A Touch Of Sugar

Coffee and Sugar Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

For today’s prompt of “Brown Sugar,” I ended up with a some sugar cubes in a jar paired with some coffee. I honestly don’t like sugar in my coffee, but it seemed like a good visual pairing. I’ve no skills when it comes to cooking, so I just know that brown sugar was often used to bake many of the treats I loved while growing up. To be sure, I didn’t even know what made sugar brown until I looked it up and found out it’s just regular cane sugar with a bit of molasses. That makes me happy to know as molasses cookies were one of my favorites as a kid. I used to have these cookies all of the time, or frequently enough that they felt like a tradition. But, it’s been a really long time since I’ve had one. I’m still trying to talk Philippe into making some snickerdoodles, but now molasses cookies have been added to my wish list. He told me that American cookies are, “so not refined,” which is not remotely surprising coming from someone raised on French cuisine. But, he always indulges me eventually because, in the end, it’s more about the memories than the recipe itself. Though, it’s probably good that we don’t indulge in sugar very often as adults, even if it pretty much fueled me through my childhood when I was able to burn it off quickly. So, that’s why I often indulge once more by at least recreating sweet treats virtually in doodlewash form.

Tonight, we had a bit of an adventure in that we were under a tornado warning and had to move to the basement for a period of time. I was in the middles of writing this post when Philippe heard the sirens, grabbed our dog Phineas and instructed me to move downstairs immediately. There was indeed a rather large tornado moving through our area, but it thankfully broke down as it moved in our specific direction and traveled farther north. This changed everything about the mood of the night, as we were suddenly huddled together in a basement hoping for the best. Moments like these are very distressing, to be sure, but, I was struck by the feeling of being with the person I love most along with our furry companion. In that moment, I knew that all I wanted in this world was more time to spend with them. The storm, thankfully passed us by, but the feeling it left in its wake was remarkable. Though, I have so much I’d like to accomplish in life, my real life is all that matters to me. My tiny family, and all of the joy they bring me each and every day, is the most important thing.

So, I’m a bit late posting this today, having just come out of a tornado shelter, but I’m still here. I’m still showing up, despite all of the odds, and I happily recommend this. The world is crazy and unpredictable, but, no matter what, I think we should always show up to add our part of the story. No matter what happens. Even a tornado can’t stop me from showing up to sketch stuff and create each day. Our heart always finds a way. Though, sure, I’m quite happy and thankful that there was no drama to report this evening. And, certainly happy that I’m still here and able to report that bit of news. Anything is possible in life, whether things seem good or bad, and in order to live it properly, we just have to side with the good. At least, that’s how I like to view life. It’s no secret that I’m an insatiable optimist, if you’ve been reading along with me for any length of time at all. I’m not unrealistic, as I know bad things can happen, but I choose to live a life that imagines only the best things. Maybe I’m crazy, but I have to belief that life is better lived with just a touch of sugar.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 28 - Coffee and Sugar Watercolor Illustration_IG
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
28 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 2 months ago

    I love your jar Charlie.

  2. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    Whoa! What a scare. I hope damage and injuries were minimal throughout the State. I’m awed that you made it for your ramble. I’d probably be shaking too much to paint or type! Here’s to no more tornadoes!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    Glad you guys are safe! I love brown sugar in all kinds of pastries and cakes. Yum.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Was a very close call, but we are safe and sound! And yay to pastries and cakes! Yum indeed!

  4. Lisa 2 months ago

    We had straight line winds here around 15 years ago. It changed the landscape. I was at work when it happened and didn’t know anything was wrong at my house, 17 miles away, until hours later when I was trying to get home and was blocked road after road by emergency vehicles. In the end, no one was hurt, all of the mess was picked up and we started over. Weather and our love of sugar are two of the great equalizers in this world. Lol!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yes to that, Lisa! 😃💕 We can get through just about anything with a bit of sugar and hope!

  5. mlaiuppa 2 months ago

    Modern sugar is molasses added to sugar in anywhere from 4% to 6% to control it. But traditional brown sugar was the product you get when you first refine sugar cane. It’s the first step after the juice is heated and impurities removed. When you heat it and boil it down again, you remove the molasses and you eventually end up with white sugar. Much like white rice and white bread, all of the good stuff has been refined away. Putting the molasses back doesn’t really restore it back to it’s original form as it has been filtered away. It does allow for uniformity and predictability. I think there are places where you can still get unrefined brown cane sugar.

    What a scary experience. I live in earthquake country and you could’t pay me to live where there are tornados. Yeah, earthquakes are unpredictable and can be scary but where I am they usually aren’t very big and they are over real fast. I don’t think I could live knowing a tornado was coming, then go into a shelter or basement and just wait for it. I’m sure Phineas enjoyed the time with his family all together and focusing on him. But of course, you were there just for him. Keep telling him that.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Oh wow! Thanks for the info on brown sugar! That’s awesome! 😃💕 And true… tornadoes seem particularly terrifying… too erratic and they last longer than they should. But yes, Phineas did enjoy his time in the basement… he assumed it was a moment to focus on him so everything was just as it should be! hehe 😉

  6. Jodi 2 months ago

    So glad you are safe and with the one you love. ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jodi! 😃💕 Was a crazy evening, but we’re all safe and sound!

      • Jodi 2 months ago

        We’ve been having crazy rain and flooding here for the past few days.

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

          This weather is insane lately… hope you have a break soon my friend! ❤️

  7. LoriCtoo 2 months ago

    Glad you you and you’re little family are safe! Crazy weather back there. It makes me appreciate where I live. I’ll take lots of rainy days over tornadoes any time! I would have never thought to put brown sugar in my coffee. I’m not sure if I would like it. Hmmmm something to think about. For having your sketching time disrupted, you sure did an awesome job on this prompt!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 It was indeed a crazy night… tornadoes are not something Philippe has any experience with so tensions run high. I grew up with them, so they’re like the monster in the closet. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  8. Ellie 2 months ago

    Wow, Charlie! What an experience! Thanks for the wonderful reminders: appreciate the ones we love around us and show up no matter what. Glad you guys are okay and that we all get to share your cup of coffee and brown sugar.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕We have tornado season, but that one was a bit too close. It’s funny how those moments make you realize that what you thought you had to lose isn’t even the thing that really matters.

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 months ago

    Thanks for posting that you’re safe. After watching the news last night, I was worried about you and other friends who live in the tornado area. Thankfully you have a shelter when tornadoes threaten.

    Despite all the stress, you managed to post, and what a sweet image it is! Coffee and brown sugar. Gotta be a song there.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Yeah, we’re safe now! We’ve only had a couple moments in the city where we’ve had to go underground, but this one was a bit frightening. A little too close. But, yes, after the storm, the best thing is to always go back to what you love doing. So, I made a post! 😊

  10. Robert J. Coleman 2 months ago

    Thank God you all are OK! These tornado outbreaks are terrifying. My wife and I lived in FL and AL for a dozen years,and we saw all the thunderstorms, straight line winds and tornadoes for a lifetime. So we moved back to New England to avoid most of the extreme events of nature. But we pray for all those who are now suffering from nature’s wrath and are so happy that you all made it with no damage. Today’s subject, brown sugar, does take the edge off; I like it especially in my oatmeal. A nice lump of dark stuff melting down into the oats really hits the spot! Thanks tor coming through with the sketch and your thoughts. Stay safe!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Robert! 😃💕 Yeah, we made it through it just fine, but wow.. yeah, the weather is not friendly these days. So happy you liked this ode to brown sugar… it’s really awesome stuff! It would take more than a tornado to make me stop sketching stuff and writing each day! 😉

  11. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    So relieved that you all are safe. That evacuation business is so stressful…at least down here we usually have enough warning when a hurricane is headed our way. So hope that the weather up there improves soon.
    Love your coffee and brown sugar and the info on brown sugar…who knew :-). Just baked a batch of brown sugar cookies for the resident “cookie monster” a few days ago :-).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, it was a weirdly close call, but we’re all just fine! And I would be entirely better if I could enjoy some of those brown sugar cookies!!! YUM!! I want that!! hehe

  12. memadtwo 2 months ago

    The tornados yesterday passed me by as well. Family and a cup of coffee seem a good solution to all this wacky weather we are having. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Cheers to that, Kerfe! 😃💕 The weather is a bit crazy these days… so glad to hear it passed you by as well. But, yes, family and a good cup of coffee is a wonderful solution to weather these storms.

  13. Geez I guess none of my excuses for not drawing are going to work, if you painted through a tornado. 😂 But seriously glad you are all ok and appreciate your dose of optimism.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Eileen! 😃💕hehe… yeah, I’m either crazy or inspirational… you be the judge! lol I truly appreciate your comment… we’re all safe… and you know… yeah.. I don’t think we should ever have any excuses to show up and create! It makes the world happier and shiner! ❤️

  14. smzang 2 months ago

    So thankful you and your family are safe. The weather has been absolutely maniacal.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, the weather is crazy, but we’re all safe and happy!

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