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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day #1,289 - Elves?

This morning I woke up to find the dishes washed!  I stood in the kitchen just staring at the drying rack not knowing what to say.  Was I dreaming this?  Doc was waiting for my reaction.  After a very long silence I said, “Hurray!  The Elves Have Finally Moved In!!!”  Doc and I both burst out laughing.

Progress in My Office

Side Note:  Doc and I have an inside joke.  Sometimes when Doc wakes up in the morning and finds the dishes washed, laundry folded, bills paid, chores done, etc. he says, “The Elves must have been here last night.”  When the chores are not done, he will say “What?  Have the elves on been on vacation this week?”


Professional Installers
This morning Doc and I stopped at a lighting store to see about converting some new outdoor 120V light fixtures to 12 V.  The guys at the lighting shop were of great assistance.  Just before exiting the showroom, I found a penny!  That was a very unusual spot to find one.  I ran back to the counter to share the joy with some of the guys there.  (Coin #1).

We stopped for a quick counter meal and Penny #2

At the Pomona house I finally got serious about my room.  It took us a few hours, but we managed to clear the contents from my shelves and then disassemble the units.  We loaded up the van and then reassembled the shelves at the Penny Palace.  It took a while to play with various configurations.  How could I optimize the set up to store the maximum amount of "stuff" and make it an efficient work center?
Doc's New Love

At 5:30 we got THE CALL - Doc’s new Big Screen TV would be arriving within the hour.  It took an hour for the installers to get the unit hanging and explain ‘the basic features’ to Doc.  At the end I asked if there were  controls on the TV itself versus all those buttons on the "remote thingy".  “Yes Ma’am, but really only volume and on/off”.  That’s fine ‘cause those are the only two buttons I will probably ever use.  Either to stifle the beast or turn it off.

Total:    2 Pennies

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day #1,288 - I Don't Care

Do you ever have days when you say: “I Just Don’t Care Anymore. I give up. I quit. I’m tired of fighting. Why keep doing this.”?  Today was one of those days.

Doc and Sparky went for coffee this morning and saw a coyote in the front yard next door.

Sealer on Handrail
I set the sealing of Coat #3 on the handrailing as one of my Primary Objectives for today.  Thankfully that was done early.

Planting Rocks
This morning, the Phone Company Bury Crew arrived to clean and wrap up.  As of 5 p.m. last night we had our Primary Phone line working.  Now the Bury Crew could install the cover box, move the boulders, wash the markings off the street and seed the grass patch.  Their part of the day went well and by 10 a.m. they were driving away.  Yipee!

At 9:50 a.m. Anthony the cable guy arrived.  He started off by saying that he was here to install cable and internet.  I asked about phone.  “No, we hadn’t ordered that.”  Huh? We had ordered all three services back in April.  Since they took so long, we had the phone company take over and install the Primary Line.  With all the other screw ups this cable company has had, I did not dare cancel one of the ordered services for fear that would cancel the whole order and we would need to start from the beginning with them.

Anthony went upstairs to look at the junction box.  Technician Mike a few weeks ago had said what an incredibly nice wiring job we had.  It would make the installation wonderful - an installer’s dream.  Anthony said, “Damn this is complex” and it would be a huge job.  Not a good way to start.  Then he said the company stopped providing routers three days ago and we would need to go out and buy one in order to get both computers working.

Technician Luis arrived at 11:30 to install Phone Line #2.  We told him to treat it like a business line and please activate two jacks.  He made a few connections, but was having trouble testing the new number.  He called Charter Cable and they had not yet activated our line!  So he stood around waiting for over an hour.  When the line was active, he still could not get the jacks working as requested.  Around 3:30 I could tell he was frustrated and the job was more than he could handle.  I was about to ask him to call his supervisor.  Finally around 4 p.m. he said he had one phone jack working.  He was tired, hungry, and someone else would need to continue with any further work.  He was packing and getting ready to leave when we asked him to ensure the Primary Phone line was still working.  It was not.  More troubleshooting.

Doc and I were both working with the techs all day and giving each other “The Look”.  (As in -- I can’t believe this is happening.  Is this for real?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Did he really just say that?)

MY internal circuits were fried from the incidents over the past 5 days.  I had reached a point where I was saying:

I don’t care if we have Internet.
I don’t care if we have phone.
I don’t care if we have TV.
I don’t care if that cute hummingbird just smashed into the window and left feathers there.
I don’t care that we just received Notice #2 from the Homeowner’s Association saying we need to reroof the lawn shed soon or face penalties.
I don’t care that the renter in Arizona reported an urgent water leak two days ago, the puddle is growing and the management company has not yet returned his call.
I don’t care that the dishes haven’t been done in two days.
I don’t care that the bank did not receive this month’s check which I mailed and now is sending nasty notes with the possibility of notifying the credit bureaus.
I don’t care that the boxes all over the house seem to be multiplying faster than rabbits.
I don’t care that I have a bloody nose and it looks ghastly.
I don’t care that people haven’t returned my calls.
I don’t care that two of my dogs are fighting each other almost hourly and drawing blood.
I don’t care that the staircase and other projects around here aren’t finished.
I don’t care that Doc wants to do something for our 30th Anniversary in four days and I am too burned out to plan anything fun or creative.
I don’t care that we are not close to being out of the Pomona house by June 30th as planned.

Just one small glitch in that thinking … I DO CARE and all that Does Bother Me!

It was after 7:30 p.m. when Doc and I headed for the Pomona house.  We stopped to get Doc some eyedrops on the way.  While Doc studied his options, I searched for coins.  Nothing.  So I asked the Penny Angels to please be nice and open my eyes for today’s coin.  Within moments I found a penny behind where I was standing and waiting for Doc.  (Coin #1). 

Doc did not feel that one penny was sufficient, so he drove across the street to the gas station where I collected a second Penny.  (Coin #2)

Next we stopped to buy a router so that we can connect Doc’s computer.  We obtained dinner, a quarter and a penny at Johnny’s drive through burgers.  (Coins #3&4).

We collected the mail and worked at the Pomona House.  I was running on Empty.  I was totally spent and Doc knew it.  I pretty much was a “zombie” this evening.

Total:    4  Coins        P (3), N (0), D (0), Q (1) = $0.28

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day #1,287 - New Phone

It's really easy to report the Progress of Charter Cable Service Today -- Another Day of ZERO!!!  Not a peep from them.  On the other hand there was plenty of activity from the Phone Company crews.

I have been working full time with the utility company crews every day this week and have made almost no progress inside the Penny Palace or at the Pomona house.

8:30  a.m. A water company rep arrived to mark their water lines.  That was probably triggered by the new permit request submitted by the Phone Company.  The lines were marked three weeks ago when the first city permit was requested by the Cable Company.

8:45 a.m.  Phone Company bury crew Gus and Eric returned to continue their work today.  First thing we did was to open the sprinkler control box and double check the repaired water line.  The guys could not get the valve to work.  I had forgotten how to activate the controller, but fortunately neighbor Craig sauntered across the street.  He has been my “Knight in Shining Armor” so many times over the past two years.

Shelving Optimization
9:15 a.m.  Luis from a Utility Undergrounding service arrived.  He had been here previously to mark the lines, but was called out again due to this new Permit Request.  So he basically hung around to kill an hour.  He “pathed a line” but thought it might be the power line versus the telephone line we were seeking.

11:00  The Phone Crew was still digging in hole #2.  30” down and no phone line to be found.  After several days of digging the crew was ready to stop on that hole and begin on Hole #3.  They were tired and discouraged and so was I.  I went out and gave them each a house-shaped refrigerator magnet.  These are little tokens which I had made up to thank persons who have helped us on this project.  The magnets say “Thank you for helping to make our Dream House a Reality.  Doc and Tina Shelton”.  The two guys smiled and appreciated the small recognition of their efforts.  Shared Moment of Joy.

Moments later there was a knock on the garage door.  It was Gus. He had just found the sought-after phone line!!!!  COINcidence?  He said he was about to begin on Hole #3, but “something told him” to look one more time in Hole #1  (about 6 feet down).  I call those “nudgings”.

11:30  It took only a few minutes and they had their bullet through the ground.  They first attempted to blast a channel about 4 ft. down, but hit rock.  The second try was only about 1 foot deep and took just minutes.

We've Got Dirt!
I noted that there would be a sizable remaining hole once the crew began backfilling.  There were numerous large boulders and medium-sized rocks which could not be placed back in the holes.  Thus, while they went to lunch, I went in search of some fill dirt.  Tried three different sources.  Finally asked neighbor Craig.  He knew of a neighbor 6-7 houses away who had a huge pile of mulch in his driveway.  I grabbed my gloves and a shovel for a lunch-time “date” with my Knight. 

By the time the Phone Crew returned, I had dirt for them and we began the backfilling.

This morning Housekeeper Maribel put in a few hours for a bit of much-needed cleaning.  The Ramboard (thick cardboard) on the floor really adds to the dust.  Shortly after she left, I came walking through the entire house in my work boots (after shoveling that truckload of soil).  I left a trail of dirt in my wake.  Rats!

Doc was very sweet and vacuumed up my mess when he awoke from his nap.

3:00 p.m.  The Phone Bury Crew was in their truck and ready to leave.  I shut the garage door and was planning to FINALLY head to the Pomona house to begin my work day.
Finally Phone Service
Within minutes the Phone Company Install Crew arrived.  It was Mario’s last day on the job before retiring.  The Penny Palace was his final performance.  His partner, Dan, began working immediately.  When he called in to test and activate the line there were complications.  They also needed a grounding cable installed.  (Future work for our electrician).  There were glitches, but by 5 p.m. we had a working phone line  (Line #1).

Approximately 6:45 Doc and I headed to the Pomona house to work.  Doc stopped at the 7-11 store before the freeway in order to get a coffee and allow me to find coins.  We found a penny before going inside.  Then just inside the door was a dime and three pennies, then more as Doc was making his purchase.  We had ten coins when we left that store!  Doc said, “I just KNOW there are two more coins in the parking lot.”  I laughed and said, “Should I keep looking or do you want to leave now?”  Within moments I had a penny, then a dime.  Laughingly I said, “OK Angels.  That now makes a Coin Mine (12 coins).  Do you want to play any more and make it a ‘Baker’s Dozen’”? I found another penny and dime!

We made a stop at Lowe’s for some supplies.  One nickel there.

Total:    15  Coins        P (9), N (1), D (5), Q (0) = $0.64

I have been fond of saying:  “Thirty Years:  Same House, Same Spouse, Same Phone Number”. Two out of three of those have just changed and Doc is getting nervous.

Note:  I have a 50 Year Agreement with the Spouse part of that equation and we will celebrate 30 years in a few days from now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day #1,286 - Wild and Wet

It's really easy to report the Progress of Charter Cable Service Today -- ZERO!!!  Doc and I waited all day, but Anthony never returned as promised.  And he never left a way for us to get in contact with him.

Keep Digging

At 8 a.m. a Gas Company rep arrived to mark out their lines.  That was triggered by the phone company permit request, but those gas lines were already marked two weeks ago.

At 8:15 a.m. the Phone Company bury crew returned.  They dug and dug and dug until they had a hole at least 6 ft. deep.  No signs of their cable. 

8:45 a.m. Dick (whom we met on Sign Off Day) came walking by.  That was a nice break from dealing with the utility frustrations.
Full Crew

9:45 a.m. Neighbor Craig walked over to say he had seen the cable and phone lines when we placed our conduit next to the fence line on our side.  Keep digging ...

11:00 a.m. Phone Dave returned with a new guy Dan.  Dan tracked the phone line and Gus and Eric began digging Hole #2.

2:45 p.m.  The crew busted a sprinkler line in the equestrian trail.  Not a welcome detour at this point.  Gus did not have the proper size PVC pipe or couplers to make the needed repairs and I did not have any in my stock either.  An emergency run was made to Home Depot for supplies.

4 p.m.  The Phone Bury crew wrapped up and Doc and I headed out.  We stopped for petrol before getting on the freeway.  I spotted one penny before opening my van door and then a second one while Doc was pumping the fuel.  (2 Coins)

Our next stop was IKEA for a few shelving pieces and a romantic dinner in the store cafeteria.  Beautiful sunset view of the 10 freeway beside us.

We quickly stopped at a hardware store for some metal brackets.  We visited the Pomona house to bring in the mail, download photos and other tasks.  Then we headed home to work on those shelves which proved to be more involved than we expected.  Glitches.

Total:    2 Pennies

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day #1,285 - Frustrations

We were assured, guaranteed 100% yesterday by both Installer Ryan and by Supervisor Penny that the Cable Bury crew would be on site promptly at 8 a.m.  At 9 a.m. I was about to start making calls when two trucks pulled up.  OK. A bit of a late start, but the job was expected to take 2-3 hours so we were still on track for the Hook Up Tech in the afternoon.
Checking the Pull Rope

The Cable Bury Team began shoveling grass and digging their trenches.  At 10 a.m. they began boring under the South driveway.  A job which they expected to be fairly simple.  It would have taken Concrete Rick probably less than 15 minutes to run a second sleeve when he ran our lighting sleeve before pouring the driveway.  If we had only known ...

One of the other cable guys meanwhile ran a temp cable line from the house to where they were expecting to connect.  Doc showed the guy how one conduit was marked ‘phone’ and the other marked ‘TV’.  Of course the guy ran his line in the wrong one, so I asked him to pull it out and try it again the right way.

Conduit Under Driveway
Meanwhile Phone Company Dave showed up unexpectedly.  His visit had been requested since last Friday afternoon.  He said Al’s report from Friday said the conduit could not be found.  He laughed when he saw that it was right next to the fence with a large sign on it saying “Here I am!”  He said there was nothing he could do today.  His Phone Bury Crew would need to come out and he needed to obtain a City Permit first!  That would take two days, so maybe install on Thursday.  Seems we have heard this story before ….

I asked Cable Jose if I should call off the scheduled Cable Connection Service for this afternoon?  He said, “No.  They would be done in another hour”.

After 3 hours, the Cable Bury Crew was only half way under the driveway and their missile (equipment) was stuck.  I looked out to see a guy beating on our new concrete with a sledge hammer!  I ran outside to stop him.  He said his missile was stuck and he would need to break out our driveway - but not to worry, he would patch it!  I told him to stop immediately.  Numerous phone calls to his supervisors, Concrete Rick, Miguel and others.

Inch by Inch
Around 2 p.m. another crew arrived.  That was the Bury Crew for phone!  They had some time before quitting time today, so they decided to speed things up and begin working on our project (instead of Thursday).  Nice on our part, however ….. City Inspector Roy was driving by, so he stopped to check on the progress of the Cable Crew (First Team).  They were Okayed.  Of course there was no permit issued yet for the Phone Crew to trench because Phone Dave hadn’t had time since he was on site merely this morning and the work was planned for Thursday after getting the needed permit.  Needless to say there were several conversations on that issue.

Neighbor Craig came over and suggested the Cable Crew perhaps use the PVC sleeve which the landscaper had run under the driveway for our future lighting.  The cable company is supposed to run in the Equestrian trail, but that was not going to work out.  Doc and Craig dug and dug.  They uncovered the North Sleeving, but not the South one.  Several people tried for a good hour to locate that sleeve.   No luck.

Of course by then Cable Technician Anthony had arrived and was ready to begin his part of the connection process.  He hung around for an hour before realizing things were not going to be ready today.  He promised to return just as soon as the Cable Bury Crew had finished.

The Rescued Missile
Meanwhile the Cable Bury Guys were still trying everything they could think of to get their Missile unstuck.  I could not bear to watch any longer, so I went in the house to blow off some steam for a few minutes.  I said (out loud):  “Hi Angels.  Which ones of you are the strongest or cleverest?  I need you out there in the trench RIGHT NOW because those mortals have been working for hours and there has been zero progress.  We need some strong Angelic assistance and we need it quickly before damage is done”.  After a few minutes I went back outside to find the guys pulling out their missile.  COINcidence?

The Phone Bury Crew wrapped things up around 3 p.m. and said they would continue working tomorrow at 8 a.m. We’ll see.  I don’t believe anyone any more.

The boring missile was back in hand, but that had not solved the problem of getting the conduit under the concrete.  Thus, the Cable Bury Team attempted to bore in a new spot.  After a few hours, there was very little progress in the new spot.  I had called our concrete guys and they assured me there was a PVC sleeve out there.  So I grabbed a shovel and asked the Angels to help me find it.  After a while, Cable Jose grabbed another shovel and worked with me.  I gave up; he kept digging.  And he found the South Sleeve!  It was about 5 ft. from where we expected it to be.


At 4 p.m. the Cable Bury Crew began actually running their orange conduit in the trench.  At 5 p.m. they ran the cable to the box at the house.  At 5:45 they drove away.  So tomorrow hopefully Anthony will return as promised ...

By 6 p.m. Doc was really hurting in his back and knees.  He was having trouble moving.  This construction stuff was getting to him.  He was laying on his office floor and begging me to try stretching his lower back.  Good thing he is a professor and not a contractor.    LOL.


At 6:45 there was a delivery of some products I had ordered on-line.  I had to open the garage door for the guy since our  front door handle is not working and we currently can not open our front door.  He said our garage was one of the neatest and best organized garages he had seen!  How could he say that with piles of stuff everywhere?  He said "kudos to you (or is it your husband) for that".  Doc organize stuff?  Surely you jest.

By 7:30 Doc and I were at the Chinese Foot Spa and hoping they had openings for a one-hour treatment.  Fortunately they had no other customers and we could get a treatment.

After the treatment, I wandered next door to the grocery store to find a coin.  There were none to be found at the entrance or in the check-out lanes.  One of the end displays was being switched out and there, in the middle of the bare floor, was today's penny!  (Solo coin). Thanks Angels.

At the Pomona house, Doc got two hours of TV time to pacify his withdrawals.  I wrote Penny Tales and checked emails.

Total:    1 Penny

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day #1,284 - Crockpot Testing

Crockpot Testing

I thought today would be THE Day.  We would FINALLY get internet, phone and cable services installed.  We had 100% assurances from Supervisor Penny and it is the 25th of the month.  Even Doc’s blueberry pancakes turned out well this morning.

It had been years since I had made anything using our crockpot.  I had specifically positioned our microwave over a counter so it could be used to vent crockpots, rice cookers and other appliances which might release heat or steam.  Today I tested that plan.  It worked and Doc enjoyed the results.

Neighbors say they have enjoyed our posted banners, so today I put up a new one:  60% Moved In.

Hidden (?) Conduit
We waited and waited and waited for the cable company to arrive.  I kept busy with the handrail sealing and various other tasks, but was growing more and more frustrated on ANOTHER one of my days wasted on interfacing with the cable company.

Finally at 3:45 Cable Installer Ryan arrived.  He asked where the Cable Bury Crew was?  We wondered the same thing.  He made a call.  “The crew was scheduled for this afternoon ‘per customer request!’”  HUH?  No, we were guaranteed first thing this morning.  And besides, if they were scheduled for this afternoon as claimed, then where are they?  His response, “You don’t want to know”. 

I was assured, 100% guaranteed that the Cable Bury Crew would be out at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

By 6:45 p.m. Doc needed coffee and I needed to get away from the house.  We headed over to Pomona.  Doc got his coffee at Starbucks while I got a nickel and a penny.  We worked at Pomona until around 10 p.m.  Then we were both craving ice cream so we stopped at a grocery store.  I collected 3 pennies and a dime there.

Surely tomorrow will be the day?  Eternal Hope

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

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day #1,283 - Memory Lane / Roller Coaster

This morning while I wrote Penny Tales and put some things away, Doc got up the nerve to open one or two of the boxes in his office.  He discovered many files regarding the construction of our dream house.  Boy was that a trip down memory lane over the past decade.  Somewhat like riding a roller coaster at an amusement park; highs, lows, unexpected twists, and sometimes making me almost want to “toss my cookies”.  It’s been quite an exciting ride.
Shelving Dismantled

Doc unearthed files from 10 years ago when we initially began plans to build the dream house on the Claremont Land.  Interest rates were at 8.5% (our current Construction loan is 3.875%), the lot was a full acre (versus the half we now have), the improvements to the City areas kept escalating beyond what we could afford, and at the time I would not have had the option of taking a one-year leave of absence from work to undertake the project.  Although I was very frustrated at that time, I guess we were blessed that things came to a halt.  Instead we now have the Penny Palace!

As Doc was going through his papers he discovered a document I had written 10 years ago.  It outlined our reasons and requirements for building a new house.  Doc’s Requirements are listed on the first page:  One Level, A basement, and a large garage.  My requirements are listed on the subsequent 9 pages!!!  LOL


Late morning we headed for the Pomona house.  We stopped at Target for a few things.  One penny there.  (Coin #1).  Then we ran a few other errands and had a nice lunch at a taco place.  We were having fun.  Like in our dating days.  Just laughing and enjoying being together.

We did a few things at the Pomona house and loaded some stuff in the van.  Then we conducted our typical Sunday night grocery shopping.  4 coins at the first store, 4 coins at the second store, and 4 coins at the third store.  (Coins #2-13).

At 10:30 p.m. we had dinner by candlelight in the dining room.  That was nice.  By 11 p.m. Doc was in his recliner, the clothes washer and dryer were running, there was music playing, and it was such a nice setting as I looked across into the grand room while I was washing dishes.  Peaceful.

Total:    13  Coins        P (11), N (0), D (2), Q (0) = $0.31

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day #1,282 - Miracle?

Miracle!  This latest cable company supervisor actually called us back!  She has “expedited our order” (after 5 weeks?).  She has arranged for the bury crew to lay the lines Monday between 8 and 12 and then for service to be connected Monday between 1 and 5.  Her name -- Penny!

I called Mike - the one cable guy who initially came out and seemed to know what he was doing.  I asked him if he could come out to do the connection (versus the first guy who told us our equipment was not what he needed and we would need to have our electrician modify things).  When Mike came out he told us our equipment was more advanced and professional than the typical phone lines and he was impressed.  It would make his connections so much easier and cleaner.

While I put sealer coat #1 on the staircase handrail, Doc installed the Master Bath towel rings and toilet paper holder.  Yipee!  Some progress.

Handrail Sealer First Coat

Towel Ring Installation

Early afternoon we headed for the Pomona house.  We only had 1.5 hours there since we had a 4 p.m. meeting back at the Penny Palace.  I managed to send some faxes, respond to some emails, place a product order or two, and deal with some necessary Property Management calls and action items.  Going to the Pomona house now is somewhat like going to ‘the job’ each day.

We did make a quick stop at a store to get a needed greeting card.  As I was paying for it, I noticed a dime and quarter across the aisle and peeking out from under the change counting kiosk.  I quickly dove for those and emerged with those two coins, plus 2-3 more!  So I stuck my hand underneath just to see what else might be there (with hopes that I would find coins versus chewing gum or spiders).  Total:  2 pennies, 2 dimes, and 3 quarters!

I shared my find with the cashier who was waiting for me to make payment.  I also gave him a Penny Card.  He shared how his Grandfather would go walking as his health was failing him and how he collected a whole jar of coins.  His family now sees coin finds as a sign from Grandpa.

Celebrating 25 Years of Marriage
By 4 p.m. Doc and I were back at the Penny Palace to work.  Raul had come to do some yard maintenance.  He sucked up the leaves (since there is no grass to mow) and treated the weeds.  Doc and I trimmed and tied up the front Wisteria, put expanding foam where the AC lines penetrate the house, and did a few other outside fix ups.

At 6 p.m. Raul left.  Doc and I showered quickly in order to Celebrate with Project Manager Daryl and his wife Daniela.  They had invited family and friends to share their Joy at a 25th Anniversary picnic in their back yard.  Nice.  Framer Danny and Tile Bob were also present, so it was a great time to thank them for their part in the Penny Palace and let them know about our experiences since move in last month.

Total:    7  Coins        P (2), N (0), D (2), Q (3) = $0.97

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day #1,281 - Phone Company Visit

The phone company guy arrived as expected to complete the installation.  That was a good start.  Unfortunately that was as far as things went.  The rep looked over the situation and said we did not have a line running from our property to the phone company box.  “Our contractor should have gotten a City permit and put conduit in there.”  I told him all the utility lines were placed along the street when the whole tract was initially subdivided.  I noted that the Dig Alert people had clearly marked on the street (where we were standing) the positions of phone, cable, and electrical lines.  I asked him why those marks would be on the street? (Meaning if there were no phone lines under there)  “Because they didn’t want to put the marks on the grass.  Don’t worry, the marks will wash off”.   HUH?    We continued talking.  He said he did not have the equipment to install lines.  He would have to call another department for that.  He expected they would come out later today.

Unpacking Doc's Textbooks
I continued speaking with the rep.  He asked me what kind of problems we were having with their lines?  Was it static?  Calls cutting out?  Uhhhh…. Sure!  Any of the above considering we Have No Lines!!!   “Oh … you mean this is new construction and you have never had any connection with us?”  I gave up and suggested he go on to service his next call.

Since we had not heard from the cable company in over a week, Doc and I next called them.  Same story.  We spoke with a rep (this time in Wisconsin) who reviewed our case and then put me on hold since she would need to talk to her supervisor.  They came back with the same old “you need a City permit, the City Inspector needs to be present, the crew has tried to come out, but they have not been able to make contact with the homeowner…”  All of that is BS!

Doc went out to the yard with a shovel and uncovered the conduit for the phone company and cable company installers.  He called the phone guy and told him our conduit was fully exposed and ready for them.  That should help them out.  The guy then told Doc to keep digging and find their line next!    Grrr…

Finally at 3 p.m. Doc and I had enough shoveling of Sh__.  (Dealing with other people). We headed out to the pet store for dog food.  Doc insisted upon a Starbucks stop so I suggested he visit the one at the Target store so I could look for coins.  He was satiated with his brew while I found a dime and two pennies.

Next we went to the Pomona house for some sorting of "stuff" and of course to check emails and post the Penny Tales.

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

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day #1,280 - Propositioned

Pippy was propositioned again today!  So many guys want to get their hands on her.

Shelf Coverings
This morning we attempted to put some fabric around one of my open shelving units to hide some of the less attractive stuff which is expected to land there.

Doc stayed home today -- in hopes that the cable company would show.  I headed to the Pomona house.  My objective was to take a load of clothing to a nearby women's rehabilitation center.  Garments such as my business suits, blouses, dresses, etc.  Items which I will never wear again - because I will be officially retired in nine days!  (That, plus I have outgrown all of them.)

I stopped briefly at a car spa to rinse Pippy.  I did not want to try putting clean clothing into a filthy car.  One of the attendants wanted to buy Pippy.  She is not for sale.  Although I said if he wanted to offer $20,000 I would think about it.

Of course while waiting for Pippy, I was looking for coins.  There was a parked car and I was proceeding to walk past it when the nudging said, "just wait a moment until the SUV moves away".  Sure enough, there was a penny under it!

Wind Chime
This afternoon Doc and I had our monthly physical therapy session.  Sharon brought us a beautiful wind chime.  It sounds like chapel bells ringing.  She also firmly suggested that I not hang from the railings or try to do 0-60 sprints again.  As I was laying on the table and she was working out the glitches, my mind was wandering and thinking of ideas for the back yard .....
But first we must get moved out of the Pomona house!  One day at a time ....

Total:    1 Penny

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day #1,279 - Contaminated

Doc said he worked Sunday (Father’s Day), so he wanted today off!  How in the world does he consider drinking coffee, going for a Sunday drive, having a meal placed in front of him, going for a second coffee, etc. to be Work???

Doc and Sparky went for a morning coffee where they collected two pennies.  (Coins #1&2).

This morning Doc had a brainstorm. Maybe he could use the old TV and hook his Blueray player up to it.  That would at least give him somewhat of a ‘fix’ for his addiction.  He managed to get it working.  We own two blueray discs (given to us as gifts) - one is Disney’s Dinosaur.  Doc sat there and watched it!  He was willing to watch anything as a treatment for his severe TV withdrawal symptoms.  At the time I was trying to write Penny Tales in my office. I could hear the Da**  TV even with solid core doors and wall insulation between us.  This is not good.  I don’t know how we will resolve this issue.  I am hoping Doc will go to his office and watch TV there vs. contaminating the entire house with the noise pollution!  I shudder at the thought of the new TV which will soon be delivered.  I have apologized to the Angels several times already for the garbage which is about to infect this hitherto positive and peaceful sanctuary.

We waited and waited in hopes that the cable company would arrive.  At 5:15 p.m. we gave up and headed for WalMart.  Found 3 pennies in the parking lot before entering the store.

We stopped to get some tacos and then headed for the Pomona house.  The neighbors have begun a Wednesday night walk and the inaugural session was at 7 p.m. this evening.  My leg is pretty much healed, so I ventured forth.  I figured more people might be encouraged to participate if they saw other people walking.  So even though we don't live here any more, I walked.  As I set forth I said to the Angels, "How about a coin for my efforts tonight?"  Then my brain kicked in and argued, "Sure!  There will just be a coin in the middle of this residential area and you will just happen to find it?  Right."  Minutes later I found a dime in the street..

From 9-10:30 p.m. Doc insisted upon getting a dose of TV.  He watched and dozed; I wrote Penny Tales and checked emails.

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day #1,278 - 58% Moved Out

Marking Gas Line

Doc woke this morning to see a large coyote running up the street in front of our house.  Made us glad we added that “doggie cage” to protect our little guys.

A gas company rep, Jaime, came to our front door.  He asked for access to the meter so that he could mark where their lines are.  The cable company needs to know.  We still have heard nothing from the cable company regarding our service order.

Doc and I spent a few hours working on the shelving in the Aussie closet, shelves in my office, and other small projects.  Then we headed for the Pomona house.  Doc stopped for coffee and petrol.  We found 3 pennies and a dime there.  (Coins #1-4).

Doc couldn’t work with an empty stomach, so we had to stop for lunch before he would work with me.

At the Pomona house the goal was to get everything off the floor of the guest room.  That took quite a while.  After that, we filled up the entire back of the van and transported a load to a new thrift store which was celebrating their Grand Opening.

Now we are probably 58% moved out of the old house.

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

Progress on Internet Service:  Not a peep from Charter Cable.  When we came home tonight we noticed markings for the electrical company and telephone company on the street and in the grass easement area to indicate where their lines run underground.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day #1,277 - 31 Years

When I first got to know Doc in early June of 1981, I asked him when his birthday was.  He said it was the 18th (which was in a few days), so I offered to take him out for pizza that night. He accepted.  Our first date.  As I was making payment for our meal, Doc would not allow me to pay.  I thought he was being old-fashioned.  He said he had not been taken out by a female before!  Then, he confessed that his birthday was not June 18th, but rather July 18th!  Our first date was made under false pretenses!

31 years later and our “date” began with a routine medical appointment for Doc.  After that he was “nervous hungry” so we enjoyed a delicious Mediterranean meal of kabobs and a gyro sandwich at a local café.

We were in need of some cash, so we stopped at the bank teller machine.  We each found a dime and a penny as we walked separate paths to the bank, then a penny together, then a final dirt penny in a planter as we returned to the van.

Total:    6 Coins        P (4), N (0), D (2), Q (0) = $0.24

Progress on Internet Service:  Not a peep from Charter Cable (the company we have hired).  I’m tired of wasting my time in calling them.  It produces no noticeable results.  This morning we did see a rep from the Water Company out at the street marking the water lines.  When questioned he said the cable service company had made the request.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day #1,276 - Move That Chevy!

It was Father’s Day and it was a great one.  The planned schedule for today was to meet son Brian and his fiancée Celeste for coffee, then drive the Chevy from Pomona to Alta Loma, then enjoy a BBQ lunch.  Things went beautifully!

Doc and I were slightly early for our 9 a.m. coffee rendezvous at the Coffee Klatch, so Doc detoured for a McDonalds drive-through sandwich.  I collected a penny while he collected food.
Father's Day Drive

We met for 30 minutes at the coffee shop, then I was anxious to get moving.  Since the Chevy had never ventured more than a few miles from home, I was nervous that there would be numerous ‘glitches’.  The guys inspected the car, Doc washed the windshield, and I did a quick check of emails.  By 10:30 we headed to the Penny Palace.  The Chevy made it the whole way without any glitches.  Even up the steep incline.  Yipee!
Koala Mascot in Back Seat

Brian and Celeste prepared a delectable BBQ lunch for Doc and me.  Brian insisted upon removing the wrapping from the oven - just because.  Then he attempted to show me what pots and pans are supposed to be used for.

At 2 p.m. the guys decided it was time for another coffee, so off we all went to Starbucks.   After that, Doc and I returned to the Pomona house for a few hours of work.  I really didn’t want to go back and work, but Doc insisted.  Then, when we got there, I cleaned while he spent half the time on the phone ordering his new television!  Thursday we had gone shopping and Doc had selected a 60” TV unit which he liked.  However, he wanted to get approvals of his advisors (Wizard and sons) before purchasing.

On the way home from the Pomona house we visited our typical grocery stores.  No coins at the first store, 2 pennies and a quarter at the second store, and one penny near the salads at the back of the third store. (Coins #2-5).

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

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day #1,275 - Prepping

Assembling Shelves

The primary focus this morning was to prepare the rear garage for the arrival of the 38 Chevy.  So we assembled shelving and tried to shuffle some of the stuff so it was out of the way.

Supervisor Sparky
We made a call to the nieces and nephews for their birthdays.  Since they moved away we sure miss those bi-monthly play times we had with them for so many years.  We are looking forward to a few days with them in July.

Charging the Chevy
Around 2 p.m. Doc was getting hungry and we needed to get an additional shelf for the storage rack, so it was time to head out.  We were approaching Lowe’s when Doc noticed a local airport on the North side of the Lowe’s center.  He detoured into the airport grounds to investigate and search for a diner.  Sure enough!  There was Maniac Mike’s Airport diner.  Lunch was a fun and unique experience.

At Lowe’s we returned an item, got supplies and Doc collected one dime  (Coin #1).  Doc pulled into a 7-11 for a cold beverage (icee) and so I could get MY coin for today.  Got a penny and a quarter  (Coins #2&3).

Doc's Discoveries
We spent a few hours at the Pomona house organizing things and going through old papers - school records, insurance papers, property papers, bank statements, etc.

Checking EMails
On the way home we stopped at an auto supply place to get a drip pan for under the Chevy.  Then a stop at the new, huge thrift store which just opened.  Needed to find their hours for accepting donations.

Top Dog

We were almost home and realized we had forgotten to buy the additional shelf at Lowe’s this morning.  That was the purpose of going .  We made Trip #2 to Lowe’s and obtained the shelf, one dime at check-out and then a penny by my door of the van.  (Coins #4&5).

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

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day #1,274 - Safe Cracking

This afternoon Doc and I went to the Pomona house.  The first goal was to clean out the guest room closet.  That took a few hours.  The second goal was to charge the battery in the 38 Chevy so that it can be driven to the Penny Palace.  The third goal (Doc's, not mine) was to get the fire safe from the upstairs closet into the van.  That safe is really heavy!  Doc says I am to keep off my leg, yet he wants help lifting a safe!

Safe Cracking
The fire safe is where we keep all our papers such as birth and marriage certificates, land and auto ownership papers, passports, etc.  Whew!  Even with desiccant bags in there, the musty smell was still overpowering. 

When Doc and I cleaned out the guest closet we discovered some house plans - the ones I had drawn 30 years ago for my senior design project.  We had not looked at those plans since then.  We were both astonished.  Many of those features drawn 30 years ago had found their way into the Penny Palace!

Doc was needing a multimeter to determine the charge level on the Chevy battery.  Our meters are now at the Penny Palace, so I called my brother who lives four houses away.  He walked in our house, looked around and said, "so when are you moving out?"  I told him we have had a moving van take stuff twice, plus we have been taking car loads nearly every day for the past month.  He looked around and said, "with all this stuff it looks like you could still be living here".

Doc and I transported the contents of the guest closet to the new house, then returned for the shelves.  Doc stopped at a gas station just so I could look for coins.  Found a nickel and two pennies.  (Coins #1-3).

Lawn Shed Project: Our roofer called us back regarding the reroofing job.  He could do the job around July 4th -- providing the shed can support the additional load.  I called the shed manufacturer.  It was suggested we triangulate the front overhang.  Doc assessed what should be done.  He said all we need to do is remove the shed contents and shelving, rip off the existing roof, reinforce the side walls, strengthen the roof supports, and then we will be ready for the roofer to lay the new shingles.  Sure thing Honey -- in our spare time!

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

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day #1,273 - 56% Moved

This morning Doc began calling about closing out our construction loan and taking a 30 year fixed loan.  When we got our current Adjustable Construction loan we were told there would be no new bank fees and we could easily convert to the long-term fixed loan.  That was talk two years ago from a sales person.  Today we were told that was not the case and we would need to begin an entirely new loan process.  Grrrr….

I made my daily call to Charter Cable service.  I now see why people said not to go with them.  Since they are the only option in this area, so we don’t have much choice.  I talked to a new rep, then was placed on hold for 20 minutes while she talked to her supervisor.  A guy came on (I assumed he was the supervisor) and began asking me for details of the case.  I explained the whole thing again.  He said, “I can’t help you - I am in the billing department”. He put me on hold for another 30+ minutes while he tried to work with the Tech crew and scheduling.  A gal came on and said, “We can install tomorrow from 10-12”!  I said, “Let me confirm … this is for putting in the new underground service, not merely to activate phone and internet service, right?  Because we have done that twice already.”  Her reply,  “Oops.  No.  My supervisor will need to deal with this. That’s all I can do.  Goodbye!

It was now Noon!  Doc and I felt we had wasted the morning.   Doc’s solution: go shopping!  I dreaded the thought of even a few minutes spent in a room with wall-to-wall TVs.  Doc spent two hours there!  The sales rep, Daniel was great. He was very knowledgeable about the various brands and features and willing even to help us obtain phone, TV and internet service.  He had us come sit over behind his desk so we could use his computer.  There was a penny on the floor there which I asked for permission to take.

We called the phone company from Daniel’s desk.  We were told they could not provide internet, but we could get a basic phone line.  And for sure, 100% positive we could keep our existing phone number (which we have had for 30 years).  Yipee!!  We left and headed to the Pomona house where we could use the phone and computer.  Doc placed the order for the new phone service.  Then he was told we could NOT keep our current phone number!  What is with these phone / cable companies?  I wish we could just tell them what to do with their services.  However, it has been very challenging to get Penny Tales out and respond to people without email services.  Having no TV has been quite OK with me.  I haven’t missed it at all, but Doc is even losing weight due to the anxiety of not seeing his nightly news!

Total:   1 Penny