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Can Catholics observe Lent AND eat corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day?

Published: Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 11:17 AM

            Photo courtesy of Dorothy Lane Market
Photo courtesy of Dorothy Lane Market

We wondered: Can Catholics who are abstaining from meat while observing Lent receive the equivalent of a one-day pass that would allow them to enjoy corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day?

The answer, it turns out, is yes — under certain circumstances that are, well … complicated.

RELATED: Guide to St. Patrick’s Day 2017 events in Dayton

We know the issue has come up in Dayton-area parishes, since this is the first year St. Patrick’s Day has fallen within Lent since 2006, according to this story from that explores the issue in great depth.

MORE: 4 ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with FOOD in Dayton

The Catholic News Agency story shows that more than 80 dioceses in the U.S. have announced some form of dispensation on St. Patrick’s Day this year, but cautions that Catholics should check with their local diocese before partaking in “the celebratory meats.”

RELATED: More Dayton-area restaurants add St. Patrick’s Day specials

So we posed the question to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, which includes the Dayton, Hamilton, Middletown and Springfield areas. Here was the answer we received from Lisa J. Weber, Secretary to the Chancellor for the Archdiocese:

“If a Catholic in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati wishes to request a dispensation from the abstinence of meat on St. Patrick’s Day, we ask them to write to the Archbishop by postal mail. He will then consult with their pastor.”

So it might be a bit too late for this year. But now you know for the NEXT time the beloved Irish holiday falls on Lent.

RELATED: 8 things to know about Dublin Pub’s 2-day St. Patty’s Day bash

By the way, the best line from the Catholic News Agency story comes from J.D. Flynn, a canon lawyer and Special Assistant to Bishop James Conley in Lincoln, Neb. When the story’s author asked about her own extremely proud Irish grandmother who declared a dispensation for herself and all her Irish kin on St. Patrick’s Day, regardless of where they reside, Flynn’s response was:

“Your grandma was, with all due respect to her Irish brilliance, mistaken.”

These five wines will see you through the holidays

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 5:32 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

Here are five delicious wines that will complement your Thanksgiving feast - or any dinner party for that matter: We have two outstanding sparkling wines from Oregon, a delightful pinot blanc from Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula, a surprising pinotage from Mendocino and a rich syrah from California's Central Coast.

Roco Winery, RMS Brut 2013

3 stars

Willamette Valley, Oregon, $66

This is a splurge-worthy sparkling wine from Rollin Soles (the RMS of the wine's name), the winemaker who established Argyle as Oregon's leading bubbly producer before launching his own winery. The RMS Brut is bright, fruity and complex, with its structure suggesting it will age well, if you can keep your mitts off it. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.

>> Make it fast or make it slow: Thanksgiving turkey, two ways


Argyle Vintage Brut 2014

3 stars

Willamette Valley, Oregon, $26

The standard-bearer of Oregon bubbles is still going strong. This wine is bursting with berry and red currant fruit, and a focus that establishes it as one of the best U.S. sparkling wines. ABV: 12.5 percent.


McNab Ridge Pinotage, The Napoli Vineyard 2014

3 stars

Mendocino County, California, $19

Here's pinotage, South Africa's signature red grape, making an extraordinary California wine. This tastes rather like a cross of pinot noir and zinfandel, and it is simply outstanding. This would be a great California wine for your Thanksgiving feast. McNab Ridge is the latest winemaking incarnation of the Parducci family of Mendocino fame. ABV: 14.4 percent.

>> Retailers’ holiday push is earlier, harder this year


McPrice Myers, Right Hand Man Syrah 2014

2.5 stars

Central Coast, California, $20

Opulent, ripe and sweet with blackberry and cherry fruit flavors and a velvety texture, this syrah calls for rich foods. The alcohol is a bit high, but the fruit balances it well. This wine actually tastes better the day after it has been opened, so I suggest decanting it a few hours before dinner. ABV: 15 percent.

Left Foot Charley Pinot Blanc 2016

2.5 stars

Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan, $22

I love this winery, which shows Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula at its best. The pinot blanc is racy and vibrant with an electric balance of fruit and acidity. It's delicious by itself and pairs well with seafood and white-meat dishes. ABV: 13 percent.

>> Politics really is ruining Thanksgiving, according to data from 10 million cellphones

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Three stars exceptional, two stars excellent, one star very good

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Prices are approximate. Check to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Black Friday 2017: What to buy, what to avoid

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 11:35 AM

Black Friday 2017 Deals

On Black Friday, you’ll want to know which items to stand in line for, and which items to buy after the holiday season has passed. You can end up saving a lot of money (and time) by shopping smart as you weave your way through the crowds or shop online.

What to buy on Black Friday:

Home appliances  They may not be the sexiest of gifts, but small and large home appliances often are priced to sell on Black Friday. From electric mixers and coffeemakers to refrigerators and dishwashers, says it’s worth checking out the deals on these items on Black Friday.

Televisions (basic models): While some analysts say January, leading up to the Super Bowl, is the best time to find a television at a good price, there are still plenty of TV deals on Black Friday. Keep in mind that lower-end models tend to be priced the most competitively, making Black Friday the perfect time to pick up a television for a second bedroom or the kids’ room. If you are looking for a high-end television, it’s better to wait until after Black Friday.

Mainstream laptops and tablets: Shoppers will find many basic laptop models at bargain-basement prices on Black Friday. Power users looking for good deals on high-end laptops should wait until after Black Friday.
The same logic applies to tablets. There will be plenty of Black Friday doorbusters featuring basic tablet models; just don’t expect steep discounts on iPads.

Gaming system bundles: Nerdwallet says gaming system bundles should receive good discounts on Black Friday. In years past, gaming system bundles have been priced up to $50 off the regular price on Black Friday.
What not to buy on Black Friday:

Furniture: The furniture sales cycle resets in the summer, so if you wait until Black Friday, you won’t be getting the best deals, according to The Street. And while buying outdoor furniture in winter might seem like a wise plan, retail experts say most of that merchandise has been removed from the floor to make room for holiday items by Black Friday, so you won’t find great deals on the remaining products. 

Toys: Unless your child is hoping for one of this year’s hottest toys, it’s actually better to wait until Cyber Monday or early December to shop for toys, according to The toy that is priced up to half-off on Black Friday may end up being priced up to 75 percent off if you wait.

Winter clothes: Avoid spending your shopping money on winter clothing during Black Friday, because it generally sells at a much deeper discount soon after the holiday season ends. 

Workout equipment: You might think that the best time to purchase workout equipment is during Black Friday, but the biggest deals on fitness equipment actually take place right after the turn of the new year.

Tools: You can still get your husband that tool set he’s been wanting for Christmas, just wait to purchase it until December, when tools and equipment sell for the largest discounts.

Gift cards: There are rarely good deals on gift card purchases on Black Friday. The Street says this is because gift cards are the gift choice of procrastinators, so wait until just before Christmas to score better deals.
Holiday decor: Although you might want to buy a few special ornaments or decorations for your house on Black Friday, plan ahead by purchasing next year’s décor right after Christmas, when seasonal items are sold at clearance prices.

What’s round on the ends and keeps chug-a-luggin’?

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 7:15 PM

            Mike Abel of Beavercreek took this photo on Nov. 4 at the Dayton Train Show, a model train show held at the Upper Valley Mall in Springfield. Abel said, “I was especially impressed by the miniature scenes, some of which included smoke from ‘burning’ buildings.”
Mike Abel of Beavercreek took this photo on Nov. 4 at the Dayton Train Show, a model train show held at the Upper Valley Mall in Springfield. Abel said, “I was especially impressed by the miniature scenes, some of which included smoke from ‘burning’ buildings.”

Share your photos of life in the Miami Valley by season.

Dayton Daily News reader Mike Abel of Beavercreek sent in this accompanying photo.

We invite Dayton Daily News readers to submit favorite photos capturing everyday life and special moments related to the season, to be considered for publication in Neighbors; timely nature scenes, family fun, hikes in the park and more. Photos should be from within the past few months.

Please send a high-resolution image to the following address:

Important: Use the email subject line “Seasons photo” (without the quote marks). Submissions should include the date the photo was taken, the location the photo was taken and a brief description of the photo. The photographer should include his/her first and last name and specific town of residence for a photo credit.

3-year-old boy loves his family’s leaf blower so much he tucks it into bed at night

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 5:25 PM

A loud power tool that can wake up an entire neighborhood in the morning has become one toddler’s favorite toy.

Heidi Heilig recently asked her husband, Bret, to bring home a leaf blower after she noticed her 3-year-old son, nicknamed “Riot,” was talking more and more about the tool as he saw people using them in his Brooklyn neighborhood.

She figured she could justify buying the blower since she tends to her co-op’s garden, but when Bret brought home the bright red Milwaukee blower with its jumbo-sized black tube, their son took no time warming up to it, carrying it around almost everywhere he went and tucking it into bed.

>> This Kansas dad wasn’t coming home until Christmas. Then, a man in uniform came to school.

“Riot was entranced and would insist on stopping to watch whenever we passed someone cleaning their sidewalk,” Heilig, 37, tells PEOPLE. “I didn’t quite realize his affection would run so deep but in retrospect, I should have realized, because this is a kid who tucks LED light bulbs in at night with his extra blankie.”

Riot loves removing and replacing the blower’s tube, and even reads the safety symbols and warns his mom not to get her hair stuck in the motor. 

Heilig, who is the author of The Girl From Everywhere and The Ship Beyond Time, says Riot’s fascination with the leaf blower and other electronics may have stemmed her husband’s work as a solar installer and manager.

“They bond over it. Most of their play involves swapping light bulbs in the ceiling fan or putting the diffuser on or taking it off, or building things,” she continues. “He has a shelf full of plastic and stuffed toys and animals. I guess he just prefers the real stuff.”

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Riot’s passion for the leaf blower started with his fascination with fans—any kind, whether ceiling, table, floor or box. A leaf blower, of course, is just an extension of that obsession.

“We bought him a ceiling fan for his room last year and he also tucked it in and napped next to it before he let us install it,” Heilig recalls. 

Riot loves fans so much that he is probably the first kid in the history of Halloween to trick-or-treat as a ceiling fan.

Heilig embraces her son’s quirky interests and hopes that other parents encourage their children when they take up something unusual (as long as they stay safe and supervise them).

“Kids are just funny and unexpected and the way they adore things is so pure,” she says. “They are who they are and they like what they like from a very young age and the sooner you encourage them to be themselves, the happier everyone will be.”