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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day #1,076 - Making Offers

Yesterday we received counteroffers on both offers we submitted Monday. Last night Doc came home at 10 p.m., ate a bowl of soup, and fell asleep. That is why there was no Penny Tale sent last night - Doc could not manage to make the video.

This morning I was running out the door, but made one last check on emails. Our realtor had sent the counteroffers which said we had until today to respond. Yikes! Doc mumbled his thoughts and I quickly typed an email to the realtor. One was a counteroffer, the other was a “no thanks, too high”. This afternoon the realtor called to ask if we could meet this evening and congratulations on getting both counteroffers accepted! HUH?

This morning we had a meeting with the Landscape architect (Rod), two of his team members, Daryl, Concrete Rick, Doc, and I. We need to make some decisions on what to do with all the rocks! Rod says to keep them all and that we will use them on site. No way! We also discussed stairways and columns and the patio and … Doc and I planned to do backyard landscaping in a few years from now. But it would be very expensive and somewhat foolish to bring in heavy equipment after we have poured a driveway and constructed fences and gates around the yard.

The two tile guys were laying more backerboard, then gluing and screwing it.

Drywall Cesar returned to do a quick fix-it job. It has been two months since he has seen the house. He was amazed at the progress.

Cesar and so many other people “pet” the granite walls in the Grand Room and touch the picket tiles to see if they are really tile! I just laugh in watching their reactions. Such fun!

I painted the ceiling in the Garden Bathroom (layer #2) in an attempt to make it look more like sky.


Tomorrow Doc will give his last lecture for this term. Today was his last lab session. He actually got lucky at the vending machines. In addition to collecting one penny, Doc put in money for one soda and got two out! He was going to take the freebie to class and offer it to some student, but realized it might be difficult to single out just one in a class of 22. Thus, he propositioned a young lady in the elevator who caught his eye. (She was wearing short pants and fish-net stockings). He offered her a free drink. She accepted his offer.


We were down to one can of dog food in the house and that makes Norman very nervous. Thus, I stopped for dog food. Before getting out of the truck I said out loud: “Penny Angels, if you want a story today, you must present a coin here in this shopping center because I am tired and going straight home after this stop”. I hopped out of the truck and there was a shiny penny in front of me! Of course I said Thanks.

As I was paying for the dog food, the cashier asked if I had found everything I needed. I replied “Yes” and then started laughing. He asked why? I said, “well I would have also liked to find a penny in here”. While saying that, I walked to the end of the counter and looked below the cashier. There was a penny near where he was standing! We both laughed and I offered him a Penny Card in exchange for the penny at his feet.


This evening Doc came through the front door fuming about a misunderstanding which had occurred. He pretty much demanded that I go get dinner with him. We ate a quick countermeal and then stopped at the bank for cash. I went inside while Doc did a one-knee retrieval under a bench to claim a dime and a penny.

Total: 5 Coins P (4), N (0), D (1), Q (0) = $0.14

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day #1,075 - Found

The Penny Angels usually find coins, but it’s fun when they help find other things as well.

On Saturday when everyone was here for the party, my little 4-yr-old niece lost her bracelet; a special one given to her by her Grandma. For the past few days I have been looking all over the house and Penny Palace for it. I was running late to the jobsite this morning, but just had to look in the street because the streetsweeper would come this morning. Doc came out of the house and wondered why I was dillydallying instead of leaving. I explained. He had Dundee on the leash and instead of heading to the truck as I expected, he walked a few steps across the grass in the opposite direction and proclaimed, “Is this what you are seeking?” Bracelet Found! Thank You Angels!


At the jobsite, the concrete guys were laying drainage lines. They also moved the Porta Potty out of the way of the expected incoming rubbish bin.

The garage door rep came out to take final measurements.

The tile backerboard and ThinSet were delivered this morning. I had the opportunity to speak with the truck driver (and give him a Penny Card). So many people are hurting in various aspects of their lives. Shared a few minutes of Penny Joy with him.

Fidencio laid half the backerboards today.

I left the jobsite at 3 p.m. to order the flooring tile. Then I stopped at Lowe’s for some supplies and a penny.


When I arrived home, there was a call to say the offers we presented yesterday on the two properties each have counteroffers. Decision time.


Doc arrived home around 10 p.m. He mentioned finding two pennies at school at the vending machines. So far I haven’t spoken much to him in order to allow him Recovery Time.

Total: 3 Pennies

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day #1,074 - Gutters

Began the morning by submitting offers on two of the houses we visited yesterday. We will see what happens on those.


I arrived at the Penny Palace shortly before 9 a.m. The concrete crew was hard at work in grading the driveway area and leveling out other areas. The gutter crew assembled and installed the aluminum rain gutters. Those look quite nice. The crew will return in a few weeks to install the downspouts after concrete work is completed.

At 9 a.m. I met with Tile George. He is anxious to get started, so we quickly drove to Home Depot to buy 25 bags of Thin Set and 57 sheets of Hardibacker. Delivery expected at 9:16 tomorrow morning.

At 3 p.m. I met with the vinyl installer to take final measurements for the kitchen flooring. We are planning to install that next week.

Around 3:30 Maribel (whom I met on Day #1049) dropped in to say thanks and provide an update on her house foreclosure status.

The boxes of solar panels were in the garage on Saturday when everyone was there for the Birthday Tour. The panels were gone this morning, so either those were stolen, or they were installed on Sunday (yesterday).

Numerous phone calls, emails and other things. No time to chat tonight.


I was driving home and remembered Penny Finding. Stopped at a 7-11 store for a banana, 3 pennies, 2 nickels, and a dime.

Doc acquired one penny at McDonalds early in the day, then a second penny at the grocery store on his way home.

Total: 8 Coins P (5), N (2), D (1), Q (0) = $0.25 favorite number again

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day #1,073 - Recovery Mode

The house and I were both in recovery mode today. Yesterday the house was bulging with people. As a result, today there were dishes to wash, furniture to bring back into living areas, area rugs to put down, rocks to get out of the pond, damaged plants needing an apology, linens to wash, etc., etc.

The Claremont lot closed escrow last week, so now we are faced with the 45 day time frame in which to find replacement properties. Thus, today we spent 6 hours with our realtor, Adrie, and visited 8 potential houses. Doc and I must make decisions tonight and see if we want to submit any offers to the banks tomorrow morning.

While we were house hunting, we were also keeping our eyes open for coins. Keep in mind that these properties are Bank Owned, deserted houses. People are not currently living in them. Throughout the day we collected: six pennies and two dimes at House #2, one penny at House #3, three pennies and two dimes at House #5, one dime at House #6, three pennies at our McDonalds stop, and a dime and a penny at House #7.

House #2 is one we are seriously considering. We found 8 coins there. Is that a good omen?

Total: 20 Coins P (14), N (1), D (5), Q (0) = $0.69

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day #1,072 - Annual Gathering

Thursday was Thanksgiving and yesterday was my 50th Birthday, so today we combined those two in our Annual Shelton Gathering. This year I think we reached our maximum seating capacity. Sofas were taken away and replaced by tables and chairs. If people keep acquiring spouses and babies, then we need a bigger house!

This morning I realized I had better find a coin early in the day. So when Doc went for coffee, I tagged along. Got that job done within a few minutes. Walked around the nearby fast food diners. There were no coins found at KFC or at the drive up window at Arby’s. So I did a Sing Song and immediately found a shiny dime in a parking space, then a second dime, then a penny. And they were all glistening beautifully in the sun. (Coins #1-3). Next door at Taco Bell there was the tiniest edge of a coin peeping out of a concrete crack. Tool retrieval for that dime. (Coin #4). Meanwhile Doc had hopped out of the van and walked the self-wash car spa where he collected 2 pennies. (Coins #5&6)

At 1 p.m. the guests began arriving. It was my dream to have my 50th Birthday Celebration at the Penny Palace, so we did that. I hired a bus to take us all out to the Penny Palace. We also drove past the Claremont lot (which closed escrow this week) and waved goodbye to it.

At the construction site it wasn’t quite the Thanksgiving feast I had envisioned, but we enjoyed a tour and a Sparkling Cider toast together. Then it was back to our current house for Lasagna and FOOD of every sort.

Total: 6 Coins P (3), N (0), D (3), Q (0) = $0.33

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day #1,071 - Black Friday

Our mailbox and recent newspapers have been stuffed with advertisements for today’s sales. The TV and radio stations have been broadcasting stories of people camped for days in order to be among the first shoppers in some stores. Doc said we could go on a shopping spree today for my 50th Birthday if I wanted. I told him I would prefer to just sleep in and not set an alarm clock this morning.

There were many things I wanted to accomplish today. I began at 7:30 a.m. with cleaning dog poop in the yard. Doc took Sparky and headed for Starbucks. They cruised the high school parking lot where they obtained a Sit-n-Find penny. (Coin #1)

When Doc returned, we cleaned the garage for two hours, then washed off the patio furniture.

Next it was off to the Penny Palace to prepare things there. We stopped at the grocery store for some paper towels, fruit, sodas, one dime, and six pennies. (Coins #2-8). Doc was hungry so we visited Jack in the Box where Doc got his food along with three pennies. (Coins #9-11)

At the construction site we chalked some lines, cleaned, planted twirlies, moved gear, finally removed the protective coverings from the fireplace, and tried to ensure a pleasant pathway for tomorrow’s tour.

On the way home from the jobsite we stopped at the deli to place the order for tomorrow’s Lasagna. Found a nickel and a penny at the door of the deli. (Coins #12-13) My brothers are protesting that I am serving pasta vs. turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner. They said I am only allowed to do that because it is my 50th Birthday and for those few hours I get to call the shots! I want people to be at the Penny Palace for a family photo versus in the kitchen playing with a dead bird.

Total: 13 Coins P (11), N (1), D (1), Q (0) = $0.26

Not Penny Related, but cute: For birthdays or other occasions (Valentine’s, Anniversaries, etc.) when Doc and I are grocery shopping, he will take me over to the Greeting Card area, select 4-5 cards with appropriate sentiments, have me read them, and then put them back on the rack. Thus he is reducing paper waste and being financially conservative (some might even say ‘cheap’). This morning I was shocked to find a birthday card on the kitchen counter! Doc said 50 Years is somewhat special, so he splurged. Then I found a second card at my computer. Then a third card in the fruit basket. WOW! Plus there was a card from the three dogs as well!

Doc did say that he was still being frugal since he was able to get his 3 cards at the 99¢ store for less than the dogs paid for their one card.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day #1,070 - Giving Thanks

I must have been very tired yesterday. I fell asleep in Dundee’s pen when I went to tuck him in for the night.

Doc said that we should start the day by taking our other two dogs out for a drive. Due to his leg injury, I have been taking Dundee with me every day to the jobsite, thus the other two dogs have been proclaiming “discrimination!” So, we grabbed some leashes and headed to Starbucks. Doc got his coffee, I wandered the closed In-N-Out Burger diner. Found one penny as soon as I stepped out of the van, one under the pay window, and a nickel at the eating tables. Doc had a sit-n-find penny as he was driving in the parking lot. (Coins #1-4)

We spent the day cleaning, grading student papers (Doc) and getting the house ready for guests.

From 2-8 p.m. we were enjoying Thanksgiving at the home of our newly-married friends. Their first family feast as husband and wife. They prepared two deep-fried turkeys plus a whole table full of accompaniments. We left their house feeling totally stuffed.

On the way home I asked Doc to pull into the McDonalds near home. He thought I was joking. I wasn’t. I just thought it would be fun to say “we went to McDonalds for Thanksgiving”. True Statement! I collected a quarter and a penny. Doc pulled out his flashlight and searched in the rocks of the planter bed to find 3 pennies. (Coins #5-9).

Every Day is a day for Giving Thanks. This day is no different than any other - except we sure seem to put a lot more focus on food.

Total: 9 Coins P (7), N (1), D (0), Q (1) = $0.37

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day #1,069 - Clean Ups

When the alarm went off this morning, I couldn’t move. I hit the button for another 30 minutes. Of course, that meant the first hour of the day was rushed in trying to get everything done before heading out to the jobsite.

It was a day of mostly cleaning, prepping and finishing off some loose odds-and-ends details.

Quick Summary: Dumpster removed, Porta Potty cleaned, 3 truckloads of fill dirt brought in and disbursed, driveway ramp refreshed, street debris cleaned, leftover drywall removed, some leftover building materials hauled off, patio area filled and compacted, boulders moved, garage ladder legs cut, solar wires run, solar tracks installed, garage swept out, driveway trash cleared, arbor knee braces added, features chalked, and numerous other things.

Dundee does not like his leg injury, but he sure enjoys going to the jobsite with me each day.

At 4 p.m. I finally left the jobsite in order to have some blueprints copied. Stopped at a 7-11 for a snack (and a coin). One dime.

Doc was at school today. He found one penny.

This evening brother Mikey spent 1.5 hours helping us move our furniture. I am trying to seat 36 people for dinner. Not sure how to make it all work, but it will.

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day #1,068

Today was not at all the quiet, gentle day I was expecting with just two flooring guys working. Things were rockin’!

I arrived to hear big equipment moving. The grading team was moving boulders! They were also laying cement blocks for the patio, bringing in fill dirt and chalking out walkways. Four guys were working at full speed.

The solar team also was on site today. Four guys worked until 5 p.m. to get 14 solar panels on the detached garage.

The flooring Team finished the oak planking in the Grand Room. Nice!

Visitors: My brother Greg (who now lives in Tehachapi 150 miles away) was in the area. I offered to buy breakfast if he would meet me at the jobsite. When I stopped at the Mexican food café at 7 a.m. I ordered two burritos at the walk-up counter and a coin from the Penny Angels. I told the Angels I would be too busy today and too tired tonight to search for coins, so if I was to find one today, it had better be there at the café. I walked the parking lot while waiting for the food to be prepared. One penny found! Thanks Angels.

Another Visitor was Jenny - daughter of our project Manager, Daryl. She said she was bored at home with nothing to do. Bored? How could that be? She can have 50 of the hundreds of items on my To-Do List.

I was sort of hoping all these crews would take Thursday and Friday off so I could catch up and get some things done. When I am working with them all day, I get none of my work done! I was told they may be working on Friday.

This evening I finally ordered SOME of the kitchen appliances. I have been researching them for several months. My brother (who is also building a house) said that he went to an appliance store last week and ordered ALL of his appliances - in two hours! Geez, it has taken me 2 hours merely to submit the on-line order (after months of investigation).

Total: 1 Penny

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day #1,067 - Out with the Old

Out with the Old. No, I’m not getting rid of Doc -- we have a 50 year contract. Our Claremont lot closed escrow today. Thus we have officially severed the ties with those dreams, citrus trees and City requirements.


The mountains were glorious as I drove up to the Penny Palace this morning. The painters said they had another job today, so I was surprised when they arrived. They painted the Australian room, the Master Bath and Doc’s office.

Installation of the wood flooring began today. The first half of the day was spent setting up and figuring out where the wood ends and the tiles begin. The second half of the day, approximately 1/3 the Grand Room floor was installed. In case you can’t see in the video, the floor is ¾” x 5” oak plank with square pegs. It was being discontinued a few years ago, so I bought it with intentions of putting it in the Claremont dream house. We have enough material to do the Grand Room, but are just a little shy of also doing the upstairs library. Thus, I have been trying to find complimentary woods for a border up there.

Doc came to the jobsite this morning. He wanted to finish gluing the trim around those attic ladders. When he went for a lunch run, he collected a nickel at the diner and a penny from the middle of the busy street on which he was driving.

On the way home I stopped at the Dollar Store for poster-size foam core on which to do some practice painting. One penny there. (Thank Goodness).

Total: 3 Coins P (2), N (1), D (0), Q (0) = $0.07

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day #1,066 - Trimmed

There were a few errands to run this morning. Doc enjoys going out for breakfast, so I generally need to do that if I want his cooperation with any of my desires. As we were driving to the office supply store, Doc said, “Where do you think we will find today’s coin(s)?” My reply: “Who knows? In a few moments we will be passing an auto parts store and Pippy needs new spark plug wires, so can we make a quick stop there?” Doc pulled into the parking lot. I stepped out of the van, walked a few feet and found my penny. Then I spotted another, and another. (Coins #1-3).

We next visited an office supply store for some printer cartridges and supplies. Doc found a penny as soon as he got out of the van. (Coin #4).

Today the weather was cold, dark and rainy which made the jobsite not a desirable place to be. Doc and I would both rather have been taking a cozy Sunday afternoon nap versus being wet and muddy at the Penny Palace. We had a goal to get trim around the two garage ladders. It took us a few hours, but we got the pieces in place.

By 5 p.m. it was really dark and Doc was overworked and famished. We stopped at a 7-11 store to fuel the van, feed Doc, and collect a dime and a penny. (Coins #5&6)

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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day #1,065 - Lit Up

When Doc and I were dating (30 years ago), one of our favorite songs was “You Light Up My Life”. That song came to mind today.

After running a few errands, Doc and I arrived at the jobsite around 10:30 a.m. He enjoyed seeing the progress which had been made this week: Master shower tile, Master bath floor, stone sealing, solar work, painting, sub-panels wired. etc.

Although he was not keen on my choice of paint for the Grand Room, he cooperated and helped paint the sage paint while I did the copper paint. Around 4 p.m. it started getting pretty dark. Fortunately Doc had brought two work lights from home, so he plugged those in. They tripped the circuit, so we could only use one which he offered to let me use. I laughed saying that he still Lights Up my world.

I usually leave the jobsite when it gets dark since we have no lighting there. Tonight as we were packing gear to leave, I looked up at the house to see our work light shining through the windows. It was just so warm and inviting. When Doc came out I grabbed his hand and for a moment we just enjoyed seeing the Penny Palace Lit Up!

It took us 5 hours to paint two little walls! Remind me never again to use a granite finish paint and technique. We were both tired and sore.


Doc said he needed a cup of coffee from the Bad Ass Coffee Company. While he got coffee, I searched for coins. None around that area or even the CVS store. So I continued to the grocery store where I found one penny. (Coin #1) Doc said he would head back to the van so that I could keep walking and looking for more coins. I found four at the gas station. (Coins #2-5). Meanwhile Doc found two pennies when walking back to the van. (Coins #6&7)


We were both pretty filthy and needed to use a restroom before going to dinner. So we stopped at a grocery store. Doc found one penny before going inside. (Coin #8). I found a dime and two pennies around the check out area. (Coins #9-11) Then we both spotted the nickel on the way out the door. (Coin #12).

We stopped for a quick counter meal at the little Irish café we discovered last week. The food was so good that we went back there this evening to try several more new foods. Fun date.

Total: 12 Coins P (10), N (1), D (1), Q (0) = $0.25 (favorite number)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day #1,064 - Mini Mountain

There are so many things to share with you each day. Not sure which to write about and which to leave out. There are smiles, COINcidences, frustrations, decisions, progress and mountains to create!

Another day beginning on site at 7:30. Since I was expecting a busy day, I did a detour on the drive over and walked for 5 minutes through the row of fast-food diners. Just wanted to get today’s Penny Find taken care of. One penny (Coin #1).

When I arrived at 7:30, Tile Bob and Tony had already grouted the Master bathroom floor. I quickly offloaded my gear, set up shop and was working before 8. I painted the missing patch of sage green in the Grand Room.

By 8:30 Curmudgeon Bob was ready to work with me. Earlier in the week he had offered to (actually the word “offered” sounds too nice - he had declared that he would) work with me and help me create the mini-mountain as his housewarming gift to us! (There is a soft spot underneath the crustiness). So this morning for 3 hours, Bob slathered the stones, while I positioned them and Tony added the nails to hold them in place. We placed five stones at a time. When each batch was on the wall, the guys would head out for a cigarette while I fine-tuned the mortar and joints.

The painters arrived at 8:15. Lots of progress today. Master Bathroom painted, Aussie bathroom painted, more wood posts and trim painted.

The solar guys installed the two inverter boxes.

The roofers finished the detached garage roof.

After work at 3 p.m. I went to the paint store for more samples. I think that makes every day this week. Last week it was tile stores, this week paint stores.


Yesterday Dundee dog injured his rear leg. Vet appointment this afternoon. Diagnosis - a torn ligament. Anti-inflamatory medicine and bed rest for 3 weeks. How the heck do you keep a dog in bed for a day, let alone 3 weeks?


Last week I took Pippy for her Smog Check and she had a Hydrocarbon reading of 96 ppm (the limit was 95). This evening I took her for a re-test; 94 ppm. She passed!

Back to the Lesson: ONE can make a difference.


Doc spent his morning at school working in the lab. He was cleaning out some of the solar car gear. He found one penny outside the lab next to the door.


Pippy was running on fumes, so I took her for fuel. After pumping about 5 gallons, I began talking to the Angels, “Yes, I realize I probably should go into the convenience store and look for additional coins. One for today is pretty minimal. But to tell you the truth, Angels, I don’t give a rip about Penny Finding right now. I want to go home. I am not interested in walking over to the store just for a bloomin’ coin!” As the meter registered 8 gallons, my neck and shoulders were getting sore from holding the gas pump handle. I tried to adjust by rotating my neck - and I spotted a beautiful, shiny, heads-up penny on the raised concrete about 3 ft. behind me! It was as if the Angels were handing me a coin on a silver platter!

Total: 3 Pennies

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day #1,063 - Not Average

Being at the jobsite at 7:30 a.m. is tough!

Yesterday, new neighbor Bobby from down the street came over to see what the inside of the Penny Palace was like. Today her husband Ed, came over to see what she was so excited about!

It was sure a very full day with 5 crews on site.

  • The tile crew placed the last of the bathroom floor tiles.
  • The painters focused on the Grand Room; the fireplace wall is painted with a Sandstone finish; the North and South walls are painted with a Granite texture. The painters were mumbling somewhat that these ‘specialty paints' were taking far more work than a regular paint. Sorry. I can’t just have ‘average’ stuff in the Penny Palace.
  • The finish carpenters switched all the door hinges back to the nice ones. They installed the ‘barn doors’ in the guest room, installed the 3 transom windows, and applied a mirror to one door.
  • The stone guys returned today to apply more stone sealer on the house and retaining wall.
  • The solar installation crew put down support tracks for the panels above the Master Bedroom.
  • There was a reply from the hardware company where I placed my order for cabinet knobs. The ones I ordered (which have copper center circles the size of Pennies) are no longer available. Bummer.

On the way home I stopped at the paint store (color samples for the Aussie room) and then at Lowe’s (more Granite paint). No coins in either place, so I walked over to the Del Taco where I found two dirt pennies while waiting for the car at the drive up window to move. Once it did, I claimed two dimes. (Coins #1-4)

It’s a good thing my husband does not expect a meal on the kitchen counter when he arrives home. Tonight I have my cordless Makita driver charging there. Not very tasty.


Doc had a pretty busy day as well with lectures, meetings, grading, furniture moving, etc. But he still managed to have a lunch date with our friend Lita. Evidently they both left at the same time agreeing to meet at the restaurant in San Dimas. (There are two which they enjoy). Somehow signals were crossed and they went two different places! Not a good start to their date.

Doc arrived home after 9:30 p.m. with his coin finds. At school he put $1.25 in one coffee vending machine, but no cup was dispensed, thus he watched helplessly as his money went down the drain. So he bought his coffee from a second machine. During his break between classes, he went for another cup of coffee. Machine #2 was flashing for coins only (which he did not have). Thus he went to Machine #1 - this time with his previous cup in hand.

Doc claimed one bright shiny penny from the coin return - which is strange, since the machine does not accept pennies. He found a second penny near the machines, then a dime and a penny later on the ground near the vending machines.

Total: 7 Coins P (4), N (0), D (3), Q (0) = $0.34

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day #1,062 - Colors

The colors of the Penny Palace are simply gorgeous. (Of course my opinion is just slightly biased). Although today I did get a second (unsolicited) opinion on that.

This morning I arrived at the jobsite at 8 a.m. Tile Bob had the shower almost all grouted. No wonder he is so grumpy. I would be too if I started working at 7 a.m. each day. The colors on the shower look great!

Since Tile Bob had his shop vac out, I seized the opportunity to use it and clean the Grand Room. I was concentrating on conquering the dust when a woman’s voice called out a cheery hello. Bobby is a neighbor who wanted to see the colors inside the house. She said she really likes the colors on the outside of the house, “You have the best looking colors in all of Deer Creek!” (There are 373 lots so that is quite a compliment).

Speaking of pleasant colors … Yesterday I got that granite-looking paint for the Grand Room. It is supposed to be used within 2-3 days of being mixed, so I could not get it prior to yesterday for testing purposes. Also, there are no ‘sample’ sizes, a whole gallon must be purchased. This morning I tested it. Yucky! Two different colors, a whole gallon of each, and both are yucky. The test samples I painted look nothing like the beautiful colors on the swatches I selected. Very disappointed. This afternoon on the way home from the jobsite I stopped at Lowe’s to see if we could ‘doctor’ the formula. Will do a new test tomorrow.

At 9 a.m. Miguel and Serafin arrived to spray sealer on the stone veneer outside. That really changes the colors of the stone. By noon they were finished with that task and thus had an early day. I asked if they might help move and transport the wood flooring from the storage unit to the Penny Palace. They said after lunch.

Around noon the Flooring Installer Jerry called with a reminder: Be sure to get your wood floor into the room for a few days so it can adapt to the climate. Perfect timing! The two guys had the afternoon off to help with that. Doc had planned for he and I to move all those boxes over the weekend, but I could not even lift one box and poor Pippy would have had to make several trips to carry such heavy loads.

On the way home from the jobsite I stopped at a convenience store. One VERY battered penny found. (Coin #1) I laughed at the Angels saying, “this is how my body feels right now”. (See photo)

When Doc arrived home at 7 p.m. we were both exhausted. We went for a quick counter meal at a Mexican food place. I found two pennies - one was a 1920 Wheat! (See Photo). Doc also found a penny right next to the van. (Coins #2-4).

Then it was a quick stop at the grocery store for bread, lunch meat, and two pennies. (Coins #5&6)

This evening I am working on progress for the solar system and the door locks.

Total: 6 Pennies

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day #1,061 - Pulled

A few stops before getting to the jobsite: the bank to deposit monthly construction funds, the tile store for the bathroom flooring tile, the paint store to select the stain for the Aussie doors, a 7-11 store for a banana (really for the two pennies).

At the jobsite the painters were painting the kitchen and dining rooms.

Tile crew was grouting part of the shower and beginning to lay the bathroom flooring.

Tile Tony and I assembled some shelving in the Dungeon underneath the house and he carried the leftover tiles down there. I couldn’t even lift the heavy boxes, so I was very appreciative of his help. I am sore just from lifting the concrete blocks.

At 3 p.m. I left the jobsite to head for Lowe’s to get the specialty paints mixed. Anxious to paint the fireplace wall. Next it was down the freeway to look at wood flooring for the upstairs library.

This evening I have been trying to finalize the orders for the cabinet pulls. They have gone up in price since I first began researching them last year. Rats. So far I think I have 144 of them ordered. That should be most of them. Each room has a different theme and thus needs different Pulls - that drives Doc nuts!

Also tonight some interfacing with the solar installers, stone veneer sealer, roofer, cabinet installer and more.

Each day there are so many things to do, decide, design. I feel pulled in a dozen directions. I want to do it all - and do it NOW! It is definitely exciting!

Doc was at school until 10 p.m. again. When I arrived home, there was a “love note” on the dining table: “One penny compliments of Sparky and Doc from the floor at Starbucks”.

Total: 3 Pennies

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day #1,060 - Blooming

Last night when grocery shopping, I saw orange-colored Asiatic Lilies. Probably my most favorite flowers. I couldn’t resist allowing Doc to buy me a bouquet. They opened overnight and this is what I saw this morning.

A nice, productive day at the Penny Palace. Tile Bob installed the mosaic in the Master Bath. His comment, “It laid out perfectly. The cream tile inset was full tiles, the golden border tiles worked out perfectly, the dark frame color only needed a blade’s width cut. We got Real Lucky.” Right. One more COINcidence? :-)

The painters were painting the Grand Room. As the incoming daylight changed angles throughout the day, that room looked at least 12 different colors. I have given up in trying to “match” a certain paint color.

Electrical David arrived unexpectedly. He wired one of the subpanels.

I cleaned dozens of door hinges to get them ready for re-install.

On the way home I pulled into a gas station to search for today’s coin. I was doing a SingSong while walking the gas pumping area. Found one penny after a few minutes.

Total: 1 Penny

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day #1,059 - Maintenance Mode

Here is an email from Merril, one of the Australian Penny Finders:

I found a $2 coin in an ant hill opposite the church so I ran back inside and put it in the plate as a donation. That’s $2.20 I’ve found this year! – excluding the American coins.

So when is the last time YOU found a $2 coin in an anthill? LOL

This morning Doc wanted to go out for breakfast. (He entices me to go out with him by saying we will do a planning session). Doc found three pennies as we walked into the restaurant and I found one in the parking lot. (Coins #1-4).

Our next stop was Home Depot. Three pennies and a nickel there. (Coins #5-8).

This afternoon we changed out an old light fixture, cleaned the garage, tightened up a droopy yard gate, sorted 2” of Doc’s mail pile (4-5 months of stuff), did the laundry, etc.

This evening we added a fourth stop to our typical weekly shopping tour. Two pennies at WalMart, two pennies at grocery store #1, two dimes at grocery store #3. (Coins #9-14)

Total: 14 Coins P (11), N (1), D (2), Q (0) = $0.36

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day #1,058 - Coffee

It takes me 1-2 hours to issue each Penny Tale. Some days I am just too pooped, busy, or uninspired to do it. But then I wake up the next day to find messages like this:

“Where are the Penny Tales for tonight?

I can't sleep without my bedtime story!”

Doc was supposed to work with me on cleaning out the garage. (We will be serving Thanksgiving dinner there in two weeks). But last night he got a call from son, Brian to meet for coffee this morning. I definitely lost that battle. I did go with Doc since I had 5 errands to run in that direction as well. As we were stopped at a red traffic signal before getting on the freeway, Doc spied 2 pennies in the median. We were off to a good start. (Coins #1&2)

After the coffee (Coffee #1), chit chat, and other errands we stopped for petrol. I collected two dimes (Coins #3&4). Doc bought a coffee. (Coffee #2)

Last weekend we went shopping for rental properties and had put an offer on one duplex contingent upon an interior inspection. This afternoon we met with an inspector on site. The unit needs a new roof, foundation work, concrete work, plumbing, major electrical work, and a list of many more things. We will walk away from this one. We did find one beat up penny there. (Coin #5)

After such draining work, Doc needed to get a coffee (Coffee #3). Our contractor friend, Daryl, was with us and so the two needed to ‘discuss business’ over a coffee. Yeah, right. We made a visit to a Starbucks where Doc collected a dirt nickel (Coin #6).

This evening Doc was complaining about the empty fridge, so he made an emergency foraging run. He came home with three bags of groceries, one penny and no coffee! Amazing. (Coin #7)

Looks like we need to go property shopping again.

Total: 7 Coins P (4), N (1), D (2), Q (0) = $0.29

This morning my dog, Norman was verbalizing. He has definitely learned the art of manifesting. In his case it is also known as begging or “telling his people what he wants”. (See video)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day #1,057 - Serving

Today, Veterans Day, we pause to recognize those who have served in the military. Each of us can pause on a daily basis to recognize others who also serve us and their communities. Postal workers, the custodian at work, a crossing guard, an elementary teacher - all of them serve as well. They might just appreciate a thanks or recognition of their services (or even 1,000 pennies!)


It’s been 5 days since Doc last visited the Penny Palace so he noticed some progress. Tile Bob grouted the Master Tub this morning. It looks GREAT! Bob mumbled to me and conceded, “It looks better than I thought it would. I didn’t think I was going to like it. Actually it looks damn nice!” That was a very high compliment from the old curmudgeon.

Doc was on site for not even an hour when he had to leave for coffee. He returned with coffees for the tile guys and a penny for me. (Coin #1)

This afternoon on our way home Doc and I had several errands to run. One was to finalize the order for the bathroom floor tile. Then it was ‘Friday night’, so what should we do? We headed to Lowe’s to research metal edging and light controls. We each found a penny there as well. (Coins #2&3).

We stopped for a quick Mexican counter meal. (No dirty dishes that way). We were dining inside, but when there was a break in traffic at the window, I ran outside and collected a dime. (Coin #4).

This evening I am sending out invitations for Thanksgiving Dinner, paying invoices, etc. How quickly the first third of this month has passed.

I have been gluing Penny Cards for an hour and waiting for an answer. The Penny Tale was written except for a title. I kept asking the Angels what to write in the email and for a title. I wanted to go to bed at 11 p.m.!

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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day #1,056 - So Be It

Today was a pleasant day. The painters made significant progress on painting the walls, and the tile crew placed all the tile around the Master Tub.

The painters began painting the walls in my office and worked their way toward the front of the house, then South. When I first saw the paint color, I did not like it - way too yellow. They painted a second and a third room. There was no turning back now. I let it dry for a few hours and then looked at it from the kitchen. If I didn’t know better, I would say that my office, the entry, the family room were all painted in different colors! It is amazing how the lighting can make walls look so very different - even in the same room. I finally gave up and said, “So be it”.

Yesterday I could tell Tile Bob was not too thrilled about my triple-cell, two-row alternating, mosaic horizontal tile wall insert. Today he stood back and said, “This turned out much better than I expected. I like it!”


That Solar Guy who lives 70 miles from here, was kind enough to pick up our order of door locks from the store 2 miles away from his house. That saved me 3 hours of driving time. ARK (Act of Random Kindness).


I locked up the Penny Palace around 3 p.m. and headed to a tile store. There was a phone call as I was about to get on the freeway, so I pulled into a shopping center to check the message. While parked I noticed there were zero cars in the Jack-in-the-box line. Very unusual break in traffic. So I scrambled over there. One penny, then another, then a nickel in a crack and then a quarter! (Coins #1-4).

As I walked away I said out loud, “OK Penny Angels, so just get me the dime before I get back to my truck if you want a good story for the readers tonight.” Then I “backed out” and said, “if I get ONE, great. If I don’t find one, I just won’t say anything and the readers will never know any difference. So whatever you decide.” Within moments there was a dime! (Coin #5) I had to laugh. “OK Angels. So Be It. I guess you wanted a Hit for the Cycle story tonight”.

Then I found an additional two pennies (Coins #6&7) and a Canadian penny (#8). Then two dirt pennies in a planter (Coins #9&10) and then one more dime for good measure! (Coin #11) How’s that for quick Penny Angel response? Not bad for a 5 minute Walk About.

Total: 11 Coins P (6), N (1), D (2), Q (1) = $0.56 + one Canadian Penny

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day #1,055 - Threes

I had six stops to make before getting to the Penny Palace today. No coins at any of those.

The roofers finished work on the main house by 11 a.m. They painted the O’Hagin vents and pipes, finished the mud balls, etc. They will need to get more tile for the detached garage and finish there.

The tile guys brown-coated the rest of the shower and began planning the layout for the tub tiles. Bob said, “See, I have your mosaic tiles all separated and ready to go.” My reply: “I don’t think so. Your way is too ‘average’. See this diagram … Let me lay out the pieces and show you what I am thinking …” Bob prides himself on doing ‘one up’ creations. I am giving him several opportunities. He should be quite happy!

By 2 p.m. the work crews had gone for the day. I locked up the gate and headed to the paint store to get samples and ideas for the “grass” in the garden bathroom. While waiting for the paint to be mixed, I walked the parking lot and collected three pennies. (Coins #1-3)

My next stop was the Paint Bucket store to get gel stain samples for the Aussie Room molding. There were three sales attendants there who each helped me with various products and questions. One even painted my sample pine board with a few colors so that I would not need to purchase cans of each color! ARK (Act of Random Kindness). Another attendant helped me with research on the garage floor coatings. As soon as I emerged from the store, I found a nickel in the street. (Coin #4) It just felt like a Happy Nickel. So I went back into the store, told the three people about the nickel, gave them each a Penny Card, and shared the joy. It was fun. Smiles all around.

Doc was at school today. After class, he found a penny by the vending machines. (Coin #5)

It was mentioned this evening that Thanksgiving is only two weeks away! Yikes. Must get serious tonight about writing and sending out those dinner invitations …

Enjoyed a nice moment right after the workers had gone and all I heard were three hummingbirds and the wind.

Threes: Three pennies in one parking stall, three nice sales attendants, three beautiful hummingbirds, three tiles per section, three friendly dogs to greet me when I arrived home.

Total: 5 Coins P (4), N (1), D (0), Q (0) = $0.09

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day #1,054 - ONE

The same four crews were working at the Penny Palace today. The roofers were laying tile (until they ran out), the painters were painting the second coat on doors and jambs. the tile guys were brown coating the Master bath areas and the stone mason was applying the last of the veneer on the house. A Bobcat was brought on site for earth moving next week.

I did some clean up and errands. Spent an hour scrubbing the 8 hose bibs around the house. Chiseled off the stucco and crud. Swept the street in front of the house. After the recent rains, much debris had collected around our wood curb ramps. It was getting unsightly for the neighbors.

This morning two police cars pulled up in front of the Penny Palace right where I had just cleaned the street. The alarm at the house next to ours had been triggered. Just ONE window had been left slightly ajar.

At Noon I headed out for a few errands. I refilled the water jugs for the workers, then stopped at a flooring store to look for additional wood planks. I was told it is difficult now to find solid wood - everything is veneer. My tile order was ready for pick up at 2 p.m. As we loaded boxes in my truck, ONE was missing. That will need to be re-ordered and delivered later this week.

When I arrived back at the jobsite, only the roofing crew remained. Had I arrived ONE minute later, they too would have been gone and there would have been no one to help in moving all those tile boxes out of my truck.

At 4 p.m. I locked up the Penny Palace and headed to Lowe’s. Tried once again to get the “sandy” paint to match the color swatch I had selected. Tomorrow I will test formula #4 to see how it looks.

As I was heading home, I remembered that Pippy needs a smog check to get registered this year. I passed by the Smog Check station (assuming they were closed) to see what time they open in the morning. Aram was still there working and offered to test Pippy as soon as he was through with another customer. He did notice that the truck had been red, but now was copper colored. He asked about that. Let me tell you about Penny Finding …..

After a 30-minute exam, I got the bad news. Pippy’s HydroCarbon reading was 96 parts per million - ONE part past the 95 ppm allowable limit!

Thought: ONE can make such a Difference!

Penny Finding Today:

One penny at a 7-11 when I was doing those noon errands.

Three pennies when I went to Lowe’s for the paint modifications.

One quarter at Target this evening where I stopped for some fuel injector cleaner (as per the mechanic’s recommendation).

Total: 5 Coins P (4), N (0), D (0), Q (1) = $0.29