Saturday, July 25, 2009

Week Four - Say Cheese!

Harriet slept in on Sunday morning, having been up late the night before. After she’d eaten and bathed, she went out to tend her garden.


After she’d weeded and harvested all the plants, she looked around and decided that if she didn’t want to wait until she was an old woman to fulfill her dream of having a perfect garden that she was going to have to get more serious about uprooting lower quality plants to replace them with better ones. So, after inspecting each plant and pulling up any she knew she could upgrade, she set about replanting things. She’d neglected to notice, however, that she only had one onion to replant, but she’d pulled up both onion plants while culling them. So she’d have to make do with only one of those for awhile.


By the time she’d finished, it was getting dark. She went down to check the mailbox and discovered that some of her gems had come back from the gem cutter.


She then took a cab over to the fish hatchery to practice her fishing some more, trying out different baits to see if she could catch some different types of fish that she hadn’t caught before.


While doing so, she managed to raise her fishing skill another level. She felt she was getting pretty good at it now, but knew she still had a little ways to go yet before she could say she’d mastered it.


Shortly after increasing her skill, she managed to catch a new type of fish.


The next morning while she was cooking her breakfast, and the cheap stove she’d gotten when she moved in was giving her problems yet again, she decided that perhaps it was time to upgrade her appliances to ones that would not only cook things more evening, and keep them fresh longer, but might also help her improve her cooking faster. She replaced the cheap stove she had with a new self-cleaning model…


and her cheap refrigerator that always made any leftovers taste funny with a better model that promised to preserve the flavors of her food better.


Once the new appliances had been delivered, Harriet was pleased with the way they looked. She noticed the delivery men had left a mess on the counter though, so she set about cleaning it up.


After getting dressed, she noticed some rarer looking butterflies flitting around on the lot next to hers, so she went to try to catch one of them in hopes it would be worth something to the scientists.


She then came back and started tending her garden, and was pleased to note that her replanting efforts were paying off and she now had several more types of perfect plants growing.


Most exciting of all though was she found that one of the special seeds she’d planted had sprouted and now looked like it was going to become a tree. Surely this would be one of the money trees she’d heard about and had tried to get going in her garden for so long now.


After she’d finished with the garden she headed out to do some more fishing. She stayed out quite late, and though she did have a fair bit of luck catching things, it was all fish that she’d caught before, and she didn’t improve her fishing skills to the next level yet by the time fatigue forced her to head home. Despite her exhaustion, however, she was so hungry by the time she got home that she just had to take time to make something to eat if she was going to be able to sleep well at all.


Later that afternoon, while tending her garden, she noticed that another of the special seeds she’d planted had matured enough to be identifiable. It was a deathflower bush, a new type of plant for her garden, and a perfect specimen at that.


She made herself some dinner after finishing with the garden and taking a bath. After dinner she remembered that she’d found a space rock a few days ago that she hadn’t yet analyzed. She took it out and looked it over, and was pleased with what she discovered.


After selling it, she went out to tell her new tomato plants all about it.


Once she’d satisfied her social needs enough by talking to the tomatoes, she headed into town to sell her fish, unneeded seeds and produce, and to collect her share of the profits from the grocery store.


Once she’d finished with her business in town, she went down to the river to do some fishing, staying there on the bank of the river into the wee hours of the morning as was becoming usual for her.


In the pre-dawn hours, she managed to catch a new type of fish, one that she was sure would be useful in the future.


She only had one piece of garlic left, but she decided to try using it as bait, since she’d heard somewhere that you could catch vampire fish with her. It seemed strange to her since she though vampires were supposed to be repelled by garlic instead of attracted to it, but she figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out. If she did manage to catch some she knew they should be worth a lot of money at the store. It wasn’t too long before what she’d heard about using garlic for bait was proven true.


Once again, she didn’t get home until after dawn. She was really becoming very nocturnal these last few days, though she though perhaps that would be a good thing for getting her fishing practice in when there weren’t people around to disturb her. She realized she should probably start eating more before she headed out to fish though, because she always coming home starving, and then had to take time to fix some breakfast and eat before she could collapse into her bed. (Author’s note to self – move fire alarm so it’s not always in the way of taking pictures of her at the stove.)


After eating, she got some sleep, then later that afternoon while tending her garden she realized she’d harvested enough perfect fruits and vegetables now to be considered a Botanical Boss


A check of the mailbox after she’d finished with the plants revealed that the gems she’d found around Sim Henge a few days before had arrived back from the gem cutter. She’d had so many gems cut that she’d been able to order the plumbbob cut for them which would make them more valuable


After selling all the gems, she took a cab over to the river by the graveyard to do some more fishing. It wasn’t very long after she started that she felt her skill at it had increased another level.


Even though she was just using ordinary bait (the hot dog links for catching red herrings), she managed to catch all sorts of different fish, including a lobster, which she’d never caught before.


By morning she was getting tired, but she took time to stop at the grocery in town to sell off some of her excess fruits, fish and seeds. Later on she realized she should have picked up some more links as well because she’d used up all the ones she had.


After coming out of the grocery store, she noticed a sign outside the bookstore that said they were having one of their 20% off specials, so she decided to pick up a few more recipes she knew she’d need later on while she could get them substantially cheaper.


Later that evening while tending her garden, she was excited to see that another one of the special seeds she’d planted looked like it was going to grow to be another money tree.


While she was getting ready to go out fishing, her phone rang. It was the manager at the diner offering her another chance to acquire the ability to grow even more exotic types of plants if she could bring him 10 excellent cheeses she’d grown herself. She happily accepted the opportunity, confident that she would be able to fill the order, especially since there was no deadline by which she had to have the cheese ready.


She decided she should probably eat something before she went out fishing so she wouldn’t come home starving and having to try to stay awake while she fixed breakfast. While she was cooking up a batch of Stu Surprise, she felt her cooking skills improve another level. To her, it confirmed that the new stove had been a very worthwhile investment.


She decided to try her luck around the science center that night. She’d heard rumors that they had some strange half-living, half-mechanical fish swimming in the river behind their facility, and she was curious to see if it was true. When she got there, she first went in to sell a few of the butterflies she’d caught over the last few days.


She then headed out back, picked up all the seeds she could find (there always seemed to be several of them just laying around on the pavement here), then, ignoring the No Fishing signs that no one ever seemed to enforce anywhere in town, she cast her line. She caught some more vampire fish…


some black goldfish…


and finally, just as the sun was starting to light up the sky, she hooked one of the rumored robotfish.


Although the sun was up now, she wasn’t that tired yet, so she kept on fishing. She momentarily got excited when she reeled in a strange box, but it turned out to just be another bottle of bubble bath.


She could sense that with each cast she was getting closer to mastery of the skill, so she kept on fishing well into the morning, and about an hour before noon, her efforts were rewarded.


Satisfied with her accomplishments for now, she finally went home to get some much needed sleep. Later that evening when she was tending the garden, one of her deathflower plants died after she’d harvested it. It made her very sad, and she tried to revive it…


But her efforts were in vain and it simply vanished instead of coming back to life. Her plants were like her children, and she took every death hard, but she continued on with tending and nurturing all of the other plants. She then bathed, fixed some dinner, then headed over to the river by the graveyard to do some more fishing. She hoped that she’d be able to catch a deathfish now that she’d mastered her fishing skill. She had some angelfish, which is what she’d heard they preferred, so she baited her hook with some of that and cast her line toward where she could see a small patch of fog hovering over the water. It didn’t take very long before she was successful.


After she’d caught a few of them, she realized that catching them had put her over 40,000 lifetime happiness points and she could now get a Collection Helper gadget to help her find gems, insects, and other things easier around town.


She fished until mid-morning, continuing on even after the deathfish had disappeared from the water, adding to her sellable stock. She then stopped by the grocery store on the way home to sell her wares and to purchase some more links for fishing.


When she got home, she checked her mailbox (she’d forgotten to the day before), and found that the local fishing association had sent her a plaque commemorating her skill master just like the gardening guild had.


She hung it up inside her little home, right next to the gardening one.


That evening she discovered that her egg and cheese plants had finally produced their first crop. She carefully harvested each one, then immediately pulled up one of each to replant it using one of the better quality items they’d produced.


Per her now-usual routine, she headed out to do some fishing once she’d finished taking care of things around her lot. This night’s fishing brought in yet another new catch that she pulled in using some of the cheese she’d just harvested. She knew that she was now very close to achieving one of her goals: that of having caught at least one of every type of fish available in this town.


She stopped fishing around dawn on Sunday and headed home so she could get her garden tended early in the day for once while she had sunlight to work by instead of having to do it by torchlight in the evening. And with the arrival of 8AM that morning, another week had drawn to a close. Tune in next time when we’ll find out if Harriet manages to catch that final fish complete the amateur ichthyologist challenge, and whether or not she’ll harvest enough excellent cheeses to finish the diner’s opportunity. Here’s one last look at what Harriet accomplished this week, and how her journals are filling out. (Click on the journal pics to view them larger)


Cooking JournalFishing JournalGarden Journal


Author’s Notes: Not too many extra comments this time. Overall it was a pretty productive week for Harriet, and I seem to have gotten her onto more of a schedule now. Now that she has the Collection Helper and has maxed her fishing, I might start alternating having her spend her nights collecting or fishing. I’ll probably also play around with stocking her home pond with other types of fish, just so she’ll have the option of not having to go out to the river or the hatchery to do so. She definitely needs to start working on her cooking skills more too because she’s kind of lagging behind in that area. She should be getting close to fulfilling her LTW too, but I forgot to tally up how many different kinds of perfect plants she has now.That’s it for now though. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.