Sign Aesthetics

I lost track of the source for this one.

  • Aries: Swimming pools, cold drinks in the summer. Hazy orange-yellow sunsets, passionate kisses. Hair touching, long car rides with friends, watching the sunrise. Long naps, yelling along to music.
  • Taurus: Secluded forests, slight breezes that sway tall grass. Long, meaningful text messages, chipped nail polish, the smell of the ocean. Having the music at full volume and drowning out the rest of the world.
  • Gemini: Long car rides alone, windows down, loud music. Poetry, typewriter clicks. Laughing so hard your stomach hurts. The color black and navy blue, the smell after the rain. Existentialism, looking at stars.
  • Cancer: Long, warm hugs. Hand holding, kept secrets and light-hearted jokes. The color blue, dogs, wild flowers that grow in your backyard. The smell of new books, and the sound of an old piano.
  • Leo: Clean sheets, sleeping in late. Sunlight pouring into your room. Stretching, the smell of chocolate chip pancakes. CD’s and clothes everywhere, intimacy. Bonfires, exotic beaches, and slightly out-of-tune guitars.
  • Virgo: Freckles, musical theatre, live performances. Harmonic singing, late night phone calls. Raspy morning voices, vanilla, and running until you’re out of breath. Art museums, dancing, dark circles under your eyes. Foreign countries and languages, dogs.
  • Libra: Smiling between kisses, art galleries, paint-stained clothing. The sound of the harp. Graphite, the smell of coffee. Kept promises, swimming, and colliding hugs. Intertwined fingers, cats, crying, and the smell of burning wood in the wintertime.
  • Scorpio: Comfortable silence, nature, relaxation, being home. Thinking, being with family, the color green. Intelligence, old books, and the calming hum of a car engine. Camping, imperturbability.
  • Sagittarius: Colorful hair, falling snow. Hidden rivers, small towns. Art stores, book shops, the smell of baked cookies. Long, meaningful hugs, hand-written letters. The calm before a storm, candids, canoeing. Friendship, drives at dusk.
  • Capricorn: The piano, antique shops. The smell of freshly baked bread. Herbal tea, late night sketches, seeing someone you love for the first time. Knowledge, the color purple, wit, slow songs, and sarcasm. Long, hot showers, the sound of the rain.
  • Aquarius: Travelling, foreign food. The gentle breeze of a fan in the summer, the smell of watermelon. Peaches, musicals, vinyl’s, black and white movies. Sleeping until noon, iced coffee, tanning. Perfume, the taste of champagne, blogging.
  • Pisces: Hanging plants, baby blue eyes. Trying to suppress laughter at 4 am with your best friend, horror movies, conspiracies. The smell of popcorn, swift kisses, constant eye contact. The Beatles, strawberries, and the color yellow.

Historically Interesting Casinos in Canada

Canada does not have a long history of actual buildings being made as casinos. We do have gambling far back in our history. John Cabot (circa 1497) noticed the native Canadians used sticks and pebbles to play games of chance.

The Canadian Criminal Code banned every form of gambling in 1892.

However, during  the days of the Klondike Gold Rush (1897 – 1899) Faro was a popular game of chance. By 1900 charities were holding bingo games and raffles. Next came horse racing and by 1925 agricultural fairs and exhibitions were permitted to hold gambling events.

Lotteries began in Canada in 1969. The government amended the Criminal Code to allow themselves to fund special projects from money made through lotteries. In 1974 the Olympics in Montreal were funded with lottery money.

In modern days most provinces have casinos.

Some are still government run, it depends on the province. Canadian casinos can be partially owned by private enterprise, government and the native Canadians who have special rights set out by the government. If you look for casinos in Canada you may find more online casinos than brick and mortar or land-based casinos. Like working from home you don’t actually have to get dressed up (or dressed at all) to play when your casino is online: www.gamingclub.com/nz/online-pokies

history of gambling in Canada

I grew up in the Toronto area where my family and I would attend the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) each summer at least once. My sister’s favourite part of the CNE were the games. Although the midway games had to gear down for children to play, there was a casino for the adults too. I never saw the inside of it. Each year it would be packed up again and disappear until the next summer.

Now I live near the Barrie casino, the Georgian Downs. I see the horse and buggy races now and then. In season you can drive right by on the main highway through Barrie and pass close enough to Georgian Downs to see the horses racing, warming up or exercising.

My plan was to write about historical casinos in Canada but once I started looking for them I found there aren’t any which are very old.

The first commercial casino opened in 1993, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The second to open and credited as the largest casino is in Montreal. It’s called The Montreal Casino and is located in Montreal, Quebec.  Open 24 hours a day, to those who are 18 years of age or older,  since October, 1993.

The Delicious Miss Dahl's Borscht

We make borscht a couple of times each summer usually. I love the beets with the sour cream swirled on top. We don’t put it all through the blender or serve it cold. Will be nice to try a new recipe this summer and see how it comes out as a cold soup. This recipe comes from The Delicious Miss Dahl, a cooking show from the UK with Sophie Dahl. I just happened to catch the show today on the Food Network. Too bad they didn’t make more than one season. It was kind of elegant and glamorous in a simple way.

Sophie’s Borscht
This hot pink borscht looks best served in a glass punch bowl with party fare all around.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4

Ingredients

6 medium sized beetroots – washed but not peeled
5 spring onions, white part only
olive oil
1 1/2 litres vegetable or chicken stock
Shot of vodka
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons creme fraiche, plus extra to serve
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Handful of chopped fresh dill
Chopped hardboiled free range egg to serve – optional

Directions

Wash and trim the stalky bits of the beetroot.

Sweat the spring onions in a pan with some olive oil on a low heat until they are translucent.

Then add the stock to the spring onions and leave on a low heat to warm.

In another pan, cover the beetroot with water; bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the beetroot is tender.

Drain, and when cool enough to handle peel off the skins and cut the beetroot into rough chunks.

Put the beetroot into a blender with the spring onion, stock and puree until smooth.

Add the shot of vodka, lemon juice, crème fraiche, season and give the mixture another whizz in the blender.

The soup can be served hot or cold. Either way serve with the chopped dill on top, a swirl of more crème fraiche and some chopped hardboiled egg if you feel like it.