Harvest Moon Anton’s Diary: Year 2 Summer Part I

Day 1
The hot summer days are finally here, and with them, my enthusiasm for working in the fields has returned. Whilst everyone else attended the Opening Day festival, I once again chose to skip it in favour of getting started in the fields. Planting my Pineapple and Pink Cat seeds took most of the day, but in the evening I made sure to head up Mother’s Hill and pick up some of Popuri’s beloved Pink Cat flowers. Unfortunately, by the time I got home, she was already in bed, but I will give them to her in the morning.

Day 2
What a hellish day! I was all set to proceed about my tasks at the usual pace, but as soon as I stepped out of the house, Barley accosted me. Having informed me that May had gone missing, he insisted that I- busiest of all people in this village- looked for her whilst he waited at the ranch. With such responsibility foisted on me, I thought I should do my best to look, but after spending the majority of the day running around in search of her, I was forced to give up (once again, the accursed villagers refused to help or even discuss the topic with me). With time no longer on my side, I put my all into planting the tomato, corn and onion seeds I had bought during the search, before quickly watering everything and tending to my poor neglected animals. Once everything was finally taken care of, my aching muscles demanded a late night soak in the hot springs, and so I was unable to get home and go to bed until 1:40am. Now that I am a father-to-be, I really shouldn’t stay out so late, but neither can I afford to let my farm go to ruin just because of one missing girl.

I must also admit that when I stopped into the clinic during the search, I saw Elli chatting with the doctor- I fear a romantic relationship may be growing between them.

Day 3
After all the wasted time yesterday, I decided to throw myself into my tasks as soon as I got up, only to once again be interrupted by Barley. Fortunately, this time he was there to inform me that May had taken a long walk before ending up at the beach- the one place I hadn’t thought to check. Oh well, at least that little problem worked itself out.

The rest of the morning was spent working on the usual tasks, and whilst I am pleased to report that it now seems easier to move around in the barn (perhaps all the time I have spent with the animals has helped to impart some good behaviour to them), in turn, the watering has become a long and tedious task, for I have all my crops and 12 3×3 patches of Pink Cat flowers to attend to.

Anyway, once I had completed everything on the farm (and noted that the fish in the pond must have started breeding as their numbers are up to 22), I nipped down to the supermarket to pick up some cooking ingredients and replenish my stock of fish food. It was only when I got home and Popuri started hinting at what day it was that I suddenly realised I had completely forgotten it was her birthday! Fortunately, I was able to convince her that I had indeed remembered before swiftly leaving the house to wrap her present (a bunch of Pink Cat flowers, of course) and pick up some more cooking ingredients at the supermarket. Once home, I cooked her an omelette and handed over the wrapped flowers, both of which were gratefully received. It was my first time making an omelette, so I was a bit apprehensive about how it would turn out, but luckily it was a success.

After the birthday celebrations were complete, I nipped out for a while to do a spot of fishing- I only caught one medium fish, but every fish counts in the continuing campaign to fill my pond.

I also managed to finally hand the food fiascos over to Karen during my second trip to the supermarket- that gets them out of the house and increases my standing with her.

Day 4
Watering is becoming a full-time occupation itself these days- perhaps I should be glad that the many months on the farm have given my bronzed and muscular arms the stamina for it, for the pasty man I was when I first came here would have collapsed from the strain of this work. Unlike him, however, I have many tasks to complete, each of them more repetitive and tedious than the last.

Since I have been neglecting my flower gathering duties of late, this afternoon I made sure to go up Mother’s Hill twice and pick as many Pink Cat flowers as I could find- half for Popuri, and half to be stored in the cabinet and given to her later (for some reason she never looks in the fridge, toolbox or cabinet, although she does magically prepare me a meal every morning). I also chopped my first lumber in a while- provided the gods that control my life ensure that no blizzards or hurricanes occur, I feel I may be able to invest in a hothouse. I also put aside some eggs for cooking- over the next few days I will also gather cheese, milk and mayonnaise so that I can get back to experimenting in the kitchen.

Day 5
Summer has settled into its own unique routine; as soon as I get up, I am forced to spend the entire morning concentrating on the watering (at least I have finally realised that I can whistle to my horse when outside to get it to come to me), and only after it is done can I concentrate on the animals. By the time mid-afternoon rolls around, I don’t really feel like engaging in anything strenuous like mining, and so I head up Mother’s Hill to gather Pink Cat Flowers for Popuri before whiling away the evening with a spot of fishing. Unfortunately, today’s fishing was rather unsuccessful, with my one catch of the evening being a useless fish skeleton. I miss the days when I was able to catch large fish from the ocean with ease.

Day 6
This morning I had just got up when Rick came over to tell me that it would be the Sumo Chicken Festival tomorrow- I only hope my chickens can do a better job than they did last year, when we crashed out in the very first round. Once had left, I could get on with the usual tasks, and I am pleased to note that all my cows are now producing large amounts of milk, even the oft-recalcitrant Teacup. Unfortunately, in return my horse is becoming more troublesome, becoming so lost that even the whistle cannot bring him back to me.

This evening, I did not feel like even leaving the farm to fish, and so I just pottered around cutting down the numerous weeds that continually infest the place. I hate weeds so much that I may just have to plant grass everywhere.

Day 7
This morning, I actually remembered to watch The Delicious Hour before going out, and unlike the last few programs which taught me basic recipes that I already knew, this one actually had some useful tips on making a rice omelette- I may try to prepare one for Popuri soon.

Once I got outside, I made sure to do as much watering as possible before checking on the chickens and picking one to take to the festival. Since Ruby showed so little spirit last year, I ended up taking Jade instead, and to my amazement, not only was she far more responsive to my commands than Ruby ever was, but we even won the tournament! I am not quite sure how it works, but apparently this means Jade will lay golden eggs from now on. Speaking of the festival, the owners of the opposing hens were not only unfamiliar to me (where did they come from?), but their hens were brown, silver and black. Why do I only have white hens?

Afterwards, all the villagers congratulated me on my win, but I still have my doubts about them; for example, I arrived at the festival holding a chicken in my hands, but Doug still felt compelled to ask me if I was entering a hen. Surely that much was obvious to even the most unobservant of men.

Anyway, upon returning home I finished up the watering and went to tend to the animals, by which time they were all asleep. At least it is easier to work when they aren’t all milling around, but under such conditions, some animals become inaccessible- at one point I became totally unable to milk my last cow because I had somehow pushed two cows and two sheep all onto the same space. Nothing is ever easy.

Day 8
Now that the Pink Cat flowers have bloomed, my watering tasks have decreased considerably, which left me somewhat at a loss to decide what to do with myself once the farming tasks were completed this morning. Fortunately, I was at least able to see my very first Golden Egg, and unlike the yellowish item I had imagined it to be, the shell does actually look like metallic gold- it even has the same cool smoothness. I used the Golden Egg to create mayonnaise, and to my delight, it made a record amount- far more than any other egg has done before.

After going home at lunchtime to give Popuri her usual bouquet of freshly-picked flowers, I decided to take some Orichalcum over to Saibara so that he can make some jewellery, but just as I was about to set off, Anna arrived. For some reason, she wanted to pick my Pink Cat flowers- doesn’t she know you can get them anywhere? Nonetheless, I allowed her to in exchange for a Power Berry, but now over a third of my flowers are gone. I hope Popuri will not be angry that I gave her favourite flowers to another woman, but then again, she rarely goes outside, so there is a chance she won’t even notice.

With all the commotion over, I popped into Saibara’s to drop off the Orichalcum before heading back to Mother’s Hill to pick up some flowers to store in the cabinet, and later to do a spot of fishing. Fortunately, I was able to catch one small fish, which, when combined with the fact that the fish have been breeding again, brings their numbers up to 26.

Day 9
After I completed the usual tasks today, I decided to head into town in order to pick up a few more ingredients and once again try my luck at the confessional; unfortunately, whilst I was able to chat to Karen and pick up a couple of bottles of cooking oil, Carter seems to be keeping his confession both steadfastly locked. Since I was determined not to make the trip to the church a complete waste, however, I decided to return to the Harvest Sprites’ home and chat to them, and to my surprise, they offered to do some work for me. Although I don’t really need it, I engaged them to water the crops for three days; after all, it will be interesting to see how they work. In return for agreeing to help out, I went back to the supermarket to buy them each a packet of flour, as they all seem to have a voracious appetite for it.

On the way home, I decided to stop off at the beach, where I ran into Kai. Since he mentioned the other day that his business hasn’t been doing so well, I spent a little of my vast wealth on a pizza, a dish which I hope to one day cook myself. Afterwards, I let the sea breeze re-energise me as I did a spot of ocean fishing, although unfortunately old cans were my only catch.

Day 10
This morning the Harvest Sprites showed up for work, and so I left them to get on with the watering whilst I concentrated on harvesting the season’s first crop of onions and then replanting the onion patch. I decided to keep some of the onions in the fridge for my cooking experiments, and even whipped up a bowl of Miso Soup using one of them.

Afterwards, I went outside to see to the animals, but upon opening the barn to leave, four of the sheep decided to head outside, forcing me to spend two hours rounding them up and putting them back indoors again. By this time, I had little will left to carry out any major projects, and so after I had picked the usual flowers for Popuri, I decided to check up on the Harvest Sprites. Despite working for fourteen hours, their efforts at watering were woefully inefficient, and so I decided to just complete the watering myself for fear that they wouldn’t get it done by the end of the day.

Day 11
Even though Popuri always makes me breakfast, this morning I decided to also prepare myself a snack of pickles- after all, working on the farm can be hard work, and it doesn’t hurt to replenish one’s energy with some home cooking. Afterwards, I went outside to pick and store the first harvest of tomatoes- now I will be able to see if Tomato Juice is really as healthy as everyone claims.

Whilst the Harvest Sprites got on with the watering, I decided to clean up the farm a bit by clearing some weeds and flattened unused ploughed earth. I also experimented with killing the seemingly immortal grass, and have discovered that while it is immune to being hammered, a hoe easily removes it. Now I can happily cover my fields in grass, secure in the knowledge that I can always reverse my actions should I decide to increase the crop growing area.

Although it may seem like mild work to some, by the time I had done a good amount of work on the farm, I was tired enough to need a hot spring bath, but to my annoyance, by the time I arrived home at 10:40pm, the Harvest Sprites had packed up and left without even finishing the watering! Thanks to their inefficiency, I was forced to stay up until 1:00am just completing the very task I had engaged them to do. Worse yet, Chef (the red sprite) seems to like me less after he accidentally assumed a weed I was throwing away was a gift for him. Damn them all, I say.

Day 12
This should be the last day the Harvest Sprites come to work for me, and whilst they have at least become slightly more efficient with practice, I have come to the conclusion that if you want something done, you may as well do it yourself.

Anyway, after completing the usual tasks, I went down to Saibara’s to pick up the jewellery, only to discover that he was closed. Realising that it must be due to a festival, I wandered over to Rose Square to find out what was going on, only to be caught up in what must be the most pointless celebration ever- the Tomato Festival. This celebration consists of teams throwing tomatoes at each other until a winner is decided, and thanks to a misunderstanding, I ended up on Elli and Stu’s team- playing against my own wife! Not that it matters much, for we swiftly lost, leaving Ann and Doug to become the eventual winners. I can’t believe that the villagers can have come up with such a childish event, but there you go.

Speaking of tomatoes, this morning I whipped up some Tomato Juice in the kitchen, although I have not yet been brave enough to drink it.

Day 13
Today marked the first rainy day of summer, but these days the rain matters little to me- it is only hurricanes and blizzards that I must continue to fear. The animals are doing well, and despite my lack of love for their less profitable ways, several of the sheep have come to like me enough to start producing large amounts of wool. Even the fish have continued to breed, pushing their numbers up to 33.

After I had finished the basic tasks today, I nipped down to collect the jewellery from Saibara before heading on to the supermarket to buy some bread for my latest culinary experiment. Upon realising that Saibara had made me a second bangle, I couldn’t help wondering if Popuri would like getting something she already had, but as I couldn’t find any other girl to give it to, I handed it over anyway, and she seemed happy enough. Meanwhile, I used my kitchen time to attempt some sandwiches, and happily they turned out successfully despite the lack of butter.

In the afternoon, I decided to go on my first mining trip for a while, for whilst the profits made can only be pocket change compared to my current earnings from the farm, I feel that a man of my wealth and status should have a complete set of Mystrile tools. I was able to pick up two of three pieces of Mystrile I need before both Baskey and my rucksack filled up, at which point I decided to call it a day and go home. Whilst down there, I remembered my resolution to grass over much of the pasture, and so I returned to the supermarket to buy ten more bags of grass seeds. Many of the women also seemed to be out shopping, and to my surprise, Karen has moved up to a purple heart relationship with me! Could this be an indication that she desires a clandestine affair?

Whatever the case, I decided to head home and spend the evening planting grass, although I only got up to four bags before deciding that I was too tired to continue. I will continue the grass project in my spare time.

Day 14
Today Won came around for a third time to try to sell me the accursed vase, and since I now wish to show off my newfound affluence, I agreed to buy it. I have to say that it is rather unimpressive and certainly not worth 5000G, but I put a Pink Cat flower in there anyway, so hopefully Popuri at least will like it.

After the normal tasks were completed, I went indoors to cook up some potato stew- despite my trepidation at attempting such a complex dish, it turned out rather well. Afterwards, I went outside to continue the grass project- the ten bags I bought yesterday have now all been sown, so I will have to buy more. I wonder if I should let my animals outside, but the thought of rounding them all up on rainy or winter day seems like too much effort.

Day 15
A terrible thing happened this morning- my good friend Kai came over to ask for some corn, but for some reason, mine isn’t ready yet! I tried to apologise, but he merely left after a while, so as soon as the corn is ready I must take some down to him in apology.

Once the basic tasks were over, I went down to the supermarket to buy ten more packets of grass seeds- the grass project must not let up. With this now taking up all my spare time, I have not had time to do much else. Even fishing has been put aside, although fortunately the ones in the pond continue to breed- they are now up to 34.

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