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

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

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.


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

No one was more shocked than Ryan Chevalier when what started out as a gift to thank her children’s teachers at the end of the school year rocketed into a business in high demand.

Paula Papoojian has 32 years of experience as a schoolteacher, many of those in a city among elementary school students who every winter would come to school without hats or mittens. Later in life, she was working with a program to provide winter hats for those in need and began to wonder wh…

Every year, art students around the country are asked to produce works about something that inspires them or is meaningful. When the teachers at Tornillo Detention Center in Tornillo, Texas, gave that assignment to the detained immigrant children being held there, their students ― from Guate…

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.

Ask any pet owner and they’ll probably say that their pets are a part of the family. When their time with us comes to an end, that sentiment carries into the afterlife.

A chihuahua named Mr. Piffles has 4,488 followers on Twitter — but he’s so lazy he hasn’t tweeted since March of 2018. He also only follows one person on Twitter: his handler, Piff the Magic Dragon.

Mount Washington can be a desolate place, especially in the winter. With a staff of six to nine members at the facility at any one time, a little feline companionship can be a very welcome diversion.


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 far as downright weird vegetables go, there are few varieties that can hold a candle to the Romanesco. Also known as Roman cauliflower or broccoli, it’s the edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea.

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.


Nest / Intrepid Gardener

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?

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 “…


Outside My Door

When we look out on the wilderness, we imagine that it has always been this way, untouched and unaltered. This, however, is a massive misconception. The land on which we stand has been changed beyond recognition over Earth’s history.

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.


Pickin' & Pokin'

Like many enterprises, the antique market has seen more of its share of ups and downs over the years, with many items commanding only a fraction of what they did just a couple of decades ago. In consequence, many stores have simply closed their doors, selling out as the market continues to c…

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…


The Dish

It all started during my senior year of college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a nutrition major, I had learned the health risks of consuming excess sugar but observed that most people (myself included) weren’t going to give up dessert.

We tend to think of Halloween as a harmless kids’ holiday, a time when youngsters can get dressed up and go door to door in search of candy. The truth is, however, that it has a history that goes back much further and is tied into the changing of the seasons and the end of summer.

It’s not often you can be a guest at a ball within a musical theater piece. Yet that is exactly what a local opera company is offering its patrons this weekend.

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.  


Spotlight

If all the world’s a stage, so shall audiences be invited to be players in an upcoming production.

As the Park Theatre in Jaffrey prepares to open its doors again next summer for the first time since it closed more than 40 years ago, this season is time to sample some of the entertainment that will grace its new stage.

Looking for a show that will take you back to a time when the pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll were changing the way the world listened to music? Well, look no further.