Audiobooks · Books

From The Reading Table: The Silver Pigs

My latest obsession:

The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The majority of my reading these days is via Audible.com. There is nothing like being read to. LOL!

That being said, I have been looking for a new book for quite a while, having been stuck in a Sherlock Holmes loop (Stephen Fry reads the entire canon.) or indulging in some mythology. Recently I sat down and started going through the Audible Plus catalog hoping to find something – anything – that caught my interest. And wouldn’t you know who popped up? Falco.

It is a rare treat to find an author who can put the reader/listener right smack in the middle of the world of their story. I would use the term ‘worldbuilding’ in a broad sense because the world in this case is Ancient Rome, a place that many of us have a slight knowledge of. Toss in a captivating story, interesting characters, and a reader (Christian Rodska) who voices the characters perfectly.

Did I enjoy the book? Let’s just say that I have inhaled the first four books in less than a week and I’ve also picked up the Official Companion book. Oh, and Number 5 is waiting for me.

For whatever reason Simon Prebble took over the reader duties from Christian Rodska in book two. I have no complaint with this as I’ve been a Prebble fan for years. It was a touch jarring at first because Mr. Prebble brings a bit more of a posh tone where Mr. Rodska’s interpretation fits the down and out Falco. Overall, I like them both.

If you like a good mystery. If you like interesting characters. If you are a bit of a history buff or if you are just curious about Rome. Check out these books. I wouldn’t be surprised if you discover that, like a certain potato chip, you can’t read just one.



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Musings

August? Already?

For a year that at times felt like it would go on forever and then switch to moving at warp speed, 2021 has been quite a ride.

I should state here and now that I’m not a fan of roller coasters. I’ve ridden on more than a few, survived, didn’t spent a lot of time or money at the chiropractor’s office and am more than happy to avoid them going forward. 🙂

In my corner of the world, we’ve experienced a very late Summer. Temps in the high 90s and low 100s usually arrive late June to early July. Somehow this year things were very different. Whoopee! /s Yeah, I’m not a fan of heat, either. As I write this, temps are edging closer to 100 and the humidity…is irrelevant at this point. It is miserable outside.

Speaking of outside, the Geraniums are still lush and green with no evidence of ever producing a flower. The tomato plants, however, are a different story all together. The one Large plant has 5 – 6 blossoms with 2 small green tomatoes. I honestly don’t know who is more excited, me or the plant. LOL!

In the meantime, I’ve been studying up on Ancient Rome along with some side forays into 18th & 19th century England. As a kid who grew up with quarterly specials covering a wide variety of non-entertainment programming, I find the process of uncovering this material interesting and worthwhile. Especially when you come across a book series that checks all the boxes. More about that later.

As you might have noticed, we are undergoing a bit of a renovation around here. I’m thinking it will be a slow but steady exercise in updating and upgrading. Personally, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Musings

Pardon Our Dust!

As promised, the renovation of the OrangePlaidCat has begun! First up was an upgrade with the theme which has been an adventure. Not a bad experience, just one where there were Lots of Options and attendant confusion.

Readers – Heads Up!

It seems that there have been two separate feeds: The first was the original extended feed and the second was the direct feed (orangeplaidcat.com). Please check to make sure you are signed up for the latter.

Updating your feed will ensure that you get the latest posts. Can’t be missing out there, right? LOL!

Looking Forward

I’m planning on adding recipes to the site and am also looking at attachments that you can download. I experimented with that over the Holidays and it seems to have worked properly.

I’m looking at the Gallery and possible updates. The 2021 Garden Adventure photos have lived over on MeWe.com because there was space there. I might bring back a few or continue with new ones. (Note: The biggest tomato plant has two – count ’em two – buds as of today!

Speaking of recipes, I’m looking at adding craft or card recipes. Some bloggers have incorporated something similar into their formats and I think it could be a great addition here. I might expand it as I explore other crafts. Quilt projects, for example, might work well with that format. We shall see.

Last But Not Least

Never least. To all of you who have added me to your regular read list – Thank you! I can not begin to express how much I appreciate your sticking with me.

As always, please be sure to click on the “like” button if you enjoy a post and spread the word with your friends. We always enjoy company around here!

In the meantime, pardon our dust! 🙂

Musings

Breakfast Options

A Look At The Norm in Other Countries

I love breakfast! I can go full blown with eggs, toast, marmalade, bacon, sausage accompanied by a luscious cup of coffee. Alternatively, French pastries or just good toasted bread with butter and jam or jelly make a wonderful way to ease into the day.

A couple of my regular YouTubers recently posted on breakfast and I thought that both brought something interesting to the table, so to speak.

I do have to say that Cheryl and Mr. What’s For Tea had some wonderful meals, but the beans and toast always brings a smile to my face. As an American, these are basically Pork ‘N Beans – a favorite in my home although I’ve never had them for breakfast.

If you have not already done so, be sure to check out all of the recent videos in France. This one, however, just makes my mouth water. It has all my favorites!

While everyone has their particular favorites, I feel it is important to experiment every once in a while. You never know what you are missing, right?

What’s your favorite breakfast?

Audiobooks · Books

From The Reading Table: “Hard Time”

Hard Time by Jodi Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book has been on my Audible Wishlist for longer than I realized. My bad. I have enjoyed all of the many, many Jodi Taylor books in my library and I seem to be savoring them under the “One Of These Days” banner rather than the “Oh My What A Treat” banner they deserve.

The Weird Team is almost at the end of their training period and has made a name for themselves within the Time Police. Unfortunately, it isn’t one that many would aspire to. No real surprise there.

A semi-chance encounter with an old acquaintance of Luke’s starts them on a path that uncovers secrets, lies, truths, and a lot of evolution not only of individuals but of organizations.

With a touch of St. Mary’s thrown in for good measure. LOL!

I can not state how much I appreciate Ms. Taylor’s way with words and her knack for character and situation. I thought Gabaldon (Outlander) was a Master Wordsmith, but it turns out she is one of a very, very few. Both are astounding in the way they build worlds. It is a joy to behold!

I found myself thinking that it would be interesting to have a visual version of Ms. Taylor’s universe. The movies brought Harry Potter to life in ways that the books couldn’t. I think the same could be applied to St. Mary’s and the Time Police. Being able to actually ‘see’ things would add an interesting layer. I’m not so sure I want someone else’s interpretation of the characters, however.

You can be sure that I’ve put a reminder on my calendar for the release of Book Three and have added the book to my Wishlist over on Audible. I doubt I will wait too long to collect it once it is released so I can embark on Team Weird’s next adventure!



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Save The Date

October 14, 2021 – “Saving Time” A Time Police novel by Jodi Taylor

Around the House

House Number Options

Who Knew There Were So Many?

One of the things on my To Be Done List is to update my house number. I really need something more visible and less, um, gnarly. When the original numbers were added years ago, they were fine, but time and weather have taken their toll and it is time to replace them.

I’m contemplating some major changes to the front of the house, too. I’m thinking a planter or two and maybe a nice walkway light. That particular area doesn’t get a lot of sun, so plants will need to be hardy and able to survive in the shade. It is also the area where the trash bins are kept, so there will need to be some thought about handling those.

I headed off to Amazon to see what they had to offer and, frankly, I was shocked!

In addition to the standard number and letter configurations there are signs that can be lit – either hardwired or solar powered. Wow! I could get really outlandish and play with colored lighting. Something I’m sure the neighbors would be thrilled about. Not.

In my feed today, this solution is interesting:

Easy. Affordable. Great if you have a handy person around.

I think the planter idea is a good one. I’m especially enjoying the plants on my deck and am looking to add more next year.

I always seem to be surprised at the number of options available. In a way, however, it opens up possibilities when I consider how I want to handle walkway lighting and a motion sensor to let me know when people are near my door. (I’ve been surprised a few too many times lately…)

Speaking of walkway lighting, I did see something recently that made me smile. You can purchase sets of solar lights for walkways in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, etc. Did you know one of the options was pink flamingos? Yep. You can add a flock of the birds to your garden or lawn space.

I do have to chuckle because a few years ago a home in the area purchased their very own flock of flamingos from a local florist who had resin birds in a variety of species. I came home one day to find a lawn full of them! They were only out for about a month before they went on their way (I have no idea if they moved into the storage shed or what…) but while they were out they brought a smile to my face every time I drove by.

All I can say for certain is that I have a lot of research to do before I make my choice(s). I’m happy to have a lawn that the birds enjoy. No, not Flamingos, the neighboring flock of crows comes by to forage almost every day. Oh, and one of the neighbor squirrels has returned, too!

Have you made changes to your yard? I’d love to learn more.

Around the House · Musings

Odds & Ends

Happy Saturday! Or whatever day you are reading this. LOL!

I just wanted to say a massive “HELLO!” to all the regulars and a “Welcome!” to those who are new. I’m glad you stopped by and hope you make sure to return often.

I also wanted to let you know that I will be making some changes to the place in the next few weeks. Nothing Earth-shattering – at least I hope not – but I will be adding some pictures and developing some free downloads to some posts. I’ve been testing out some ideas and am getting ready to put them into motion.

I’m so glad you are enjoying The Orange Plaid Cat! I enjoy this way of chatting with you!

As always, please let me know if you like something by clicking on the “Like” button at the bottom of all posts and don’t hesitate to comment or send me an email.

Talk more with you soon!

Media · TV

Memory Lane: The Big Bang Theory

Like millions of other folks, I tuned in every Thursday night to watch Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and the rest in the latest adventure on “The Big Bang Theory”. I even watched the reruns so much, I knew the script. 🙂

Even now, I enjoy a visit with the gang, but there are a few moments that stand out for me. Turns out Ms Mojo was thinking along the same lines:

Are some of these your favorites, too?

Now, I would add a few things. “Please pass the butter!” is a bit that is so beautifully rendered it is priceless. The scavenger hunt show is a particular favorite of mine.

Absolutely Brilliant!

These characters were drawn from people known to the creators of the show. I like to say (and still do) that I, too, know folks like those in the show. Their quirks, along with their passions, are what make them interesting. Not to mention, a lot of fun.

I’ve never been to a Comic Con, but I have been to more than a few fan conventions, so I get it. Maybe a bit more than I should, but I do get it.

Perhaps the best thing about The Big Bang Theory isn’t just the friendships but the window into a world of comic books, super heroes, fandom, along with that group of brilliant minds. When the writing was good, it was great fun.

What are your favorite episodes?

Cooking · Food · Musings

This Made My Heart Smile

I’ve long been a fan / admirer / pupil of Jacques Pepin. I enjoy spending time with him in the kitchen. Any kitchen. What he brings to the table is not only a wide knowledge of food and technique, but an ingrained frugality. There is rarely any frivolity in his menus.

That is not to say that there isn’t a touch of whimsy floating about. If you watch any of his cookery shows for very long, you will no doubt catch bits and pieces of his humor, his cheekiness, his love of the kitchen – and people.

Chef Pepin’s menus encompass using the best of what is available and wasting very, very little. It comes from his background in France growing up during World War II when food, among everything else, was exceptionally scarce.

As a result, he learned how to stretch the proverbial penny until it squeaked, making meals out of what might seem nothing into something rich, satisfying, comforting, delicious.

I encourage you to spend some time with Chef in his kitchen. Listen carefully and learn as much as you can. He is eager to teach you, help you, mentor you so you, too, can make wonderful food for those you love.

Truly, Happy Cooking!