Our Doggies

Our Doggies
Louis in the back and Ella in the front

Monday, June 21, 2010

To Half or Not?

I've always admired runners.
Real runners.
The ones who run in gear that looks to be less than a bikini.
The ones who run races in 1/5 of the time I could.

So, as many of my friends know, I started running a little over 2 years ago. I've done probably around 20 or so 5Ks. I've done a couple 4 milers and an 8K. I also ran the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K this year. Well, jogged. It's kind of hard to "run" with 30,000 other people. The 10K is the furthest I have actually run.

When I work out, I typically run a 5K. Sometimes I'll get to 3.5 or even 4.5 depending on my energy level. I have a hard time running further than that because of boredom. Especially on the treadmill. I don't get bored running outside, however, this 95 degree heat forces me to run in the gym rather than the neighborhood.

I have a dream that I'd like to run a "Half" (half-marathon) at some point in my life. I would say "Full", but 26.2 miles sounds like torture. 13.1 sounds like torture, too, but a little less torturous than a "Full". So here are the pros and cons. I'll let you decide.

It would be a major accomplishment for this "non-runner"
I could say I ran a "Half" marathon
It would be something I would have to work really hard for

My knees start hurting at about 5.5 miles
I might get bored after 4 miles
Sometimes running makes me chafe

I'm sure there are more Pros and Cons. What do you think? Any suggestions? Any ideas of good "Halfs"? It'd be fun if it were somewhere I'd have to travel to do it. Also, those of you who have run a "Half", are there typically "slow" runners there? I'm worried that I'll finish last (like I did in my 8K) and be totally embarassed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My thoughts about Appalachian...

I was reading over my blog posts, especially the one where I listed what was precious to me. It instantly popped into my head that I left something important off that list.

APPALACHIAN (Yankees, it's pronounced "APP-UH-LATCH-IN" and not "APP-UH-LAY-SHUN")

If you know me at all, you know I am an AppState fanatic. I even know that some of you may think I may be an overkill fan. Let me tell ya, I'm not overkill. I'm devoted. There is a difference, right? So, is it just because they have a good football team? Absolutely not. There are so many reasons why Appalachian should be on my Precious list.

App is where I learned to become independent. I moved away from home (Michigan), and family that was in North Carolina moved to California shortly after the start of my freshman year. I was alone, and out of that loneliness, I learned to function and eventually thrive on my own. Yes, I was still receiving financial assistance, but I also had a job and kept my grades up (for the most part).

App is the reason I became a teacher. Although I always thought I would be a teacher, I was still undecided until mid-sophmore year. I can't remember the exact moment that I decided I would go into elementary education, but it had to be one of the professors, classes, or friends I had. App also gave me my Master's degree...and I am so thankful I was able to complete that program.

App is where I made a good majority of my NC friends...whom I call family. Kathryn was my first friend. Through her, I met Sheila. Through Sheila, I met Denise and Brandi. And the list goes on. I know if I had gone to another college, I would have made friends. But they wouldn't be the same. My App friends are GOLD (and black) :)

App is where I met my husband. Only, when I was in college I swore up and down that I was not going to marry him. It only took 8 years to figure things out!

App's marching band was my social life. I know, sounds sad. But, lemme tell ya, the marching band was no geek-fest. We partied like the biggest fraternity on campus. It was a blast. And most of the people at my wedding were, at one point, in the App band (or guard). Most of my college memories revolve around marching band, and all the people I met in it (including my husband).

App produced Armanti Edwards who is now a Carolina Panther. Go #10!

App beat Michigan, and I was there to witness it. I will always remember that game, and the night in Ann Arbor that followed it!

And here are some simple things about App/Boone that are Precious:
-Boone Bagelry...the smell was enough to make me skip my history class.
-Parkway...just as soon as it was 50 degrees, we were all laying out in our bikinis.
-The Gold Room...which was replaced by McAllister's.
-Road Rules campus crawl...began at Duck Pond, and we ALL skipped class to see it.
-Howard's Knob...on cold fall evenings.
-The haunted house at East.
-Climbing the rock flats to watch meteor showers.
-11:00 trips to Macado's for Milky-Way pie.
-Canoeing up the streets during the floods.
-Living above a pizza joint and smelling the latter through the vents.
-The Vineyards ghost.
-The Night Owl.
-Going to the Quinn. The hike up was enough of a workout!

I know there are more, but that's all for today.

One of my student's parents recently asked me if I enjoyed Appalachian. "Yes" didn't seem like a good enough answer.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ten "Wonky" things you didn't know about me...

10. I have a "wonky" smile. My bottom lip smiles diagonally, so the right side is lower than the left.

9. I have a "wonky" ability to hear everything! I am blessed to have really good hearing, especially since my husband is almost deaf. However, hearing every little sound can really drive one crazy. And because of this, little noises make me go berserk (spelling?). Continual noises are hardest to tolerate - tapping feet, clicking pens, snapping gum...

8. I have a "wonky" obsession with time. I can't stand being late to anything! I also can't stand when I have plans with someone and they're late. I've learned, however, that I am one of the few people who are obsessed with time...so I have to deal with it and get over it. It absolutely kills me if I am 10 seconds late to anything. I think I blame my mom for this, because she's the exact opposite. She's on "DM" time ;) Love ya, mom!

7. I am "wonky" about receipts. I save every single one, temporarily. It goes immediately into my wallet. When I get home, I immediately have to balance my checkbook to the penny. Then, the receipt either gets shredded or filed. I get really anxious if a receipt is in my wallet for more than two days. It makes me feel behind. Leah has tried to convince me that I am too anal about receipts, but I can't help myself.

6. I am a "wonky" lover of eating out. I do enjoy a good home-cooked meal and am blessed with an amazing chef-of-a-husband. However, I live for eating out!!! But... I have to put my several favorite restaurants on a rotations. I can't eat at the same restaurant twice out of rotation. And... I eat the exact same thing at every restaurant. When I find something good, I stick to it or I am sure to be disappointed.

5. I have a "wonky" way of talking myself out of things I don't want to do. For instance, I packed a bag to go to the gym today because I have a race on Saturday. I fully intended on going until a thought popped in my head: "I have to get to Wal-Mart to buy dog food...I'll go running when I get home...Now that I'm home, I have an aweful lot of papers to grade...Papers to grade? Hm, nah, let's write a new blog." I think it might be referred to as adult ADD.

4. I hear "wonky" sounds in my head. No, not voices, sounds. I guess this kind of relates to #9. When we lived in our last apartment, I thought our upstairs neighbor was on an elliptical machine because I constantly heard this "whoosh, whoosh" sound in my ear. Nobody else could hear it, which once again means I have a "wonky" sense of sound. Then, we moved to the townhouse. No upstairs neighbor on elliptical. However, I still hear that sound when I'm on the couch. Maybe it's my neighbor, Neil with an I on his elliptical. Seriously, I hear things nobody else hears.

3. I have a "wonky" appetite. See bucket list. I am a vegetarian who doesn't eat vegetables. I could, however, survive on cheese, bread, and tomatoes alone. Most of the foods I eat inclue those three items (grilled cheese, quesadillas, tomato sandwich, etc.)

2. I am "wonky" about talking on the telephone. Pretty much, I don't like it. I'd much rather talk to someone in person, or through email. It's strange, I know.

1. I am really "wonky" about public speaking. Even in small groups. My chest turns red and splotchy, my voice (and body) shakes. I can't figure out why. I am getting better, thanks to the practice in grad school. However, I still get really freaked out. Hopefully when I am a principal, this will go away.

Just FYI, "wonky" means "weird"...it's just more fun to say.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"A Huntersville Scandal"

My husband and I woke up this morning and felt a hinkerin' for "Toast". It's a little restaurant in downtown Huntersville that we fell in love with a few years ago. It is set in an old house, real small, so there's always a wait. The food is great, and the staff is very quick and friendly.

We drove the 15 minutes to Toast only to find out it was no longer there. My stomach dropped as if I'd found out a good friend moved away. We knew there was another location, Davidson, which was another 15 minutes away. We could've gone to IHOP of some other terrible eatery, but were so excited for Toast that we made the extra drive. Fingers were crossed, hoping the Davidson location was still open.

Thankfully, it was thriving. There were couples eating at the outside tables, and there was a little wait to get in the door. Upon being seated, Pat called the owner over to the table to inquire about the Huntersville location.

Here's a summary of his story:

When they went to renew their lease, the landlord declined them. In fact, he asked them to leave a month early and he would forego their last 2 months rent. He also asked them to leave all their equipment for the next leasee (spelling?). The owner felt something was "up"...a hugely successful restaurant being kicked out early, and the landlord wanting their equipment? Eventually they found out that the General Manager of the Huntersville location was the Godson of the landlord. This GM, Jay, who we have always really liked, had conspired with his Godfather and 5 of the employees to open a restaurant in this location called "Taste of Huntersville"...WITH TOAST'S EXACT SAME MENU!!!! We're not real sure how the owner found this out. But, he obviously did not leave his equipment at the location, and let Jay know about copyright infringement. Really, Jay? How stupid can you be?

So the owner is building a new location across from the new Discovery Place in Huntersville. They haven't broken ground on it yet, but it should be ready to open by December of 2010.

The moral of the story is, if a restaurant named "Taste of Huntersville" every opens anywhere, don't support it.

Wait for Toast to open because it is amazing.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dogs vs. Kids

If you read my FB posts at all, you know we have been going through the wringer with these precious dogs. Ella has eaten through my canvas App bag, one of Pat's dress shirts, a few newspapers and magazines, a sock, a bra, and of course their $150 canvas crate. The crate was replaced by a metal one, which resembles a prison. We are very thankful for the crate, because the dogs have been 95% accident free over the last month or two. Louis hasn't really done anything wrong per se, other than biting. He doesn't do it visciously. He jumps up and before he knows it, he has bitten your lip or nose. He's broken my lip open once, and bit Pat's nose a handful of times. Other than being annoying on a daily basis and rolling on top of snakes, he's precious.

Until a few nights ago.

A half hour after Pat and I retired to bed, we heard really loud barking. We both rushed downstairs, thinking someone was breaking into the house. Nope! It's just Louis. And Ella. We weren't sure what was wrong. This continued for about 45 minutes (this being us going upstairs, and then running back downstairs when the barking started again). Finally I told Pat to stay in bed since he had to work in the morning and I was on spring break. I put a pillow by the crate and sat with them for a little while. They were calm...but Louis was still whiny. I reached in to pet him and he instantly calmed down. If I moved my hand off him, the barking began again. So, I laid down on the floor beside the crate, with my hand on Louis' head. Until 1:30. Finally, he was snoring, so I escaped upstairs.

Then it happened again on night 2.

Why would this all the sudden start happening NOW when they've been fine in the crate for 3 months? I am thinking either it's a fully moon, they sensed a storm coming, or they've been spoiled with me being home so much this week.


So, this has made me strongly consider not having kids. Having to get up at midnight and sit with dogs for 1.5 hours was not fun. How could I do that with kids EVERY night? I don't think I'm strong enough. I LOVE TO SLEEP. I'm too selfish.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What Makes a Friend..."True"?

When asked the question, "Would you rather have many friends that are skin-deep or a few friends that are 'true', what would you choose?" I would always go with a few true. But I also feel like I have a combination of the two, which is a constant struggle. The struggle is in figuring out which are skin-deep and which are true. I've told a lot of people that getting engaged last May was really telling with regards to who your true friends are.


You know you're "true" if...
1. When your friend gets engaged, no matter your situation in life, you are TRULY happy for her. You have no feelings of jealousy, but simply relish in the fact that your friend is happy.
2. You can go months without talking or seeing one another and not take it personally.
3. You can go months without talking or seeing one another and when you finally talk/see, you pick right back up where you left off.
4. You don't get jealous when your friend goes out with another friend and you didn't get invited. You understand that one-on-one time is necessary to develop any friendship and are happy that both friends are taking time for one another. You know your time is next.
5. You understand that it's ok to compartmentalize friendships. Yes, it's also ok to have all your friends hang out, but sometimes you need to spend time with "certain groups". Meshing of groups is fabulous, but it's also completely ok to compartmentalize.
6. When you have an issue/problem with a friend, you do not handle the issue through email, text, Facebook. You TALK to your friend directly, and not through other friends. Too much he-said/she-said.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Where I'm From

So I've been on Ocracoke Island this week attending an NCCAT seminar entitled "North Carolina Is My Home". I feel like I've learned a lot and have even had the opportunity to meet some incredible people...not just fellow teachers, but published authors from NC. On the first day, Georgann Eubanks was giving us a tour of the state through photographs of author's homes. She then shared a poem written by George Ella Lyon entitled, Where I'm From. Our exercise that day was to create the same poem, only changing aspects to make it where we are from. I really dislike poetry (only because you're not supposed to say "hate"). Mostly because it doesn't make any sense to me. But this poem did make sense to me and was really fun to write. I didn't share it with the group during sharing time because I felt like it was too personal...so instead, I'm going to publish it on my blog. (see the sarcasm?)

Where I'm From

by Shanti Ammen Clancy





























Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Why call my blog "Precious"?
Because it's one of the most used adjectives in the South (from my experience). And...I find myself saying it ALL THE TIME. Cute picture of friend's child="Precious"! A student said something that made me giggle="Precious"! A husband/boyfriend of good friend does something sweeth for said friend="Precious"! Get the point?

Things that are precious to me:
My husband
My family - too many to individually name, but I can if I need to.
My friends (and their families) - only the ones who are true.
My education
My home
My car
My puppies - Ella and Louis
My students
My pictures
My memories
...to be continued

My Bucket List

A few years ago, Pat and I watched the movie The Bucket List. He then decided that he wanted to run a marathon before he died. So, I thought I'd train with him. Except, that only led to me running a dozen or so 5Ks. I'm getting from that, that was not a realistic drop in the bucket. So, here's my "real" bucket list (and the reasons for each entry):
1. Read the top 10 Classics - I don't even really know what they are, but I love to read and want to be well read.
2. Watch all the movies people constantly quote - I don't like it when people say, "What do you mean you haven't seen that movie?"...kinda makes me feel like I'm uneducated.
3. Go to Spain - Something I've wanted to do since I began taking Spanish in high school. I'm nowhere near mastery of the language, but I want to see La Tomatina, and the running of the bulls. Plus I'd like to take a million pictures of the landscape and culture.
4. Get a degree in photography - I am a self-proclaimed photographer but have only ever taken 1 class. Although it was greatly helpful, I want to learn more. It's not that I necessarily want photography to be my profession, but I would like to be able to do something with it.
5. Publish 3 books; a children's book, a coffee-table photography book, and a novel - I love to write, and feel like I have some really good stories somewhere inside of me. I also think I'm good at writing rhyming couplets---which would be the children's book. The coffee-table book will be a collection of photographs of North Carolina's old barns/buildings that are completely worn down. Along with the photographs will be the history and location of each building.
6. Learn to love vegetables - I am a "vegetarian" who hates vegetables. Well, that's not completely true. I love corn and peas and lettuce and tomatoes and potatoes and carrots. Anything else, YUCK! I want to learn to love broccoli, asparagus, squash, zucchini, spinach (and that will be a milestone b/c I would rather shoot off my foot than eat spinach)...etc.
7. Start completely over in a new state - I've done this before, so this probably shouldn't be on my Bucket List. However, I created an amazing life for myself when I left MI for NC. Now that I'm married, I'd love to pick up (with my husband) and both start somewhere new together. We've talked about it and have a general idea of where that would be...
8. Celebrate a 50th (wedding) Anniversary - This means I will defy divorce. I will do whatever I can to stay with my husband, whatever I can. I want to be one of the few who stay married through thick and thin. I want to love him more than I ever thought possible, especially when I am 80 years old.
9. Get my doctorate in education...or curriculum - I am the kind of person who can't sit still...even to watch a movie. I have to constantly be doing something. This pertains to my career, too. Once I grow comfortable in what I do...I feel the urge to do something more/new. I have a feeling that within the next 10 years that will mean getting my doctorate. With my doctorate, I would like to become an assistant superintendent of curriculum/instruction...or teach at a University.
10. Learn to ski or snowboard - Some friends and I tried this a few years back but chickened out. If I move to my new location (see #7), I'd have to know how to ski or snowboard because it would be a waste of location not to. I'm terrified of heights also, and had a bad experience on a tow rope in 5th grade...so this will help me overcome my fears/past.

MORE TO COME??? As I complete something on my list hopefully I will update it with something new. I guess #8 will be on here until I'm 80. :)