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Portsmouth - 3 Capital Street

Nanette Portsmouth is lonely since her sister Minerva moved out to marry. But since she's a Romance sim, it doesn't take her long to find some company. Joe Macarevich may be older than her, but they certainly have some chemistry. 

It seems good old Joe has quite a bit of money stashed away, and could provide a badly needed cash injection to the household. I'm not too sure about marrying in elders just to increase the population. Although the cemetery, which has yet to be built, will need a few graves to open up the Paranormal career track. I'm undecided, but then remember that the University has to be unlocked before the Paranormal is unlocked, and that's going to be a while away yet. Joe does provide a population boost though. I decide to get Nanette pregnant by him before he leaves.

As soon as Joe leaves, Nanette spots another sim she's more than a little interested in. Aaron Santander has the added bonus of being young too!

Nanette's nothing if not honest, and comes clean about her pregnancy from the outset of their relationship. It doesn't seem to put Aaron off though.

As Nanette is more attracted to Aaron, and he's so much younger, I'm starting to think he'd be a really good option to move in. Then I remind myself that Joe has money.

Turns out Aaron has money too!

I'm not sure what sims consider a fortune, but $4,000 doesn't seem that much. On the plus side, Aaron wants to become a Celebrity Chef, and already has a position in that field. I decide to let him keep it, as there is an available position since Neptune Cafe got to Level 5, and he's already past the entry level position.

Even pregnant, and living on a lawn, doesn't put Nanette off a little bedroom fun. Well front lawn fun anyway! 

I just don't get that Gypsy Matchmaker. How have Nanette or Aaron trod any paths of excellence? A couple of woohoo's? That's enough? And some families open businesses, and earn talent badges, and get awarded hobby plaques, and are passed over in favour of this pair? I'm not only amazed, I'm flabbergasted!

Notice I don't delete the lamp, even though they don't deserve it. Now what should Aaron wish for? I wonder? Maybe he can make up for his blatant lie about having a fortune.

$10,000 - now that's a start! I'm so glad I'm in charge now. Aaron would probably have wasted a wish on romance, or happiness.

$10,000 is enough to build a really nice bungalow. It comes in the nick of time, as Nanette decides to give birth on the lawn moments after I complete it.

Kiona is cute, but then so are all babies. It will be interesting to see who she takes after in looks, Nanette or Joe.

Second aspirations are wonderful things sometimes. Nanette rolled Family, and is one of the first Romance sims I've had that's actually pleased to be a parent. She still has a fear of getting engaged - to Aaron or Joe. I wonder what Joe thinks about having a daughter. Is he even aware of her existence?

Kiona looks like Joe, so that's one question answered. She's not hideous, but she does have a stangely pointed chin. In fact her face is altogether a little too angular for my liking. Still as the saying goes, 'fugly in the cradle, lovely at the table,'. So there's still hope for her yet!

The above picture was taken before I deducted their 5% tax, which amounted to $2,000.

Total Tax for University now paid = $30,968

Previous Careers or Positions opened:-

1 in Culinary for having a restaurant reach Level 5
1 in Business for having a business reach Level 10
1 in Criminal for having a population of more than 100
2 in Architecture - 1 for 10 lots & 1 for Business District

Careers Opened or filled this update:-

1 in Culinary for having a restaurant reach Level 5 - Aaron Santander

Current Positions Available:-

1 in Criminal for having a population of more than 100
2 in Architecture - 1 for 10 lots & 1 for Business District
1 in Business for having a business reach Level 10

Population = SM8x19Sims = 152

Current CAS pending = 1 for opening the 'Christmas Connection'.

Walsingham - Inglenook Cottage

Despite claiming I wasn't a total control freak in the last update, I've decided that's exactly what I am. From now on I will be sole narrator of the updates, to try and keep them brief and to the point. Stories are for Prosperities, whereas this challenge is about population rather than community growth. If I let every sim have their say ( and I know it's not 50,000, but it's still going to be quite a few!) I'll spend far too much time blogging, and not enough playing.

If you haven't guessed by now, Rubeus is another Family sim. He is in fact a perfect candidate for this challenge, as he wants to marry off 6 children. Depending on the SM, his contribution to population could well end up topping 100.  Notice the pointed ears? It was in honour of the then forthcoming Star Trek movie!

A 3 lightening bolt attraction doesn't happen in my game very often. I didn't even have to tweak any turn-on's or off's either. Minerva Portsmouth is soon moving in, leaving her sister on another plot before they even had time to really get to know each other. She also brought nearly $2,000 simoleans with her, which means things will be tight when I get to the next house. If I'd thought about it, it would have been better to marry in a townie, but then this kind of attraction doesn't happen often. Minerva is a Fortune sim who wants to get to the top of the Architecture career. Looking at her wants and fears, I'm not sure she's not a delusional Family sim in disguise.

After a quick engagement on the lawn, it's down to some serious money raising for them both. I want Rubeus to have a business, so they need to save.

Rubeus fish's alot, although it doesn't raise much capital. Old boots aren't that lucrative, and it will be a while until he starts catching rainbow trout and catfish. He's not that keen on fishing really, and his aspiration gets so low I have to raise it a few points by marrying the happy couple.

Instant platinum, and then straight in the energizer for more fishing.

The money is really starting to roll in now. The unearthing of a Treasure Chest means Rubeus can finally afford a retail outlet. But what to sell? I finally decide to stock the place with Christmas paraphernalia. I mean, everyone loves Christmas right?

I always think this is such a pointless question! I mean, what's the benefit in pushing no?

I think Rubeus can see the benefit of pushing 'no' after he's been serving on the till for a while. There's only so many times a sim can be hit in the stomach with a register drawer before he loses patience. You'd think this would be an impetus for him to finally learn to use it properly. But No!  Believe me, Rubeus was a very slow learner.

It would be easy to mistake Rubeus for the fortune sim at this point. I decide it's actually time for the couple to own a house.

Especially since Minerva is now doing her impression of a Family sim.

Rubeus gets a job in Oceanography. His Gold Fishing Badge means he's entitled, and it's another means of income. More money = more taxes = a University. It's going to be quite a few generations until then I feel. Until then - 'Live long and prosper', is the motto!

The above picture was taken before I deducted their 5% tax, which amounted to $8,933.

Total Tax for University now paid = $28,968

Previous Careers or Positions opened:-

1 in Culinary for having a restaurant reach Level 5
1 in Business for having a business reach Level 10
1 in Criminal for having a population of more than 100
2 in Architecture - 1 for 10 lots & 1 for Business District

Careers Opened or filled this update:-

1 in OceanographyGamer for Rubeus Walsingham - filled
1 in Business for having a business reach Level 10

Current Positions Available:-

1 in Culinary for having a restaurant reach Level 5
1 in Criminal for having a population of more than 100
2 in Architecture - 1 for 10 lots & 1 for Business District
1 in Business for having a business reach Level 10

Population = SM8x17Sims = 136

Current CAS pending = 1 for opening the 'Christmas Connection'.

May. 13th, 2009

Brother and sister Tyler and Veronique Yeovil move into 1 Capital Street.

"I may be newly created, and have very little in the way of skills, but even I realise that the term 'move into' implies there is something actually here to actually move 'into'. I think you were looking for the expression move on to!"

Fantastic! A smart Alec sim with a streak of sarcasm. I can already tell Tyler isn't going to be an easy sim to please.

"Well, it's not easy being second best. I'm not the founder, or 'chosen one', and to make matters worse I don't even have a home. As the person in charge, you could have put me here with a wife, but in your infinite wisdom you give me a sibling. So the cold nights sleeping in a tent on the lawn will remain cold, without someone to cuddle up to. I'm a Family sim. You do realise what that means don't you? It means I want to have a family, and it would have been a whole lot easier if you'd kick started the process by giving me a woman I'm not related to!"

I may be in charge, but even I answer to the die. I know the rules of the challenge state I can create sims at will, but without a die you'd all be clones. Family sims with nice and neat personalities. And this isn't Stepford! So when your wife rolled pleasure, I chose to make her your sister. After all, you want a woman who learns to cook and clean, not one who wants to juggle and jump on the couch all day. Well, don't you?

"Alright, I conceed you may actually be wiser than I gave you credit for. Turns out you may be smarter than you look!"

I wouldn't bet on it if I were you.

Turns out Tyler is quick to make his own arrangements regarding a mate. Sheila Wong was just innocently walking past the mailbox, when she was pounced on by Tyler. After checking her out, he found he was very attracted to her, and from there it was a short work getting her to fall in love with him. I'm happy, as he's much happier now he's in platinum.

Wow Tyler, I'm impressed! Love and money too. You may get a house this round if you're lucky.

"Actually NO! I would not like to quit my job. I mean, it's not my life's ambition, but it helps pay the bills. You certainly appreciated the $18,000 I'd managed to save. Plus I like being a cat burglar. It's the danger; it gives me such an adrenalin rush."

I have plans for you Sheila. But if you're a natural kleptomaniac, you can always steal a few paper clips if it keeps you happy!

"So there's no chance you'll be building a  hospital in the near future? My real dream is to become Chief of Staff."

Sorry Sheila, but you're destined to become Millisimoria's first Business Tycoon.

Tyler's not happy. He thinks I squandered Sheila's nest egg on a few electronic fripperies. Veronique is happy though. She's taken a job in the Gamer Career track, which is her LTW. I thought it was only fair, as she's had little in the way of coverage in this update so far. I just hope she doesn't realise how much I dislike pleasure sims. It's sad, and somehow disloyal, when you despise one of your creations. It's like favouring one child over another.

Sheila gets her job in Business, and has the priviledge of wearing that awful blue suit which comes with the position. With both the women employed it shouldn't be too long before the family can afford a house.

Veronique has a distinct aspiration burst when she dates Paul Ma after dragging him home from work.

"Never mind my sister's date! You see that house in the distance? Well isn't it about time we had one too?"

Keep digging Tyler, you're sure to unearth something valuable eventually.

Sheila gets a couple of promotions under her belt, as does Veronique. Tyler manages to unearth more bones and rocks. Eventually it's enough to build a house. The environment score is terrible, as they can't afford wallpaper or flooring, but it does look good from the outside.  Tyler and Sheila exchange wedding rings to celebrate. They can't afford a honeymoon.

"Honeymoon! Who wanted a honeymoon. A double bed might have been nice. We're not even going to get the chance of having our first woohoo?"

Sorry Tyler, but there's way too much skilling and digging to be done.

"Now do we get a double bed? After all, my family isn't going to materialise out of thin air, now is it?"

Sheila's actually doing really well, and has had four promotions already. I suppose they deserve a double bed; I'm not a total control freak. Plus happy sims skill and dig much more enthusiastically I've found!

The above picture was taken after I deducted their 5% tax, which amounted to $3,130.

Total Tax for University now paid = $20,035

Previous Careers or Positions opened:- 1 in Culinary for having a restaurant reach Level 5
                                                                         1 in Business for having a business reach Level 10
                                                                         1 in Criminal for having a population of more than 100
                                                                         2 in Architecture 1 for 10 lots & 1 for Business District

Careers Opened or filled this update:- 1 in Gamer for Veronique Yeovil - filled
                                                                      1 in Business filled by Sheila Yeovil

Current Positions Available:- 1 in Culinary for having a restaurant reach Level 5
                                                     1 in Criminal for having a population of more than 100
                                                     2 in Architecture - 1 for 10 lots & 1 for Business District

Population = SM8x17Sims = 136

Millisimoria - The Business

This small unassuming grocery store is the first community lot in Millisimoria. Tina Player purchased it, and named it 'Pop-In Shopping'. It might not be much to look at, but it will go on to found a business dynasty.

Martin keeps wanting a baby. He's not the least bit interested in the shop, and only mans the cash register under protest. His low needs mean he keeps wandering away to birdwatch, or do something equally to do with the call of nature. Customers don't like to wait. To raise his aspiration he has a date with Tina. When he suddenly wants to get engaged, it's a 5,000 AP boosting godsend.

Tina seems pleased. The platinum mood and general euphoria means they both make use of an energizer, and get straight back to business. Tina needs to earn enough money to buy another community lot. Her good mood depends on it.

"Good job I didn't wait to date the good witch, like you suggested. Turns out she's a man too!"

"I want to be a witch. Anything has to be better than standing behind this register for days on end. I want to be a werewolf too. And I want a baby."

Martin is getting harder and harder to keep occupied. He really doesn't want to be here. Tina on the other hand is in her element, and racks up tons of points from customers getting stars, and from earning badges. Tina uses  her first three business rewards to take cash awards.

"I want to cook. I want to learn to make sea bass. I want to get married and have a baby!"

Why Martin can't roll a want to do with business is beyond explanation. His needs are always very low. Tina has to cajole him constantly, and every so often has a date with him. It always ends up with them woohooing in the photobooth, and then he's quiet again for a while. But as soon as his needs begin to drop, he's back outside with the binoculars.

Tina purchases a second community lot. Martin's not too happy about it.

"If you think I'm going to spend the rest of my life behind a cash register, you can think again", Martin grumbles.

Martin gets a boost from getting married, although by now he's given up wanting a baby. He wants to get a job, buy a kitten, become a witch, and invite Tina home. The last would be completely pointless, as she lives with him?

It's hard not to feel sorry for poor Martin, but he has, so to speak, cooked his own goose. By getting his silver cash register badge, he's made himself irreplaceable. I simply cannot afford to let him out from behind there until he has a suitable replacement.

With 'Pop-In Shopping' up to level 5, I decide it's time for Tina to put her $50,000 to good use. So I build another community lot. It's a bit bare at the moment, but that will soon change. Plus it will give Martin something other than working the cash register to moan about.

"Push the no button Tina, push no."

Sorry about that Martin, but she pushed yes. Now off you go to 'Mechanical Mayhem' to earn yourself a Robotics Badge.

Tina and Martin both excelled at robotics, and soon the shop was fully stocked. Before the Grand Opening, the returned home to check on the place, and to initialise a pair of servo's they'd made.

"Now that Tina's going to have some help in the shops, can I finally have some of my own time for skilling? It's what knowledge sims were made for after all."

I promise it will be a while before you have to work a cash register I assure him. And I always keep my promises.

Tina initialises her servo first, and names him Oedipus. He came with a Gold Sewing Badge, which I'm sure will come in handy at some point.

Martin's servo, Electra, comes with a Gold Pottery Badge, and a maximum attraction to her creator.

See Martin, I promised you time off from behind the cash register. Now you will spend many hours in front of a hot stove. Well, it would be a shame not to put your 10 cooking points to good use. This is very much the opposite of his real life Norse God model, who has actually given me food poisoning from undercooked chicken.

The patrons are very impressed with the service, and often tip the waiters. This is ideal for Oedipus, as he frequently rolls the want to 'earn some money'. Electra, on the other hand, finds the going a bit tough, just like her creator. To stop her from having a breakdown, or a visit from the Social Bunny, I send her on a date with Oedipus. I'm not sure that servo's can have breakdowns, or get a Social Bunny visit, but I'm not prepared to risk it. It might be bad for business.

Hmmm ..... watching a pair of Servo's having their first kiss was strange. Still, if it keeps them happy, they can get married for all I care.

The Restaurant finally reaches Level 5, and an opening in the Culinary career track is created. It wasn't easy, and I shall wait for a sim who actually wants it to come along. Such a hard won opening should be filled by a sim with a desire to be a Celebrity Chef.

Electra and Oedipus get married. It wasn't so much what he wanted, but she would have gone into aspirational failure without it.  Tina's desires revolve around having yet another community lot. Anyone would think her LTW is to Own 5 Top Level Businesses. But no, Tina actually wants to get 6 Pets to the Top of their Career. Martin just wants some time for skilling at home. Oh, and to be a Criminal Mastermind, which just might be possible, if he's lucky.

It's left to Martin and Oedipus to stock 'The Cake Box'. It sells cakes - the clue was in the title. Oh and it's possible to have a chat and coffee with friends too.

"Will I get to come here for a chat and coffee with friends?"

Sorry Martin, but no. You'll probably be too busy working as the Barista!

"What's with this challenge? I give, and give, and give, but you never give me anything that I really want. I demand you fulfill at least one of my wants or I quit. I'm the founder, but it's Tina's wants which come first. You even let a couple of animated tin cans marry! When do I get something, answer me that. No, I'll tell you when shall I? Never, that's when!"

Are you happy now? Well I hope so, because you've really upset Tina.

"so Tina wants me to be cured, but I like being a Warlock. Cure me and I quit,  I promise you that. And I keep my promises as well!"

I placate Tina with the purchase of her fifth community lot. If she can just manage to get one of these businesses to level 10, we'll have ourselves an opening in the Business Career Track, and if I'm not mistaken our first Business District.

Toys would be ideal, only it would mean learning to make them . Best go with something both Tina and Martin are already good at.

The above three pictures in no way represent the many labourious hours I spent getting 'Mechanical Mayhem' to Level 10. Martin was really unhappy, but by the end, he'd got his Gold Cash Register badge. He even wanted it! I think he thinks if he got the badge he'd finally get to go home. Oedipus and Electra both earned Gold Robotics Badges and a couple of bronze in stocking and sales respectively. So although it was a labourious process, it  has laid some groundwork, and it should be easier in the next business.

"What next business? Did someone hear or say something about a next business?"

The London's have a posh new residence. Not a posh new residence in London. They'd never be able to afford it, property prices being what they are! 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. Martin wanted to make Tina happy before delivering his news.

"Tina, I shall no longer be prepared to work in your businesses. I am a Warlock with a large amount of Witchery to perfect.  I present you with Chip, who shall act in my place. And there is no point arguing, my mind is made up."

The neighbourhood is finally growing. Chip falls in love with Emma Thompson....

"The actress?"

No not the actress. Does she look like the actress? Would she be so impressed to be marrying a rich sim if she was the actress? Exactly! Anyway, before I was interrupted, Emma moves in and marries Chip. Finally a Family Sim. I was happy! Tina was happy as Emma was her BFF. Martin was happy because he no longer had to spend every waking hour behind a cash register. Emma wasn't so happy when she was forced to give up her job in Education.

"So you're telling me you can buy a burger in this town, but you can't go to school?"

Don't blame me Emma, it's just another example of art reflecting real life!

Total Tax for the University @ 5% = $16,905
This includes $905  from week 1

CAS's Earned and made, and now living in Millisimoria = 10
1 for each  Community Lot =5 + 5 for first Business District

SM = 8
1 original point + 1 for the first Community Lot + 1 for having 5 Community Lots + 5 for the first Business District = 8

Total Population = 16x8 =128

Positions Opened or Careers Unlocked = 1 in Culinary for having a restaurant reach Level 5
                                                                  1 in Business for having a business reach Level 10
                                                                  1 in Criminal for having a population of more than 100
                                                                  2 in Architecture 1 for 10 lots & 1 for Business District

I hope I've scored it correctly, but please let me know if you disagree with any of my calculations. Also, did I remember everything, I ask mysef? Till next round!

Build A City Challenge

I was tempted to make sims who represented real life people, but decided against it. Mainly because I think I have more talent at making the imaginary seem real, than the real seem imaginary. I did however base my founder on my husband Martin, who is indeed an Aries, with a thirst for knowledge and the blond haired, blue eyed good looks of a Norse God - and you can't tell I'm biased at all! Anyway, on with the challenge, and the new, not quite yet a City, of Millisimoria.

MILLISIMORIA - Only a fool would move here!

Meet Martin London, a sim on a mission. The mission, to build a new City, from scratch. Why, only he knows! But the top secret mission involves the implementation of many regulations, and it wasn't a challenge to be accepted lightly. Fortunately Martin has a determination not seen in many sims, and he's driven by an unseen force to face and conquer whatever this barren land can throw at him!

Martin gets down to digging a foundation for his new home. He's hoping to find treasure while he digs, but only unearths bones and rocks. All the bones are not a good sign. Did an earlier intrepid explorer perish here long ago, unable to sustain life in such a harsh and forbidding environment, he ponders?

Luckily his real life model is not half as dramatic! Also, he's not a complete whinger either, unlike the sim with the shovel. 

"Well, who's bright idea was it to buy a bookcase, but forget about a toilet?" grumbles Martin crossleggedly!

"And another thing, I was promised help when I got here, in the form of a mate. I feel like Adam in a garden of Adam's. Where's the Eve that was mentioned in my mission brief? I've been here two years now, and the only sims I've laid eyes on are the paperboy, and Jonathon Bertino.

"And another thing; what was the point in wasting money on a double bed? I've been here four years now, and although Jonathon's my best friend, I just don't think of him as a life partner, if you get my drift. As for no fire alarm rule, that's just plain suicidal. Do you want me to burn to death in some small shack, with no-one to plead for my life?"

Carry on complaining, and it's getting more and more tempting. This could be the shortest challenge ever attempted. Pull yourself together man! Anyhow, you could always ask Jonathon to move in. He's very fond of you, and I'm sure he'd plead for your life if it came to it!

"I don't want Jonathon, I want a real woman - preferably a plump and cuddly woman, who can cook!

So, someone like your Mother! Anyway, I think someone's walking past, I'd run if you want to meet them. It could be the girl of your dreams, so best you hurry.

OK, so I was wrong. It wasn't the girl of your dreams, it was Abijheet. Your long term relationship prospects are even better with him than with Jonathon. Maybe you should ask him to move in? After all, we need to raise the population somehow!

"Talking about increasing the population makes me realise I put myself in danger of wiping out the entire population everytime I cook. How about I learn fire prevention?"

How about, you learn to cook? After all, the secret hobby lot isn't called Sue's Secret Kitchen for nothing. I mean, unless Johnny Cash has really caught on in Millisimoria, Sue's bound to be a girl, right!


"And before you ask, no, he did not whet my appetite."

"On the other hand Tina Player does push at least some of my buttons. The fact she's female is the biggest plus!"

"And she loves me."

You're sure a fortune sim is what we need to raise the population level? I was hoping you'd find a nice family sim to settle down with.

"Look, I've been here for six years waiting for a woman to walk past. I could be forty before I see another one go by. Standards are fine, and I wish we found each other more attractive too, but beggars can't be choosers. She'll do already."

So, now you have enough money for a small business, are you going to invite her over, and ask her to move in? You could always wait for a family sim to turn up. I'm not pushing you. After all, if it's a disaster, I don't want the blame.

"You talk like she's hideous, or hates me. She's fine, and I've waited long enough to test out that double bed, thank you very much."

Tina moves in with $2,000. For a Fortune sim, it's not much of a fortune. But she does have something almost beyond price - four talent badges. A silver in robotics, and a bronze in restocking, sales, and cash register. I'll give it to Martin, his luck is finally changing. In a city without jobs, Tina is a business opportunity waiting to happen. In fact, her first want is to purchase a community lot.

Tina is much luckier than Martin it would seem. Her first dig in the garden unearths a treasure chest, or stock for her first business, which is the way to look at it. The week ends with some long time coming bed testing. At least Martin was finally happy, and he's not quit. Which is a bonus! 

Careers Unlocked or Positions opened - None
SM = 1
Population = 1x2=2


Well, here is the formal announcement of the death of Deathly Hallows. It wasn't what I wanted, and although I've started another, I miss all my old sims terribly. It happened like this :-

1) I had glitches in the graphics of one of my houses - windows missing, speech with no speech bubbles etc etc.
2) I exited, and when I tried to re-enter the house wouldn't load.
3) Nothing would load, not a single house.
4) I uninstalled my hacks and downloads, still no joy. At this point I decided it must be the curse of the Tricou's.
5) I ended up having to uninstall my game, and reinstall. The backup I had wouldn't load when I reinstalled it!
6) I tried loading a brand new neighbourhood, completely clean, without backup's or hacks, or downloads. Still my computer refused to load the sims, or crashed halfway through loading.
7) It was at this point that other things on my computer started glitching - it turns out my add-on graphics card had burnt itself out, and that was the problem.
8) Replaced graphics card with a secondhand one, reinstalled The Sims 2, and everything is working again. But in the process, Deathly Hallows was lost.
9) Although I've started a new Prosperity, I've decided to give it a break. I need time to mourn - I miss all those familiar sims. I have started a Build a City Challenge in the interim - expect the first post imminently. The game is completely without any downloads or hacks, so I shall be using aspiration rewards.
10) Yay for the return of the energizer!

Ameretti - 1 Gallows Way - Round 6

Having got further in this challenge than any I've ever attempted previously, I wanted to ensure the experience remained fresh and frankly, challenging. With this in mind, I decided to incorporate a mini challenge, which each household will participate in, determined by the roll of a die. I have also decided to reintroduce all teens and older sims at the beginning of each round. It is easy to lose track of LTW's and Aspirations, so I hope it will be of use to not just any readers, but me too! If the individual sim has reached their original LTW, I shall just record achieved - there is no reward or impetus to pursue a second LTW - that sim is free to enjoy life to the fullest without the pressure of skill building or reaching wants to stay happy. For me, the whole point is to get the sim into platinum - after all it's not like I use the aspiration points for anything other than the odd batch of Smart Milk! Anyhow, I digress.The challenge for this round is :-

1 - Join the Garden Club.
2 - All teens and elder to get into the zone for a hobby. I'm not sure if this is possible, but I'm willing to give it a go!
3 - Take a family vacation.
4 - Get a pet. If no one in the household wants one, a small animal, or an aquarium will suffice. But once bought, it must remain stocked. 
5 - All age transitions of household members to be accompanied by a proper party - with invited guests. A cake just isn't good enough!
6 - Buy or start a home business. If there isn't much cash available, sell time on a home pond  for example - the key is to improvise!

Now on with the update :-

Blanche Ameretti (nee Denton) - Family - LTW Have 6 Grandchildren
Oliver Ameretti - Knowledge - LTW Achieved

Blanche hardly recognised the property as the same one she'd moved into when she married her college sweetheart Oliver. Her work in the greenhouse was producing succulent vegetables, her fruit trees were bug free, and her lawn was green and lush. She'd certainly been gifted with 'green fingers', and no mistake. Maybe it was finally time to join the Garden Club. No, she decided, she'd call them once the baby was born. She really didn't have the energy at the moment.

Blanche could not believe Oliver couldn't hear her screaming. Either he'd become suddenly deaf, or he was feigning ignorance of her predicament. Either way he just sauntered past the study and climbed in the carpool for another day at the hospital. 'Just Great' thinks Blanche; off he goes to tend to the sick and wounded of Deathly Hallows, whilst I'm standing here in agony. How ironic, married to the best surgeon in town, and left to fend for herself!

At least it wasn't a difficult birth, although the arrival of twins took Blanche by surprise a little. At her last scan, there'd been no mention of two babies. Blanche was beginning to wonder just how efficient and properly trained the staff was at the hospital. Maybe she needed to have a word with Oliver and find out just what kind of staff he was employing. She named her daughter Heather, and her son Donovan.

The question was answered sooner than expected when Oliver brought home Demi Love that very evening. A failed policewoman, Demi was the very cop who'd been beaten by Oliver's enemy  Amin Bear during a robbery. The incident still haunted Oliver, as he explained to Demi with bitterness.
"That man cost my family a small fortune. It was hard to lose the benchpress and couch, but it was harder to realise how vulnerable we were at the time. I'll never forgive him. And believe me I'll never forget it. Amin Bear hasn't even begun to suffer."

Whilst Oliver went upstairs to see his new family, Demi remained chatting with Blanche.
"I handed my notice in when they demoted me back to traffic cop. I'm working as an administrator at the hospital now, and it's a lot better paid, and much more satisfying. And working with Ollie is such a laugh, we get on like a house on fire."
Blanche had never heard her husband referred to as 'a laugh', and thought the woman rather strange, and a little simple to boot. Oliver, a laugh! Never!

Oliver had the following day off work, and despite Blanche asking him not to, called up the Garden Club. "The vegetable plants are at their best. If we leave it much longer we may lose our chance", he tells her.
"But Oliver, you should have let me ring!"
"Well it's too late now, Joe Graham's already arrived," he tells her matter of factly.
And so begins the first feud to come between them.

Yes, thought Blanche, it is well-groomed and tended. I should know, I'm the one with the bad back from all the bending up and down tending it.

"Really Joe, I'm not in the least suprised Oliver isn't a member of the Garden Club. Especially as he has no idea which end of a hoe to pick up", Blanche fumed inwardly.

"Grrrrr ...... you did not work hard, and you definately don't have a love of plants. I bet you couldn't tell a green bean from a green pepper!" Blanche had never been so angry, and to add insult to injury, Oliver now got a lifetime discount on seeds and compost.

Deep down she hoped he felt guilty. He knew he didn't deserve a wishing well. She hoped the truth haunted him, although he didn't appear to lose any sleep over the incident.

Blanche's anger was somewhat dissipated by the arrival of the twins birthday. Donovan grew up looking somewhat like a Denton. He seemed to have inherited her genes, and his Father's ultra mean personality. Scorpio's with 1 in nice and 10 in neat were starting to take over the neighbourhood, thought Blanche sadly.

With any luck maybe her daughter would inherit her Father's genes, and her personality! But no such luck. Heather had an identical personality to both her brother and Father. She did look like a Sims though, and had the cutest funky dreads.

The twins were a handful, and no mistake. Blanche took solace and respite in her garden. Unlike Oliver, she really did love plants, and all that nature had to offer. The peace of the great outdoors was bliss after the pandemonium her daughter could create inside, she thought.

'It's a wonder the cot stays together the way she shakes and stomps in it', thinks Blanche. Reassuring herself toddlerhood couldn't possibly last forever, she goes back to weeding her tomatoes.

Oliver seems shocked when his daughter grows up. Blanche just feels a deep sense of gratitude and a small sense of accomplishment.

Donovan is a strange looking child. And it becomes apparent he inherited the 'Peter Sims' chin, as did his Father before him. He's not happy with his hair and heads off to the mirror for a restyle. It's a miracle how quickly a sim's hair grows, thinks Blanche viewing his new look.

"So if you're my Dad's sister, that makes you my Aunt," Donovan tells Imani Sims, who has trouble taking it in. With both having only one point in nice, witness the most cheaty game of chess ever played. On a different  note, Blanche is starting to resent Oliver's BFF Demi Love. The woman has started to come home with him every day after work, and always settles herself on the sofa next to him. Blanche is beginning to feel like the gooseberry, and that has to be bad. Maybe it's just her nerves on edge she thinks. After all, Korey Jitmakusol is visiting tonight with a view to enrolling the twins into his Private School. Blanche just hopes her pork chops are suitable, and that Oliver remains on his best behaviour. He still has a habit of being rude to strangers for no reason.

"I must compliment  you on your garden Mrs Ameretti. Your husband must have worked very hard to manage to get a Wishing Well from the Garden Club. Joe Graham told me of he was very impressed by your husband's horticultural ability."
Blanche remained speechless!

Blanche had to assume her pork chops were delicious. Unfortunately Demi Love settled herself next to Oliver at the dinner table, and snaffled her portion. Well at least they smelt good, thinks Blanche, sniffing the air.
The Headmaster is surprised to see Imani Sims at the table. He hadn't realised the Ameretti children were related to his newest pupil.
"If you turn out to have as much intelligence as your Aunt, you'll both do very well", he tells the twins.

The next morning Blanche looks on with pride as the twins leave in their smart new uniforms.

Oliver is eager to teach the twins all there is to know about his profession. Heather looks on in horror as he pulls a filthy sponge from the chest cavity of his mechanical dummy. The lesson is very illuminating .....

..... remind me never to aspire to a medical career thinks Heather. It really does stink.

Fed up with Oliver and Demi Love spending half the night playing poker, Blanche replaces the table with a piano.  Donovan is an immediate fan of the new instrument. Remind me to get a job in music when I'm older, he thinks. It rocks!

In a final act of justice, Blanche finally gets some recognition for all the hard work she put into the garden. Hanging her Nature hobby plaque on the wall proudly she thinks 'just let him try and say this is his'!

Smith - 1 Hangman Avenue - Round 5

Christa gazed at the lump of clay and wondered if she'd ever manage to shape it into something recognisable. Maybe pottery wasn't the best option when it came to light recreation from the pressures of running a business single handedly. What she really needed was some help, and more funds; especially if she was ever to make her dream of building a village hall for the town a reality.

As it was she was barely able to keep up with orders. Especially since she'd got a wholesale order from the Palace of Light. Vampricillin was still in demand. If anything sales had increased since Contessa Madeleine Fuchs had been reinfected. Even the townies were spooked by her reappearance, and were demanding something be done about the spread of infection.

"I'm sorry Christa, but until someone invites me into the community proper, I have no option but to stay with Count Brady Cox. He won't let me through the door of the coven house unless I'm one of them. I hate this life, but what can I do?"
Christa was almost moved to tears by Madeleine's plight, but what could she do? She hoped against the odds that someone would fall head over heels for her friend and move her in, but until that happened little could be done. She'd ask Madeleine to move into her home, but there just wouldn't be the room. There was six of them already, and Christa knew she still had to have two more children if she had any hope of marrying off six offspring.

Although it didn't solve the problem, Christa couldn't stop herself from giving Count Cox a good chest poking the next time she saw him.
"Hey, what was that for?" he asked in a wounded voice.
"To make me feel better", replied Christa.
But deep down it didn't make her feel better. It went against the grain, especially for a good witch. Maybe she wasn't as infallible as she thought? If she was, she'd come up with a solution to Madeleine's problem instead of attacking a poor wretch who didn't know any better!

The pressure kept mounting. Most would imagine receiving a positive review and a 'Best of the Best Award' a good thing. For Christa it meant an increase in customers, and more demand for her products.

Even though she had  Gold badges in restocking and manning the register, it was all she could do to keep products on the shelves and stop a queue from forming around the store.

Christa finally abandoned all hope of reaching level 10 after the shop ran out of stock only an hour after opening. 'Im going to need more help before I think about reopening. It's a while before Jinx grows up, but I'm going to wait for  her to join the business before I go any further.'

Still without enough money to buy her Town Hall, she decided to purchase another small business. The Corner Shop was soon renamed 'Bare Neccessities', and stocked mainly food and the odd magazine. Business was slow to start with, but she soon had it up to level 4. But profits were minimal, and she soon realised she'd have to come up with a more lucrative plan.

One positive to come out of her new business was the acquisition of a Gold Sales Badge. If anyone could make a success of a business it was her, she thought proudly. Putting a deposit down for the construction of the new hall, she purchased a plot of land next to her own home. She wanted to be near the building once it was finally built.

Christa gazed at the'Deathly Hallows Village Hall' in amazement. It had taken the builders so little time to construct, and yet looked like it had stood there forever. It was just so right, so in keeping with the surroundings, so perfect!

It met all the specifications she's supplied to the builders. It had a raised stage area, for community disco's and afternoon dances. An outside play area for the children, and an area  for summer barbeques 

The open balcony upstairs housed a conference table, and an area for coffee. Christa could imagine Council Meetings and Conferences. And at the moment that was all she could do - imagine. How to raise the money? Now there was a question, and so far she just couldn't supply the answer. Still Jinx was getting older, and maybe soon she'd have more help with the shops.

At the moment Jinx was busy enjoying her childhood. She was  an extremely playful child, who found amusement in the strangest of places. Including the bathtub! Christa was determined to channel her daughter's high spirits, and bought her a violin and ballet barre.

Jinx turned out to be so talented at both music and dance, that she was soon invited to join a local hobby group.

Merle on the other hand was more at home in the company of his younger brothers, and spent hours playing with them at the activity table.

Children age so quickly, thought Christa. It was a very special day; not only were the older twins growing into teens, the toddlers were turning into children. Seymour was first to the cake, and turned out to look exactly like his Father, Matthew. Even down to the hooked nose.

"Mum, are we related to Oliver Ameretti, because I have his hair?" asked a bemused Sawyer. Heading off to the mirror, he was quick to choose his own style.
"Mum, Sawyer's become an emo," cried Merle, laughing.
"What the heck's an emo?" replied both Sawyer and Christa.
Merle shook his head sadly. It was obviously a teen thing, and they were both either too old or too young to understand.

Jinx was up next, and turned into quite a stunning young woman. Christa was pleased with her daughter's life choice of Family. She even approved of her wanting to be Minister of Education. The way Deathly Hallows was expanding there would always be more children to teach, and the bookcase reward would be a welcome addition to any home. Christa wasn't so pleased, yet wasn't completely surprised, when Merle decided on a life of Pleasure. After all it had been the aspiration of his Father before him. She consoled herself with the thought that 50 dream Dates was preferable to some options he could have taken, like 50 1st Dates. At least her son had a chance at happiness without alienating half the female, or male, population of the town.

Finally the moment to induct her daughter into the ways of the light had come. Christa was a little nervous, and made certain it was what Jinx really wanted, before she started the ceremony. Merle covered his eyes in horror as light began shooting from his sister's body. He was so glad the path wasn't for him. That actually looks quite painful, he thinks to himself.

Christa's faith in her daughter's abilities was soon justified. Jinx's first spell was an unmitigating success, and lit up the night sky with a thousand stars and beams of radiance. It was then that Christa solved her dilemma of how to raise the money for the Town Hall.
"Listen Jinx, I think I've come up with a plan. How about  you use some of my savings to buy a small business. As it grows, you can choose to take the cash awards from the reward options. Once the business is level five, you can claim a grant of $50,000. I'll use that to buy the Town Hall, and you'll get a business. Everone's a winner. Now, how about a dress shop? Or do you fancy electronics?"
Barely out of childhood, Jinx chose to purchase 'Little Treasures', a tiny toyshop on the outskirts of town.
"Time for your first flying lesson", Christa told Jinx. Mounting their broomsticks, the pair headed off in the direction of the new business.

"Pull up Jinx. Pull Up!", Christa shouted anxiously. Diverting disaster at the final possible moment, Christa and Jinx arrived; scared but strangely exhilarated.

"Now, down to business", cried both women with determination.

For someone oozing niceness, Jinx's first attempts at some toys were surprisingly evil.

But with hard work and tedious repitition, soon both women were Master Toymakers.

The shop looked wonderful on the day of opening, and Jinx felt so proud as she turned the sale sign to 'Open for Business'. It had been a lot of hard work, but ultimately worth it.

Christa was missed at her other business, and received a visit from Vyn Scott for some Vamprocillin.
"You can have this bottle as a present, seeing as I've been neglecting the alChemist's for so long," Christa told her generously.

Keeping the place spick and span is so much easier with a phantom servant about the place, thinks Christa.

Jinx finally gets a Gold Restocking badge, to add to her collection. She's such a proficient young lady thinks Christa proudly.

Finally Christa is able to purchase Deathly Hallows Village Hall. Letting out a huge sigh of relief, she calls Jinx, and they both mount their broomsticks to return home. Time stands still on community lots, or so it seems.
"I feel like we've been gone for weeks, and it turns out it's only a matter of hours," Jinx tells her Mother in confusion.
"Don't worry, you'll soon get used to the way time works in Deathly Hallows", her Mother replies knowingly.

Back home, Christa becomes increasingly concerned about Sawyer. Although he has  the 10 points in nice needed to enter the witches order, he's a bit of a gossip. Christa catches him whispering about Kvornan Tricou. In some ways she can't blame the lad. It seems half the town are whispering about the Tricou's, and the strange goings on over at 6 Churchyard Street.

What alarms her more is his choice of friends. If a child is, to put it politely, challenged in goodness ..... then Sawyer brings them home from school with him. He's best of friends with Imani Sims .....

..... and is BFF's with Radcliffe Denton. Both have a less than acceptable one point in nice. Christa is beginning to despair that he'll ever bring a 'nice girl' home, and he's still only a child.

Not that she doesn't have more pressing concerns to worry about, when she finds out she's expecting again. 
"we'll have to put our plans for the shops on hold for a while," she informs Jinx. "You'll have to find something else to focus on until after the babies are born."

Like a dutiful witch and daughter, Jinx uses the time off to reach the pinnacle of her powers.
"Don't be too proud, I really want to take an invisible servant to college with me. If I study magic hard enough, perhaps I can get one to write my term paper," Jinx teases her Mother.

Having Christa around, with her  mood enhancing spells, allows Matthew to finally max out all his skills. Not content to stop his quest for knowledge, Matthew begins the task of learning fire prevention and couples counselling.
"Well, I can't just sit back and enjoy my old age, I have more children to look forward to now," he tells Christa. "Hopefully I'll live long enough to see 'em!"
Hopefully, thinks Christa, hopefully!

Sims - 8 Churchyard Street - Round 5

Abigail gazed at Peter, and their new home, and was filled with a sense of remorse. Peter wasn't so bad, was he? He had a terribly mean streak, but had never shown her anything other than kindness and fidelity. Or maybe she just felt terribly guilty? She'd seen how attracted he was to their son Oliver's new wife, Blanche. Maybe that's why she'd found comfort in the arms of Stephen Bloomfield? Maybe she was just making excuses for her behaviour? Well it had to stop. It couldn't continue. For the sake of their unborn child, she owed it to Peter to finish it with Stephen. But it wouldn't be easy. The man was simply gorgeous!

'Ok, so I'm feeling guilty. I just hope nobody lets the cat out of the bag to Peter. I'd hate to lose my new home, and my standing in the community, such as it is,' thinks Abigail. 

The welcoming visitors were a strange bunch, but were related to one of Peter BFF's, Corbin Majekodunmi. They spoke of ghosts and other nonsense, whilst Abigail sat feeling increasingly uncomfortable. She'd had a terrible backache for hours, and the reason became blatantly obvious moments after she sat down to eat .....

..... her daughter Imani was finally making her appearance.

After all the excitement, which Peter missed through work, Kvornan Tricou finally explained the reason for his visit.
"We need to raise simoleans to resurrect another member of the family, and Corbin hoped you'd be able to help out," Kvornan explained. Peter agreed to help out, although he wasn't made of money, a fact he stressed to Kvornan on a number of occassions.
"We've had a move, and a new baby, but tell Corbin I'll try and send a bit to help out!", he told the departing Kvornan.
Peter transferred a thousand simoleans the same night. 'It might not be a whole sims worth, but it should be enough to resurrect at least an arm, which is better than nothing', he told Abigail.

Peter was as good a Father to Imani as he had been to Oliver. He had no qualms about dirty diapers, and did his fair share of her feeds.

When it was time for her to grow into a toddler, it was Peter who held her over the cake. Poor mite grew up looking exactly like Oliver, only in drag. She even had the Sims chin, which whilst forgivable on a man, looked decidedly odd on a toddler. She sadly also inherited the same star sign and personality as her older brother - a mean Scorpio, with an obsession for cleaning.

Her neatness was apparent almost immediately. She never left the toddler table without putting all the bricks away behind her.

Peter finally made it to the top of the Adventurer career, and brought home tha strangest statue as a reward. Abigail couldn't dismiss it's influence on her daughter's rate of learning. After all. Oliver was never this bright, and he'd had the benefit of smart milk like Imani!

Imani soon maxed out mechanical skill, and was rewarded with membership to a secret hobby lot.

On her final day as an adult, Abigail made it to the Head of SCIA, and promptly aged and retired. 'I'm the last of the adults who founded this town to grow old',  she thought and suddenly  felt like a fossil. 'Had it been that long? Why it seemed like only yesterday she'd arrived with a toddler and barely a simolean to her name. My, how the place had grown!'

'And how quickly the birthdays roll round'.

Imani looks just like her older brother.

But is a genius. 'Hmm ..... creativity and mechanical, all she needs now is body, and she's more qualified to be a Criminal Mastermind than a lot of Criminal Masterminds. And she's still a toddler', thinks Abigail with pride, and a little apprehension. 'Few things are more scary than a mean person, but one that springs to mind is a mean person with intelligence.'

Looking round the table at the birthday guests, Abigail realises all the old timers are present. Kinsey Carpenter, Glen and Veronica Denton, and of course herself. The last of the old school!

Imani and Oliver not only look alike, they also have a habit of cleaning up at the most inappropriate times. With her party barely over, Imani is quick to began loading the dishwasher.

Before he leaves Imani takes a photo of her brother with the camera he bought her for her birthday.

Before starting school Imani maxes another two skills, and Abigail is more convinced than ever that her daughter is a genius. 'I must arrange to get her into Private School, it would be criminal to deny her the opportunity', she thinks.

The Headmaster is more than happy to accept Imani at his school. He agrees with her Mother, the girl could well be a genius. And having a child protege attend could only do the reputation of his establishment a power of good. 

The evening before starting school is Imani's last chance to do some fun things, like cleaning the toilet. One of her favourite tasks!

Peter takes the opportunity to start working on a sentrybot. He's had to put the project on hold for a while, since Imani took a lot of his time whilst a toddler. 'Now she's old enough to amuse herself, I really must set about finishing it. A present for Amin Bear next time he decides he'd like to help himself to my benchpress' he tells Abigail.
"But you don't have a benchpress," she reminds him.
"Exactly my point", he replies.

Bruenig - 7 Churchyard Street - Round 5

Marsha could hardly believe it! She'd finally made it, and become a fully fledged member of the neighbourhood. And not just any old neighbourhood, but Deathly Hallows, one of the fastest growing new towns in Simslandia. It had taken her years; following other students home from school, ringing their homes at all hours of the day and night. She'd tried befriending parents as well as their children, but had never had an invite to become one of 'them', she'd always remained an outsider, looking in. But everything had changed, and here she was, in a position to invite another outsider into the neighbourhood. Anthony Vijayaker was her college crush, and she was ready to ask him to move in with her. After all, she had her own house now, and nothing or no-one could stop her. She almost wished she could ask more of the 'outsiders' in. After all she wasn't the only one who'd suffered being excluded. She consoled herself with the thought that at least her childhood friends Chloe Gonzaga and Chandler Platz had also made it in.

Anthony Vijayaker - Knowledge - Virgo - LTW Become World Class Ballet Dancer

Anthony grew up well, and turned out to be quite the little saver. He'd managed to squirrel away $16,000, much to Marsha's delight. Now they'd be able to afford not only the essentials, but a few added luxuries too.

"So we're agreed, a telescope is an essential? What about a couch though? OK, so we can do without a couch, or a bed, but the bookcase and telescope are non-negotiable." Marsha was pleased that they both thought so alike, it would make living together much more agreeable.

Anthony turned out to be very sensitive and artistic, and requested a ballet barre so he could pursue his dream of dancing. Marsha was more than happy to oblige, after all, it was his money.

Their first visitors were a strange lot, and Marsha wasn't really sure if she believed the tale they told of their arrival in the neighbourhood. For a sim who'd been dead for over a decade, Jonathon Tricou looked remarkably alive and well, and certainly knew how to polish off a hamburger. Kvornan looked a little gothic, but didn't look newly risen in the slightest. Marsha decided to keep an open mind, after all stranger things happen. I mean who'd believe in werewolves if they only saw them in their human form, she thought.

Nylissit Tricou was a little strange, and refused to take her fur coat off, despite it being the height of Summer.
"My bones are still so very cold, and my blood is slow to warm," she told Marsha.

Anthony loved the new telescope, and spent every evening watching the heavens, hoping for confirmation of life on other planets.
"It would be very arrogant to think, with all the stars in the universe, that we are the only intelligent life form," he told Marsha.
It was whilst stargazing that Anthony made friends with a local legend named Menice. Apparently he was a werewolf, although Anthony wasn't totally convinced. He'd heard stories of animals half human and half wolf, and none of them featured feeding the animal treats or giving it a belly rub.

Anthony received another visitor the following day. Chandler Platz was having trouble injecting a little passion into his relationship with Kitty Haggerty. Apparently Chandler was very frustrated, and wanted Kitty badly, only he lacked the skill or charm to make it happen.
"Perhaps it's the pressure of all the skilling we seem to do. It's very competative at our house, as both of us want to be a Criminal Mastermind, and we both want to get there first. We hardly have a moment together, let alone an opportunity for intimacy. You probably have the same problem, what with you and Marsha both being knowledge sims?" Chandler asked.

"Well actually ..... yes, we don't seem to find as much time to be intimate as we'd like," Anthony replied diplomatically.

Besides stargazing, making friends with a local animal who may or may not be a werewolf, and acting as relationship councillor, Anthony spends a lot of time making ridiculous faces at his ant collection. You can tell from the concentration on his face that Anthony is a science freak. Marsha thinks it looks more like constipation than concentration, but loves him anyway.

By the end of the week both Marsha and Anthony have found jobs in their chosen careers, although neither starts for a few days. Anthony spends the last of his free time finding various constellations, unknown stars, red and white dwarfs, nebula's and black holes, but to his disgust, he finds not a single piece of evidence to support his theory of life on other planets.
"I don't know how those Curious brothers over in Strangetown managed it, or if it was all a big hoax, but I'm not ready to give in yet!", he thinks with determination.