A Money Coach in Canada

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Art of Contentment posts are about appreciating what is, and experiencing life as richly as possible, as a small act of freedom from the relentless pull to buy more.

Summer’s here way up here in Yellowknife – boy is it ever – and I am determined to take in every summery experience possible.

So I hitched a lift with a friend and visited the local swimming hole of choice for locals. I haven’t been since I was a teenager in my pre-Vancouver life. It’s something alright. Unless you’re one of my BC readers (and even then, I’d only begrudgingly cede) , I bet you ain’t never swum at a place like this before. Keep scrolling below the fold, btw.

THE SAFE(ISH) SWIMMING AREA. COOL AND CLEAN AND CLEAR WATERS.

I DIDN’T HAVE THE NERVE. WOULD YOU?

SAFE ISH BECAUSE JUST AROUND THE BEND, SUPER-CLOSE, IS THIS

OH. YOU WANTED A CLOSER LOOK? YOU GOT IT!

AND, SOMEONE TELL ME —–> OFF ONE OF THE TRIBUTARIES — IS THIS WHAT I THINK IT IS???

AND AFTER THE DRAMA, THIS VISTA:

What do you already have in your life that you appreciate? The art of contentment is just this: learning to derive satisfaction from that which we already have.

Monday posts will be a personal praxis of contentment.
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Don’t you love the feeling of sleeping in a cool room with just the right weight and warmth of a quality blanket? Yellowknife of all places is good-blanket worthy! This pure wool blanket was made in Canada by the MacAusland Woollen Mills in PEI. This family-owned business has been making blankets since 1932! Thanks to The Old Faithful Shop for introducing me. And as you can see by the last photo, a little friend also fully appreciates it too (and I indulge him).

I don’t want to be all melodramatic and OMG, but living in Yellowknife does have its unique moments.

On Sunday I popped by Yellowknife’s largest grocery store, to discover this:

and this:

Organic skim milk? I couldn’t get *any* milk!

And gas? This, via twitter:
LizHargreaves @tundrabunny just spreading Facebook gossip! @ekda1961 just posted that 1 station still has gas

Here’s what’s going on. There’s one road in and out of Yellowknife and that involves a ferry trip at about 3 hours outside of Yellowknife over an arm of the Great Slave Lake. Usually timing the phase between when it’s too icy to truck stuff over the ferry and when trucks can drive over the iceroad (yes, really) is down to a science. Stores and gas pumps stock up, and some food is chartered in. Usually within a short time, we’re all back on track. This year, mother nature caught us off guard. And we’re kinda stranded for a bit.

Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. But please. Send food.

ps: and of course (!) (of course!) I am in no way comparing this little quirk to places and people who truly have no food, either in an ongoing way or because of an emergency. In fact, why not pop by your local food bank to help folks for whom finding food is a true hardship.

#4 Bus Stop Ad ~ W. Hollywood

A prospective tenant, in her 20s I’m guessing, could not give me a series of post-dated cheques because she did not have any. Full stop. No cheques. Never had had, either. And why would she? Our debit and credit cards, paypal, and ability to e-mail money or electronically transfer funds don’t leave much need for cheques anymore.

Cheques are a nuisance in my books. Receiving them necessitates a trip to a bank machine. (This is a compounded difficulty for me since there are no credit unions up here, so I have to save them up til my next trip down south.) Writing them means I need to ensure a supply on hand, plus keep tabs on which one has or has not cleared my account. Please, just let me click a button.

Having said all that, I hired a tradesperson today and have to admit I was rather touched. The company accepted my cheque on good faith, as opposed to many other places in my Vancouver years which required a certified cheque or scrutinizing all manner of ID before accepting one. Yellowknife is kinda nice that way – extending good faith on things (Once, a woman let me walk out of her shop with $20 worth of goods because I’d forgotten my wallet at home. Another time, a cashier personally paid for my $2 chocolate bar because I didn’t have cash on me and I hadn’t realized it was a cash-only shop. I guess she saw my desperate need for a chocolate fix! Yes, Yellowknife is awesome like that).

Do you ever use cheques any more? Does it drive you nuts, or is it just a part of life for you?
(A lite question on a Friday night. But your answers determine whether I’d ever purchase stock in Davis and Henderson. Just kidding.)

I grew up in a mining town. When I was a kid, it was gold mining. Now it’s diamond mining. Anyway, back in the day, Yellowknife had two working gold mines, Giant and Con. Any local readers remember the Miner’s Mess and the Rec? Yep, Yellowknife had an element of rough-and-tumble to it.

I was too young to know that the mines would some day run out of gold and they’d close. And like all of us, I would never have dreamed that a strike would become so tense that a union member would plant a bomb in Giant Mine and kill nine scab labourers – one of the largest murder investigations in RCMP history.

And. And. And: It certainly didn’t occur to me that the (US) owner of the mines would OOPS! declare bankruptcy and stick Canadians with the approx HALF-BILLION-DOLLAR clean-up (arsenic) bill.

And that’s just for Giant Mine. There’s also Colomac Mine and Tundra Mine. Oh, and that’s just in the NWT! There’s also Pamour Mine in Ontario, Hope Brook Mine in Newfoundland and Kerness Mine in B.C.

The owner (formerly known as Peggy Witte, now Margaret Kent) of the now-bankrupt mine, I see, is now CEO and President of a new mining company, Century Mining Corp. Interestingly, it looks like Century is up to some shenanigans this year in Quebec. I hear she has a second home in Hawaii.

There’s worse, folks. Much, much worse.

She’s baaaccccck: in addition to Century Mine, she owns Tamerlane Mine and just guess who’s mining in the NWT – Pine Point. They’re re-opening a portion of the Pine Point Zinc deposit. (We’re in good company. Tamerlane is also doing business in Peru.)

Dear us: Who is this Peggy Witte/Margaret Kent that not only does she leave us with nearly a HALF BILLION DOLLAR BILL, but now she’s allowed to have at us again?

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