It’s that dark time of year … and the shortest day of the year. I’m super happy to report that the long nights and lack of daylight hours feel cozy to me this year … but I’m glad it’s solstice so we can start shaving some gloom off of the super-long nights.

Where we live in Washington state we do have more daylight hours than in, say, Alaska, but things are not as balanced as they are in Southern California.

Semi & rusty mermaid beater: quintessential Western Washington paint jobs and colors as the sun goes down sooooo early.

Here’s how our daylight hours compare on the West Coast:

  • San Diego (south of us, close to Mexico) has TEN HOURS of daylight on winter solstice. Four hours and 19 minutes less than they have in June.
  • We have less than EIGHT AND A HALF HOURS of daylight in Seattle-ish today. Seven and a half hours less than in June.
  • In Anchorage they have LESS THAN FIVE AND A HALF HOURS of daylight. Almost fourteen hours less than on summer solstice.

Having relatively mild weather with noticeable differences between the seasons is part of why we love living in Western Washington. Every season is distinct without the differences being extreme or unmanageable. They’re enjoyable. But taking Vitamin D — and anti-depressants during these dark months is advised.

west coast daylight hours comparison

So today we basically have only HALF of the day we have on the 21st of June … especially when you consider the tyranny of daylight savings time wasting the sunrise on groggy wage slaves and those with super long commutes; the only time I’ve been up to see the sun rise this year has been when I’ve stayed up all night, which I love doing.

One of my favorite things about this time of year is it’s also when Delia and I got married. Before all of the Christmas craziness sets in we get to have our special holiday together, just the two of us.

One of my favorite anniversaries we took a long long long long long walk — without even planning to take such a long long long long long walk — through the woods, on the beach, and through the woods some more while the damp gray light got denser and thicker and darker and then we were running and laughing through dark thick wet static trying to beat the night back to our car. For hours we just walked and walked, barely talking. And when we did communicate with our voice boxes half the time they were animal sounds or exclamations. Not so much words.

Maybe that is why winter is getting easier for me.


We’re currently offering HALF-OFF site memberships to help you beat the winter blues my members-only area is included with Delia’s

Rainshadow Sunshine

As the days get shorter, I’m super happy to live in a rainshadow where I can wake up and bask in sunshine for a few hours without cloud cover or nonstop drizzle.



I’m also way excited about this tuna-fish sandwich. I remember hating tuna-noodle casseroles and tuna-fish sandwiches as a kid (I fucking HATED mayonnaise and the smell of hot tuna baked in goo used to gross me the fuck out so bad). But today … YUM.



In spite of feeling happy in the sunshine, I found myself asking what the fuck my purpose is. Then I turned to look out the window and this chubby little charcoal-ombre bird said TO FLY. And, like, feel the sun on your puffed-out chest!

I hate being so absent from my own site, but I’m getting better at prioritizing. Right now my top priority is redesigning the free area of The magically-efficient good news about that is that all of the work and learning I’m doing with that project will pay off here, and on all of our other sites. Tools have changed A LOT (and so have we) since I started building websites in 2001. I’m excited to implement complex features and more-efficient methods we could only dream about fifteen years ago.

Birthday Eve

It’s been chilly and super windy recently; felt like I might have jumped the gun on calling it an early spring, but either way … it will be official on Sunday. Regardless: I was SO FUCKING STOKED that our nearby taco cart opened back up … ’tis the season!!!

spring leg shadow

The sun feels good on the backs of my legs while I wait for my tostada salad with fish

Tomorrow is my birthday so consider this me wearing green in reverse. Or green wearing my shadow?

tree with feet

Card for our friends to get their feet washed & massaged by us

Today is the only full day I’ve had to myself in awhile … so I’m capping it off with some NATURAL sleeping pills, a noodle binge … and a sickening return to Candy Crush after keeping it off my phones for years now:

two bowls of greasy noodles & my gut

Noodle binge time!! two bowls of greasy noodles & my gut in polar fleece in foreground.

  • White bowl: thin spaghetti with olive oil, salt, parmesan cheese & capers
  • Orange bowl: thin spaghetti with sesame oil, chili oil, and (later) soy sauce

Happy birthday to me!!! I’m planning to FULLY exploit my wife when she gets home for a couple of days (don’t worry; she’s looking forward to it as much as I am!), and then I’ll spend a few days with my favorite guy. Although all of that could change if my grandma dies, which could happen very soon.

We thought she was going to depart last year, but dying is an unpredictable business. Still, I feel like I said my goodbyes to her at that point so right now I’m saving my family-grief energies for my mom during the after-part rather than hurrying to make another trip to see Grandma at her most breathing-yet-absent. It may sound like I have a lot of clarity and resolve about this, but honestly I don’t know what the right thing is to do. I don’t feel a pull to go be with her but I do feel some pushing in me to AVOID. You might say the right thing is to go see her — that I’ll regret it if I don’t and she dies before I get to — but honestly I don’t think I will. I might feel *guilty* — concerned what other people think — but that’s not the same thing as genuine regret. I don’t think Grandma will know the difference either way. Then again, that does feel a little like a lie to suit myself because I am certain she knew I was there last time and that it meant something to her.

It meant something (a lot) to me, too.

The Shortest Day in Seattle

Seattle, solstice, 13:07

A photo posted by Trixie Fontaine (@tastytrixie) on


Our first winter with our Seattle apartment, living in two places.

I spent winter solstice there, alone with the camera, and did one of my favorite things: I just WALKED. Under the viaduct — always a fixture in my idea of Seattle — knowing it will be gone. South towards where my dad worked at Western Union in the seventies, where I loved all of that grey old-fashioned industry that always looked too old and tired to bustle and has never ever looked like it should last.

I wonder how it will all crumble, and hope I’m not there when it does. In the meantime I love/hate it, just like this.

alaskan way viaduct

The portable office-shelters tucked in between concrete pillars and under ramps and roads remind me of model train layouts with little lights glowing inside.


Seattle solstice sleeping bag

I felt at home — comfortable like I rarely feel in the city — with tiny little cold drops of water accumulating on my face and hands and the plastic baggie I had over the camera.

On the way back “home” I stopped for Yankee pot roast and mashed potatoes and gravy somewhere I swore to myself I would never patronize. I asked the host to seat me at their LEAST FESTIVE TABLE. He understood.

When I got back, dozens of drunk Santas were milling around and I wished I had a budget to proposition a few of them to make porn.

High Winds & Rainbows

Day-Before-Yesterday Rainbow

Day-Before-Yesterday Rainbow

After a year full of SUN SUN SUN SUN SUN and hardly any rain, we’re finally being dragged into winter. We’ve had some weather the past few weeks with lots of wind, power outages, and some cold nights in the twenties.

High wind warning an excellent excuse to close early!

High wind warning an excellent excuse to close early!

It’s at the point where people around here get these warnings and just want to avoid all of our machines taking dives and/or hearing our battery backups start beeping. After months of our main data storage being down (and lots of our raw content+ inaccessible) I feel the same way, like “I don’t want my shit to suffer more possible power surges nor do I want to try to work on something only to have the power and/or internet connection go down”.

And I kind of like it, the excuse to just feel the air swirling around and feel it hitting the house and be thankful I’ve never had a tree fall on my head.

The high winds didn't materialize that day ... but they did the next!

The high winds didn’t materialize that day … but they did the next!

It’s funny that they sent this Thursday when the winds didn’t happen but on Friday … the wind came without any text. Maybe nobody wanted to give another false alarm so our local emergency service didn’t alert us. I’m a little weirded out by how much I respond to our county’s emergency texts, like they’re my one friend in the community who wants to call me up and ask if my power is on or not. I don’t mean I respond by replying, just that I feel like a real interaction is happening that makes the weather so much more official and impactful. It makes me remember that the little plot I occupy on the grid is surrounded by neighbors. Usually that makes me apprehensive but somehow these texts make me feel welcomed in a very non-threatening way. Because it’s NOT a real interaction and I don’t have to say anything back.

I think the high wind warning expired a couple of hours ago and we got some more rainbows:

More rainbows as the winds die down

More rainbows as the winds die down

It gets dark early here; sunset is on the schedule today at 4:18.

By the time normal people get off work and eat dinner, it feels like we must be up past our bedtimes.

I’m not a normal person, so bedtime is whenever I say it is. At this time of year it seems appropriate for it to be allllllllll evening, like seven to seven.

It Might Snow

I started using an app called Raise the Bar. One of my goals is to be active outside at least a measly ten times a month for a productively invigorating period of time, so I took a cold run/walk at 4ish:

beginning of winter walk with waxing moon

path up hill

maple leaf frozen in puddle


As I got to the point I started worrying that I’d have to climb over these rocks to make it to the beach and sunset around the corner. I really didn’t feel like climbing on the rocks. But I told myself to stop worrying about it — stop trying to make a plan, stop preparing myself for disappointment, stop preparing myself to turn around too soon — and just keep walking and not think about it. Because it’s not a very big deal to just turn around when it becomes fucking clear you want to turn around. I don’t need to constantly assess and imagine what’s ahead.

beach sunset strait of juan de fuca

I was going to try to cam tonight but I think I should go to sleep earlier-ish instead. I keep feeling like I’m coming down with a cold.

western washington winter temperatures

Our skies are usually clearer, but colder here in PT.

2014-12-30 19.10.01

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