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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day #923 - Movin' On

We had a 7:45 am meeting at the job site, so that meant an early wakeup followed by a drive through the nearest McDonalds. Once on the job site we spent 1.5 hours refining the placement of some of the kitchen walls, ceiling details, garage ladder placements, and other items. Fun to stand in the kitchen and look up at the chapel windows. That was enough work for the day. J We went home to shoot off some emails, make phone calls, and fetch our houseguests.

Our houseguests had made their breakfast, packed their bags, cleaned house and were ready to leave. Mum Scriven was off to stay with Mother Teresa. At 12:30 we delivered our precious cargo to their next destination. We were treated to a tour of the Moreno Mansion. Wow! Their home looked liked something out of an Architectural Digest magazine.

Doc and I made a brief stop for a sandwich and a penny. (Coin #1). Then it was a 65-mile drive back to Cucamonga. We spent an hour on fireplace research at the library (there was air conditioning there). Then we returned to the job site. The pony walls in the kitchen were in place, the pantry wall moved, and the exterior chimney box had been framed. (See video).

By then it was 5 pm and Doc wanted a snack. McDonalds drive thru for two burgers and a penny. (Coin #2).

As we exited the freeway to return home, I was semi-laying in my seat with a horrible headache. Doc said “any coins on your side?” I didn’t care if there was one or not. Actually I was hoping there wasn’t one. But there was. And my shoes were off. And the light was a stale red. And there was another car coming off the freeway behind me. I wanted to call that one a “foregone”. But I went from 0 to 60, plus retrieval in about 4 seconds. (Coin #3)

Total: 3 Pennies

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day #922 - Elegant Sufficiency

Doc and Sparky went for Starbucks coffee and Subway sandwiches while the guests slept in. It was a leisurely morning for them; late breakfast, a bit of laundry and TV - Shirlee got to watch ‘The Young and the Reckless’ for the first time in six years as it is no longer shown on free to air TV in Australia. I, on the other hand, was working furiously on details for the upcoming reunion and the Penny Palace. I had many details to “put right” before we could begin our play day.

I have been keeping a list of things our guests wanted to do or purchase, so we headed out to accomplish those. We began with an all-you-can-eat lunch at Home Town Buffet. Our guests sure enjoyed the myriad of foods. Doc commented that our guests were not filling their plates up high enough. He was informed that in Australia it was better to go back many times than lose the food off the plate trying to get heaps back to the table in fewer trips. We then went next door to get Doc and Shirlee each a pair of SAS shoes. (SAS is the shoe company as well as Shirlee’s initials).

Next it was a trip to the Penny Palace. Everyone gave input on the scullery wall placement. (Scullery: a little room off the kitchen). Merril suggested a solar tube in the room - we now just have to convince Doc of it.

Then it was time for more pressing things - McDonalds for coins and a cold drink. Doc and Merril found a penny when entering the eatery. I ran to the drive thru and played ‘chicken’ with an oncoming car. I managed 3 pennies, 2 nickels and a quarter before the car got too close for comfort. The attendant at the window was asking what I was doing out there. I pretended not to hear him and ran. I hoped everyone else would understand my desire to leave quickly. Alas, Doc and Shirlee bought the drinks, sat down and talked. I decided to look around outside (versus lingering inside) and foolishly left my drink behind. Doc being a well-trained husband finished it for me. But I did find another penny. (Coins #1-8)

We shopped at Home Depot (for a toilet seat), Big Lots, Michaels … We next planned to stop for groceries. On the way into the store for fun we were saying “dime, dime, dime …” (to obtain a Hit for the Cycle). As we entered the store, I caught the tiniest glimpse of a silver edge. I used a stiff business card to ‘shift’ the coin - it was our requested dime! (Coin #9) We found three additional pennies in the store. (Coins #10-12)

Sore footed and weary we came home where Merril prepared a BLT dinner while I attended to other issues.

We shopped and ate to the point of “Elegant Sufficiency”. (New phrase learned from our Aussie guests).

Total: 12 Coins P (8), N (2), D (1), Q (1) = $0.53 one wheat penny

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day #921 - Desert Shopping

It was time to come down from the mountain. We arose early, finished the perishable foods from the fridge (i.e. leftovers), packed the car, and were on the road by 8:08 (the goal was 8 am). Two coins were found when we stopped for petrol (Coins #1&2)

Doc navigated us to an IHOP - Merril’s favorite restaurant for breakfast. We had only driven past this restaurant once, yet he was able to find it easily. He even managed to drive by a number of Starbucks without detouring. I had found my two pennies, but our guests had not found coins yet, so we wandered through the closed Wienerschnitzel drive thru and found a penny. (Coin #3) The manager, Jim, who was cleaning and tidying the areas surrounding the store noticed us. He approached saying, “people usually don’t take quite such an interest in my store, may I help you?” So we explained ourselves and gave him a Penny Card. Then we searched the Taco Bell drive thru where Merril found a barely visible vertical penny in a muddy crack. Yuck! (Coin #4). Meanwhile Doc was sitting inside the IHOP enjoying his coffee.


The goal today was to conquer the Desert Hills Premium Outlet Center where Shirlee and Merril managed to visit 30-40 of the 130+ shops. I don’t know where they get the energy. Doc stayed near the coffee shop and I carried the bags. They went in stores with names I’d never heard of. There were shoes for $400 and handbags over $1000. This was definitely not the WalMart or thrift stores where I usually get my clothes. OK. I’ll confess. I splurged and bought two silk tops for $10 each and some $2 hand lotions for Doc.

We took a shopping break to have lunch with Doc then resumed shopping. Merril even purchased a new Samsonite suitcase to haul some of the goods. We left the complex around 5 p.m. with bags and bags of trinkets and lotions. (Gifts to ship home to Australia). Throughout our travels we also had collected seven pennies and one dime (Coins #5-12). The ladies had “shopped until they dropped”.


Everyone was exhausted and glad to get home. The evening was spent washing many loads of laundry, catching up on Penny Pal emails, assessing the status of the construction project, reviewing details for the solar car reunion and fine tuning the itinerary for the remainder of the trip.

Total: 12 Coins P (11), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.21

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day #920 - Mountain High

We had breakfast at the cabin then headed out for errands and penny finding. We stopped at the post office to send some postcards to Australia, then shopped for knickknacks next door at the Treasure Chest store.

Next we headed to the town of Blue Jay. Lunch at Bill’s diner where I exchanged a Penny Card for the penny on the floor by the cash register. (Coin #1) Merril found a penny in a crack behind the restaurant. (Coin #2). Doc found one quarter in each of two pay phones. (Coins #3&4).

Shirlee found two pennies in the cigarette urns outside the Rite-Aid store, while Doc found one. (Coins #5-7). Doc and Merril both dove for the next penny from opposite sides of the shopping aisle. That was cute. (

Coin #8) Our guests enjoyed ice cream cones while Doc went outside to search for more coins. He found a penny. (Coin #9).

The next coin (Coin #10) was found at a thrift store. Shirlee asked to pay for a small item. The woman behind the counter said 10¢, then “it’s free”, and then gave Shirlee many additional little items to be used on the caps Shirlee knits for the cancer patients at Michelle’s Place.

At the grocery store our guests bought a HUGE apple cinnamon crisp to share while I collected a penny. (Coin #11). Shirlee lost the lens cap for her camera somewhere during the day. We retraced our steps, then asked the Penny Angels for assistance. Within a few minutes the lens cap was found.

At the grocery store in Lake Arrowhead there was a penny as we were paying for groceries (Coin #12). Found a quarter while walking back to the van. (Coin #13).

The next stop was a quaint little quilting shop along Rim of the World Highway. Shirlee was literally on her knees searching through the bargain shelves.

Total: 13 Coins P (10), N (0), D (0), Q (3) = $0.85

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day #919 - Mountain Escape

Last night our guests wanted to watch the DVD ‘The King’s Speech’. So we rented the movie and that kept them occupied for a few hours while I unpacked from the Palace Picnic and wrote Penny Tale.

This morning we set forth to take our guests for a Mountain Escape. A journey which usually takes an hour, took three. We stopped at a 7-11 store to return the rented DVD. Collected one nickel and two pennies there. (Coins #1-3).

Next we stopped to get ‘one for the road’ at Bad Ass Coffee. I chided Doc, Shirlee and Merril about the penny which they had each just walked over. Shirlee quipped back, “You mean like the one you are standing on?” (Coins #4&5)

A quick dash into the CVS Pharmacy for eye drops and two pennies there. (Coins #6&7)

Just before reaching the cabin, we stopped at Goodwin’s grocery store for sandwiches, salads and souvenirs. Shirlee found a penny in the produce sections (see video). (Coin #8)

Our guests enjoyed the tall pines and feeding the blue jays.

We opened a new jigsaw puzzle with the anticipation of a relaxing evening around the table, casually assembling the beautiful picture. After a few hours, we all concurred that this was a ‘puzzle from hell’.

Total: 8 Coins P (7), N (1), D (0), Q (0) = $0.12

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day #918 - Penny Palace Picnic

Today we enjoyed our first meal at the Penny Palace. We had a picnic in the dining room. Menu: Penne Pasta followed by Angel Food Cake. After 30 years of dreaming about it, the house is really taking shape! That was a very special celebration.

I went out early to the jobsite to set up for the picnic. Doc took the two Aussie guests to Starbucks (one penny) and then to CVS to look for postcards (one penny). Coins #1&2

After the picnic we stopped by son Stephen’s new-house-to-be. We looked at all the improvements he has made in the past few months. Then we picked apricots and plums from his trees. I managed to find my penny for today in some construction debris. (Coin #3).

We were very hot and thirsty so we stopped at a Jack-in-the-Box for something cold. Shirlee and I walked next door to the car wash in hopes of finding postcards. We found a penny. (Coin #4).

Our next stop was at the home of one of our solar rayce car “kids” so Shirlee could personally deliver a baby gift. Two more of our favorite solar car “kids” showed up there unexpectedly, so I wisked them away to give them a brief tour of the Penny Palace. That was a delightful afternoon surprise.

Meanwhile, Doc and the ladies went searching for postcards. At Target Doc found 3 pennies, Merril found 1. Coins (#5-8). At the Mobil gas station 1 penny was found. (Coin #9). At the 99¢ store Merril found 2 pennies and one dime, Doc collected a penny. (Coins #10-13). No postcards anywhere.

Total: 13 Coins P (12), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.22

Friend Mandy also found a penny en route to the Penny Palace Picnic.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day #917 - Arriving Dignitaries

The Aussies have landed!

History: Shirlee and Merril rayced with our solar car student teams through the center of Australia in the 1993 and 1996 World Solar Challenges. As native Outback Aussies, they were invaluable to the team. Shirlee is 4’ 9” of dynamite and many years of experience mixed into one caring and fun-filled package!

The plane departure was delayed by two hours, so thankfully Doc and I got a little extra sleep this morning. Of course Doc stopped at McDonalds before getting on the freeway. While he ordered, I hopped out of the van and did a SingSong, “Hey Penny Angels can you make it quick today? …” Within 60 seconds I had a penny at the nearby car wash bay. (Coin #1) Doc approached the McDonalds pay window, so I returned to the van and found Coin #2 in the rock planter. Doc collected his dime under the pay window. (Coin #3).


Shirlee and Merril have had quite an ordeal trying to secure travel insurance for this trip (three visits to the doctor). The odds were not in their favor for being able to make this trip; there were many hurdles to overcome. The Penny Angels stepped in and provided a few miracles.

The Aussies said although they search regularly for coins, they have not found any in the past year. Today, before departing Australia at the airport in Melbourne, they found an American penny. That was a good omen. Plus, the coin was dated 1961 - the year of Merril’s and my birth! Nice little “COINcidence”. (Coin #4)

At the airport while we were waiting for our guests to clear Customs, we spoke with the guy next to us who was packing a huge camera. I asked him if he was paparazzo. He was! He was there to shoot an incoming Australian celebrity.


This afternoon our guests unpacked and rested while Doc headed out to the jobsite. He wanted to water the dirt so things would be less dusty for our picnic tomorrow. Afterward he was thirsty, so he stopped for a cold beverage, plus a penny and a nickel (Coins # 5&6).


This evening we took the Aussies for our regular Sunday 3-store shopping tour. This way they could experience the shopping and penny finding, which they have been reading about for years. They are quick learners. Merril collected a penny just outside Trader Joe’s (Coin #7).

At the third store Shirlee collected a penny as we walked in the door. Merril found a penny at the coin counting kiosk, then a dime under the real estate flyers. That one required a double knee dive. (Coins #8-10).

I plan to serve ANGEL food mini-cakes for tomorrow’s picnic. The first three stores did not have what I needed, so we made a quick additional stop. I ran inside the store. Nickel on the way in, penny when I was running to produce, two pennies at a closed self check out, one penny in another closed line, then a penny when I paid for my merchandise. (Coins #11-16)

Total: 16 Coins P (12), N (2), D (2), Q (0) = $0.42

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day #916 - Incoming

Our incoming guests from Australia should be on their plane by now. We are frantically cleaning house and trying to push aside all the files, plans, material samples, etc. so that they have a clear pathway to their beds and the guest bathroom.

Things are moving so rapidly on the site it’s tough to keep up! The roof trusses are all standing in place. The Elf Door is framed (See Photo #1). The Grand Room trusses now give ‘closure’ to the big box. (Photo #2) There were some last minute details on the window order. The stone person is working on the veneer bid. Three more incoming options presented to us on the fireplace box.

Additionally, there were numerous incoming calls, emails and action items regarding the upcoming 20 year solar car reunion…

Incoming Coins:

Two very shiny pennies at the Starbucks counter where Doc was getting coffee while I was getting drinking water for the framing crew. One very run over penny at the gas station while fueling the van. One penny at the car wash counter. One shiny penny when Doc checked his blood pressure at the pharmacy. One dime between car seats when Doc was preparing the van for our guests.

And now if you will excuse me, I need to check the Flight Tracking Service to verify the Incoming flight time.

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day #915 - Headache

This morning we had an 8 am meeting with a potential painter for the interior painting and exterior staining of the Penny Palace. Have no idea what his fees will be.

Then from 9 a.m. until nearly noon we met with Annette and Scott for the Window and Door Walk Through and dimension validations. It was a very thorough process in the hot sun. Every window was reviewed for style, opening direction, grid work, dimensions, etc. Then each door (both interior and exterior) was reviewed for dimensions, opening direction, door jamb widths, etc. See Doc’s Video.

By noon we had worked up an appetite, so Doc made a stop at McDonalds. One Penny there (Coin #1).

This afternoon was our bi-weekly Play Time with the Kids. It was very hot outside, so we chose to see the movie Rio (in an air conditioned theatre). Cute movie. We enjoyed an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet, and then proceeded to their Cub Scout meeting. This evening Brandon and Nicolas advanced from Bear to Weeblos. Uncle Doc was honored to help with the face painting ceremony.

Right now I have a splitting headache and really just want to go sleep it off.

Too Much Fun and Sun today!

Total: 1 Penny

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day #914 - Guilty Plea

I did not need to appear in court today for the tool burglary case. The three suspects pleaded guilty last week. The girl took a year in county jail. Both male parolees took a 3 year, 4 month prison terms.

Doc and I arrived at the construction site as the framing team stopped for lunch. You can see that the kitchen roof trusses are in place. Photo shows "Elf Quarters".

There is a short video for today as well.


On the way home we stopped at the recycle station. A whole lot of sticky mess for a few dollars, but Doc likes doing it. While he was counting out bottles and weighing the cans, I went into the grocery store to search for coins. I found a penny and a dime. (Coins #1&2)

This afternoon Doc went off to school for a while. I did some prep for tomorrow’s activities and dealt with some follow ups.

This evening Doc finally agreed to begin prepping his office where our Australian guests will be staying in a few days. This is not a marriage enriching activity. I am frustrated that he has waited this long and is now expecting my assistance. Plus he is dumping the stuff from his office into my office. I want to post a sign “No Dumping Allowed!”

Total: 2 Coins P (1), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.11

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day #913 - Dime Diving

The day began at the cabin with more cleaning and fixing up. Then at 10 am we were on our way home. We stopped for petrol and a penny before heading down the mountain (Coin #1)

We dropped the dogs, the trash bags, and eight loads of laundry at the house, took a shower and then began phase two of our day. The first stop was the bank. As I walked toward the door, I thought “Let’s find a penny out here in the planter so I can tease Debra, the bank manager about ‘planting money at her bank so it can grow’”. Sure enough, there was a dirt penny in the planter. (Coin #2).

The next stop was a thrift store to take some of the items we cleaned out of the cabin. There was a nickel as I approached the dock and then a penny on the loading dock. I traded a Penny Card for that penny. (Coin #3&4)

Doc needed a snack, so at 3 pm we drove through Chick-fil-A for a snack and a quarter (Coin #5).

Then it was out to the construction site. The garage trusses were all erected today! See Video. Preparations (like scaffolding) were made to begin putting up the house trusses tomorrow.

Doc says it is amazing that a small cluster of California poppies by the entrance of the site have been in bloom since the day we began construction. They receive no watering and have withstood some pretty harsh surrounding conditions. Nice. A bright spot at the gate.

We stopped at WalMart to pick up the poster for the solar car team reunion. We collected four pennies in there. Then, as we were driving out of the parking lot, Doc stepped heavily on the brakes. He put the car in reverse and asked me to retrieve the penny he had just driven over. Wonder what the driver behind us was thinking? (Coins #6-10).

Our refrigerator was empty, so Trader Joe’s was next on our tour. Doc said, “Dime, dime, dime” when entering. We found no coins while shopping or paying. Then just as we were leaving, Doc gave me a hand signal -- coin to my left. I dove for it. It was his dime! (Coin #11)

At the next store one of the boxboys was ‘dancing’ around a coin. I could not tell what it was and kept waiting for him to walk away. He did not. I finally got impatient and just made the dive. Got another dime. (Coin #12) Then there was a penny when paying for our groceries. (Coin #13)

This evening was spent doing lots of laundry and writing Penny Tales.

Total: 13 Coins P (9), N (1), D (2), Q (1) = $0.59

Interesting food for thought:

Doc said this morning he was ‘nudged’ to take some photos of the main living area in our cabin. He sat on the hearth and shot this photo. He said he was reflecting on Nancy Still at the time. She was our first cabin guest and has since passed away. She loved it at the cabin. It is said that orbs of light in photos are spirits of persons who have passed. There are two bright orbs in the photo. Doc says maybe the second one is his mom who also enjoyed her time at the cabin. COINcidences?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day #912 - Spring Cleaning

Summer begins in two days, so it was time for some MAJOR Spring Cleaning.

We began cleaning at 9 am and finally collapsed after midnight. We cleaned the loft and main level, but did not even look at the lower level.

We had house guests in our cabin for the past nine months. Initially it was supposed to be for 1-2 months and kept getting delayed. Since Shirlee and Merril will arrive from Australia on Friday, we needed the occupying guests to leave so we could prepare the cabin.

Dachshunds are known for their keen sense of smell and Norman was right on target. He kept telling us there was something under the sofa and he was going to dig until he found it. We moved the sofa several times and found nothing. He still insisted there was something under there! Finally we turned the sofa upside down and found things trapped in the protective liner shielding the coils and springs -- two plastic balls, a lip balm, and one little doggie treat!

That pacified Norman for a few hours. Then he discovered something interesting in the recliner. Same routine. Nothing under the chair. Finally I removed the cushion and he dove into the crevice to emerge with some sort of jerky. Wish he could find coins that easily.

By mid-afternoon we needed to get out of the cabin for a break. There were minor plumbing repairs and other fix ups needed. A quick afternoon trip to the hardware store resulted in supplies and one penny. Doc next made a McDonalds run while I walked over to the nearby 7-11 store for two pennies.

I found a nickel when cleaning the cabin - along with some other not-so-fun stuff. Not very good wages at that rate.

Total: 4 Coins P (3), N (1), D (0), Q (0) = $0.08

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day #911 - Grandfather Doc

Today we celebrated Father’s Day. Son Brian and fiancĂ©e Celeste prepared a wonderful BBQ feast at their home. Doc requested homemade ice cream, so I made a strawberry/boysenberry batch with the boysenberries picked from our yard. It was delicious!

This was Granddaughter, Isla’s first Father’s Day. She sure smiled when Grandpa Doc held her. Steve and Laura now have a son and a daughter. I don’t expect Brian and Celeste will have children. (They are older and wiser and know better). Two grandkids sounds like plenty to keep Doc happy.

We stopped at the construction site to check on the progress. That second story almost does look like an Ark. Three huge beams were in place and will soon become the bottom chords of the decorative trusses. Impressive. See video on YouTube.


When we exited the freeway to attend the BBQ lunch, Doc said, “Bet we’ll find a penny on the offramp”. Sure enough, he did. It was in the white painted stripe and in a crack. We parked at a gas station and walked back to the end of the ramp where Doc ran out to capture his distressed penny. I found mine quietly sitting near where we had parked the van.

We were still a few minutes early to the function, so Doc pulled up to a 7-11 store where I ran in and collected a dime.

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

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day #910 - New Views

Doc wasn’t at the job site yesterday, so today he was anxious to get out there and see some of the second story walls going up. It was still early and the nearby KFC had not yet opened. So we drove through and got one Sit-N-Find penny. (Coin #1)

Once at the jobsite, things were constantly happening. The upper walls were being hoisted, Danny (framer) had questions for us, the neighbor came over to discuss our common wall, Daryl (project manager) visited, Bill (roofer) dropped by to see how long until his services will be needed and more!

After so much reading and paper pushing yesterday, today Doc had the urge to do something physical (manly) so he trimmed the vines along half of the South wall. Tonight he is feeling the results. That was enough work to satisfy that urge for a while. LOL


This afternoon Doc went for a haircut, to take the van for a wash, and then he shopped at the 99¢ store. He found a penny in the cookie aisle and a quarter in the feminine hygiene area. (Who knows what he was doing there?) (Coins #2&3).


Initially I thought the highlight of today was climbing up the extension ladder, standing on the second level, and seeing the new views. The view of the neighborhood, the framing on the first level, and the height of the Grand Room left me speechless. I just keep saying Wow!

As I am reflecting on today, I think my favorite part was sitting on the lawn and talking with the three framers: Jaime, Carlos and Jose Luis as they were having lunch. I am so amazed at their talents and ability to work for hours lifting, cutting, nailing, hoisting. They are really special people and we are very blessed to have them on the Penny Palace building team.

Total: 3 Coins P (2), N (0), D (0), Q (1) = $0.27

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day #909 - Night Find

Doc left for school early today. The term is officially over and his grades have been submitted. Now he is working on a 200 page report for the Accreditation Review Board.

On the way to the jobsite I stopped at several places. No coins were found. At the last stop as I returned to the truck, I did a SingSong. “Hey Penny Angels won’t you come out to play, come out to play, come out to play. Hey Penny Angels …” and there was a penny within a few seconds right near the door of my truck! (Coin #1)

Much activity at the jobsite. The second story walls were being lifted into place. (See video)

On the way home, I stopped to fuel Pippy. She was really dirty, so we went through the car spa. I was sitting there watching the machines move back and forth emitting the water and soap. I was thinking what a frustrating experience it would be to look out the window and spot a penny. It would be too dangerous to get out of the truck Inside that mechanical tunnel. Sure enough, I spotted a coin. I watched the big, mechanical robot run past the coin several times. I did some quick mental calculations of the machine’s travel time to the end of the path. Then I dove for the penny! (Coin #2)

Doc arrived home from work at 8:30 pm. Five minutes later he was ready to go for dinner. When we arrived at the Mexican restaurant, Doc went inside, I walked past the drive up window. Everyone knows “You can’t find pennies in the dark”. So I found a dime! (Coin #3)

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day #908 - Exit Strategy

This evening Doc and I attended a workshop on “Exit Strategies”. In a nutshell - if you are investing your time and money (in real estate), what are your objectives? What is your exit plan?

This thinking applies to our lives in general -- if we are investing 80-100 years on this earth, what are the objectives? What is our exit plan?

As you are exiting, what do you want to say? (Or have people say about you?)

“I survived. Yipee!” (Celebration)

“It’s over” (Relief)

“I’m not ready; there are unresolved issues” (Discontent)

“I breathed and existed (Average)

“I did my best” (Above Average)

“I made a difference” (Excellent)

“I created something of value”

“I left something behind”


Penny Finding:

After visiting the jobsite, Doc had to stop for a snack. McDonalds for a burger, a quarter, and three pennies. (Coins #1-4). After we fuelled Doc, we then needed to fuel the van. Doc pumped gas while I searched the station and collected two pennies. (Coins #5&6)

We arrived early for this evening’s seminar. So Doc stopped at a 7-11 store for coffee. I found two pennies under the counter and a dirt penny outside in a planter. Doc also found a penny in a planter. (Coins #7-10).



Much activity. Wall sheathing, ceiling joists in the dining room (flooring for the library), plywood on the Master Deck and more.

Total: 10 Coins P (9), N (0), D (0), Q (1) = $0.34

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day #907 - Subpoenaed

There was much activity out on the jobsite today. Lumber was delivered, Grader Craig dropped by to check on things, trusses were positioned and readied, etc. We met with Danny and Daryl to define some of the details for the exterior and interior trusses. Sure looking forward to having you see those.

Penny Finds:

On the way to the jobsite Doc and I noticed there were no cars at the Carl’s Jr. drive through, so Doc tossed me out at the exit, let me walk past the window, then picked me and my found penny up at the other side. (Coin #1).

After visiting the job site, Doc and I explored a new restaurant. I hopped out of the van and looked for pennies on the way to the door. I did notice a large splattered area of bird “evidence”. Doc was a few feet behind me and found a penny. (Coin #2)

Thought: I saw the “stuff” and Doc saw the Penny. Same picture; different focus.

A few feet further, I spotted MY penny. (Coin #3)

Isn’t it wonderful that we get to learn something new EVERY day? This afternoon I received my first subpoena. My initial thoughts when I opened the letter were not altogether real happy ones. The polite version would be “Criminals sure cost a lot in time and money”.

Total: 3 Pennies

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day #906 - Tails

The focus today was more on Rafter Tails than Penny Tales. Saturday the trusses arrived so now it is time to get serious about the roof pieces. Today I sketched five ideas for rafter tail cuts and found several dozen more on line. Which to choose? ….

Doc and I bought that wood stain yesterday (color #4) and I think I like that one best. Let’s see what Doc says.

Penny Finding:

Doc and Sparky went to McDonalds for breakfast: egg, muffin, bacon, pancakes, two pennies, one dime. (Coins #1-3)

On the way out to the jobsite today, I stopped at WalMart to have a photo blown up to poster size for the upcoming solar car team reunion. I looked around each check out pay station both on my way in and on my way out of the store. I was just about to leave when I said, “Look Penny Angels, I am going to the jobsite and then home. No other chances for you to deliver today. I really do not want to leave this store without Today’s coin. Please make it happen.” Within seconds there was a shiny new 2011 penny in my path! (Coin #4)

Total: 4 Coins P (3), N (0), D (1), Q () = $0.13

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day #905 - Shopped Out

Today Doc graded his student exams while I worked on special projects such as the solar car team reunion, alumni updates and the Penny Palace Picnic. At noon we took a break to review the various bids and brochures for fireplace inserts. Tough decisions. At 5 pm it was time to get out of the house. We shopped for three hours until we were pooped out.

Our first stop in our 3-hour tour was Home Depot for wood stain . We have tried 3 color samples so far and do not like the colors. Let’s hope color #4 is the right one. (This sounds like the Dating Game). Doc found one penny at the entrance of the store, I collected 8 pennies and a dime wayyyyyy underneath the check out counter, and Doc collected a dime on the way to the van. (Coins #1-11).

The second stop was WalMart. Doc got his foodbars and shampoo while I got bird food and three pennies. (Coins #12-14).

The third stop was Trader Joe’s for groceries. The cashier, Blake, asked if we had found everything we needed? “All except for our penny”. At which point he rolled our shopping cart forward and there was a penny under the wheel! But I had looked there. (Coin #15)

The fourth stop was Spout’s grocery. One shiny shield penny as we entered the store, then a dime while paying for our items. (Coins #16&17).

The final stop was a Stater Bros. grocery. There were two dimes and a quarter in a change return chute when I walked in; two pennies in the next aisle. Doc collected a penny when entering the other doorway to the store. (Coins #18-23)

When checking out, I spotted two pennies ahead of us. The customer in line behind us only had one item, so we let her go first. I picked up one penny, (Coin #24) then could not find the second one. It had disappeared! Reverse mushroom penny?

Total: 24 Coins P (18), N (0), D (5), Q (1) = $0.93

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day #904 - Trusses are Here

Production of the roof trusses was completed yesterday in Yuma, Arizona (254 miles from here). We were told to expect the load around 10:30 this morning. At 10:40 Driver Doug arrived. He said he would have been on time except that he had to go through 3 Weigh-in scales, 2 Immigration Checks and 1 Agricultural Inspection. (and a Partridge in a pear tree). He completed the trip in 5 hours.

Doc and I arrived at the jobsite a bit early. Doc graded his Final Exam papers in the tool shed. I set up a TV tray in my new office where my computer desk will be. It was fun to sit there assembling Penny Cards and envisioning how it will look next year …

Doc and I ‘worked’ for just a few minutes before we had visitors. Otto and Redonna (the neighbors who led the police to our tool recovery and parents of Goliath, Tyson, and Pistachio) dropped in to say hello. It was fun to welcome them and give them a tour.

We had to say good bye to our guests mid-way during our house tour because the trusses arrived. It was incredible to watch Framer Danny skillfully lift each bundle off the truck and then maneuver it between the trees and structures.

Penny Finding:

Doc obtained a dime when he went to McDonalds for breakfast.

I collected a penny when we stopped on the way home for lunch and a greeting card.

Total: 2 Coins P (1), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.11

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day #903 - Flexible

Sometimes surprises occur and it’s good to be flexible.

Today Doc was supposed to be grading exams. Of course the first thing he wanted to do was make his run for coffee and food. He doesn’t like doing things alone, so he dragged me along. I tried to be flexible and enjoy the surprise plans in my day. Doc tossed me out at the shopping center across the street from Starbucks so that I could at least search for coins while he was foraging.

I uttered a SingSong as I hopped out of the van. “Hey Penny Angels won’t you come out to play?” Within seconds I had a dirt penny. (Coin #1) As I bent to retrieve it, surprise! -- there was a nickel and two shiny pennies nearby. (Coins #2-4).

I walked across the parking lot and stopped to scrape the caked-on dirt off the penny before putting it in my pocket. I watched the dirt falling to the ground and there was a penny by my foot! (Coin #5).

Since Doc had not yet returned to fetch me, I wandered into the grocery store. Five pennies there. (Coins #6-10). Once outside the store, I paused to record my findings. There was a penny on the bench next to me. (Coin #11).


Around noon we received a phone call - the trusses will be delivered tomorrow! What? The truss company had previously told us Monday. No one will be at the jobsite tomorrow. Of course numerous phone calls were made and Danny has agreed to be there to offload the truck. Good thing he is flexible If the truck leaves Yuma Arizona at 3-4 AM we should see it before noon.

The sample tiles finally arrived. I have arranged them on my kitchen counter so that as I am preparing food or washing dishes or even just walking through the room, I can mentally play with various configurations. Requesting Artistic Angel assistance.

Total: 11 Coins P (10), N (1), D (0), Q (0) = $0.15


This is the point where today’s Penny Tales initially ended … No ideas, ‘flexible’ was not part of it. Then I asked for ideas …

Almost immediately, I heard a little dog barking. It sounded like it was coming from next door. But they do not have a dog? I heard it again. Nothing can catch my attention faster than a dog in need. But it did not sound hurt. But my curiosity was raised; I had to go out and investigate.

There was no dog next door, but there was a large dog running loose on the sidewalk in front of my house. I got her attention and was able to get next to her. She led me to her house and tried to get back into the yard. The gate was locked. She had escaped underneath the automatic garage door which was raised approximately a foot high. Another dog (Spencer was the name on the tag) was stuck there and trying frantically to get released.

Another neighbor, Mike, came to assist. He brought a flashlight and a leash to keep Dog #1 (Eden) from running loose. He also brought the Neighborhood Watch map which I had just updated last week. He called the owners. No answer.

Mike realized the dog could not stay like that all night and neither could we. Good thing he is flexible! He managed to climb over the 6 ft. gate and gain access to the garage from the rear door. He then disengaged the garage door and we released Spencer.

Happy Tails for Penny Tales!

When I returned home, I told Doc that in this situation, Neighbor Mike was better than Husband Mike. Husband Mike is not so young and flexible any more! LOL

Lesson: Don’t ask the Angels for ideas unless you are prepared to be FLEXIBLE.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day #902 - Castles

Since Doc is my “Prince Charming”, isn’t it befitting that I should also get a castle in addition to the smelly socks and dirty dishes?

This morning began with …. a Penny! I showered, got dressed, pulled on a pair of socks and headed downstairs. Something felt funny in my sock. Got downstairs and took it off to find a penny in there. These were clean socks and had been through both the washer and dryer. I don’t’ tuck pennies in my socks. I do slip them in my shoes to transport sometimes, but not in my socks. That would be too uncomfortable! The Penny Angels were playing with me. Does this one count as a legitimate find? It is not from a pocket or a purse. (Coin #1?)

The brakes on Doc’s van needed checking, so the morning was spent waiting for the mechanic’s diagnosis. Project Manager Daryl called to say he was working on a project very close to the auto shop, did we want to come look at it? With the name of Rubel Castle we were intrigued and couldn’t resist a quick peek there. An unexpected treat in our day. Motivation from the Angels to continue working on our castle?

In Photo #1 Doc is asking if this is how I want my castle to look?

In Photo #2 at least the structure has some interesting stone work. But it probably exceeds our City height restrictions and I’ll bet it does not meet earthquake codes.


Doc had a Final Exam to give today, so at Noon I drove him to school. He found a penny when getting on the elevator, a nickel when getting his coffee before class, a penny when arranging the chairs before the exam, a dime when cleaning up the room after the exam, and a penny while walking back to his office. (Doc coins #1-5)

At 5 PM I arrived at school to transport Doc back to the auto repair shop. There were six empty parking spots from which to choose. Pippy made her choice - and parked with one of her rear tires almost on a penny! She is part of this team too! (Coin #2).

Thought: Our physical beings need daily nourishing and shelter. Equally as important are our mental and spiritual aspects. How much time do we spend nourishing those?

Total: 7 Coins P (5), N (1), D (1), Q (0) = $0.20