In March 2008 I began Finding Pennies. In December 2008 I began sharing these "Penny Tales" with a few close friends. They encouraged me to blog the Penny Tales such that more people could enjoy the Adventures with Penny Angels.

Please visit the website:

Joyfully, Tina

Friday, July 31, 2009

Day #224 - Keeping Up the Daily Average

Thank goodness this is the last day of July. I need a vacation! This has been a demanding month in keeping up with all the coins found. There were over 800 coins retrieved this month which required the writing of their Penny Tales. We have been averaging 25.6 coins/day. Doc calculated that we needed 6 more coins to have an even 25 coins/day as our average. So off we went ….



The day began quietly. There were zero coins at Starbucks! There are two dimes lodged in a crack there which are driving me nuts. They would require a tool to be pried out and no incoming traffic for a few minutes. I guess those are two forgone coins, but I’m not going to count them because we may go back for those in the future….

I stopped at the 99¢ store for a Care Balloon. There were two pennies under the feet of the cashier. While my balloon was being filled, I kept trying to retrieve them, but the gal kept getting in my way! :-0 Finally I just dove in and walked away. Then I found a bright shiny penny in the aisle where I had been standing that whole time! Mushroom coin (Pennies #1-3).

I walked over to the convenience store and asked Doc to drive over and fetch me. I didn’t find any coins, but he and Sparky found a dark one in the gutter on the way to the van! (Coin #4).

Of course Doc needed to stop at McDonalds for his breakfast. There were no coins in the drive through there! Wow! Zero at Starbucks and McDs! But there were 3 dirty coins in the planter. (Coins #5-7)

The first store did not have all the balloons I wanted, so we stopped at another 99¢ store. (And it is a store where I often find coins). There was a penny as I walked in. (Coin #8) Near the helium tank was a counter-top acrylic display stand. In previous visits I had noticed the coins trapped in the base of it. Today while waiting for my balloons to be filled, I tried discretely to move all the key chains, move the rotating metal display, move the random items laying on top, then pick up the display and tilt it so the coins would slide forward. Yes! A penny and a nickel! (Coin #9&10) Then I had to put everything back! Yes, I was doing all this within 3 ft. of the gal who was blowing up the balloons. Penny Fever

Meanwhile Doc was next door at the Liquor store. He found one penny in the aisle. (Coin #11) Then he spotted 2 pennies on the floor behind the counter. He asked the salesperson if he could “have those pennies for my wife who collects them?” The guy was unwilling to give them to Doc, so Doc offered to exchange two pocket pennies for the two Found pennies. Deal! (Coins #12&13).

I wanted to deliver the balloons and go home. But we were passing that 7-11 … quick stop. I usually do not buy anything (which looks very suspicious as if you are casing the joint).

By now I was hungry. I carefully searched the whole store. Chose two bananas and was standing in a line of several people to pay. From 10 ft. away I could see a quarter back under the wire banana rack! (Coin #14). Mushroom coin. Then the cashier needed to help the young boy in front of me, so they moved away from the register for a few moments which allowed me to get down on one knee and find two pennies. (Coins #15&16). Meanwhile Doc was finding Coin #17 in the parking lot “where the concrete meets the asphalt”.

Doc now had a new goal: “31 coins today (on the 31st of the month) would mean

800 coins this month and be the beginning of a new month: 08 That man is demanding!

We were heading down Foothill Blvd. when Doc detoured unexpectedly across the street. That little Munchie Shack in the parking lot was beckoning him. I walked the perimeter three times and was ready to quit. Then I spotted the shiniest penny! (Coin #18) Asphalt Mushroom. I knocked on the window of the shack. There were two young guys there, so I shared the story and a business card. They smiled. Sharing the JOY.

Doc stopped at the bank for cash. I went next door to the grocery store where I retrieved one penny from under the cigarette rack. (Coin #19).


It is now noon as I am writing this. Wanted to get these notes out of the way because I may not remember all of this by Sunday when we return.

There is a goal for 12 more coins today ….



How long can it take to travel 50 miles? That depends on how many PennyFinding stops you make. There were three pennies (and a burger) at McDonalds near home. A penny and a nickel at Starbucks in San Bernardino as we headed up the mountain. One penny at the Del Taco (foregone due to traffic at the window). One penny at KFC. Three pennies (and a burger) at McDonalds. A penny at the feet of a toothless man eating his lunch at the gas pump. A penny at the Crestline liquor store. (I had never been in there before and decided to investigate). One penny in the variety store after I had just given up on finding any there.

The 7-11 was a great stop. Two pennies outside on the window ledge and propped up against the glass. Another penny in the walkway outside the store. I spotted several coins under the counter and when the traffic cleared I dove for them.

I emerged with a penny, nickel and dime. Just needed a quarter to “hit for the cycle”.
Found another dime under the counter. Doc came in the store and I spotted a Mushroom Coin - a quarter! It was under the counter where I had already been collecting! It was deep, so Doc bought a slurpee and blocked for me while he was paying. The customer in front of us left his penny change for us to claim. Nine coins there.

Later in the day we needed supplies from the hardware store. I didn’t want to leave there without some sort of coin. So a dime manifested by the register just as we were leaving


Morning Subtotal: 19 Coins Q (1), D (0), N(1), P (17) = $0.47

Afternoon Subtotal: 22 Coins Q (1), D (3), N(2), P (16) = $0.81

That makes 810 coins for the month of July.

We exceeded the goal of 31 coins for the day. We exceeded the goal of 800 coins. We achieved a daily average of 26 coins! In previous months we would have an average of 5-9 coins per day.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day #223 - Slow Day?

Doc and I both thought today would be a slow Penny Finding day. On his run to McDonalds this morning he only found one penny. (Coin #1) I found zero coins at the Circle K and fitness center. Since Doc needed to be at work earlier today, there would be no chance for additional hunting before work. I quickly got showered and dressed. Slipped on my shoes to find a penny in one! This shoe had been stored on a shelf 3 ft. of the ground in a closet. It’s not as if a coin could have just fallen into it. (Coin #2) Great. That took care of my coin for today and we were off to work.


On the way to my office I couldn’t resist looking in the study room and around the vending machines. Nothing. Slow Day.

Later in the morning I needed to transport some things over to the other Engineering building. After the delivery, I passed through the lab of our race team who has just headed off to Germany for a competition. (I figured they may have been scrambling to leave and dropped a few coins). There were 4 pennies, 1 nickel, 3 dimes, and 4 quarters! (Coins #3-14)

I looked at a table covered in old magazines and catalogs. There was the tiniest sliver of a penny showing from under one stack of magazines. I tried to lift a corner of the book and found another penny and then a nickel! (Coins #15-17). The lab was a “Coin Mine”.


Just before leaving work for the day, I again passed through the student study room. This time to shut off the lights and find a dime, then a penny hiding behind some trash, and then another penny in the aisle. (Coins #18-20). I also found a laptop with a cupcake beside it, but I was only interested in the coins.


I was ready to head home. However, Doc only had 4000 steps on his pedometer and I only had 6000 so he proposed meandering through the LaVerne Street Market. I told him if the objective was steps, we should go elsewhere. The food, crowds and merchandise are too distracting to engage in serious walking. However, he wanted to walk where he might find coins.

Our first search area was the Circle K. I found nothing inside. As I exited, Doc said, “There is a shiny thing between the four young gals over there. I’m not going to get it!” I replied, “I will!” I asked the young ladies if it would be OK to retrieve the nickel at their feet so I could use it for today’s Penny Tale. They agreed and it made for a fun photo opportunity. (Coin #21)

Doc next found a penny by the produce stalls (Coin #22). Then at the donut shop he said, “I just KNOW there is a coin around here.” It was a quarter and it was super obviously sitting on the sidewalk! (Coin #23). (See photo).


Doc said he wanted an average of 25 coins/day for the month of July. So the next stop was McDonalds. I collected one penny as Doc was placing his order and then 12 more coins from the planter. (A second Coin Mine today - plus after cleaning, one of the coins was a dime.) (Coins #24-36).

Today’s Total: 36 Coins Q (5), D (5), N(3), P (25) = $ 2.13

So much for a Slow Day!

And there were even Three Hits for the Cycle!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day #222 - More Manifesting

Yesterday we casually mentioned dollar coins. Today I actually formally requested a quarter. This is fun. I need to get my belief level up to maybe a hundred dollars vs. a hundred pennies.

I shared the Penny Finding story with a half dozen people today. Each of them smiled and some of them had stories of their own. Wish I could bottle up the Joy and give you a few drops of it.

It’s exciting to see that the website is getting traffic from out of state as well as Russia and Australia. J


This morning Doc and I had a 10 AM meeting so of course he had to pull off the freeway two exits shy of our destination in order to find a Starbucks. I put in a few hundred steps while waiting in the drive through - and collected a nickel and a penny. (Coins #1&2).

Our meeting resulted in some “homework” and follow up tasks. So I called into work and took a vacation day. This could become quite addictive - this playing together. After all - that is why we got married.


We stopped at McDonalds so Doc could get a snack - and I could claim two dimes. We parked at The Chevron food mart so I could go inside and find a dime at the very back of the store under a display of water. While Doc ate, I walked the gas pump area. A penny by the phones. One of the food mart staff questioned my searchings. I gave him a business card and shared the story. He gave me a smile and a thumbs up. J (Coins #3-6)

Next Doc made another Starbucks run. There were three pennies in the planter and I claimed 3 bright shiny nickels from under the window. (Nickels are the least found coins). (Coins #7-12).

Stater Bros for a bathroom run - one dime at the entrance and then a penny under a cashier. (Coins #13-14).


Doc had a 2 p.m. meeting to evaluate some property in the hills. It was great to be able to go with him. Just fun to explore options and stretch our thinking.

A few days ago Doc said 15 was a “respectable” number of finds in a day. We had one more to go …but I insisted we go home so that I could deal with the “homework” tasks and so many of my other “To Dos”.


Around 6 p.m. Doc got hungry. “Let’s go for a burrito”. I would have been fine with a Peanut butter sandwich. I negotiated, “I’ll go with you for food, if you’ll go with me for photo prints”. Deal or no deal?

We went to CVS for photos. As we parked, I said, “Penny Angels we have pennies, 4 dimes and 4 nickels so far today. That’s a high rate of silver coins. But we really need a Quarter so we can ‘Hit for the Cycle’”.

Doc found a penny in a parking stall then a penny in the first aisle of the store. (Coins #15&16).

I thoroughly searched the check out area several times while I was waiting for my photos to be processed. Nothing. Then while I was standing in line to pay, I spotted a penny at the M&M display to my left. I reached for it and found a second penny! (Coins #17-18). After paying, I handed my receipt to the guy in photos (to my right), collected the envelope and turned back. There was something shiny where I had just retrieved the pennies! No one had come to the line during those moments -- yet there suddenly was a QUARTER there! No way! Mushroom coin.

Note: for those of you who read Penny Tale Day #194 you’ll recall that I met Ejewell who was working at CVS and has embarked upon a penny finding campaign for charities. I was talking to him tonight when I found the pennies and quarter. The joy was multiplied several times by being able to share the experience with a like-minded soul.

Meanwhile Doc was outside working on his 10,000 steps for today. He collected a penny in the lot and one inside the Smart & Final store. (Coins # 20&21).


We finally arrived at the Mexican food place. We placed the order at the window and then headed for the liquor store next door - for coins of course. I found a dime, shared the story with the young cashier and gave him a business card. He reviewed the card and said, “I saw about this on TV!” I replied, “I don’t think so”. Doc said, “He’s just seeing the future!”

Doc found a penny by the entrance door of the diner. We must have both walked right over it. (Coin #23) While Doc waited for the food, I made friends with a dog who was waiting too. His owner was delightful and asked me about the unique penny pendant I was wearing. J “Let me tell you about PennyFinders … I chatted, Doc ate his burrito in the car.


I was hungry and eager to head home. Doc headed for the Circle K to do more walking and searching! I wanted to strangle him! I hopped out to go in the store. Doc began searching the lot and asked me why I had ignored the penny by my door when I got out? (Coin #24)


We were half a mile from home and I was getting grumpy. Doc said, “We now have 24 coins - just ONE shy of your favorite number 25”. I told him we had plenty of coins and it would take forever to write tonight’s Tale. Then I said, “Head to Diner’s Row”. (Penny Fever). At the McDonalds there was just one car at the window! Nice. We already had dinner, so decided not to order more from the drive through. I just walked past the window to collect one shiny penny! Yippee!! 25 coins today as well as a “Hit for the Cycle”.

Doc was misbehaving - he got out of the van and walked to the car wash -- claiming two more pennies. L


Today’s Total: 27 Coins Q (1), D (5), N(4), P (17) = $1.12

Today’s Lesson: Again the effectiveness of Verbalizing the request.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day #221 - Grand Slam: Golden Coin

Yesterday Doc and I were discussing this manifesting stuff. (With our engineering backgrounds we are both still having a bit of difficulty accepting all this). Doc was saying that if this process really works, then we should start asking for silver colored coins versus copper pennies. He then added: “why not shoot for dollar coins?” We discussed how rare dollar coins are. Our conversation was: “People just don’t use them. Stores do not have change trays for them. Vending machines usually take $1 paper versus coins. Just take for example the machines at Cal Poly…”

This morning I worked out at the Fitness Center. My trainer asked how many times I’d been walking aerobically in these past two weeks? Answer - zero. So I agreed to walk for 30 minutes this morning. As began my walk, Doc called to ask me to meet and drive through Starbucks together. I told him I was already walking - he was on his own today. I found 2 pennies within the first minute of walking - Taco Bell window. (2¢ worth) The next penny was at the A&W window. (Coins #1-3).

Most of the time this morning I walked at Lowe’s. Big aisles, no cars, no sunburn, air conditioning, etc. At least 6 employees asked if I needed help in finding something. To two of them I answered “Yes! A penny - and gave them a Penny Finders business card”. I did find Penny #4 by the check out. Then after leaving the store, I found Penny #5 outside by the swingsets - Angel Play Time? (2¢ worth)


As I was driving home there was a nudging - the Del Taco window had no cars present. Tina to Angels: “I do not want to stop. I want to go home!” The nudging said to park the truck and search. Is this really a “nudging” or do I have acute Penny Fever? There was a dime at the Del Taco and a penny next door at Carl’s Jr. (Coins #6&7)


When I arrived home, Doc greeted me with his morning Penny Tale. He was at Starbucks and saw two pennies in the dirt planter. He hopped out and retrieved them figuring you can never be sure of coins under the window, so he’d better collect what he saw. (2¢ worth). When he did arrive at the window he found a quarter! He also locked his door on the van and had to go to the passenger side and ask Sparky to let him in. Then when returning to the driver’s side to get in, he found a quarter on the curb under the window. He was pretty pleased with his high value find this morning. (Coins #8-11)

Doc’s next stop was at the grocery store. He spotted two coins under a customer. Doc is advancing! He boldly stated, “Hope your don’t mind if I take these lucky pennies?” (2¢ worth). (Coins #12&13)


At Cal Poly as I was entering the building, there was the thought, “You know JR will ask you if you have searched the vending machines, so just do it.” I did. There was a penny. (Coin #14)

Later this afternoon I had a walk scheduled with two co-workers. I was waiting for them by those same vending machines. I searched under the machines from one direction, then another. Co-workers had still not arrived. Searched another time. OK. Nothing there. Discussion “Hi Penny Angels, will you show me a coin while we are out walking?"

I spotted something under the leg of one of the vending machines. Surely it was trash. But it could maybe be a coin. Down on one knee. I picked it up just as my co-worker arrived. Held it out saying: “Look! A Quarter!” She replied: “You silly, that is a Dollar.” I said: “NO WAY! It can’t be. For starters there were No coins here a few minutes ago as I was looking. And Doc and I discussed this yesterday - dollar coins are virtually impossible to find since they are not used. This coin is just not supposed to be here!” It was. (Coin #15)


At 7:30 when it was time to leave campus, Doc came to my office and suggested we photograph where I found the Dollar coin. After we did that, I turned around to notice the student study room was vacant. We could not resist going in. Two pennies there (2¢ worth). (Coins #16&17).


After leaving the campus, I was nearing the McDonalds. “Please Penny Angels, don’t ask me to stop there tonight. I want to go home.” Yet I felt the nudging … “OK. I will agree to stop ONLY IF there are zero cars in line. I do not have the patience to wait tonight.” There were no cars - but two pennies. (Coins #18&19).


Today’s Total: 19 Coins $1 (1), Q (2), D (1), N(0), P (15) = $1.75 and one plastic ring

Doc’s Summary (he likes to analyze the numbers): “Today’s total of $1.75 is the Product of our Combined Efforts as well as the product of our favorite numbers 7 (Doc) x 25 (Tina).”

Doc likens the $1 coin find to a Grand Slam Home Run in baseball.

My Summary: An impossible golden dollar coin was found in response to yesterday’s discussion. I think the Penny Angels made their point.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day #220 - Always Looking

Around 9 p.m. this evening I came in my office to begin typing today’s Penny Tale. I was falling asleep in the chair, so I spent 20 minutes curled up on the floor for a cat nap. Now it’s time to write.

I don’t even remember how we found the coins this morning, so let’s hear what the cassette player says …We managed to squeeze in 10 minutes of Penny Finding before our breakfast meeting with retired friends. A quick stop at a new 7-11 brought me a penny and Doc one nickel. The Del Taco drive through resulted in two pennies and a dime. (5 coin before breakfast)


On the way to work we stopped at OSH Hardware. Doc spotted a penny at about 25 ft. from the van before he ever got out.

Doc dropped me off at work and went to Starbucks. He found a 1946 nickel which was in good condition.


This afternoon Doc and I agreed to meet and clean out the cab of the truck we used to haul the solar race car. It has been parked and deteriorating for 10? years. It was not pretty. The roll up door is rotted away, it is smelly, there was rat poop, chemicals, filth, etc. inside. There is even a sofa parked on top of it! We cleared out most things in the cab and were about ready to call it quits. I told Doc and Penny Angels that I expected at least one penny in all that *&^%%*&%. Doc then found a penny under 3 washers on the dashboard. I told him to keep looking. We found 3 pennies in the glove box (and all sorts of other stuff).

I had walked around the truck a few times saying “Certainly in all this debris accumulated under the truck, there must be a penny!” Finally as we were about to leave, a penny under the front of the truck! I was holding out the coins to show Doc. As we were standing there, a sixth penny appeared between us. No way! Doc said, “You must have dropped that penny from the five we already had.” We had been working in that spot for 15 minutes with both of us actively searching the area several times. I had investigated the gumblob just 6-8 inches from that penny. We were both totally shocked by this mushroom coin. (Coins #8-13).


On the drive home we had not planned to stop at McDonalds. However, there were no cars in line so …. (Yes, we have Penny Fever). A nickel as I walked through. Still no cars, so I walked it in the other direction - a dime! Then Doc insisted upon crossing the street to the Chevron station where he found a penny.

Today’s Total: 16 Coins Q (0), D (2), N(3), P (11) = $0.46

Lessons: Focusing on gumblobs keeps us from seeing the coins.

Look for the Good in all Situations.

Some times in order to discover hidden coins, you must take action to move away or sift through other things in your way.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day #219 - Expectations Exceeded

The pedometer we had ordered for Doc arrived. I claim he is a couch potato and probably doesn’t get more than 4,000 steps on an average day. He wanted the pedometer to prove me wrong.

We set out for the local high school track so we could calibrate Doc’s length of stride. (His turned out to be less than mine!) After one lap, he drove off to Starbucks while I Penny Searched the parking lot. The Penny Angels were quiet at first, but then a penny, then a nickel, then a penny.


Doc insisted upon a McDonalds run. He stopped at home to pick up Sparky, because “Sparky needed to get out of the house”. We left the house at 10:11 and were back by 10:17 with two pennies and an Egg McMuffin in hand. (Coins #4&5) That would be a Finding Rate of 20 cph.


We spent the morning doing things around the house and yard. I still have something in my eye from when I was brooming all the cobwebs under the eaves. L My reward for doing all the yucky chores was to go shopping for cabin flooring. J Plus, Mr. Dragonfly came back for a while today. (Expectations Exceeded)


This afternoon we had errands to run. As we left the house Doc said, “We only have 5 coins today. That’s not even respectable this month. We need more!” I told him that 5 was fine and the Penny Angels would need to put coins in my pathway if they wanted me to find more today.

We took dog Dundee for nail clipping. Doc just had to drive past the little Munchies Shack kiosk. One penny there. Then at Sprouts groceries I found a dime right in my pathway just before I entered the store and then another dime as I was shoving bags into the recycle bin. (Coins #6-8 at that stop).


We took Dundee home and headed to Lowe’s. Doc suggested stopping at the 7-11 for coins. We searched there yesterday, so I suggested the AM/PM instead. Doc found a penny by the entrance, then one by the pay telephone. As we both searched the gas pump area, I spotted a penny which Doc nearly stepped on. He did not see it! (Coins #9-11 at that stop).

At Lowe’s Doc saw a blob from a distance. We shopped, then passed by the blob again. This time he had to look. It was a nickel. (Nickels seem to be the scarcest coins to find). Doc said we needed at least 15 coins to be respectable. Plus we needed a Quarter to “Hit for the Cycle”.

Doc was thirsty after all that heated shopping and drove through Del Taco for a soda. I spotted the first two pennies very quickly and then the third one. The fourth penny was totally vertical and in a deep crack. Then Doc asked me about the penny I was standing over. Why did I not retrieve that one? -- Because I had not seen it! (Coins #13-17)

We did some comparison shopping for flooring. Anxious to make progress on that project.

Usually at the stores, I will enter first while Doc pauses to get a shopping cart. This time he barged ahead and went straight to the checkout lines. He was showing me his penny as I came through the doorway!


Doc was hungry and wanted a snack. McDonalds here we come! Only one penny at the first (pay) window and none at the second (food claim) window. Disappointing. I hopped back into the van and we were driving out when Doc said, “Our Quarter! And a Dime as well!” I hopped back out of the van and tried to do a very quick retrieval since the guy in the car behind us did not seem to be appreciating the delay. J “A Hit for the Cycle”.

We were now at 21 coins. Doc said, “Just 4 more would make your favorite number and be a ‘respectable’ count”.

No cars at the Del Taco drive through (a different one from earlier today). So Doc pulled in and parked near the window so I could walk through. Three coins under the window and then a fourth one up on the curb! That makes for the 25! Yipee! Challenge met.

At Staters groceries, Doc found a penny in the parking lot. When we entered he asked about a blob at one of the check out lines. I said it didn’t look like a coin - probably trash. It was a quarter! That makes TWO “Hits for the Cycle” today. (Expectations Exceeded) Then a penny under the coin counting machine. (Coin #28).

Today’s Total: 28 Coins Q (2), D (3), N(2), P (21) = $1.11

P.S. Doc registered over 13,000 steps on his pedometer today. (Expectations Exceeded).

The pedometer is a new toy plus he was out to prove a point. We’ll see if he keeps it up …

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day #218 - Dragonfly Dance

The best part of today was not the coins found, but the Dance with the Dragonfly.

Before Doc would undertake any projects today, he had to go to McDonalds, then Starbucks. Again, he insisted that I go along L At McDonalds (different one than yesterday) I got out of the van and walked through. Did not see any coins at the first window. Doc rolled up, open his door, and retrieved a penny! It just appeared for him. And then he found a second penny! But I had already looked there! Not fair. I proceeded to the second window. No pennies - but three quarters! I win!

Grocery store found 1¢. Then the 7-11 Store under the counter for 2¢. (8 coins so far).


At home we were doing some yardwork and I was getting impatient because we were almost 2 hours behind on the schedule I had laid out for today. I turned around to see a brilliant orange dragonfly. The dragonfly landed on the tip of a reed and I was mesmerized by it’s beauty. Time stood still for the next 20? minutes??

Although I have seen a few dragonflys in our yard, it is not a common occurance. I had never seen one with those colors. A colorful live model of our Penny Finding mascot. J Dragonflys symbolize …(* see below).

I watched as the dragonfly flew away, returned, flew away, returned several times as if he were dancing with me. I ran inside for Doc’s newer camera. Doc took a few pictures of the creature as it flew off, then returned several more times. I was not satisfied with those photos. I ran inside for my camera and hoped the dragonfly would still be there when I returned. He flew off then returned at least a dozen more times for me and landed in several places. We were dancing in the back yard from spot to spot. I was able to shoot 16 photos -- each time getting just a little closer. Finally I was able to touch him! Three times! Isn’t he beautiful?


Doc and I drove to the hardware store for sprinkler parts and other things. We were talking to the guy at the Service Desk, but my eyes were focused on the coin behind him. I finally told him about Penny Tales and asked if he would retrieve that coin for me. J He did. It was a dime! I was then able to focus on our discussion. A little later in the store I found a dime in the patio furniture area. (Coins #7&8)

While Doc loaded our purchases into the van, I quickly ran over to the office supply store to get something for work. I got the item and was headed directly to the register when the nudging said, “walk down the next aisle instead”. I did. There was a penny by the battery display.

After several hours of running errands, I was pooped. As we approached the house, Doc decided to go for a snack! I insisted he drop me off first. He went solo to Taco Bell and returned with a quarter.

Today’s Total: 12 Coins Q (4), D (2), N(0), P (6) = $1.26


Dragonfly Symbolism

"They are fantastic flyers, darting like light, twisting, turning, changing direction, even going backwards as the need arises. They are inhabitants of two realms - starting with water, and moving to the air with maturity, but staying close to water.”

“Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and can reflect the light in powerful ways if we choose to do so. Let there be light is the divine prompting to use the creative imagination as a force within your life. They help you to see through your illusions and allow your own light to shine in a new vision.”

"The Zuni people place great store in the mystery and magic of the dragonfly as a symbolism of whirlwind, swiftness and activity. The wings are transparent suggesting that change can be an illusion. In other words, if you remain stuck in your ways believing that it is the right and safe route, you may be missing the wonders of another way of thinking or being.”

“The dragonfly symbolizes going past self-created illusions that limit our growing and changing.”

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day #217 - Principles

Each day is a new adventure with the Penny Angels. Today they had me laughing as they tested me. The Angels dealt with a few topics: Taking risks, Improving performance, and Learning about Principles.

Today Doc planned to help son, Stephen on his house projects. I planned to work with Mandy on developing products for this Penny Finding “hobby/sport (?).” Not sure what this is? How can we “package” and promote these smiles and manifesting lessons?

Doc said we should begin our day with breakfast from McDonald’s. I was in pajamas at the time and told him to go alone. He refused and required that I go with him. I did so grudgingly. I found two pennies at the window. It took 7 minutes from home, to McD, back to home. So that equates to a Finding Rate of 17 coins per hour (cph). (That is my engineering background coming out). As you recall, last Sunday (Day #212) we found 12 (or 13) coins in one hour. That is a Finding Rate of 12 cph. Then on Monday the 6 coins (to make 25 for the day) were found in 22 minutes which equates to a 16.4 coins/hr rate. Today’s Finding Rate is 17.1 cph. And I just remembered yesterday’s Starbucks Mining: 26 coins in 15 minutes = 104 cph. Wow! This sounds like racing!

On the drive to Mandy’s house I was doing some thinking and pondering….where will this Penny Finding lead? I was engrossed in the mental wrestlings then thought, “I am stopped at a red light and not even looking at the median next to me. Doc would be looking here - that seems to be his specialty area of Penny Finding.”

Then I thought, “What if I did see a penny?

(Translate that to: “What if an opportunity was put right in front of me?)”.

“Would I really take the truck out of gear, put on the brakes, wrestle with my finicky seat belt, leave the safety of the truck, etc.? -- and all for a penny?” “What would people think if they saw that? It would be too risky. It would not be a logical action”

(Translate that to bigger decisions in your life)”.

I told the Penny Angels that I did not want to be bothered with more coins today - less to write about tonight. I made a quick stop at Radio Shack to drop off batteries for recycling. There was a shiny penny in my path (Coin #3). Then I quickly went into the grocery store. There was a penny behind the cashier. She was busy with customers, but I quickly told her I was writing today’s penny tale and could I reach behind her to grab that one? She said, “OK” so I retrieved that penny - and the one next to it. There was another one at the feet of the customer, so I gave him a business card and said “you are now part of Penny Tale Day #217”. (Coins #4-6).

Mandy and I “cranked” all afternoon with ideas. How can this Penny Fever be spread?

While driving home I was stopped at a major intersection - you guessed it. There was a bright, shiny penny in the median just 4-5 ft away! The Penny Angels were testing me on the conversation from earlier today. I wrestled and debated: “Do I get out of the truck? Is it safe? Is it worth it? I can’t accomplish the job before the light turns. What will others think? What is the payoff? Who needs it? I have six coins already. Why do this?”

This found Penny was so trivial - or was it? These types of questions and inner debates are also generated with “Bigger” decisions in our lives. Can we learn the Basic Principles through pennies and then apply those Principles to bigger and bigger things?


“Simple, yet powerful models that help us understand how the world works…Gravity is principle. When you wake up in the morning, you don’t question it …Principles don’t wear out, rust out, or give out. They last forever. They are timeless and tireless.”

Excerpt from the One Minute Millionaire.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day #216 - Penny Mining

This morning I had cereal and milk for breakfast and was ready to go to work. Doc insisted upon going to Starbucks for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. The drive through line was super long. I was able to walk through the nearby IHOP and other lots before he even placed his order! It must have taken 15 minutes from that point to the window. So I added 1000+ steps to the pedometer while walking and doing curb step-ups during the wait. At least that is how it looked to the other drivers. I was really searching for coins. There were 21 very dirty and muddy pennies found in the planter while I was out there “exercising” (and penny mining). When we got to the window I paid the cashier and scooped up 3 pennies, a dime and a nickel! (26 coins total).

Note: After writing that first paragraph, I figured I’d better go wash the dirty coins to verify the count. I gave them a basic scrubbing to get the bulk of the dirt, counted 21 pennies and left them soaking. Doc has just yelled from the kitchen and found that after further cleaning we have 20 pennies and one dime. J


This afternoon was our Play Time with the kids. They asked about today’s pennies. I told them we had 26 pennies so far. They said we should try for 30.

It was really hot outdoors so Doc and the kids wanted to play inside. That of course, is another way to say let's play at “Chuck E Cheese's!” I dread the place on regular days, and today there were huge groups of kids, lots of trash, and an unbearable level of noise and commotion. I had to escape. I went Penny Hunting. One penny at Rite Aid just sitting in the aisle. The next one at Whole Foods near the register. (Coins #27&28).

I returned to CEC to fetch Doc and the kids. They still had tokens to spend L So I walked up and down the aisles working on today’s 10,000 steps. There was a penny about

1” from a little girl’s foot. She was involved in her game and didn’t notice me retrieving it. More waiting, more laps. There was another penny which I had not seen on any of the previous passes. It was under a table, against the leg, and up on edge. Like me - on edge in that place! (See photo of Tina’s playing at CEC). That made the 30 coins as requested.


We next headed for the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market. I told the kids to keep their eyes open for a quarter so we could “hit for the cycle”. We sampled fruit, had a nice Peruvian meal followed by a walk around the Metro station and other areas. Doc and Nicolas went strolling and found a schmush Quarter between the railway tracks! They showed it to me and I thought it was a slug. It was so smooth and out of shape. (See photo). So we “hit for the cycle”. I was disappointed that we had not spotted any other coins. With hundreds of people walking and shopping, I expected more finds. Finally a dime just as we exited the festival area. Nice.

Today’s Total: 32 Coins Q (1), D (3), N(1), P (27) = $0.87

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day #215 - Back to Basics

These Penny Angels need one or two full-time assistants. While driving in to work today, some ideas came to me on ways to expand this Sharing of Joy. I’ve watched the smiles on so many people as they either share their penny stories or enjoy the ones I share. How can this “infection” be spread? How can more people catch Penny Fever? The ideas kept flowing for the rest of the day. Even though I was at work, in good consciousness I had to put “vacation” on my time sheet because I spent almost the whole day sketching the ideas which came through.


This morning I wanted a quick penny find. Ventured to a different gas station and convenience store on my way to work out. I found four pennies -- all nicely embedded in the concrete (Forgone coins). My thoughts , “Surely with this many fixed coins, there must be some loose ones nearby.” There were. Two in the very rough cobblestones. Couldn’t see them from one direction. Then there was one penny inside the store on the floor by the register. (Coins #1-3) That meets today’s quota. Thanks Angels.


Five minutes later at the Fitness Center, I spotted a penny a few feet from the truck. I reached for it, then turned back to the truck to lock up. There was a penny where I had just stepped! I bent to retrieve it and there was another penny and then three more. Six pennies collected before I locked my door! (Coins #4-9)

My trainer had not yet arrived, so the doors were still locked. I searched the parking lot and then inside the Circle K. Nothing. An attendant asked if she could help me find something. “Sure - today’s penny please!” and then I spotted the penny. (Coin #10)

After the workout I was hopping in the truck to leave. There was the Nudging: “Walk the lot”.

Tina: “Been there, done that this morning already”. Nudging: “Walk the lot”. Tina: “There is a huge semi-truck delivering beverages and parked across most of those stalls. Why bother?” Nudging: “Go walk it”. It took 2-3 minutes. I found a penny there. (Coin #11)


I did call Doc after finding the first three coins today and asked him not to find any more. He called in this evening. He has been working with son Stephen since early this morning. When they went to the grocery store, Doc retrieved two pennies just outside of the store. He evidently missed them on the way in, but caught them on the way out. (Coins #12-13).


Today’s Total: 13 Coins P (13) = $0.13

Today’s Lesson: Back to the Basics. Listening to the Nudgings and not really “forcing” the finds as we were doing over the weekend (the dozen challenge, the 25 coin challenge, etc.).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day #214 - Hit for the Cycle

I really hoped for a “slow” day of PennyFinding today. I carved out 12 minutes before my workout this morning to quickly walk through Diner’s row in hopes of finding today’s coin. McDonalds was super crowded and it was not possible to strike between cars, so I headed to the car wash instead. Walked through all the wash bays and found no coins. Finally one penny at the vacuum cleaner area. Done. But there were still a few minutes to walk, so I lapped around the Taco Bell. There was a quarter at the outdoor dining area! Yipee. (Coins #1&2)


When I returned home after my workout, Doc was leaving to report in at Weight Watchers. Tina: “Please Honey, do not actively search for coins today. I need to catch up with the Tales for the past few days and other household things -- please!”

Doc: “I just need two coins - to keep up with you. And I want them to be a nickel and dime in order to ‘Hit for the Cycle”. He has Penny Fever.

After about 20 minutes Doc called in saying, “I’m at the grocery store. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I spotted a dime behind a vending machine. When I went to retrieve it I saw a penny, then a nickel, then a quarter, then 5 more pennies. I guess I ‘Hit for the Cycle as I wanted to. (Coins #3-11) And the Penny Angels once again superceded my basic request. I just asked for two coins and they sent much more.”

That coin counting machine had always been in that position, but today, for some reason, the neighboring machine had been removed. Conditions had been just ever so slightly altered which allowed for new viewing points.


At work I arrived to find two pennies taped to my door from Penny Pal K.C.. Both coins found on campus within the past 2 days. (Indirect Finds)

Co-worker J.R. asked if I had searched the vending machines yet today. I told him only the East side ones. He left the room, returned a few minutes later, tossed a penny on my desk and said, “Here’s a penny from the West side machines”. He has a moderate case of Penny Fever and likes the competitive aspects of the sport. (Indirect Find).


Doc called in from Home Depot around 8:45 p.m. where he and son, Stephen were shopping. “Sorry Honey. There was a dime as I was leaving the store, then another in the parking lot. I could not just walk over them”. (Coins #12&13)

Today’s Total: 13 Coins Q (2), D (3), N(1), P (7) = $0.92

Today’s Lesson: Very slight changes in routine conditions can provide brand new and fruitful opportunities.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day #213 - Race Results

It was Day #2 of our mini-vacation in Escondido - a second day of whirlwind Penny Finding. We ate leftovers plus waffles at the hotel before heading out to the Wild Animal Park. We stopped at Rite Aid to investigate the back pack I had noticed the day before (50% off). I found one penny in the planter on the way into the store, then another one inside. Doc found his two pennies outside. So we each had our two cents worth and should have been satisfied. (Pennies #1-4)

We were stopped at a busy intersection when we both saw a bright shiny spot in the road ahead of us. I said: “No, Doc. You wouldn’t. It’s too busy. He pulled into a gas station and had me run back. I did not see anything on the first pass through the intersection. He began coming across the street when I finally found the abused penny. (Coin #5). “May we now please proceed to the Wild Animal Park?”


In the Park we had a great time on a small tour. While we were waiting for the tour, I headed to the gift shop to look for coins again. Nothing. Outside I stopped to overlook the view and found a dime. A little girl found a penny near the schmush machine. Her mom scolded her when she picked it up L. After the tour we went back to that gift shop / café for lunch and I retrieved a dime.

At the core of the Park Doc stopped to admire the impressive waterfall and found a penny at the base of the sign . This was a great photo opportunity.

Coins #7-9 inside the Park


We left the Park and just for fun, we headed to the town of Ramona. Stopped at the liquor store for coins. One penny in the parking lot. (Coin #10). I bought a beverage. The total was $1.84. I was given 2 dimes for my change from $2.00 So should the extra 4¢ count as a find? J

Next we embarked on a Fast Food Tour. This gives new meaning to a Fast Food lunch.

The first stop was Wendys - no coins. Then the McDonalds drive through P(3), D(1). We parked at Burger King to eat the McD burger - P(2). Daniels Express for snack veggies and an apple (Tina’s food). I missed the penny on the initial pass. Doc found 2. A penny at the AM/PM by the air hose.


We were at 19 coins at that point. Doc said: “We should have 25 coins before we get back to the freeway”. The time was 3:21 p.m. when he issued that statement. We had 6-8 miles to get 6 more coins.

We visited the McDonalds which provided 13 coins the previous night. I didn’t expect to find more. Wrong. There were 3 pennies, a nickel and a dime. (Coins #20-24). We needed only 1 more coin to meet Doc’s challenge.

Doc parked at Carl’s Jr. to eat his McD burger. There were no cars at the drive through, so I carefully searched the window area 3 times. Nothing. Doc got out of the van and walked

over to collect coin #25! The time was 3:43 . So that was 6 coins in 22 minutes which is better than yesterday’s find rate of 12/ 60 minutes.

We stopped at the convenience store / laundrymat which Doc felt “nudged to check” each time we had driven past it. No coins inside. Outside there was one penny behind the water dispensing machine and one underneath it. Tools needed (see photo). Good thing I put that backscratcher in the car for just such a purpose. (Coins #26&27)


At 5 p.m. we stopped for a break at Tom’s Farms off the 15 freeway. Doc spotted a penny as he opened the van door. He put the coin in the van, then spotted a dime. He put that cion in the van and spotted another penny! Quite the Pro now! He challenged me saying: “I have more than you here”. I replied: “Meet you in 20 minutes. The Challenge is on! Let’s see who can get the most”.

I found 2 at the air hose/phone at the AM/PM, then 2 more in parking spots and one at the register. Two coins at the Carl’s Jr. - one could be a contestant in the Ugliest Penny Contest.

Doc had found one more penny - so he now had 4 coins with a value of 13¢. I had 7 coins for 7¢ So who is the winner? He had the most value, I had the most number of coins.

Inside the store, Doc found two more coins (as well as some great cheeses). That makes 13 coins for that stop.


Today’s total: 40 Coins Q (0), D (5), N(1), P (34) = $0.89

P.S. Doc proofread the main part of this Penny Tale. I couldn't resist throwing in this photo as a P.S. :-) It's cute. Doc is standing in front of that darker image which is a depiction of a life-size gorilla.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day #212 - Safari Hunting + Dozen on Demand

This weekend Doc and I celebrated his birthday at the San Diego Wild Animal Park (WAP). I really wasn’t going to focus on PennyFinding. We planned to take the tram for the Journey into Africa as our first activity. We hoped the animals were equally as foolish as we were in staying out in the heat (versus heading for shelter where we would not see them).

Doc made a stop to use the restroom and found Penny #1. I was in the Okavango Outpost staying cool and waiting for him. His darn penny find infected me! I was doing fine until then! I could not resist looking at the cash register area. Sure enough. There was a penny showing under the counter! Then a nickel and then a penny. (Coins #2-4). It was fun to Share the story with Sarah.

We had a delightful morning playing and attending the various shows. We got a two-day pass so that we could leave during the hot part of the day when the weekend crowd would be heaviest.


We headed back in to Escondido for a wonderful Mexican lunch - better food and better prices. As we finished lunch at 2:45 pm (note the time) I asked Doc - it is your Birthday and we have 2-3 hours before going back to the WAP. What would you like to do next? ;-) Shopping? Walking? Napping? His reply, “Let’s see if we can get 12 coins. No, let’s make that a Baker’s Dozen - or more!” I said, “It sounds like you are challenging the Angels to deliver 12+ coins in the next 60 minutes. Let’s go!” A very serious case of Penny Fever.

Needless to say, the afternoon adventures were hilarious. What a movie it would make!

Stop #1 Rite Aid Took my BP Reading as an excuse to walk to the rear of the store. Two pennies in one aisleway. I stopped near the exit door to write those down and stopped on another penny. (#3 out of 12). That made 25% of the Dozen Challenge. We were on our way …

Stop #2 Starbucks Not a drive through L Doc got coffee. No coins.

Sing Song Here: Penny Angels, Penny Angels, what do you say?
Can we find a dozen in just one hour today?

The 4th very mangled penny was found at that moment. (#4 of 12)

Stop #3 Walgreens Penny outside by the pay phone (Coin #5 of 12). Doc spotted a penny under a DVD vending machine. Got down on his belly to retrieve it - along with another penny. (Coins #6&7 of 12) Also a plastic dime (not a legitimate find). We went into the store to search. Doc spotted a penny at the doorway just as we were leaving (Coin #8 of 12). We were now 40 minutes into the challenge and 2/3 the way to goal - right on track!

Stop #4 Shopping Center: 99¢ store, grocery store, KFC, and other stores.
Nothing there, and time was running out!

Doc said, “You gotta have faith! Let’s find a Target Rich environment”

Stop #5 7-11 I walked in and immediately saw a bright shiny penny. Good sign. Then I found Pennies 10&11 of 12. I was saying, “Just one more, just one more.” At 3:45 I picked up Penny #12! (Note the time). The Angels were right on time with the Goal!

Doc came in the store with the Penny he had found outside. The Baker’s dozen he had requested! I showed him where I found the first penny. His reply, “So why didn’t you pick up that other one too!” (#14 of 12)

I was getting back into the van when Doc said, “Go over to the gas pumps. There will be at least two coins there”. I did, there was. I picked up a penny, then a dime and did a bit of a cheer. There were 3 young guys and a big truck “hanging” there. They gave me that questioning look. I explained Penny Angels and the Dozen Challenge to them. As we were talking, a penny appeared next to the right foot of one of the guys. It would be too awkward for me to lunge across the guys and the gas line, so I asked if the lad would please hand the penny to me. He did. I wished desperately for my camera to capture the photo of those 3 guys with the penny. J Fun to SHARE with unexpected persons (or unsuspecting victims). J

Stop #6 Jack in the Box Penny spotted before I got out of the van. Very mangled one. Another one in a parking spot. Car moved from window; a penny (Coin #20 of 12)

Stop #7 Starbucks We intended to drive through, but way too crowded. Narrow channel. Too dangerous to walk through. Mission aborted - returned to car. Found a dime in front of van. (Coin #21 of 12).

Doc said, “25 is your favorite number, let’s shoot for it!”

Stop #8 Circle K I walked through ½ the gas pumps and was going to enter the store. Doc said’ “Two gas bays just cleared, go Find!” There was a penny in the first bay and a Quarter in the second bay! There was a penny in a parking spot behind the store. (Coin #24 of 12)

Car Wash Could not resist looking. Nothing in the usual spots - the vacuum at, the waiting area, the wipe down area. But a dime on the floor by the cash register! (Coin #25!) Yippee!

So the Penny Angles delivered the Dozen PLUS the Baker’s Dozen for a total of 25 coins in two hours!

Lesson #1: Have FAITH!

Lesson #2: The Penny Angels love to Play! How many times has that sure been proven over the past 200+ days?


We arrived back at the Wild Animal Park around 5:30 for our Caravan Photo Safari Tour. Doc suggested I make a Schmushed Penny as a souvenir for the day. As we approached the machine, I asked him which penny to schmush? He replied, “How about this one?” As he scooped up one a few feet from the machine! The Penny Angels delivered one specifically to schmush!

Next we checked in for our Photo Tour. The attendant Lauren said we had 20 minutes to wait. I told her I would rather go walking and Penny Finding - I’d be back soon. When I returned she asked if I found a penny? Of course!

For the next 3 hours we were on a Photo Tour - Night Moves. An Adults Only Experience. We fed the giraffes and rhinos. Then were treated to cheesecake, cookies, bar drinks, etc. We were presented with the “population increasing procedures” of the rhinos, as well as fun and games as we learned some peculiar information J of various species. Fun time!


Note: 9:20 p.m. Leaving the park. We now had a total of 31 coins for the day.


We had dessert, but no dinner. To Doc that meant a McDonald’s stop. There were 11 pennies, a dime, and a Quarter! I Shared the story with a group of teenagers in the big truck in front of us. Don’t think they quite knew how to digest what I was saying.

I did not order any food because: a) it would take several thousand steps already to burn off that cheesecake and cookies, b) I can pass on McDs burgers. Then I smelled Doc’s burger as he was eating it. So we SHARED the burger and planned to get another burger and more coins somewhere else! This man has a very serious case of Penny Fever.

We stopped at Rally’s Burgers - not for food, but so I could walk by the window while Doc went next door to check the Circle K! I waited forever for the one car to leave the window. While “on hold” and after cruising the lot 5-6 times, I finally found a penny. Then three pennies under the window.

There were 2 pennies at the next McDonalds.

So that makes 19 coins on the way from the Park to the Hotel. One was a 1936 wheat penny.


Today’s total: 50 Coins Q (2), D (4), N(1), P (43) = $1.38

Morning @ Park: Q (0), D (0), N (1), P (3) = $ .08

Afternoon: Q (1), D (3), N (0), P (21) = $ .76 25 coins + plastic dime

Evening @ Park: Q (0), D (0), N (0), P (2) = $ .02

Cruising: Q (1), D (1), N (0), P (17) = $ .52

One “Hit for the Cycle


Yes, we ate way too many burgers and sodas doing this.

Of course we spent more in gasoline than we found in coins.

Yes, we spent 3-4 hours doing stupid stuff (but walking steps toward the 10,000 step goal)

It sure beats just lying around a pool or beach somewhere!

Plus, we Shared the Joy with a number of people who smiled for a moment or two J