Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Generation 6 Intro: Meet Juniper!

Well, it wasn't much of a first case, but it was definitely something. I had just started my own Private Eye business, and I wasn't thrilled that I had to have help from my boyfriend getting my first job, but at least it would give me some experience investigating. Jazz had aspirations of getting on the Police force and me, well, I really just loved making friends and playing my guitar, but unfortunately those things don't pay the bills, or buy independence, so I decided to try my hand at something I was already gifted at, and use my perception as a Private Investigator.

Jazz had been watching his neighbor and suspected that she was involved in a crime ring somehow, but needed solid proof before going to the cops. I needed some experience investigating so others would give me a chance and trust me with their cases. Of course, having a good relationship with the police department wouldn't be so bad either. So, this is how I found myself sneaking up to the suspect's house to dig through trash for evidence. 

I was just about to give up when I found an old diary in the bottom of the trash. As I flipped through the pages, I realized it wasn't as old as I thought. The last entry was from a week ago, and lo and behold, Ms. Annan had written all about her secret desire to rise to the top of the local crime ring that she had just become a part of. Jazz was right! She was one the police needed to know about for sure. I couldn't wait to tell Jazz! Instead of going home like I should have to shower after my dig through the trash bin, I went straight to his house.

"Wow, if it isn't Juniper Song, Super Sleuth!" Jazz teased. This was the first time he saw me in my self-assembled 'work' uniform. "Woah, what is this? Long hair I see under that hat?"

"Um, that, sir is to at least keep me somewhat disguised. Especially when I'm out doing the dirty work!" 
"Ah, that's why I can smell the faint hint of rotten banana." I slapped his arm. 
"I'll have you know that rotten smell of banana is the smell of victory, my friend, because you were right- Fran is exactly what you thought she was!" 

His face lit up. "I knew it!" He put his arms around me, in spite of my aroma. "So, what is all this "friend" business, you know I was just teasing you, right?" I started the pouty face, but I couldn't keep it up for long, I hadn't seen Jazz in a few days, and I missed him so much.
"Well, let's just remember, the lady you are making fun of just found us a foot in the door with the police department, ok?"

"Of course, that's because you are the most awesome person who has ever walked the face of this earth. And you are pretty, and so darn sexy in your little trench coat..." he pulled me in even tighter now, but right before I leaned back to kiss him, I heard his mother call from the door...

"Jazz, Officer Organic is on the phone for you.... oh, Juniper! What a nice surprise!"
"Thanks mom, I'll go get it." As Jazz turned to go inside, Royal came bounding down the stairs to greet me.
"Well, look at you! You look so professional!"
"Thanks Ms.Velvetcake."

"Oh, now, Juniper, you know better than that. Call me Royal. Were you coming over for dinner?"
"Ah, no, I was actually just coming to share some exciting news about my job with Jazz. I kind of reek. I was going to head on home to take a shower."
"Oh, now don't be silly! Come on in, stay for dinner, we have a nice shower here, and I have some clothes you can borrow! I haven't seen you in ages! Go on now, head on up the stairs, you know where the bathroom is, I'll bring you some clothes."

"Thanks Royal, I really appreciate it." So, I wasn't sure about the protocol if your boyfriend's mother invited you over without letting the said boyfriend know. Ah well, I didn't care. I really loved Jazz's mom. She was always so warm and welcoming to me. It was like she wanted me to be a permanent fixture around here. Which I loved. 

 Jazz and I shocked more than a few people when we didn't get married straight out of high-school. Friends and family alike saw what kind of connection Jazz and I had, and just figured that naturally we'd get married 1st chance.
But with both of us trying so hard to get our careers going, it just didn't seem like the right time. What was great about Jazz and I, was that ring or no ring, proposal or no proposal, we were solid. I was as sure of his love for me as I was the sun in the sky, and my love for him only became deeper everyday. When the time was right, we'd both know.

As I went upstairs to take a shower, I motioned to Jazz who was still on the phone that I was going up stairs, he nodded and kept on talking. Royal was right, her shower was nice! I think I spent longer in there than I thought, because when I came downstairs to thank Royal and find Jazz, he was outside talking very intently with Officer Organic, who he was just on the phone with.

A thrill of excitement went through me. This had to be about Ms. Fannan. I couldn't wait to find out how our joint effort was going to go over. But, I realized it probably wasnt' best for either one of them to look over and see me in the window, staring like an idiot. I moved away quickly, and found Royal.
"Thank you so much for letting me borrow your shower and your outfit. This hoodie is so comfy!"
"No problem, sweetie. I hardly wear it anymore, you can just keep it!"
"Oh, no, I couldn't do that.."
"Nonsense, yes you can! Come on in the kitchen while we're waiting for Jazz and let's get some food in your belly."
I wasn't gonna argue, I was starving!
After dinner I hung around and we all visited and had a great time. I found out from Jazz that Officer Organic was impressed with both Jazz and I, but didn't want Jazz to apply for the police force just yet. They had suspected Ms. Fannan as well, but were trying not to spook her by spying on her too soon. Jazz was the perfect cover, because he had known Fannan for a while, and Jazz as of right now, had no tie-ins with the police as far as Ms. Fannan knew. They said if Jazz would help them watch her and inform them of all her activity, when they finally were able to make arrests, they would offer him a position on the force. Yes! As for me, they took my name and number from Jazz, and said they would keep me in mind when they needed some outside help. Well, it was something at least!

I didn't realize the time and when I apologized for staying so late. Jazz and Royal both insisted I not drive so late and tired, and said I should stay there. I didn't argue, because, I was drop dead tired, and I was a little worried myself how I was going to stay awake on the way home. Besides, pass up an opportunity to snuggle with my man? I think not.
By the time I was done with my night time routine and came to bed, Jazz was nearly snoring. I giggled a little. I never heard him snore before.

I crawled in bed beside him, planning on waking him up, but as soon as my head hit that comfy pillow, the drowsiness took over, and I was asleep before I knew what happened.

When I finally managed to pull myself back into consciousness, I rolled over only to find Jazz gone, and the house super quiet. 

Wondering where everyone was, I quietly went downstairs and to the kitchen. No one here either. Hm. Strange. 

Well, I was starving, yet again, and thought what better way to say thank you for letting me stay over than making everyone my mom's famous pancakes? Now, I was nowhere near the awesome cook my mom was, but living with a 5 star chef, well, you pick up things along the way. My pancakes could probably run a close second to my mom's.

Even after I made myself a plate, and nearly finished it, I saw no sign of anyone being home.  Then I remembered, it's a week day, duh. I'm sure Jazz's sister had school, and he was usually the one to take her, and Royal worked. 
Well, I knew the pancakes were still amazing leftover, so I stuck the rest of them in the fridge, and got myself dressed and ready for work of my own. Today, I was going to inquire about a particular house I had my eye on, and see what other investigation cases I could dig up by following up with the Police Department.

As I was walking down the street to the Police Department, my phone rang.
"Hello, Ms. Song speaking."
"Hello, I found your Private Investigation website. I need a little help. I want to know why my boyfriend hasn't proposed yet!"
"I see, tell me more, Ms...??"
"Call me Deborah.."
Looked like drumming up business wasn't going to be as hard as I thought! Here we go!

*buckey's notes*- So sorry it has taken me this long to get Juniper's intro out! This time of year has proven to be busier than ever. So, after Christmas, hopefully things will slow down a little, and I can get around to updates in a more timely fashion. 

Just so you know, all of Generation 6 is now up for download in my studio, HERE . And, for those of you who have the Pets EP, a few extra rules have been added to the rule page for it. Oh, and they finally fixed the issue with no comments showing up on pages, so you can again add comments to the rules page, and variation page!

That's all for now, thanks for your patience! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gen 5 Chapter 13: Patience Becomes a 5-Star Chef!

The house was a flurry of activity in the mornings, but it fast became my favorite time of day, because it was about the only time the family was together. Now that I only worked on the weekends, I was home more during the week, but that didn't exactly mean more face time with my kids, as they were branching off into their own activities.  

I still had that promotion in my sights, and I finally was able to catch the perfect fish to fertilize an onion plant...

and after spoiling that darn onion plant with love and care...

I finally grew the greatest onion anyone had ever tasted! My signature dish would be just perfect now!

However, occasionally, someone would try to take advantage of the weekends, when I did have to work well into the night. I came home one Friday night, only to discover Ginger hadn't returned home at her curfew. Phillip said she was out rock collecting, but the poor guy was so exhausted I sent him on to bed, and I waited up for Princess Rock Collector to come home.

"Oh, hi Mom, I didn't see you there."
"Ginger Song, it's 2 hours after your curfew!! Where have you been???"
"I was out hunting for rocks and lost track of time, that's all, honest!"
"I understand your love for rock collecting, but dear, you still have to obey the rules and keep your curfew."

"Ok, ok, geez, I'm sorry, ok? I said I didn't mean to!!!"
"Don't you take that tone with me! You are grounded for the rest of the weekend, young lady! Now go to bed!"

"Fine!" and off she stormed. I really hope she is out rock collecting, and not getting into some kind of trouble I don't know about. Every day she seems more and more distant  from us.

Juniper, although head over heels for Jazz, still found time to hang out with her family. She and Phillip had an ongoing challenge on one of their favorite video games, and most weekends, they were parked in front of the TV, laughing and arguing over who really was the champ.

Phillip and I promised each other that dispite the craziness in our lives, we'd make time for each other whenever we could. Sometimes, the perfect date was lunch at my work while the kids were at school. 

To this day, even with all the wrinkles and gray, he could look at me in a way that made my breath catch and when he called me 'Beautiful', my heart still skipped a beat.

All too soon, my girls' birthdays came. My Ginger and Juniper were going to be all grown up now!

Happy Birthday Juniper!

Happy Birthday Ginger!

Two beautiful young ladies, ready to go out and make their mark on the world! Not that I was in any hurry. 
and in the wee hours of the morning when noone else was around....
"I finally did it! I found the Rainbow Gem, I took it to the science complex, and they were able to do it, Blinkie! You are finally going to be real!"

*glug glug*

The next day, a strange foreign young man showed up on our door asking for Ginger. Apparently, Ginger had an international friend who was moving here to Barnacle Bay upon his graduation. Ginger was absolutely thrilled to see him, and asked if he could stay with us for a few days until his living arrangements were settled. 

Reluctantly we agreed. We set up a bed for him in the garage, and he seemed very grateful for it. Even mentioned something about never sleeping in a bed before. 

Phillip asked "Bill" where he was from, and he named some strange town that we had never heard of in Egypt.  It was strange, but he was definitely a kind, well-behaved young man so we figured a few days here couldn't hurt. Besides, after watching Ginger and Billy interact with each other I was pretty sure there was nothing romantic going on.
Graduation time! I couldn't believe that my girls were ready to receive their diplomas! After an 'exciting' morning of trying to get everyone into their dress clothes and ready to leave on time, we made our way to City Hall.

All of Juniper and Ginger's classmate's families were in attendance, and there was a lot of people to visit with before and after, including the families of all of their childhood friends.

Phillip and I both looked on with our eyes brimming with tears as our girls crossed the stage to get their diploma, To our surprise, Juniper was the Valedictorian! I guess she had known for some time, but wanted to be a surprise. She gave a simple and beautiful speech, and that's when those tears we had been trying to hold back fell anyways. When they gave out class awards, Ginger got "Most Likely to Have a Big Family " and Juniper's was "Most Likely to Get Married"! As she accepted that award, she winked at Jazz, who in return, turned an interesting shade of purplish blue, if that was even possible. 
 Once the ceremony was over, they both burst from the city hall doors cheering and ecstatic!

Jazz and Juniper found each other, and asked if it was ok if they skipped out on the rest of the visiting to go on a date, and of course, we said that was ok.

The rest of the evening was nice and relaxing. We got to know Ginger's friend a little better, and the more we talked to him, the more we realized how harmless he really was. Just about everything in our culture was new to him, his innocence was even kind of cute. I even overheard Ginger call Bill "Blinkie" in one of their conversations, and it made me wonder if this boy was who she had been talking about all those years, and maybe all my worrying over her 'imaginary' friend was actually a real person she was making friends with on the internet.

Late that night, Bill got the call that his rent house was ready for him to move into, and he informed us that he would be leaving the next day, and he thanked us for our hospitality in letting him stay with us on such short notice. 

What caught us off guard was the next morning, when Ginger informed us that she would be moving out with him. I had all kinds of reservations and objections,  but in the end, what could I really do? 

She was a grown woman now, and had to make her own decisions. Besides, they were only moving down the street. It was quite a ways down, but still, close enough that we could still be there for her if she ever needed us.

I could tell that Juniper missed her sister. She seemed to absorb herself in her guitar playing those 1st few days without Ginger around.  She also didn't seem like she was in too big of a hurry to get a job, or really decide anything about her adult life. But I didn't want to rush her, so I left her alone. 

Although, part of me wondered if her hesitation had anything to do with Jazz. He had been quite busy himself, and they hadn't been spending as much time together. I was starting to wonder if Juniper was waiting for him to ask her to marry him. Not that it's my business!
And as if life weren't moving fast enough already, my two babies celebrated their teen birthday!

Happy Birthday Basil!

Happy Birthday Curry!

My weekend to work had finally come, and I brought my beautiful onions in with me, knowing they would wow everyone there once they got a taste of it.

And oh, was I right! I was given a raise! Then my boss pulled me aside, and laid a big bombshell on me. He was retiring! I would be sad to see him go, he and I were pretty close friends by now. But, he was telling me this, because he wanted to leave running the restaurant to me. I was deeply honored that he chose me to hand off the cafe to, but he wasn't sure how the other employees were going to take it. I told him that I would do my best to go around during this next week and get to know them all better, and also to be up front with them about me taking over, so hopefully the transition would go smoothly. He agreed this would be a good idea.
So, I spent every day that week, finding my co-workers, and talking with them about the future of the Cafe, and listening to their ideas of how to make the Scruptious Nibbles Cafe even better. 

The nice thing was, I was pretty respected amongst my co-workers, so my takeover was no surprise, and they all seemed genuinely pleased that I would be their new boss.


"AIIEEEEE! Curry!!!! You big jerk! Why did you do that?"
"Eh, just wanted to see if you were aware of your surroundings. Obviously you are not. Have a good day."
"oooooh, you little..."

Ok, so I'm sorry, I know with them being my youngest, I should be reluctant and emotional about them heading off to high school. Well, I wasn't. Those two needed something constructive to do with their day. If Curry wasn't scaring or pranking someone, Basil was complaining and moody. Truthfully, I was glad to see them hop on the school bus come Monday morning!

But alas, when one was ready to leave the nest, my heart did ache a little. Sage came to us a few days before his graduation, and said that Ginger had invited him to come live with them after high school, and he decided to move in a little early. Knowing he was moving in with his sister helped me get over the shock of him leaving before graduating. At least I knew he'd be in a safe place with his sister looking out for him.

Finally, Juniper settled on a job! She started her own little private investigator business. I thought it fit her perfect, as she has always been a perceptive one. She really loved it, but was rarely home now.

Phillip and I had finally gotten to the point where we could enjoy our golden years together, with our children nearly grown and always busy. He and I had lived quite the adventure together, that's for sure.

My next day at work was the day I had been dreaming of ever since I started working at the Scruptious Nibbles. With a very quaint gathering of all of the staff, my boss handed over ownership of the Cafe to me.

All my friends, now new employees, were so happy for me, and for the cafe. We were a close knit group, excited about the future of the Cafe, and thankful for it's success. I guess now that I'm the 5 Star-Chef, I've made all my dreams come true! And I was truly at home here with my other family, my 'cooking' family, the people I had been slaving over a hot stove with for ages now. It was a beautiful feeling to know that my life is complete, and I have time left to enjoy it. Bon App├ętit!
*buckey's notes*- Wow, finally, Patience's last chapter! As a little update, the problem I had with my game last chapter was that my aging was messed up, I'm guessing something about the new patch did it, because I haven't gotten the Pets EP yet. Sometimes, the aging would freeze, or in one of my files, aging didn't work at all. With Patience, it ended up giving her more time off of work than she was supposed to have, and since she only works weekends, this was bad, as her age bar was full. The first time through, she died 2 days before her next work day. So, I worked out what to do about it to get back that 'stolen' day of work she should have had. And, well, voila! She's good to go now. 
And I even kept my promise about getting this chapter out before Thanksgiving! Woo! (which is this Thursday, by the way). I am so excited to start on Juniper's generation, she will be a lot of fun with this Private Eye career I think. Anyways, thanks so much for sticking around, and look in the coming weeks for an Intro to Juniper! :)