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, December 31, 2010

Day #742 - New Year's Eve

This morning Doc and Sparky were making a run for a breakfast burrito. I offered to go along to search for coins. While they waited at the drive through window, I walked the nearby diner drive throughs. No coins! I even tried the car wash. Nothing. The guy at the car wash asked me what I was searching for? I told him “Today’s Penny” and as soon as I had uttered those words, I found a penny! (Coin #1). Meanwhile Doc and Sparky got breakfast and one penny (Coin #2).

Then we headed for the bank. Doc tossed me out of the van at the In-N-Out burger. There was a dime in a crack by the dining tables. Then a penny which I had to dig out of a crack with my pocket tool -- the penny had a significant chip out of it. Another penny at one of the drive up windows (Coins #3-4.8).

Yesterday I goofed off - had time with friends, worked on the jigsaw puzzle given to us for Christmas, and went for a foot massage. Today I paid the price for that. My blood pressure was way high, a blood vessel in my eye burst, and my neck was extremely painful from leaning over the jigsaw puzzle so I ended up wearing at hot pack. “Goofing Off” is hazardous to one’s health!

Around 6 PM tonight Doc was getting on my nerves. He spent the whole day just sort of “hanging around”. I asked him to take a hike. He went to the Circle K for a lottery ticket and a penny, the CVS pharmacy for a dime under the copier, a penny at the counter, and a penny outside on the walkway, then the grocery store for a penny. (Coins #6-10). He also put 4,000 steps on his pedometer.

While Doc was gone, I did some email research on bathroom heaters and vents. Today we also arranged for a meeting with the surveyor, began the arrangements with the fund disbursement company, and a few other new house related tasks.

This next year will bring the Penny Palace dream into reality!

Which of your dreams are YOU going to make happen in 2011?

Total: 9.8 Coins P (7.8), N (0), D (2), Q (0) = $ 0.28

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day #741 - Separate Ways

Today Doc and I parted and went our separate ways -- at least for a few hours. He poured concrete and I poured love.

Doc found one penny at McDonalds where he stopped for breakfast this morning. (Doc #1).

Doc spent his day with son, Brian in mixing, pouring and finishing concrete. A continuation of the job they began on Monday. After the work, as Doc drove to the freeway, he stopped in the left turn lane at a red light. He spotted a median penny, but decided it wasn’t worth the risk. Then he spotted a dime -- and dove for both coins. (Doc #2&3).

His next stop was at the grocery store for some bread to go with the turkey Brian had given him. He collected a penny and a dime there (Doc #4&5).


This morning I made several calls and wrote some emails to keep the new house project moving forward. At noon I headed to Lowe’s Home Supply to investigate, lights, shutters, countertops and all sorts of things. As I walked across the parking lot, I asked the Penny Angels for a coin. There was a dime when I walked in. (Tina #1)

My friend, Norma is in town from Texas and we had a 3:30 appointment to take her, her mom, and her sister for a Reiki session. They called to say they would be late due to the stop-and-go holiday traffic on the freeway. I used those extra few minutes to stop to get some flowers and collected four pennies in various places at that quick stop. (Tina #2-5).

The afternoon was just overflowing with love. The love from Elizabeth’s healing hands to the ladies, the love and friendship between each of us, and the extra special love for my ‘niece’ Arwen. A very nice afternoon and evening.

Total: 10 Coins P (7), N (0), D (3), Q (0) = $ 0.37

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day #740 - Getting Ready

Today I was just “getting things readied” so we can soon begin with ground breaking. This afternoon I had some blueprints run and then stopped at the office supply store. No coins in either place, so I dashed into the CVS Pharmacy. Didn’t see any obvious coins, so I checked the photocopier return chute ‘cause Doc often finds coin there. I found a nickel and a dime! (Coins #1&2). Spent my evening totaling receipts to date on the new house project.

As I was driving home, I realized Doc would give me grief that I can’t have a Penny Tale without a penny! I asked the angels where to go for a penny? I was nudged to stop at the gas station. As I hopped out of my truck there was a penny! Then another when I bent to pick up the first one. Then, just for fun I walked over to the convenience store and there was a third penny at the doorway! (Coins #3-5).

Doc spent an hour this morning getting an eye exam, then the rest of the day “recovering”. He first went for coffee and one penny with son Stephen. Then they spent the rest of the day and evening preparing rooms and “getting things readied” for the arrival of the new grandchild in ten weeks.

Total: 6 Coins P (4), N (1), D (1), Q (0) = $ 0.19

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day #739 - With Gusto

This morning I hopped out of bed, fed the dogs and began working on New House Stuff. At 2 PM realized I was still in pajamas! I showered, changed, pulled together plans and lists, then headed to a 3:30 appointment at the lighting shop. The sales person looked at our lighting plan and said it had “quite a few places which he was concerned about”. He suggested that a lighting specialist be consulted to work over our plans. Not good to hear at this stage (after City approvals, etc.)

Since I didn’t have any coins yet today, it was time to head to the nearest shopping center. I called Doc and left him a voice message saying, “I am in front of the CVS Pharmacy. I am not Penny HUNTING, I am Penny FINDING. I intend to go inside and find a coin.” I walked in the door and right in front of me was today’s penny. As I looked around further, I found a dime, then a nickel! (Tina Coins #1-3).

I walked outside and left Doc a new message (at HOME). “Doc. It has been 3 minutes since I last called you. I just found 3 coins. We just need a quarter to Hit for the Cycle”. Doc called me back a few minutes later from his CELL (Not having heard my message at home). He had been out shopping and getting steps on his pedometer. He had a penny from the Circle K Store where he stopped to get a lottery ticket, then a quarter in front of the bank! Penny Angels were providing! (Doc Coins #1&2)

Doc also found two pennies at the first grocery store, a penny at the 99¢ store and a penny at the second grocery store. (Doc Coins #3-6).

I stopped at a discount store to look for an item which I did not find. Did get one penny and one dime there (Coins #4&5) Bought a fuzzy toy for my Dachshund, Norman. He is so proud and joyous when he “kills the wild beast”, rips out its “heart”, and presents the lifeless carcass to me.

Thought: Norman attacks his mission with gusto (defined as: enjoyment in doing a thing, zest). Maybe that’s a good way for us to tackle our challenges.

Total: 11 Coins P (7), N (1), D (2), Q (1) = $ 0.57

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day #738 - Mishmash

The day began with breakfast out. We enjoyed some time with our friends of 40 years who were in town from Sacramento. While paying for our breakfasts I said, “Last time we ate here with you, we found a coin, let’s look today.” Sure enough, there was a penny under the counter. (Coin #1)

After that, Doc headed to Pasadena to help our son mix and pour concrete. I headed to the Duarte townhouse. I got a call saying that the environmental testing person would be in that area this morning. The weather today was gorgeous so it would be a good day to get the mold testing done. That was easy and fast to do. Turns our that Erin is an avid Penny Finder which made the meeting even more fun.


On the way home I made one quick stop. There were leaves all over the parking lot. I said to the Penny Angels, “With all these brown leaves, it would be almost impossible to see a penny here.” At which point I nearly stepped on one. (Coin #2).

Thought: Almost impossible, but nothing is impossible. Sometimes unexplainable, but not impossible.


This afternoon I met the rep from the electric service company out at the new house site. We discussed the temporary power for construction as well as the design of the power for the new house. More progress!

Doc worked all day on the concrete job, then stopped at McDonalds for a 2-burger “snack” on the way home. He also collected his penny for the day. (Coin #3)


Here is a letter from a Penny Pal in Australia:

Them pesky little Penny Angels nudged me to weed the lavender bed after the thunderstorm which had just passed, ho, them pesky little coots, pointed to a 20 cent piece on the grass, beaming at me. Lo, the Penny Fever spreads!

Total: 3 Pennies

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day #737 - Nothing Day

Today I putzed around the house all day. We worked on a jigsaw puzzle, mended holey socks, logged in our pennies for the past week, looked at some brochures for gravity blocks, watched the Sound Of Music on TV and basically had nothing to show at the end of the day. Doc says that is jsut “His Kind of Day”!

In the early afternoon Doc wanted a hamburger. I tagged along to look for coins. While he ate, I went next door to the grocery store, discount clothing store and gas station in search of coins. None were found. After Doc finished his burger, we both walked to the 99¢ Store. We collected two pennies and a dime there.

Total: 3 Coins P (2), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $ 0.12

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day #736 - Christmas

My brother, Greg is a firefighter, so the family met at his firestation for a potluck. Greg prepares the turkey and everyone else brings something. My brothers know that my organizational skills are stronger than my culinary skills, so I get to bring the tables and chairs and set the tables.

After Doc and I got the dining area set up, Doc needed his coffee fix and I needed a coin for today. On the way to Starbucks we stopped at a closed In-N-Out burger stand. One coin at each drive up window. After getting the coffee, we stopped at a shopping center before returning to the station. A penny in a dirt planter, 3 pennies inside the CVS, two pennies outside the grocery store near a children’s riding toy, and one penny inside the grocery store. 9 pennies in a 20 minute hunting spree.

Then it was back to the fire station for water play, appetizers, dinner, rides on the fire engine, and desserts. In the previous two years our dinners were interrupted by incoming calls which sent the guys suiting up and responding. Today was relaxing and enjoyable the whole time.

Dinner photo with brother Greg (firefighter) and Mike (police).

Total: 9 Pennies

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day #735 - Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the town, Doc and Tina were searching for coins to be found…

So much for my desire to stay out of stores in December. I think Doc and I were in at least a dozen today!

We had breakfast with son, Brian and his fiancée, Celeste. The objective had been for Brian and Doc to drive the 38 Chevy to breakfast, but that did not happen. Instead they went for supplies and then worked on the old car.

The heck with writing a story, let’s do it Engineering style.

Stop # …

1) Breakfast No coins

2) Auto supply store Motor Oil and hand pump

3) Grocery store Last minute food items, Doc 1 (N) at photocopy machine

I needed a coin, so Doc and I went for a drive. It was such a beautiful day

4) 7-11 Nickel and penny under the counter, 3 pennies in the parking lot

5) A stop at the Deer Creek lot where we will soon be building. A One-hour discussion with Shannon (owner of nearby lot who is framing his house right now)

6) Gas station Sticky penny while pumping gas

7) WalMart Doc wanted food bars. Two pennies in the store, One quarter when walking back to the van

8) Scrapbooking store Doc found a penny in parking lot while waiting for me

9) Chinese All You Can Eat Buffet

Doc said, “We need a dime to Hit for the Cycle”

10) Pete’s Upholstery. I went inside while Doc walked the lot to find his dime

11) CVS Pharmacy Just for fun - plus 2 pennies inside, a dime, a nickel in the photocopier, and three pennies outside. Doc was approaching his goal of 10,000 steps today.

12) Grocery store. Earlier today I forgot to get the potatoes! So we went shopping - AGAIN! Collected 5 (P) , 1 (N), 2 (D) at that stop.

I was not planning to go Penny Hunting today. I had planned a nap! Some of the shoppers we saw seemed pretty grumpy by the looks on their faces. A few of the “Finds” were pretty funny providing us with the opportunity to talk to people and share JOY.

Total: 27 Coins P (18), N (4), D (4), Q (1) = $ 1.03

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day #734 - Winning Teams

Yesterday we scrambled to get emails, FAXes, and documents for the loan processor. Today we delivered the package. We had agreed to meet at Starbucks at 2 PM. We were in the left turn lane of a very busy street when Doc said, “Median coin! Any cars close by?” Then he put the van in park and captured that penny. (Coin #1)

When we entered Starbucks there was a man sitting in the corner working on his laptop. He had a really nice smile. Doc went to order his coffee. I walked around the store. The nice man got up and left. There was a penny under his chair. (Coin #2). Then two ladies who were sitting on the cushy upholstered chairs left and I found a penny there. (Coin #3). Are these people hatching coins?

Since Doc and I were a few minutes early, I went Penny Hunting. At the grocery store nearby I found a penny. (Coin #4) The lines of customers were very long! Glad I don’t do any Christmas shopping.

My motto: In December try to avoid any and all stores - both before and after Christmas.

As I was returning to Starbucks, my phone rang. It was at the same time I spotted a penny. Wasn’t sure which one to grab - coin or phone? (Coin #5)

Next we headed to the townhouse to check on the repair progress. It is nice having the work done by someone else under the insurance coverage. (As opposed to when Doc and I spent weeks fixing up the place during July and August). As we were leaving, I found a quarter in the dirt by the front door. (Coin #6)


One of our former students just posted a video on UTube which shows the testing of our solar car, Intrepid Too.

For many years we used the Christmas break at school to work with our winning teams on various solar cars.

Now we are pulling together a new (construction) team and looking forward to an outstanding design and build project - the “Penny Palace”.

Total: 6 Coins P (5), N (0), D (0), Q (1) = $ 0.30

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day #733 - Insurance and Alchemy

This week's lessons seem to be a lot about "PERCEPTIONS" and how we see things. Our filters, pre-conceived ideas, and past experiences really affect our thinking.

Example: Yesterday I went to the lighting shop. I selected 34 exterior fixtures for the new house. I stayed within the lower price range and thought I was doing OK. The total estimate was over twice my budget. All night I was trying to figure out how to cut the price in half. This morning I looked at more lights on line. Even the plastic ones would still put me 35% over the budget. Frustration. Then I looked at that budget line again. It was actually three times what I read yesterday! I had read the wrong line. WOW did my perception change instantly! Major stress relief. Why? My PERCEPTION. The conditions did not change at all - my thoughts did.


This morning while I met with a cabinet designer, Doc went for breakfast. Then he went to the 99¢ Store where he found 2 pennies and a quarter (Coins #1-3).

Doc and I had planned to go out and have some fun this afternoon. Instead I got a dose of Insurance Overload. There was progress on the Insurance issues for the Duarte flood. There were insurance issues on another property. The insurance payment was due for another property. The loan processors needed proof of insurance on our current house (easy) and our rentals and on and on … For six solid hours I was scrambling and making calls! There were time zone issues (Tennesse calls), agents who could not get to their office due to washed out roads, persons out on holiday, etc. etc. There were about 15 issues which needed to come together to get that loan information completed today. By 5 PM, with angelic intervention, those papers were all in hand!


At 6 pm Doc and I headed out. My objectives were to get a printer cartridge and coins. Doc’s objectives were grocery shopping and dinner. We accomplished all of those.

The first stop was the office supply store for the printer cartridge. I told Doc, “I was there yesterday, so not too likely to find coins there.” I walked in to instantly find a penny in the entryway. Angels were laughing. Then another penny while shopping. (Coins #4&5)

Doc wandered next door to the pharmacy purely to look for coins. I found one among the boxes of candy under the cash register counter. (Coin #6). There was one penny at Trader Joe’s where we were grocery shopping. (Coin #7). At the next grocery store there were lots of coins: 6 P, 2 N, 1 D, 1 Q in various places. (Coins #8-17). A Hit for the Cycle at that stop alone!


Then Doc said, “We just need one little dime to have a DOUBLE Hit for the Cycle”. That triggered PENNY FEVER! We stopped at the 7-11 on the way home. Merely one penny. (Coin #18) Then I walked the drive thru of the El Pollo Loco for one penny (Coin #19).

By then Doc and I had a raging case of Penny Fever. We were laughing ourselves silly. We were determined to get that dime! We were like grade school kids on a scavenger hunt! Doc suggested going into the Target to hunt. As we approached the store I repeated (out loud): dime, dime, dime, dime probably 100 times. While Doc went to the bathroom I searched the coffee and snack shop area. I looked very carefully throughout the entire area - twice. Just as I was leaving, I spotted something under the counter hidden from view by the leg of the display. It looked irregular, but I got closer. Rats. Only a penny. But I kneeled down and retrieved it. I walked away to find Doc. Opened my hand to reveal a DIME!. (Coin #20) Don’t ask me how it changed. Doc gave me a penny from his pocket and asked me to do that for his coins too!

Doc then spotted a quarter in a check out lane. But it was too awkward to dash into the line, so we continued searching closed check out lanes. I found two beautiful shiny coins. One penny and a one cent French Euro coin. (Coins #21&22)

We bought a $1 item and went through the line in the proper direction. I picked up the quarter (Coin #23) while Doc paid. Then I looked beside me at a closed register and found an additional two pennies and a quarter (Coins #24-26).


Enough! Time to go home, have a glass of wine, and let this Penny Fever subside!

Total: 26 Coins P (17), N (2), D (2), Q (4) = $1.47 + 1P French Euro

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day #732 - Very Wet

This morning Doc had the van serviced for the noises it was making. The mechanics couldn’t find any problems. Not sure if that is good or bad.

Today repair work finally began on the Duarte townhouse flood damage. Doc checked in there to give instructions for the electrical work.

I spent the morning working on kitchen cabinetry, exterior lighting and other things. At one point I got an email from our loan officer saying Doc needed to pay off on four outstanding Property Liens! I FIRMLY told the officer to note the middle initial and mailing address of the Mike Shelton whose liens they had discovered. Not MY guy! (I take care of Doc’s bills).

It was so wet and yucky out today. It took me three hours to muster up the willpower to forge outside. Finally I went to the office supply place to run some copies. I begged the Penny Angels to deliver a coin there so that I would not need to go anywhere else. Finally just as I was leaving, I spotted a penny in the guck behind one of the copy machines. (Coin #1).

My next stop was the lighting store to choose and price out the exterior light fixtures. (34 of them). We must comply with Title 24 Energy requirements. That raises the prices on each fixture considerably. I chose the less expensive ones. The total cost was more than twice my allotted budget! Eeks! I would shop yard sales and used construction places except that we are required to use the new energy fixtures and they are not yet to be found on the used market!

Doc spent the afternoon and evening once again working on the baby dresser with Stephen. “MizDonalds” provided a snack, one penny, one dime, and one quarter (Coins #2-4) Later, Jack-in-the-Box provided dinner and a dime for him. (Coin #5)

Hoping the Penny Angels will illuminate some less expensive luminaries for us.

Total: 5 Coins P (2), N (0), D (2), Q (1) = $0.47

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day #731 - Green Lights

This morning I conducted business at the City (see previous note) and got all “Green Lights” to begin construction. It has been raining hard for several days and is expected to continue raining for a few more. I had only a few minutes until my next appointment.

I stopped at a gas station / convenience store to look for coins. It was raining fairly hard and I was not enjoying the search at the gas pumps. No coins found there. I was disappointed and told the Penny Angels as much. As I walked in to the store I said, “I know there is a coin here, please open my eyes to it”.

I went into the store and carefully searched the entire place - twice. (It was not very big).

Then I got serious …

Tina: “Look Penny Angels, I am going to be busy the rest of today. This is your ONLY chance to provide a coin. YOUR choice. Do you want a Penny Tale today or not?”

I was leaving the store empty handed. Just before I reached the door …

Nudging: “Look at that spot”

Tina: “That’s not a Penny, that is a water spot like all those others.”

Nudging: “Look again”

Tina: “I looked there twice already”

Nudging: “Stop arguing. You need to pass by it to get out of here so at least pause a moment”.

Tina: “OK. It’s a dime, not a penny. You win. THANKS”.

Doc spent much of the day at son Stephen’s house working on the dresser for the new baby. On his way there, Doc stopped for a snack at “MizDonalds” (according to Grandson, Ethan). There he found a dime and a quarter.

Total: 3 Coins P (0), N (0), D (2), Q (1) = $0.45

Penny Palace Milestone


Yesterday was two full years of consecutive Penny Finding! Today we finally got all “green lights” from the City to begin construction on the new Penny Palace!

Last week we had the pre-grading meeting with the City Engineer, the grading contractor, soils engineer, project engineer, and building inspector. Today I paid the fees and we now have the Grading permit in hand! (Photo of me with Craig, Grading Contractor).

Next, I submitted the very last modification to the construction plans as required by the Building and Safety department and got sign off in that department!

Then, I began the process for Fire Zone Annexation. We just found out about that additional legal requirement

So, as of today we are totally cleared with the City to begin construction.

As soon as the weather clears (there have been major rain storms here for the past few days) and the bank processors get caught up with their backlog to give us their green light, then we will BEGIN Construction!

Thanks for being part of this journey,


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day #730 - TWO YEARS

Someone sarcastically once told me, “Wow - at one penny a day, you will have a whopping $3.65 after a year.” Well today marks Year #2 of this Penny Finding adventure. We found 3268 coins for a total of $148.47 (Last year it was 3520 coins). But the value is not the monetary total - it is the hundreds of smiles, silliness and JOY which were generated as a result of the simple act of bending over, picking up a coin, and sharing that moment with people!

Today it rained all day. Did not feel like going out of the house. But Doc reminded me that today marked TWO YEARS of consecutive daily Penny Finding. We could hardly end it today! So we went out for breakfast and to do our weekly planning. I hopped out at a Carl’s Jr. window and at a 7-11 Store where I found one penny at each place. (Coins #1&2)

Wondering how long the Penny Angels are going to continue this daily performance?

Total: 2 Pennies

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day #729 - Perspective

Today I learned about “Perspective” in several ways.

This week I had the opportunity to speak with two people who had both been witness to some recent events. I spoke with each of them independently and I believe I was able to gain a fairly good understanding of their perceptions of the various situations. It really opened my eyes tremendously to see how powerful our “perspectives are and how much they influence our choices, our feelings, our attitudes, our health, the way we deal with other people.


This morning I had agreed to take my mom somewhere. Then she surprised me by saying she wanted to be taken to the mall!!! I don’t do any Christmas shopping and I especially avoid any malls. She was asking a lot.

Every spot in the parking lot was filled, it was drizzling and I do not like having my “planned daily schedule” messed up. My attitude was horrible. I needed an “attitude adjustment”. After mom paid for her one item, she received 2¢ change. I quipped to the cashier, maybe those are my pennies for today”. Of course that lead to a quick explanation about Penny Finding and I gave her a Penny Card. She was smiling Big. Shared Joy, Attitude Adjusted.

As we walked away, I told mom, “Look for a penny. Usually shortly after I ‘share’ the story, I will find a coin”. Within minutes I found a penny under a display of Men’s sweaters! (Thank you Penny Angels). (Coin #1).

By then Mom was hungry and asked to stop at In-N-Out burgers for lunch. Long lines. As we approached the window, I saw a shiny penny. Made Mom hop out and get it! (Coin #2) There is no such thing as a free lunch - she needed to earn her keep. At first she didn’t see it, yet it was shining like a beacon to me! Then I spotted two less obvious pennies and hopped out to fetch those. (Coins #3&4).

I took Mom home then stopped at a grocery store to get munchies for tonight’s party. Bought a veggie tray and found 1 dime and 4 pennies. Shared a smile and Penny Finding with two people at whose feet I retrieved two of the coins. (Coins #5-9). Shared smiles.


Once home, I retrieved today’s mail. There was our first water bill for the new house. (I had the water service started on November 1). My heart jumped and I thought, “Wow! It’s becoming REAL! This new house is really happening! I was genuinely excited and joyous to see that water bill! Within milli-seconds the Brain kicked in. The “logical / serious / analytical / pre-programmed /socially correct” aspects took over and said, “You idiot! No one is happy to get a bill. That means Payment! That is absurd. You are NOT supposed to be happy to get a bill. That is NOT acceptable thinking.”

WHY? Perceptions. They can be (and maybe should be) changed.


Today Doc went to assist son, Stephen in working on a dresser for the new grandchild. Good father-son bonding time. And Doc collected 1 nickel and 3 dimes at Starbucks while getting the coffees for their work session. (Coins #10-13)


This evening we were invited to a Christmas gathering at the home of a friend. It was a long drive and Doc and I really didn’t want to go out in the rain. But we are so glad we did. Aside from the great (and very abundant) food, we got to see the Newport Boat Show. Wow! That was spectacular.

What I liked best about this evening was the people we met. The guests were people who traveled in VERY different circles than Doc and I do. It was so interesting to listen and learn from them about their various projects, occupations, experiences, and involvements. They definitely have different perspectives from the “engineering” thinking. Wish I could have had more hours to learn from them.

Thought: Our Perceptions create our Reality.

Maybe we need to question our “Acceptable and non-acceptable” thoughts.

Total: 13 Coins P (8), N (1), D (4), Q (0) = $0.53

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day #728 - Friends

New House stuff:

Both the City and the Architect offices were closed today, so I set appointments for next week and did some design work on the kitchen.


Received an email this afternoon saying our friends Ian and Wendy finally got Certificate of Occupancy on their newly-constructed house! They have been trying to move in since August. There have been glitches at the finish line for over three months.

This afternoon I went out in the rain to procure some champagne and goodies for the new home owners. Since it was raining, a ‘basket’ was not a good thing to leave on the doorstep. Used a plastic 5 gal bucket instead and filled it with goodies. Found one penny while out shopping for the contents. (Coin #1) Such fun!


Last night a friend of ours called to say she just got 3 tickets to a performance of “Harps and Angels” for tonight. Did Doc and I want to go out with her? Angels? Harps? This sounded like a nice Christmas performance. So we went this evening. Turns out the event was downtown LA (think rush hour on a Friday night, Stop and Go traffic in the rain) and the performance was uhhh.. shall we say, less than Angelic. Far from it. Good thing our objectives were to have time with our friend and to visit a new location. That we did and had lots of fun with her.

Total: 1 Penny

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day #727 - Break Even

New House stuff:

Yesterday when Doc and I were at the City submitting the Tree Removal Permit, I was bored while waiting. I walked over to the ladies at the Building and Safety counter to say hello. I jokingly asked them to tell me things I needed to know but was clueless about. One of them said, “I wonder if this project falls in any Special Districts and Assessments?” She gave me a phone number for Janet.

This morning I called Janet. Sure enough, we are in a special fire district and need to be annexed into that. It is a 75-90 day legal process with fees and forms. Our construction could be held up until we had that, but since we found out about this only yesterday, Janet will begin the process and let construction move forward.

I looked at the on-line tracking service where we can see the status of our various permits with the City. Today we got sign-off on the electrical re-check.


Yesterday we received a bid for the lumber and the estimator had some questions on the grade of materials being used. So early this afternoon Doc and I spent a few minutes with the architect on that issue. Then we stopped at a grocery store to search for coins. Doc went one way and I went another. We reunited at the front of the store - each with a penny in hand. (Coins #1&2). “Dates” do not need to be expensive to be fun.

This afternoon I went to the Habitat for Humanity Re-store, a lighting shop, several tile shops, etc. Doc had the oil changed on the car and did a few other tasks. He has gone to bed, but I see 4 pennies on the table. He mumbled something about high school parking lot and somewhere else, but I was not paying attention to him and now it is too late. Hmm… there is a lesson.

Thought: When our spouses or kids are talking to us, are we really paying attention?

Total: 6 Coins P (6), N (0), D (0), Q (0) = $0.06

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day #726 - Home Run!

This morning the owner of the auto shop called to say the 38 Chevy was ready for pick up. Doc and I hurriedly raced through a few errands so we could get over to the auto shop. (Same opening sentence as yesterday’s Penny Tale).

On the way to the auto shop we stopped for lunch. While Doc waited for our food, I walked around the parking lot. Found a dirt penny in a planter (Coin #1). Good. Then I noticed the restaurant had a drive up window. Found two pennies and a dime there. (Coins #2-4). Then a car was coming at me in the drive through, so I hopped out of the way and found a penny to the side of the driveway (Coin #5).


The owner of the auto shop was happy to see us arrive - and even happier to see us leave. He wants this car out of his shop. Nearby business owners are teasing him about the car driving away, but returning on tow trucks. Yesterday’s tow truck driver said he would be giving the mechanic a piece of his mind by now. He didn’t understand. This guy is getting additional bugs out of our car which weren’t the reason we took the car to him. Today he took the carburetor apart, cleaned it, and didn’t charge us for any of that.

The Chevy made it’s way down Route 66. She turned many heads on her drive. Finally she was back home. As one Penny Pal wrote this morning: “The Chevy was enjoying all the attention at the shop. Why would she want to come home and be locked up in the garage with the dogs again?”


We arrived home just after 4 PM and realized we had 30 minutes of daylight remaining and it was beginning to drizzle. Maybe we had enough time to get to the new property and determine which trees will need removal. We grabbed tools, tape, the grading plans and raced out to the lot. We marked off where the driveway will be. We knew one tree would need to be removed, but realized a second one would also need to be removed.

We measured the trees and then quickly drove to the City offices to submit the Tree Removal Permit Application. We were told it could take 2 weeks for approval and cost $500/ tree. Note: That is for approvals, not for the actual removal work. We submitted our form. The person helping us took our form to the back room for a very long time. Finally he emerged. We were fearful of what he was going to say. He said, “These two trees are 8” and 11” in diameter. Thus we have determined you do not need a permit!” Merry Christmas! That was sure good news.


On the way home Doc and I stopped to have dinner to celebrate! The Chevy was home and there was no Tree Removal Permit Fee. Yipee!

Doc then insisted upon stopping at the grocery store to get HIS coin for today. We walked in the store and immediately found a penny on the floor. Done. (Coin #6)

Total: 6 Coins P (5), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.15

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day #725 - Strike Two

This morning the owner of the auto shop called to say the 38 Chevy was ready for pick up. Doc and I hurriedly raced through a few errands so we could be at the auto shop by noon.

During our errands Doc made a quick bathroom stop at a grocery store where he collected a dime and I got my penny for today. (Coins #1&2). When we arrived at the auto shop I received an incoming call, so I stepped outside to talk. There was a penny at my feet. (Coin #3)


Last Friday we drove 7 miles from the auto shop before we lost all the radiator fluid due to a faulty freeze plug. We were assured that problem was solved. Today we drove about two miles before the car started losing power. Doc parked in the lot of an office building and said the car felt like it was out of fuel. I hiked to a nearby gas station. They wanted $12 for the gas can, plus the price of gas. So I called the auto repair shop and went back to borrow one of theirs. We poured 2 gallons of gas into the tank and headed out. We made it to the nearest busy intersection when the car died. I put on hazard lights to warn other traffic. A police officer drove past, but he was transporting a prisoner and could not stop.

We called the Auto Club. When I called for service, the AAA operator asked the year of the car. I said, “38”. She said, “No, not your age, the year and make of the car please!” Good for a laugh. While waiting for the tow truck, Doc went for coffee at the Starbucks in the grocery store. He also collected a penny. (Coin #4) The car was loaded onto the tow truck and we were ready to leave. Doc pointed out a penny right next to our van! I had stepped there at least 5-6 times. (Coin #5)

So the Chevy is back in the shop. Perhaps a clog in the carburetor. Doc thanked the shop owner for letting us borrow the car for a few minutes.

We stopped for a nice lunch as our consolation prize on the way home.


New House Progress:

We stopped at an iron works shop on the way home. Talked to the owner about the driveway gate for the new house. Other people had given us quotes which were 3-4 times our budget for that item. We had almost given up. Today Jimmy gave us a rough estimate which was right in line with our budgeted amount! Penny Angels at work.