Friday, January 9, 2009

Sergio Spencer - Simday 25

51 simyears old, Fall 2007

Please let this be the last time I have to move. I'm getting too old for this. *smiles* And I'm happy now.

I thought my last farm was my dream farm. It was absolutely gorgeous on the outside...however me and my family quickly learned how looks can be deceiving, when the rains started falling inside the house and barns, soaking and flooding everything we owned. No matter how much my wife cleaned, the house constantly smelled like mildew and dankness, because of so much rainfall.

As much work as Kim put into decorating it, she blames the mold and mildew for losing our baby, Shauna. Shaun's twin sister. If I knew then what I know now, I would've moved us outta there with a quickness.

After fixing the roof, we got hit with the hurricane and lost everything anyway...I admit I was a little relieved for the new start. Things were looking a little dismal for your boy, Serg, on the farm front. We lost our store, Aldi's, too.

It felt like a terrible weight was lifted off my shoulders. At the time, I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to take Aldi's in. Even though it was making a little money, we didn't have customers bustling in like I wanted. And to top it off, in all the seasons I've been around the Hills claiming that I was the Agriculture Guy, can you imagine how it felt to have never gotten a decent sized crop to harvest? There was never any produce to put inside my store to sell, we only ever had regular groceries manufactured by SimCity, and the occasional tomato. *sighs*

Ohhh...the looks and stares I got from Sims, like I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I didn't! But it wasn't just me. It was in the air. Something wasn't right with the world. Now we know I was right. We all had to start over.


This new farmhouse is more than I could've ever dreamed of. It is truly my dream come true farm! Thanks Green Construction! You know how you never knew you needed something until you actually got it? Here, we have the acreage to have two large greenhouses and masses of fruit trees. We're not saddled down with a bunch of farm animals that we basically have no use for. Our sitizens want fresh produce and fish. Simple as that.

Be careful what you ask for, that's all I got to say. We moved in here on the last day of summer. And I wasn't prepared for all the hard work it was going to take to get this farm up and running. I was nervous as hell! What if I plant and never get a harvest, like before?! All I knew was that I had only one night - one night. Forget unpacking boxes, forget eating, let the kids do that! We needs to get to plantin'! hahaha! I had to get something in the ground before fall officially started at 4 a.m., and my hands were itchin to get into that dirt.

I'm an old school farmer and I do things by the Farmer's Almanac. In fact, I use my Grandaddy's old almanac. It's got all his notes in it and it's falling apart, rest his soul.

Like him, I only plant what's in season. Unfortunately, all I had in big supply were tomato seeds. I had totally forgot to buy the cucumbers and pole beans I needed to have a full summer crop. Shoot, I've been carrying around these tomato seeds for 3 seasons! LOL! They had to be planted no later than the last day of summer by 5 p.m. and I had so much stuff left to do. I checked the clock. 6:30 p.m. It bugged me a little bit, 'cause I'm usually a stickler for doing things by the book. We got to work as quickly as possible.

The we I'm talking about, is me and the 3 lady farmhands I hired. They came to me saying I needed a woman's touch in the gardens, maybe that's why I never got a harvest. Heyyy...I'm not one to dismiss any superstitions. I got Kim out there with us too, and we worked all night long, 'til the break of dawn. Planting tomatoes. The upside is that winter is coming. Folks'll be needing lots of tomato juice to keep 'em warm.

If you want to see the new garden layouts for my crops and hear more details about my farm planning, check out my NOTES section.

We have never worked as hard as we did that night. I could see how green and supple my garden plants were, I could see and smell the little flowerings on my fruit trees. I felt confident I could invite the Garden Club over to see the farm. Kim decorated the front of the house as cute as she could. Put in a walkway, some bushes and lawn decorations to make it pretty.

Then Bandit goes and pisses Shasta off while the lady is there. I'm thinking to myself, dang we need these discounts for our gardening supplies! Would y'all puhleeeze hold it down! Through clenched teeth, I growled, "Bandit, Shasta!!" Dang on stray dogs! Who's dog is that?! I've got my hands full with the two I have, and it soon will be more! Now I'm feeding the entire neighborhood's animals! I didn't move from my seat although I wanted to, but I didn't want to bring any more attention to the situation. The dogs might get startled and all hell would've broke loose. They quieted down on their own, so it was all good.

I was keeping an eye on the evil Shasta, though. I attributed her bad attitude to her pregnancy, but Kim says dogs fight and pee all the time, regardless. I just didn't want that Garden Lady stepping in pee or being influenced one way or another because we have unruly dogs. I had Kim on standby with a mop, just in case.

I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my face when my fruit trees harvested right as the Garden Lady was walking towards the orchard. I have lived for this simday. I think back to my first few simdays out of college, not sure if this was the life for me. Seems so long ago. And now, I'm officially a true farmer! The Garden Club lady must have empathized with me. It was a beautiful moment. She gifted me with a beautiful Wishing Well and some simoleans, because every inch of my farm was thriving!

Kim and I crated up as much produce as we could. There was a method to our madness. All the summer crops, well all the tomatoes and any future fruit...will be harvested and crated and inventoried for the store. We're using the screened in porch as a storage shed and doggie bath area. It doesn't look it, but it holds in heat. It'll keep everything dry and safe from the cold. This storage space will only be used as-needed. I'm hoping to keep an eye on how much I'll owe in Produce Tax each season.

We were crating at a feverish pace. I told Kim she needed to move her crate packing station back from that window. It kept sliding in, and she kept bumping her head. But she looked at me and said, "Keep it moving." She didn't care. We had a madness about us that night. A passion. I will never forget it.

Once we were armed with a little fruit tree inventory, we knew we needed more. We talked about using the Fresh Market's greenhouse to supply us with the summer crops we didn't plant. The crops were already planted there. Everything from apples to peppers to tomatoes, was just waiting to be tended up to harvest. Sims can go there and buy anything they need.

Kimberly called up Nick and got the Business Certificate to open Spencer Farm Fresh Market. It's a PYO (pick your own) style market. Not only does it have a greenhouse, but it has a pond for fishing. Kim bought the place with a loan, and quickly paid it all off, thanks to my recent endorsement of a revolutionary combination food processor and fax machine, called the Blend 'n' Send. Have you heard of it?! It netted me $50,000!

So in all our decision-making, we thought it would be best for Kim to run the store this time around. She's way more qualified, she's a Nature enthusiast and has a college degree. I'm way too busy with the farmhouse crops, and getting to the top of my Culinary career. It works out this way.

Kim said goodbye to us a few simdays later, and left for about a simweek to go tend the crops at the store, like we planned. Listen, it was a tremendous sacrifice for Kim to be away from her family like that. I commend her. Her dedication to me and our family literally blows my mind. Sometimes I'd talk to her on the phone and I could hear her voice trembling, like she was at her breaking point, trying not to cry. But she stayed there and got 'er done. Once it was over, she came home and I grabbed her and couldn't let her go. By the look on her face and the smell of her clothes, I knew that everything was going to turn out perfectly. Boy, did she reek!

There was a time in the past, when I asked her what she thought I needed. And she played doctor with me. heh-heh. I asked her this time, what she needed from me, and she told me there was something she was wishing for but wasn't sure if the timing was right...she said she got her wish.

She was pregnant and she needed my patience...say whaaat?!

Immediately my mind started racing back. When the heck did that happen?!...ahhh, I remembered. How could I forget? It was the day Sierra came home from school early, thinking me and her Mom weren't home.


Yes, patience is definitely a virtue. Surprises like that one are a prime example. Me and Kim never heard the end of it. You know that, right? And let's not talk about the infamous 'cootie couch' that no one wants to sit on. LOL!

Ever since Sierra became a teen, I've had to demonstrate quite a bit of patience with her. As a kid, she couldn't get enough of the country. I could never get her to come inside away from the farm animals, but at least she'd be at home where I could keep an eye on her...Now, it's all I can do to keep an eye on my truck! I'll just happen to look outside and my truck'll be gone.

I've put an alarm on it, I've hidden my keys...she's a car thief, that one. She's determined to do what she wants to do. Just like her damn Momma, rest her soul. I was wondering when Asya's genetic stamp would pop up. hahaha! Here it is!

Sierra is all about the two B's. Boys and Books. I'm grateful for the books part. She loves to study. And me and Kim can't emphasize college enough. But, the 'boys' part is becoming an adjustment. I just can't believe I've got this gorgeous looking young woman, that I'm responsible for. And all the boys are coming around sniffing. You should see them!

Sometimes I wish I could keep a better eye on her. But I'm only one sim. And I just don't know if I even have the energy to keep up with her. Now we're having another one?!

Kimberly Spencer - Simday 25

38 simyears old, Fall 2007

Word got around that we were getting the farm back up and running. Nick dropped by to put in a good word and let us know that he'd be at the bank when we needed to get our new BC application filled out. Unfortunately, Serg wasn't home. He would've loved to see him. What a turnaround for these two. I'm so pleased to see them as friends again.

He wasn't the only company to drop by. Sen. Cunningham walked by and said hello. He told me how successful the Silent Art Auction was. He's all smiles, too. I can't blame him, it was more than any of us could've hoped for. 3 million simoleans?! That's a miracle!

I wish some of that was donated to us, to help us get this farm and market going. LOL! It's been an awful lot of work, but I can't complain...I've enjoyed every bit of it.

I left the farmhouse and my family for about 7 simdays. It was HARD. Not because I didn't want to do it, but because I was doing it alone. I was very excited to be starting a new chapter in my life. I was actually getting my own business ready for its Grand Opening! I opened the doors for just a few simdays before we had any harvest. I needed a few quick simoleans to purchase some garden supplies.

A lot of customers told me that they look forward to getting fresh produce and fish, and the hood's been sorely in need of it. Tell me about it.

There were some simdays when I wanted to seriously go home and soak in my whirpool tub and forget about the whole thing. I was missing my husband and kids, I was lonely, I was tired, and I felt hopeless sometimes. There were a couple thunderstorms that passed through, where I would have to sit inside the store and wait. I put a cot in there so I could sleep. I sure hoped Sergio was doing the laundry.

Other simdays were a triumph. They balanced out the whole experience. It was a wonderful ride!

I would have to get into a 'zone' when I worked, though...blocking everything and everyone else out. It paid off in mouthwatering fruits and veggies. I can really relax knowing that Sims will be filling their fridges and their bellies with my produce.

Once back home, I was still filled with so much mental energy. I'm like..what's next?! After I cleaned up...and when I say cleaned up, I mean I took an hour-long soak in my favorite tub. My skin was literally cracking from being so dry. I finally calmed my thoughts down long enough to get some much needed physical rest.

I started feeling like I needed to catch up with my husband in the kitchen. He laughs everytime I call the family to dinner...wondering what's on the menu for that night. I don't take this kindly. It's a slap in my face. Back home, where I'm originally from, I'm a good cook. Not the greatest, but I'm good. And, my kids don't complain, it's just Sergio.

Living under his Executive Chef's shadow, I hate my own cooking. And it makes me feel incomplete as a woman. I went out and bought this huge cookbook. I've been studying it and making out my grocery lists for weekly menus. He found a way to make me feel embarassed by that. Telling me that, "real cooks don't use a cookbook." So why did he write one? And why is he planning on writing another? *smiles* (I just 'owned' the kids say.)

I don't really know how to cook many dishes, aside from the basics. Cereal, oatmeal and jelly toast. Oh, I learned how to make a cake! I also make this hotdog and potato salad combo with ketchup on the side. The kids really love this one, so I make it all the time.

When Serg sees it on the table, he takes FOREVER to sit down and join us. Oh it is sooo nerve racking! LOL! He drags his chair along the floor making this dull scratching noise as if he dreads sitting down to the table. Sometimes I wanna tell him, "You do it! Why don't you ever cook for us, Mr. Executive Chef?! You do it then, if this is not good enough for you!" LOL! Yeah, I can laugh about it because it's just my competitive nature. I was a cheerleader once, remember? Aside from this, I assure you that we are very much in love.

So in love that I found out we're expecting another baby. This news came around the time I was getting ready to enter a cooking contest uptown at one of the Cedar Street Shoppes. It wasn't just nerves I was feeling. My stomach was attacking me. All those smells...*changes the subject*

Well, it's exactly what I wanted before the hurricane, and still do. I'm just a little apprehensive about it now. Although me and Serg both want a baby...we're just scared about it, that make sense? I think back then, too, I was unknowingly feeling hurt that I lost Shauna. I needed a replacement to fill that emptiness I was feeling. To look at Shaun was a constant reminder that a little girl was supposed to be there, the same age as him. I hadn't truly moved beyond it. To this simday, I've not been able to move past it. Yet, I've got something else to fill the space. The timing for a new baby feels kinda out of place right now. I'm on the brink of new personal success. I'm finally out of the house and doing something that benefits me...and in a short amount of time, I was able to get the store up to a Level 4 business. I just don't know how a new baby is gonna fit into my plans. It's stressing me out, really.

But I can't deny that it's a true blessing. I'm not getting any younger and we've got a great place to live. I take stock in that everyday, walking around the farm and counting my blessings. We've got plenty of room, and this baby is going to have the pleasure of growing up here. I find a lot of joy in that.

And Shaun is growing so fast. It would benefit him to have a little brother or sister to play with and teach stuff to. Sierra hardly has time for him anymore.

The kids were downstairs waiting for the schoolbus to come this morning. I think Shaun was outside trying to complete his School Project, hunting for 5 bugs. Sierra was primping in the mirror of course, *rolls eyes* that's all she does...she's an authentic teenager now. When all of a sudden I hear screaming. I ran downstairs to find Shaun running away, hands flailing in the air, from a swarm of killer bees! (Well, they looked like killer bees.)

Do you know Sierra didn't even come out the bathroom to see about him? She calmly walked to the bus and got on it, not saying a word! I was surprised by this, because she's changing everyday into someone I don't really know. I mean we used to talk about anything, and now I hardly ever see her. I'm so proud that she's got two scholarships for college already, and working on applying for more. And, I know she's liking that Valdes boy now, but I don't know how serious it is. Well, all I can do is pray for patience. Serg is not the only one who needs it. That's for sure.

I grabbed my baby up and took him right over to the hospital. Dr. Dalton applied some medicine to Shaun's stings and told me to keep him out of school today. She'll be over later to make sure he's not having an allergic reaction. "Just let him rest." she said.

She came by later, just as she promised. Thankfully, he's alright. But, he'll have to do some hard work to get his grade back up. He's got a D+ right now! That's serious in this house. We don't tolerate bad grades and poor study habits. Too bad she couldn't fix that part. *smiles*

You know I had to call Mrs. Wise about it. She told me it would be ok, all he has to do is be present for the Fall 2007 Semester of classes coming up, and that should help him get his grade up. ( the Hills, the kids who've enrolled, go to SH CPS all year round, except summertime - unless it's really needed...but then there is a special round of classes that the kids take during each season that gives them an extra opportunity to study and learn skills. This is the session that Maxine Wise reports about in her Education Reports.) Me and Sergio are so into our kids' educations, I thought I'd explain how it works, for those that don't understand it. It just takes a little bit of imagination, that's all. *smiles*

Sierra Spencer - Simday 25

14 simyears old, Fall 2007

Yayyy! I've got two new puppies to play with! Shasta had two puppies recently. I named them Pickle and Peanut. I actually watched the birth, too. Pickle is a boy and Peanut is a girl. Aren't they so cute?!

When I was just a kid, all I did was play with my dogs. I didn't worry about how I looked, or why my Momma killed herself. I just wanted to play with my dogs outside. We used to have cows and chickens and stuff, and I'd play with them too, but now it's just my dogs.

And even now, gimme Shasta and Bandit anytime of the day, and I'm happy. I don't know why, but I seem to have more feelings for them than I have for Sims.

I had to choose what I wanted to do as my school project, and I chose to write the one-paged paper on the hurricane and how it made me feel. I couldn't wait to write what I was feeling. And I remember putting that I was scared the most to lose my dogs, Bandit and Shasta. I ran out into the heavy winds and rains, back into our old farm looking for them, and my Daddy couldn't find me. I have never seen him that upset, he was crying and screaming my name! Sims were trying to hold him back. He thought he had lost me. And I thought about my Momma and how we lost her, and maybe that had something to do with why he acted like he did. Maybe that is why I feel so lost sometimes. And I poured all that out into my paper.

When I called Miss Wise to get my grade and see if I passed to Secondary or not...she told me that I was the first student to choose to write the paper, and that she had never read so much feelings in words. I passed with flying colors. She was extremely proud of me and wondered if I would consider taking journalism. I told her that kind of writing wasn't what I liked to do...I write poetry and rap songs.

I'm getting better at it, the older I get.

I practice in my room alot. My Daddy bought me the new Brutha CD and I rap over some of their songs.

I started feeling like I was ready to show my I needed to perform. So I just sneak out the house when nobody's looking. I don't tell my parents; I take the truck and I go to The Cage. They've got open mic there. I don't want them knowing I'm performing like this. Do you know my parents?! They would mess it all up for me! First of all me being out at a club, where there's drinking...then me driving at night by myself, and without asking. I'd be locked in my room for the rest of my life! And, I'm not trying to do this as a career, but they wouldn't understand that. They wouldn't understand that this is like therapy for me.

My career is another story. I've always had bigger plans for my career. The thing I want to do is be in the Military. Just like my Momma. I have a picture of Momma wearing her military uniform, and I've always wanted to rock that look.

I'll never forget how quiet Miss Wise got on the phone, when I told her what I really wanted to be, and why. It felt like she had heard all the bad things about my Momma, and wasn't sure if she should lecture me about it, or what.

I told Mom about it after I hung up. (Kimberly has always been a Mom to me, so I call her 'Mom'.) She told me not to think of it that way. "Some Sims don't know how to respond when they know that a Sim has lost someone they love. And your situation is unique. Your mother was a Founder. That in itself is an honor, and something you should be very proud of. So, I can understand why you would want to finish something your mother started."

Wow. I never thought of it like that. But from then on, it's become my fix what my Momma did wrong. I can't help but feel angry sometimes that she left me, without caring about what would happen to me. Sometimes I get angry that Kim is here and not her.

I just don't feel like being bothered with any of them, sometimes. I see how they expect so much from me, but at the same time...they baby my brother. Mom tries to say it's because I got my period that I'm so moody. Maybe it's because they don't ever leave me alone?!

When I was little, I remember they would wake me up before the sun came up to do chores. I always hated that because I love to sleep. I have the hardest time waking up in the morning. I would be so tired going to school.

Now, I wake up because I know it's my chore to bathe the dogs before school. And I want my dogs to be clean and smell good. Sometimes I get up before the sun comes up, and sometimes I don't. But I always look at my Momma's picture, 'cause I got it right there at my bedside. And it motivates me to do what I gotta do.

It takes me 2 hours to get ready for school after I've done my chores. I have to have time to do my hair and put my makeup on before the school bus comes. That takes like all morning! I need to look good, ok? What's so bad about that?!

I even try to have a quiet breakfast before everybody storms the kitchen. I just don't have much to say to them in the mornings. I'm focused on my day at school. I try to tell them, "I'll talk to you guys at dinner tonight...leave me alone."

And when I come home, we have dinner like a family. It's not like I'm trying to separate myself all the time. I just have my moments when I want to talk to my family and when I don't. I'd rather come home and talk to them about school, 'cause I'm good at studying and making good grades. That's what they like to hear.

I just try to find a place in the house I can go to where there's quiet, but there's no such thing here. I thought maybe hiding out in their room, they'd never know to look in there, but all they do is just scream my name, "Sieeerrraaa!!!" "Come do this...or I need you to do that..."

Calgon take me away...LOL! I went and got a job, that'll keep me out of the house, and I won't have to sneak.

I just feel so different now! There's no other way to put it. I admit that I've gotten weird, but I'm allowed to say that, not anybody else. My personality did seem to change overnight after my teen birthday.

Maybe this journal will help me put my life in perspective because I'm so scared of what I might do. I just want to feel close to feel some kind of emotion. I have these urges all the time to just go out and hang out with boys, and do whatever else they want to do.

It kinda started when I came home and saw my Mom and Dad gettin' busy on the cootie couch in the livingroom. EWWW much?!

They didn't even stop! And that got me to wondering how it feels...ewww. Mom was making all these noises I've never heard before. I'm gonna stop right there, 'cause that is just GROSS. I'm not ready to put all my thoughts on blast!

But I will tell you this...last night I dreamt that Elmer came over here and snuck up to my room and did all this nasty stuff to me. I couldn't go back to sleep. LOL! Gossssh, he is so cute to me.

Elmer came over here one simday 'cause I had to see him. He brought his buddy Rashid. *rolls eyes* I think Rashid thinks he's like the finest thing ever, 'cause he tries to act all cool. He needs to quit 'cause he goes with Elmer's sister! Plus, I don't like Rashid like that. I was liking how Elmer was looking. He's all Latino and everything..LOL! He's all cultural and everything. LOL! And I feel something when I'm with him. It's a feeling I've never had before.

We hang out all the time, me and Elmer. Maybe he'll ask me out one simday? I hope he doesn't wait 'til prom. Or I'll have to ask myself, if he's too slow.