A Full Pantry

Thanksgiving is only a few days away, what are you thankful for? 

Every day in November, some of my Facebook friends are posting things they are thankful for. 

I love that. For me, there’s no better way to see grace in the moment. 

The past few days, I’ve been thanking my lucky stars. 

You see, a week ago I felt like Fear got behind me and pushed my backside onto the Worry Train. 

Ever been a passenger? 

Not fun. 

This month money is t-i-g-h-t. As far as you can stretch that word out, is how tight it’s been. 

That landed me a center seat on the scenic path of worry. Yuck. 

For days I fretted about one bill we’ve never been late on in 8 years and it was looking like it was going to be late… 

Then, the dishwasher started leaking, the oven broke, a piece broke off the washing machine. The pantry was bare.

Oh, and my truck tire started leaking air when Little Bit and I were in the middle of nowhere. We made it to a gas station! Whew! 

They had an air tank. Yay! The charge? $1.50. 

I didn’t have $1.50. Heck, I didn’t even have a nickel. To get $1.50, I had to get $20 out of an ATM that charged me $4.00 to get the $20. 

Stretch that tight out a little more…

The next morning, we took our tire to 2 places. Neither could fix the hole. Solution? New tire. Cost? $260. 


A house full of brokens, a spare tire, and looming late bills had my face plastered to the window on that crazy invisible train ride. 


A few days later, the money came. That bill I was dreading being late? PAID EARLY! 

The dishwasher stopped leaking, the washing machine is still functioning, and the tire? 

You’ll never believe this! 

We have one of those cash back reward credit cards. The amount of cash back we earned???? 


Funny how things turn around when we least expect them to. 

I’m happy to say, I stepped off that worry train. Next stop? A full pantry. 

40 thoughts on “A Full Pantry

  1. sandyjwhite November 19, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    Yes, I have been a passenger on the worry train before. I am on board right now, worrying about my brother who is undergoing chemo and radiation for lung cancer. I am thankful he is holding his own with over half of his treatments completed. I’m glad you disembarked!

    • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 4:15 pm

      Maybe we’ve been sharing side by side seats… ๐Ÿ˜Š I don’t have any remarkable earth shattering words to take away your worry about your brother. But I will offer something my friend Dennis used to say to me every single time worry had me shaking in my boots:

      We believe. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ Hugs to you. Sending positive, healing light to him and thoughts of continued strength to you.

      • sandyjwhite November 19, 2016 / 4:22 pm

        I am grateful for your good wishes, Jessica!

        • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 4:50 pm

          Hang in there, friend. ๐Ÿ’œ Is there anything I can do?

          • sandyjwhite November 19, 2016 / 6:54 pm

            Not that I can think of, but thanks for asking.

          • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 8:17 pm

            If my oven was fixed, I could bake you some cinnamon rolls. :) They mail.

  2. rabbitpatchdiary.com November 19, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    I have been in that situation so often-and every time it passes just as you described. Thank you for sharing this bit of inspiration-I will say you had a good deal of events and I am glad it is over. When things get tight-I remind myself that I have plenty of money-I just never get to write it down in my checkbook!-haha

    • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 4:19 pm

      Ohhh. I love that. “Plenty of” fits into so many situations. Sometimes I wonder if these kinds of things happen to shake us up a little and keep us grounded at the same time. There’s nothing better than Faith walking in the door when we’ve about lost it. ๐Ÿ’œ

      • rabbitpatchdiary.com November 19, 2016 / 5:11 pm

        Just remember Who your Father is. You are precious to me and to Him. Oh-funny thing-something fell of of my washing machine too, this week! I stuck it right back and it is still working! hahaha!

        • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 5:26 pm

          Aw!! You’re a sweet soul. Soooooo glad our path crossed. Thankful for that!!

          That’s hilarious about your washer.

          • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 6:53 pm

            We were at the mall a few days ago and I about peed my pants when I was a store named, “Franscesca’s”. ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ๐Ÿ’œ

          • thechickengrandma November 19, 2016 / 7:09 pm

            I have used gorilla glue on my washer before, when my agitator kept floating up. Worked for a couple years till finally the whole thing just gave up and squealed and smoked. The money seemed to come from somewhere for that one also! God is good!

          • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 8:21 pm

            Gorilla glue is an excellent idea! Can’t believe it worked for a couple of years. Bravo! I bet that was quite a show when it gave it up! Ha. Love when the money almost magically appears. Restores the faith, you know?

          • thechickengrandma November 19, 2016 / 8:24 pm

            It was. I was outside talking to my inlaws and when I came in my house reeked to burning rubber and a shrill squeal was coming from the laundry room. Death of a washing machine……moment of silence….after the panicked dash to check it out.

          • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 11:29 pm

            Oh my gosh! That is priceless. I can picture the entire scene. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 5:05 pm

      Yeah, but just think of the joy you’ll bring to those people that work at that truck stop on Thanksgiving day! What a perfect opportunity to make someone’s day. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. thechickengrandma November 19, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    I sure wish you lived closer. I would help you do some canning and we could have your shelves stocked so full you wouldn’t worry about the grocery money :).

    • Jessica November 19, 2016 / 11:27 pm

      Oh, man, that would be great!! I’d love for you to teach me about canning. I wish we were a few farms apart. Wouldn’t that be fun?

      Full shelves all the time sounds pretty amazing. My garden didn’t do very well this year. Maybe next year. Thank you for your kind words. I love what you said! :)

  4. Debra Farmer November 20, 2016 / 7:58 am

    Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry you had money worries. Thankful that the tire didn’t leave you two stranded on a backroad!! Thankful that the cash back came at just the right time. I do so wished we were closer. Hugs and Love

    • Jessica November 20, 2016 / 8:03 am

      Hey darlin, you’re sooooo sweet. ๐Ÿ’œ If we lived closer I’d have no worries at all. Ever! Things are back on the upward swing. Seems like the bills compound at the end of the year for some reason.

      Yes, I’m glad the tire held up. When we got to the station it had 15 pounds of air in it! Lucky we made it. Guardian angels worked hard that day. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      • Debra Farmer November 20, 2016 / 8:07 am

        Next time, just send your troubles with your husband, he can just throw them a the crusher!!!!

        • Jessica November 20, 2016 / 8:09 am


  5. Blair (The Shameful Sheep) November 20, 2016 / 8:14 am

    Oh… the worry train. The worst train of them all. Why does it seem that everything breaks at the same time? It’s maddening, I tell you! I hope everything has gone well with you lately and you and your family had a good Halloween :) Haven’t talked to you in awhile!

    • Jessica November 20, 2016 / 8:17 am

      Hey there, blogging “sister”, what a nice surprise. How are you doing? Yes, I agree. Worry is the worst! But, I love how things find their way back around, don’t you?

  6. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy November 20, 2016 / 9:56 am

    Oh, I am so happy to hear this all worked out – and just in time for Thanksgiving. Even at the worst of times, there really are so many things to be thankful for.

    • Jessica November 20, 2016 / 10:13 am

      Thank you. It’s definitely been a lesson about gratefulness and learning to keep the faith even in days of “less”. You are soooo right, there are so many things to be thankful for. Your friendship and blog are one of my many blessings. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  7. randombitsoftrialanderror November 23, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    I love it when things like that work out–always just when you need it. I love those kind of miracles! Recently started following and am so glad I did! Take care. Dawn

    • Jessica November 23, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      Hi there! Thank you so much for following! Means a lot to me. Miracles is a great word for when things suddenly and magically work out. Thank you for reading- I appreciate that! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  8. Mrs Strawberry Blonde November 24, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    I’m glad you got that $260 cash back thingy. I didn’t know you can earn this kind of money with cash reward cards! I do have drugstore store cards, but I think I need it to look into the other store cards and cash back schemes.

    I hope the washing machine and the dish water won’t break down. Maybe they were just moody?

    I know money worries very well. It used to be like this… a friend would say ‘let’s go out and have a pizza’ and I’d think ‘let’s not because I have ยฃ6 left for the entire week’ – and in the end I’d say ‘I’d love to, but I’m not in the mood for pizza’. And after my friend had left I’d eat a cheese sandwich, sometimes I’d have a tomato (a treat!) as well, and at the same time I’d worry whether I’d be able to pay the car insurance in the next 14 days because the direct debit had bounced back the week before and they’d now sent me a payment reminder…

    It wasn’t easy at all. We were always worried about money – but we always shopped smart (groceries only, no branded stuff, no luxuries). And I had one nice office suit (which was dirt cheap because it was from a cheap store) – but when people noticed this, I used to tell them that I had several suits in the same style and I bought several because of the awesome fit… at first people were wondering but they always ‘got it’ when I reminded them that I couldn’t just shop anywhere because of my height. You may remember I’m 6’1” tall.

    In regards to shopping smart. I think I’m one of the smartest shopper who has ever lived (yeah, I know, say nothing…) And I think the years of financial hardship made me become the bargain hunter I am today. So whilst I can afford nice things now, I don’t buy nice things. Sure, I buy awesome stuff at the discount stores – but I’d never pay full price for anything. Cosmetics? Well, Revlon nail polish is ยฃ7.99 at the drugstore – or ยฃ1 at Poundland. And it’s the same sutff. My Olay moisturiser (which I only buy when there’s a half price or buy one get one free offer) is ยฃ5 and it lasts me several months. I don’t buy fancy bath bombs for ยฃ7 a pop, I’m happy with whatever bath gel or cream is on offer for 99p. Hair? I haven’t been to a hairdresse since I was a teenager (and my mum paid for it). I’ve always cut my own hair since then. I have long, thick, curly hair – so my hair always just looks awesome. If a few curls want to do their own thing, that’s OK. And since my hair grew back a few years ago (you remember that alopecia horror…) I haven’t even cut it. I trimmed the ends a few times, but that was it. Groceries? SInce I work from home on two days every week, I shut down my computer at around 15:45 on those days – and then I’m off to my local supermarket where I go nuts at the reduced price bins. I have constant bargain fever, I get a bargain hunter’s rush when I find GF bread or rolls, or wraps for 90% off. The cashier always says ‘it goes off today’, and I always say ‘no, because in 15 minutes all of this will be in the freezer’. So all in all, I know what it’s like when money is tight. And suffering financial hardship can scar people for life. I just realised it has impacted me more than I thought it had. I used to shop for bargains because I had to, then I shopped for bargains so that I could save money in case of future financial hardship. And now I shop for bargains because it’s who I am. Saying this, I’m happy for everyone who buys (and can actually afford) all the latest gimmicks, phones, clothes, shoes… It’s good for the economy after all.

    I have to make dinner now. But I’ll continue to catch up with you later tonight. Mwah! xx

    • Jessica November 25, 2016 / 4:06 am

      Hello sweetie. In the US I guess because the credit card companies are so competitive, they offer rewards for using their cards. Some you can earn a percentage on every dollar you spend and then can buy products, gift cards, travel, in their reward stores. Some also offer cash back on purchases which came in handy.

      There are some stores here that have rewards and will offer special sales prices and some tally what you spend like a point per every penny, then offer credit when you buy something later.

      Thank you for reading and responding. I was kind of afraid the election here may have made you weary of speaking to me. Some of my other blogging friends from other countries didn’t have very nice things to say afterwards. I’m glad you’re still here and are your beautiful selfโ˜€๏ธ.

      It’s interesting how our life experiences shape who we are and what we do. I have sort of the opposite of you, when things are on the upside financially, I tend to savor it and get whatever we need and don’t pay much attention to sales. When money’s tight, I pay attention. Ha. Guess I could learn some things from your bargain hunting! ๐Ÿ’œ

      I love all your beauty bargains. You always know where to find the deals. I love the story about your suit! We also have something in common about our hair: I haven’t been to a hairdresser in forever!! I trim it myself, too. Your hair sounds so pretty. Yes I remember your alopecia. Bet long hair is quite beautiful after losing it.

      Hope you had a fabulous day. So glad to “see” you here again! Mwah right back! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

      • Mrs Strawberry Blonde November 27, 2016 / 7:49 pm

        Interesting! I used to work for one of the big credit card companies, but I didn’t work in sales or in customer services, so I never really knew anything about how the cards worked. I know some of my colleagues made use of the free-of-charge cards that company used to offer to its employees (sure, you had to pay interest, but there were no annual fees). But I never had a credit card. It’s proabably a good thing. Back then there were people who still made monthly payments towards Christmas presents from 5 years earlier… I found that shocking.

        I think it’s great that you can enjoy spending money from time to time. I often feel guilty just looking at non-sale items… but it’s OK. Thanks to my excessive bargain hunting I’ve got plenty of everything. I think if I couldn’t spend any money on clothes, shoes, beauty stuff, toiletries, etc for an entire year, I’d still be OK thanks to all the stuff I’ve got stashed away..

        I like it that you cut your hair yourself. I think once you’ve done it once, and you were happy with how it turned out, you’ll be OK. :)
        Yes, I think my hair is pretty amazing. :) Pre-alopecia I sometimes thought “it’s too much, I need to cut it off”. And now, post-alopecia, I wouldn’t even dream of cutting it off. It’s mine! Plus, I’m aware alopecia can strike again at any time…

        How’s everything else? And what’s going on with the move. I meant to write and ask questions for weeks, but I couldn’t find the time for a proper catch-up…

        • Jessica November 27, 2016 / 10:31 pm

          My husband talked to a local realtor who said our house will sell quick, so we need to have a plan in place. What we hope is, that our lake cabin will sell first. Then we can buy some land and build, then list this house. That way we’ll have a place to move into to if it does sell quick. He wants to build one of those metal-type homes which is a house/ shop (barn) combo. We’re hoping to be able to buy 10-15 acres. Then later build a house. So, we’re in the process of getting the lake cabin ready to sell. I’ve done tons of cleaning and packing there. It’s about an hour and a half away. I about have it done.

          I’m glad your hair is being good to you. I’m letting mine grow. It’s down my back aways. Love that.

          How are you? How’s work?

  9. restlessjo November 25, 2016 / 3:28 am

    Oh, Jess, I do know how that feels! A stomach wrencher every month end. :( Life is a lot more comfortable for me these days but different worries flood in. There are usually solutions. I love a happy ending! Celebrating with you :)

    • Jessica November 25, 2016 / 3:44 am

      Happy to hear things are more comfortable these days. Not so happy about the other worries flooding in! I would really like it if that Worry Train would stay parked at its station. :) Thank you for celebrating with me. I agree about happy endings. LOVE them! :) Thanks so much for reading.

  10. Miriam November 26, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    In so glad you’ve got off the worry train Jess. I can relate big time. Some weeks money is so tight and all the bills come at once and then things break and it feels like the universe is testing us. And then, isn’t it amazing how things can turn and we realise how fortunate we really are. Take care sweet girl xo

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