So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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Decision time

So far, our flat hasn’t sold, I like to blame the bug for that, and we have to make some decisions quite soon. If we expect to stay for the winter we’ll have to buy our wood and store it soon and buy new winter tyres for the car. September is being lovely which helps!

We haven’t been able to get to the UK because Austria is on the quarantine list, in that when we arrive, we must have 14 days isolated. How this is policed I have no idea but we would honour that. The one brief time where the quarantines were lifted, there were no flights.

I really want to see my son as he has had some problems, and I miss my kids like a heartbreak. maybe I just need to see and touch, but it’s there. The thought of Christmas without either of them looms like a spectre.

There is a glimmer of hope, if we have no bookings on the holiday houses, then we could do a trip home, driving, so Swingle comes too, shortly or just after Christmas, then we could stay a month and do house hunting too.

We’re both believing in God’s timing in all this, we’re praying for the person who will buy and keeping ourselves in belief. It just needs time.


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Guest Post; Janet Wolanin Alexander

I met Janet on my horse book group, and read her book; At home on a horse in the woods.  Loved every page of it, as she goes through her life long passion for horses and how she finally fulfilled it. What blessed me most was her descriptions of riding in the woods. Her details and poetry had her feeling the spiritual dimension she found there, I find this myself, but more these days out with the dog!  The souls of her horses and the lessons from God that came through them, had me envy her this connection with God. Lovely read.  Now over to Janet.

Tell us a little about yourself—where you live, family, pets, and horses.

I am an American who lives with my husband, two stray dogs, and four stray cats in a small city in Indiana across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, that is considered within the Greater Louisville area. My horse is stabled next to hilly, forested state property with over 80 miles of horse trails. (I don’t have a truck or trailer.)

I am a retired science teacher and nature lover who was born horse crazy but made my way late to horses. Besides writing true horse tales, I also braid horse tail jewelry.

How did you start writing? Are you a book/article in the head person or do they write themselves?

I have been mysteriously called throughout my life to write up certain horse experiences. I saved them all, and, after retiring from teaching, joined a writing group and wrote more. Eventually, in 2017, my pile was high enough to compile into a book which was published by two writers in my group with a small publishing company. I didn’t pay them any money upfront (they made a percentage of their book sales) but they focused upon selling locally. In 2019, I came across the larger company started by a publisher, who, after self-publishing and traditionally publishing, developed an on-line course including coaching which takes a client from writing a book and publishing it in different formats to promoting and selling it. His company’s reach is worldwide and requires an upfront investment but his authors own their books. As I wanted to learn all the steps involved, I enrolled. In 2019 my slightly revised book was republished with a different subtitle. The publisher is a former church minister whose ministry is now helping people to write, publish, and sell their stories to help uplift the world.

Tell us about your book

At Home on a Horse in the Woods: A Journey into Living Your Ultimate Dream is a memoir, the story of my long and circuitous journey to horses which turned out, unbeknownst to me for a very long time, to also be a spiritual quest. When I was in my mid-40s and so frustrated that I was about to give up my horse dream forever, I was challenged to accept my dream as a divine calling. Blown away, I did and horses began coming into my life in ways I had never imagined. They still are and I am now 68.

In my book you will meet my three horse loves: Geronimo, an Appaloosa and former track pacer who liked to run trail riders into trees;

Dancer, a purebred Arab endurance champion I exercised during his retirement;

and  my half-Arab/half Tennessee Walker, Highlander, an accident-of-birth who has turned out to be the perfect trail horse for me. I have ridden him for over 20 years now; he is 26.

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1640857850
▪book trailer: https://youtu.be/3sGdDqmJFqM
▪website: https://swishtails.com/
▪author central page: https://www.amazon.com/Janet-Wolanin-Alexander/e/B07SMMWP53?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Coffee or tea?

Definitely tea. It smells and tastes so much better than coffee and there are so many varieties.

Where would you like to visit but haven’t yet?

I’d like to visit the states in the American West where the cowboy series I watched on TV as a kid during the 1960s were filmed. Plus, I’d like to visit the American desert and Pacific Northwest. And more of Canada.

Janet Wolanin Alexander, Iwritehorsetales@aol.com


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Selling the flat

After we had tidied the flat, we took fantastic photos, worked out the running costs, drew a floor plan and so all we needed to do was put it on the market and get the sale pack done. Of course, this wouldn’t be so necessary if we had already sold, which we nearly did.

I really felt it was the answer to prayer when we had a call from Pete, through whom we bought this place. Visit, interested lady, good price. What happened? The local council or Gemeinde.

There is a big issue in Austria with second homes, which we can agree with. It’s one of the reasons we moved here, having lived in the south of England, where villages turn into ghost towns in the weeks as Londoners go back. This leads to closure of everything, even fire brigades. The lady who wanted to buy  would have it as a holiday home and possibly retire here.

But no, council said it must be sold as a main residence. If people lie, there will be a fine. No sale.

What makes me mad is that out of the seven flats in our block, four are second homes, even of by inheritance. Unfair. Lost sale and back to prayer.


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Effective Prayer

As those of you who follow me know, I’m a Christian and a huge fan of Andrew Wommack. We’ve been following a teaching called, ‘You’ve already got it’. This shows how God has already provided all that we need supernaturally; we just need to reach with faith into the supernatural realm for this. He uses people, God doesn’t manufacture money!

So, we began praying by thanking him for his provision, that we reached into the supernatural to make his provision manifest into the natural. We prayed for those who will buy our flat to be enabled, and their funds to be freed up. We began telling people then one afternoon as we were starting to pack up books, and the house was a mess,we had a phone call from a friend, whose agency we bought this flat through. Friend of a friend was interested, could they come round? We hadn’t even put it on the market.

She seemed interested. Then Pete came back and told us what we could realistically get for the flat and that as we are friends, he would cut us a deal.Okay. There would be an issue due to Brexit and it’s a residential property. We let it go and thanked God!

Today, he called and asked us if he should go on, he would get the price we settled on, so we said yes, although we said that we weren’t accepting an offer (this is legally binding in Austria). So it’s now in God’s hands to sort the funds and dates, we are at peace and bowled over at the same time.

We’ve been looking at sales sites and realized we will have to move north. We found that around Durham, we could buy a house for under £40,000, which is what we paid for this. I saw a two bedroom house with a cherry tree – I’ve always had one in my garden. And we’ve been googling and checking it out.

Then when asking what we do, Rotherham came into my head and bounced around all day. We looked, but we saw prices are higher. It’s a huge city with many problems. So I’ve asked God to send us a clarification that’s not in my head alone, and if he changes our hearts, we will go willingly and with joy.

We have to decide when we go, we’ll both have to work, hopefully we will get some of the summer before we go. Watch this space!


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Thankfulness!

Things are happening…Challenger is making progress up the rankings and is on an Amazon ad…I’ve got back in contact with an old mate through books…a chance to submit Compromise to a publisher…received an invite to follow up about serializing Tom…found a great way to get the books into German…and of course, being inMom’s favorite reads…AND the snow’s melting! Thanks Lord!!!!!!


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God’s Plan, are we on our breakthrough?

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Our recent trip to Salzburg was to see the Chamber of Commerce (well that’s how I translate it) the WKO about the correct information on Dave going self employed. We had the luxury of an interview in English and correct information. It is far more do-able than we thought, we just have to go out now and find the work. I can even be employed by Dave and partially insured!

So we could be working as a team looking after holiday houses, the only problem is the winter. If we have more than two changeovers on a day, we cannot physically do it. But it would free us up to support ourselves and do more direct work serving the community.

In this area, we have just started a stint helping with Meals on Wheels in the village. Two of the guest houses take it in turn to cook and we go and collect. Our first day was hilarious as the Guest house being on its first week as well as us didn’t know where one of the ladies lived, but we followed the boss and we found her waiting for us at the side of the road. Another lady denied having ordered but the Kindergarten was pleased we were early!  We are believing that this will lead us into more contact around and maybe to some work for Dave.

And we are believing for the financial break though that will supply us with enough money to keep us going  because as as yet there will not be enough money to support both of us.

Great, we’re on our way!