So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


Guest Post; Paulette Mahurin

Paulette is a fellow author in Mom’s Favourite Reads, she’s a dog lover, and I love her books!

First let me say a heartfelt thank you for inviting me over to your great site. I’m truly grateful. I live with my husband, Terry, and our two dogs, Max & Bella, in Southern California. In a beautiful small tourist town that I sometimes incorporate into my fiction writing. I love to write and do volunteer work to help rescue dogs plus I am also a mediator in the Ventura County Superior Court. My profession before retiring was a health care provider. I continue to use my medical experience to counsel women with cancer. All my work is pro-bono.

As far back as I can remember, I wrote. At first on scraps of papers, I jotted down storyline ideas. That progressed to journaling and diary writing. And when in college, I wrote and published short stories. Later on in life, while nearing my retirement age, I took up writing. Now, after seven novels, it’s in my blood: the joy of watching stories unfold before me, the anxiety of publishing, the agony and ecstasy of feedback with reviews, and the incredibly wonderful friendships with authors like you all around the world.

As a writer, I’m a morning person. And very organized. I usually put in time in the morning and stay with it anywhere up to 4 – 7 hours, depending on my energy level. I’m a bit of a type A personality and unfortunately sometimes push myself beyond my body’s protest and discomfort. But I love to write, love to sit down and vomit out stories, and be a witness to what the characters want to have happen. I don’t always agree with them but they certainly have a voice in what I write.

Overall ideas come to me. I’m very interested in intolerance: racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, women abuse, etc. and have written most of my stories around these issues. I have also ventured into a couple of literary fiction stories. The ideas flow spontaneously chapter to chapter, sometimes multiple chapters at a time and I have to make a little outline to remember what came up.

Favourite book?Way too many to pick from. I have loved so many stories. From some of my indie friends to Steinbeck, there’s a lot of talent out there. I just couldn’t pick one.

Paulette’s dogs; Max, a three-paw (born that way) rottie, on top and my Bella, rottie-sharpie, on bottom.

Again, thank you so much for having me here. As a final note I wanted to also thank you on behalf of all the dogs I’ve helped rescue.

Wilbur 3 rescued 2019-03-01 at 3.33.14 PM

One of the saved dogs

All profits from all my books go to help get dogs out of kill shelters. My concentration is where I live in Southern California, which has a very high population of “throw-away” dogs waiting to either meet their sorrowful end or wag at the chance at a new beginning and wonderful life. Dogs are my passion and I’m fortunate to be able to be in a position to help, fortunate that I’ve been lucky with the books I’ve written in that several have made it to international Amazon best seller.



I just celebrated my 59th birthday. A few decades ago, I would be considered ready for the comfy chair and and a bit of knitting.

Nowadays it’s just another start. I have to work until I’m 66 @:%=#**#=# it! I’m building my career as a writer hope to start some painting, and ride again.

So next year? Be warned! I’m planning a big 60th party in the UK. Then (don’t tell the pension people) I’m going to re-generate, following year I’m going to be 59 again. Good idea???

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IBQ Writing Prompt: What is Happiness?

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A patch of sunlight

To me, right at the moment, to be happy, I need solitude. It’s been a long hard winter, and there are still no prospects of work. I’m ok at home, when I get the peace and quiet to do the things that I enjoy, without negative comments and questioning.  I’m sleeping badly due to thyroid problems and the menopause, so a complete night’s sleep would make me happy too.  I have Shira the Goldie to look after tomorrow, so walking her tomorrow will make my day.

Yet real happiness would be a day with the house to myself. I don’t want it forever, or at the cost of a huge argument. To bend God’s ear at any moment, seeking his quiet voice.  To write diaries and blogs. To finally tackle painting again. To read a few pages of a book. To eat or not eat when I feel like it. And quiet. There is always the TV or radio on due to my other half’s tinitus. So I want quiet. Where I can hear the thrush and blackbird singing in the garden over the roar from the waterfall. To maybe go to bed at 7.30 and read without justifying myself.  I think back to last summer which I christened  the Cowbell summer, where during the heat wave I sat and read and wrote with all the windows open to the music of the swallows and the bells from the nearby field.  Maybe if I can remember this is my mind the peace will return. Just one day.

Yet despite this,  three things have put a smile on my face today, unexpected blessings. Taking a surprise 85th  birthday pressie to one of our clients on the Meals on Wheels round, an unexpected hug born of real pleasure from one of the neighbours who I haven’t seen for a while, and the black squirrel running along the garden fence, spotted as I sit here at the screen. I can wait for my day.


Travel Theme: Summer

Looking down towards the Grangler Hut, Weisspriach, Lungau

This summer is going to be the best for several years, I’ve decided and that’s final! After all my time teaching riding and the summer when I worked seven days a week at Lois’s stables when he was hurt and then the last two at the Burg with all that associated stress, I’m going to be more at home.  As well as having weekends, I’ll have the Bank holidays. This means I will finally have the time to work on my garden, instead of filling it with flowers and then neglecting it.  I’ll have time to harvest my veggies and fruit and make jam. I might even have a go at some wine making if I can find the gear.  I’m putting a second picture in, wonder if that’s allowed?

June 2010

This also means I’ll have time to go walking in the mountains with Dave and friends. The Bergs are completely addictive, although I cuss and swear as I trudge up and have to take deep breaths, this year I’m fitter (but not thinner) and I cant wait to be up there in that clear air, beautiful views and the silence that wraps them. Of course it’ll also mean Kaisershmarrnn testing at the huts –there’s always one somewhere on a route.  And the camera will be with me, as I disappear for a shot, leaving Dave exasperated or talking to himself.  We just need the last of the snow to melt – which this year means some places will be inaccessible until July, never mind, I’ve got all summer!


Missing the horses


When I took my new job on, I was at the same time offered an application as a Riding teacher for the summer at a stables near Tweng. I turned down the idea as its full-time and seasonal.  But its been bugging me.  And I don’t know whether its my own desire or part of God‘s plan. Is it me or him?  I wish only to  follow his plan, but I keep on remembering teaching riding and how I get such a buzz and it fulfils me.  I’m sure God gave me the cleaning job and these people to serve, but the hours are two few to keep even me occupied. I will not give that up.  I’m at home on my own too much and I need another couple of days to earn my share of our income.  Of course, my job has coincided with Dave working six days a week in the spring madness at the garden centre -60,000 Pansies sold before Easter! Maybe that makes it feel worse.  But I’m missing the horses.  Edith and I have a EAGALA Workshop planned for the 21st, but at most  she wants to do this once or twice a week,  maybe I’m jumping the gun and we’ll be overrun with clients!  I’m missing the company too, too much time on my own mucking around with this computer! Lonely even.  So Edith helped me write an application letter, and the Lady at the Job Centre said send it, even though I specify quite clearly I can only work 2/3 days a week and not at weekends – he can just say no!

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Snow, snow, quick,quick, snow!

It'll be here soon enough, this was by the Joeph Merle Hutte in Schonfeld a couple of years ago

This autumn’s mild weather prompted my change of blog title, and as I write on the 15th of November, there is very little snow here at all.  We had some on the tops, such as Obertauern a few weeks ago but its all melted. Normally by now there’s enough to start the season and some of the hotels advertising for staff must already be open. There’s no glacier here for all year snow, so maybe they’ll have to bus people to Zell am see…….the snow usually turns up here in force at the end of the month and us valley huggers are in no rush for it to arrive!  There’s no apparent change in the forecast yet, we’re getting -8c at night which is normal and beautiful days. It seems Italy and France had shedloads of the stuff, but its thawed! The Austrian football team just got snowed in in the Ukraine though……..

Now I’m out of work and looking for something that’s all year, but all I’m finding is seasonal stuff.  We have work with the Asylums until the end of the year when the funds run out,  our first real therapy client and the two girls I’m teaching to ride who may go on through the winter, so it makes it difficult to find something – if we could just get funding next year, I could go self employed.

Work aside, life is wonderful!  God has changed things quite suddenly.  We now have a new Bible group, we met for the first time last week and it was lovely and spirit filled.  We just sat and chatted, all having so much to say on what we believe and have experienced, I feel we’ll eventually find a theme and study that, but at the moment we’re getting to know each other.  It’ll be weekly and you know for once I’m not worrying about being out late and feeling tired, for not only has God lifted the tiredness and deep fatigue, he’s given me a renewed spirit of eagerness to be out and about and enjoying life,(Thanks Joyce Meyer)  this is more than increased medication it’s a renewal.

Then through the sadness of or neighbours loss, I’ve got to know Lizzie, and through her found out about the local keep fit class in Ramingstein.  I went for the first time last night and although I wasn’t quite as bad as I thought, I’ve found I can’t hold my legs in the air while lying on my back – no muscles at all, will need to practise.  I only dissolved into laughter at myself once!  Out of that I’ve an invitation to coffee with another neighbour.    I’m also planning an English Christmas tea party and have baked cakes and will do mince pies, funny its taken me nearly five years to get this far.

Life is good, thanks God!