Saturday, July 11, 2009

Week Two - So That's How You Use the Wrench

Harriet's second week on the farm started out fairly quietly. After bathing and taking care of other personal necessities, she decided to put together a salad for lunch.

After finishing her lunch, she started working in the garden, pulling weeds and harvesting the fruits and vegetables that were ready to be picked.

Afterwards she remembered that she'd seen the mailman come by earlier with her packages from the smelter and gem cutter, so she headed over to the mailbox to see what she'd gotten back. Overall she was pleased, but she made mental notes to not bother spending the 40 simoleons to have some of the cheaper metals smelted in the future.

Then she thought she'd read some more of the Handiness book that had been on the bookshelf she got. She was feeling a bit lazy, however, so she decided she'd just read it standing up where she was instead of walking back up to the house to sit down.

As the sun began to set, the shadows from the trees got longer and made reading more difficult, so she decided to put the book away again and go see what she could fish out of her pond. She was still trying to figure out what the best bait to use for Minnow was. She hadn't tried using any of the apples she had, so she decided to give that a try. To her delight, it proved to be the right bait to use for catching Minnows.

Mystery solved, she switched to using the hot dog links she had to try to catch some more Red Herring for her garden. Later that evening, she could tell that the fishing practice was paying off.

Shortly thereafter, she decided to call it a night and went to bed. She started working on the garden early on the next morning, and found that she was getting better at pulling the weeds. She thought maybe the time was right now to try planting some of the more unusual looking seeds she'd found.

All the gardening made her hungry, so she headed in to her small kitchen when she'd finished to make herself some lunch. At first she'd just smeared some jam on a piece of bread, but then thought better of eating it since she didn't recall having bought any bread, or having made any jelly from the grapes she'd grown. So she set it aside, untouched, and set about making herself a salad. While she was preparing it, she could tell she'd made the right choice.

The rest of her day was fairly uneventful, and she managed to get to bed early that night. The next morning she was up well before the sun rose and decided to see if her luck would be better fishing in the early morning hours.

Afterwards, she tended her garden, and then went to make a salad for lunch. While she was preparing it, her cell phone rang. Knowing it must be something important since she didn't know anyone that would be calling her, she paused to answer it. It turned out to be someone from the corporate tower wanting her to teach some of their executives how to fish.

Her first inclination was to refuse since she hated talking with people normally, let alone standing up in front of a bunch of people to talk, but she knew she couldn't pass up what they promised would be easy money, so, reluctantly, she agreed to come over later that day to do the class.

When she got there, she was relieved to find out that all of the executives were busy in meetings and wouldn't be able to attend. The receptionist told her she'd been authorized to pay her for doing the class anyway as long as she stayed the required amount of time, and so she went to the room the woman directed her to and stood in there for a few hours by herself, talking to the empty chairs about all she'd learned about fishing so far. All in all it turned out to be a relatively pleasant way to spend a few hours, and the $1000 the receptionist handed her on her way out as her pay for the class was much appreciated.

Afterwards, she headed across the street to the science center to donate a few insects she'd found.

She then took a taxi downtown to sell some of the produce from her garden since she had much more than she'd be able to use herself. They were also willing to buy some of the seeds she'd collected but didn't really need for her own use.

(Author's note: The picture of the sell screen doesn't show all of the produce she sold that day)

By then, it was evening, but she decided to see what she could catch in the river nearby. Though it wasn't what she was trying to catch, she was still pleased when she managed to catch a piranha since she hadn't managed to catch one of them before.

It was getting pretty late by the time she was done fishing, but instead of heading home she decided to go past the library first to see if she could find some information about a few things that were puzzling her with her garden. She hoped that the late hour would mean the library wouldn't be so crowded, and if she could find what she needed there it would save her a few hundred simoleons since she wouldn't have to buy another gardening book.

The next morning she decided to try making some pancakes, and found that it really expanded her cooking skills, which in turn should let her vary her diet some more. Not that she really minded eating Autumn Salad all the time since it was her favorite thing to eat anyway.

Afterwards, she decided to take it easy for a bit and finish reading that book about handiness that she had.

The last few chapters had some interesting information about how to make changes to household appliances and plumbing fixtures so they would clean themselves after use. She decided to go ahead and try out the techniques since the time she'd save having to clean things would give her more time to spend tending her garden or practicing her fishing skills. She first tried it out on the toilet, since she hated having to clean it. Then, encouraged by her success with it, she decided to upgrade the kitchen sink as well.

Since it was late by the time she finished with the sink, she headed to bed to get some sleep. The next day though, after tending the garden and seeing to her personal needs, she set about seeing if she could get the garden sprinklers to water things automatically.

Late that evening, while she was still working on the sprinklers, she got another phone call. This one was an invitation from the chef at one of the local restaurants to compete in a cooking competition. Though the idea was a bit intimidating, since she knew her cooking wasn't really that good yet, still she decided it wouldn't hurt to try, so she accepted the invitation and agreed to bring something in that she'd prepared by the following Monday.

She then got back to work on the sprinklers, working late into the night to get the upgrades finished. She was pleased with herself when she finished the last one, because she could tell she'd really gained a lot of experience doing it.

Exhausted after all the work, she went to bed finally, sleeping until late the next morning. After getting dressed, she made herself some pancakes and could tell that she was getting better at cooking. Perhaps she'd do OK in that contest after all.

After cleaning up from breakfast, she headed down to the mailbox since she'd seen the mailman dropping off some more packages earlier. It turned out to be some gems she'd sent off to have cut.

When she'd finished weeding and harvesting the garden, she decided to spend the rest of the day walking around the fields to see what she could find. She'd seen a few references in the garden book at the library to something called a money tree, but she was pretty sure that none of the seeds she'd found so far would grow into trees, so she wanted to see if she could find any new kinds of seeds laying around that she hadn't found before.

She didn't have much luck finding new kinds of seeds, but she did find some more butterflies and other insects, some space rocks, and some more gems and metals that should be worth quite a bit of money once she'd had a chance to decide what to do with them. She wandered around through the fields, and down by Sim Henge, but never did find any different seeds. By evening, having picked up all the seeds and rocks she could find, she decided to do some more fishing since she really needed some more fertilizer for the garden. She stayed out fishing as late as she could, until exhaustion finally forced her to head home and go to bed.

With the arrival of 8AM the next morning, her second week in Riverside officially came to a close. She had accomplished a lot that week, but she knew that she still had a lot left to learn, and would need to work on a dish for the cooking competition if she was going to get it delivered before the deadline. And so, with one final review of her accomplishments, we leave our tale of Harriet for now. Stay tuned to see what week three will bring for her. Will she win the cooking competition? Will she manage to catch some of the more elusive types of fish? Only time will tell.


Author's notes: Week two went by fast for Harriet, and she didn't accomplish quite as much as I would have liked with her fishing and cooking, but the progress with Handiness made up for that I think. I laughed when she just pulled out the book and started reading standing up by the mailbox instead of walking over to sit down at the picnic table or the living room chair she has as I thought she would. She's achieved as much as I wanted her too with Handiness now, though, so she won't be devoting any more time to seriously trying to improve the skill. She will of course still have to repair broken objects, and I may have her do the Self-cleaning upgrade on a few other things like the tub and the stove simply so she won't have to spend time cleaning them.

The other humorous highlight of the week was when she went to teach the fishing class. I'd been expecting her to hate being there and get the "Too Many People" moodlet, and was surprised when she got the "Enjoying Solitude" one instead. I could only surmise that no one had shown up to take the class and she was lecturing to empty chairs, and so worked it into the story that way. Shoot, I'd spend two hours talking to empty chairs if someone was going to pay me $1000 to do it ;)

For week three I plan to have her focus more on her fishing, trying to fill out the different types of fish she's caught and types of bait she knows as well as raising skill more. She also really needs to build up a better stock of fertilizer fish. Cooking will need to be a second focus for the week since she's somewhat behind on learning that skill I think. Her gardening is to the point now that I shouldn't really have to try on it...the skill points should come in due course just from working on the garden. She will need to keep looking for seeds though, for I'm pretty sure she still hasn't found a money tree seed despite all of the time I had her spend looking for one this week (not all of which time was mentioned in the blog entry). The picture shown in the summary picture is what her garden looked like when I ended the week. The plants in the back rows are all of the unknown plants she has growing. As they mature more and become identifiable, I'll be thinning them out to keep the total number of plants under control. I'm pretty sure I know what they all are, or will be, but I'm going to let them grow to maturity so I can see what quality they turn out to be and then just keep the best ones of each type.

That's it for now. See you next time :)


  1. Nice work! Funny that she had the solitary moodlet during the gardening seminar. I guess corporate types aren't that into gardening...

  2. I've never noticed the "List to Sell" screen at the grocery--I always have Gardenia stash the stuff she wants to keep in her fridge before she heads to town to "Sell All Produce". But your method is better, I think.

    I wonder what determines which opportunities a Sim gets? Gardenia 2.0 got the teach-businessmen-fishing opp, but Gardenia 3.0 didn't. And Gardenia 3.0 got a teach-handiness-to-schoolkids opp, then my game crashed (and I unfortunately hadn't saved for an hour or so) and, after I'd gotten her back to where she was, she didn't get that opp again! The phone rang, but it was some other opp. And none of my Gardenias have ever gotten the "Dish Showdown" opp....

  3. I think Gretchen got the one to teach handiness to schoolkids...I remember having to take her to the school once to do some opportunity at least. From what I read, what opportunity comes up is partly random and partly based on current skill level. Random in that it will randomly select which skill to offer an opportunity for (though to me what comes up often seems to be linked to what skill the sim has been working on the most, or the most recently) and then will pick an opportunity to offer based on skill level in that skill.

    I like going into the Sell tab at the grocery store (it's on the same screen you get when you "shop for groceries") because it lets me choose what to sell and how much of each thing to sell. You could certainly accomplish the same thing by stashing whatever you want to keep in the fridge temporarily, the way you have, but I'm bad about remembering to do stuff like that :p And then I'd have to remember to get it back out. It is a pain having to scroll up and down to see the various qualities of, say, lettuce that you have to decide which to sell all of and which to keep some of, and then have to change the quantities on everything in the List to Sell. It would be nice if it would default to selling all of whatever you select, or at least let you sort the inventory list by type instead of just by price.