So where's the snow?

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


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Enjoying Life

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One thing I can’t put in these posts is the sound. At the moment, the Blackbirds are singing their wonderful, liquid song, its such a wonderful backdrop to life. We missed the song thrushes this year as it snowed in May and they cleared off. The Martins and Swallows are all around me as I walk in the mornings.

Life has a new pace. Maybe because I’m getting a little fitter and a little lighter with the dog walking, I find that I can do so much more in life without being poleaxed with tiredness. Yes, bedtime can be a bit earlier, but I’m usually up by 7, and if I need the car, I take Dave to the Burg, then Swingle and I go walkies. Back here, its clear up whatever chaos she’s made, all the usual, my quiet time, and if I’m lucky a time to write and paint.

I collect Dave then often we’re off to do someone’s garden or play in our own. Meals on Wheels makes the morning short, and I really enjoy the days when I can just stay at home. There’s numerous painting jobs to be done around the house, but Oh dear, its raining!

I should feel guilty about being at home, but I don’t. I have a new friendship which I’m treasuring, and an old one renewed. I have four people to teach English too, all the aforesaid meals duties, though that’s only once a month, a busy time with changeovers on the holiday houses. And you know who and a contract to teach in October, just about the time Dave finishes at the Burg.

Then on top of this, we’ve been studying Power thoughts by Joyce Meyer. It’s transforming us, the biggest lesson being not to take offence, which we do so much with our bickering. My cup is full to overflowing,Thanks Lord!


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All Change!

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First dandelion of the year!

I’ve been praying since the really bad winter for change here in our lives, for a confirmation that we are to stay or its time to go home. Change arrived all right in the form of Swingle, Dave even having a complete change of heart over dog ownership. He now plays with her maybe more than I do!

Now under my prompting (I didn’t nag, just gave him the details) he applied for a job at Burg Finstergrün, and started yesterday. He’s working in the garden and as a general helper. WOW!  Just hope he doesn’t have to meet the dreadful Erna (see posts of my time at t’Burg). The hours mean that there will be time to do the gardens and houses we do already and no need to advertise. I’d felt quite strongly when I began wording it, to stop and I was thinking to myself about it a few days on, and again thought, no the work has to come to us, an hour later we had the call from the Burg.

This leaves me at home (YAAAY) with time to write and I’m really going to work on my painting. I will be doing Meals on Wheels and the holiday changeovers -lets hope its not another season of guests from hell and the main house falling to bits. I have had an approach to baby sit another dog, and I will charge for this. I’ll have to sort the insurance on this, but it could work.

I was also killing some time in Tamsweg last week and I felt propelled to visit Gina who works in one of the shops – she will call me for tutoring her son – YAAY  again! Another ex student is coming to me for more English lessons -Yay! I have a contract to teach English again this autumn, just about the time Dave finishes at the Burg.

So it really seems that stopping trying to do things and leaving it to God means that things come to us, and for the next year, our place is very here. We will Christmas here and maybe afterwards when the ski season lets are over, drive to the UK for a visit, maybe avoiding the cabin fever of this year, all the possibilities are there. Thanks God!


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A strange day…….

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Dave and I have been really praying about our future here in Austria and after the events of the past couple of days, I’m begining to wonder if things such as the meeting with the Priest and yesterday’s bizarre afternoon are some form of answer!

In the morning, I had a call from our Pastor, saying he’d had a mysterious phone call from a man in English a few weeks ago and he had arranged to meet him at the Burg at Three in the afternoon. He had no idea what it was for, there was something to do with a warzone and he couldn’t ring the bloke back.  He couldn’t attend anyway as he had to teach that afternoon. So Dave came along to ride shotgun in case it was a depressed asylum seeker from the local centre. We prayed before we went in, maybe God did have his hand on it…

I went to reception and met an familiar face from when I worked there who informed me the mystery man was getting married there that afternoon. We went up to the Chapel where we met his parents who sent someone off to find the groom. They were waiting for our Pastor to come and do a Wedding Blessing or Ceremony, – they had been married civilly earlier as you have to do in Austria. My blood ran cold. The poor bloke who looked shell shocked.

So I rang the Pastor who exploded down the phone. I can’t do weddings without the right paperwork, I’ll end up in Prison, this guy should have sent me all the forms. He wouldn’t/couldn’t even come to do a blessing. All I got was a tirade of how nothing was going to happen, he even said at one stage I could do a blessing myself.

More discussions. Dave and I went down the hill to the Priest’s house. He was a surprised as us. He had been rung by the bloke, but as he wasn’t Catholic there was nothing he could do, nor was he even ready to go and give a blessing. He and given the groom our Pastor’s number. Back to square One. Then I rang Heidi who is one of the lay preachers and is a human dynamo. She agreed at once to come and do a blessing but wouldn’t make it till six. The wedding party took it well, and were taking photos and chilling while they waited. We had to leave as we had another appointment but Heidi rang later and said she did a lovely little service in a candle lit chapel, using English and German. Phew.

And our Pastor? Another phone call spewing the same stuff, not a word of Oh B’*§$% I’ve screwed up big time, I didn’t understand. No, Just this cant be done, its not the law I can’t come. Maybe something has happened to him in the past where he cant own up to stuff, I don’t know. But at least Dave and I were there and by God’s Grace it was sorted. The only thing I regret is that the couple lived in the same part of the world as Andrew Wommack and I wanted to ask if they knew of him………


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Catholics and Protestants

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Our local Priest runs evening talks after the Mass on Monday nights and the proposed theme was  ‘There gives only one Father God’. With great glee, Linda and I decided to go as the radical Protestants and see what he was going to say. We went to the Mass before as a mark of respect – although not all did.

I sat as usual somewhat bemused but felt the Love of God all around me and a touch of naughtiness and what we were going to be talking about- would I put a silly point of view over?  I really began to feel how silly the ritual all was, the bowing and not drinking the wine, and as I’ve thought before, but all this doesn’t really matter to God? What does matter is our hearts and our desire for relationship with him. If we are loving Jesus all these fripperies I don’t think really matter! I also remembered my childhood and always being sat in the front row during Mass with my grandmother, and the utter boredom of it!  Some of the words I could remember too, although in English. All perfectly lovely words to praise God!

So into the Parish rooms to sit around the table and chat. There was no Mrs Doyle bullying us into tea which was a shame…..There was 10 of us, with three men besides the Priest. My heart fell a bit as one of the men I know. Although Catholic he is dead against what the church does and is trying to change it from within. Maybe a noble sentiment. However this has led to an antagonistic attitude and I knew he would try to dominate the discussion from his point of view and so it was. I felt my love disappearing.

The Priest did a historical resume of both churches and we got tied down in the history of the schism and then Bruno pitched in about the Saints. I agree, if people have led a  great life, maybe died for their belief they are great way finders, but when we go to them rather than Jesus, it aint good. You can’t pray to dead people its unbiblical, talk to the living one!

Then the discussion got beyond me, and when Bruno had shut up, the Priest tried to take the reins again and move on. So of course we got into the difference in the sacraments. I was getting wound up by Bruno now, fed up with him and had things to say myself, which I feel were the prompting of the Holy Spirit. So I let rip. Explaining I come from another culture and we have huge churches where the sacraments are not in the services as a rule, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are very much there. That what matters is love. For one Church or ideology to think its better than the other is arrogant. When we have Jesus at heart all the ritual is unimportant. We have the truth in the Bible (that didn’t go down so well). The talk went on and I again said we must be together. That the devil laughs when we tie ourselves up with condemning theology . together we could do so much for the world in these times, but he keeps us divided. Time was up, all were tired. The Priest finished on the rod of power being passed on down through Peter to the current Pope- I can see that. And why is the Bible not added to – well the Catholics would say it was. Then  we got the Bride for Christ bit – yes, ok, but first we need to tell the people the truth about Jesus. The last bit made me giggle again when the Priest said that he believes that when Jesus comes, he’s going to be Catholic! He hadn’t studied all these years and got these conclusions to change his mind.

So a discussion that wasn’t held together – and I saw Bruno cornering the poor Priest as we left, but Linda said I spoke OK. So at last, I’m a bit usable in little things. Life us regaining its integrity for me. Yippee! I hope that I can make contact more with the ladies that were there and we can show this love.


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God TV – moral failure

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We were really surprised when we heard that Rory Alec had stepped down as CEO. Dave and I have our disagreements with some of God TVs fundraising, not trusting some of the people they trust and haven’t given so much lately. In fact their last appeal had a huge shortfall- we didn’t like the idea of buying bricks and putting a Bible under the altar – that’s daft and non biblical.  But this explains why there was a blockage. God expects a lot more from his people in key roles, and such sin would block things spiritually.

HOWEVER!  Rory is just a man and maybe they had all forgotten this and were so super spiritual that they thought themselves immune from attack. So what now? Forgiveness, repentance and Rory needs to at some stage, when he has sorted himself with God and his wife, to be brought back into the fold. What a chance to show the love of God and how repentance and forgiveness works. Or perhaps  Rory doesn’t want to give it up, and she doesn’t want him back. Human, weak and fallible,  God uses the weak of the world. What a chance for great things to come from this.


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I don’t think I can go on like this any more……

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We recently had a visit from our son and his lovely wife. We hadn’t seen them since the wedding, 16 months ago, although we had exchanged infrequent emails, texts and face time on the phones. But not enough.

We had a time that was intense, such fun, chatty, learnt stuff about each other. Caught up.We even discussed what our future is here and how all we have in the UK is the kids. When they left, I decided that this time, I will let the emotion out, but I was in such pain at the Airport, I had to keep a hold on that in front of them.

I know it’s a reflection of how we are finding work and life here difficult. How would it be if they had moved away?

The next day Dave and I were both tired and ratty, and the following day I started the morning miseries, mild panic attacks, fear, light palpitations. Just like when our daughter left us in June.So it wasn’t a hormonal thing, it was my head and grief stepping in. This morning I cried. I prayed in tongues, letting it all out, and I was healed.  I am calm. But I can’t go on like this. It doesn’t change the situation. I don’t want to step on their toes or be the intrusive mother, but 16 months is too long. My family is my life. Sacrifice apart, God, you brought me here. I am a Mother, I will see my kids. If you want me to stay here, you have to trump up more money so I can go to see them more often. If not, next year, I’m leaving Austria. And going home. To where I can see them maybe every couple of months, or even more.

Have I talked to Dave about this – no. and I know that’s not good. I will not be putting this through Facebook either. But he doesn’t want to leave here. And it would be a great wrench to go to. We have quickly slipped back into our calmness and doing stuff, pottering about, filling our days and in six weeks I will be teaching again, having a shift on Meals on Wheels focuses our day.  What is the solution? Dave has been given a verse, about what is sown in sadness will be repaid in joy-he sees this as a us getting loads of money in the autumn, I see it as my situation, but I wasn’t given the verse.

I’m hanging on for Christmas, when we all get together in England. It is my focus.