab thing that would one hit kill me.
So I decided to use one of the ruin hacks to at least get something going, but even then I screwed that up. I managed to get the mace that causes blood loss. I teleported over to some remote island where it seems every step there were bosses and big things that had evil intentions. I picked up the Gold Pickled Fowl Foot and the plan was to go to this one massive dragon who doesn't ever move and you go back by his armpit and you just hit him for like 5 minutes until he ultimately bleeds out and you get massive ruins. However, right before he dies, you are supposed to use the fowl foot to get like triple the ruins. Well, who didn't use the fowl foot in time? If you guessed me, you would be correct. However, I did manage to get 70k in ruins. Since I was still in the land of every thing can kill me, I quickly fast traveled back to the the beginning of the game and that is where I am now with 72k in ruins and I don't want to go anywhere before spending them, for fear I will die and lose them all. I am looking through videos on character builds and so forth now.
As an aside, some of my daughters' favorite childhood memories (they are now 18 and 23) were watching me play video games badly. My 18 year old has been having the time of her life watching my Elden Ring efforts. She has suggested I start my own You Tube channel as there are plenty of gamers who play BAD video games, but I can be the guy who plays GREAT games horribly.