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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day #408 - Take it or Leave it

Another month on the Penny Tale calendar of completed squares!

This morning Doc tried to entice me once again to go out to breakfast with him. I told him I needed to get the term papers graded by noon - he should go out alone. He returned with a haul. And he wrote it down because I did not want to be interrupted from my work. Let’s see what his Love Note has to say:

Sparky and I went for a Sunday drive and stroll.

First stop - Claremont High School. Found one quarter and one penny under a table. (Coins #1&2). We then found a quarter, penny and dime under the bleachers (Coins #3-5). There was a penny at the edge of the tennis court. (Coin #6). Sparky found 2 pennies next to trash cans (one of his favorite places to search). (Coins #7&8). One more penny in the parking lot. (Coin #9).

Second stop - Starbucks drive thru

Coffee plus 2 dimes and 2 pennies (Coins #10-13).


This afternoon we were out of dog food, so we headed out for an urgent supply run. Just for a few moments of fun (and coins) we stopped at the Farmer’s Market where I immediately found a dime. Yipee! (Coin #14 of the day - but first one for me).

At the grocery store I spotted a dime as we walked in. There were customers and employees working and walking all around it. Too crowded. Take it or Leave it? So I searched the check out lanes while waiting for a break in traffic. Found a penny. (Coin #15). I was finally able to swoop in for the dime (Coin #16). While we were in the milk area, Doc looked down the paper goods aisle and spotted a penny from about 50 ft. I was sent to fetch it. There was a gentleman standing over it. Take it or Leave it? The man looked really nice, so I just smiled and said, “Hi! If you don’t mind, I’d like to get that penny you are standing over.” He replied, “Sure! But I would have picked it up if I would have noticed it”. I gave him a Penny Card and thanked him for being part of the Day #408 Penny Tale. Shared the story and told him about Penny Smiles. He said, “Well you got one from me!” Joy shared. (Coin #17)


Doc next insisted upon stopping for coffee at the 7-11 store. I found a penny by the door as we walked in. Doc seemed to take forever making up his coffee cocktail. I didn’t see any coins. However, Doc said “What about the two pennies under the register counter”? Even after he pointed to them I initially didn’t see them! (Coins #18-20)


I had the coins in front of me as I typed today’s Tale. I could remember each of the coins I found, so I thought I did not need to listen to my voice recorded notes. As I was erasing the messages, I came across this one:

“We are stopped at a red light and making a left turn. There is a police car in front of us. Doc just said, “I suppose if I see a penny in the Median I should probably not jump out of the car to get it under these circumstances, correct?” But he couldn’t help just looking out his window. Sure enough … there was a Median penny! Take it or Leave it?

Total: 20 Coins P (13), N (0), D (5), Q (2) = $1.13

We have choices to make every day - Take it or Leave it.

That can be applied to so many situations. As I am writing this note to you, there are many things I’d like to avoid. Unresolved issues which beckon my attention. As I am teaching my students - procrastination, ignoring situations, turning a blind eye, hiding under a rock … none of those techniques are very effective in resolving or improving things. Often the things we dread aren’t as bad as what we fear. Time to tackle them!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day #407 - Separate Ways

Today Doc and I went our separate ways. (He is retired and I am still employed). I went to school for an event and he went Penny Hunting. There was an event on campus to attract top-achieving high school students to the Honors Program. Another 7 AM morning. Yuck. But the potential students were fun to interface with.

After things got underway with the mini-classes and activities today, I was wandering between buildings. I passed by the vending machines and thought, “Not likely to find coins on a Saturday. Pretty deserted. I passed one of my students who was on his way to breakfast. I said, “I still need to find today’s coin, so keep your eyes open for me.” I kept walking and was just enjoying the grassy meadow, the snow capped mountains, and the birds who were singing noisily. My mind was far away when all of a sudden there were three pennies in my path! (Coins #1-3).

I graded papers for a few hours, then decided that was enough school stuff today! So on the way home from work I stopped to make photo copies of the house blueprints. Found one penny when placing my order at the register. Found a second penny while I was sprawled with all the papers on the floor and making edits to the drawings. (Coins #4&5). Shared the joy with the store owner and other customers.


When I got home, Doc had gone to school. But there was a love note on the table! Not just a little sticky note, but an 8.5 x 11 full sheet with coins taped all over it! Then when he came through the door, he added more to it! That man can write his own Tales! I wanted an easy night!

Let’s see what he has to say…

l Went to Johnny’s for a breakfast burrito. Collected 1 penny in the driveway

l Sparky and I then headed for coffee. We stopped at the high school parking lot and we walked. Sparky led me to a dime by the skate park fence, then a penny inside the skate park.

l We then drove around in the parking lot and found 4 Sit-N-Find pennies

l After getting our coffee inside Starbucks, we found a penny in the threshold of the store next door.

l There was a Median Find penny at White Ave. and Arrow Hwy.

l On the way to campus I stopped at Starbucks by the freeway. There was one dime and a shiny penny at the drive thru. Turns out the penny had ink or dye on one side, so my pants pocket and fingers got stained.

l At the grocery store there was one penny as I entered the store.

Doc’s finds: 10 pennies, 2 dimes


It’s after midnight and I still need to go grade term papers. I sure don’t feel like reading those. Not exactly bedtime pleasure reading. J Maybe some ice cream will make the task sweeter …

Total: 17 Coins P (15), N (0), D (2), Q (0) = 35¢

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day #406 - Mixed Fruit

Where do I begin with the various parts of the day? In summary, there was the Hi-Tech Career Fair on campus today. Hundreds of people: recruiters, current students, former students (alumni), campus personnel and more! High energy. The auditorium was so crowded there were “bouncers” at the door to regulate the flow of people entering the room.


This morning when I arrived at 7 AM there was a penny at the entrance to the building. Great! I didn’t have to think about Penny Finding the rest of today. I noticed that the student study room was dark, and I just couldn’t help myself. I flipped on the light and spotted a penny near the fridge. (Coins 1&2).

During the Career Fair I was helping at the Hospitality area, but did a quick run down to the main room. It was packed solid with bodies. I couldn’t even get in there! Walked back to my area via the pizza place. One penny at the cash register and two more near some diners. (Coins #3-5).


Doc arrived on campus around 5 PM (after a day of eating and napping). He had found 3 pennies in the upper parking lot on his way in. Sit-N-Finds. Those were dark pennies - colored by exposure to the elements. (Coins #6-8).


Doc wanted to go to Sizzler for dinner, so I agreed to join him after two sets of homework were graded. At Sizzler we were both looking for coins. Doc kept saying “dime, dime, dime”. He found a quarter on a seat near our table (Coin #9). As we were leaving I was walking maybe 10 ft. ahead of Doc. He called, “Dime!” I had just walked over it. (Coin #10).

We had both eaten way too much, plus we noticed an opening in the traffic of the nearby fast food diner. So we held hands and walked over. Doc approached the pay phone, checked the coin return and said, “No coins in there.” I replied, “No, but you are currently standing on a shiny penny!” Good for a laugh. Then I found a gorgeous shiny new penny at the Taco Bell. (Coins #11&12)


When we got home, there was a Love Note for me on the Dining Table:

l 1¢ at the grocery store check out area (end of cabinet)

l 5¢ (nickel) in grocery store parking lot while walking to get more steps

l 25¢ (quarter) when visiting the P.O. Box. Had to move a display rack to collect it

l 1¢ at the Rite Aid pharmacy area

l 1¢ in the Rite Aid parking lot

l 1¢ at the 99¢ Only Store

(Coins #13-18)

Doc has a severe case of Penny Fever. And although he has become quite the expert Penny Finder, I don’t think he can consider it a significant part of his retirement income. He spends way more than that on his daily Starbuck visits. He did exceed 12,000 steps for the day and Hit for the Cycle!


Total: 18 Coins P (14), N (1), D (1), Q (2) = 79¢

Lesson: I could not think of any. Today’s coins did not come with automatic attachments or easy downloads.

So I closed my eyes and asked for guidance on this.

I saw a picture of the mixed fruit tray on the table today; oranges, pineapple, strawberries, melon, grapes. Like the people around us every day. An assortment of interesting shapes, colors, flavors, textures. When assembled and pleasantly arranged, they compliment one another and make for an appealing presentation.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day #405 - Quota Met

This afternoon I was headed to the campus Marketplace to look for today’s coin. Within 60 seconds after leaving my office as I was passing by the vending machines, I spotted a potential suspect. It was round, silver, and barely noticeable. I found it to be a quarter! Score! I said to the Angels, “Wow! A big one! But is a single coin sufficient? Do I still need to go to the marketplace or should I go back to my desk? I turned to go back to work and spotted something by the partition wall - another quarter! I reached back to get it and there was a third quarter there!” Wow. OK. NOW back to work.

When I returned to my office, I showed the three coins to JR my co-worker. He replied, “Yes, but you still need a PENNY for Penny Tales”. Grrrrrr.

As I was leaving work and walking across the parking lot, I was contemplating JR's comment. I asked the Penny Angels, “Do I really need a Penny today? Does that mean I still need to stop somewhere on my way home to do more searching? Do you mean Penny Finding literally each day or figuratively?”

I was just a few parking stalls from my truck when I looked to my right between two parked cars - and there was a penny! I came to a dead stop and just laughed at the Penny Angels, “That was very funny of you. Guess that means you wanted a PENNY today”. Quota met!


Found another Love Note from Doc tonight. Today he spent lots of time (and $) in getting the van serviced. Steering wheel pumps should last more than 2 years each time! This is annoying!

Love note:

l One foregone penny at a signal for the onramp to the 5 Freeway. Quick signal. Could not get out of car.

l 1¢ at counter of In-N-Out hamburgers when getting lunch

l 1¢ inside the Chevron mini-mart near school while getting a coffee

l Nickel in front of mini-mart. Coin looked transparent so I didn’t think it was a coin. However, curiosity forced me to take a closer look and I was pleasantly rewarded.


This evening I planned to quickly review the house floorplan we got Tuesday morning. Thought maybe I could get the revisions back to the architect tomorrow morning so she could incorporate them before our meeting next Tuesday. After two hours, I gave up. One little change here and there led to an avalanche of things. Will need to revisit these plans on the weekend. Need to be at work tomorrow at 7 AM.


Lesson: Don’t take things too seriously, just keep a playful attitude.

Total: 7 Coins P (3), N (1), D (0), Q (3) = 83¢

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day #404 - Focused

Fun exchanges with my students today. Told them I was like a personal trainer for them - I was going to push them to their limits. Make them more focused on their goals. Hopefully (and it might take a few years) they will get favorable results, be stronger, be more fit, etc. and then look back and be proud of what they have accomplished.


It was mid-afternoon and I had not thought about coins. Ran over to the Marketplace area. Told the Penny Angels en route “I’ve only got 10 minutes, so please deliver”. There was one Penny at the Taco Bell and another at the Carl’s Jr. 2¢ for today. As I was leaving the building I said, “Thank You Penny Angels. That will do for today. I do not want a lengthy Tale to write tonight”. And, of course, there were immediately 2 more pennies in my path. Angel humor.


As I was leaving my office around 8:45 PM a colleague said, “Done for tonight?” I replied, “There’s always the Penny Tale to write when I get home.” He’s an engineer and so his response was encouraging, “You know, I’m beginning to think there is something to this Penny Finding. I have been finding a number of coins and when I do, it’s is usually because I am contemplating or focused on a certain issue.” Believe!


Doc took the van in for service today and then was captive at home since the car won’t be ready until tomorrow. When I got home there was a love note from Doc and coins on the dining table:

l Found a nickel at the Starbucks drive through. Parked for coffee. Nickel leaning between the pavement and the curb.”

I am laughing as I am now reading his note. There is even a schematic to show how the penny was leaning! And the one I found at Carl’s Jr. today was leaning in a similar manner. Coincidence?

l Found a dime at the auto dealer service center. Found at the vending machines while I was sitting and waiting.

Such a romantic note. Every gal’s dream!

Total: 6 Coins P (4), N (1), D (1), Q (0) = 19¢

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day #403 - Doorways

I looked at the coins sitting on the dining table and told Doc, “I can’t even remember where these came from”. He replied, “This morning. On the way to the meeting with the architect”. Really? Was that just today? It feels like it was a week ago!

This morning we met with the architect from 9-10 AM. She had two really rough sketches for the front of the house. I had designed the basic floorplan last November, so it was neat to begin adding some shape to the dream. Seeing that front entry with visions of what lies beyond that doorway, was motivating.


Doc, of course, had to stop at Starbucks on the way to the meeting. I quickly went inside the CVS to look for coins. Found one penny by the photo lab area, then a second penny in the doorway as I was leaving. 2¢ worth. (Coins #1&2)

We stopped at a Shell station for petrol. Doc pumped fuel while I went into the convenience store. One penny under the chips display. As I exited the store, there was another penny by the propane cylinder display. (Coins #3&4).


At school when I was running to a Council meeting, there was a penny by the staircase. (Coin #5)

Doc stopped by my office to show me a “Martian” nickel (very ugly, worn and green) which he had just found at the campus Starbucks while waiting for his decaf to be brewed. (Coin #6) The score was now tied at 5¢: 5¢

Yesterday’s penny tales was about Thresholds and Doors which open and shut for us. Today at school, a door was shut literally. I was still reflecting on (and wrestling with) that issue when a very unexpected telephone call came in. A dear friend was going to be passing through our area this evening, could Doc and I meet him for dinner? I needed to get away from school at that moment so we took a “time out”. When one door shuts, another opens.


On our way home this evening Doc insisted upon a quick stop at the grocery store. (I hate grocery shopping and he seems to want to do that every day!) I found a penny as we walked in. The store was very deserted. There were three employees near the penny - one of them almost standing on it. So I made a bit of a show out of retrieving the coin. I thanked him for being part of Penny Tales Day #403. He smiled. So then I gave him a Penny Card in exchange for his smile. The other two guys smiled. So I picked up the other two pennies I had spotted and gave each of them a Penny Card in exchange for their smiles. (Coins #7-9) Then Doc spotted a dime by the coin counting machine. (Coin #10) Just sort of a “Good Job” confirmation after Sharing with three people.

Lesson: If your attitude is stinky, CHANGE it by making someone else smile. There are many ways to generate smiles - they don’t need to be only Penny Smiles. Find YOUR own tool to use.

Total: 10 Coins P (8), N (1), D (1), Q (0) = 23¢

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day #402 - Thresholds

Very full day at work. As I was leaving campus after 8 PM I realized I had been too busy to think about PennyFinding today. Now what?

I stopped in the Study Room to say good night to the students. Each of them seemed to have a laptop. It was amazing the range of things they had on display - not too much coursework being studied in there. Just as I was leaving the room, there was a penny at the threshold. Nice. I was, however, concerned that one of the students could have put it there. But I had not been in the room for a week, no one knew I was coming, and all the students swore the coin was not planted.

I was still a bit wired from teaching classes tonight, so I stopped for some shopping on the way home. (Switching gears before embarking on the Household Manager job). There were no coins at the grocery store. Rats. So I wandered next door to the office supply store. No coins there. A sales clerk asked if I was finding everything I needed. I replied, “No. I’m searching for today’s penny.” I gave her a Penny Card. She smiled. Joy shared.

It was a few minutes before 9 PM so I ran into the Ross Dress for less (to look for coins). I bought Sparky a new bed (his current fuzz bucket is falling apart). After paying, I was leaving the store and spotted a dime at the threshold! I cheered, three heads turned. I smiled, told them about Penny Tales, thanked them for being part of Day #402, gave them Penny Cards, and collected their smiles in return. Joy shared.

Thoughts: Both of my coins today were at thresholds. I’m feeling like there is a doorway which will soon open and I need to go through it.

Today Doc went to the office supply store to get a new flash drive. Saw a dark spot in the computer aisle. It was a wheat penny! Just now he used the magnifying glass to read 1941. That’s almost 70 years old and still going strong! Let’s hope each of us look that good after 70 years of service.

Total: 3 Coins P (2), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = 12¢

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day #401 - Coffee

Today was a quiet day. We met son Brian and his fiancée for coffee. They wanted to show us their photos from their trip to South America. They also brought us each a gift for taking care of the Grandfish; Doc some herb tea with a mate (cup made from a gourd) and me a purse from Argentina.

Then we headed to school where I graded papers and met with a student. I intended to check the vending machine area for coins, but got so busy, I forgot. Doc, of course, went there to get a coffee. He found two pennies (which should have been mine); one beside a trash can and the other behind it. (Coins #1&2)

We left campus after 2 pm. I suggested we walk around the Park and Ride lot by the freeway. Doc wanted to get home and watch football. He quickly drove through a nearby business complex where I found one penny in a crosswalk. (Sit-N-Find). (Coin #3)

I complained that we had 50-60 tasks to accomplish this weekend. Doc was not allowed to play all yesterday, then drink coffee, play Sudoku and watch TV most of today! So he agreed to run errands with me for 45 minutes between football games. He found one penny in the checkout lane of the grocery store (and the free coffee). Then as we were driving home, he found two pennies in the street median while stopped at a red light. (Coins #4-6)

He returned home to watch football while I worked on our task list.

Today’s Total: 6 pennies

Thoughts: Same as yesterday - Balance is important! Excessive play (and coffee) is not good.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day #400 - Balance

Since today was a “Milestone Day” I asked Mandy if she would go for a walk with me and do some Penny Hunting. After all -- she is the one who made me start writing these Penny Tales over a year ago!

Mandy and I agreed to meet at Reboks Smoothies at 8:30 AM. It was such a gorgeous day.

Mandy is crazy. The temperatures are near freezing outside and she wants ice-cold Smoothies for breakfast! I arrived to find the café did not open until 9:00 AM.

Found a penny while waiting for Mandy. When she arrived she found penny #2 at one of the outdoor tables. She has long arms and long legs which are assets for long reaches. Such balance.

We set out for a walk and talk. Headed to the local high school. Mandy was quite the expert at finding coins. She was talking about balancing things in life. She immediately found a penny. She said she “felt” the penny from about 20 steps out.

She is young and agile and performed a well-balanced retrieval. I managed to find a penny as well, but used a much more conservative pick up maneuver. (Coins #3-5).We walked cross some lawns, tennis courts, and a basketball court to search the parking lot of the nearby senior center. We found two dimes and two pennies there. (Coins #6-9)


After the walk, I did go into Trader Joes’s groceries (where we had parked our cars) and shared the Day #400 celebration with cashiers Jodi and Kristen. I needed to share a bit of Joy and collect some Penny Smiles.

This afternoon I was “balancing” paper grading, financial statements, emails, a meditation CD, laundry, etc. Nice that no particularly urgent project was demanding excessive energy today.

Note: I just clicked on the PennyFinders website and was Smile number 2,100 on the Penny Counter! Lucky #21.


Doc spent the day with son Stephen and grandson Ethan. They drank coffee, played football, and relaxed. At Starbucks Doc was seated inside, but had a view of the drive up window. Spotted shiny things between vehicles. When the coast was clear he made two independent retrievals. The first was fort two dimes. A car arrived before he could capture the other coins. On the second trip out there he collected a dime and a nickel. Penny Fever. The man goes for the Silver! Forget the small stuff. (Coins #10-13).

Today’s Total: 13 coins P (7), N (1), D (5), Q (0) = $0.62

Thoughts: Balance is important to keep us from falling flat on our ^^^^.

(Especially important in icy or other treacherous conditions). What do you use for balance?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day #399 - Phone Services

Today was a furlough day at work. Yipee! An opportunity to grade lots of papers and get caught up on some household (procrastinated) chores. I wanted to wake up and get started immediately with my “To Do” list. Doc prefers a lengthy wake up process followed by an immediate run for coffee. We compromised. I spent an hour doing some chores, then kept him company on his coffee and grocery store run.

After getting his caffeine fix, Doc was agreeable to stop at Circle K where I could say hello to Margita, the cashier. She celebrated Penny Finding Days #200 and #365 with us. I told her I was looking for today’s coin. She replied, “If anybody will find it, you will!” I then found a dime under the magazine rack. Margita smiled. (Coin #1).

We drove to the next shopping center so Doc could walk through some stores and get steps on his pedometer. There was a pay phone in front of the Dollar Store, so Doc checked the coin return door on it. (I don’t like to look in those). He collected a dime, 3 nickels and a quarter! (Coins #2-6). That was Unexpected Phone Service. Doc now just needed a penny to get a “Hit for the Cycle”.

We found no coins at the Dollar Store, so Doc walked next door to the CVS. He found a penny when entering. Next was a penny when walking back to the van, (Coins #7&8)

We stopped briefly at the grocery store and collected a penny when entering the store. (Coin #9).

Spent the rest of the day and evening doing chores, grading papers, dealing with family issues and wrestling with Verizon’s Cell Phone customer service.

Today’s Total: 9 coins P (3), N (3), D (2), Q (1) = $0.63

Thoughts: Thankfully we have a direct line to our Higher Source. Unlimited access with connections anywhere in the world at any time - no need to wait for weekend minutes.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day #398 - Heart's Desire

Disney has been saying it for years: “Fairy Tales can come true, it can happen to you…”

The movie South Pacific, “You Gotta Have a Dream …”


Doc stopped at the bank on the way to work. While he went for the cash, I went for the coins. I walked next door through the In-N-Out Burger. There was one penny in the drive through lane. It was drizzling, so I didn’t expect coins in the outdoor picnic table area. But there was one lodged in a deep crack in the water runoff area. (Coins #1&2)

At work this afternoon I was headed to a 2:30 function. There was a penny in the vending machine area. At the function I shared the Penny Tale story with a few people and gave out some Penny Cards - one even to the University President! Just after leaving the function I found a dime. (Coins #3&4)

This evening was our bi-weekly time with the niece and nephews. Since it was raining, we went to see the movie “The Princess and the Frog”. Ashley and I found a penny on the sidewalk which the guys had walked right past. (Coin #5).

The movie said what we already know: “Verbalize your request and send it out to the universe. The desires of your heart can be made real.”

Today’s Total: 5coins P (4), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.14

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day #397 - More

More rain. More coins. More steps. More lessons.

Full day at work and teaching. At 2 PM realized I’d better look for today’s coin before classes because later tonight I probably would not feel like going anywhere to search. So I headed to the campus Marketplace / cafeteria. Did not find any coins! I said to the Penny Angels, “Look, I did not walk all the way over here in the rain for nothing. I expect a coin, okay?” I looked to my right and there was a penny. “Thank You!”

Lesson: Verbalize your desires.

I was laughing and hoping you would get a chuckle over that. I said to the Penny Angels, “That was cute! Makes for a good story. Do you want to do it again?” And as soon as I said that, there was a penny in front of me among the dining tables! I laughed and said, “OK. Time to get back to work.” (Coins #1 & 2).

This evening as I was leaving campus around 8:30, I passed the vending machines. I purposely did not look in that direction because I didn’t want to have more story to write tonight. Just as I passed by the last machine, there was something. Hard to tell in the dark. Don’t look. What the heck. I looked. It was a nickel. (The rarest of the 4 basic coins to find). (Coin #3)

Lesson: Sometimes you must search for answers / rewards; sometimes they are presented to you.

I arrived home around 9 PM this evening and asked Doc how his day went. There was a note from Doc on the dining table:

Sparky and I went shopping - but first a coffee. Had to wait for fresh brewed decaf, so I let Sparky walk for 3-4 minutes so we could get steps on the pedometer. After shopping for a while, I stopped at Rite Aid in order to get more steps and let Sparky have some relief. (There was a light mist, but Sparky was all set to go! He led me right over a penny in the parking lot. (Coin Doc #1). I put him back in the van and dried him off. I went inside for more steps. Found a penny as I walked the aisles. Upon leaving the store, I found a very wet penny on the cement entryway. (Coins Doc #2&3).

Today’s Total: 6 coins P (5), N (1), D (0), Q (0) = $0.10

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day #396 - Rainy Day

Lots and lots of rain today with flooding through the area and tornado warnings!

Around 2 PM this afternoon there was a brief break in the clouds so I made a dash down to the Student Center at school to mail some bills. Found a penny at the Round Table Pizza area.


Doc and Sparky went for coffee, took a walk, enjoyed naps, etc. When I arrived home this evening there was a “love Note” on the dining table:

I went walking to get some steps. Thought walking in the Big Lots store would be good (no rain in there). As I was about to enter the door, I saw a dark circle on the sidewalk near the building wall. As I bent over to pick up the penny, I noticed a glint of something in a sidewalk crack. The edge of it was flush with the surface of the sidewalk. I used the penny as a tool along with fingernails to move the object and discovered it was a dime.

Stopped next at the 99¢ Only store to get more steps and some cans of soup. Spotted a bright shiny penny behind a customer in a check out lane. Swooped in and collected the penny.

Today’s Total: 4 coins P (3), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.13

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day #395 - MLK Day

Doc and Sparky went to Starbucks for their morning coffee. Then they went to the CVS store for some batteries. Sparky found a penny by the trashcan he was “marking”.

This afternoon I needed to go to school and run off some exams. Doc stopped at Starbucks on the way. He spotted a penny through the window of the store next door. While Doc went for coffee, I tried to unobtrusively move the display cabinet (which was on rollers) to acquire today’s Find.

After we got home, my mom called and said she had just made a large kettle of bean soup. If we wanted some, we should come get it immediately; but wait maybe 30 minutes before we come over? Free food? Of course!

Doc headed out for the soup, more steps on his pedometer, and a stop at the grocery store for cheese to go with his beans. As he walked in the grocery store he spotted a dark circle which he thought was a penny until he picked it up and found it to be a dime. I had told him that I wanted a short Penny Tale tonight and NOT to collect any more coins - merely the soup please! The man does not listen well.

Today’s Total: 3 coins P (2), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.12

Thoughts: It was wet, cold, and cloudy. I had to move a cart to get the prize. Sometimes things are given to you; other times you have to work for them.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day #394 - Improbable Finds

Doc really likes to go out for breakfast, so he made me go with him this morning. The office next to the restaurant we had chosen has been boarded up for a long time. We found a penny out in front of it last year. This morning as we walked by the deserted building Doc said, “There couldn’t be any coins in front of that place now.” As we were walking past, Doc said, “There is a dark round spot. No, it couldn’t be a coin?” As I bent to retrieve it, there was another penny, then another! We turned to walk away and spotted a fourth penny next to a column. Improbable Finds (Coins #1-4).

After breakfast we stopped at a nearby shopping center. As Doc parked and looked out his window, he said, “Penny on the white line.” I went into the office supply store and found one quarter in a checkout lane, then proceeded outside where I spent a few moments playing with a gorgeous dog. Meanwhile Doc went into the CVS to take his blood pressure reading in the pharmacy area. He found one of the shiny new Lincoln Log House pennies. (Coins #5-7).

I thought we were heading straight home so I could work on Exam preparations. Doc detoured through the high school parking lot. He looked by the entrance to the skateboard park since we had found that Coin Mine there last week. (Day #386). Sure enough! There was a penny, then another, then another (Coins #8-10). Improbable Finds.

Doc insisted upon cruising the parking lot. We found two more pennies. (Coins #11&12).


This morning there were blue skies and the weather was gorgeous. This afternoon storm clouds moved in and heavy rains are being forecast for the next few days. Doc headed to Starbucks for a coffee. I thought, “Doc keeps taking all these breaks ‘cause it makes him feel good. What things could I do to get that same ‘high’ other than eating chocolate”? I decided to set a timer, grab a bucket, hand shovel, and gloves, then head outside before the rains started. For 15 minutes I weeded and gave TLC to the neighbor’s yard. I planted “Adrian’s corner” two years ago for our neighbor whose teenage son was killed in a motorcycle accident. That gave her pretty flowers to see each time she drove into her driveway. It had been a few months since I had tended to that corner. As soon as the timer alarm went off, the rains began. Nice timing.

Note: Doc and I did play the Red Light game. Just frivolity and expressing thanks. That’s like when you were a kid, playing Red Light / Green Light.

Today’s Total: 12 coins P (11), N (0), D (0), Q (1) = $0.36

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day #393 - Hyperlinks

Arrived at school at 7:30 AM. Passed through the student study room on the way up to my office. I knew the room would be empty at that hour on a Saturday morning. No students, but 3 pennies in various places. Spent the rest of the morning at work, then the afternoon at home grading papers and working on various household tasks.

Doc found a Canadian dime in front of a grocery store when he went out walking. That was our mini-travel trip today. With that dime our thoughts were “hyperlinked” to friends in Canada. That was a good lesson.

Lesson: We can create associations throughout our day with all sorts of things. And those associations can trigger various emotions: joy, fear, worry, comfort. It’s our choice.

Today’s Total: 4 coins 3 pennies and a Canadian dime.


Tonight I am in the midst of grading papers and in “teaching mode”. So here is a homework assignment for you:

Tomorrow whenever you see a red traffic light, instead of being frustrated by the delay in your day, use those few seconds for a quick Hyperlink to a positive spot.


“Hello Spirit / God /Universe. I just wanted to say good morning to you.”

“Hi Penny Angels - wanna play today?”

“I’m so grateful for household chores because that means I have a wonderful home”

“Thank you for this vehicle which is helping me carry out my mission today”.

Red light = STOP! Pause for a moment and give thanks!

If you have kids or a spouse in the car with you, make it a game. Each person can tell of something for which to give Thanks before the light turns green. Kids will love it!


Note: All evening I had been procrastinating and putting off today’s Penny Tale. There seemed to be nothing to write about. Finally around 1 AM I wanted to go to bed, but realized I needed to do this first. Now I am having fun and laughing with you!