So where's the snow?

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


Back again!

September, the cows are coming home

It’s been quite a while but I’ve given into the drug,and I’m back to Blogging. Dave let his job at the garden centre and so I was immediately unable to sped so much time writing! I must say though, we’ve done a lot of walking and been busy in the garden and so on.

At the same time I was blogged out, I felt I had nothing to say. Maybe joining the Postaday idea and keeping to it was a mistake – and I must say, I’ve seen a lot of blogs that have the logo and don’t including the Daily Post itself. What value did the virtual world I was creating have?  Only two people commented on my taking break. How many folks join a blog but rarely read it? I’m guilty of that.  I think the ‘likes’ tell it all.  I’ve kept the photochallenges up because they are simple and quick, but their viewings are dropping.  If you don’t get an entry on very quickly after the challenge is set, you get less views as time goes by. You see I’m still hooked as I check the stats!

I get a view into other people’s lives through the  blogs I follow, but they don’t know me, or me them.  Dave says all this is virtual net curtain tweaking, being nosy into other people’s  lives. Maybe so, but some of the blogs are fascinating and very well written.  Maybe its a case of keeping a perspective, and in the winter I will have more time.  My goal this year is also to try some watercolour landscape paintings.  I’ve felt released by my break, blogging was taking up too much of my time.

I’ve been a compulsive diary writer since a child and have kept the private one going all this time. That could be another blog – but would have to under a different identity!!!!!! I’m going to blog now when I feel like it.  There are so many challenges around now, you could fill your whole week doing them, its not for me.

HOWEVER!   Most of all, my time has come.  There are huge changes afoot in our local Christian community. After five years of learning, reading, becoming patient, God has let me a couple of times take my brakes off and its been full-blown, outright working for him.  I will have to find a way how to chronicle this.  This is the most important thing in my life from now on and maybe as I detail this, my blog will be a small witness also to the world and how Christianity is growing in the Lungau………but I will also have to tell you just what that Wuehlmaus got up to in my garden and the Trachenfrauen and the walks……………..

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Garden Time

June 28th

Beginning of June

The weather is so  extreme at the moment, with 38 degress predicted for Sunday. Inbetween times of heat we’ve had rain and more rain.  Setting back the  veggies and then pulling them forward.  One courgette I found was yellow, but more are coming.  One line of peas is flowering.  The strawberries are a disaster, the cold got the flowers and the bees didnt come in the cold.  The Kohl Rabi are getting on slowly.  Paggy was saying despite loads of blooms, he has no cherries, the cold mornings got them along with his plums.  Well at least that lets me off having to make jam this autumn!  Just hope my soft fruits come through for my planned wine making – one consolation, the Elderberries have loads of flowers. 

And now!   Oh the joy of gardening!  One is nearest God in the garden.

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Garden time; Cow bells and early summer

Now the Ice man has taken himself off, its like summer is advancing rapidly.  The dandelions have turned to heads and the air is filled with them, along with willow seeds.  The Margarita daisies -(probably the wrong name) are coming into flower with great drifts of white. Yet it’ll be  two or three more weeks until the flowers start showing their heads up in the Alms. 

We’re now getting lots of drizzle, so I’ve put out all the geraniums and the terrace flowers.  It looks complete chaos until I get them sorted out, but they’re all getting a good watering!  The Peas have got their sticks and the courgettes are showing the odd head, I’ll have to plant my indoor reserves if they don’t get a move on!  The carrots are showing and the occasional parsnip – I wonder if we’ll beat last years astonishing crop!  The brussels and the kohl Rabi are slowly recovering from the frost.  The garden centre where Dave works, lost all of their tomatoes.  Before the frost they lost 300 due to a virus and afterwards all had to be chucked.  It’s still manic there, with people queuing up to buy veggie plugs and geraniums, I just wonder where all these people went before, the centre only opened three years ago.  We’ve bought one more cucumber plant, and have clipped the damage off the old ones, hopefully they may recover, they’ve got fruit on.

BUT most of all, the cows are going up to the alms, the tractors with the open top trailers are heading uphill with the cows sniffing and sticking their noses over the top.  Some cows are turned out here in the valley, ready kitted with their bells, heavenly music. I must be daft, this I love but a windchime, I can’t stand!  Not everyone here likes the bells, someone I know stuff their neighbour’s cow’s bell full with  loo paper to stop them dinging in the early morning and waking them up – and these are local people not incomers!!!!!


Garden time -the Iceman cometh!

We’ve been enjoying a heat wave here (sorry UK folks) and everything is starting to grow at last.  Its one of the best years ever for dandelions, there’s a field near Neggerndorf which is pure yellow, I must try and photo it!   I mowed our neighbours grass yesterday, loads more mutants and I blatted them all!  The Apple trees are just coming into bloom and they are so heavily laden.  How much of this is a reaction to last autumn or the hard winter?

Most people haven’t put their balcony flowers out yet, they’re waiting for the last visit of the Ice man.  Now this seems to be an Austrian thing as it was on the Salzburgerland weather forecast last night.  We’re due a couple of days of rain and then-1c at night. This happened last year too, we even had snow – trouble is he came again in June with more snow.  It really set back the courgettes, so we’ll fleece them even though they’re not germinated.  I got so twitched after last year that I’ve left everything too late!  I’ve even got emergency seedlings on the window sill.

Once the Iceman has gone,I’ve got the red cabbages, ordinary cabbages, sprouts, leeks and broccoli to plant out.  I bought them from Dave’s garden centre, at 13 cents a go you can’t really lose!  My sweet peas have germinated, I’ve got them in an old barrel with old lilac twigs to grow up.  The idea is to hide the greenhouse from the swingseat!  I’m tying Verbena in the other barrel and Begonias in the old wooden wheelbarrow.  I feel so blessed that this year, thanks Lord!  I have the time and energy to do so much more in the garden.  I should be out weeding now, but I hit my big toe with a door at work yesterday and the nail is only 25% attached, no way am I kneeling down -ouch.  Maybe I will just need to bend from the hips!!!!!!!!!!!

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Garden time

Digging out the plot in 2007

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of  gardening blogs, which is something that fascinates me and is one of my main hobbies here, so I’m going to blither about mine a bit! 

We moved here from the very temperate south of England, at 40m sea level, really – we were on the coast, to nearly 1000m and in a glacial valley.  We changed soils from claggy clay, to a wonderful river alluvial sandy black soil, facing South East.  The region has for years been a main potatoe growing region because of this soil and the fact that the potato blight never got here due to the cold climate.  The local spud is known as an Eachtling, and there’s still a great market here for spuds.

2007 settling the plots in.

We’ve made lots of mistakes here, mostly planting stuff too early and getting it snowed on or frosted.  As I write, people are just starting to sow seeds and its the 4th of May.  A lot of the balcony boxes are filled but sitting in the garage until the ‘Frost man’ is gone.  Few  people over winter their plants here except for Paggy who puts his Fuchsias in the sauna, so we’re seen as a bit nuts for putting ours all in the earth cellar for the winter!

When we arrived, we dug what we thought was the best place in the grass for the plots – exactly where our predecessors had them!  We found beautiful soil which was great.

I’ve just sown the courgettes (but with reserve in pots oon the window sill), three sorts of pea, broad beans(huge success on our first try last year),  Parsnips, carrots and I’ve just bought plugs for sprouts, beetroot, kohl rabi and some lettuce. Our experiment this year is with sweet corn which we started on the windowsill. I wait  on the boss’s (Dave’s) permission to plant out.  He’s been a gardener most of his working life, but I still argue with him!!!! It helps where he works in a Garden centre as I get hot tips when new stuff comes in!

Austria has always had a strict policy on pesticides, hence no DDT etc so we get loads of garden pests. Moles, and Molemouse – which I’m  trying to find out more about, it burrows underground and eats the roots, you think you have a beautiful parsnip but you pull up just a top, mole crickets, though I’ve not actually seen one, and worms and beetles ad nauseam – I think in our pea crop, 50% had visitors living inside last year!


It’s not a wilderness!

God still has so much work to do in me, it seems like the process is never-ending,  how would I manage without his grace?

The new job is ok, it was definitely his hands, and it works, but  I don’t earn my share of our combined income.  It’s ok for a while as there’s spring madness and poor Dave is having to work up to 50 hours a week at the garden centre.  This is why I’ve been trying to make money on the second blog – which is coming close to being ditched as it’s not working for various  reasons. I’ve got time to write this and the new book is chugging on slowly.  I have time to garden and weekends and bank holidays off. More  than just what I asked.  The only downside is I’m on my own a lot, this I on the whole like.  At times though it gets a bit lonely, but  God hit me with a smackeroo  the other day,which still has me reeling.

I was whining on to myself about how lonely I feel and whats this life for, blah, blah, blah.  When he said to me, this isn’t a wilderness, it’s a paradise and he opened my eyes.  I have all I’ve asked of him, he’s leading me through some issues that I really need to deal with, and the quietness is his mechanism to do it. Holy Spirit is helping me to perceive things and deal with them as never before.  He’s given me with all I could ever need or want, I need to be with him, he’s my friend  and I must just simply enjoy it.

I am at peace like never before.