Memories Before and After the Sound of Music – Book Review

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Agathe von Trapp, born in 1913, is the eldest daughter of Baron Georg von Trapp. Agathe, her siblings and parents formed the famous Trapp Family Singers, which inspired the popular film, The Sound Of Music.This famous movie was based on books written by Maria about their lives and experiences from her perspective, which – of course – the movie producers had creative license with. After reading Agathe’s memoir, Memories Before And After The Sound Of Music, interest for Maria’s books will likely increase once again.

When I took on this project I reminisced to my husband about the bonding moments I had with my mother because of the movie; he went out and promptly rented the DVD from our local store. I think it is wonderful that the movie has survived all these years and can still be found on movie rental shelves. Memories Before And After The Sound Of Music is likely to experience similar success, simply due to how dear the family’s story has been to the masses.

The book is written as a non-fiction account from Agathe’s memory – as such, readers will see the changing times through the eyes of the eldest daughter of the family. Perhaps due to the fact that Agathe was a young adult at the time, the story does not include the causes of the turmoil. Her bitterness seeps through here and there – and at times, I got the impression that she had once harbored unpleasant feelings towards Maria and the movie producers, which seem to have healed. Agathe’s child-like adoration of her biological parents is apparent in their heroic and greater-than-life portrayal – but then, perhaps they really were like that.

Readers will find that Agathe’s book will travel farther back in time, before Maria entered their lives. The biography follows through to what happened after their escape and clarifies common misconceptions. I found it surprising that Agathe was 25 when the family left for America – the only “children” during the escape were those recently born from Maria.

Though this family’s story is definitely and inspiring riches-to-rags story, one cannot deny that this well-connected family certainly did not suffer like their countrymen. Isolated castles and mansions, pristine lakes and mountains, private farms, fully staffed estates… no, this was certainly not suffering, by any account. However, the war left the family with nothing but the loyalty and love of their fans and friends. This was enough for them to survive Ellis Island, find a home in America, record albums, go on tours and establish a successful music camp – which is operating today in Vermont.

As a fantastic bonus, the center of the book contains over 30 pages of photos of the family starting in 1875 through to images of the family today, including one shot of the next Trapp family singing group.

Author: Agathe von Trapp

Publisher: Publish America

ISBN 10: 1-4137-6026-0

ISBN 13: 978-1-4137-6026-2

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Top Review of Brig Hart

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This whole system seems crazy to me.

“The MonaVie opportunity and the R3 Global Total Support System to achieving better health and wealth.” Sounds a little crazy don’t you think? I say it is. But again, don’t want to upset anyone, it’s just my opinion.

The MonaVie product is claiming to be number one as a supper food? Brig Hart said these words himself. Who, by the way is an excellent speaker. Humble though isn’t he? MonaVie is a wine like substance, in a wine like bottle that you are to sell to your friends and family.

You will be offering the business opportunity and product to others through the follow acronym: The ITS factor, (Invite, taste and share.) “Make a list of every one you know every where…” Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Let me tell you something, If you are anything like me your reputation with friends and family for testing crazy products and programs on them is pretty bad. The last thing I ever do at this point is try to push or sell stuff to them. They know where to find me if they see me working on something that interests them.

$39.00 to get involved. Then you have the “right” to be able to buy a case of the product again, bottles of some sort of wonder wine at a wholesale price. Then you get signed up on an “AS” (auto ship) so they can continually ship you cases of this stuff. Anything like AA? (Alcoholics anonymous) You buy the MonaVie wine-like product at $32.00 each and then unload it at like $45.00 a piece.

I don’t know, didn’t people catch on to this kind of thing with Am Way years and years ago? At least that was regular products you could use every day or that regular people bought like toilet paper and T.V.s and such.

This system brings back terrifying memories of a drinkable goopy green Aloe Vera gel that I sold with Nutrition for Life. My poor mom still has some of that stuff in a box in the basement along with some other pills and stuff. Sorry mom.

I just can not support Brig Hart or this MonaVie product and selling system. Imagine trying to get people to come over to your house, drink some mystery drink and then actually buy it! THE END.

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The Cautionary Tale of Shakespeare’s Macbeth

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth contains a lot of life lessons. Number one: Don’t listen to stranger bearded women when wandering through a fog. Number two: Never let anyone bully you into doing something you don’t want to, even if it’s your wife. And Number 3? If you want to become king, the kill-everything-in-your-path strategy, while seemingly effective, is bound to backfire.

Macbeth is indeed a cautionary tale of greed, power and ambition. At the play’s core, it is about humanity’s tendency for evil and ruthlessness, particularly when fueled by the desire for ascension. Macbeth, a Scottish nobleman fresh from a ruthlessly victorious battle, stumbles upon a pack of prophesizing witches who imply that kinghood is in his future, effectively messing with his head and ego. Just a few little words set Macbeth in motion to achieve his fate of being king, instead of letting things unfold naturally.

Looking at Macbeth summary, Macbeth stands somewhat as a tragic hero and a villain in the play, as he is a man whose ambitious ego and thirst for power sets him on a path of destruction that inevitably arrives at a grisly destination with his head on a spike. Violent is as violent does for Macbeth.

What we learn from Macbeth, aside from the whole downside in embarking on a murderous rampage, is that our desires and our emotions control us much more than we think. It also highlights how easily swayed humanity can be at times, when all it takes is some eerie women to plant a seed of power in our impressionable egos. At its basic level, Macbeth is about the power and drive of man, and how that power and drive can effortlessly steer us off course. Take, for example, a selection from Macbeth quotes featuring the hallucinations of Macbeth that finally convinces him to kill the king. A floating mirage of a dagger, “a dagger of the mind” he calls it, seals the deal for Macbeth, reading it as something to “marshal’st” him on his way to power. Note the level of agency he ascribes to this image, which could either be a manifestation of the witches or of his “heat-oppressed” brain. The image is both a sign and a usher of sorts for Macbeth, suggesting his own lack of agency and self-determination that allows him to be easily swayed. A helpful comparison in understanding Macbeth’s craziness can found in another famous Shakespearean play where a tragic hero is conflicted with inaction, uncertainty and of course, impressionability when it comes to the supernatural. In the Hamlet summary, Hamlet is directed on a path to avenging his late father by his father’s ghost. He wavers and flip-flops on what to do-much like Macbeth-until finally committing the first murder (Poor Polonius!) that gets the ball rolling. For him, as for Macbeth, the first murder is always the hardest, but it gets easier with next few. For Macbeth, it gets excessively easier.

The tendency to be impressionable-either by one’s own mind tricks or the biting word from Lady Macbeth or the witches-makes Macbeth vulnerable to his own impulses of greed and power and the subsequent implication for evil. It’s also what makes him appear partly as a tragic hero, someone whose flaws of initial weak sense of self allows him to be a plaything of fates and witches. Those reading Macbeth as a tale of power and greed must also take into consideration how such ambitions are essentially weaknesses for Macbeth, as he fails prey to his own flaws. A cautionary tale indeed.

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Benefits of Venison – A Natural Fat Burning Food!

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Discover the incredible weight loss benefits of venison, how to best prepare it and how much you should eat to get maximum benefit from venison – one of nature’s amazing fat burning foods.

Venison or game meat encompasses elk and moose as well as deer. While they are harder to find, caribou and antelope are also forms of venison.

Venison is hard to come by if you are not a hunter, but you might find it in a specialty market. If you have a hunter in the family, this could also be a source of venison. You may at least get to enjoy a meal or two featuring this meat that is both delicious and nutritious and great support for your fat burning regimen.

Deer meat has a deep, full flavor and a tender, yet supple, texture. Deer can be hunted wild, or they may be raised on a farm. The flavor of the meat depends upon the diet of the animal. A deer that has foraged will taste different than a domestic deer. In any case, deer meat has an awesome flavor.

Fat Burning Benefits of Venison

Venison is incredibly low fat. It is very low in saturated fat, and it is also low in calories.

A 3-ounce serving of venison has about 134 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of saturated fat. A similar serving of elk meat will yield 124 calories and 2 fat grams – one of those saturated fat. Moose meat contains 114 calories and 1 gram fat, but not any saturated fats.

Here are the benefits you will derive from venison: It is a great source of vitamins B12, B2, B6, and niacin. It also contains the minerals: zinc, selenium, iron, phosphorous, and copper. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein.

Venison contains iron, which is a building block of hemoglobin. This is what makes it possible for your blood to transport oxygen from your lungs throughout your body. Additionally, hemoglobin is an essential part of the enzyme systems that regulate metabolism and the production of energy.

Venison contains B vitamins (that is, B12 and B6), which assist in keeping homocysteine levels from becoming unhealthily high.

Here are the dangers of high levels of homocysteine:
The worsening of diabetic heart disease or atherosclerosis.
Damage to blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

Osteoporosis and colon cancer may be prevented with the consumption of vitamin B12, which works to protect the colon against carcinogens.

Venison contains a good supply of Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). This vitamin helps with promoting a steady supply of oxygen based energy to your body. This is especially useful for the heart and muscles of the body. The protein like antioxidant molecule known as glutathione must be recycled constantly. Riboflavin helps to protect this delicate molecule.

Venison contains niacin to combat the incidence of osteoporosis. It also produces starch in the liver and muscles that can converted into energy.

Preparing Venison

When you choose your venison (deer meat) try to find meat from younger deer. It should be dark with flesh that is finely grained and fat that is clean and white. Fat is the source of the real taste. Look at the recommended sell-by date to find fresh venison in stores. Venison can be purchased in the freezer section or as fresh meat.

You’ll need to trim any fat off the deer, elk, or moose before you grill or broil it.

Venison is very vulnerable and perishable, thus it is vital to place it in the coldest section of your fridge right away. When you plan to use it within a couple days, keep it in its wrapper to reduce handling. If you can’t use it right away, be sure to wrap it properly for the freezer (using aluminum foil or freezer paper) and freeze it promptly. It won’t spoil for a minimum of three to six months.

Exercise caution as you handle raw venison, being sure to rinse any utensils completely. When you marinate your venison, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator. If you leave it out, it is sure to spoil, as it is very heat sensitive. Frozen venison should be thawed out in the fridge.

One excellent way to enjoy venison is simply as a steak or on kabobs. You can also make venison jerky. It can be substituted for many other meats such as turkey or beef in stew or lasagna.

Here are some ways to enjoy elk meat: Chili, meat loaf, roast, stew, burgers, barbecue, or slow cooked in the crock pot.

Here are some ways to enjoy moose meat: Kabobs, hoagies, roast, meatballs, stroganoff, or stew.

Recommended Serving Size

A typical portion of venison is about 3 or 4 ounces per person.

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The New Diablo Blanco Red Leopard Gecko

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There is a new breed of leopards known as the Diablo Blanco which is genetically a pattern-less gecko with a complete red-eye. This new red-eye leopard gecko or the Diablo Blanco may or may not be all completely red, some possess only with one or more eyes being 50% of the solid red and the other one acquires the solid red color in both eyes.

Actually this new morph called the Diablo Blanco has three eye variations and only two body variants. As of now there are only two categories of this kind: the Blanco’s and the Diablo Blanco.

The Blanco is also a genetically pattern-less gecko, only they have the normal colored eyes of an albino. The head, body, and tail color is white. Although some Blanco’s may possess a yellowish color in their body, it may be totally wiped out through selective breeding of the next generation.

The other category is called the Diablo Blanco, this variety possess the complete or partial red-eyed color leopard gecko. Just like the raptor morph, there can also be a snake-eyed Diablo Blanco. That would mean that there could be one or more eyes that will have only half of the solid red color and there could also be a gecko with the two eyes being solid red. The best quality of this morph may possess a complete white skin from head to tail with two vividly solid red eyes.

How did these breed came about?

This is the result of cross breeding of the snowy white Tremper Albino “Blazing Blizzard” females with the best raptor male available as well as breeding those het offspring together. It is definitely not the cross breeding of two Blazing Blizzard’s with a pure Blizzard and miraculously came up with a new variety of a red-eye morph. Never yet in the history has that, two Blazing Blizzard geckos produced an all red-eyed leopards.

The Diablo Blanco variety, act as a recessive trait just like the other albino morph. When mixed together, they will produce the same characteristics, traits, and appearance of that of the parents.

The New Diablo Blanco red-eye leopard gecko is a new variety from trial breeding of hobbyist. With patience and painstaking observation of their pets they have finally produced a beautiful flawless white with the possibility of having two solid red eyes lizards. Producing your own new gecko variety greatly depends on your creativity. Study about these reptiles and try to cross-bred it yourself and be able to produce a unique and beautiful variety that can be called your own.

Find out more about this red-eyed leopard geckos; how to care for them and what to feed them. Are they the same with other leopard geckos?

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The Slow Motion Game

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Recently, a friend invited me to stop and slow down. Just for a few minutes.

I slipped off my shoes and felt the cool stepping stones in her garden under my feet. In a few short minutes, with all systems slowed to the moment in front of me, I felt like Alice in Wonderland-one moment staring up at the giant, waving leaf of a tropical banana tree and the next moment bent down, in awe at the mini, star-shaped moss tuft peeking out between a crack in the stones.

Ten minutes later, as I finished up this walking meditation in her garden, refreshed and ready to go about with my busy day, I knew it was something I wanted to remember to continue as a regular practice for myself and share with my favorite seven year old.

“Hey,” I said to the curly haired boy, “Wanna play The Slow Motion Game with me?”

“What’s that?” he responded, with the keen skepticism of a seven year old who has been around the block and played a zillion games or two in his lifetime so far.

“Well, it’s a kind of discovery game. We slow dooooown.” I started talking in slow motion speak. “And when we look aroooound we see things that we’ve neeeeeverrr seeeeeen beforrrrrrre.”

I could see the spark of interest lit in his eyes now.

“And whoever finds the most cool stuff is the winner?” he yelled excitedly.

“Sure, something like that.”

Five… Close your eyes

Four… Slowing down

Three… Your mind is going to sleep

Two… Your body is getting very relaxed

One… You are in slow motion mode. Open your eyes… And GO… s l o w w w w w w w w…

Our bare feet made their way slowly through the back yard. The dirt felt good sinking between my toes. I watched out of the corner of my eye as the boy did his best slow mummy walk and then presently crouched down.

Between the two of us, we discovered treasures galore in our familiar backyard space.

An army of ants coming out of tiny hole in the flower bed, a bright green arrowhead-shaped sprout shooting out ninety degrees from a tree branch, a baby fly sunning its translucent wings, a baby bee buzzing. We discovered the glossy, tightly curled leaf of a waxy flower pushing its way upward, and crystalline water drops sitting in the very center of a regal succulent. A family of pincher bugs scurried away as we studied the natural, hieroglyphic markings on an old tree stump.

Long after we finished playing, the curly haired boy was still bent over, looking at potato bugs curled up in tree hollows or looking up through tree branches, discovering many more unseen treasures in the garden.

I didn’t mention to the wild-haired one the part that we would feel ourselves coming back to ourselves during this game.

I didn’t mention that by slowing down our spinning minds, we would enliven all our other senses, as we became part of the world in front of us.

I didn’t mention that by slowing down, we recharge and reconnect with that vital source within us.

I didn’t mention that part to him. I didn’t have to.

Yes, this was a good game.

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Your Advantages To NFL Picks Against Point Spread

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One of the most favored sports in the United States is that of professional football. The National Football League or the NFL plays from the first Thursday after Labor Day and extends for seventeen straight weeks. Americans are known to love this sport so much that they play the sport among family and friends. The most concrete way that they are able to show pride and support for their favorite teams is through following the scheduled games up until the Super Bowl.

However, the best way that people from all walks of life make these games more interesting is through wagers. Sports betting as been around for a very long time; watching the games and having the opportunity to profit dome extra cash is never a bad idea. These days, sports betting or NFL betting are among the most popularly done through online picks. Various service providers offer the advantage of presenting a system that will be able to generate predictions. These systems are meant to help increase your odds in selecting the games and the picks that you would like to place your wager.

The key to gaining the most advantage is to be smart in selecting the best system that you will trust. The may not always be a simple task to do. Some of the more serious sports gamblers would often rely on point spreads. In a manner of speaking, these spreads are often a more complex or a riskier betting move. There are a number of spreads that are presented by bookies where an individual would be able to choose the one that they feel most lucky in playing. While this is a game of the odds – there is not much difference from any other sports betting game. It uses a complex system to generate the figures presented to the gambler. Adversely, there is always a huge possibility of instant losses and winning would be treated as sheer luck.

On a different note, the use of NFL picks against point spread can present you with a good advantage. Of course, at the end of the day, it will still be all up to you. Your choices will still be the determining factor for your wagers and the kind of betting option you will play. The bottom line is still the fact that finding a system is an important move to take. While some see it to be no more that a waste of money, these picks systems have the ability to provide you with accurate predictions with the help of expert handicappers. These handicappers know every aspect of the National Football League. They have drawn their conclusion based on the performances and other key factors. In turn, you will be the one that will benefit the most.

When you are able to find yourself a great system that will work to your advantage, combine this with an experienced handicapper – just like magic, watch it unfold before your very eyes and you will be certain that you will always make smart decisions in sports betting.

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Reviewing the Game of Blackjack

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Online blackjack has surpassed the expectations of many game experts and players as well. The game of blackjack has created new and exciting experiences for many avid players. That’s why this game became the latest trend in the online gaming business. Blackjack has really come a long way. It has a rich history which can be traced during the time of King Louie, the 14th of France. Blackjack, perhaps, is one of the games which will definitely provide players with mixed emotions of excitement, tension and satisfaction.

Why should you play blackjack?
The game of Blackjack was also called Lucky 21 because the main objective of this game is to have a hand with the value closest to 21. Many players would often speculate that blackjack is a very complicated game, but in reality, this game is very easy to learn. In order for a player to win in this game, the player must know how to count and that’s it. If a player knows how to count the cards correctly, the player will have a greater chance of winning the pot. The main question though is – Why should you play blackjack?

Honestly, the game of blackjack is not that difficult to understand. Even a beginner can play this game without having any practice. A player should only be watchful of the cards being dealt by the house, and the player must only create a hand that adds up to 21 or close to it. If you want to win in this game, you must beat the house by creating a hand with a value that adds up to 21 or closer.

Many players are now enjoying the game of blackjack for the following reasons. First of all, blackjack is a game which provides players with the opportunity to meet new people. On the downside, online blackjack may somehow give you a smaller chance of meeting new people, unless you join the live dealer blackjack game. Blackjack is considered as one of the famous casino games, both land-based and online, because players can develop many strategies and tricks in order to win the game, and in return, the player experience a great amount of pleasure from it.

If you are a beginner, you must not worry because blackjack is quite easy to learn. Many online casinos are offering free tutorials for players who want to do well in blackjack. Online casinos also offer free games for those who want to practice their skills and strategies before joining the real event. The pleasure and the opportunity to win are the factors that make this game even more popular, and the fanatics will continue to grow in number for the years to come.

The upside and downside of online blackjack.
Although many players are becoming die-hard fans of online blackjack, many traditional players are still having doubts about the fairness of the online blackjack. In the traditional blackjack, players will have the firsthand experience of the actual game. The player will see the cards face to face, and the player will definitely be sure of the reactions of the dealer and the opponents.

On the other hand, online blackjack can be played in the comforts of your own home. If you are playing the traditional online blackjack, you will be dealing with a virtual dealer, and you will not see the reactions of your opponents. The only ways that you can read your opponents is through card movements and live chatting.

When it comes to security, land-based casinos have security cameras and casino managers which are always available to monitor your gaming experience. On the other hand, online blackjacks are powered by software. It also pays to know that it is possible that these softwares can be used for cheating, so the player should choose a reputable online casino to ensure that he or she will get his or her money’s worth.

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of International Money Transfer Online Services

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Advantages and disadvantages are attached to everything on the planet Earth. As far as money sending concerns; although the advancements in IT have made it possible to send money online in minutes, yet the dark side of the picture can not be overlooked along with appreciating the bright aspects. At first, let us take a view of the advantages of international money transfer online services:

  • The first and the most prominent benefit we get from these services is the rapidity. Gone are the days when people had to wait for weeks for transaction of money. At present, you can transfer money online from one place to another in minutes.
  • Various banks have featured power transfer, which enables you to track the money online whether you are a recipient or a sender of that money.
  • Lots of banks have featured remittance. With the help of this feature, you can receive money in your local currency and use right after you receive it.
  • Another benefit is that you can send money straightly to bank accounts via online banking now-a-days.
  • Online money transfer services have provided a platform to online business-groups where they can move fast and grow rapidly without wasting time in the formalities of sending money offline like waiting for the checks to clear.

Having walked through the advantages which online money transaction offers, now let us turn to the disadvantages it bears.

  • The weightiest disadvantage is the transfer fee taken by international money transfer online services. You must have to pay some fee to them, otherwise it is impossible to utilize the services.
  • Sometimes involvement of credit card and debit card in online money transfer leads to losses. In other words, you money is not hundred percent secure in process.
  • Some websites are used to keep money temporarily in case money is not sent directly to bank account. The user passwords for these websites can be hacked by hackers resulting in the loss of money.
  • When you send money online, you have to face the technical difficulties of the process.
  • You have to be patient because long queues are quiet usual in online money transaction.
  • The quick transaction in debit cards causes difficulties in recovering lost funds.

By and large, online money transfer services are neither from heaven nor from hell. In spite of all their advantages, lots of people rely more upon offline money transaction. And in spite of all their disadvantages, a huge percentage of the world population utilizes international money transfer online services on regular bases.

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