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.

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Joyfully, Tina

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day #985 - Pennies and Progress

Last night I went to bed slightly before midnight. It seems if I go to bed before 1 a.m. it just screws up my body clock. I awoke ready to start my day and undertake some things. Then I looked at the clock which read 12:36 a.m. Guess I’ll try to sleep a little more.

This morning we were up and getting ready when the phone rang at 7:30 a.m. It was the rep from the window company saying “I’ll be on site in an hour to deal with your window screen issues”. I had planned to be somewhere at 9 a.m., but plans got changed. Doc and I quickly finished things at home and headed to work.

The window guy was great and even fixed one screen which was not one of his. I thanked him for his ARK and gave him a Penny Card. While I was working with him, Doc headed out for coffee, breakfast and two pennies. (Coins #1&2).


There was a full crew working on framing today. Many things on our Check-Off list were finally completed. When the crew took a break for lunch, Doc and I headed out to get some bottled waters for them. We stopped to drop off payment at the sheet metal company. We could have mailed the check, but with the holiday weekend coming, we wanted to make sure they were paid promptly. As a reward for doing that, we found a quarter when we returned to the van. (Coin #3)

Doc said. “It just feels like there should be a penny here, keep looking around.” I searched the parking lot area and then the planter. I found two coppery colored washers, but no coins. Doc still felt a coin, so I kept looking. Sure enough, back under the plants there was a semi-buried dirt penny! Then a second one. Doc’s intuition was accurate. (Coins #4&5).

We next went to the grocery store for a case of water. Two pennies as I walked in, then a quarter and a penny in one aisle, then a penny at check out. (Coins #6-10).

We then stopped to get lunch for framer Danny. There was a penny on the freeway offramp. (Coin #11)


The Porta Potty got cleaned today. In this heat, that is always appreciated.

The cabinet maker was not able to create what I wanted using the pre-fab cabinets, so Doc and I designed our own glass shelving system. Jaime helped Doc mount the two kitchen posts which will suspend the glass shelves.

We were surprised by the fireplace guy who showed up to install the chimney shroud. One more item completed.

We put in a full day at the jobsite, then locked the gate. On the way home we stopped at Home Depot for supplies and a gift. This morning Doc had said, “Today we need to get some toilet paper”. As we were walking down the aisle at Home Depot, a worker was taking down a display of toilet paper. He was up high on a scaffold tossing several packages down right in front of where we were walking. Doc and I both started laughing, “Manifesting!” Toilet Paper from Heaven!”

When we returned to the van I approached on my side and said, “Penny Angels, I am surprised at you. I really felt you were going to have a coin here at Home Depot.” I said that and Doc said, “Tina, come look over at my side of the van.” Sure enough, there was a penny by his door! He wondered how he could have missed it when getting out of the van. (Coin #12). There was the answer to my request.

Total: 12 Coins P (10), N (0), D (0), Q (2) = $0.60

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day #984 - Lunch Date

Jaime and Carlos installed the cathedral windows. Those are finally in place. The front door is now in place - and opening the correct way. The remaining exterior doors were installed.

The electrician moved the two kitchen counter outlets and did a few more wrap-up things.

We met with Robert, our solar panel engineer. He has designed the system to get two more panels on the garage roof.

On the way to the jobsite this morning Doc and I stopped at a glass shop to further investigate those glass shelves. We now have those defined.

Then Doc stopped at a Starbucks for his morning coffee. I walked next door to the burger place and collected my penny. Doc found his coin right next to the van as we were leaving. (Coins #1&2). This evening as we were driving home there was a very run over penny at the end of the freeway offramp. Sit-N-Find (Coin #3)

The highlight of today was a lunch date with my brother, Greg. He has seen our project only once before - when the foundation had just been poured. He is also currently building a house, so he could appreciate our project more than the typical visitor could.

Total: 3 pennies

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day #983 - Day 200

This is Day #200 since we were given the “green light” to begin construction on the Penny Palace. It is impressive to review the photos and videos from the past 6 months.

We are beginning this week with much anticipation of significant progress in the next few days.

On the way to the jobsite this morning I stopped at Wilcoxson Concrete to show Rick a sample of the stone we obtained Saturday at the manufacturing yard.

Next, I stopped at an office supply store to return 3 re-filled ink cartridges which did not work for me. As I walked into the store I said, “Penny Angels, this is the only place I plan to go other than the jobsite, so today’s coin needs to be found here.” I found the penny wedged in a dirty corner under a display rack.

At the jobsite, the framing crew was hard at work. Today they were installing exterior doors, cutting the concrete footing for the dungeon access, working on the plumbing access panel and more. The sheet metal guy finished his work.

Remember on Saturday I said Doc and I were brainstorming about an idea for glass shelving in the kitchen? Over the weekend I diagramed those and Doc calculated the maximum deflections for the loads we expect. Looks like it should work.

I wanted the cabinet makers’ blessing - Doc and I could engineer it, but could John make it look appealing as well? I tentatively called John at 11:30 a.m. asking, “Is there any chance you might be in our area within the next 1.5 hours? I’d like to discuss some ideas with you.” His reply, “Well actually, yes! I have a job this afternoon right around the corner from you. If I leave my office right now, I could see you first!” I sure like all the COINcidences on this project

It was very helpful today to mock up the one wall of kitchen cabinets. It showed us that two electrical plugs need to be moved since one would be in the middle of a glass shelf and the other would be in the middle of the spice rack. People make fun of my mock ups, but hopefully those will help avoid some of the “Ohh Poops!” later!

Doc stopped at the grocery store on his way home for some munchies and one penny.

Total: 2 pennies

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day #982 - Hot Again

Today the temperatures were around 110 degrees at an outdoor bridal shower for my aunt. Other guests were by the pool in sundresses and sandals with bare arms and legs. I was hiding out in the shade with long sleeves, long pants, a scarf covering my neck, hat, sunglasses, etc. Getting fried is not my idea of a fun Sunday afternoon.

On the way home from the bridal shower I stopped at an office supply store to get printer cartridges. I said “OK Penny Angels, it is too hot to go anywhere else, so please deliver coins here”. I searched the store casually and did not find any coins. So I said, “C’mon Angels. Just one coin, OK?” Within moments I spotted a penny at the service desk. Then there was a super bright shiny penny right on the floor in the cartridge aisle where I needed to be! Then a final penny as I exited the store. (Coins #1-3)

Total: 3 pennies

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day #981 - Too Hot

This morning as we left the house, Doc said, “We need fuel in the van, where should we go?” I replied, “To a gas station where I can get coins”. Just 2-3 minutes later I had my coins.. While Doc pumped fuel, I collected 3 pennies. When he finished fueling, he drove over to where I was coin searching. I saw the van approaching and said, “Penny Angels, how about one for Doc?” I began walking toward the oncoming van and found a dime -- Doc’s silver. (Coin #4)


At 9 a.m. we drove out to the jobsite. At that early hour the temperature was already 98 degrees. The plumber said, “I’ll bet you only last an hour out here today.” I replied, “Ten minutes and I’m out of here! It’s Too Hot!” He was installing an additional hose bib on the deck and the venting for the tankless water heater.

Doc and I next headed out to the yard where cultured stones are manufactured. On the drive out there we saw a horse and rider out walking their camel! That was unusual.

The visit to the stone yard was grueling. It looked like a battlefield out there with crates of leftovers and broken stone pieces. It was Too Hot out there. The dust and heat were stifling, but I emerged with a number of samples to take home and play with.


By noon Doc was in need of a tall cold one, so we headed to Jack’s. He concocted a huge “suicide” drink - Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper, Orange soda and root beer. I refilled my water bottle and collected two pennies. (Coins #5&6)

We were told of a lighting store that was going out of business, so we drove out to Yorba Linda for that. There were only a few fixtures remaining - nothing which we could use. But we did get a good idea for the kitchen shelves … That led to some good brainstorming as we were driving the freeway on the way home. I dropped Doc off, then headed for a local glass shop. Did some more brainstorming there. Things are “clicking into place”.


My mom came over this afternoon to hang around our house because it was Too Hot at her house. At our house it was 111 degrees on the patio. That is Too Hot!


This evening we ventured out and had a “date night” to escape the house and any work on the Penny Palace. Project Manager Daryl coordinates the annual Flashback fundraiser event in Glendora, so we headed there for dinner. As we were wandering through the classic cars, I was given a beautiful red rose by the local florist. Nice addition to our “date night”. Then we found a nice little restaurant where we could have a tasty meal and quiet conversation. Topics: What else? Of course, the Penny Palace. Then after dinner I found a flooring store to review some more flooring options. So much for escaping thoughts of the Penny Palace!!


On the way home, Doc stopped at his mailbox and collected a penny as he hopped out of the van. (Coin #7)

Total: 7 Coins P (6), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.16

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day #980 - Going Solar

This morning Doc stopped for coffee on the way to the jobsite. He graciously offered to toss me out of the van at the shopping center across the street so I could deposit a check and look for coins while he was getting his coffee. I began my search at the In-N-Out Burger. A dime and two pennies at the picnic tables, two pennies at the drive up window, an additional two pennies in the parking area, one drowned penny in a water puddle, and another penny as I was walking toward the bank. I conducted my transaction, then met Doc as he drove up in the van - right past a nickel. (Coins #1-10)

We arrived at the jobsite at 7:30 a.m. No one else was there yet. I was disappointed, but it turned out to be a good thing. We had scheduled a 9 a.m. meeting with Robert, a neighbor at the Penny Palace and a rep for a solar panel company. Robert arrived before we had even unlocked the gate! We questioned his early arrival. He was there to take measurements and be fully prepared for our meeting. We surprised him by being there. That unplanned meeting gave us time to get to know him as a neighbor instead of a solar sales rep. Nice.

Around 8 a.m. Joey, the Metal Fabricator and Greg, the company estimator, arrived. Working conditions for Joey today must have been hell! He was installing highly reflective sheet metal which was facing directly into the sun. Temperatures were at 107 degrees with extremely high humidity. He earned his wages today.

Framer Danny came by and quickly removed three exterior doors such that Joey could place metal in the doorways.


At 9 a.m. Robert returned in “Business Mode” with his calculations of solar array output and costs. Doc and I had always wanted to install solar panels. (After all these years of promoting solar cars, it seemed we should at least have a system on our house). We were told when we began construction that panels were not allowed on the rooftops in our community. We knew that legally the Homeowner’s Association could not be so restrictive, but we did not want to be the ones to investigate and challenge that. (Didn’t want to create enemies while trying to get the house built and approved). It turns out that Robert took up that battle and Homeowners have been notified that rooftop solar panels are now allowed! Thank You Robert. Thus, today we began the process of designing our system.


This afternoon the temperatures in our current house were unbearable to me, so I went out to do some research on flooring (to a store with air conditioning). I left Doc and the dogs to suffer and nap with the TV. I got a few ideas at the flooring store.

On the way home I stopped at Trader Joe’s for dog food. I searched the store thoroughly, but found no coins. On the way back to the truck I said, “Hi Penny Angles. It is really hot and miserable out here today. I’m disappointed that you did not provide a coin while I’ve been out this afternoon. What’s up?” As I approached Pippy from the passenger side (I would typically head straight to the driver’s side), there was a nickel in the parking spot next to mine. “Thanks Penny Angels, that was fun”. (Coin #11)

Total: 11 Coins P (8), N (2), D (1), Q (0) = $0.28

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day #979 - Blurry Day

“On the Job” by 6:15 a.m. This is a tougher schedule than working at CPP full time!

6:15 Discussion with flooring rep

6:45 Payment to solar tube installer

7:15 Arrival at construction site

After that, it was a blur of activities

Decking crew placing stucco support flashings on Master Deck.

HVAC guy installing vent cap for detached garage toilet.

Masonry crew constructing driveway columns.

A walk through with the concrete guy regarding door areas.

Electrician running wiring.

Plastering crew floating the foundation areas.

The non-used access panel was returned to Home Depot.

A drive out to Rialto to retrieve the modified front door from the manufacturer.

More research was done on the cultured stone for the fireplace and veneer on the front of the house.

Etc., etc.

See video


Penny Finding:

As I entered Home Depot I said, “Look Angels, when we are this busy on site, you need to make the Penny Finding easy so that I don’t need to go out of my way.” Within a minute there was a shiny penny in my path. A cashier was my witness and I shared the story with her. We were both laughing and having fun, so I searched the four self-serve bays and retrieved a nickel.

On his way home, Doc obtained a dime at the grocery store in the cold food area.

Total: 3 Coins P (1), N (1), D (1), Q (0) = $0.16

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day #978 - Access

This morning we were again at the construction site by 7:30 a.m. Daryl and the framing crew were well underway in tackling some of the action items needed by Plasterer Tommy Gun to have adequate access to proceed.

During mid-morning, Henry arrived to complete the installation of the three solar tubes. It’s great that more sunshine now has access into the house. Feels like a tube of light from heaven is ‘charging’ the interior.

Around noon the plaster crew arrived. They started floating the walls around the foundation of the house.

Doc went to Jack’s for lunch. The Angels also gave him access to one dime and one penny. (Doc Coins #1&2).

Regarding the access door for the Master tub: we purchased one yesterday at Home Depot, but today the plasterer said, “This is a ‘leaker’”. It is too cheesy, a do-it-yourself, after market, home model. So he called his supplier and Doc and I went for a 3 hour trip to get a commercial grade door. A hiccup for one little component, but nice people helped overcome that hurdle.


On the way home I told Doc I must stop somewhere to find today’s coin. We chose a Chevron gas station by the freeway. I searched the store carefully and at first did not see anything. Then I spotted something silver under a magazine rack. The access to it was not easy and there were also customers in line who were creating a barrier. I went outside to look through the window. The coin was a quarter! OK. The stakes were higher now.

I went back inside the store. There were no customers in line so access to the quarter was now easier. However, a customer stopped me to ask for directions. I wanted the coin; I did not want to stop and help someone. “Do Unto Others…” came to mind. I tried to patiently and lovingly help the man. After I did, I turned around and there was a quarter behind me on the floor! A reward for helping someone? I collected that quarter (easy pick up) and then the other quarter (in a double-knee nose dive). (Tina Coins #1&2). Meanwhile in the gas pumping area, Doc collected two pennies. (Doc Coins #3&4)


Shared Smiles:

When talking to the Insulation guy yesterday, he said he has found dozens of coins since he did the work on the Penny Palace. He said he has found coins in almost every subsequent project. Penny Fever is contagious!

This evening my brother called. His opening line was, “Sis, I just gotta share this moment with someone. Really glad you are there right now.” Greg is the one who just moved away to build his dream house in Tehachapi. My mind was racing …. What could it be? Greg continued, “I am standing here enjoying this awesome sunset as I am watering my new concrete garage slab.” Yes, I can appreciate and understand his joy at that moment.

Lesson: Contact someone even in the most hectic day to share and appreciate a beautiful moment together. How precious those times are. Share your JOY!

Total: 6 Coins P (3), N (0), D (1), Q (2) = $0.63

Access to the right people, the right tools, the right skills - all those can be wonderful resources. And there are even higher and more powerful resources for us to access as needed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day #977 - Equation

By the time Doc and I arrived on site at 7:30 a.m. there was already plenty going on. Project Manager Daryl had done some clearing so that the floors were semi-clean for drywall piles. Framer Danny was outlining activities for his crew. The framing crew was working on the heavy decorative members. The drywall delivery truck driver was beginning to unstrap his load and the stocking crew had their equipment ready for action. 330 sheets of 12 ft. long sheetrock is one heavily loaded truck!

Daryl and I made a quick run to Lowe’s to obtain an exterior wall access panel. (Need to be able to access the bathtub plumbing). No panel, but one penny. My only coin for today.

We were soon back at the jobsite to address various activities.

Friend Mandy came by. She offered the penny she had just found before arriving on site. She is the person who gave me the beautiful Penny Pendant to hang in our foyer. (See Day #900). Last night I made a mock-up of that light (by using an 18” disposable catering tray) to determine a pleasing location, and today Mandy helped me hang it.

Crissa from the Fireplace shop dropped by to discuss final set up.

The drywall stocking crew placed piles of sheetrock in 9 different locations.

HVAC Brian came by to check on the laundry room venting.

A sales rep for entertainment / alarms / sound systems came by to offer his services.

The insulation company rep was checking on things and determining his next phase of work.

Stucco Tommy and his uncle came by for another walk through.

Greg the sheet metal guy came out to assess the work and provide a bid.

There was more, but you get the basic idea.

By 3 p.m. we were exhausted and headed home. Stopped at Home Depot for that access panel and more supplies.

When we finally arrived home, there were numerous emails and action items awaiting us.

Thought: Do you remember a few weeks ago when Doc said things were moving too slowly? He has not been saying that in the past two weeks.

The number of coins found in a day seems to be inversely proportional to the number of persons working on the job. Equation: More construction activity = less coin finds.

Total: 1 Penny + 1¢ from Mandy

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day #976 - Mushrooms

This morning there was action at the jobsite.

The insulation company filled a few walls which needed insulating from the exterior before the stucco wrapping.

Electrical finish work continued.

The framing guys were taking care of some repair issues as well as completing the three major trusses.


At noon Doc, Daryl, and I went to Jack-in-the-Box for lunch. I found a penny on the way in. (Coin #1). As we were standing and waiting for our order, I was busy talking to Daryl about cabinetry ideas. Doc said, “Note the coin on the table next to your hand!” Good thing it wasn’t a scorpion - it could have stung me! (Coin #2). Then our tax accountant walked in with his wife. We were telling her about Penny Finding when she saw a penny under a table next to us. There was an additional penny there as well! (Coins #3&4). Then Daryl spotted another one close by. (Coin #5) Daryl noted: “The pennies are sprouting like mushrooms around us!” There was one coin for each of us. Much laughter.

On Doc’s way home he obtained a median find quarter. (Coin #6)


At 12:30 I met with the rep at the flooring store who had completed some very rough cost estimates.

This afternoon the leaded glass window (which I ordered from Minnesota) arrived. I ordered it one week ago (in exchange for the melted gold bracelet). It is beautiful! I immediately took it to the Stained Glass shop for Rhonda to see it. She said that piece in the US could be $800-$1200 to manufacture. The price for this piece was $165 + $40 shipping. For any of you who like leaded glass, there are some really nice pieces at this website:


Sometimes people (especially my family) ask, “WHY do you write Penny Tales?” On many days I have the same question. All I can say is “I have to”.

Today someone said, “THANK YOU for your positive stories. My parents are having a nightmare experience as they are building their home. It is nice to know there are good experiences as well.”

I see these Penny Tales as “nightly news”. Most news programs focus on the yucky stuff going on around us. I want to highlight the good stuff.

I was about to hit the “send” button and remembered another fun and quick encounter today. Friday Tommy the stucco guy said we needed a deck guy to install flashing and coat the master bedroom deck. We met Dan the Deck guy on Sunday afternoon and he reviewed our job. He was absolutely delightful. This evening he called to follow up. The pieces can be manufactured by Wednesday. He will squeeze our project in for a Thursday install. Payment? He’ll just go forth on our word and in a month or so when the process is finished, we can pay him then. For now he just wants to keep us on schedule.

You know how sometimes you meet really great people and walk away from the encounter saying, “ Wow! that person is such a pleasure to be around?” We seem to have a lot of those persons “adding value” to the Penny Palace.

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

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day #975 - Metal Progress

Currently I am too tired to remember where I found today’s coins. Good thing I used the voice recorder. Let’s see what it says …


After two hours of computer work this morning, at 9 a.m. Doc and I went out for breakfast and a planning session. Then we headed to the job site. Doc just had to cruise the high school parking lot before getting on the freeway. As we drove into the lot I said out loud, “Penny Angels, just get this man his coin so that we can get to work”. Within 3-4 seconds there was a dime in sight. (Coin #1).


At the jobsite the HVAC guys were working. They added paper flashing around the metal air vents.

At noon we met with Dan, a deck coating guy. The stucco guy can not proceed without the metal deck flashing in place. This might take a few days to manufacture.

At 1:30 we met with Jimmy, a wrought iron guy. We talked about various metal components - the driveway gate, a fireplace “eyebrow”, window grids, the yard gates and the upstairs railings.

Tomorrow we are hoping the metal guy will be out for the flashing on the patio.



* Last week Annette the door rep said I should be choosing baseboard and casing moldings. She suggested the EL & EL website. It is on my “To Do List” but not in the top 10. Today, neighbor Craig walked across the street, handed us an EL & EL brochure, and said he could get those moldings for less than Home Depot prices! What ‘nudged’ him to do that?

* Yesterday Doc and I had photo copies to run. We were at the service desk at Home Depot, so I asked where the nearest Staples Office Supply store might be. A good-looking customer in a cowboy hat said “staples are in aisle six.” I replied, “no, I meant the Staples store”. He repeated, “staples are in aisle six”. I then felt ‘nudged’ to buy some staples.

Today Brian, the HVAC guy arrived at our jobsite with a stapler in hand. He said, “Before I get started I need to run to Home Depot and buy some staples”. I replied, “Not necessary, the Angels did that already for you!” He was surprised.


We left the jobsite around 3 p.m. and headed home. Stopped at the grocery store. Upon entering I said, “Angels, we have a dime today, but it really helps to have a penny for the Penny Tales story”. I found a penny just inside the store, then Doc found one at check out. (Coins #2&3)

This evening while I continued working on construction items, Doc went to El Pollo Loco for a dinner run. He collected food, one dime, and one penny. (Coins #4&5)

Total: 5 Coins P (3), N (0), D (2), Q (0) = $0.23

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day #974 - Gotch Ya!

This morning we were headed to the jobsite by 7:15 a.m. Stopped at a 7-11 store for two bananas and coins. I found two pennies inside and Doc found some sort of coin (which turned out to be a penny) in the parking lot. (Coins #1-3).


Doc then stopped for coffee. I stayed in the van. I noticed there were no cars in the Carl’s Jr. line, but I refused to get out and search. I said to the Penny Angels, “Look, it is Saturday. Give me a break. We already have three coins, that is enough. I am going to put in a full day at the jobsite and then you want me to spend 1-2 hours writing Penny Tales tonight. NO!” So I sat in the van waiting for Doc to return. I needed to get something from the back seat. I opened the van door and stepped out - right next to a penny! (Coin #4) It was if the Penny Angels were laughing saying, “Gotch Ya. You can not hide from us!”


Busy morning. There was an HVAC guy working. The framing crew placed the diagonal pieces in the trusses. Thanks to the plumbing team we now have running water to the exterior hose bibs. (See video).

Around 10 a.m. we made a run to Home Depot to get ledger screws for Framer Danny. He and crew were working on the Grand Room Trusses today. Wow.

We did not find the desired screws. When leaving the store, however, I noticed a flooring tile display. See the Tiles from Heaven Story. The second time we left the store we encountered Ulus, a colleague from work. He gave us some updates and just as we finished conversations and hugs with him, I noticed a penny right behind him! (Coin #5).

Next we went to Staples office supply to run copies of the cabinetry renderings so I can edit those. Doc found a dirt penny there. (Coin #6).


This afternoon we met on site with a tile guy. He said he would let me use his saw to cut the tile for my tile insert rugs and he would then lay them. He would even lower his price if I did the cutting for him!


Our dog’s nails had been ignored for a while so we raced home, fetched the dogs and headed for Petco. It was a 45-minute ordeal which none of the 4 humans or 3 canines enjoyed. At one point we were told we might need to take Dundee to the vet and have him sedated in order to trim his dew claw. Fortunately persistence paid off and the groomer said, “Gotch Ya!”


Doc could tell that I was still unsettled about the floor tile we had seen earlier in the day. That man can read my thoughts. He asked, “Do you want to go to the nearby Home Depot and ask about that tile?” I replied, “What about the dogs in a parked hot car?” Doc offered to stay in the cool van with the dogs while I ran inside to investigate the tile.

As we drove up to the store, Doc drove right over a shiny penny. I KNEW this was a good omen (Coin #7 - and seven is a heavenly number as well).

My inquiries in the store led to very disappointing answers. However the ‘nudging’ persisted. “Don’t give up”. I went on line … and found the tile! See separate Tiles from Heaven Story.

Tiles - I GOTCH YA!!

Total: 7 Pennies

Tiles from Heaven?

Last week we got Windows from Heaven, looks like this week it may be the flooring tiles?

So many of you responded about how the Window Story brought you smiles. This one is equally as amazing ….


I have searched in dozens of stores as well as on the internet for “just the right floor tiles”. There were about 10 requirements that had to be met. After many, many months of searching, “the right one” was finally found and it came in five colors which I liked. Somewhat of a slate / sandstone texture. The samples of the five colors have been on my living room floor for the past few weeks. One small problem … our budget is around $1.50/sf and the tile is $3.50/sf. Another note was that one of the five color options is Outback red clay dirt and the color is great, but the intensity is a little too strong.

Soooooo…. this week I talked to the Angels. “How about finding a similar slate tile for half the price and the Outback color tile for half the color intensity?”

Today Doc and I drove to Home Depot to get boxes of ledger screws for Danny the Framer. It was a new Home Depot for me. We had already paid for our merchandise and left the store. There were some tiles on display outside. The one tile was the red clay color I was seeking! And it was 99¢ per sf! Awesome! Back in the store I went to take a closer look at the supply, specs, and other size options for it. It looked OK so I grabbed one tile to purchase.

And next to that tile was a slate-looking tile which seemed similar to what I had at home. Only problem - the sizes were 16 x16 and 6 x 6. For my current designs, I need 12 x 12 tiles. But I took one of each size in hopes I could get creative with them and the color would be fairly close to what I had already chosen.

NOTE: I carefully checked each of the three tiles to ensure its bar code was clearly legible. I wanted no glitches at check out. We even put two tiles back on the shelf for better coded ones.

We took the three sample tiles to the register to pay for them. I could not get the scanner to work at the Self-Pay station. Rats. Glitches after all. I asked the attendant for help. He also could not get the tiles to scan and said, “Take them - a gift for you”! Huh? Doc and I looked at each other. FREE?? That is a GREAT price! Was this an omen? Were the angels saying, “Here is the product you asked for at the price you requested”?

When I got the samples home they were almost identical in color and texture to the tile I had already selected! All afternoon I tried to come up with creative ways to use 16x16 tiles instead of 12x12 tiles for my designs. No luck. Doc and I were out running errands and were near another Home Depot. I was “nudged” to inquire about the availability of 12x12 tiles in this series. As we drove past the entrance to the store, Doc drove over a very shiny penny which I retrieved before entering the store. I yelled back to Doc, “we will have this tile, I just KNOW it!
I can feel it!

The store did not have 12 x 12 tiles on display in that series, so I asked about them. The sales rep came back and said, “No, we don’t carry those and they are not even made in that size by the manufacturer.” I was so disappointed. That just could not be correct!

I went home and did a Google search for Marazzi Terra tile and the VERY FIRST link which flashed in front of me was for 12 x 12 tile of that size and color! Guess what …. it is priced at $1.48/ sf (meeting our $1.50 budget) from the Home Depot website with FREE shipping!

Is that just another “coincidence”? Lesson: ASK --The Universe delivers.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day #973 - 4 In; 2 Out

Doc was determined to be on site first thing this morning and provide coffee to the crew. I didn’t think most of the guys drank coffee, but he insisted. As he obtained the Starbucks Traveller’s coffee pack, I walked next door to the Carl’s Jr. drive through and obtained 2 quarters. Good start for the day. (Coins #1&2).


Once again it was a busy day on site. Many smaller projects getting completed. Doc cleaned up in the Master Suite area, I re-layed the entrance tile rug. This size looks better - and I taped penny inserts in the corner of the tiles.

Those two windows which were intended as sidelights for the main door, have now been installed under the house to allow light into the Dungeon.

The stucco crew was setting up scaffolding all day. That is a lot of metal. Plasterer Tommy met with Danny, Concrete guy Rick and Doc and I. There are at least a dozen action items to complete before he can begin working. We were told we need a metal sheeting guy to prepare the patio and front door areas and then a decking guy to prepare the deck area. HVAC needs to flash the air vents and Danny needs to do some blocking and sheathing. Much to resolve before stucco can begin.

Four doors were installed today, two need to be removed. The detached garage door and the laundry room door are OK. The Master Bedroom door to the patio needs metal flashing under it. The front door (the important one) was hung today. I was thrilled - until I realized it pivots the wrong way! It was 3:00 p.m. but we quickly made a call to the manufacturer. If we get the door into the shop Monday, they can re-hang it in 1-2 days.

We had a 3:30 meeting at the cabinet shop. Reviewed cabinet designs until after 5 p.m..


We were driving home when I asked Doc if it was OK to write a Penny Tale with zero pennies today? He did not like that idea. So we stopped at a 99¢ store. Two pennies before we entered the store, one penny as soon as I walked in, two pennies and one nickel on the floor when paying for our items. (Coins #3-8).

Came home and realized that several plants in our back yard were nearly dead. Turns out the water line was broken in several places. Not a job we wanted to tackle after a long day, but the next two days are expected to be equally as full. Ahh … the joys of owning a home.

Total: 8 Coins P (5), N (1), D (0), Q (2) = $0.60

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day #972 - Doors

Let’s see if we can finish today’s Penny Tale very quickly tonight. Challenge: get it written and out the door within one hour. I have other things I want to work on.


Today’s coin finds:

Doc stopped for coffee. I wandered in front of the nearby stores and found two pennies. (Coins #1&2). I returned to the coffee shop ready to leave. I found Doc sitting and eating a sugar-coated pastry. I was not pleased. He told me to go for a walk and look for coins. I did and found two dirt coins in a planter. (Coins &3&4) I assumed they were both pennies until I I got back to the van and rinsed them off. One penny, one dime. As Doc and I walked to the van, he pointed out a dime. As I bent to retrieve it, I also collected a penny. (Coins #5&6).

There was one penny found when we went to lunch with the ProBuild reps (Coin #7)

Total: 7 Coins P (5), N (0), D (2), Q (0) = $0.25

Again, the number 25 comes up



Penny Palace Update:

Doc and I arrived on site as a truck load of exterior doors and pocket door frames arrived. There was no time to do anything except call some guys over to get the doors offloaded. We were expecting the framing crew to have all 5 guys there today. Something came up at their other project and thus only Ruben was there to offload the doors. Doc and I tried to help lift things, but we were not much help.

The young electrical guys took pity on us old timers and helped offload the doors. They basically told Doc and I to move out of their way. I teased Doc about his age - he received his first Social Security check yesterday.

While truck #1 was in the driveway, truckload #2 of doors arrived! And while we were offloading those doors, the window and door reps from ProBuild arrived.

We did a walk through with the ProBuild reps for the interior doors to get those ordered. We also called the Anderson window rep because Doc and I, plus the ProBuild reps could not get the bug screens out of the windows - they are too tight! By 1 p.m. we were famished and went for a lunch break.

After lunch it was time to look at the doors which had arrived. Look at the “rescue” leaded glass sidelights. They match the glass in the entry door perfectly! I didn’t realize that when I got them. “Coincidence”? Or Angel intervention. See special story on those.

Danny and Ruben framed the first pocket door so that the electrical crew could run their wiring.

Electrical crew continued more wiring. Carlos showed me the doorbell wire. Great - except that he placed it at the laundry room door to the dog yard. We really do expect most of our guests to come through the people door versus the doggie door. We all had a good laugh saying the doggies could just push the button if they wanted to come in or wanted service. Well in that case, the door bell button would need to be lowered! So I lowered it to dog level! When you visit, you can have a good laugh at that “OOPS”.

There is so much more, but I need to work on other things. Tomorrow will be a very busy and early day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day #971 - Radiant

Doc went to Cal Poly Pomona and worked there for the day, while I went to the jobsite

My first stop was to pick up those two leaded glass sidelights from the glass shop. They will look nice next to the entry door. They radiate when the sun catches the beveled glass.

Then I stopped to get petrol for Pippy. (no coins found). Next was the blueprint shop for copies of the flooring designs I created last night.

At the jobsite Grader Craig was backfilling the trench which he had dug two weeks ago. More work by the framing crew on the front trellis.

At lunchtime Danny offered to buy lunch if I would drive. He was hungry, but did not want to drive his truck and trailer rig to the nearby shopping center for food. We had a nice lunch together. As we returned to Pippy, I spotted a penny behind her. (Coin #1).

After lunch I “laid tile” to mock up one of the area rugs I designed last night.

This afternoon I spent 1.5 hours at a flooring shop trying to make further selections. Then I went to Home Depot for more rolls of radiant barrier. Found a radiant penny in the parking lot. (Coin #2). Inside the store I was cutting some samples of baseboard molding. An older man who was passing by, stopped and made cuts for me. ARK. I gave him a Penny Card. He did not speak English, but had a radiant smile.


Doc called in and provided his coin report in case I was going to start writing Penny Tales while he was still at school. He and Sparky collected a nickel and a penny inside Starbucks this morning. (Coins #3&4).

At 8:50 p.m. I was looking for my baseboard samples. They were not in my shopping bag! I called Home Depot and we hurried back there to hopefully find my pieces. We had to cut two new pieces, but we did find two additional pennies. One of them was slightly behind a barrier. (Coins #5&6).

The next stop was Target for some supplies and one Penny. (Coin #7).

Total: 7 Coins P (6), N (1), D (0), Q (0) = $0.11

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day #970 - Trellis Timbers

On the way to the jobsite Doc stopped at McDonalds. He got coffee; I got two pennies. Then Doc found a penny next to the van. (Coins #1-3). When we arrived at the jobsite, neighbor Craig was taking in his trash cans and spotted “a penny in the ants”! He called Doc over to see it. Doc found one penny in the Family Room of the new house. Again I think the workers are having fun with us and I will deem that a ‘planted penny’.

This morning Inspector Mike came by for a preliminary inspection. He really liked what he saw. He gave us a few things which we can work on while the stucco guy is wrapping the house. Once those items are done, we can request the official Combination Inspection. Mike said we needed additional radiant barrier in the attic gables, to switch out the 3” electrical pancakes for 4” ones, some foaming in the areas where sill plates have been bored through, and a few other details. He said for the real inspection we will need a weenie in the water line. He said the HVAC team did a good job and did not “choke the chicken”.

The framing crew raised the trellis timbers. Those look great. The electrical crew pulled more wires.

On the way home Doc and I stopped at a Tile store. I was hoping to find flooring tile similar to the one I have selected, but at a cheaper price. Instead, the ones I found were much more expensive than what I already had found.

This evening Doc went to school from 5-10 p.m. He stopped at Starbucks for a coffee, nickel and dime. (Coins #4-5).

I spent the evening creating various layouts for the floor tiles. I think I finally devised pleasing layouts in the two entryways.

Total: 5 Coins P (3), N (1), D (1), Q (0) = $0.18

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day #969 - More Good Stories

This morning there were a number of tasks to undertake, so Doc and I headed out separately. He went to the bank to deposit that construction check. I headed to get copies of the floorplan drawings and some supplies to put ID tags on the window screens so we can remove them before they get plastered. When entering the store I said, “Penny Angels can you have a coin here so that I have that task taken care of today?” There were no coins inside the store and I was disappointed. But as I walked out, there was a penny. (Coin #1)


As I was driving down the freeway to the job site, I was talking to Pippy (my copper-colored pick up truck). I thanked her for providing reliable and fuel-efficient transportation and apologized for letting her get so dirty. I told her I just didn’t have time to get her washed. A few minutes later I was parked in front of the construction site and a neighbor kid walked up and asked if he could make a few bucks for washing the vehicles parked out there! I asked, “How much?” He said whatever I wanted it to be! Is that manifesting or what? So Pippy got washed while I was working on site. Wow! What are the chances of a guy just going around a residential area asking to wash cars?


More guests today - Frank, a colleague from school who also teaches Engineering, and his wife Donna. They live in the area.

The framing crew was working on the front trellis. It is amazing how they can lift those heavy timbers. (See video). The posts turned out to be too tall, so the crew took the heavy timbers down, shortened them, and put them up a second time.

I found one penny on the floor of my office. I won’t count that one because I think the guys are having fun with me. (Planted penny).

When leaving the construction site I stopped to buy flowers for Rhonda (the owner of the stained glass shop). There was a penny next to the foot of another customer. I offered her a Penny Card to explain why I was going to grab by her ankles! We had a good laugh. (Coin #2).


At lunchtime Doc went out for a Hawaiian BBQ meal. He found a penny at that restaurant. (Coin #3)

Then when he stopped at the grocery store on his way home, he collected a dime. (Coin #4)


This is a really good story:

Last Friday after I discovered those leaded glass sidelights, I came home to look up ‘caming’ on Wikipedia and learn a little more about Leaded Glass. In the sidebar I saw the link to

Stained Glass and More. I just could not resist peeking. One particular glass piece just Wowed me! It really goes with the “Hart and Sol” motif of the house. But I can’t really justify $165 on a doodad.

Doc happened to mention that the price of gold has been quite high lately. Which got us to thinking …remember that gold bracelet Doc found on Day #420? I don’t really wear jewelry. A window would be so much better than a bracelet. A window would be seen every day!

This afternoon at 4:45 I again challenged the Angels (or asked for their guidance). I said, “If this bracelet is meant to be converted to that window, then the melt price will need to cover the cost.”

I KNEW that the local jeweler was closed on Mondays, so I went to a pawn shop. The guy offered $138, but said he could be pushed to $150. The window is $165 so that would not work. I walked out.

I drove past the jeweler a little after 5 p.m.. They were OPEN on a Monday! I don’t know why. I told Stephanie I was considering exchanging the bracelet for a window. She weighed the gold and said, “Will $270 pay for your window?” Yes!!!! Plus one of the leaded glass windows from last Friday! AWESOME.

I rushed home to order the Crystal Hearts pane. At 5:30 p.m. instead of ordering on line, I telephoned to place a live order. The time in Minnesota would be 7:30 p.m. What are the chances someone would still be there? Suzie picked up the phone! No, they normally don’t work this late. The Angels must be intervening once again! The window will ship out tomorrow.

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