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

It may seem that every gift guide out there this holiday season was pushing some sort of weighted or gravity blanket. Touted as a relaxation and sleep aide, these blankets appear to be the newest, hippest thing on the market.

A slippery, black creature with three jaws and 100 teeth feasting on your blood. Sounds medieval, does it not?

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.

By Hand By Hobby

Like many quilters, Suzanne Leblanc learned the art from her great-grandmother. She even recalls going to quilting bees with her where all the church ladies sat together stitching to finish a quilt.

As a teen attending high school in England, Bryan Field only used fountain pens in class. To this day he still prefers a fountain pen over any other.

The Historical Society of Cheshire County’s newest facility, the Bruder House, has a new timber-frame pavilion. The pavilion connects the Bruder House to a chimney and hearth on a brick terrace.

Recently, a law enforcement official from a local police department pulled up to the rear door of Monadnock Humane Society (MHS) where police bring in stray animals, requesting a leash to help him bring in a stray dog he had in his cruiser. A volunteer (and also a board member) happened to b…

No need for a nail-biter — starting this weekend, you can take your pet to Paws to Groom in Marlborough the first Saturday of the month and have the capable staff give him or her a discounted nail trim while supporting an animal rescue organization.

When Frank or Elizabeth de Bem are up at 3 a.m. preparing to hit the road with their miniature horses or German shepherds, they sometimes ask themselves why they ever thought breeding, training and preparing these animals for national competition was a good idea. But inevitably, when one of …


For the tenth year, independent businesses and community members in the Monadnock Region will celebrate Plaid Friday the day after Thanksgiving. This year’s event falls on Friday, Nov. 29, when individuals will wear plaid to show support for the local economy and their commitment to spending…

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 …

It Takes a Farm

If you like fruits, vegetables or cook with vegetable oils, you have benefited from the pollination efforts of our insect partners on this planet.  Each year, our native flies, hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and domesticated honeybees work to sustain themselves by consuming nectar and polle…

At Phoenix Farm in Marlborough, Buster the boar has been known to play host to the chickens and guinea fowl that live on the farm with him. When they join him in his pen, he is happy to have the company.

Tucked away in the quiet hills of Peterborough lies a winter wonderland of sorts. The home of Diana Templeton and her fiancé Sam Rowse sits on an eye-popping piece of land, complete with a classically rustic red barn, acres of pastureland and most importantly — their animals.

Nest / Intrepid Gardener

I’ve often thought that when I got older, I’d like to live in a more urban environment, convenient to all the things I imagine I’m going to want to spend my time doing — restaurants, theater, library and shopping.

A 2018 report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (reports.nlihc.org/oor) found that even for those working a full-time job at minimum wage, a modest two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States is unaffordable. With affordable housing often unavailable, many families are lef…

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?

Outside My Door

I have been living with an otter. He’s long and sleek, a graceful swimmer with an insatiable appetite for fish. At first, he was just my boy, a chubby little toddler, happy to snuggle and follow his big sister around.

“A lot of people don’t understand how complex the environment is and how fragile it is,” said Katelyn Fournier, whose love of the outdoors inspired her studies at Keene State College.

The Christmas Bird Count is the world’s oldest and largest biological survey and citizen science endeavor, with thousands of participants worldwide. The earliest count occurred back in the year 1900 when 26 early conservationists decided to take it upon themselves to count the different numb…

One of my favorite family activities is hiking, so on any given weekend you’re apt to find me, my son and our dog in the woods somewhere, no matter the time of year.

Pickin' & Pokin'

If there is one comment, I hear more than any other at my vintage shop, its, “We had a table like that growing up.”

I had a couple days off from work following Christmas which was nice and relaxing. The first day I spent tidying up the house from all the festivities and then hitting some of the big box stores with my friend Roger for their after-Christmas sales on all things holiday — 50 to 70 percent off…

The reassuring tick-ing and tock-ing in The British Clockmaker’s workshop evokes a quasi-paradox of horology: There is a palpable timelessness about a meticulously crafted clock.

The Central Connecticut River Valley has an important story to tell — a toy story.

The Dish

Leda Scheintaub and Nash Patel’s Dosa Kitchen takes its name as an homage to the iconic South Indian crepe that they have long and lovingly studied.

“Try it, you’ll like it” was a phrase in an old TV commercial and it can really be applied to chopped liver pâté.  


Attention! You are under command: Get to The Colonial Theatre Feb. 20 for a night of stellar entertainment on the double.

Everyone on this planet has at least heard of Disney World. A play coming to the Hooker-Dunham Theater in Brattleboro at the end of this month tells the story of its namesake’s legacy — from his point of view.

  • Updated

Terri Mateer’s play has a timely message in that it shines a light on the #MeToo movement. She hadn’t intended it to be pertinent — she was just telling her life story.

What do you imagine would happen if you met one of your idols? Could you imagine being a trusted confidant of your favorite celebrity?