It's been a busy term, full of music and song and moments where I've realised I've got too much on for my own good. Holly has adapted well to both of us working. We still have time to enjoy with her. We've done lots of swimming with her over summer and are now enjoying taking longer walks as the weather gets cooler. She is fascinated with horses and birds. She is now standing without any support sometimes, and she's walking up and down the furniture and looking rather pleased with herself. Her sleeps during the day have become fewer and fewer, which keeps me on my toes. She also eats simply everything - many things she shouldn't, but the plus side is that she basically never refuses food. We can present her with zucchini and carrot, and she munches it down delightedly and cries when it's gone. She likes her sweet stuff though, and it's getting a lot harder to eat stuff around her without her wanting a bit of it. Recently, I was sitting cross-legged on the floor eating chocolate cake. A second later, a hand swooped out of the air and grabbed a massive handful of my cake and icing. Holly had crawled up rather quietly, stood up with the support of the armchair behind me, and positioned herself to do some looting.
It was looking horrifically dry just a week or two ago, and we were all wondering how the town water supply was going to go over winter. The local Weir was down to just 20%. Thankfully, God answered our prayers and we had nearly 100 ml in one week. Areas around us had much more, and the streams and creeks that contribute to the Weir supplied it with so much water it started overflowing. We're delighted that everything is green again and our creek and Weir are full. However, for many people (particularly not far south of us), this latest rain event has caused a lot of devastation. In one case in Sydney, an entire house floated away in the flood waters. It goes to show that it needs to rain a heck of a lot elsewhere for Chinchilla to have just enough to get through winter!
My last kayak on the local creek was beautiful. I saw seven turtles, a wedge-tailed eagle, several swamp wallabies, and lots of water fowl, all happily enjoying the water. The algae bloom has almost all gone from the surface of the water there.
In the meantime, the transition of my Fledgling Account books to Brimstone Fiction is taking longer than expected, unfortunately. I will update the links for the books on my "Store" page once the transition is more or less finalised. I'm writing other things in the meantime.
Life seems to be slowly going back to normal. Certainly this March has been a sight better than last March. I've been asked to sing at the town's Anzac Day service again. Hopefully this time all goes ahead.
Perhaps one of the most exciting things in the last term has been that my husband Michael was granted permanent residency. After a long and arduous application process and an extremely long wait, our partner visa application for him has finally paid off. Hopefully the next stop is citizenship! We were phoned by the department of immigration about Holly's status, as they were using this to help make a decision on Michael's application. The man on the phone suggested that if we applied for an Australian passport for Holly, it might help things move faster. I had just gotten myself organised enough to do this when the grant came through even before the passport had been sent to us. So now Holly has an Australian passport and really nowhere to go, as borders are still mostly shut and international travel is strongly discouraged. It's kind of weird that Holly has an Australian passport but Michael and I don't. I didn't even think of renewing Australian the last time I renewed my passport, so I got a New Zealand one. It was inconvenient in the extreme to be on a New Zealand passport when we immigrated, as every time I applied for something that Australians were able to get but New Zealanders weren't, I was challenged about my nationality. I did provide my citizenship certificate as ID, but it still messed me up every time. Anyhow, two of us are citizens of Australia and one of us is now a permanent resident. It certainly gives me a great deal of peace of mind.
I shall leave you with some pictures as always - shots I've snapped of wildlife and our family and things I've seen around in the last couple of months. Unfortunately, we've had a bit of wildlife inside. The mouse population has been intense in Chinchilla lately. I'm torn between wanting snakes to eat them all and not wanting too many snakes around!