How To… fake it til you make it. The right mindset.

The idea of faking it til you make it has done the rounds for a while, pretty much since the earliest human written wisdom we can locate. The concept is simple: put on the shoes, and if they don’t fit you’ll grow into them.

But in the modern era of entitlement the concept has become twisted to mean deceiving others for personal gain. Which is not actually the effective way of doing this. So here are some pointers on how you can fake it til you make it… properly, and for results.

1: If the boots don’t fit… check the feet.

Sometimes the boots just don’t fit. You can pretend that gender and race are social constructs all you like, but faking being a black man when you’re an asian woman isn’t going to work. OK, that example goes a bit far. But how about a more realistic one: you can love art all you want, but faking being a great artist, if you lack the talent and the skill, will not make you great. Some things are not meant to be.

2: If the boots are too big… work on it.

So the feet are great: you have a solid foundation to build your new identity on. What now? Well, now you put the work in. Faking, in and of itself, is not making. The very core of “fake it til you make it” implies you should probably be putting some energy into becoming the person you appear to be.

3: You’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

This is a big one. You’re not fooling anyone. If you’re a novice lecturer, all the senior lecturers know where you are. You will not trick them. If you are trying to care for the garden, the neighbours won’t believe your spiel about some raspberries “don’t like rich clay soil”. And you’re not meant to fool anyone else. You’re not faking it to make people think you are a pro, you’re faking it to give yourself the confidence to persist.

4: Persist and you will learn.

Ultimately, giving up is the main way you will lose every battle. Keep going. Keep working on it. Whatever you’re working towards, you will learn something. Maybe you will learn what you set out to discover. Maybe you will learn other skills that your transfer into your life in general. Maybe you will learn that your ability to judge your own talents is really bad. But you will learn something along the way.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

Wine Sauce For Braising Steak (or anything, really] in.

Just a simple recipe for a red wine sauce. We used it on steak, but you can probably use it on anything.

Ingredients:

  • 2 glasses red wine
  • 1/2 glass vegetable stock
  • 2tbsp black pepper
  • 2tbsp sage chopped
  • 1tbsp chives chopped
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cups of mixed vegetables, shredded (peppers, onion, beansprouts are a must, go wild with the others]

Utensils:

  • 1 small pot and wooden spoon

Recipe:

  1. Put the wine on to simmer. Slowly incorporate the stock, herbs and seasonings.
  2. Simmer until much reduced.
  3. Fry up the vegetables. Seal the meat in the same grease used on the vegetables.
  4. Add the wine sauce.
  5. Add whatever meat you plan on braising.
  6. Slow cook.

Being All You Can Be. Part II: Self-Sufficiency.

As mentioned in Part I, being all you can be is not just about doing a great job, but also about reaching your fingers into as many pies as you can comfortably handle.

The next element to being all you can be is working out what to focus on. After all, you can’t do it all or have it all, but you shouldn’t really devote yourself to one thing forever either. The woman in the last example is a police officer for her paid work, a housewife at home and a writer in her spare time. What is stopping her from wearing more hats? And why did she choose those three?

She wears three hats because that is what her time allows. Once you’ve worked all day, sorted the house and written for a couple of hours, there isn’t much more you can do. And she chose those three because they represent the pillars of valuable work: finance, self-sufficiency and enjoyment. She gets paid, she avoids paying someone else to do her work and she does something she loves.

And we all have potential to embrace those three pillars and build them into the life we want to live. When that time arrives, we’ll be all we can be.

In Part III I will begin to discuss each pillar in more detail, so we can be all we can be.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

FitFriday, FatFriday V. Bigger muscles, more endurance.

TTC.

Genuinely no idea at this point. Taking a more relaxed approach. Still eating well and plenty of sex. If it happens in a month or so then it happens. If not we see the Dr. Whatever goes on, we have to keep going for 12 months before it means anything at all.

Diet.

Control-freak mode has been re-engaged. Largely because I had a couple of days overeating, due to consuming sugar in the mornings. My own fault, I know sugar early in the day is an appetite stimulant and I did it anyway.

Now I am focusing on clean starches, plenty of protein and some fat, resetting my appetite. Doing very well and getting plenty of veggies in!

Weights.

Back onto full 4x4s! We are also incorporating some drop sets. Although we are getting stronger, the actual body size isn’t going up much for either of us and a friend is using drop sets for successful mass gains. So we’re adding them in to see if we can get any bigger using the same technique. Unlike him we’re not 100% doing this for vanity, though, so the drop sets won’t be the main focus of our workout. Form, weight and variety all come first.

I’m also doing a lot more in the garden, including making a rockery out of nice heavy rocks, digging and turning flower beds and discus-throwing large clumps of soil from overly weedy areas. It’s working the most unstable and weak support muscles in my arms and back and I can feel it!

How did your week in fitness go?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

How To… set up a herb run.

When growing seedlings, herbs and leafy greens, large pests such as rabbits and birds can really slow down your garden’s progress, killing off your tender baby plants before they can do anything for you! This is how I am working around that problem.

You will need:

  • chicken wire twice the area of your patch, or a chicken run to cover it
  • bean netting
  • a shovel
  • rocks
  • pots and troughs

1: Work out where your herb garden will be. Weed and clear the area down.

Find a good spot that you can monitor well, walk around, that’s big enough for everything you want to grow.

If you are preparing in advance, leave the weeding until later.

2: Turn the soil and add some compost.

Make sure the soil is ready for the plants it will have. This will also give you a clear idea of location.

3: Build or assemble your run.

Build a vague cube. You will need at least three sides and a roof to be completely covered by chicken wire. Covering the floor can also be very useful!

Pay special attention to how you are going to access your garden. Remember you need to repair the run, weed the soil and dig new beds next year.

4: Dig a trough around the area, to fit your run.

Make sure the sides of the run nestle nicely into the trough!

5: Place your run in the trough and bury the sides of it.

This way you have a slight barrier against digging critters. Use rocks to pin your run firmly and make their work even harder.

6: Pick some seedlings to plant for leafy and beans, but keep herbs potted!

Herbs may need to be moved inside for Winter, may overrun your garden or may do badly in your soil. Keep them in their pots. If you want the visual appeal of a herb garden, dig a hole and place the pot in it: all the charm, none of the fuss!

Leafy greens and beans need a lot of root space and may tangle, but that doesn’t hurt them much as long as they are with their own kind. Plant them out to see them thrive fully.

7: Place bean netting over the entrances to the run and over your plants.

Over your plants in case anything gets in. Over the entrances to further dissuade critters. Make sure even the tiniest gaps are sealed!

8: OPTIONAL: Place rabbit snares around entrances.

Leave a slight visible opening and place wire snares to catch some tasty rabbits, hares, pheasants, etc. As you are protecting your garden nothing should be wrong, but check local law first!

9: Keep on top of it!

Make a point of weeding  the garden weekly and giving the run a once-over at least two or three times a week, to make sure your defenses have not been broken. An enclosed herb garden can get unruly if not managed well.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

We Found Venison and Wild Boar Salami In Aldi.

And here are two things we made with them!

Venison Salami and Eggs in Red Wine.

Ingredients:

(Made 6 portions.)

  • 300g venison salami
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 200g carrrots
  • 200g cabbage
  • 200ml red wine
  • smoked paprika, soy sauce, pepper to taste
  • 15 eggs
  • butter for frying

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • 2 frying pans

Recipe:

  1. Wash and shred the vegetables.
  2. Chop down the salami.
  3. Place all in the pan on a medium to low heat with a little butter and fry until soft.
  4. Season and add the red wine.
  5. Bring to a boil, turn down. Leave to simmer.
  6. Use a bit of butter to scramble the eggs.
  7. Once both pans are cooked through, mix the contents together on a low heat.

Wild Boar Salami and Pork Belly Stew on Pasta.

Ingredients:

(Makes 4 servings.)

  • 400g meaty pork belly
  • 100g wild boar salami
  • 200g swede
  • 200g carrots
  • 200g onions
  • 200g parsnips
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 large broad leaf sage leaves
  • black pepper, rock salt, smoked paprika, cloves to taste
  • 200g dried pasta

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • 2 pots

Recipe:

  1. Chop the vegetables, pork belly and salami into equally sized cubes, or thin rings for parsnips and carrots.
  2. Just cover with warm water with the seasonings and bring to a boil. Keep on a medium heat until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is reduced.
  3. Cook the pasta once the sauce is ready.
  4. Serve the stew over the pasta with a sprinkling of cheese.

And that is what we have done so far with our wild salami!

Any ideas what do do next?

7 Steps to Dealing With Yourself In Relationships.

Following an article and a response a while back, I decided to construct my own reply.

Biblical Gender Roles began with “7 Steps to Dealing with a Lazy Wife”.

7 Steps to dealing with a lazy wife
Step 1 – Know beforehand that this will hurt her

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” – Proverbs 27:6 (KJV)

Very few women if any will take it well when their husband tells them he believes they have been lazy and neglectful in their duties to their home. But it must be said.  This is the sacrifice of discipline that you must make as a husband.
Step 2 – Speak the truth in love

“14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” – Ephesians 4:14-15 (KJV)

The “L” word is not a swear word. In some Christian circles a man saying his wife is acting “lazy” is akin to him calling her a cuss word.  The KJV uses two words for laziness – one is “slothfulness” and the other is “idleness”:

“By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.” – Ecclesiastes 10:18 (KJV)

So yes speak the truth in love – but speak the truth.  If it walks like a duck and acts likes duck – it’s a duck. In fact the Bible says that a godly wife is NOT a lazy wife:

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)

There is no sugar coating this gentlemen – if a wife is not keeping up with duties of her household she is being lazy and she must be called out on this.
I think that initially you should try and handle this in private with your wife away from your children and with most other issues.  But at a future point if she continues in this sin of laziness it will become evident to the children that mom is doing something wrong.  I will talk about this more later.
Step 3 – Make the consequences for her laziness clear

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” – Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

At first give her a warning. But let her know that if you come home and see the house is a mess, laundry is not done, the home is not clean or dinners are not being prepared there will be consequences for her laziness.
I have talked in more detail about how men can discipline their wives in my post “7 Ways to Discipline your wife”.
Step 4 – Follow through on disciplinary consequences if she fails to change her ways

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” – Hebrews 12:11 (KJV)

If you thought confronting your wife about her laziness was the hardest part you would be wrong.  Following through on the consequences you promised will be the most difficult part.  But remember why Christ sacrificed himself? It was to make his bride holy and so to you must do this to try and yield the fruit of righteousness in your wife’s life.
Step 5 – Attempt private discipline first
Once you have examined “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” you will notice that most of these methods could be instituted in a way that does not draw attention to your wife from your children.  I would suggest you try these kinds of private discipline first.
One method of private discipline that I added as an update to “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” is using your time as a husband as a method of discipline.  This is especially important to men in Tom’s situation where finances are tight. Many women value their husband’s time more than almost anything else.  A man can use discretion with how much of his free time that he allocates to his wife as one method of discipline.
Step 6- Move to more public discipline if private discipline does not work
An example of public discipline would be turning off the internet or cable in your home. Perhaps you might lock these things out with a code only you know. If you need the internet for work or children need it for school you could put the new code only in your computer and theirs and not your wives so she will have no access while others can still use it.  If you have to do this to shake your wife from her laziness this will get the attention of your children as it affects them.
Contrary to what some Christian teachers may teach – you do not have shield your children from your correction and discipline of your wife especially if she puts you in the position to have to do things that are more publicly visible to the rest of the family.
Some might say that this type of discipline undermines a mother’s authority in the eyes of her children and dishonors her before them in direct contradiction to I Peter 3:7’s admonition for men to honor their wives. But this could not be further from the truth.
The mother has dishonored herself by placing her husband in the position to have to elevate his discipline of her from private to public. Matthew 18:15-17 teaches us this principle that first correction is to be attempted privately but if the person remains in unrepentance their sin is to be made public.  Wives and mothers are not an exception to principle.
Step 7 – If she spurns your discipline then bring her before the Church

“…How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;” Proverbs 5:12 (KJV)

An now we come to the most public form of discipline a man might have to bring against his wife.
As husbands we have a duty to discipline our wives for sinful behavior. But whether it comes to our wives or our children there is only so much that we can do to discipline them and try and get them on the right path. If they despise our discipline and rebel then we must leave them in the Lord’s hands.
It is only when we have exhausted what we can do and if they continue in steadfast rebellion against our attempts to discipline them that we then should bring them before the church (Matthew 18:15-17).
But again they may not even listen to the church.
We must face the fact that discipline does not always yield the results that we want for those we love that are under our authority and spiritual care. But discipline requires two active parties for it to be successful. It requires the authority to perform the discipline and it requires the one under authority to learn from the discipline and change their way.
However, even if the wife does not learn from the discipline and change her ways this does not mean removing the disciplinary measures.  Once all measures have been taken those measures should stay in place until repentance is made.

VioletWisp then followed up with “7 Steps to dealing with a Sexist Partner”:

1. Insist from the start of a relationship that everything is split equally, don’t fall for nonsense notions of men choosing, paying or opening doors.
2. Once co-habiting, ensure household chores are evenly split, so outdated roles aren’t assumed without thought, and the joy of maintaining a well-kept, shared space is appreciated fully by all.
3. Always stay in some form of employment if possible, or at least keep skills up to date, so that a finance card can never be used against you.
4. Let sex fall within a natural rhythm when both of you want it. Never feel the need to go at it for the sake fulfilling an unwritten quota, and risk it becoming something you don’t look forward to.
5. If your partner ever mentions disciplining you, as if you are a child and he is a terrible parent from previous centuries, run a mile.
6. If your partner ever suggests that the egalitarian teachings of the character Jesus can be used to force you to submit to him, tell him you’re joining the Quakers and kick him out.
7. If your partner suggests you are lazy, get pens and paper out and each write down all the shortcomings you see in each other and discuss if either of you are willing or able to change. If you can’t come to agreement and feel the shortcomings are a deal breaker, go your separate ways.

My own reply was a comment at Violet Wisp’s page, but I felt it might be a breath of fresh air among so much… confrontation.

Seven steps to dealing with a relationship as adults:

1. Observe your capabilities from the start of the relationship and give freely and happily. Do not expect returns on investment other than when you invest love and do not keep score. You know, as though you love them.

2. Once co-habiting, ensure all household chores are DONE, whoever the hell does them. Who cares if you slip into traditional or nontraditional gender roles, the dishes need washing.

3. Stay busy earning or saving, but try and get one of you to work part time or from home, just so someone’s there for money saving tasks, animals, children and general conveniences. Plus, being at home all day is a luxury that the recipient will not leave unappreciated.

4. Talk about sex openly and honestly. Have sex when you both want to. Agree to masturbate or compensate sexually for each other when you’re not quite in the mood for proper intercourse. Hangups and frustration suck.

5. If your partner ever mentions disciplining you, first see if you are being unbearable in your demands or denials. There are very few people who will even threaten discipline without feeling sorely hurt. If they are not hurt, you’re dating a nonempath.

6. Work constantly to move towards a better future as a couple, rather than worry about who is or is not in charge. Disagreements are fine. Final decisions can be made by anyone. But when the argument is one vs the other, it will end in disaster.

7. If your partner finds shortcomings in you, talk about them and see if you can see the same issues and whether they bother you. If they do, change them. If they do not, offer your partner an out. Bringing up lists of negatives about each other, mulling them over and going on about them all the time is a great way to stop loving someone. Slight idealizing results in longer, happier relationships. Besides, what sort of a person are you if you can only bring up problems as a response to someone else’s complaints? Why not deal with every problem as they arrive?

Because there is no formula, Biblical, feminist or otherwise, that will make your relationship work, that will get you the “results” you want out of the independent agent that is your partner, that will make everything awesome all the time. There is only the two of you and your own agency. Your partner is not a puzzle piece in your life, nor a project. Cut loose and work on yourself and your relationship. There is only so much you can control.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!