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Fitted Sheets, Knives, Lemonade and Moulin De Gassac

Folding the Dreaded Fitted Sheet

Recently, I heard a Facebook friend lamenting the difficulty of folding a fitted sheet.  I too am in that same camp, but fortunately for me, I have Gary.  He is a pro at “the fitted sheet”.  He learned at 15 years old when he was employed at a Howard Johnson’s Motel and had to learn the correct way to do it.  You know back when hotels and motels actually used fitted sheets.  So here is a video of him doing his thing while he was doing some laundry last weekend.

Please note:  This video is beyond “amateur”.   I am a photographer, not a videographer and I have no idea how to shoot or edit video.  It is all one take with no edits.  Not to mention I shot it with my iPhone since I have no idea how to use my cameras for video.  Don’t worry, it’s only about 90 seconds long.  He makes it look so easy.

It’s Dog Week at Casa de DeanLink

Gary and I will be watching my sister’s dogs for a bit while the sister’s travel for business and pleasure.  Breezy is already here and Mikili aka Moof arrives tomorrow.  It will be fun having both dogs but it is so time-consuming.  Their needs are very different, with such a difference in age and temperament.  So yes, my hands are full but I would not have it any other way.  Breezy at six months weighs in at 62 pounds.  She gunna be a big girl!

puppy palace lap dog
She thinks she is a lap dog.

One of the big benefits of watching the dogs is I will walk at least three miles a day when either or both of them are here.  It’s a shame I can not convince myself to get up from the computer when they are not here.  I would be so much trimmer.

Minted Lemonade

Once you are done with the laundry you may need something refreshing to drink.  I love the Kirkland Organic Lemonade I get at Costco.  They come in a 2-pack but for me, that’s never enough.  This lemonade is really tart and not super sweet.  Sometimes I drink it straight, sometimes I add (and marinate) crushed fresh blueberries to it but most of the time I add a bunch of fresh mint.  And yes, if I drank vodka you could make a mean cocktail with this too!  Clearly, you can do this with any brand that you buy assuming it’s close to the same size of 96 fluid ounces.  The secret is to only leave the mint in the bottle for about 2-3 days even as you begin to drink from it after 1 day.  After that, it may start to get a bitter aftertaste.

Use the entire package of mint that you can find at most grocery stores.  Rinse it under cold water.  Shake the excess water off and then pat dry with a paper towel.  Chop off the stems about an inch from the bottom.   Now stuff the mint into the lemonade jug.  Rotate up and down to get the mint to settle in.  Put it in the refrigerator and let steep for at least 12 hours but better at 24.  Enjoy!  If you buy the 2-pak at Costco, as you drink the Minted Lemonade you can grab a funnel and add from the second bottle to keep it minted without starting over. but you may want to leave the mint in the bottle a bit longer.

Costco Rocks

Speaking of Costco, I am surprised when I hear singles and couples say that they do not belong to a wholesale club like Costco.  They say that they just don’t need to buy in bulk?  Bulk? like a gallon of ice cream is bulk? or three sticks of butter is bulk?  I’m not sure I get that unless…  Are you an “I have my one store that I shop at and that’s it” – kinda person.  Or are you like me… an “I have specific brands or items that I like and can only get them at a particular store”.  I will go to two, maybe four different stores (not all on the same trip)  to get the various brands, items and produce that I want.  Could I get something similar at one store?  Yes, but honestly, life is too short to not get what you like, love and just gotta have!

My all time favorite things at Costco:  Kirkland Sumatra or Rwandan Dark Roasted Coffee Beans (3 lbs for $13-16) , Kirkland Organic Lemonade (2 for $6), Kerrygold Grass-fed Butter (3 for $8  – it’s basically buying 2 get one free versus the price at the grocery store), Kirkland Super Premium Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – The best vanilla ice cream you will EVER, I MEAN EVER, EVER eat.  (2 – 1/2 gal cartons for about $10-11) and yes that is an actual half gallon not like all the other brands whose 1/2 gallon has shrunk to keep the price low.)…. and so so many other items.

Costco Favorites

Not to mention, I am a huge fan of the business model from which Costco operates.  All items sold in the store are priced at no more than 15% above acquisition cost.  This differential is what they operate on including paying all their employees a living wage (cashiers make approx. $20/hr) with benefits.  Profits are made from new memberships and renewals which are a great incentive to always do right by your customers and your employees and you will always make $$$.  Love that. Love them!

Moulin De Gassac, Guilhem Rosé 2016

TGassac Guilhem Rosé 2016his rosé was our house “go to” last year.  I dare not think of the number of bottles consumed.  We first got the 2016 vintage last week even though we still had a couple Gassac Guilhem Rosé 2016bottles from 2015 left.  With that in mind, I decided I wanted to do a side by side comparison.  Wow, was that a mistake.  By drinking the 2015 bottle first our palates were confused and shocked by the similarities of the two but also by exaggerating some of the flavors in 2016.  We all looked at each other in confusion because this tasted so unlike anything we had ever had from Gassac.  

One more time

The following week we opened another 2016 bottle and tried it again.  This time without last year’s vintage first. Crisp, and fresh for sure but that’s where Gary and I parted with this wine.  We may have different favorites this year because he is really liking this one to a much greater degree than me. 

Pale salmon in color, the word that comes to my mind with my first sip is citrus – blood orange more specifically.  Gary says this wine has “medium acid”.  I call it tart making the edges of my tongue salivate.  The finish is a bit like early, not quite ripe strawberries.  I like a bit more ripe berry than this one has.  But Gary is in love, so if you like a tart or medium acid citrusy wines, this may be your wine.

I will try it again next time but I may have to search for a new favorite for this year.  That is not to say it is not good.  It is just not quite my style.  Gary says it would go great with Fettuccine Alfredo or other rich cheesy dishes. This wine is available in Charleston at The Wine Shop on Lockwood Blvd.

Now, what if you want to try this wine…. how will you find it?  Can you, even?

First, please keep in mind that these 2016 wines are newly released and some shops may not bring them in until Spring hits your neck of the woods.  But it’s Spring here so we are delighted to get the chance to drink this new vintage.

If your local wine store is already carrying 2016 rosés but not this one, you will want to find out if there is a distributor in your state.  This used to be impossible, but with the internet, it is a breeze. You just need to know where to look.  I have done the work for you if you live in NC or SC as you can see on the label who imported this wine.  I went to the distributor’s website and found that they sell in both NC and SC.  So your next step is to call or email asking for a store near you.   Again, if in Charleston, check The Wine Shop on Lockwood Blvd.

If you do not live in NC or SC, you have a small bit of work to do, but it is as easy as sending an email to the winemaker first.  Send an email asking if there is a distributor in your state.  You do not need to know French or Italian or whatever language of the country of origin…. somebody that works there speaks English and they will get back to you.  If there is a distributor they will tell you and then you will need to contact the distributor to find out where it is sold.  Lastly, go there to buy it.

If there is no distributor in your state and your state allows for wine to be shipped in from another state, you can still get this wine but you will need to pay to ship as well.  Do some research to find an online store with reasonable shipping.  Some offer free shipping if you buy a case.  I also use an app called Vivino.  It is a great app that allows you to snap pictures of the front label of the wine you are drinking.  You can rate it, makes comments about it but even better they have retailers that they work with and many times you can get the wine from one of their retailers.

Here I found a store that is shipping this wine.  Live a little.

My Knives are so dull!

Actually not mine…. but maybe yours are.    You buy a set of these great Zwilling J.A. Henckels or Wüstof knives and then you put them through a cycle in the dishwasher or you submerge and let them sit in hot soapy water in your sink for way too long.  Too long is actually…. doing that at all.  Here are tips to keeping your knives super sharp without really trying.

  1. NEVER use a knife on your marble or granite kitchen counter or any hard stone.  Also, do not cut on anything metal. Always use wood or plastic cutting boards
  2. NEVER put your knives in the dishwasher or let sit for an extended period of time in the water.  
  3. ALWAYS, hand wash your knives.
  4. ALWAYS immediately dry your knives and put them away.
  5. NEVER put your knives in a drawer or container where the blades can touch other objects in the same drawer.  That includes other knives.  Always store your knives in a wooden block or magnetic knife strip.
  6. Learn to use a honing rod for a quick sharpen and a whetstone for a serious sharpening.  Or send out for a professional sharpening and then follow all the above tips to keep them sharp. 

Image of the week

Image of the week, fitting thru the door
Burmese Monk, Myanmar 2013 ©Rick Dean Photography

Well, that is all for this week.



SHOP Decorative Throw Pillows


  1. Brenda Sauls

    Wow, tons of interesting info on multiple topics!! Thanks, Rick. (p.s., would love to share this to my friends on FB but don’t see that option anywhere….?)

    • I will work on that. I thought I had set that up but clearly I was wrong.

  2. Stan Foxworthy

    A delightful read Rick! I also appreciated Gary’s mad folding skills of the fitted sheet! Maybe Sharon will be happier with my newfound folding skills 🙂
    Thanks for brightening our week, now to hunt down some mint and lemonade!

  3. Luci Secord

    I’m loving your blog Rick…and I especially love the pic you posted since I have it framed in my living room!!! I can’t wait to meet Breezy. She is getting so big!!! I usually like your wine comments but I an not a rose drinker. And thanks for the sheet demo!!!!!

    • Rick

      Your are welcome!… and Ahh! You just said what I said about rosé wine. You drink red wine and white wine….so there has to be a style of rosé that agrees with your palate. You just have not found one that you like yet. They are out there, that I know.

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