Welcome to ELF!

ELF is the weekly entertainment and lifestyles publication brought to you by The Keene Sentinel. You’ll find lively features about local people, businesses and information on gardening, pets, healthy living, hobbies, antiquing and much more. Our Spotlight section includes local event listings and other activities to plan for a weekend of fun. More than 20,000 copies of ELF are distributed in the area. Please contact elfweekly@keenesentinel.com with any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you!

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Featured Stories


Body & Soul

As a child, Matt Fraser was scared of his abilities. After learning they are gifts and not a curse, he uses those abilities to help others connect with their loved ones, get answers and find closure.

For most of us, horseshoe pitching seems like just a quiet way to while away a lazy summer afternoon. There are others, though, who take it much more seriously, recognizing it as a sport that has roots stretching back over centuries.

Paul Youngquist has seen a number of patients dealing with the effects of Lyme disease come into his business, Wellness Works, to use the infrared sauna. Others coping with sleep issues, some from the negative effects of the blue light resulting from too much screen time, those with endocrin…


Intrepid Gardener

I attended a lovely event the other night at the Redfern Arts Center on the campus of Keene State College and something caught my eye. The event was The Sentinel’s Extraordinary Women celebration and aside from the incredible ladies that were being honored that night, I saw a couple extraord…

If you’re of a certain age, you probably did as I did as a kid in late summer… captured Monarch caterpillars on a stalk of milkweed and put them in a jar or aquarium and waited for them to go through their amazing metamorphosis into gorgeous orange and black butterflies.

As a devoted, longtime gardener, I tend to lean more toward perennials than annuals as the main materials I work with in my Dublin gardens. I love the sheer variety of perennials on the market, the ability to divide and share favorite plants and the anticipation of what’s going to be blooming next.

A couple weeks ago, my partner and I were getting ready for bed. I’d been out working in the gardens for an hour or so after work and while I work in them, I spend a lot of time sitting right on my butt in the grass, dirt or gravel.


By Hand By Hobby

The bright colors of autumn shine at their peak during Columbus Day weekend. With the glory of the mountains at their best, the obvious extension of nature’s art show is to visit the local artists who often take their inspiration from their surroundings.

For the 46th year in a row, the autumn colors and cooler temperatures will be greeted by an ongoing favorite community event. This year, the Cheshire Craftsmen will hold their annual fair on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6, and invite the community to view the many exquisitely crafted, loc…

Mindy Taylor, gallery director at Fry Fine Art Gallery in Peterborough, has worked to present a number of special artist shows over the last 18 months. But recently, when the doors open each morning, she notes guests have already arrived to see the latest exhibit.

If you’re finding it takes longer to book an appointment with your veterinarian – or if you’re having trouble finding a vet who even takes new clients – you’re not alone. Just five years ago, there were plenty of veterinary professionals, but today, nearly every state in the U.S. is facing a…

The axolotl (pronounced ACK-suh-LAH-tuhl) is a type of salamander that has an interesting and unique trait that distinguishes it from its amphibian relatives: The axolotl retains its larval features throughout its adult life.

Collen Meyer, owner of Advanced Saddle Fit in Marlborough, sees a horse saddle as a basic piece of equipment performing a complex function. It is probably one, if not the only, apparatus that is shared by two different creatures at the same time to accomplish the same task.


Potpourri

Sun and the sand are primary reasons for heading, lemming-like, to the seashore in summer. The Maine coast around Kennebunkport has some of the best beaches in the Northeast, with miles of fine sand and gentle surf, but it also offers a variety of things to do when the sun doesn’t shine.

Get ready to see trucks topple and smoke pour out from hardcore motor vehicles at the 2018 Northeast Off-Road Jamboree. This annual event, hosted by Northeast Performance Diesel, is coming to the Cheshire Fairground in Swanzey on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, and will feature a number …

Half a decade ago, the Keene Lions Club started a program called the “Junior Lions.” Since then, more than 500 Keene High School juniors have joined at least four luncheon meetings each and participated in the Club’s activities.


It Takes a Farm

As fall descends, harvesting the year’s produce becomes a priority. Nowhere is this season more critical than in a vineyard. Grapes require constant monitoring, and a good farmer knows at exactly what time the vines should be stripped.

Onions are one of our most ancient vegetables, going back some 5,000 years. Their origins are a bit fuzzy, but it’s generally agreed that they originated in central Asia.

If you’ve ever wandered around the health and beauty department of a retail store, you’ve probably seen loofahs, a kind of spongy, cylindrical item most often used for skin care. Excellent for exfoliating epidermal layers, this fruit, also spelled “luffa,” is a vegetable in the Cucurbitaceae…


Nest / Intrepid Gardener

Over in Dublin, at the end of an obscure dirt road, you’ll find a little bit of the Orient, in the form of a Japanese house, lovingly constructed in time-honored tradition. This tiny gem is a labor of love for local resident Paul Tuller, who has spent the last 15 years reconstructing it on t…

Us gardeners feel like we’re getting the short end of the stick this spring with the seemingly endless rain and cool temperatures, but there’s another dilemma I’ve been asked about multiple times: What the heck is going on with the rhododendrons?

Do you remember on the TV show, “The Jetsons,” when mom Jane Jetson would answer her phone first thing in the morning and she could see the person she was talking to on a screen? If she hadn’t put herself together for the day, she had this false image of herself looking fabulous that she’d “…

From the moment a house is built, the clock starts ticking and a new history is being created.


Outside My Door

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With its double bald summits and wide sweeping view, Mount Watatic on the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border makes an excellent destination to take in Mother Nature’s annual color show. Especially in my case, since the trailhead is a mere two and a half miles from my doorstep.

As a new decade dawns, Volkswagen will release its first all-electric crossover SUV, the ID. Crozz, with a stated range of 300 miles and the first electric vehicle (EV) truck, Rivian, is expected to hit the market later in the year.

When it comes to cooling summertime fun, most Vermonters seem to agree that Harriman Reservoir, also known as Lake Whitingham, is the ideal destination. This is the largest body of water in the state, measuring eight miles long and boasting 28 miles of coastline.


Pickin' & Pokin'

Most of the activities we now think of as crafts and hobbies actually started out of necessity, using whatever materials that were on-hand to create something new and useful. Rug hooking, for instance, has a long and storied tradition that stretches back to colonial days and beyond.

Nearly half a century ago, a small group of engine enthusiasts met in Dublin to celebrate the equipment used by their forefathers in the maintenance and upkeep of their farms. Eventually, this led to the formation of a registered nonprofit, The Dublin Gas Engine Meet, the mission of which is…

Who would have ever thought a Danish fisherman in 1959 could have created a worldwide craze which would last even up until today?  


The Dish

When I first moved back to Keene, the Monadnock Food Co-op had just opened, Archway Farm had recently started up and a handful of other farms that had been in the area had begun growing quickly with the consumers’ demand for more locally grown food.  

No matter how long you’ve been in the Monadnock Region, chances are you’ve heard of Doug’s Dogs, the little white truck that’s been parked in the corner of a store parking lot on Route 101 in Marlborough for decades.


Spotlight

Guitarist and vocalist Erik White was only 6 years old when he first heard Paul Simon’s iconic album, “Graceland.” Today, he sings the first music he remembers hearing as a young child on stages he shares with 10 other musicians.

After the Bible, “The Diary of a Young Girl” is the most widely read nonfiction book in the world. But how many of us know the story of how it became part of international consciousness?

Hip-hop and classical duo Black Violin could have pushed the figurative elevator button and skyrocketed to the top of their career right away, but as they say, the journey is far sweeter than the destination.

Change is born from an idea and this year’s TEDxKeene event is a nesting ground.