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There is little as entirely satisfying as a trip to the local nursery, then filling pots with good earth and a bit of compost and then all this goodness. Contentment indeed and all the more way up here north of the 60th parallel:

Gardening 2011

Gardening 2011

Oregano in the NWT? Yes indeed!

And my favourite herb evar, Rosemary. Is this not a sweet little thing? By the time I’m back it will be a teenager, I’m sure:

Hi all.
Some of you may recall I’d intimated some change was afoot in my Yellowknife home. After debating and number crunching, I finally decided my kitchen had to go. I’m thrilled with the results and the best way to put it is that the place has changed from being The Place I Reside to HOME.

BEFORE:

And More Before (love the vinyl, heh?):

And One Last Before Pic (the fridge used to rust on the side, for heaven’s sake. No idea why):
old fridge

AND THE BIG REVEAL:
(featuring re-purposed corrugated backsplash, re-purposed “butcher block,” energy efficient fridge and dishwasher, cork (renewable resource, and yes I realize this is debated), and concrete table made by local artisan):

Renovated Kitchen

Tulips

I’m pretty pleased. Of course, Karen would have done it all herself. But she has a kind of awesome that I just don’t have. Yet.

Ah! I’m an epicurean at heart, no doubt about it.

I’m too lazy/intimidated to make croissants from scratch and was thus utterly delighted to discover some frozen *these* at my local co-op:
20100703 making croissants 13
Photo Credit: JStove

But that is not all, friends. That is not all.

Consider this image of my stove carefully (don’t pay attention to the clock):

And a last hint:
coffee
Photo Credit: cygnoir

I’ll paypal funds for a latte to the first person who figures out what’s got me so excited – a new gentle source of Contentment in my life.

Feature Image credit: konqui

UPDATE: @Al, sir, I’m shooting you a little latte fund! You got it — I put one in the oven the night before and awake to the aroma of freshly baked croissant. Le voila:

Vancouver’s a damn hard act to follow in the realm of quirky and wonderful places to eat or enjoy a good latte. *sniff*: Six Acres and Acme Cafe with its own flickr pool for heaven’s sake and my all-time favourite Smart Mouth Cafe!

However, I have found a new place of contentment up here and its name is the Nuthouse.   Nuthut.  TJ’s Nuthut. I’d link to it, but most stores up here don’t bother with websites much because, really, what’s the point? Either you find out about it, or you don’t!

The owner is bigger than life, passionate about nuts (did you know pecans are native to Canada? I didn’t know. Nor would have thought to ask. But I found out nonetheless!) and makes a MEAN Thai soup and delectable home-made desserts, and I don’t mean the kind of homemade that in fact came from a mass-produced factory. There’s a handful of cozy tables just made for laptops and blogging.

And dine and laptop and blog I did last Saturday, and I reckon I’ve found my new hangout. It’s about a 20 minute walk from my home and located right on the shore of the Great Slave Lake. Currently it’s still frozen over so planes on skis are still landing but eventually it will be all wavy and wonderful with people canoeing out to their houseboats.

Photo Credit: eclectic blogs

Readers – do you have a fave eat/laptop/blog place where you feel just right at home and content to while away a couple hours?
Yellowknifers- if you haven’t visited it yet, you gotta go. But not on Saturdays between 11 – 1pm, if you don’t mind!

It’s a grim time of year where I live, I’ll tell ‘ya, GRIM. The snow is melting away which is not as romantic as it sounds: The accumulated dirt and gravel spread on the streets over the winter is now exposed and worse, gets blown around by the still cold wind. I always feel gritty. There won’t be new spring growth for a number of weeks yet, so it’s mostly grays and browns wherever I look. The melted snow pools into icy puddles everywhere then freezes overnight. Told ya. Grim.Grim.Grim.

It’s not an easy time of year to be … content.

Ah, but for the radio. Or more specifically, but for This American Life, a nifty radio show / podcast out of Chicago. It’s a recent discovery and Saturday night, fatigued from a long week, I thought I’d pull the drapes, and settle into the sofa with my trusty daschunds in 1940s style to give it a listen.

Listening to radio was wonderful! I wondered if my mind would wander off (no visuals?) and it did a wee bit but on the whole the show was entirely engrossing. Paradoxically, although this week’s topic matter was highly galvanizing, I felt myself unwind in a way that I don’t unwind when I’m watching a show.

In our era of zillion channels digital TV and downloading what we want when we want and surfing the web, something about settling in and just *listening* was blissful.

Have you ever tried it?

I have about 5 weeks to go yet before I’ll want to be outside so if you have any radio shows you can recommend, I’d love to know!

photo credit: Unhindered by Talent

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