Author Archives: Dara Squires

About Dara Squires

Dara Squires is a freelance writer working from home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. She lives with her one husband, three kids, one pet bunny and about one million dust bunnies.

The Two Solitudes of Corner Brook

I sat down for coffee today, separately, with two people who have never met. They missed each other by minutes in passing.  Both are poets, authors of works that share many characteristics and goals. And one would think that in Corner Brook, where we can all admit the “arts” crowd are a caste of their own, they would’ve run into each other, shared a coffee at the very least.

It’s almost as unbelievable as running into someone that grew up in the same outport community as your friend and realising they don’t know each other – or each other’s father.

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The Breast Business Plans

If you’re a parent of young children – and maybe even if you’re not – you might start to notice something new at businesses and organisations in Corner Brook this month.

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The Loco Locavore OR Crazy Kids Eat Snow

eating snow

Photo by ^_^anissa

Has Corner Brook has enough snow yet? Not if you ask my kids. Theyre hoping its going to snow all year long.

For sure they enjoy sledding and whacking Dad in the head with snowballs. But thats not the reason why theyre so excited by the snow. They are over-the-moon because Im letting them eat it!

And theyre not just eating it by the handful like icy-fingered, snot-nosed generations before them. No, were actually cooking with it.

What could be more locavore than dipping some snow from your backyard stash to make your meals with? And what do you imagine your kids would love more than telling their friends they were cooking with snow.

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Five Fabulous Fall Activities for Family Fun


Photo by nick see. Used under a Creative Commons License.

Just because the weather is turning more frightful than delightful doesn’t mean you can’t still get outdoors and enjoy our amazing natural surroundings this fall.

The thing that attracted our family to Corner Brook in the first place was the natural setting. Yes, the cutting down of the Majestic Lawn trees is just another example of how our city is becoming less “green.” But, you don’t have to go far afoot to find yourself in a forest, on top of a mountain, or at a seashore. Our city is surrounded by diverse natural settings. And the possibilities for recreation, even inside the city, abound.

The first rule for outdoor fun in the Fall is the same as it is for any season: be prepared. Water is essential, even if the days aren’t as hot. Sunscreen should still be used, especially on bright days. Clothing should be layered with an outer wind/waterproof layer either worn or instantly accessible. Just as in the summer, I like to keep a couple of towels in the car. Not, as in the summer, to dry us off after a spontaneous swim, but to dry us off after puddle-jumping, sudden showers, or slips on muddy ground. You should also have gloves and hats available, as the weather can quickly turn cold.

Once you’ve got all that prep, though, what to do next? Following are some great, fun, outdoor activities suitable for all ages:

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Five Frighteningly Good Places for Hallowe’en Shopping

Trick or Treat 2008 - Halloween - Yongsan Garrison - US Army Korea - IMCOM

Photo used under a creative commons license.

Although Hallowe’en is a traditional holiday with it’s roots in Celtic and Christian religious events, today’s secular version allows lots of room for interpretation.

Some families insist on Jack’o'lanterns and scary costumes, other dress up as Disney characters and decorate with window clings. One of my favourite things about Hallowe’en is that it’s a holiday that each family can make their own.

We’re big on homemade holidays in our family. Every occasion means child-crafted decorations, mommy-baked treats, and family time together. Hallowe’en is just another excuse to get a little creative.

While many families will be happy visiting Walmart or the dollar store to pick up all their Hallowe’en supplies, there are plenty of other places in Corner Brook where you can get your supplies, save some money, support local business, and/or get your creative on.

Our family’s top five frighteningly good places for hallowe’en shopping are:

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The Pumpkin at the End of the Rainbow

Pumpkin Patch 100_9297

Photo by Kam’s World. Used under a Creative Commons License.

Monday was a typical turn of the season day in Corner Brook undecided as to weather. We had planned a trip to Lomond Farms to pick out some pumpkins. Until the very last minute we were undecided as to whether or not to go.

The siren call of that chubby orange fruit was too hard to resist, though. Despite the rain as we departed (when there had been sun as we got in the car), we left in high spirits. We were on the hunt for pumpkins, but first we had to find that rainbow.

We were about halfway out to Lomond Farms when we finally got a good view of the rainbow that we had briefly spotted while exiting the city.

My daughter and I recited the colors: Red; Orange – Hey thats the colour of pumpkins, my daughter shouted as my son exclaimed thats a Halloween colour! The two-year-old made appreciative sounds too – Yellow; Green; Blue; Purple (indigo and violet really, but all we see is purple)

We were obviously primed for the expedition. The rainbow was leading the way.

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