Okay, okay, I know…I haven’t updated in two solid months!  Been super duper busy.  I just wanted to let everyone know that tropical storm Hanna has almost left the premises.  We’re getting really strong winds right now, but I do see a let up.  My daughter and I rode out to the beach and the wind was whipping the surf up so hard that sand felt like little pellets…super ouch.

But, you know, I’m a little disappointed.  I really thought it would be more to it than this.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a glutton for disasters, but the north easter we went through when we first moved in here in March was worse than this!

I guess we should be thankful.  Being on an island during a hurricane probably isn’t the most desired place to be.

Of course…if Ike wants to pay us a visit…

Everyone has their own ideas of how to feng shui their living spaces, but I thought I’d have some fun today and show you how to feng shui your PIRATE SHIP.

I know not everyone is privileged to own a pirate ship, much less a swimming pool in these lazy hazy summer days coming up, but Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall does and not only that, he’s accepted my invitation to come on my blog and tell us how to “feng shui your pirate ship” just in case you just so happen to own one.

Before we begin, might I add that Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall is the co-author of GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING with the wonderfully talented and gifted humorist Tim Bete, who just so happens to be the director of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Actually, Cap’n Billy is one of the characters, but don’t tell him that because he feels he’s as human as you and me. If you want to find out more about Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall, his nemesis in crime, Tim Bete or his wonderful and quite hilarious new book GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENGTING, you can visit his website at www.pirateparenting.com.

How to feng shui your pirate ship

by Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall, co-author of GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING

Ahoy, feng-shui-loving land-lubbers! Cap’n Billy the Butcher here with some great feng-shui tips to help you achieve perfect harmony so you can reach your goal to be the world’s most perfect plunderer!

Did you know that the words “feng shui” mean “wind-water”? And who knows more about wind and water than a pirate?! So listen up, me hearty, and apply these tips about the five elements to yer sailing ship.

Element 1: Wood

Wood be what yer ship is made out of. It may be old wood, so make sure to fill the cracks in the deck with tar every year or every six pillaging raids, whichever comes first.

Element 2: Water

Water be what your wooden ship is floating upon. Water plus a strong wind makes yer ship a plundering machine. Water is also good for pushing mutineers off a plank into.

Element 3: Fire

Fire is what the powder monkey’s use to light the fuse on the cannon. It’s also the order the captain – meaning me – gives when it’s time to light the fuse. For example, “Ready, aim, fire at them thar merchant vessels filled with gold and thar treasure will be ours!”

Element 4: Metal

Metal be what yer cannon balls and swords are of made out of. The strength of their metal is the key to your victory in battles. But don’t keep too much metal on your person. It’s hard to swim if you fall overboard and are weighted down.

Element 5: Earth

After you’ve used the first four elements to attack and “borrow” the chests from a merchant vessel, you can sail to port where solid earth can be found. Earth is the best place to spend the booty you’ve stolen. It’s also a good place to find rum. But don’t stay on earth too long. The sea be calling yer name.

So, as ye can see, your pirating career is nothing without feng-shui. Although a ferocious crew, ten cannons and a few barrels of gun powder help, too.

Happy sailing and don’t let the bilge rats bite.

Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall

Author of GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING

www.pirateparenting.com

ATTENTION: This book spotlight is being brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion. As a special promotion for Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall’s book, STAND, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour or $25 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky person who comments on our authors’ blog stops. Leave a comment below to have a chance to win one of these prizes! For more stops on Cap’n Billy’’s virtual book tour, visit www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com.

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To my mother who left this realm 35 years ago and to all mothers still sticking it out and trying the best they can to become the most wonderful mothers in the world…

Happy Mother’s Day!

The BF and I were standing on our lower deck gazing at how the tide was really high despite the fact there were no storms in the area. The waterline had almost reached the top of my neighbor’s dock and maybe about a foot from ours (our dock must be slightly higher than theirs).

The sun had just about gone over the horizon and we were talking about how if it’s this high when the water is calm, what’s it going to do when there’s a little bit of rain or much worse, when a hurricane blows through here.

Of course, we started thinking about game plans and what we’d throw in the car when it does happen, getting all nervous because it really could happen. Once they close the bridge on the causeway, that’s it brother. You’re either stuck off on the island or stuck on.

The way our condo is set up, we are resting on huge stilts. Our bottom floor where the utility room and our storage room would get hit first. The game plan today is to pull everything out of the storage room while I had a day off and rearrange things, putting plastic containers at the bottom and piling the boxes on top. Our mini-freezer would have to be put up on cement blocks and that’s if the water doesn’t rise above 2 feet in our front yard.

I wish I took a picture, but it doesn’t have to rain here. My neighbor’s yard is always full of water simply because it drains out of something in the back…BF explained it but I don’t really understand it. But, like he said, after all, we ARE living on an island and it comes with the territory.

So, BF goes back inside and I sit there looking at the waterline, thinking of things that would be top priority to load in the car if worse comes to worse. It’s scary when you think about it because if there was a hurricane to blow by here which happens every year of course, we’re either stuck on the second floor and praying we don’t lose electricity or we play it smart and leave the island before we can’t get off. This is our first year here and I don’t know what to expect.

I asked the local cop if he ever had to evacuate the whole time he has been working here on the island and he said no, but that doesn’t mean the roads don’t get flooded (they do) or the causeway gets closed down (it does).

It’s scary.

So, I get up this morning and I’m still thinking about how scary it is, then look what I see out my window. Is this the coolest thing or what???


That’s our dock and this cutest red boat just goes gliding right by. It was huge compared to the other smaller boats that usually pass by. Here’s another one:


I really need another camera. Anyway, what is this??? Here’s another:

And one more…
So, the moral of this story is I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

Hello all…yesterday was spent either shopping or entertaining (don’t tell my clients because I was really supposed to be working on their tours…shhhh….).

My daughter and I are looking to for furnishings and accessories to Feng Shui our condo and I must say the pickings around this area are so slim, it makes you want to move to California just to find the things you are looking for.

Actually, not the area I’m living in right now..I’m talking off the island. Okay, Wal-Mart isn’t exactly the top of the line in the furniture and accessories department, but I did get a black vase for a steal at $7 and what I call “sticks” to put in it. These “sticks” looked like shaved pine but they stand about four or five feet tall. I will take a picture one day when I can figure out how to hook it up to this computer.

I also found at Walmart what I call a fake plant that is beautiful. I know the Feng Shui masters will have a field day telling me no, no, no, REAL PLANTS, but this one is beautiful and looks so real!

So for the Feng Shui masters’ Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, we headed to the garden department and I picked up a beautiful yellow and red-petaled dahlia. I had never seen one so pretty. When I saw it, I immediately got the Feng Shui thing going on and I snatched it up. It’s sitting on top of my wooden steps out back so that when I open the door, it’s the first thing and I see and when guests visit, that’s the first thing they see. Immediate Feng Shui Heaven because it’s nestled in between the red geraniums and other flowering annuals. I will take pictures soon.

After Walmart, we headed to the seafood store and bought a couple pounds of crabmeat (for crabcakes) and a dozen soft crabs for my son because he was coming for dinner after we got home.

But, before getting home, I stopped at the plant store and bought me two more plants. Two beautiful hanging hybrid Fuchsias. I had one many years ago and just loved the way the flowers looked like tiny ballerinas and because they brought positive vibes, I just had to have one – errr – two.

So, they’re sitting on my balcony waiting to be potted and hung but when I get the balcony finished, it’s going to be paradise. Again, pictures will be forthcoming.

And then…when I knew I should be working on tours…I fell asleep on the loveseat in the living room after American Idol and just now got out of bed. I’m exhausted, so I knew that was the reason for that, but work must be done so I’m off to tour land…hope everyone has a wonderful day!

I’m not sure if my readers know this, but I run Pump Up Your Book Promotion which is an “innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.”  What I do is send authors on virtual book tours.  It provides me with purpose, self-satisfaction and helps pay the bills. ;o)

In my quest to feng shui my life, I often encounter obstacles which want to stand in my way of happiness and a lot of times it’s the fear factor that is doing it.  Should I do this to create this?  Am I too scared to take the risks involved?

I have an author on tour this month who has written a book titled Gulp! The 7 Day Crash Course to Master Fear and Break Through Any Challenge.  The author’s name is Gabriella Goddard and she’s been such a joy to work with.  But, not only that, I have enjoyed representing such a great book that I’d like to tell you more about it.

Gulp! The 7 Day Crash Course to Master Fear and Break Through Any Challenge is the sort of book that will take you through the steps to master your fear so that you can do whatever it is you dreamed of doing.  By eliminating the fear factor, we can accomplish anything we set out to do and that’s why I’m spotlighting Gabriella’s book today.  Here’s more about this wonderful book: 

When Gabriella found a lump in her breast it was a real wake up call. Faced with her own mortality, she was forced to take a good hard look at her life. And that’s when she reconnected to her childhood dream of being a writer. She asked herself, “If not now…then when?”

Gulp! is the realisation of that dream and Gabriella’s message is clear; Give Up Living Passively! Drawing on cutting-edge coaching techniques and blending together Eastern and Western philosophies, she has created a 7 day crash course that offers a new way for people make powerful changes that really matter in their life – without waiting for the wake up call!

So, if you want to change your job, then start now. If you dream of setting up your own business, then start now. If you’ve always yearned of climbing Machu Pichu, then start now. If it’s time to leave a dysfunctional relationship, then start now. If you’ve dreamed of writing a children’s book, then start now. Or if it’s time to deal with a health crisis, then start now.Here is a sample of the secrets you’ll find in Gulp!:- How to recognize your “pivot point” and say yes to change – effortlessly.- The Fear Cycle – and how you can break it in an instant.- Five powerful ways to cultivate inner calm – so you stay strong even in the midst of chaos.- Eight “sparks” to ignite your imagination – and do things you never thought possible. – The five step plan that beats procrastination – and actually turns your idea into action.- How to hone your intuition and instinct – and why it’s your secret weapon.- Four easy techniques to stay focused – without losing momentum.Gulp! is a practical, effective everyday guide designed to inspire real people to make real changes. So whether you want to achieve results in seven days or take your time and do it over several months Gulp! will inspire you to kick start your change and help keep you on track to see it through to the end.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Gabriella’s book, it’s available at Amazon and all major retail outlets, but why not stop off at her website to find out more about Gabriella first.  Then, you decide.   Is the fear factor holding you back from accomplishing your dreams or even living your day-to-day lives normally?  Read the book and find out how you can conquer the fear factor, find happiness and feng shui your life to the max.

Oh…while you’re over at Gabriella’s website, sign up for her newsletter and receive FREE her One Time Gulp Toolkit.  

And one more thing…watch the trailer for this magnificent book!

 

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Part of Feng Shui-ing my life involves de-stressing, I know this. I’ve really got the declutter thing down pat, but the de-stressing problem is one that is a little harder to eradicate.

I say this because it involves the inability to block out stressors that are put in front of me which I have nothing to do with, yet they somehow become my pain, my problem.

No matter how much you try to block out the offending stressor, when it comes to family, you can’t help but to get all caught up in it, whether you put a mind to not do it or not, and I understand that. You child gets hurt and their pain becomes your pain. It’s a natural part of the mother process.

My almost thirty-year-old daughter, for instance, experiences excruciating headaches. She has had brain scans which turn up nothing, been ordered to take prescriptions that don’t help, and been told it’s “all in her head”; something that makes her more stressed which doesn’t help to alleviate the stressor and so also becomes my stressor.

I told her to stop letting herself get so stressed and her headaches might back off. I don’t know if she’s working on that, but I didn’t realize that even though my wisdom makes a lot of sense since stress equals illness, I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching.

My life consists of running virtual book tours during the weekdays (an 18-hour a day job there) and waiting tables (call me silly but I like extra spending money) three nights and 2 days a week. If you compute all this craziness, that leaves maybe a couple of hours to do what I want (minus sleeping time).

Since I moved into this condo, I have found there are zillions of things I can do here. I can take the dogs walking down a trail, I can ride out to get ice-cream at Mr. Whippy’s or I can take a ride to the beach and run my toes through the sand and listen to the surf. I can rent a bike or go jet-skiing (not that I’d have the guts to do that). I can go to a movie, eat out at a fancy restaurant overlooking the water or I can stroll along Main Street and window shop. And that doesn’t include what I could do at my own condo which includes fishing and crabbing off my own pier.

Or, I could just sit and watch TV.

I have tried to get in some of those things but between the two jobs, it was wearing me out. My offline job was driving me bananas with the boss biting my head off at forgetting things (a symptom of taking on too much) and trying to handle ten tours alone was a bit much and I had all this going on at once. It was like a huge battle going on inside my head and I was probably going to blow up or lose it any minute.

Then, I got sick.

I still don’t know what I had but it came with a headache that no pill would touch and a fever. I camped out on the living room sofa for the entire day watching Trading Spouses and the Country Music Awards (never heard Mylie Cyrus sing before so that was cool) and trying to get enough energy to climb the stairs so that I could do what I was supposed to be doing instead of being sick and that was work on tours. With ten of them, you can’t waste an available moment and I knew that; yet, I couldn’t get off the sofa. Stress had taken over and now…I was sick from it.

The next morning, my daughter came downstairs and I said, “I can’t believe what I just did or didn’t do rather.”

“What’s that?” she says.

“Practice what I preach.”

She looked at me like she didn’t know what I was talking about and said, “What are you talking about?”

I said, “I have been telling you to stop stressing and look at me. I’m sicker than a dog and I know why. For the last week, I’ve done nothing but walk around and complain about either the job or the tours and done nothing to relax.”

“Well,” she said, “it’s hard to not work on tours and you have to go to work or they’ll fire you. So I don’t think it’s your fault.”

“Oh, but it is,” I said. “I’ve got to cut back somewhere.”

So, this is my plan. I’ve got a girl working for me tonight at my offline job and I’m going to go out to my dock and sit at the end of it and watch the sun go down.

And I might even drive down to Mr. Whippy’s and order me vanilla ice-cream in a cup.

And I’m going to enjoy not having to do something I don’t want to do and do something I want to do.

And I might even start to like it.

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