Shannon Fennell's Blog

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

December update… busy, busy, busy


I try to post at least a couple of times a month but this time of year is always an effort.  If I don’t plan ahead and schedule posts in advance it can be a few weeks before I get to it again.  Just too much going on.

Christmas party bookings start mid-November then run right up to Christmas up here.  Plus other bookings, theatre and the day-job keep me occupied.

I also had to hire a new full-time aide for mom – that is number six (yes, 6) this year for the full-time position.  Mom was really getting worried (crying about it) that people would think she was a horrible witch.  She isn’t.  First one left to start her own daycare, then the next agreed to work a shorter work week but only until summer, then decided to leave full-time earlier, replaced her with the part-time who took over full-time but she was only staying until August when she went off traveling with the boyfriend, next one seemed to be perfect, then after two months to the day gave notice due to health reasons (pre-existing), then the next one who when she took the position was walking to work moved to Clairmont without a vehicle or dependable ride – she quit at about a month and a half.  So then we hired the current one who seems to be working out well (after two weeks.)  She arrived here from New Brunswick on the Thursday, applied for the job Saturday evening, I contacted her, she came for an interview Sunday evening, and started on Monday.  Please please please… let this one stay for a good long time!

With the help of mom’s part-time aide, Alex, (who will have been with us a year in January!) we got the tree and minimum other stuff up this afternoon. This is really late to do this in our house.  But it almost didn’t get done as I am/was not in the mood to do it.  I had planned to attend auditions for a show today but it was rescheduled so we got the tree set up, I visited a friend in the hospital, got some groceries and then had to go to the theatre to do make-up for the show.

I had bought three new strings of lights (100 lights each!) to add to the tree this year.  Last year half the pre-wired on lights died so I needed to add more.  So Alex and I added all three new strings – it is really loaded up now!  Then we hung all our ornaments, I was telling Alex where they all came from and the stories about where we acquired some, etc.  We like to buy ornaments everywhere we travel so there are a lot of stories.  I’ve been to 25 different countries, mom to 24 (she hasn’t been to Belgium).  Didn’t realize how many until I counted them all up.  Oh… I think I missed a couple!  Might be closer to 26… I’ll have to check my list.

So here is the tree as it looks right now with the lights off.  Just a little tree on the bay window seat.


Looks like it will just be mom and I for Christmas – family who usually come for dinner moved to Edson so it is a bit too long a drive.  And friends who used to come got divorced and we’ve not kept in touch.  So, even though I’ve bought the turkey I’m not going to cook it for just mom and I.  Way too much food to deal with.  I might pick up one of those rolled turkey breasts just so we can have turkey.  It might actually be nice  not to spend two days prepping and cooking for a change.  I’ve been the Christmas cook for the family for, um, 30 years.  Every year.  Largest group was around 18, smallest was 5.

I’ve not even started my candy making.  I usually have it done and shipped off to friends by now.  I was sort of thinking I’d do some today, but ended up going out most of the afternoon.  I bought all the ingredients for everything – all sitting on the dining table… waiting for me to do something with them.

I’m going to be face painting on New Year’s Eve down at Muskoseepi Park for the First Footings Celebration.  First time I’ve worked on NYE.  I also have private appointments booked for Dec 31, Jan 1 & 2.

Then I will be doing the make-up for “House at Pooh Corner” at GPLT in January.  The last show of the run is a Sunday matinée, then on Monday is dress rehearsal for “Les Miserables”  which will be at the Douglas J. Cardinal Theatre at GPRC in February.

I’ll be face painting at Family Day at Muskoseepi Park with a crew and then again at the Timbits Jamboree the following weekend.

On November 9th my hot water tank decided to spew water in the basement… it was an $18 part in the overflow valve (the nice plumber who came replaced it, and charged $181)… I was left with a wet utility room and the hall outside the room.



Water soaked up the gyproc above the studs and out into the hallway, soaking the carpet and underlay.  I got everything dried out before the insurance adjuster showed up.  The carpet is dry but now stained brown.  She said she had booked a restoration company to come to assess the damage and estimate the costs, but it is now almost a month and no one has shown up.  I really want to put my basement back together.  No contents were damaged but the water made contact with interior and exterior walls.

I bought a nice poinsettia for my office at the day-job.  That’s it for my Christmas decorating at work.


Oh… during the next seven work days I will be doing shifts selling Cars For Christmas tickets at Prairie Mall.  This year Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau is one of the partner agencies in the lottery.  So if you are at the mall, we will be selling at the store (the old Buck or Two location across from Moxies)… they make great presents!!  I bought one myself the other day – and on the scratch portion I won $50!  So my ticket already paid for itself.

Well, that’s pretty much everything that’s been going on, and coming up.  I’ve got bookings tomorrow, Tuesday night and all next weekend for Christmas parties.  Here’s a shot of the face painting crew from one of the parties last weekend: Me, mom, Naomi and Joy. (You may recognize both Naomi and Joy – they model for me often.)

Encana Nov 29 crew



2 thoughts on “December update… busy, busy, busy

  1. Merry Christmas Shannon and Mom!

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