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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day #1,198 - Neighborly

Today there was plenty of activity in both our front yard and the neighbor’s. In our yard three landscaping guys worked non-stop to position more plants, adjust the sprinklers and move the huge piles of topsoil and mulch out of the street.

The new neighbors to the South desire a tropical looking landscape. Thus today there was a whole crew working in their yard as well. They brought in huge palm trees. I commented on them and was told that the big trees are coming next weekend! So we can look out our front windows to see either a prairie looking front yard or a tropical oasis.

The day was overcast and drizzly most of the day. Doc was reading the solar meter which said 1200 Watts. A moment later there was an opening in the clouds and it read 2340 Watts! He was excited.

Doc dragged me out to work with him along the South side of the house. I dread hauling the wheelbarrow loads of dirt and placing the rocks. But fair is fair. He spent many hours assisting me with the tile stream. Payback time.

At one point the neighbors came over to the wall where Doc and I were working to chat and drink coffee. I finally asked them to leave Doc alone because he wasn’t getting his work done!

Iron Jimmy came out to take final measurements for the driveway gate and dog yard. He also measured for the South gate now that Doc has graded that area to the proper elevation.

This afternoon one of my former students visited the Penny Palace. He stood in the Grand Room in awe. He said he had never been in a house like this. I remembered that he once shared how he had lived for a while with his mom and siblings in their car.

Neighbor Craig came across the street with a wheelbarrow and tools. I wondered about his intentions. He just casually marched right past me and began fixing the huge cracks in the South wall! His comment “I was doing work in my back yard and have some leftover mortar”.

I was a little concerned that people in this new neighborhood would be “uppity” and too busy to even wave at each other. I have been proven wrong time and again on that.


Penny Finding? While Doc was getting our breakfast sandwiches this morning I walked around the parking lot. I did a SingSong and immediately found a gorgeous, shiny penny.

Total: 1 Penny

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day #1,197 - No Lawn

“Unique” -- a word I keep hearing about the Penny Palace and it’s various components. Several people have noted (with dismay) that we have No Lawn in the front yard. True - who needs grass when you have Rocks! There are 373 homes in the development and I have seen only one other property without a front lawn. Why be like all the other ones? Unique is more interesting!

This morning I finally obtained the second wagon wheel bench. It took four guys to lift it onto Pippy, and three other guys to carry it into position. It looks great along the walkway leading to the front door.

Doc spent the whole day working on the grading of the South side of the house. Daryl brought his hedge trimmer and cut back the jasmine out of Doc’s way. We also retrieved all the leftover fireplace stone veneer pieces (which were headed for the dump) and transported them to use as slope stabilization.


The landscaper liked how the wagon wheel looked in the front yard and asked if I could get another one. I made a call to ensure the business would still be open, then drove out there. Wheel #3 obtained.

I stopped to buy a greeting card. There was a dime on the floor at check out. (Coin #1). Thanks Angels, but remember this is PENNY Tales. Within a minute I found a penny - but it was Canadian. “Angels does that one count?” (Coin #2) Within a few more seconds I had a U.S. penny also. (Coin #3)

I went to the nursery for a few additional plants. As I parked the truck, a nearby family noted the wagon wheel and wanted to know how they could obtain one too.


Back at the Penny Palace Doc had taken a lunch break to collect food, a penny, a dime, and a quarter. (Coins #4-6). He had also obtained a penny when getting fuel for the van (petrol) and for himself (coffee). (Coin #7)

Late afternoon Amir (a CPP colleague), his wife, and dog came to visit at the Penny Palace. Doc played tour guide for an hour.

I returned to the Penny Palace around 6:00 p.m. to offload the wheel and help Doc. After a while our neighbors to the South walked over to say hello and meet Doc. So we put down our tools and had a lovely two hours walking around the yards with them, then touring inside the Penny Palace. Their two dogs Cece and Valentine were also included.

The Penny Palace guests today were comprised of six humans and three canines. I think all of them enjoyed their visit.

Total: 7 Coins P (3), N (0), D (2), Q (1) + 1 Canadian Penny = $0.48 + Foreign

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day #1,196 - Plants Arrive

Today was ‘planting day’ at the Penny Palace. I was expecting some plants - but not a semi-truck load of them! Throughout the day I just kept going out to the yard and saying “wow, Wow, WOW!” So much color. So many varieties of plants. Grasses and lilies and ground cover and shrubs and trees and …. Butterflies! It was difficult for me to get any work done inside the house because I was pulled to the beauty of the yard. I felt like I was at a Nature Reserve!

This morning the guys from the glass shop arrived with the pieces and parts for their four projects:

a) shelves for the Master bathroom nooks

b) shelves for the dining room upper cabinets

c) the countertop end guard

d) the main kitchen shelves

It was fun to “check” those projects off the list as completed!

Neighbor Ed dropped in. He was a big help the day after Christmas when we erected the main structure of the spiral staircase. He had not been in the house since then and was amazed at the changes. Quite a bit of progress in the past three months.

I did some cleaning, moving things, a little painting, but mostly just oooing and ahhing over all the plants outside!


I was going to quit writing here and realized this is supposed to be PENNY Tales, not Dream House update.

I locked up the Penny Palace around 4:15 and headed for Rental Property #2. Stopped for petrol. There was a penny at the cash register where I was standing in line to pay. Surely one of the eight persons in front of me would pick up the penny. Each of the persons either stood over the coin or stepped right on it. Finally it was my turn to approach the register, but I paused briefly to rescue the trampled coin. (Coin #1)

I proceeded to the Rental House where I did a review of the Contractor’s work to see if he was finished. Then I met with the realtor and Shuntay, the new tenant. The final documents were signed and she was given the keys. As I was leaving we hugged and then she began moving in. Hopefully she will enjoy her time living there.

Total: 1 Penny

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day #1,195 - We Got Mail!

I planned to be at the Penny Palace by 7 a.m. today to see the final concrete pour. However, there was a beautiful little blue bird in the roadway and I was worried it might get hit, so I parked and helped it get out of the road.

The concrete guys completed the driveway approaches - including the texturing for the horse trail. They also poured a small concrete pad for the mailbox post I have designed.

The landscaping team continued to dig new trenches in the back yard. I have given up trying to figure out what they are doing. In the front yard they moved many loads of topsoil and laid sprinkler lines.

At 10:30 I made a quick trip over to Rental #2. I met with the Housing Authority Inspector who signed off on each of the items he had previously listed for attention. We are OKd to have the tenant move in. I will meet with her tomorrow.

A brief stop was made at the Post Office to mail some items and collect a penny. (Coin #1)

Doc was eager to ensure the water drained properly along the South side of the house. Thus, he spent a few hours moving rock and hauling topsoil.

At 1:30 the postal carrier arrived and presented our first delivery - even though we do not yet have an official mailbox. One bill and one letter from the County Tax Assessor.

At 2:30 Doc was very tired and asked me to help him work in the South yard. I had planned to leave at 2 to run errands, plus I did not want to push a wheelbarrow. Concrete Miguel was packing up for the day. Perfect timing! I offered to pay him if HE would haul dirt with Doc. He did and he probably hauled 4-5 times more dirt than I could have in that time.

Doc locked up the Penny Palace around 6 p.m. He stopped at 7-11 for a coffee and HIS Penny for the day.

Total: 2 Pennies

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day #1,194 - Inspectors

It is nearly 9 p.m. and Doc is not home from work yet. When he gets here, he’ll want dinner and a debrief, so if I type this update for you, he can just read it!

Up at 5 a.m. to get an early start for the day. At the lumber yard by 7:30 when they opened in order to get the wood for the mailbox post and the post cap - no luck on that piece.

At the jobsite there were 5 guys working on the landscaping and backyard waterfall issues. It was exciting to see the 5 fruit trees being planted. The special gift jacaranda tree was put in place today. That one has sentimental value in various ways.

We had requested two City inspections today. The first one was for the building final. The second was for approval of formwork for the driveway approach. We can not pour concrete there until we have the OK. Inspector Mike came out for the Building Inspection. He said we must complete the concrete and landscaping before he can do anything.

Inspection #2 was scheduled as a morning inspection. No one had yet arrived by 11:30, so I called. I was told someone would call me back shortly. By 3:00 I was getting concerned. The concrete crew and a truckload of concrete were scheduled for tomorrow at 7 a.m. If the forms were not ‘blessed’, then I needed to cancel the pour. After 10-12 calls, I was finally connected to Inspector Robert who was off work at 4 p.m. and agreed to stop by the jobsite on his way home. Thank You angels. Of course the forms were approved and we are set to pour.

Considerable time was spent trying to figure out a plan of action along the South wall. How to keep the slope away from the house, away from the neighbor’s wall, at the proper height for envelope requirements, draining to the street, easy to navigate, etc. All within the 5 ft. width.

I managed a few tasks today inside the house: some painting on the bathroom mural, filling and activating the Aussie corner waterfall and stream, cleaning, and more cleaning!

Contractor Hank (at Rental #2) called to say he had completed all of the Action Items required by the Housing Authority Inspector. So I called Inspector Steve and set an appointment for a re-check tomorrow.

At 4:15 I locked up the house and headed for the cabinet shop. Phantom Plumber left a note to get one of the kitchen drawers cut down because it interferes with the cooktop gas regulator.

Then I went to the Fixture Shop to return one of the water filters. Phantom Plumber actually ran a plastic water line under the floor and across the room to save us the expense and hassle of having a second filtering unit. There was a dime on the floor when I entered the store - good omen. (Coin #1).

As I was driving home I was talking to the Angels.

Tina: “Yes, I know I should get a penny for Penny Tales, but I’m too tired. I don’t feel like it. I am just 2 miles from home and I don’t want to detour”.

Nudging: find a penny.

Tina, “Bug Off”.

Nudging: pull into that car wash.

Tina, “I don’t want to”

Nudging: Do it Anyway

I pulled into the car wash and parked Pippy. I walked around the vacuum pumps. The place was super clean. This was the cleanest car wash I had ever seen. No trash, debris or even leaves. Everything looked newly hosed down.

Tina, “So Penny Angels, why did I bother stopping?”

Just then I spotted the penny …. And a nickel within inches of it! … and then a dime a few inches away!

“OK Angels, you win, but why no quarter? That would have been REALLY good”.

I drove toward home and was at the final intersection. There was a quarter just outside my window, but the signal was green and there were many cars around me. Foregone coin.

Total: 5 Coins P (1), N (1), D (2), + one foregone Q = $0.26 in hand

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day #1,193 - Spring Term

This morning when I looked at Pippy’s mileage log, it said that I had not driven her for the past 13 days! I was surprised. That’s another way of saying Doc and I have been together almost constantly for the past two weeks. The new school term has begun, so today we went our separate ways - me to the jobsite, and Doc to school to teach, work with new faculty, attend meetings, etc.

This morning no one else was working at the Penny Palace, so I used that quiet time to put the first coat of glossy finish on the tile stream. I also caulked around the stovetop. At 9:30 I headed out to Rental Property #2. I had to go to the post office in that city to get a postal box key. By 10 a.m. I was at the Rental House. The Housing Authority Inspector arrived a few minutes later. He looked over the place and was impressed at how nice it is. There were a few details he wanted to see (cover placed on the toilet hose, new screen on the patio door, a self-closing door to the garage, touch up paint on the fascia, etc.) Nothing major and the new tenant should be able to move in this weekend. Yippee!

When I returned to the Penny Palace, Concrete Rick was there chalking out the placement for the scoring lines. We spent the next hour refining the layout. Then the concrete cutting guy arrived and did his cuts.

By 2:30 the Penny Palace was again quiet and I was able to apply the second coat of gloss to the tile stream. Then it was time to attack those previous chalk lines on the driveway and try to remove them. The wire wheel reduced the severity of the lines, but did not eliminate them.

Project Manager Daryl arrived at 3:40 to check on things. Compared to his other projects, this one is a pleasure.

I locked up the Penny Palace at 4 p.m. and headed for the blueprint shop. I was planning to get the newly-arrived Australia map laminated, but the shop owner feared his machine might wrinkle the map. Thus he did not want to attempt the job.

Next I went to Home Depot for concrete stain, more gloves, another wire wheel, one penny and one quarter. (Coins #1 & 2).

I arrived home just after 6 p.m. Doc called and wanted me to rendezvous with him for dinner and grocery shopping. I did. We collected two dimes and a quarter at the grocery store. (Coins # 3-5).

Doc had collected a penny and a dime at Starbucks on his way to school this morning. (Coins #6&7)

Total: 7 Coins P (2), N (0), D (3), Q (2) = $0.82

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day #1,192 - Dog Tired

This morning I slept in until 8 a.m., but was out in the garden working by 8:15. Doc had been awake for quite a while, but he is a little slower to get moving. By around 9:00 I was done in the yard and he was coming outside to see what we were going to work on today.

We arrived at the Penny Palace at 10:30 a.m. after stopping for a coffee, three pennies and a quarter at a 7-11 store. (Coins #1-4). We needed to transport the clivia plants as well as the spotted leopard and other plans I had dug up this morning. What a difference just a little bit of greenery made. It was a beautiful day so Doc worked on removal of the concrete chalk lines while I put sealer on the tile stream grout. Notice in the photo how Doc and Sparky have similar “work like a dog” postures.

The clouds moved in and as we left the Penny Palace it was beginning to drizzle. By afternoon we were experiencing heavy rains at home. We had promised to take the doggies for nail trimming. We had planned to do it each weekend for the past three weeks, but kept putting it off. Neither Doc, the dogs, nor I wanted to go out in the rain, but we did. Norman especially does not like getting wet, so he “did his duty” inside the pet store! Doc found two pennies in the planters outside while he was waiting for me to bring each dog out to him. (Coins #5&6).

On Sunday evenings Doc and I typically do our weekly grocery shopping. This evening we were both too tired and chose to take a nap instead. We were “working like dogs”.

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

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day #1,191 - Clivia Delivered

Doc and I had determined that we wanted some Clivia plants along the driveway at the Penny Palace (Sentimental attachments from a previous visit by Shirlee from Australia). So earlier this week Doc and I looked at the local nursery as well as Home Depot. We found a few plants, but did not like the size, quality or price.

Last year when I used to go for neighborhood walks, I noticed there was one yard down the street which had quite a number of mature Clivia with gorgeous blooms. So I walked down there to ask the people if they might want to ‘thin out’ their garden. They were not home at the time so I left a note on their door. Brenda called back saying, “Sure! How many do you want?” She then said she would have their gardener dig up the plants and her son would deliver them to us! So tonight Doc and I arrived home to find a dozen plants, nicely potted and ready for transport to the Penny Palace. Talk about manifesting. Can’t ask for better than that.


The day was spent at my Father’s House celebrating his 75th Birthday and Easter (a little early). The children hunted for plastic filled eggs and had a great time.

On the way home we made a quick stop at a 7-11 store - Doc for coffee and my mom and I for some bottled waters. After much searching I finally found one coin at the gas pumps. Upon returning to the van, I opened the passenger door for my mom and almost stepped on a penny. Perhaps that one was intended for her? Doc came out of the store with his coffee and his penny. (Coins #1-3)


Can’t seem to go a day without being at the Penny Palace, thus we made a quick detour there. Phantom Plumber had struck. He had connected the prep sink faucet, the clothes washer, dryer, main sink faucet, garbage disposers, water filter, dishwasher and cooktop. Great progress.

There was evidence that the Landscape crew was also on site today. Dirt and rocks were moved at the front of the house. I did not go in the back yard to see what had been done there.

This evening I spent a little time cleaning and sorting containers in the garage. Getting ready for the move one little step at a time …

Total: 3 Pennies

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day #1,190 - Frazzled

Being at the jobsite at 7 a.m. sure puts a kink in the normal body rhythms.

Doc stopped at McDonalds on the way to the jobsite. I walked around the nearby establishments and found a penny. (Coin #1)

The concrete truck was already pumping when we arrived at 7:02 a.m. Six guys were working the mix. In a short time, the 2.5 truckloads were emptied.

The concrete cutter came this morning to score the section in front of the garage. Several people noted my unique design. I say it has a radial design to look like a sunburst or wagon wheel. Doc says it is my spider web.

The landscaping guys again worked to get the stream operating properly. They discovered more seepage areas today. Tomorrow they plan to chisel out some of the stones and elevate the liner.

We are still trying to figure out how to remove the chalk lines from the first section of driveway. Murriatic acid did not work yesterday. Neither the power washing or the acetone worked today.

Handyman George was on site today. He worked Doc and I non-stop. We took everything out of the lawnshed, installed the shelves along the North wall, added three outlets, cleaned everything and made the Dragon’s Lair even better than it was originally. Then I started moving in some molding and such I guess that is a beginning step of the ‘move in phase’.

We had an afternoon visitor. Hank, the contractor from the rental houses came by with some paperwork. His comment, ”Very Nice. The renderings do not do it justice”.


On the way home from the Penny Palace we stopped at a local ACE hardware store. Last night I found the item I was seeking on a websearch and hoped the store might carry it. I found a penny shortly after I walked in, so that was a good sign. (Coin #2) The store had ONE bottle of the sealer - meant just for the Penny Palace.

We made a quick stop at home during daylight hours so Doc could clean the backyard waterfall filters. Then it was off to the grocery stores. As we were leaving the house, I was looking for my keys. Using my right hand I was searching my purse and pockets. Finally found the keys -- in my left hand with the grocery bags and other gear. Guess I am a little frazzled today.

A few days ago I began packing some long, tubular items in our current Guest Room. I made a note to “keep eyes open for a tall box approximately 14-15” by 36” long”. This evening at grocery store #1 there was a box right in front of me! I asked a clerk about it. She said, “It’s rare that we have long, tall boxes like that. Take it if you want it”. I like that price. Just now out of curiosity I went and measured it: 14” x 35” Just right! Manifesting?

Three pennies found at grocery store #2. (Coins #3-5).


I needed a greeting card for tomorrow’s function, so Doc and I went to Target. Doc took a nap in the car while I spent 45 minutes in the store. Found a cute solar light, some storage containers, plus a few more items including two dimes and three pennies. (Coins #6-10). As I was checking out, the cashier giggled at something I purchased. She said, “I’m sorry. I get excited by even little things.” I said, “Me too - like finding pennies”. She said, “There is one right here next to us!” JOY shared.


Now it is off to prepare the food for tomorrow’s annual family gathering, potluck, birthday party and Easter Egg hunt.

Total: 10 Coins P (8), N (0), D (2), Q (0) = $0.28

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day #1,189 - Shelved

On the way to the Penny Palace Doc stopped for coffee. I collected a penny.

We shopped for shelving at Home Depot. We plan to hang leftover piping, molding, trim, lumber, metal, etc. from the North wall of the lawnshed. As we were checking out, I spotted the rim of a silver coin which looked like it could be a dime, yet it did not ‘feel’ like a dime. When I extracted it from the crack where it was embedded, I found it to be a Denmark 10 piece. (Coin #2).

Things were humming at the job site. A huge load of topsoil was delivered early this morning and was piled along the driveway. Rebar was placed, stuff was moved.

The Landscaping crew spent the day working on the backyard stream - both upper and lower portions. As of this afternoon, it looks like things are working. They did not back fill the holes until we see if things still look OK tomorrow.

Doc went to the Post Office because the postal carrier said we had mail waiting for us there since we do not yet have a mail box. Doc was told there was no mail. Then Doc drove out to Fontana Post Office to get access to the mailbox at Rental #2. A new key will cost $50 and take a few days to obtain.

While Doc was gone I used acid to wash the driveway and try to remove the chalk marks which were incorrectly drawn last month. Unfortunately a sealer was sprayed on the chalk lines and so far I haven’t figured out how to remove it.

I polished the borrowed trash can and finally returned it to neighbor Craig. He should be returning from travel today to find a yellow ribbon ‘round the old trash bin.

I sealed the grout lines on all of the Aussie floor tiles. The thought of sealing ALL the floor tiles is overwhelming, so it’s one section at a time …

We did get another quote for the garage cabinetry. I’d like to ‘shelve that project’, yet I know we must make a decision soon.

Son Steve dropped by just as we were locking up the place at 3:30. He brought coffee for Doc, so Doc was happy. I was not because they spent 30 minutes chitchatting when I was trying to leave. Finally I got both of them working on those lawn shed shelves.

We needed one additional shelf and more track, so we went shopping at a different Home Depot. They did not carry that size shelving. I did find a penny there. (Coin #3). So we returned to the Home Depot from this morning. Got the additional shelf and more track. Got to the van and realized we had a 6 ft. shelf vs. the 8 ft we needed. (We are both really tired today). Back into the store to stand in the exchange line for the return. Frustrating! I was about ready to ‘shelve that project’.

We are coming to the close of Phase Four of the seven phases: Designing, Approvals, Funding, Construction, Cleaning and Preparing, Moving In, Living there.

Total: 3 Coins 2 U.S. Pennies + 1 Denmark 10 ORE

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day #1,188 - Too Early

I found the first coin (a penny) today before sunrise. I heard a rooster crowing in Celebration! That is WAY TOO EARLY to be out and about. I was walking around nearby establishments while Doc was getting breakfast from the drive up window at McDonalds.

We arrived at the Penny Palace at 7 a.m. to find two concrete trucks and a team of six guys scrambling to work the effluent. They worked on the area in front of the garage for most of the morning. Then they turned their focus onto the circular driveway area. That concrete pour is planned for Friday.

The Landscape team continued to work on the water storage tanks in the back yard. They used a jack hammer to remove those three newly discovered boulders. They also worked on the irrigation and drainage lines in the front yard and then moved topsoil.

Doc and I interfaced with the working crews and managed to squeeze in a few minor activities. I sealed the tiles on the kitchen sink. Doc washed the front door. We both worked on the tile stream and finished grouting it! Yippee!


We left the Penny Palace at 3:25 and scrambled to make our 3:30 meeting at Rental #2 for a walk through inspection with the contractor. He has a number of small items to complete yet, but is mostly finished. Except tonight we decided the fiberglass bathtub is not really salvageable as we expected it to be. Thus, beginning tomorrow, Hank will tear it out and replace it with a new tub and tile around it.

Next week we need to focus on the back yard for that house. The tenants plan to move in on April 1st.

As Doc pulled away from that house, I spotted a penny in the street and made him halt for it. (Coin #2)


Our next stop was a nursery to investigate plants for the Penny Palace. The Landscaper is scheduled to put in the plants on Friday, March 30. Doc wants a Camellia plant by the door. I don’t like pink, so I was willing to go with a yellow or orange flowering bush. No such luck.

This evening Doc checked out early. I have been working on designs for the garage cabinets. We need to have those in place so the plumber can hook up the two sinks.

Total: 2 Pennies

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day #1,187 - More Specific

This morning on our way to the Penny Palace, Doc stopped to get a breakfast sandwich. I was doing a SingSong as we pulled into the parking lot, “Hey Penny Angels won’t you come out to play?” I spotted something shiny as Doc was parking the van. I hopped out to fetch a quarter. Great start for the day. (Coin #1)

Doc suggested I walk next door past the drive up window to look for coins. I had never found a coin at that establishment. As the financial disclaimers would state, “Past Performance is no indication of future results”. There was a dime waiting for me. (Coin #2)

We made a brief stop at Lowe’s so I could get a rubber trowel to grout the tile stream today. I was looking around the self-checkout area and did not see any coins. The young attendant asked if she could help me. I said I was looking for today’s penny. I looked down next to me and it was there! So I gave her a smile and a Penny Card in exchange for the coin. (Coin #3)


When we arrived at the Penny Palace, two guys from the concrete team were moving rocks, scraping dirt, and laying the rebar. Tomorrow the concrete will be poured in front of the garage.

There were two Landscaping guys working in the back yard, They removed one 50 gallon storage tank and started digging to insert the 305 gallon tank. They encountered 3 large boulders so, for today, that project was halted. Instead they moved to the front yard to work on the irrigation lines.


What did Doc and I work on today? Late this morning Project Manager Daryl came by. He and Doc drank coffee. Drywall Cesar visited. He had not seen the Penny Palace in several months. He was pleasantly surprised. The three guys went for lunch - taking my needed tools and supplies with them in the back of the van. I was trying to work and very frustrated!

When Doc returned from lunch we had only 2.5 hours remaining to work for the day before our 3 p.m. appointment. I made him do double-time to catch up from all his goofing off this morning. We were able to grout ¾ of the stream before we ran out of grout mix. I was hoping we would have enough powder because I did not want to buy another 25 lb. bag for just 1-2 lbs. No such luck.


We locked up the Penny Palace and were headed to the tile store. Doc found a quarter out at the curb in front of the house. Nice. (Coin #4)

We stopped at an office supply store for the products we had ordered Sunday. As we were leaving Doc lamented, “We STILL need a nickel to get a Hit for the Cycle today.” A few minutes later we were stopped at a red traffic light and Doc exclaimed, “Coin!” He hopped out and dove for it. It was a nickel. He returned saying, “It was a NICKEL and I had my finger on it. But it was embedded!” (Foregone) So next time we ask the Angels for something, we need to be More Specific. We want coins which we can Collect, not just look at.

Total: 4 Coins P (1), N (0), D (1), Q (2) = $0.61

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day #1,186 - V.A.V.

Today Concrete Rick stopped by to check on things. The ground is pretty wet. In some areas where we had laid plastic, the standing water was 4-5” deep. Each time over the past year when Rick has been on site, he has given advice or said something of value to us. Today I realized - he provides Value Added Visits! It made me wonder if I provide Value Added Visits when I interface with other people? Do they walk away thinking they are glad for our time together?


It is the last day of winter and the hills were covered with snow. This morning on the way to the Penny Palace Doc stopped for a coffee and I didn’t find any coins.

When Doc went for lunch, he collected a penny, so he had his coin for the day. (Doc #1).

At the Penny Palace, three guys were working in the front yard and grouting the flagstone on the pathway. The path is now complete.

In the back yard, three landscaping guys were working on the stream. They were digging up one of the three 50 gallon storage barrels and replacing it with a 310 gallon tank. That is intended to increase the stream flow rate. In doing so, they also discovered that the tank had been leaking! Hopefully that will take care of the problems in the lower half of the stream. In the upper half of the stream a leak was discovered in the auto fill pump housing and the float was not at the correct level. In a few days we hope to have the waterfall flowing strongly the way it was intended to flow.

I worked on several minor projects, like laying out the score lines on the driveway, caulking the cooktop backsplash, sealing grout on the counter tiles, installing cabinet knobs, etc.

At 2:30 Doc and I left the Penny Palace. He had a 3 p.m. eye appointment for his annual check up. As we were stopped at a red light and preparing to make a left turn he said, “I think that might have been a penny a few feet back in the median.” The light was a stale red and there were cars behind us, so he didn’t pursue it. Suddenly he exclaimed, “#### there is a quarter out there!” He put the van in park, engaged the emergency brake, unleashed his seat belt, unlocked the doors and dove for the coin. It was quite an impressive maneuver. Penny Finding - a new Olympic Sport! He was back in his seat and fully ready when the traffic signal turned green. (Doc Coin #2).

When we arrived at the eye doctor, Doc noted that I would need to drive home (his pupils were to be dialated), but that I’d better stop somewhere to look for MY coin for today. When we walked into the clinic, Doc got in line to check in. There was a penny on the floor underneath a welcome banner! There was no obvious or ‘logical’ reason for a coin to be in that spot! Thank You Penny Angels.

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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day #1,185 - Prep Work

Today we went to school to do some prep work for the upcoming term. Of course on the drive over there Doc had to stop for a coffee. I collected a penny. (Coin #1)

After a few hours at school, it was time for lunch. My mom said she had taken leftover cabbage and potatoes from a function yesterday and made them into soup. So we stopped at her house and picked up the pot with yummy smelling contents. We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day a little late.

This afternoon Iron Jimmy FAXed his design for the North Fencing along the driveway at the Penny Palace. I made a few revisions and sent them back to him. He will begin assembly of the gate and fencing this week.

I also worked on the driveway scoring designs in anticipation of the concrete pour planned for Tuesday.

I made a call to Australia and ordered a new Souvenir Map for the Aussie bathroom. That way the current map can stay with this bathroom. John, the bloke helping me, invited Doc and I for a cup of coffee and a visit to his shoppe. Anxious to take him up on that offer after the Penny Palace is completed.

This evening Doc and I conducted our standard 3-store grocery shopping tour. Found a dime at the first store, a dime at the second store, one dime and four pennies at the third store. (Coins #2-7).

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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day #1,184 - Sleeping In

The Penny Palace weathered today’s rains nicely. I did sink a few inches into the mud as I walked through the front yard, but that just resulted in shoes which now need cleaning.

This morning Doc and I slept in. No alarm clocks. It was wonderful.

At noon we had our appointment with the tax preparer. He is really nice, so we look forward to the time with him. We just don’t look forward to the tax consequences. I was expecting our meeting to take at least two hours due to the complications of the property sales and purchases last year. Our meeting was completed in only 1.5 hours. I walked out with only two Action Items: 1) to get the receptionist my recipe for broccoli salad, and 2) to verify our checking account number for the tax refunds to be electronically deposited!

Doc chose to have lunch at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I did not spot any coins as we paid and were seated. On my second trip to the buffet area I just KNEW there would be a penny on the floor by the cash register. It was there. It was standing vertically against the toe kick and calling to me. (Coin #1)

Doc and I next went to the Penny Palace. All looked OK after the rain and winds.

This afternoon and evening I have been filing away papers and organizing things. It felt good to put away the documents from the sale of the Claremont lot. (from November of last year). I also sorted and put away the Christmas cards from 2011 and 2010!

Doc was working on preparations for his lectures and the upcoming school term. I traded him services. I made some edits for him in exchange for his working on the kitchen trashcan for the Penny Palace. It needs shortening by an inch or so to work with the cabinet doors. Just tell an engineer he can’t do something …

Total: 1 Penny

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day #1,183 - Storm Pending

There were so many things going on today. The season’s biggest storm is expected to hit this weekend, so there was a ‘cents’ of urgency at the site.

On the way to the Penny Palace Doc stopped at McDonalds for breakfast. I walked next door to two other closed fast food places and collected two dimes and a nickel. (Coins #1-3).

It was misting slightly when we arrived at the construction site and we wondered if it would soon turn to rain. Fortunately the weather cooperated all day and much was accomplished.

The concrete crew was grading the driveway area, trenching for pipes and placing the formwork.

The landscape team dry-fit the three areas of flagstone on the front pathway. They moved dirt, put plastic sheeting on the front slope, and stapled down jute netting in the back yard.

Handyman George worked me hard all day. We began with moving leftover stones to the dungeon. Then we tossed unneeded (wrong assumption) stone veneer into the dumpster. After that we cleaned and laid floor protection, fixed a few odds and ends and cleaned in the front garage. Next we sanded and stained the underside of the oak spiral staircase treads. Good to make progress on those. By the time George left, I could barely stand.

Concrete Rick arrived in the afternoon. He has asked me to create the driveway scoring design by Monday or Tuesday. I took some string and lumber to mock up a few ideas. Meanwhile Doc took a nap on the bedroom floor.

I had planned to use a 6x6 wood post to support the mailbox at the curb. Rick said the wood would soon deteriorate. He suggested we use the leftover stone from the house. Thus, I went dumpster diving to retrieve some of the pieces we had tossed this morning.

Doc and I locked up the house around 5:30 p.m. Then we came home and worked on taxes.

Total: 3 Coins P (0), N (1), D (2), Q (0) = $0.25 (my favorite number)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day #1,182 - Trash Day

This morning Doc and I had our semi-annual teeth cleaning appointments at the dentist. Of course as soon as we got out of there, Doc stopped for a coffee. I collected a penny. (Coin #1).

We arrived at the Penny Palace at 11 a.m. The concrete crew was placing formwork for the driveway. The clothes washer and dryer had been delivered. That is the last of the appliances.

Yesterday we received our new trash barrels (black for household trash and green for yard waste). This morning our big 3 CY trash bin disappeared. I called the company to see if they had removed it or if it had been stolen. They took it away! They said someone called Tuesday to cancel service. I told them I had called to order the Additional household barrels. That took an hour or two out of my day to resolve that issue. By the end of the day, we once again had a dumpster!

Neighbor Craig has graciously been letting us use one of his trash barrels for the past year. I figured it was time to return it to him. So today I tried to clean it. It took a chisel, wire brush, scrubbers, a metal pry bar, and crawling inside of it to get it semi-clean. YUCKY!!! I believe when you borrow something, you should return it in original condition or better. (Unless maybe it is a tissue or toilet paper).


On the way home from the Penny Palace Doc stopped for coffee. I searched around the store and the parking lot, but found nothing. As we approached the van Doc said, “How could you NOT find a coin?” I turned to look back, and through a nearby bush I caught a glimmer. Could it be? I walked around the bush and sure enough it was a bright copper penny! (Coin #2)


Rated PG portion of today’s story. This evening I was restocking Doc’s wallet with “protection devices”. We had a good laugh. Other men might carry “protection devices” in their wallets as well. In Doc’s case he carries Bandaides for sessions with me! (Like yesterday’s Bloody Knuckles experience).

Total: 2 Pennies