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

In the thick of summer, it can be a jungle out there for allergy sufferers. More than 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, in fact. Thankfully, three doTERRA essential oils can provide relief — on their own or as a powerful allergy-fighting trio.

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has upended life for kids and their parents. Still, while physical distancing is important to keep everyone safe from the virus, it does not lessen the critical need for physical activity. The evidence is clear that kids (and adults) who walk, …

With summer just around the corner, our thoughts turn to the condition of our skin. It’s the season we bare it the most, and with a pandemic forcing spas and salons to shut down for safety in recent months, many of us are missing our self-care routines that help us look our best.

The air is warm, the grass is green and the flowers are up. Finally, after months of cold, snow, ice and gray skies, the outdoors beckons us.


Intrepid Gardener

I had read in The Sentinel that some of the downtown Keene ash trees were going to be removed because they were infested with the Emerald Ash Borer beetles that have tenaciously crept into this state. I wasn’t quite prepared for what the removal would look like though.

Why is it that we gardeners always want the things that either we can’t have, or we can have but are hard to maintain without a lot of effort?

You know how you can create perceptions in your mind about things that eventually you’re proven to be a bit off track about? I’ve got a lot of these when it comes to certain types of plants in the garden.

Tomatoes have gotten a bad rap throughout history. How we came to love them… Attack of the killer tomatoes!


By Hand By Hobby

Because writing is a solitary activity, writers can feel as if they’re working on an island — all alone with no one to offer support or serve as a springboard for ideas. The Monadnock Writers’ Group has been working over the past 36 years to be that lifeline.

When I realized my grandparents were in line to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary about 14 years ago, I immediately began thinking of just the right gift. It had to be something special and ideally sentimental. I put a lot of thought into gifts, making sure the recipient knows how muc…

Interested in picking up a new hobby that highlights the beauty this world has to offer? Try outdoor photography! It’s a gratifying artistic outlet with insurmountable subjects to practice on, especially when the focus is this beautiful earth.

So many aspects of daily life have been altered by COVID-19, but the commitment of Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption to finding loving homes for retired racing greyhounds remains unchanged.

The natural world never sleeps. It is full of things to discover and it’s happening all around us, all the time, no matter where you live. From cityscapes to acres of undeveloped land, there is always something in nature to discover.

On my way home from a recent trout fishing trip, I stopped to watch a doe walking across a pasture, accompanied by a newborn fawn scampering to keep up. As I watched, the doe stopped to let the fawn nurse. Just a little farther down the road, I stopped again at a small beaver pond to look at…

Emergency stay-at-home/social distancing orders have made an immense impact on everyone in New Hampshire, including the family dog. Comfortable with snoozing on the couch while their family left for work and school, they had a rude awakening as their family remained home. It’s been exhaustin…


Potpourri

Since 1799, The Keene Sentinel has stood witness to local, state, national and international events, chronicling history as it happens with a unique focus on this community and its people. Like the venerable Monadnock Region we serve, this company has weathered all manner of challenges durin…

The team at Bulldog Design in Keene has come up with a way to keep themselves busy during the COVID-19 outbreak while helping out their community.

Most people who know me are familiar with my fondness for gardening and landscaping, as well as antiques and home renovating. They usually also know I’m not much of a cook.

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…


It Takes a Farm

With the summer sun greeting New Hampshire daily these days, it gives an excellent opportunity to break out some tools and craft a garden in the backyard! Not only does planting a garden aid in the reduction of global warming (plants take carbon dioxide out of the air and use it to make ener…

Keene’s one and only farm stand is open right on schedule this season.

With many industries struggling to survive amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, one industry seems to be thriving, as scores of locals are making sure they’ve got milk.

There has never been more community support of – or need for – local farms and organizations such as the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition. The high unemployment rate, prompted by the pandemic, is leading to financial hardships for families. From falling behind on bills to ensuring ther…


Nest / Intrepid Gardener

What keeps you grounded? It is different with every individual. For some, it is the thought of gazing under the stars on a warm summer night. For others, it’s basking by the beach, taking in the salty fresh air, soaking up the sun with sandy toes. Everyone envisions their ultimate tranquilit…

Turn on the tv or boot up a streaming service and chances are within moments there is a program featuring home renovation and remodeling available to watch. A few new ideas from one of these shows, combined with the resources on the internet that contain everything from how-to videos to arti…

Majestically situated on the picturesque village Common in Walpole, N.H., is a Federal style home, formerly an inn – currently being offered proudly by Re/Max Town & Country in Keene. It dates back to the 1800s and with ties to Louisa May Alcott. This prodigious home and property at 50 E…

While there’s still tons of folks having to actually report to their physical workspace (a heartfelt “thank you” to you all), the concept of working from home and avoiding contact with others as much as possible is not the vacation I might have dreamed it would be.


Outside My Door

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Located in Orange, Mass., less than an hour from Keene, Tully Mountain offers a big-time vista for a minimal hiking effort. A half-mile trail leads to a ledge just below the summit where the views are breathtaking, especially to the northeast.

When you start out on the trail at Rhododendron State Park in Fitzwilliam, it seems like any other New England trail. But before long, you feel as though you’ve been transported to some kind of tropical land.

COVID or not, summer is here! Mother Nature does not stop for these things, and neither should we. But, what now?

Most of us have done some sort of camping at least once in our lives, whether it be glamping (car camping), setting up the tent in the backyard, at a campground, or my personal favorite: backpacking! The experience you will have away from everyday life will be well worth it when considering …


Pickin' & Pokin'

In her early 20s, Heather Kumph Chadinha called a Volkswagon bus home, trekking across the country with it several times, exploring the nation. She eventually parted ways with it and returned home to New Hampshire. But the vehicle never left her mind.

When some people think of antique Oriental rugs, they think of fussy, decorative items, impractical or perhaps not durable enough for normal day to day use in the modern household. Or they think of them as something that Grandmother might have, no longer appropriate for today’s lifestyle and…

When the weather turns nice, most parents want their children to go outside and play. Well, “play with what?” is the usual retort from kids of all ages. But I have the answer.

Since my head is mostly wrapped around gardening right now, I thought I’d carry the theme into this week’s Pickin’ & Pokin’ column. For some reason I thought I’d do a piece on the edger gardening tool. Such a handy implement. I use mine multiple times throughout the year for creating sha…


The Dish

To me, the Fourth of July is more than just celebrating our independence. It’s to show our patriotism to our country and remember those who forged the way for us to have our independence. The reason it is important to me is I had ancestors at the Boston Tea Party, fighting at Lexington and C…

It’s that time of year again… the sunshine is warm, swimsuits are a fashion staple and backyard grills are cooking. The traditional burgers and hot dogs remain popular, but why not venture out of that comfort zone and try some new recipes! Here are a few via delish.com…

With steady lines of customers, it’s nearly back to business as usual for some food trucks around the region. Most are opening with temporary hours, some with limited menus – regardless, all are psyched to be back serving loyal patrons. Among them:

I learned how to cook in the kitchen from watching cooking shows. PBS had Julia Childs, Jacques Pépin, Martin Yan, Lidia Bastianich and Nick Stellino. The Food Network had Tyler Florence, Alton Brown, Paula Deen, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and Aarón Sánchez.


Spotlight

Concertgoers weren’t able to celebrate the 21st anniversary of their favorite festival on the river this year, but the roots music that normally graces stages in Bellows Falls and Rockingham, Vt., every June comes directly to your electronic device this summer.

During my time at Keene State College, I could always count on the school’s Film Society to provide me with an inviting environment to express my admiration toward a number of great movies with some wonderful people. We may be separated from one another under some incredibly strenuous circum…

The curtain has been raised, so to speak, again at Brattleboro’s downtown landmark. The Latchis Theatre has reopened after a more than three-month shutdown due to the pandemic, although operations are scaled back, of course.

From the moment you take a seat in the cockpit, the journey is thrilling. System checks are run, flaps are tested, engines start with a rattle of propellers then purr with anticipation as you roll down the runway, picking up speed, you… lift off!