Feeling Nutty

Mouse And Pecan Nuts Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Nuts,” today, I opted for pecans as they were my favorite growing up. Then, I simply decided to add a little mouse admiring them. We had a brief mouse problem in our house at the beginning of the year. A small group had decided to move in for the winter. Our dog Phineas wasn’t bothered in the least which was a bit suspicious. Philippe and I first thought he might be running his own AirBnb to make some extra money for treats. Then we realized this is perfectly ridiculous as he doesn’t have a bank account. As for the mice, they were all trapped and removed, so had Phineas been running his own hotel, the reviews would not have been kind. And, it was all a bit sad as mice are quite cute as rodents go, but when they decide to move in without asking, that’s just bad manners. Pecans, however, are always welcome in my home. As a kid, we’d go and collect pecans off the ground and so we always had a large bowl of them sitting on the table. In truth, like so many things, I’ve no idea if I loved them most or most loved them simply because it was a family tradition.

Philippe and I were making sure we’re prepared for all of our upcoming family traditions that begin later this month. Thanksgiving kicks things off, but it arrives very late this year so that long weekend will also be the start of our countdown to Christmas. For those new to Doodlewash, my inner child really comes out this time of year and I spend much of it acting like an actual child. I’m not alone as Philippe and I both already have our Lego Advent calendars. His is the City edition, and mine is usually Star Wars, but this year I opted for Harry Potter instead. This is paired with a chocolate advent calendar of some sort, but we haven’t gotten those yet. It’s such a ridiculous thing for men our age, but that’s what makes it so incredibly perfect and fun! What we don’t have is a bowl of pecans on the table. Philippe thinks nuts are ingredients and doesn’t enjoy the plain variety. Although, I asked him about pecans recently and he said he wasn’t sure, so it’s worth getting a bowl of them just to find out. I secretly like the fact that he isn’t keen on nuts, because it’s the only snacking option that’s exclusively mine. And, therefore, something that won’t immediately disappear.

And I know my mother will have a pecan pie when we visit her in Texas at the beginning of December. As a kid, I didn’t like pecan pie at all, but as an adult it’s rather awesome! The thing about the holiday season that thrills me is the reappearance of things that only show up this time of year. Even when it’s something I don’t care for, I’d miss it if it were gone. Since, Philippe and I visit my family between the two holidays, one would think we’d miss the food tradition, but my mother and sister would never allow that to happen. So, on the last Sunday that we’re there we’ll have a traditional feast. There will likely be oyster stew, which nobody likes except my brother-in-law these days. My father had loved it, so it was always served. It’s a tradition without much of an audience when it comes to actually consuming the food, but I can help but be consumed with wonderful memories when it appears. It’s like every season connects to one from the past, building a rich tapestry of love and stories. Even if the same things happen or the same food is served, there’s always something new to add to the narrative. And the simplest of things like pecans become so much more. Perhaps that’s why this time of year fills my heart with love, and yes, very often leaves me feeling nutty.

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Mouse And Pecan Nuts Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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  1. Janet 3 years ago

    Hi Charlie, just love your words. I am sad to say that all of the traditions from when I was a kid have seemed to disappear. My children live in different states and we never can get together at one time because they work retail and have to work through the holidays. It stinks. My husbands family is close by but no traditions there and that stinks too. But I love to reflect on what was as I grew up as we had so much fun. My parents being of German decent always put the polka’d on the LP player and we would dance for hours. Then it was time for desert. Miss those times. So enjoy your holidays and keep writing. ❤️
    Janet Kyle 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Janet! 😃💕Yeah, things seems to change so much these days and distance is never a good thing. But the vision of your parents dancing the polka for hours is so heart-warming! What a beautiful tradition!

  2. Susan Feniak 3 years ago

    Sweet mouse 🐭💙

  3. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    Aweeeeeeee, the little mouse is so super cute!!!!!!!!! And fabulous nuts!!! Pecans are one of my favorites too. 🙂

  4. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Fabulous, Charlie! I am actually hoping not to see mice this winter. Last winter they eat out dishwasher which was a very expensive fix! They were searching for water and ate through hoses. We had to replace the dishwasher! 😟 Our house has a constant smell of mint to try to repel them.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕Yeah, mouse are not cute when they decide to move in!! Ugh… but on the bright side, mint is a lovely smell! 😉

  5. Lisa Coleman 3 years ago

    Pecans are my favorite nut….probably because I was born & raised in Texas. I will always substitute pecans where walnuts are called for in a recipe. Cute drawing!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s funny that I grew up much farther north, but my family is now in Texas. Yet, we always opted for pecans!

  6. Purnima Manjunath 3 years ago

    Hehe! Phineas must have made a deal with them! Lovely pecans, cute mouse ! What awesome colors!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Purnima! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I’m sure the dog was involved. He’s just like that! lol

  7. Brenda Jiral 3 years ago

    Charlie, not only are your illustrations beautifully done, but your stories are truly captivating! I am in awe of your many talents! I find myself looking forward to your stories as much as a favorite TV show or movie! Thank you for sharing your talents with us; the world is a brighter place because of them!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thank you so much, Brenda! 😃💕 What a lovely compliment! Wow! I’d love to work on movies again, but until then I have my humble blog. Thrilled you’re enjoying it! That makes me so happy to hear!

  8. Zertab Quaderi 3 years ago

    Loved both the post and the doodle! Funny that Phineas could think of taking in boarders! Your words are filled with warmth, befitting the season. Always a pleasure to read your posts daily. Pecans are something we don’t get in our part of the world. But when my Uncle visits us from the USA, he usually gets these for us. I love the ones that are chocolate-covered!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕 Thrilled you’re enjoying my posts! And yay to pecans whenever you can get them. And a double yay to anything covered in chocolate! yum!

  9. Walt. F Pierluissi 3 years ago

    This is so neat and cute…love it…..

  10. Lisa 3 years ago

    This morning I opened the cupboard door under my kitchen sink and there was a big ole mouse in the trap we have set there. I feel sad for the ones we trap, but I can’t come up with a better solution. For years we didn’t have mice in our house, but now that the feral cat population is at two or three, they’re back. Although, one of our indoor cats loves to go in the garage and catch mice. She’s really good at it.

    I adore pecan pie! And it’s the easiest pie to make. I’ll probably make two for thanksgiving. It’s my favorite breakfast food the day after.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Oh wow! Yeah… I don’t like actually succeeding in trapping them. Glad you have a cat that enjoys the task! And pecan pie for breakfast sounds awesome!! I’ll have to try that when I visit my mom!

  11. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    Wonderful little mouse and pecans! I love pecan pie and the holiday season, too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Yay to the holidays and pecan pie!

  12. Gary Middleton 3 years ago

    Another excellent doodle and story.

  13. Adnan Aslam Dar 3 years ago

    Awesome so beautiful Charlie mouse is soo cute.

  14. smzang 3 years ago

    This one is a favorite. It is warm and funny with just a hint of nostalgia, a whole bunch of joy and a grand excitement for every minute yet to be.

    It looks like that little mouse is torn between awe and a desire to eat the pecans. I can relate!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one! I think I spend my life torn between awe and desire. Not a bad way to live actually. 😉 hehe

  15. memadtwo 3 years ago

    Pecan pie is my favorite (but not mice in my house). I got my daughter the star wars Lego advent calendar, so she is prepared too! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Yay to pecan pie and mice outdoors! 😃💕 hehe And awesome that your daughter has the Star Wars Lego calendar. I had to make a choice this year so I’m a bit jealous of the porg in a Santa hat that she’ll get at the end! lol

  16. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    He’s so cute! I love your pecans too. I like pecans, but I never think to buy them just to eat. I might have to pick up. Holiday food traditions are so funny. Same food every year, whether anyone anyone really wants it. A few years ago, I quit making a whole ham for our little family Christmas dinner. Instead I buy deli ham and make hot ham and cheese sandwiches on wonderful bakery rolls. The two men in my house are just as happy. Momma’s happy because I don’t have to spend alll day in the kitchen making a bunch of food they could careless about. The sandwich idea was actually my husband’s. We have a big meal with the in-law’s Christmas eve.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕Your traditions sound lovely! You had me at hot ham and cheese sandwiches! Those are sooooo good!! I had them all the time as a kid!

  17. jessicabridgeworth 3 years ago

    Love this Charlie. We just launched a video challenge app called HeatingUp and are running a flipbook challenge right now. I think your submission would be awesome. Winner gets $100 gift card and a permanent spot in our Hall of Fame. Any interest? And no this is not a bot lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Jessica! Glad you enjoyed this! 😃 I don’t really do videos, but it’s something I hope to try more next year. 😉

  18. Gaina 3 years ago

    I love the illustration. 😊 ❤️

    I can’t remember who said it, but the quote ‘We don’t stop playing because we get old. We get old because we stop playing’ is so true. I think as artists were quite lucky because we never truly let go of the little kid who loved slapping colour onto paper with joyous abandon. 😊

    I love Christmas, and my tacky little tree will go up on my desk on December 1st, along with the fairy lights on my bed frame. 😊 Then I’ll spend the next month binge watching animated movies on TV, as well as my DVD of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Gaina! 😃💕 Yay to always playing. I’m quite sure that keeps us young. And your holiday tradition sounds like a ton of fun!! I adore this time of year!

  19. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Just love this little mouse!!!

  20. Jerson Antao 3 years ago

    Beautiful mouse Charlie! They often give you a very tough time when they are small and if they are in your house O my 😡 they eat what not your clothes etc!😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Jerson! 😃💕 Yeah… mice are definitely way cuter outside of the home!

  21. Loan Anh Pham 3 years ago

    I’ve never tasted pecan nut, I’ve just catch to it in fairy tails when I was a child. But I’ve loved to hear its name appearing in each stories. Your sketch is really lovely , Charlie 🥰

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Loan! 😃💕 Oh wow… you definitely need to try a pecan. They’re lovely!

  22. shawnthompsonart 3 years ago

    Really nice drawing, I really like your composition, and the closeup of the nuts with the mouse coming towards them.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Shawn! 😃💕I’m in a mode of practicing foreshortening when I can. Thrilled you liked it!

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