I can't for the life of me remember what the heck I did for the rest of Tuesday; I lost my notes. I figure I must have gone collecting, and I certainly went fishing, and I certainly tended my garden.
I got up Wednesday a bit after 8:30 a.m.,
sent off the gems in my inventory to the gemcutter,
and tended my garden. I was unable to improve my potato vine,
because the produce from the Outstanding vine was only Outstanding itself,
but I was able to improve my garlic plant, from Outstanding to Perfect.
I didn't rip out the Outstanding garlic plant, though, because I use so much garlic for catching Vampire Fish. Maybe having 2 plants of my own will mean I don't have to steal from the Carpenter-Rhodes garden any more....
I got two gems back from the gemcutter (which I must have sent out yesterday, though I don't remember doing so)--one yellow sapphire and one emerald.
I sold them and, given what I received for them, I think it was probably worth paying $10 to have the yellow sapphire cut, but not the emerald.
Still, I've been told I have to get the emerald cut done 5 times in order to be offered better quality cuts, and it sure would be nice to have better quality cuts available for the Luminorious gems, in case I find any more.
I now had enough money to buy a sofa (so that I don't always have to read the newspaper on the toilet!), but not enough to buy the TV I want (and I think Jon would like to be able to watch TV when he's here).
So, I went out to make some money fishing.
I fished for hours,
and got so tired that I had to take a nap at the Riverview Swim Club,
before I could make it to the grocery to sell my catch.
When I woke up, I sold my catch for $3,588,
which--together with the nearly $2,000 I already had--gave me enough money to buy a lamp and a rug,
the TV I wanted,
and some exterior lighting.
I was out working in the garden Thursday afternoon when Jon surprised me by dropping by.
He snuck up behind me and kissed me.
"Grace!" he exclaimed. "What a happening look you've got going!!"
Slightly embarrassed, I reminded him that he'd lectured me that I should always wear a hat while I was outdoors because of my very pale skin.
He didn't say anything in response--he just stood there grinning at me.
Because I felt I had to say something, I blurted out that I'd bought a new TV.
"Gee, there's one reason to go indoors," he teased.
We went inside and kissed again.
I squeezed him around the shoulders and he winced. "Sorry," he explained, "I think I have a touch of bursitis." So, I gave him a massage.
I don't actually know what bursitis is, but I hope it's not serious.
We went to watch my new TV,
and he complimented me on my taste in decorating. "You might consider some color other than gray, at some point, though," he offered, haltingly.
He kissed me again, and it was pretty intense.
I broke away. "What's your favorite color, Jon?" I stammered.
"Brown," he answered, smiling. "As in 'golden, brown, and delicious'--are you going to try to make me dinner again?"
"Sure," I said, laughing, but relieved. (I'm not really ready for anything intensely physical, though I'm just crazy about Jon. I don't have a lot of experience. Okay...I don't have any experience.)
While I cooked us an early dinner, Jon cooled off in one of my sprinklers.
My goodness--he looks cute in his swimsuit!
I called him in to eat whatever it is that I made (I don't actually remember what it was).
"This is fabulous, Grace," he complimented me. "Are you going to cook like this all the time when we're married?"
"Absolutely," I promised him. "Are we really getting married?"
He looked shocked, and a bit hurt. "Of course we're getting married--why would you think we're not?"
I fumbled around, and gave him some sort of non-response.
"Look, Grace," he said firmly. "The only reason we're not married already is because of your danged GAC Challenge and its rules."
"Well," I admitted, "I can't have you move in before I'm finished, but that doesn't mean I can't ask you to stay over before I'm finished."
I can't believe I said that, but my bold words hung in the air.
"I'd like that, Grace," Jon said, smiling again. "But no pressure," he reassured me.
"Hey," he added, "you look tired. Why don't you take a nap while I clean up? It'll sort of make up for the other night, when you let me sleep and I left my dirty plate on your dining table."
Jon didn't have to make the offer twice--I was exhausted.
He cleaned up after our dinner, then practiced guitar for a while. I woke up a couple of times, and could hear him through the walls.
I got up from my nap after about an hour, and went out to see him.
"Oh--I was just about to join you!" he said, sounding a little disappointed.
I told him I really needed to spend at least an hour taking care of my garden.
"It's just that, the sooner I get 8 Perfect plants, the sooner we can start our life together," I explained.
"Okay," he said. "I'm cool with that," and headed into the bedroom.
I harvested my garden, and weeded it,
checked my mail and paid my bills,
and then decided to fertilize some of my plants.
In retrospect, I guess I just kept finding more chores to do, in order to avoid a discussion--or worse, a confrontation--with Jon as to whether we'd become intimate before marriage or not.
There, I said it.
I was tired, and needed to go to sleep. I decided against wearing my usual short nightie, and instead changed into an undershirt (I think it's called a "wife-beater") and sweatpants.
I slipped into bed, trying very hard not to wake Jon. But he snuggled up behind me, anyway.
"No funny stuff," I cautioned, sounding somewhat more cross than I meant to.
"Don't worry," he said, kissing the nape of my neck. "I'm way too tired. Besides, I'm an old guy, remember?"
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Join us next time, when Jon and Grace have a serious talk about their future, and Grace gets oh-so-close to her Perfect Garden LTW.