Tails from a mother of five in photos, videos, humor and short stories...welcome to our zoo!

Sep 9, 2015

Online Friendships - Labor Day Weekend Disaster

This post is going to be a two part. My blogging bud, Lauren Becker from Shooting Stars Mag has challenged fellow bloggers to write about their experience with online friendships. Lauren talks about a Netflix film and book called "Another Girl," which is essentially about online friendships.  I've been a blogger for 8 years now, wow it's been that long, so I've had many experiences with online friendships. The second part is all about the disaster that happend this past weekend.

Online Friendships

During my early stages of blogging back in 2007 and '08, I wasn't aware of how important it was to read and comment on blogs.  Back then I only visited a few, but was able to start some online friendships.  My first sort of online friendship was with Janice and Susan from Five Minutes For Mom.  I say sort of, because when I was knew to blogging they were more like heroes that I looked up to and admired and less like friends. I wanted my blog to be just like theirs. Back then I noticed that they had 20+ comments on their blog, had growing social media accounts and I thought, "Wow, I want to be just like them." So I read and commented on their blog every single day.  Once or twice a month one of them would visit my blog and leave me a comment, and I always thought, "Wow! They took the time to visit my site!" They amazed me.

Back in 2008 I also started reading MomSpective by Julie Maloney, back then I think her blog was called The Cool Mom, something like that, but she later changed it.  We commented back and forth on each other's blogs for several years and she is also one of my friends on Facebook.  But, she quit blogging a couple of years ago.

Most of the blogging buds, as I call them, I had back in 2008-2010 have stopped blogging.  I also went through some personal issues with my growing family, being sick in the hospital, moving and my husband changing jobs which had an impact on my blogging business. I went through a period of about two years when I wasn't reading any blogs.  That was when I lost touch with the friends that I made in the early years of blogging.  When I tried to reconnect in 2013, I learned that several of them quit blogging.

Now it's 2015 and over the past couple of years I have been building new online friendships. Here are a few of the blogs written by my new online friends:

I can always count on these bloggers to visit and comment on my blog and sometimes both of my blogs, when I visit and comment on  theirs.

Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag
Tamara from Tamara Like Camera
Liz from Lizventures I've been reading her blog for several years now. In fact, I remember when it was called "A Nut in a Nutshell."
Jolene from A Little Help from my Friends
Crystal Collier
Collete from Jamarican Spice  I have been reading her blog for a long, long time as well.
Sue from Stay at Home Mom She is another one of my original online blogging buds from the beginning.
Robin from Masshole Mommy
Nerline from Chic from Hair 2 Toe
Kristie from Kristie's Notes she is another one of my original blogging buds.
Indah Nuria Savitri from My Purple World
Pat Hatt from It's Rhyme Time I just love reading his blog.
Echo from The Mad Mommy
Alissa Apel from The Planet of the Apels
Harriet from Harriet and Friends and Posh on a Budget I have been reading Harriet and Friends for several years now.
Karren Haller from Oh My Heartsie Girl
Joyce Lansky from Catch my Words I love that she always links to her blog in her comments. This makes it easier for me to visit her site.
Kristi Maloney from Mom's Own Words
Steve from Be There 2 Day
Patrick Weseman from Adventures in Weseland
Merlinda Little from Glimmer of Hope
Liv from Live By Surprise
Plus I have 105 more blogs in my reader. I am sorry if I missed someone! You are in my feed reader.

Over the past 8 years one thing I regret about my online friendships and blogging is that I haven't met any of them in person.  Because of my crazy life, lack of money, and husband who travels, I am unable to attend blogging conferences. It is rare that I am able to attend a blogging event. Chris and I were supposed to attend a blogging event this evening in downtown Chicago, but due to the misfortune that occurred over the weekend (the second part of this post) we are unable to go.  Maybe someday I will meet some of my online friends. I've been dreaming about it for years now.

Labor Day Weekend Disaster

Every Saturday Chris and I escape the chaos of the Talbert Zoo for a couple of hours and go grocery shopping.  This is kind of like a date and kind of like a mini vacation. We get alone time, which is rare for us.  Usually we put Goose in charge and sometimes Chris jokes that Kitty is in charge when we leave. He assumes that Goose will still watch the kids, but this past Saturday wasn't the case.

When Chris put Kitty in charge Goose in her Asperigan way took him literally.  But, nine-year-olds don't make very good babysitters. Kitty's guitar lesson was cancelled on Saturday so we took our time shopping around at Costco. It started off as a nice break and we were getting excited about the fun Labor Day weekend ahead.

After about an hour and a half of shopping we left the store and headed home.  We just pulled onto the road adjacent to ours when my phone rang.

"Hello."
"Mom," a frightened little voice said on the other end. "Bear ran water in the sink in the bathroom upstairs and now it's leaking into the kitchen."
"Slow down, Kitty," I replied.
"What happened?"
"There's water everywhere and I don't know what to do."
"We are home now, so Dad will take a look."

After I hung up the phone I was perplexed as to why my nine-year-old called and not her older sister. We rushed into the house, Chris entering first. He headed upstairs and I took a look at the kitchen. Before I even entered my kitchen I heard Chris scream.

"What the heck Goose! What happened here!" he yelled. "Get some towels! What were you thinking Goose?!"

I started thinking obscenities as I checked out my kitchen. Then I yelled for towels too. Kitty and Parrot handed me some towels while Goose cowered in her bedroom. This is what we saw. (If you are my friend on Facebook you already know the story).


By the time I got up to the bathroom above the kitchen Chris had already cleaned it up.  We took the ceiling fan down, dried the area as best as we could with towels and surveyed the damage the next day.

Water damage on the ceiling of our kitchen.




The kitchen floor buckled from the water.


The water leaked through the floor and into the basement. This is our basement ceiling.


The bathroom looks fine, but the vanity is ruined.
This is exactly what happened. Little Bear took a roll of toilet paper and stuffed it into the sink. Then he turned the faucet on and left it running. All while the girls stayed in their bedroom chatting.  Kitty knew her little brother was in the bathroom but she didn't bother to check and see what he was up to.

On Monday morning a guy from this home restoration company stopped by and took a look at the damage. He had us call our home owners insurance company and file a claim. He also left three dehumidifiers here for us to use to soak up the water.  A representative for the insurance company is coming over this evening. We learned that we have to pay the $2,000 deductible before the insurance will kick in and cover the rest. This is the money we have saved up for our airline tickets to California to be with Chris' family for Christmas.  We are all heartbroken over this.

We are not going to the blogging event this evening for two reasons. 1. The insurance adjuster is coming over. 2. We can't trust Goose to babysit ever again, even for just a couple of hours.

Tonight we will find out what exactly needs to be replaced and how much our insurance will pay for. After renting for six years, we became proud home owners in June. Chris and I had no idea that we would be filing an insurance claim this soon. We are also making Goose pay us back the $2,000 deductible.  She has to get another job because McDonald's is only scheduling her one or  two days a week. She's going to pay us $100 a month until it's paid off.

Now for the linky.  At the bottom of every post in the Talbert Zoo I will include a linky for my readers to link up to their most recent blog post or just a blog post that they would like me to read and comment on.






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