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#1 22nd Dec 2015 at 11:27 PM
Homesteading for Beginners, a Midnight Sun Challengeabout:
My name is Dina Ray. This summer I bought a small plot of land on a tiny island off the coast of Simmaine. I know what you're thinking, how did someone so young afford this? Well, I've been working part time since I was thirteen and I never spent any of it. As soon as I could I started shopping for the perfect place off the grid. It's been a hard, yet rewarding summer and I'm finally beginning to find my feet. Please check into my blog regularly to see what I've been up to.
Like what you see?
Don't forget to donate through my Simpay link on the sidebar! Or buy the fruit of my labor at my simetsy shop, Homesteading for Beginners!
I've finally completed construction on my cabin and gotten it decorated. The solar panels just came and they were able to drill a well. I just realized that almost everything is green or blue. This is interesting. Every time I come here, the island seems more beautiful. I want to get to know the sea in all its moods and to be on speaking terms with every single tree. But first, I should go fishing and try to catch some dinner.
I caught a fish and gutted it, then I skewered it with a stick and roasted it on a fire I built on the beach. As I listened to the fish sizzle and the logs crackle I felt very optimistic about my future. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to undo what's been done. Maybe if I keep writing someone will be inspired to set off too.
So. Much. Fish.
I may have overestimated my ability to survive by myself away from society. Every morning I go to my fridge to see what's inside. Every morning it is empty. So I go fishing and eat more fish. I miss the grocery store. I miss variety...
But! Today I was foraging by the pier and I found an apple tree! The fruit was ripe and I picked some and it was glorious! So sweet and delicious. Then I went looking around some more and found a blueberry bush and some blackberry brambles! I also found some seeds in the forest. I'm starting up my garden now.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?
I've got sprouts! And maybe a tiny baby tree! I've been fertilizing it with my fish heads and entrails and weeding very diligently. I'm worried about over-watering, but I think seedlings I'm hoping that I can get at least one harvest in before the frost. How am I going to survive the winter alone? I do enjoy my solitude, but it's been ages since I heard the voice of anyone other than me. Is anyone even reading this? What's the point?
I finally finished setting up my workbench. I made a couple metal toys I'm putting up in the shop. I'm saving up now for a term at Sim University.
I've also been sketching and painting a lot. I think I'm getting pretty good. I discovered that some of the workmen left a bag of spray paint and tape when they left. I've been making the pier my own, ha ha. I've also been doing some Yoga and swimming a bit. My shoulders have really started developing!
#2 28th Dec 2015 at 11:23 PM Last edited by tunafishfish : 30th Dec 2015 at 6:08 AM. Reason: formatting/typo/make timeline make sense
Moving into Fall9/1
Falling for Fall!
There's been a bite in the air these past few nights, and today when I got up there was a faint frost on the ground. I'll be putting some blankets around my tomatoes to protect them tonight. I just need to get in one more harvest before the cold really sets in.
The red herring were really biting today! I think I have enough to sell over yonder. As I was doing my main loop looking for fruit, seeds, and interesting bugs, I spotted the first orange leaf. I guess summer really is over.
A slight movement in the woods and a metallic click and whirr. The crunch of boots on the pebbled beach. They've found me.
I continue working on my invention as the paparazzo approaches. I don't look up, don't acknowledge him, and keep shaping the metal rod with my blowtorch. He gets out a notepad and pen, watching me as I work. Why did I think the ocean would be enough? Why did I think I could escape my mother's fame? Yeah, I'm that Dina Ray, daughter of Cassidy O'Shea and Charley Ray. I know it's not about me it's about them. Their love, their break-up, their make-up, their heartbreak, Daddy's remarriage. Momma's drinking problems. Tomorrow I build a fence.
I woke up early and spent all morning collecting driftwood, fallen branches, and brush to cobble together a fence.
It was silly. I was silly to think I could move away and start a blog and they would leave me alone. Prodigal Daughter Found! Shea-Ray Devastated! How much time had they spent looking for me? How much resources has that man wasted? I am ITCHING to give him a talking to about renewable energy and fuel consumption, but that will only give him more to write about.
I should've had the builder build a fence before I moved in. I should've known it was only a matter of time. It doesn't matter whether I move to Bridgeport or to Simmaine or go to university or even Shang Sim-La! They will always find me and I will always be a story to them. I might as well embrace it.
I'm still building that fence, though. Where there are people, there are zombies. And I am not having my harvest wrecked by some shambling corpse!
Welcome, new readers!
I noticed a sudden up-tick in traffic this morning and discovered that I'd been linked to by Them Weekly. So, welcome, Them readers! This is my digital home, so you need to keep it civil. That means if you can't be constructive or add to the conversation, don't say anything at all. I will now be modding all comments. Please check out my 3 part series on beekeeping and my series on eco-gardening.
I just put some new stuff up in the shop, including customized drinking llamas, blue flax plants, beeswax, and honey! Check it out!
*I have no affiliation with Riverview Records. I will not listen to your demo. I will not pass it on to my father and I will not pass your songs on to my mother. No matter how cool you think they or I am. If you want to make it big in the music business you need to go through the proper channels just like everyone else.
I got in!
This is so last minute, but I've got to share! I took the test and I got in to Sims University with a partial scholarship in biology!! I just got off the phone with the admissions counselor and they've got a space for me for this semester! I leave the day after tomorrow.
I did the math, and because of the scholarship, I should be able to afford my own place off campus. Don't get me wrong I'm very excited to meet all my peers, but I need my space. I've gotten used to the quiet of my island and I don't want to give that up entirely for the university life. Expect more personal updates from here on out.
9/22 8:00 AM
This whole travel thing is so not easy. First I take my motor boat to a bigger island where I catch the ferry to the mainland. Then I hop the bus to the City and from there a plane to University Regional where the school shuttle gets me. I left yesterday morning at dawn. The air is warm and heavy and my clothes are sticking to me, school's only a few hundred miles south from home, but it feels like summer again.
I used my layovers to set up appointments with some landlords, so I hope I'll have a place to call my own before orientation at the Student Center.
9/22 11:00 AM
I ended up renting the second place I saw. It's a one bedroom/one bathroom stand alone house. I can afford it by myself too, so I don't even need a roommate. Everything is pretty basic and blah, but I can deal with that for a few months. I think I'll replace the mattress, though, because the thought of sleeping on someone else' mattress skeeves me out.
I'm so overwhelmed with the noise and the people. I'm positively dreading this event.
The landlord let the delivery people in while I was out at that meet and greet, so I arrived home to a fresh mattress! Orientation wasn't too terrible. The air was close and the people closer, but I got a free kicky bag, a course catalog, and a student handbook. I also met some cute guys and registered for classes. I've got two classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; a lecture on Tuesdays; and a lab on Thursdays. It's a pretty full schedule, but hopefully I'll still have time to go out and have fun.
I was talking with a girl and she said that there's a really neat coffee shop just off campus. There's also a comic book store, a bowling alley, a drive-in, two more restaurants, the supermarket, and the college bookstore. It sounds so small writing it out like that, but it's huge compared to the island! I was really pleased to see that there's more bike traffic than car traffic. It seems that nearly everyone has one and they all are pretty good at it.
#3 7th Jan 2016 at 6:49 PM Last edited by tunafishfish : 7th Jan 2016 at 7:02 PM. Reason: semantics
Thanks for bearing with me!
Somehow I thought that college would be easier and more fun. I guess I forgot that I'm still me. I've never really made friends easily and being followed around by paparazzi doesn't really make me approachable. My classmates seem nice and they seem to like me, but I haven't really clicked with anyone yet. I think I'm doing well in my classes, at least.
This place is heaven for foragers! There are herbs and fruit bearing bushes all over campus and The Grotto has its own neglected garden out back. I've been cleaning it out and tending to the more temperamental plants and harvesting a bit. Let's just say that I haven't had to buy groceries once since being here.
The bartender at the grotto recognized me and comped me a drink today. It was a nice gesture, but I don't know how I feel about it. On the one hand it was pretty cool, but it just doesn't sit well with me. I'm not any better than anybody else. I'm famous because my parents are famous, not because I've done something worthwhile. Yet.
It started out with a full moon. Enough said, right? So, of course a zombie came and ate my one tomato plant. All I wanted was something to nurture while at school! Zombies can be such downers. Then, it's like everywhere I turned there was another guy.
I went to the coffee shop on Saturday and ran into Jacob. He's swarthy with startling blue eyes and fantastic arms. I've never really noticed a man's forearms before... We talked about class and when I mentioned how much I missed getting out on the water, he totally opened up. He also fishes, though he prefers fly fishing over bank fishing or surf casting like I do. He says he likes the skill of it, the tension, the fight of the fish and then the relief of winning. Followed by dinner. I think he might have been flirting with me a little, but he invited me out with him the next time he goes. Jacob says that the reason I don't like fly fishing is that I haven't had the right teacher. I don't exactly have the right streams, either. I live on an island with no deep, fast running streams. My choices are bank or beach.
On Sunday, I decided to try the elixir shop for some ghost chilies and mushrooms I've been having trouble locating when I ran into Leonard. We have bio 201 together and he's very quiet in class, but I notice him doodling in his notebook. We talked for a while about comics, it turns out he loves Amazing Woman too! His favorite villain is Primogenitor, first born son of Jove. Primogenitor is pretty bad-ass, but Monica Chard is so much more menacing and dynamic. She made a coalition with Doctor Mental and Calypso! Getting those two to work together wouldn't be easy. Anyway turns out his garden got eaten by zombies Friday night too, so he was there to see if there were any anti-zombie charms for his garden. Naturally, that turned into a discussion on composting, because what gardener isn't looking for something to do with weeds and kitchen waste?
Then I had to run and meet up with Cid for a study date. I don't know why that boy is majoring in biology, his heart is clearly elsewhere. Cid has shoulder-length, pastel blue hair that's faded to an off shade of green in some places and he wears a floppy wool hat even though it's really warm out. He's always got a bit of paint on him somewhere and I think I spotted him coming out of the alleyway between the science building and the business school with a canvas bag slung over his shoulder. The next day there was a big mural on the wall of the science building of a blue planet inside a raindrop. He looks different than other people, but I'm not sure in what way. He's not a vampire or a fairy, but his eyes shine in the light in an unsettling way...
Oh, I forgot to mention that I was arrested on Friday. I got caught making graffiti. It was totally lame. The officer handcuffed me, walked me to the car, and then drove me home. When we got there, he lectured me about the evils of defacing public property and then fined me $1000! I have no idea why he didn't just write me a ticket. I spent all weekend running around trying to recoup the loss, but have only been able to put together $600. I need all the money I can get right now. I need to get books and basic supplies before returning home for winter break. I can get more fish than I'll ever need, but reference books and comics are a bit thin on the ground... I could just kick myself for cutting up my credit cards!
Happy Halloween! (Belated)
Did you all enjoy your creepy Halloween full moon? Did your pumpkin patch survive the monthly zombie infractions? Did you notice the real ghosties and ghoulies moving amongst the trick or treaters?
I had a very scary Halloween night. I got out of class at 6:00, just when the sun was going down. The moment the sun slipped below the horizon, I heard a sickening noise. When I turned around there was a werewolf with blue hair on its head! Then I heard it again to my other side and another of my classmates transformed! A professor got so scared she peed herself and fainted! Then 3 more people turned into zombies and went lurching off after the vegetation. I ran home as fast as my feet could carry me.
Cid's a werewolf! Cid is a werewolf. So, Cid's a werewolf. Ok.
Jacob came to my house and it's all, “You look so pretty, those shorts are really sexy.” And “It's so rare to find a girl that also fishes. Tell me more about trout. I'd love to see you handling those big fish.” And so on and so forth. It really seemed like he was into me, so I kissed him. Turns out, he wasn't AND he was upset that I'd kissed him. Well, there's the door, buster! Also why would you spend 4 hours flirting with a girl you weren't into? I mean, really.
Posting is going to be sparse around here for the next few weeks while I get ready for finals. I've got a few papers to write and I really have to buckle down and study. So this will be a complete break with no posts until after I've taken my last test.
So who has two thumbs and aced all her classes? This girl! I kinda wanna go out and party, but I don't really know anyone who parties, or anyone really. People have been nice, but standoffish. I haven't really made any deep friendships at all. Next semester, I'm going to try and put myself out there more and make some real friends. I only need 6 more credits to graduate, but traveling all that way to take just one class seems ridiculous. I have all Winter Break to think about this.
#4 8th Feb 2016 at 12:37 AM
What I did on my Winter Vacation, by Dina Ray
I did a lot of reading.
I did some painting.
I took care of the bees. I love my bees!
I went fishing a lot. I caught a perfect alley catfish! I named him Benny and he lives on the shelf next to Tremayne, my perfect anchovy.
In all seriousness, this break gave me a lot of time to think. In between all the fishing and indoor gardening, loneliness crept up to me on little cat feet. Before I knew it, it had jumped up into my lap and settled there. I could keep it at bay for a while by calling my college friends, but once I hung up the phone it was just me.
1/8 private entry
I'm losing it! When one of my plants died I cried like a baby. I just don't want this feeling anymore! At first, I loved my little island. I loved knowing that I was the only person for miles and miles. I was even ok when the paparazzi found me because there was someone else there... Now it's beginning to feel like a prison. After this semester, I graduate and I have nothing to look forward to except a lifetime of being by myself on the island and I don't know if I can take it.
Our civilization might be destroying our planet and it might be horribly messed up and broken, but it also has other people in it... Unless I can convince my friends to come back with me. My island is a paradise just waiting to be discovered. We can make the world great again as long as we believe what we are doing is right.
1/11 Welcome Back, Students!
Winter traveling is for the birds! I left on Friday and it was delay after delay after cancellation. I ended up staying overnight in some little nothing town between the Mainland Town and the City when there was zero visibility on the road and missed my flight to University. I finally managed to get in this morning at 8:00. I managed to rent the same old house again and my landlady was happy to see me.
I headed to the library in the morning to read up on metal craft and then went to the orientation. I ran into Cid and he seemed happy to see me and we talked for a while. Turns out he's into comic books too!