Sunday, August 9, 2009

Week Six - Completion and a New Beginning

Harriet started off her week early on Sunday morning. After getting dressed, she got some leftover cobbler from the fridge to eat for breakfast.


After breakfast, she started working on her garden. While she was doing so, a passing neighbor yelled out to her that there was a sale at the bookstore for the next couple days.


She called out a thanks to the person and made a mental note to get over to the bookstore so she could get the ambrosia recipe at the discounted price. She knew it would probably be her best opportunity to save money on it. She continued working on her garden and harvested 3 money bags from one of the trees, which she immediately sold.


After everything had been harvested and weeded, she planted the hamburger patty and the steak that she’d bought at the grocery store the day before. She wrinkled her nose in disgust at the meat as she was preparing it for planting, and the thought of seeing raw meat hanging on vines made her a bit ill, but she knew it would probably be in her best interests to grow them anyway. There was no telling when she might be offered an opportunity that she would need to have homegrown steaks or patties.


After she had finished with the planting, she went over to talk to the tomato plants for a bit.


Upon finally heading inside to get cleaned up, she found that her toilet had clogged up. Again. With a sigh, she set about unclogging it, consoling herself with the knowledge that this should be the last time she’d have to do so since she had completed the Plumber challenge the week before.


After bathing, she went over to the kitchen to fix some dinner. She was getting so good at cooking that she liked to show off a bit now while chopping things, even when there was no one around to see her.


After dinner she headed downtown. Her first stop was the bookstore to pick up the ambrosia recipe while it was on sale.


She then went over to the library to continue her studies in the third volume of the cooking encyclopedia.


The concepts she was studying now were a lot more difficult to grasp, and it was taking her much longer to get through the material. She persevered though, staying until she could hardly keep her eyes open any longer and had to give up and go home to get some sleep.


She slept until late morning on Monday, and got some more of the cobbler out of the fridge for breakfast.


She ate a bit too much of it though, and it must have been going bad, because after she’d finished eating she felt stuffed, and also rather nauseous.


Still, the garden wouldn’t weed itself, so she got dressed and set to work despite not feeling well. A few hours later though, she started feeling so bad that she had to take a break and rush into the bathroom…


She vowed always to make sure the food hadn’t gone off in the fridge in the future before eating it. Returning to her gardening, she got four more money bags off one of the trees, which she sold.


Later that evening after she finished the gardening, got cleaned up, and had a bit more to eat once her stomach had finally settled, she once again headed into town. Her first stop was the grocery store, where she picked up her check for her share of the week’s profits.


While she was there, she also sold off her extra produce and fish.


She then walked over to the bookstore where she collected her partner’s check from there as well.


With her various errands attended to, she finally made it over to the library to continue reading. She knew she still had a fair bit to learn, and she was determined to learn it all and master the skill as quickly as she could, for she knew she wasn’t getting any younger.


While she was reading, she heard a woman in the computer room start screaming and moaning in pain. She got up for a minute to go see what was wrong, and it became evident that the woman was going into labor.


Since she didn’t know the woman, and since she could hear that someone behind her was already calling for an ambulance, she went back to her reading, leaving it to the other patrons to help the woman. Soon enough the paramedics were coming in and helping the woman out to the ambulance so they could get her to the hospital. Eventually Harriet’s persistence paid off and she could tell that she’d gained another level of cooking skill.


By now she was tired and very hungry again, but she couldn’t resist the urge to take just a few minutes to fish at the river. She did so love fishing in the middle of the night.


She grabbed a potato out of her bag to munch on to keep the hunger pains at bay, then finally went home to get some sleep. She slept well into the afternoon before finally getting up and getting something more substantial to eat. Then she decided to read through a few of the recipe books she’d bought before starting work on the garden.


Later in the evening, while finally tending to the garden, she got a call from the bistro, asking if she could please come help fix their plumbing since one of their idiot cooks had gotten the pipes clogged up.


She accepted the opportunity, promising to come over there as soon as she could. She then went back to finishing with the garden so she could read a few more of her recipes before he had to get to sleep. She read into the night, and in the early morning hours before dawn, one of her perfect plants that had still been just a sprout the day before grew into full maturity and completed her Lifetime Wish.


The first thing she did was buy the Super Green Thumb reward which she knew she should have gotten weeks before. Maybe if she had she would have achieved her Lifetime Wish sooner.


She still had a lot of points to spend, and in looking over the list, she decided to get the Fertility Treatment, as she was starting to realize that she would need someone to take over her farm eventually, and she’d much rather pass it on to a child than give it to a stranger. She was afraid that she might already be too old to have a child of her own, but thought that if there was any chance it could happen then she’d need all the help she could get. She just hoped that the fine print that cautioned about a higher instance of twins or triplets wouldn’t come true for her.


She then went back to reading the recipe she’d been studying, finishing it a little over an hour later.


It was only after she’d finished reading that she really stopped to think about her age, and her chances for having a child, and realized that her birthday was coming up even sooner than she’d thought. She’d been so caught up with her fishing and her studying for the past few weeks that time had completely gotten away from her.


She was too tired right then to make any decisions about what to do, however, so she went to bed to get some sleep. The next afternoon she put off the decision some more as she set about doing her usual daily chores. She harvested and sold some more money bags that day. One or the other of the trees seemed to be giving her a harvest every day now.


When she’d finished with the garden, she thought some more about her age, and about the lifetime happiness points she still had available to spend. She decided that perhaps it was time to invest in the Steel Bladder reward, since she’d heard that she could expect her bladder to weaken when she became an elder…or if she managed to become pregnant. She didn’t want to end up having to run to the bathroom all of the time with everything else she still wanted to do.


That evening, she remembered her promise to the folks at the bistro that she’d come fix their plumbing for them. So she headed into town, hoping she hadn’t put it off until too late. She hadn’t, and within a few hours time she managed to get the pipes cleared out just before they had really become a problem for the restaurant.


She then decided that the bistro would probably be a lucrative business to invest in, so she went back inside to speak with the owner about becoming a partner.


Then, it was back to the library to continue reading. She determined that this time she wasn’t going to leave until she’d finished that last volume of the encyclopedia.


It took her all night and into the morning to finish, but she ignored her fatigue and kept at it. Finally, just before mid-morning, she got to the end and achieved full mastery of the cooking skill.


Exhausted, she went home and crawled into bed, sleeping well until evening. After fixing herself some dinner, she headed out to the garden. Among other things, another crop of money bags was waiting for her on one of the trees.


After finishing her gardening and getting cleaned up, she sat down to read the rest of the recipe books she had, determined to complete learn all of the recipes she could. It took her until early afternoon on Friday to finish.


She was certain that she would have finished the Menu Maven challenge when she’d read them all, so she was confused about why she didn’t when she finished reading the ambrosia recipe. She could only conclude that she must have missed buying one of the recipes at the store somewhere along the way, but she was far too tired now to go down there to see which one she was missing. Her body was crying out for sleep, but before she went to crawl into bed, she pulled out one of her life fruits, looked at it for a few minutes, then quickly ate it before she could change her mind about fending off old age for a bit longer.


She’d only been asleep for a few hours when her cell phone woke her up. She got up and answered it, sleepily murmuring her acceptance of the new challenge that the diner was offering her. Her last thought before going back to sleep was that she was glad she had gone ahead and planted those nasty meat plants.


She slept into the evening, and when she awoke, finally fully rested, she made the impulsive decision to give herself another extra day as an adult for good measure, and munched down another one of her life fruits. She knew that she should be able to complete her goals by early the next morning, and the two days she’d given herself would let her have time to try to find a mate. Or at least someone she could get pregnant by.


As always seemed to happen, one of her death flower plants died after she harvested it that night. So she did her best to revive it, taking it as a good omen when she was able to bring it back to full health.


After getting herself cleaned up, it was too close to morning to fix dinner, so she decided to make herself some pancakes for an early breakfast. She couldn’t resist the urge to show off a bit while flipping them, even if only to amuse herself.


Finally, just before dawn, she headed downtown to the bookstore to see if she could figure out which recipe she was missing. After studying the shelves for a bit and consulting the cooking journal she’d been keeping, she realized that she’d never bought the recipe for Fish & Chips, even though it was fairly inexpensive and was one she could have learned a long time ago. She could only suppose that she’d overlooked it in the past since, as a vegetarian, it wasn’t a dish she had any interest in cooking for herself.


After buying a copy of the recipe, she couldn’t wait to read it and thus, hopefully, finish the Menu Maven challenge. So she sat down on a bench outside the grocery store to read. Since it was a low level recipe, it didn’t take her all that long to read through it, and when she finished it she was rewarded with the knowledge that she had finally achieved all of the goals she’d set out for herself when she’d first moved to Riverview and bought her little farm.


Since she’d been tallying her successes based on weeks, and it was still just early on Saturday morning, she knew she still had another whole day in which to achieve as much else as she could. She didn’t waste any time in starting on what she knew was going to be a busy day, and headed into the grocery store to sell her extra produce and to purchase some more links to use for bait since she was running low on them and didn’t want to run out in the middle of a fishing expedition sometime.


She then wandered down to the cemetery to see what she could find, knowing that there were often insects and other collectibles to be found laying around on the ground there. She set about catching all of the butterflies and moths she could see, and picking up all the seeds she could find, keeping an eye out for any eligible looking men that might happen by, even though she didn’t really expect to meet anyone here. Even a Loner knew that it would probably be in poor taste to try to hit on a guy that had come to mourn a deceased loved one. After collecting everything she could find, and not seeing anything but elderly men around, she curled up on one of the benches to take a short nap to refresh her energy to do more that afternoon.


When she awoke just after noon, she still didn’t see any young looking men around, so she headed down to the river to fish for a bit. She’d gotten a notion to see if she could stock her pond at home with every type of fish there was, and knew that she needed to get started catching them if she had any hope at all of succeeding at that task.


By late afternoon she decided she’d best go home and tend to her garden since she didn’t want it to get too overgrown. Plus there were probably also more money bags waiting to be harvested. She first checked the mailbox upon returning home, and discovered that she had another certificate to add to her collection on the wall. This one was from the Cooking Association and was in recognition of the fact that she’d mastered the skill.


The other death flower plant died that evening after being harvested, only this time her attempt to revive it failed.


Once the garden work was done, she consulted her Collection Helper for good places to find insects then headed out on foot to see how many she could find. While wandering around a large field near her home, she came across a type of butterfly she hadn’t caught before. She didn’t know it at the time, but this find completed the Butterfly Collector challenge for her.


She also found some space rocks in the field, so she picked them up and analyzed them, anxious to cash them in as quickly as possible.


She then remembered that she’d forgotten to sell the money bags she’d harvested earlier.


By this time, it was getting close to 3AM on Sunday morning, and she was getting very tired. But still she kept on collecting until she was so exhausted she was close to passing out on the ground. Still she pushed herself to make a trip over to the science lab to sell all of the insects she’d found that night so the money from them would be in her account when her week’s accomplishments were tallied up at 8AM.


By the time she’d finished selling all the insects she barely had energy enough left to hail a cab and head home. She fell into bed upon arriving there, wishing she’d been able to squeeze in just a bit more collecting, or that she’d managed to meet a potential mate that day. She was really going to have to make more of an effort to do so, and quickly, if she was going to be able to have a child. 8AM found her still sound asleep, and brought an end to her sixth week in Riverview. She felt she had done fairly well with the challenge she’d set for herself upon moving here, though she knew she could have done better still if she’d done a few things differently along the way. Hindsight is always 20/20 is it not? Before we leave you, here is one last look at Harriet’s accomplishments, and how she’s scored on the GAC challenge.


Click images to view larger

Cooking JournalFishing Journal
Gardening Journal Handiness Journal.jpg

Collecting Journal.jpg

GAC Challenge Score


Author’s notes: This week seemed to go pretty fast for Harriet, probably because so much of it was spent reading either the Cooking Vol. 3 or one of the recipe books. Getting the last few points of cooking that she needed seemed to take forever, and it didn’t help that she seemed to always be fairly tired already by the time she’d make it down to the library every day. I probably could have had her just buy the book so she could read it at home and save the travel time to and from the library, but I thought the Power Study bonus they get at the library would help her get through it faster. How much it sped it up though is hard to say. As for feeding her the life fruit, it wasn’t really necessarily strictly in terms of this challenge, since the deadline I’d set for her was just “before she dies”, and the penalty from it pretty much negated the bonus she got from finishing it before she aged to elder. But I’ve decided I want her to try to have a baby though, so I needed to keep her an adult just a little while longer. I’m going to be experimenting with how to adapt the GAC challenge to a multi-generational sort of challenge, and so for the sake of testing things with the time required to get pregnant, be pregnant, then raise the child through infancy and toddlerhood, I would have Harriet find a man and get pregnant instead of just adopting a child that could have made at least something of a start on the challenge for themselves right away. The score posted above is what I’m going to consider her final score on the GAC challenge as it currently stands. I will be continuing Harriet’s saga here though and may be posting speculative ongoing scores in the future as I work through how to manage things to include a child or children who are also attempting the challenge. So stay tuned to see how Harriet and her future family do as they move into the future. Harriet will be setting new goals for herself, and any children she has will be tasked with doing the GAC challenge themselves if they are able to. It should be fun. So until next time, I bid you farewell.


  1. Wonderful! Here are my favorite lines from this post: "the thought of seeing raw meat hanging on vines made her a bit ill" and "Since she didn’t know the woman, and since she could hear that someone behind her was already calling for an ambulance, she went back to her reading, leaving it to the other patrons to help the woman" and especially "Even a Loner knew that it would probably be in poor taste to try to hit on a guy that had come to mourn a deceased loved one."

    Did Harriet get other Lifetime Rewards previously?

    Is "Stuffed TurSOYkey" a recipe that's available only for vegetarians? (But there wasn't an alternate for "Tri-Tip Steak"?)

    Tough break on missing a recipe for the Menu Maven sub-challenge--is there a way to keep track of recipes a Sim hasn't yet read?

    The high flip of the pancakes is hilarious.

    I think Harriet performed admirably in the GAC Challenge, and Gardenia and Grace and I all wish her luck in her quest to find a mate and have a child.


  2. I can't help but think that a vegetarian would be totally grossed out by growing steaks and burgers. I'm not one and the thought kind of grosses me out a bit I have to admit ;) And the lady going into labor in the library was kind of funny. People gathered around for a bit, including Harriet, then just kind of drifted off, leaving the poor woman standing there holding her stomach. She stayed in there for quite a long while moaning and huffing and I was starting to wonder if she was going to have the baby right there in the library - I kept watching her while keeping an eye on Harriet's progress to see if she would. Eventually she left and got in a cab though, presumably to go to the hospital. Someone calling for an ambulance sounded better for the story though ;)

    Harriet had already purchased the Fast Learner and Collection Helper rewards. Given it to do again, I'd likely go for the Super Green Thumb before the Collection Helper to help speed up getting higher quality plants, and don't know if I'd spend points on the Fast Learner reward cause I'm not sure it really did all that much. Hard to tell though. She didn't really use the collection helper all that much until the end, but I really slacked off on having her search for collectibles in the last few weeks until that last night.

    The Stuffed TurSOYkey is the vegetarian version of Stuffed Turkey. There didn't seem to be an alternative version for the Tri-tip Steak or the Fish & Chips, though others do have alternatives: Spaghetti with Veggie Sauce and Veggie Burgers to name a few. The explantions on the traits says that Vegetarians get sick if they eat meat...I might have her try some sometime just to see what happens ;)

    I was sure she was going to finish the Menu Maven challenge when she finished reading Ambrosia, and was surprised when she didn't. I thought I'd checked the list several times whenever she'd go to the bookstore, but I guess I didn't check it carefully enough. I must have just assumed she'd gotten Fish & Chips already since it's a low level one.

    Yeah, the kitchen antics they do once they get high cooking skill, like the pancake flip, crack me up too. Kind of hard to catch them adequately in still shots though.

    Thanks for the well-wishes for Harriet's future. I've already played through week seven, and will have an update posted on it as soon as I get time to edit the photos and write it up. Might not be until later this week.

  3. I just realized that Harriet didn't include her unused Lifetime Happiness points in her score. Just after she purchased the Steel Bladder reward, she had 10,421 points left. It doesn't look like she used points on any other rewards, so her score should be increased by at least that many points. (This scoring Rule was added some time in July.) But Harriet probably gained some additional Lifetime Happiness points between the time she got Steel Bladder (Wednesday, 7:53 p.m.)and the Deadline (which seems to have been declared on Sunday, a little before 3:00 a.m.).

  4. D'oh. I must have missed that part in the scoring rules when I was figuring up her score. My deadline was at 8AM on Sunday morning, so the final Lifetime Happiness points total is the one shown in the summary picture at the end, 25,380. She just didn't accomplish anything else much after 3AMish since she was so exhausted I was barely managing to keep her on her feet to get the insects sold and get her home to bed before she passed out somewhere. Adding in the LTH points would give her a final score of 112,408 - unless I'm still adding something wrong. Thanks for pointing out the mistake Veil, I'd completely missed that part.