The next day starts really early for Emma and Simon. The "Early to bed, early to rise" theory of country life was definitely taking hold as it wasn't even light outside yet and Emma was up and getting ready to start her new garden.
Simon's still snoozing and dreaming about his new job.
|"Wow maybe all this fresh air is doing me some good, I can't sleep another minute!"|
Emma washes her face, braids her hair to keep it out of the way, and even ties on a cute little bandana to keep the bugs out of her hair while she digs and plants. She hardly recognizes the face of the woman in the bathroom mirror ...
|"My friends back in St. Claire would definitely not believe this city girl's looks now!"|
Outside (in the dark), Emma finds a nice spot on the side of the house that should get plenty of mid-day sun. There are trees shading just about every other corner, so she sets about clearing away a small corner of weeds and grass, using the tools Jazlyn said she could borrow since no one in their house had one scrap of gardening interest.
|Rake, Shovel, Wheelbarrow, buckets, seed packets, check!|
Gardening in the actual ground (instead of fancy flower pots), turns out to be really hard work! After an hour of digging and raking, Emma's got enough space to plant the few precious starter seeds she got from that coupon in the gardening book.
|"Well here's to future delicious tomatoes!"|
|"Grow baby, grow!"|
Simon's shuffling out of bed in his cowboy boxer shorts as the movers deliver their few boxes of meager belongings they didn't sell off before leaving St. Claire.
Once again, he's worried about their current lack of money. A frugal, neurotic Sim is a very worried Sim!
He goes outside to see what Emma's been doing up this early in the morning, hours before he has to go to work ...
|"Emma did all of this just this morning?!"|
... and is totally shocked by the progress she's made on their little garden. This really tickles Simon's sense of eco-friendliness as well as his frugal sensibilities. He's super excited about the money they'll save!
|"Now this is the start of something great - putting down roots - growing a future!" (Sappy cliche' I know!)|
Simon pulls out his own packet of seeds he got from reading the gardening manuals yesterday from his jacket pocket and plants his alongside Emma's - now they have twice the number of great veggies started.
|Gardening 101 - place seed in hole, make an ant hill of dirt around it, pat down gently...|
Back inside, Emma's working on yet another skill, learning to cook. The stove they have is really crappy, but she's determined to work at this too. They brought a good sized supply of organic pancake mix and dried pasta ... so they'll be eating a lot of that until their veggies are ready. It's not easy being vegetarian on a strict budget.
Mix until all the lumps are gone ...
Simon comes in and Emma cheerfully greets him, asking if he slept well last night on that squeaky old bed.
He pulls Emma into his arms and tells her how happy is with her efforts to start a garden, and how beautiful she looks to him even in a bandana with dirt smudges and pancake batter on her shirt.
|Simon flirts with Emma, asking her if she wanted to go make the bed squeak some more...|
But Emma remembers her pancakes belatedly, just in the nick of time before they burnt...
|Domestic bliss - cooking and cleaning. Simon's daydreaming about catching a bird, maybe.|
After breakfast, the sun is just now coming up, and both of them are trying to start unpacking their belongings. Simon's only got a couple of hours until his first day of work starts.
|"Lets go outside and explore instead ... "|
So they head outside to enjoy the sun coming up. Riding their bikes along the picturesque country roads is a great way to start the day with exercise and being outdoors.
Outside town, they find a curious monument park called "Hangman's Tree" with more colorful frontier settler history.
|Hangman's Tree National Historic Landmark|
They decide to stop and take a look ...
|"It says here, many convicted criminals were sentenced to death and hung from this tree!"|
They talk about how different this part of the Sim Nation was from St. Claire, and how much history revolved around such a small quiet town.
|"We should take pictures and send back to our family and friends in St. Claire." (Emma doesn't think its that exciting)|
Then they wander down the hill to a small fenced in graveyard. Turns out its a pet cemetery ...
|Simon thinks its cute and a little sad, but Emma thinks its just weird|
It's time for Simon to go to work, he's really excited about it so he rushes off after making sure Emma's fine and can find her way back to town. She assures him she's ok and wants to do a bit more exploring.
|Is that really the uniform they want you to wear for your first day as an intern??|
Simon rides his bike all the way back down into town to the Wolfson's Hospital and Research Facility where he'll be working as a zoologist in the science lab.
|Is it true the doctors and veterinarians are considered the same thing here, both equally qualified to deliver babies!?|
Emma heads down the hillside a bit further and comes to a plateau overlooking the pretty river valley below. She can see a lot of farms and horse ranches. Appaloosa Plains is very pretty even though she's missing her city home back in St. Claire.
|"I think I'll go down there and explore a bit more... "|
She finds an old abandoned mill by the river, and tries her hand at fishing for the first time, but catches nothing.
|"Might help if I had something on the hook..."|
Out behind old Hetty's run down house full of cats, Emma finds a curious old truck sunk in the mud by the river and wonders what story is behind this odd scene ...
|"Perhaps she drove her husband mad ... and right into the river ... or maybe the cats did ... "|
The day is heading towards afternoon by the time Emma pedals back to town. She's hardly noticed the time passing. Maybe she'll get used to this country life after all!
|"But if Simon makes me ride this goofy bicycle everywhere much longer, I'm going to protest!|
On the way back to town, she sees some of the 'local wildlife' belonging to the Fox household.
|Bramble and Willow Fox|
And she stops at the dog park to rest, where she finds her very first unknown seed!
|"Ok, this is one WHOPPER seed. Wonder what it will grow, maybe a GIANT money tree!" (nah probably not)|
While at the park, Emma decides to get her daily socializing needs in and meets two very handsome gentlemen who introduce themselves as "The Reid Brothers" who are also new to town a few months ago.
|Emma's a social butterfly and loves to meet new people.|
While talking about gardening, Damon manages to bore Emma more than she thought possible, even on a topic she loves ... she can't figure out why she feels so sleepy all of a sudden!
|Even his brother Ruben thinks he's a total bore ...|
And then, all of a sudden, everything starts to spin around like she just got off an amusement park ride ...
|"Oh my gawd, Damon - - you bored her to death!!"|
Go HERE to read the next chapter - 1.4 "Pink and Black and Blue for You"
Sidenotes: This chapter was a little bland, sorry about that. I had some leftover screenshots I needed to use as filler for the next day because things start to get interesting but I didn't really want to split things up too much since I haven't played this story for a couple of weeks since my move.
I should have a more amusing couple of chapters coming up. I believe zokugai called it right on the nose about that rascal Kanoa Parrott!