Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, art and the occasional rant!

My Year in Review… l am really looking forward to 2012

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It has been a year of ups and downs… like most years, but we really managed to hit some peaks and valleys in 2011!

So let’s start at the beginning:


We bought ourselves a Keurig as a late Christmas present.  And we love it!!

Mom and I decided to book our flights for our planned trip to England – I’d been checking the prices and first class was down to $1790 vs $799 for economy so we made an appointment with the travel agent for the 15th and went and bought our first class tickets for July 1st.  The 15th was Saturday.

On Sunday the 16th I discovered water pouring in around our bathroom window and the wall was bulging and soggy.  Monday the 17th I called our insurance company… and that was the start of several months of hell dealing with repairs, renovations, contractors, finances and delays.

If we hadn’t already booked and paid for our trip, it wouldn’t have happened due to the cost of the repairs/reno.  I’m very VERY glad we took the trip even though we are still paying for it.

Monday the 31st was Dress Rehearsal for Chicago.


Chicago opened on the 3rd.  Absolutely THE BEST show ever done here.  Ran till Feb 26th to sell outs, rave reviews and great fun to work on as we got to glam up everyone!  Lots of gorgeous gals to make even more gorgeous – what a fun job I have.

Got the “problem” fixed with the roof (over insulated attic with no circulation caused it) and were into hiring contractors and having the upstairs bath and one bedroom opposite ripped out by the restoration company.  The insurance adjuster assigned to our case was great to deal with and made that side of things relatively stress free.

Face painted at the Timbits Jamboree (soccer for ages 8 and under)… was given many pizzas to take home (leftovers) – still have some in the freezer wrapped in foil.  They are NOT good pizzas… one way I used some up was to cut up and layer in a sort of lasagna type thing… I may cut up the rest to make a savoury bread pudding or strata type thing.  I hate to waste food.

Dealing with the house repairs on a daily basis… once the bathroom was ripped out mom had no access to a toilet or bath.


Continuing with the repair/reno nightmare… why do contractors show up for a couple of hours then disappear for a week?

Naomi came over to model for a face painting for a competition.  Gorgeous as always!

Painted for St. Patrick’s Day at a local club – gotta love painting all those attractive  servers with all that skin showing.

On the 23rd tore my left rotator cuff at work on the day job (I was tossing garbage into a dumpster and reached up over my head to pull the lid down when there was a loud POP…) WCB claim filed and put on light duties by my doctor.  Thankful it was my LEFT arm as I paint with my right!


Finally got financial stuff in place to pay for the bathroom renos.  Still a construction zone – but close to being done.  Mom has the toilet back at least.

Dress rehearsal for Harvey on the 11th & 12th, show ran to April 30th.  Really fun show!  Enjoyed it.

Several doctor appointments for my shoulder injury.

Birthday parties and MS Walk for face painting.  Did a postcard mailing.

Tried to hire a casual caregiver for mom for evening and weekends – was not successful so using a nursing agency at over twice the hourly cost.


Still waiting for the final things to be done with the repair/reno… !  By the end of the month things appeared to be done – or as far as they will be by the contractors.

Doctor and Physio appointments for my shoulder injury.

Did a bunch of Zombies on the 21st with a photo shoot.

Corporate parties for face painting.


WCB flew me to Edmonton on the 9th for an MRI on my shoulder.  More doctor and physio appointments, including a “functional assessment.”

Booked every weekend for face painting – birthdays and corporate jobs.  Did photo shoot at Sulphur Gate.

Had to get a new windshield due to a rock.

Laptop crapped out and tech couldn’t “fix” so bought a new one.  But can’t load my Photoshop or MS Office on new one, printer drivers no longer available and external back-up drive not compatible…

I tried to fix the kitchen tap myself… Plumber came and fixed it the next day.

Had to have a root canal.


1st to 17th – off to England!  Had a wonderful time.  First class is great – those pods are fun.  However the wheelchair service at Heathrow SUCKS!  Not impressed at all.

Had a relaxing visit with Anne and Jill, and Bella.  Saw lots, ate lots.  Had several Cream Teas which we absolutely love.  Went to Eden Project, Looe, Mount Edgcumbe, the Devon Moors, etc.

Taught a workshop and attended my first proper face painting jam.

Finally, after being nagged to death got myself set-up on Facebook and ran a contest on my blog.

I turned 50 and mom turned 73.

Started a “return to work” Physio program on the 20th where I had to go for physio every day for my shoulder.

On the 21st, which was my third day back to work on the day job I was LAID OFF.  I was bumped out of  my job by a woman with 17 years more seniority as they finally upgraded their admin systems and her job had been eliminated.  So, she took mine.  I had been wondering why she was sticking around after I got back… so I sort of knew something was up.  I didn’t even cry when the boss told me I was  being “let go.”

Called WCB and my hours of attendance for the physio program were increased to 4 hours per day M-F.

Started looking for another day job, filed for EI, etc. Three interviews the last week of the month.

Birthdays and big weekend festival gigs for face painting.


First week attended the physio program and was “discharged” from it on the 4th.

WCB paid me full benefits for a couple of weeks which was wonderful – my case manager was fantastic.

More job interviews.  Was offered and accepted a part-time (24 hours a week minimum) position with a property management company and also had responses to other applications and had interviews scheduled.

Birthdays, weddings and festivals booked.  Also a few photo shoots with photographer on a project.  Designing props and costumes.

Auditioned for a show and was offered a role (a straight role, as in, NOT the fairy godmother!) and a position in an improv troupe!


Still interviewing for jobs.  Accepted a casual job offer at the convention centre – it is for events so I am called when they need extra help in the kitchen or to work the concession.  Lots of hours in September – some days I went from the day job straight out to the TEC Centre.

Called for last-minute “panic” jobs requiring glamour and special effects make-up by photographers.  The glamour make-up was for a calendar for the SPCA “Shelter Bombshells” – my work is December 2012.

Rehearsals several times a week for the show I am in – “Mad Moose Mayhem” which runs Oct 7th and 8th.

Building props and designing my entry for the “Wearable Art Show” on Oct 1st.

Final photo shoots for the photographer’s project I was working on.

Face painting at birthdays and events on weekends.

Ran another blog contest.


Wearable Art Show on the 1st was AWESOME!  I was so pleased with my work and with how my model Amy performed!  She really made it amazing.

Show of the photos for the project I was working on was on at the Centre for Creative Arts.

I was featured in a local arts magazine… as an “artist”.

Mad Moose Mayhem was great!  The improv was hilarious – mom heckled me one night and it was so funny!

Dress rehearsal for Twelfth Night on the 10th & 11th.

Made a group of 20/30 somethings into old ladies for a night of pub crawling on the 15th.

Working shifts out at the convention centre.

“Won” a weirdest pizza contest on local radio station Q99 and had to eat my creation on air!  It was okay… but the English Toffee was a mistake.

Face painted LIVE ON AIR on the 28th at 8 a.m. on Q99.

Face painting at parties and events – painted at the local Cineplex on the 22nd.

Booked solid for Halloween.  On the 29th painted the haunters at a local park, then back home for appointments.  Painted at a Libyan Freedom Party on the 30th.  Customers early in the a.m. on the 31st.


Root canal I had done in June abscessed… put on antibiotics and extraction scheduled.

Booked to do bling at a Gala in a neighbouring town. Lots of fun blinging and painting eye designs on women and moustaches on the guys.

Taught theatrical make-up at a local high school.

Christmas parties starting – first one was on November 18, another on the 26th.  Also birthday parties.

Dress rehearsal for Beau Jest on 28th.

Worked the concession at the Festival of Trees at the convention centre.

Bought my Christmas present a bit early – a Dyson!  Look out glitter I’m gonna git you!


Booked solid every weekend for Christmas parties – several with multiple painters required.

Attended Beau Jest on the evening of the 10th and enjoyed the show a lot.

Working fulltime hours at the day job until further notice.

Went out to buy ink for my colour printer, but bought a new 4-in-1 HP printer at 2/3 of the price of the ink for my old one.

Had my tooth pulled on the 15th.  Ouch.

Final follow-up appointment with my doctor about my shoulder… doing pretty good but have lost some range of motion.

Mom and I attended the day job Christmas party on the 17th and had a wonderful time… didn’t get home until close to 3 a.m.!! I won the Trivia, our team won the Christmas Cranium and I tied for guess the Stocking Contents, but lost the tie breaker.  My co-workers all think mom is “cute” and funny.

Cooked Christmas dinner for 10 people at home.

Got my bookkeeping all caught up on th 28th!!!  Looks like it has been an excellent year.

Booked by local club for Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day… in advance!  He’d called about New Year’s Eve but we have plans so I asked if he wanted to book now instead of waiting to the last-minute, as usual…

Have multiple events confirmed for 2012 with deposits paid.

So that’s 2011 in review.  Couple of major lows – house damage and injury, but great trip and work opportunities with local photographers and art community.  First week of January I’ll post about my plans for 2012.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmoose and have a great New Year for 2012!!


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