Lucky 2013

I can hear the pop pop pop of the fireworks, not quite midnight. The babe asleep between us mouth agape hand tucked inside her father’s, while we watch ‘John dies at the end’ on Ty’s iPad.

The clock ticks forward the pops are closer together and the dogs of our neighbourhood howl. I get Ty to open our blind and can see glimpses of fireworks through the trees across the road. It’s even more beautiful shrouded in leaves. Almost as lovely as the big soft kiss he plants on me and says Happy New Year.

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Such a lovely start to 2013.
I am a lucky woman.
Wishing you all luck too.

Lucky 2013

I can hear the pop pop pop of the fireworks, not quite midnight. The babe asleep between us mouth agape hand tucked inside her father’s, while we watch ‘John dies at the end’ on Ty’s iPad.
The clock ticks forward the pops are closer together and the dogs of our neighbourhood howl. I get Tyler to open our blind and can see glimpses of fireworks through the trees across the road. It’s even more beautiful shrouded in leaves. Almost as lovely as the big soft kiss he plants on me and says Happy New Year.

Such a lovely start to 2013.
I am a lucky woman.
Wishing you all luck too.

Offering the olive branch

For a little while I’ve wanted a plant for our bedroom, no maidenhair ferns or cyclamen need apply*

I saw some amazing examples of fiddle leaf figs on pinterest and blogs but I wouldn’t even know if you could find one of these magnificent plants in Australia.

Looking at typical “indoor” plants around town was incredibly uninspiring, glossy leaved almost plastic plants or pretty and completely impractical cacti (baby + cactus spines = no thanks). I’d almost given up, when I started thinking about what grows locally with the view to having something that helps me embrace the fact that this town is indeed home.

The seed planted and my search renewed, there it was a my love hate relationship with this town summed up in one plant – the Olive tree. Such beautiful colour contrasts and visual texture, such awful memories of working my first job in a restaurant and getting olives from a 44 gallon drum balanced on pallets and fearing I’d fall in to the moldy brine (that place shouldn’t have been serving food).

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It was almost definitely the right choice. But what pushed it from almost to absolutely was that I needed a visual reminder. Being a stubborn person, I have trouble apologizing or ending an argument no matter how pointless that argument may be. Mr. Wolff and I don’t argue a lot but when we do we get stuck in a kind of silent sulking standoff that he more often than not breaks with an apology. Even when he’s not in the wrong. And even if he is in the wrong there isn’t necessarily anyone in the right. The thing I need reminding most often is that this relationship is not a power play, I don’t have anything to gain by winning an argument that is based on tiredness or frustration and nothing real. There are times when differences require compromise or sacrifice but they don’t really require an argument or worse a stalemate. So next time we fall in to that silly pattern I’ll be able to look at my olive tree, remember these things take negotiation not negativity and extend the olive branch.

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*Far too many memories of these half dead residing in my childhood homes, they make me melancholy.

Offering the olive branch

For a little while I’ve wanted a plant for our bedroom, no maidenhair ferns or cyclamen need apply*

I saw some amazing examples of fiddle leaf figs on pinterest and blogs but I wouldn’t even know if you could find one of these magnificent plants in Australia.

Looking at typical “indoor” plants around town was incredibly uninspiring, glossy leaved almost plastic plants or pretty and completely impractical cacti (baby + cactus spines = no thanks). I’d almost given up, when I started thinking about what grows locally with the view to having something that helps me embrace the fact that this town is indeed home.

The seed planted and my search renewed, there it was a my love hate relationship with this town summed up in one plant – the Olive tree. Such beautiful colour contrasts and visual texture, such awful memories of working my first job in a restaurant and getting olives from a 44 gallon drum balanced on pallets and fearing I’d fall in to the moldy brine (that place shouldn’t have been serving food).

It was almost definitely the right choice. But what pushed it from almost to absolutely was that I needed a visual reminder. Being a stubborn person, I have trouble apologizing or ending an argument no matter how pointless that argument may be. Papa Wolff and I don’t argue a lot but when we do we get stuck in a kind of silent sulking standoff that he more often than not breaks with an apology. Even when he’s not in the wrong. And even if he is in the wrong there isn’t necessarily anyone in the right. The thing I need reminding most often is that this relationship is not a power play, I don’t have anything to gain by winning an argument that is based on tiredness or frustration and nothing real. There are times when differences require compromise or sacrifice but they don’t really require an argument or worse a stalemate. So next time we fall in to that silly pattern I’ll be able to look at my olive tree, remember these things take negotiation not negativity and extend the olive branch.

*Far too many memories of these half dead residing in my childhood homes, they make me melancholy.

Our double birthday

Yesterday was our biggest birthday of the year with my son turning 13 and Mr Wolff having his birthday. We were still moving in to our new house and Mr had to work so it was decidedly low key.

I did start the day off with chocolate pancakes and sprinkles though.

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I’ve always had little birthday traditions like a cooked breakfast, cake, and the birthday person choosing dinner, this year cake was delayed by a multitude of visitors while we tried to unpack. But as we do every year for my guys’ birthday the day is extended to the next day seeing they share.
So tonight there will be a break from unpacking and cleaning to enjoy cakes and celebrate one of the best parts of our year.
Hope everyone is having an amazing long weekend.

A complicated love note

Today I am grateful that I can write this piece from a safe, happy loving place. The man I love does not yell at me for dropping things or tell me I am stupid; his hands are gentle and protective.

Hands are significant in this tale, mine are no longer the same.

Anyone who has read here for a while is aware that I have previously been in a violent relationship and while it’s not what I want my life or blog to be about sometimes things cross my path which remind me that yet again it’s time to speak out.

An article of sorts came across my screen this morning and it made me physically ill.

25 Extremely upsetting reactions to Chris Brown at the Grammys

This is an open letter to those women and the people who chose Chris Brown to perform at the Grammys.
What these women have to say is not just ill informed or moronic, it’s dangerous on several levels:

It reinforces the myth that sufferers of violence asked for it. Most people do not enter a relationship expecting or accepting violence, most violent relationships are not so at the outset. Many of these relationships are characterized by an extremely romantic beginning; the sufferer in the relationship is charmed and even as the descent into abuse spirals out of control will often cling to the belief that the person they fell in love with is their reality, not the nightmare they are now in. Unfortunately these perpetrators are the human equivalent of a pitcher plant, using a beautiful facade to suck their partner deep into their consuming toxic depths. Like a bug in a pitcher plant it’s not so easy for the one trapped to just walk away.

It validates the abuser. Saying that you’d not only tolerate but welcome violence allows these abusers to justify themselves. The person who previously left or anyone who stood up to them is not strong enough, or didn’t love them enough. When the only enough they should be hearing is enough of your bullshit. People like Chris Brown and (the previously griped about) Matthew Newton do not need this validation. They get enough from the industries that feel it is acceptable to employ them as public figures when the only thing they deserve is to be ostracized; there are thousands waiting to fill their place in the public eye and I’m sure more the majority don’t perpetrate or condone violence

It says to sufferers that their pain means nothing. That their leaving the relationship was not a strong act and a reclamation of themselves as an important person. Getting out of an abusive relationship is hard work, most of the time your head has been so disoriented by your abuser that you have no inner compass to guide you to happy. Those who get the hell out alive are to be praised and held up as a light to lead those still trying to find their way out, not denigrated for exercising self respect. I knew others who didn’t get out alive, these statements spit on their death and the pain of those who really loved them, which is a truly vile thing to do.

It says to people in an abusive relationship that they should stay. Truly the most scary aspect of this, is the normalizing and acceptance of violence. It’s scary to leave, it can take more than one go. Reading the things that these women had to say might make someone stay in a relationship just a little bit longer. Just a little bit longer is all it takes for them to end up one who never leaves, not alive anyway, which to anyone surely has to be the bare minimum that we hope for for those who have been abused.

It deeply saddens me that in this day and age anyone would step over the line and offer themselves up for abuse. I hate the words that these women spewed forth, I hate the damage that they cause, but I don’t hate them. I would like them to read this, to have a long think about what being the sufferer of violence really means and to volunteer for a few nights at a shelter. See those bruises and that hurt in the raw, see the fear which clings to you and in the dark nights forever. To see these things second hand because while they might wish these things upon themselves I never would.

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My right hand, the middle finger is permanently down turned and numb due to being stomped on in the final hours of being punched, kicked and thrown by my ex partner. Look closely ladies it might not seem like much but I’m betting it’s not a price you’re willing to pay not deep down.

A complicated love note

Today I am grateful that I can write this piece from a safe, happy loving place. The man I love does not yell at me for dropping things or tell me I am stupid; his hands are gentle and protective.
Hands are significant in this tale, mine are no longer the same.

Anyone who has read here for a while is aware that I have previously been in a violent relationship and while it’s not what I want my life or blog to be about sometimes things cross my path which remind me that yet again it’s time to speak out.

An article of sorts came across my screen this morning and it made me physically ill.

25 Extremely upsetting reactions to Chris Brown at the Grammys

This is an open letter to those women and the people who chose Chris Brown to perform at the Grammys.
What these women have to say is not just ill informed or moronic, it’s dangerous on several levels:

It reinforces the myth that sufferers of violence asked for it. Most people do not enter a relationship expecting or accepting violence, most violent relationships are not so at the outset. Many of these relationships are characterized by an extremely romantic beginning; the sufferer in the relationship is charmed and even as the descent into abuse spirals out of control will often cling to the belief that the person they fell in love with is their reality, not the nightmare they are now in. Unfortunately these perpetrators are the human equivalent of a pitcher plant, using a beautiful facade to suck their partner deep into their consuming toxic depths. Like a bug in a pitcher plant it’s not so easy for the one trapped to just walk away.

It validates the abuser. Saying that you’d not only tolerate but welcome violence allows these abusers to justify themselves. The person who previously left or anyone who stood up to them is not strong enough, or didn’t love them enough. When the only enough they should be hearing is enough of your bullshit. People like Chris Brown and (the previously griped about) Matthew Newton do not need this validation. They get enough from the industries that feel it is acceptable to employ them as public figures when the only thing they deserve is to be ostracized; there are thousands waiting to fill their place in the public eye and I’m sure more the majority don’t perpetrate or condone violence

It says to sufferers that their pain means nothing. That their leaving the relationship was not a strong act and a reclamation of themselves as an important person. Getting out of an abusive relationship is hard work, most of the time your head has been so disoriented by your abuser that you have no inner compass to guide you to happy. Those who get the hell out alive are to be praised and held up as a light to lead those still trying to find their way out, not denigrated for exercising self respect. I knew others who didn’t get out alive, these statements spit on their death and the pain of those who really loved them, which is a truly vile thing to do.

It says to people in an abusive relationship that they should stay. Truly the most scary aspect of this, is the normalizing and acceptance of violence. It’s scary to leave, it can take more than one go. Reading the things that these women had to say might make someone stay in a relationship just a little bit longer. Just a little bit longer is all it takes for them to end up one who never leaves, not alive anyway, which to anyone surely has to be the bare minimum that we hope for for those who have been abused.

It deeply saddens me that in this day and age anyone would step over the line and offer themselves up for abuse. I hate the words that these women spewed forth, I hate the damage that they cause, but I don’t hate them. I would like them to read this, to have a long think about what being the sufferer of violence really means and to volunteer for a few nights at a shelter. See those bruises and that hurt in the raw, see the fear which clings to you and in the dark nights forever. To see these things second hand because while they might wish these things upon themselves I never would.

My right hand, the middle finger is permanently down turned and numb due to being stomped on in the final hours of being punched, kicked and thrown by my ex partner. Look closely ladies it might not seem like much but I’m betting it’s not a price you’re willing to pay not deep down.

Looking out together

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Today marks two years of marriage.

Two lovely, fun, chaotic, fast, testing years.

Two years containing no less than four moves, one law degree and one new baby.

It rings in my head a constant refrain ‘we are blessed’ you said to me, we are, we are truly blessed.

Hold my hand forever while we look out on this world together.

I love you Mr. Wolff.

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.
– Saint-Exupery

Looking out together

Today marks two years of marriage.

Two lovely, fun, chaotic, fast, testing years.

Two years containing no less than four moves, one law degree and one new baby.

It rings in my head a constant refrain ‘we are blessed’ you said to me, we are, we are truly blessed.

Hold my hand forever while we look out on this world together.

I love you Mr. Wolff.

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.
– Saint-Exupery