Posts Tagged ‘mom’

Over at The Penny Project Facebook page today, there was a nod to one of the world’s greatest authors, Dr. Seuss.

“BE who you ARE, and say what you feel, because those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.” –Dr. Seuss ~~So do what you do & find what you find. Shout, “PENNY!” with glee…who cares if “they” mind?! Life is too short not to holler & play. So how will YOU make the most of today?!

It’s almost impossible not to be in a good mood when you think about the world Dr. Seuss created in his books.  Whimsical, fun & full of adventure.  Although sometimes the places you’ll go on your adventure will be a bit daunting and might stop you dead in your tracks for awhile.

That is what happened when I sat down with my one employee (otherwise known as my mom) to plot a path for The Penny Project in 2011.  A total ker-plunk.  No sizzle.  No juice.  Not even a penny’s worth.

At first it was disheartening.  Frustrating.  Infuriating, even!  Where did all the zip & heart I have for this project go?!  And why, when I FINALLY have someone willing to help me move it forward can I not conjure up what I need to in order to get us moving?


But then, in Dr. Seuss-like form…our ‘Booooos’ turned to ‘Yahooooos’ and something magical happened.

And now, with some help from Dr. Seuss himself (from his book The Places You’ll Go), I’ll recount the tale and the lesson we learned.  Just another day in the life of a penny enthusiast!  🙂

The Places Pennies Will Help You Go…

Dr. Seuss meets Ms. Penny Project...Oh, the places they'll go!!

“I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups & Hang-ups can happen to you.”

And so it happened when my mom came to help.  “I have no ideas!” I cried with a yelp.

We’d carved out some time to kick it into high gear.  To plan Penny Project success for the coming year.

“Boy-oh-boy!!”  I’d thought when the idea was planned.  But when we sat down to do it, we felt stagnant & canned.

No “boy-oh-boy” showed up on that day.  It was more like a Grinch-like place of dismay.

“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?”

We tried & we tried.  We gave all we had.  We got nowhere fast…and then we were sad.  Is this what it’s like to work on something you love?  Does making it “work” feel like you’re getting a shove?  Or a kick in the pants or being dragged up a hill?  Like your ideas and your thoughts add up to nil?

Well…that’s how it felt to us.

Until Mom was stuck by a flash of A-HA!.  “What if we’re not supposed to plan anything at all?  What if we have fun and see where it goes?  What if we let it naturally unfold?  Isn’t that how the whole thing got started?  Why has that theory up & departed?  Could that be our way to success?  Not normal or standard…but it’s how we work best!”

“Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.”

Well…I DID always want to be on Oprah.

So we set aside our markers and pens…and let go of our concepts of losses & wins.  Instead we just played and did what was fun…cutting clips from magazines that could inspire someone!  We flipped & we snipped for hours on end.  Now THIS is how to make progress, my friend!!

And so there we were, at the end of the day.  Vision boards complete, having done nothing but PLAY!

We laughed our good-byes and vowed to do it again…but how would we count this?  A loss or a win?  Could life be so simple and lived with such ease?  Could we really just play & do as we please?  Would such practices bring a great life with success or would we end up just creating a mess?

“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”

And so we concurred that such was the plan.  To just get on going & to see where we land.  If the journey is joy-filled and causes minimal fuss, ANY destination is just fine with us!


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You've got mail! Nothing makes my day like text messages & e-mail about big penny finds!

Ah, the never ending search for pennies. I love it!!! You never know where it will take you or what you will find. I continue to have folks e-mail & text me with their finds (ok, sure…my mom & dad are the main supporters…but that counts!!). Below are the latest batch of text messages & e-mails. They still make me smile! Hard to believe a little penny could bring such excitement. It’s true that we should pay more attention to the small things in life (and the big ones if you’re my paper-money finding friends!).

Hope you enjoy this next batch of found money updates as much as I did!


“The First Team–Mom found a penny in Amarillo, TX and I found three (count them, three!!!) while I was pumping gas in Altus, OK. Man, we’re good.” –Dad 8/24/09

“you rock just found a penny. i love you.” –April C. 8/29/09

“I just found a penny at a truckstop in Limon.” –Paul G. 9/7/09

“Yeah I don’t think I’ve ever got this excited about finding a penny!” –Paul G. 9/7/09

“Another one. I found a dime walking in to the Walmart yesterday.” –Dad 9/7/09

“FYI–Nancy found a penny yesterday! Add it to the spreadsheet. I’ll send it to you.” –Jenn C. 9/18/09

“metro penny yesterday. 2 along my walk to work this a.m. Woo-hoo!!” –Julia B. 10/7/09

“$20!!!!!! Wholefoods parking lot :)” –Illeny M. 10/7/09

“Just found a dime!” –Misty C. 10/8/09

“another metro penny just now. Lincoln face up, just when I needed a smile!! :-)” –Julia B. 10/15/09

“Big Day!! While working at Lake Las Vegas today, One of the other guys found a nickel on the seat of the boat we were in. I talked him into donating it to the penny project. While waking McGruff tonight, I found a dime!!! Life is good.” –Dad 10/18/09

“Big Find! While I was walking McGruff this morning, I found a quarter!” –Dad 10/22/09

“I FOUND A QUARTER enroute to work this morning. I lost my phone so don’t have easy access to track down phone numbers so didn’t leave a vm like usual, but this one was great – in the intersection resting on one of those manhole covers…sufficiently dingy and battered but def recognizable. I looked both ways and snatched it :). I was ecstatic.” –Julia B. 10/30/09

“Found a dollar today!” –Misty C. 11/3/09

“Found 2 pennies so far today!” –Misty C. 11/7/09

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God bless picture texts!! Here's April's big find...she put it in a baggie to preserve the nastiness for me!

The beat goes on…and so do the penny texts. Honestly…they just keep rolling in. And each one makes me chuckle. It’s almost as good as being the one that finds the penny! I never knew how important unlimited texting was until I started The Penny Project. People love telling me about their finds as much as I love hearing about them. Wahoo!

Enjoy this installment of texts from the penny path…
Penny Texts (& an E-mail or Two) Part Deux:
“Dime. Penny. Penny. Wahoo!” by Sarah S. on July 11, 2009
“Penny!” by Sarah S. on July 11, 2009

 “Nick gave me the found quarter. Add it you!” by Sarah S. on July 11, 2009

“Nickel!” by Sarah S. on July 11, 2009

“Don’t harass me. I found a penny yesterday!” by Jerry S. on July 15, 2009
“$1 paper, Whole F” by Illeny M. on July 15, 2009
“2 pennies and just found 2 dimes. You must really be thinking about me. What a week. When you get some time lets catch up.” by April C. on July 16, 2009
“One dime and five pennies at LAS! Geez i love airports.” by Darlene S. on July 16, 2009
“Rack me up 5 more pennies from LAX!” by Darlene S. on July 16, 2009
“Fyi…found 26 cents…one penny as we were boarding the ship…the quarter in the airport” by Misty L. on July 19, 2009 (the first day of her honeymoon!)
“I swear I just heard a nickel drop on the ground! Ugh.” by Sarah S. on July 22, 2009
“Dime. This is getting silly.” by Sarah S. on July 24, 2009
“Hi. I’m Sarah Stein and I’m a dimeaholic.” by Sarah S. on July 24, 2009
“Might have gotten diseased from the penny i just picked up. Gotta love airports.” by Sarah S. on July 24, 2009
“A man dropped a penny and didn’t even care. 6 more pennies found.” by Sarah S. on July 24, 2009
“i found a dollar. i will put it in a bag so u get the full effect of the nastiness. u must love me.” by April C. on July 29, 2009
“My goal is to average 1 penny a day over the year :)” by Illeny M. on July 31, 2009
“Found a quarter on the golf course, a dime on the metro and a penny on my run, you must really love me.” by April C. on Aug 8, 2009
“Allie – nickel. dime! Taco Bell drive thru. I train them well.” by Sarah S. on Aug 8, 2009
“Wally World Strikes Again. I found another penny at Walmart yesterday. I’ll bring the cash stash on the trip.” by Jerry S. (in an e-mail) on Aug 10, 2009
“Want my two cents?”
“Found two pennies today!”
“Have a handful of change for you when you come!” Series of 3 by Misty L. on Aug 10, 2009

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…is a little weird, sure. But have you ever met a family that was over the moon from finding 57 cents? It’s a bit refreshing. Welcome to life with the Steins!

Actually, to be more exact, we found 56 and 3/4 cents. Literally…one of the pennies my mom spied in the gutter was only partially there. Poor Abe got a nose job I’m not sure he wanted…but his misfortune gave us a thrill. (Twisted aren’t we?!).

Besides the mangled penny, we scored six other pennies, a nickle, two dimes and a quarter. That’s right…a quarter! And as you may know by now…that’s a red letter day in the world of penny finding!

So, this is how the Stein Family kicked off our holiday season. A walk to my work’s pre-Christmas happy hour full of pennies, nickles, and quarters…oh, my! All in a day’s work for a penny collector! And for an entire FAMILY of penny collectors…well…time together is the real prize.

But we do love finding those pennies!

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My poor mom! After a long dry spell in the heat of another Las Vegas summer, she finally found a penny…but oh those stinkin’ desert winds!

I thought I better make an official report or I won’t get credit for the ONE penny I found last week. It has been a sad time in Las Vegas, everywhere I look NO CHANGE. Finally I eye a copper treasure on the street at a senior housing complex. I have a hand full of mail and I suddenly think about your friend Stephanie who only picks up “heads up.” It’s been a long dry spell for change finding so I don’t want to tempt fate. As I look down, it’s up!! Yeah!! I bless Stephanie for bringing this head’s up thing to our collective consciousness. I pick up the penny and while still bent over savoring the moment, a gust of wind comes along and blows all my mail away. Stephanie….YOU LIED TO US! I retrieved the mail and still have the penny….put one down in my column for the September financials!


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