Another winter has taken Mineral Town into its clutches, and as always, this means that snow has magically appeared everywhere. Without crops to trouble me (even the hothouse must be neglected until I get my watering can back), I spent a brief time mining in the Winter Mine for Mystrile, before chatting to Ann at the hot spring and then slipping into a secluded corner to practise with my hammer. It may look like senseless banging on the ground, and indeed it is, but this is the best way to get my hammer levelled up to a point where it can be upgraded to Mystrile.
After tending to the animals this morning, I banged my hammer on the ground for a while longer before heading into town to stock up on Chicken Feed (my store had become perilously low) and commence Operation Secret Affair. First I headed over to the clinic to give some flowers to Elli whilst the doctor wasn’t looking, and on my way home I ‘just happened’ to stop at the inn to chat to Ann. Thank goodness the villagers are so limited in their communications, or my activities would be the talk of the town. Never before have I praised their tendency to only say a handful of sentences no matter what they are asked.
After the by now normal routine of feeding the animals and then hammering the ground, I went down to Saibara’s place to pick up the upgraded watering can (oddly, Saibara now lets me into his place from 9am onwards to do business, rather than 10am- could he be appreciative of my hard work?). I am so proud of my set of Mystrile tools- only the hammer lets me down now. After I was done at the blacksmith, I went around town to chat to Mary, Karen, Elli and Ann, and of course to present Elli with more flowers.
During the afternoon, I decided to go mining in the Winter Mine for old time’s sake- I hardly need the money now, but it was with a distinct feeling of nostalgia that I dug around for Mystrile, Orichalcum and Adamantite. Upon reaching the bottom level, I filled up my watering can for good luck, before heading back to take a hot spring bath, chat to Karen again, and water my hot spring plants. I have heard that Orange Cup fruit does not even make enough profit to cover the initial cost of the seed bag, and so clearly they are only grown by wealthy farmers such as myself.
I have also begun cooking again- today I made some Apple Jam to satiate Popuri’s sweet tooth.
Most of the Orange Cup fruits were ready today, and so after shipping the accursed things, I planted pumpkin seedlings in their plots (once I have experimented with new crops, I will most likely turn the hothouse over to yea-long Pineapple growth). Afterwards, I attended to the usual tasks and worked on my hammer a bit more, but after realising that the clinic is closed on Wednesdays and it would be harder to find Elli, I decided to cancel all flirting for the day and just stay at home with Popuri before turning in early.
Operation Secret Affair has had its first success- these few days of giving Blue Magic Red Flowers to Elli have increased her affections to blue heart level! Of course, I am not totally neglecting the others; today I chatted to Ann and Mary, and of course every day I talk to my beloved wife and give her the Pink Cat flowers she adores so much.
My hammer is also progressing well- just one more day of banging on the ground should be all it takes to have it ready to send to Saibara. Of course, I have absolutely no need for a Mystrile Hammer, but I don’t see why a man of my wealth should have to make do with mere silver. Even my eggs sell for more than gold and silver in this town.
I had my final hammer session today, and so the tool has been taken down to Saibara’s to be transformed into glorious Mystrile. Naturally, whilst down in town I made sure to talk to my girls- I only hope the doctor is not becoming suspicious of my daily visits to the clinic.
Back at home, I cooked up some Grape Jam- I could see Popuri eyeing it hungrily but I have had to put it straight in the fridge as I intend to use it to make a Jam Bun tomorrow.
With the hammer gone, I have nothing to occupy between the time when I finish doing the animals and the time when the shops open and allow me to begin Operation Secret Affair, and so I have started riding my horse around the field- hopefully this intense training will enable him to win the race come springtime. As well as accomplishing the usual routine today, I also nipped over to the supermarket to buy some bread for my Jam Bun- the finished product was an odd shape, but I gave it to Popuri and she seemed to like the taste. Aside from when I give her gifts, she only ever talks about Tony these days, and quite frankly, it’s getting a little boring.
In other news, Zonetrae has not produced any wool for a while- is this a regrettable side effect of Gold Wool?
As if in answer to yesterday’s concerns, Zonetrae was ready for shearing this morning, and so I was able to see Gold Wool once again before spinning into Gold Yarn. Since it was snowing, however, I decided not to take my horse out, and instead wandered around town until Operation Secret Affair was good to go.
Once home, I decided to get back to my kitchen experimentation, and by following the advice Kai gave me a while back, I was able to pull off a passable dish of Popcorn.
In the hothouse, the Pumpkin plants have started to sprout, although I have to admit they look rather terrifying at the moment.
Zack came round this morning to remind me that it is the Dog Race tomorrow, and although Potato has absolutely no chance whatsoever of winning, I decided to enter him anyway- it will make for a change in the monotonous winter routine. Meanwhile, Operation Secret Affair continues to proceed at a healthy pace- just today Elli’s affections increased to green heart level, whilst Popuri and her family do not seem to suspect a thing.
I must also note that today’s attempt to cook a strange dish known only as Happy Eggplant ended in failure, although I was able to palm the resulting food fiasco off on Karen.
What an embarrassing day! After completing the usual tasks (including harvesting the cabbages and planting some spinach), I went down to Rose Square for the Dog Race, confident that even if I couldn’t win, I could put on a decent showing. Unfortunately, not only were dogs from unknown other farms entered into the race, but Potato was a complete disgrace! Without the training that the long-lost Dog Ball could have afforded, he barely made any effort to follow me, instead wandering around the field and lazing around as if it were home- by the time I got to the finish line, the other participants were tired of waiting for me! Thank god the villagers have short memories, or I would be too embarrassed to even go out for a few days.
Another normal day; after seeing to the animals I wandered around town for a while before picking up my upgraded hammer, dropping in some Orichalcum to be turned into jewellery and going to see the girls. I didn’t bring any gifts for Elli as I knew she wouldn’t be at the clinic on a Wednesday, but as it turned out, she was at home- what a wasted opportunity (then again, perhaps it is best not to give her gifts in front of her brother and grandmother).
At home, I had another go at cooking up a Happy Eggplant dish, and the addition of some miso and soy sauce to the recipe was just the ticket to avoid another food fiasco. Since it didn’t look very appetising, however, I just put it straight in the fridge.
Thanks to the recent snow, my fence has begun to rot, and so today I put the Mystrile hammer to use in order to remove the rotted piece and replace it with fresh lumber- after all, I cannot have my farm looking anything less than the best.
Operation Secret Affair continues apace, although I must clarify that it is not the only reason I spend so much time in town these days; today I went to the supermarket to pick up some long-awaited strawberry seeds and a jug of oil for cooking, although when I got home I realised that I already had plenty of oil in the fridge anyway. Today’s cooking experiment was a simple test to see if home made Mayonnaise tastes any different to that made in the Mayo Maker, but as it turns out, it is identical.
This morning I decided to get ambitious in the kitchen by cooking up some fries- a simple dish in the eyes of some, but most certainly complex if you want to bring out the best in the potatoes. Happily, all went well, and so I was able to give Karen one of her favourite meals as part of Operation Secret Affair. Despite my interaction with Karen, Rick still seems friendly with me, so he surely cannot suspect anything.
Winter Thanksgiving has come around again, although unfortunately now that I am married I can only receive gifts for my wife. Nonetheless, I was happy to see that Popuri went to the trouble of cooking me a chocolate cake this year, for even though it means I will never get plain chocolate for cooking, it erases the pain of last year’s complete lack of chocolate-related gifts.
Since I was unsure whether the villagers would use this celebration as an excuse for a day off, I didn’t bother taking any items into town, although as it turned out, it was business as usual anyway. After picking up the finished jewellery from Saibara, I hung around town until after lunch so that I could give it to Karen- as the toughest girl to win over, she merits such extreme measures. I also dropped in to chat with the other girls and buy some Pineapple seeds from Won before heading back home.
The spinach was ready today, and so after harvesting half and putting the other half in the fridge, I planted pineapple seeds in those plots as part of my latest long term profit strategy. Afterwards, I nipped into town as per usual for my chat with all the girls, although of course Mary’s place is closed on Sundays and Karen was nowhere to be found for some reason.
On my return home, I saw that Popuri had cooked a special dinner, and immediately realised that it was our wedding anniversary (for some reason I had thought it was tomorrow). I tried to give her a Trick Flower as a gift, but she refused to take it, merely apologising for acting selfishly. I cannot say I have noticed any selfishness on her part since we got married, but who can fathom the minds of women?