December Newsletter (Update!)

There is a lot more rain and water overall up here in Chicago than in Fort Worth / Dallas. That was one of the reasons why we chose Chicago; we were tired of living in a desert while climate scientists kept warning that droughts are just around the corner. But with all this water comes the risk of floods. I was warned of this by friends when we moved up here (not a "stay away!" warning, just a "be aware!" warning) and then experienced it firsthand when our temporary housing flooded not once, not twice, but three times before we were able to close on our house. (And that was sewage flooding, which is the worst kind of flooding.)

This morning I woke up to find that (a) I'm kind of under-the-weather because the humidity and air pressure has been doing bad things to my sinuses and (b) our basement flooded overnight.

Really, it couldn't have happened better than this. We specifically paid more home insurance to cover flooding and they're already working with the plumber and the cleaning team to take care of things. We have been cleaning non-stop because a friend is coming to visit for Christmas, which means that we literally just finished unpacking and putting everything away downstairs, which means that it's not a maze of soaked cardboard boxes full of water-damaged belongings. We bought elevated furniture (desks, bookshelves) and designed the downstairs (wall shelving. lots of wall shelving) around the flooding issue so all our stuff is elevated off the floor and mostly safe. Additionally, it's mostly rain water instead of sewer water (...mostly) so the smell isn't as bad as it could be. After the insurance deductible and the ruined rugs and the one water-logged box we hadn't unpacked yet, we'll probably be out about $2,500 to $3,000 dollars. Obviously not what anyone wants to hear right before Christmas, but it could have been so much worse.

Those are the pros. Cons: We were a little blindsided by this because the house does have a sump pump but apparently those can get clogged and backed up. The plumber is trying to figure out why that happened and if we can make sure it won't happen again. And as previously mentioned, we literally just finished unpacking and putting everything away downstairs, so this is emotionally a real kick in the teeth--we had been looking forward to being able to use the downstairs over Christmas break to get back to our resin products and making art to sell on Etsy. The cleaning team has to basically move everything in order to take up the bottom foot of drywall and replace it, or else we could be risking mold and foundation damage. We're really grateful that they're on top of things and that the insurance is being cooperative, but obviously this isn't fun. The cats don't understand why they've been confined upstairs (which we have to do, because they will drink the water) and everyone is a little bummed at having to quarantine upstairs. We'll survive though!

Anyway! I mentioned this on the public discord but I know not everyone keeps up with things there, so I wanted to make a mid-month newsletter post about what's going on here. Sending you all love and hope that you can stay safe and warm.


[TW: Transphobia]

The other big thing I need to report is that a story broke today in the Washington Post that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office has been trying to compile a list of transgender adults in Texas by querying for a list of numbers, with a list of names to follow, of everyone in Texas who has changed gender marker on their driver's license. Gillian Branstetter spread the story on Twitter.

Needless to say, this is extremely scary. It sounds like--best I can tell from the reporting--that numbers were pulled together but not individual names...yet. I want to call attention to this because Kissmate would be on any such list as this. Before our relocation, many people assured us that we were overreacting to move out-of-state. They told us that Governor Abbott and his administration were "only" going to go after transgender youth, and that adults were going to be safe because Republicans may hate trans people but they know they can't do anything about law-abiding adults. Well, now we have evidence that they are planning to do something about trans adults, because there's no reason to compile a list like this unless you're planning to use it.

I'm scared for my trans community still in Texas.


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