My apologies that I have been so silent as of late. August flew by in a rush of chaos and commitments and I’ve been too busy to sit down and write in this blog.
I recently got hired at the English school around the corner from the apartment. The location is exceptionally convenient and the staff are splendid. I will be teaching English to a variety of students working at various levels of abilities, but will also be tasked with writing and organizing the structured programming of their Cambridge English curriculum for a new program they’re just introducing this year called, ‘Chatterbox’. I’ll be paid for my time in the classroom as well as my time dedicated to working from home on the program development.
Chatterbox is a four hour block of class that has a theme every two weeks. While I have some material to work with, I’m going to have to extend it with my own ideas. They also have tasked me with continuing this planning even after we move to Amsterdam, paying me for the work I am doing. Once completed, this programming will be used by other teachers every year. It’s quite an honour to be trusted with this, considering they’ve known me for a total of 5 hours, face-to-face.
On top of that, I’m still keeping up with my English lessons online with Chinese students. The work I will be doing with the English school falls outside those hours, so it adapts nicely with the schedule and still leaves me with time to run errands, plan a meal and take care of the dog.
And then, to top it off, my personal side gig has the occasional client request. I had a rush at the beginning, when I first started it back up again, but now it’s quieted down. Because of having found work with the English school, I decided not to spend anymore money on advertising the side project, and just rely on word-of-mouth and recommendations. If I get a client, it’s extra money in the pocket and an opportunity to work on my writing, which I love. If I don’t, I don’t need to stress about it anymore.
Soon, my graduate program begins again and I’m taking two courses this upcoming semester. My intent is to be completed by September of next year and that should be easily achieved if I keep at a two-course pace. Of course this will make life even busier and my schedule even more packed, but I’ll manage; I always do. The courses I am taking this semester are:
Introduction to Research in Library and Information Studies & Records Management. Maybe this experience will help make me an ideal candidate to work in the administration of a museum when I get to Amsterdam… we shall see.
AND THEN! I’m not sure if you noticed the updated page on my website, but I fueled my love of Paris into creating a *really* beautiful itinerary for anyone visiting. For just a few dollars, you get an instant download of this beautiful PDF, as well as a link to all my favourite restaurants in the city that can be synced to your Google Maps on your phone. All photos in the itinerary are my own, and all suggestions are not too “touristy” and truly coming from knowing the city like the back of my hand, and wishing I had these details on my very first trip to Paris.
Jordan and I continue to discover beautiful corners of this magical city, including a new favourite restaurant that sells pizza by the slice and the most outstanding antipasto plate you’ll ever put in your mouth! Don’t be fooled, Italians reading this – the pizza isn’t soft despite how it looks. It’s crunchy and phenomenal.
Two weekends ago, Jordan and I had the pleasure of visiting friends in Geneva, Switzerland. It was about a four hour drive from Strasbourg. I had been to Geneva nine years ago but it’s completely unrecognizable from when I was last there. It’s transformed into a city that is truly alive at all times of the day, and the work they’ve done around the lake is phenomenal.
It continues to be one of the most exhaustively expensive cities in all of Europe, but it was truly a beautiful weekend.
And it was that weekend that put Jordan’s brain into “puppy mode”. Our friends got a new puppy and we had discussed for a while about getting a second dog. Initially, Jordan really wanted a dachshund, which I adore as well. But after meeting a puppy Australian Cattle Dog on the boardwalk in Geneva, Jordan’s mind did a switch (and Jordan’s Google Searches were full of ‘Bouvier Australien’ images…).
Rukia is an Australian Cattle Dog, but likely mixed with Husky or Shepherd. She is exceptionally larger than a standard Heeler, but her temperament, especially when she was younger, is much the same. They are loyal dogs who adapt to training and commands quickly, are not high maintenance, are not overly excitable, who just love their family to no end.
As if it was destiny, despite Bouvier Australiens being very difficult to find in France, Jordan happened to find a farm that was just 50 minutes away. We contacted the owner and asked if we could come see his dogs with our Rukia, and he was very welcoming towards the idea. I told Jordan that if I didn’t feel a connection, it wasn’t meant to be, but let’s give it a shot…
Instant connection with a little puppy with a spot on his eye and on his back (like Rukia!)…
So, meet Poe. He’s white right now but he will become blue like the puppies you see above. He was the only dog in the litter of 7 that had a spot on his back and I was drawn to him immediately. He was also the only puppy who, when lifted up from the pen, didn’t make a single sound (the others cried for their mom). I fell in love with this little bandit. Little bandit of my heart…
Normally, people don’t choose the dogs they put a down-payment on until they’ve grown up a bit, but the owner said he could see the attachment I had to my spotted baby, and he would save him for me.
We decided on the name Poe because, firstly, it’s “year P” for dogs born in France; it’s a law that they are registered with a name that corresponds to the letter (like a hurricane). Secondly, Jordan came up with the name idea and the reference to Edgar Allan Poe who, if you know me at all, you know I am a very big fan of his writing, but also Jordan and I both have a connection to and love of Ravens, so we thought it would be very fitting for our first animal together. On top of that, I told Jordan that Poe Dameron is a great Star Wars character so there is a secondary nerdy connection to the name, as well… hehehe…
He will be ready to leave “the nest” by the first week of October which is coincidentally one of the weekends that my parents will be here. Our plan is to hopefully pick him up with my parents on their last Sunday. I can’t wait to visit him bi-weekly and watch how he grows. We are both so excited and cannot stop joyfully planning for his arrival. It’s like we are having a little baby! Our family is growing…
Life continues to be beautiful and the opportunities I’m being gifted from the universe are endless, and I am so grateful. Every day with Jordan is a blessing, and I am just so happy all the time. It’s amazing what following your heart and risking it all for love can do for you…