The Weekly Dish 22/03/10

News from the local food scene

Beer and chocolate: Join Millyard Brewery (25 E. Otterson St., Nashua) for a beer and chocolate pairing featuring selections from Loon Chocolate. The event was postponed from last month due to weather, but has now been rescheduled for Friday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will choose four beers to sample, and each will be paired with a piece of chocolate to complement and contrast their flavors. Staff from both Millyard Brewery and Loon Chocolate will be on hand to talk about the unique similarities between crafting beer and creating small-batch chocolate from bean to bar. Tickets are $12 per person — attendees will be entered into a drawing to win a special chocolate and beer gift basket. Loon Chocolate, founded by former craft brewer Scott Watson, opened its first retail storefront in Manchester in mid-February. Visit or for more details on either company’s offerings.

Spirits of community: Get your tickets now for Crafts, Drafts and Barrels, an annual tasting benefit featuring local foods, beers, wines and spirits that’s scheduled for Friday, March 18, at 6 p.m. at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center (2 Institute Drive, Concord). The tasting is presented by Concord Hospital Trust in partnership with Martignetti Companies of New Hampshire, according to a press release — attendees can sample food from local restaurants paired with beer, wine, spirit or mocktail options from breweries, vineyards and distilleries both in the state and around the world. Participating eateries will include The Common Man, O Steaks & Seafood, Angela’s Pasta & Cheese Shop, Gibson’s Cafe and others. Tickets start at $75 per person general admission (event is 21+ only), with proceeds benefiting the Concord Hospital Cardiovascular Institute. Visit

Local chef up for national award: Milford chef Chris Viaud has been nominated as a semifinalist in the 2022 James Beard Foundation awards under the “Emerging Chef” category, alongside other esteemed chefs from across the country, according to a press release. The category is the new name for the Foundation’s former “Rising Star” award, one of several, including “Outstanding Restaurateur” and “Best New Restaurant.” Viaud competed on the Bravo series Top Chef last year — he’s the owner and executive chef of Greenleaf, a farm-to-table restaurant in Milford, where he also hosts an ongoing series of Haitian dinners with his family under the name Ansanm. “I am truly humbled by the recognition and nomination from the James Beard Foundation,” he said in a statement. “It has been a dream of mine to be represented among some of the best talents in the country.” Winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on June 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Red Arrow turning 100: The Red Arrow Diner is celebrating its 100th year of business in Manchester with special commemorative plans all throughout 2022, according to a press release. The 24-hour diner first opened in the Queen City back in October 1922. To celebrate the milestone, it’s offering monthly menu discounts all year long that correspond to popular foods of each decade over the past century. The month of March, for instance, features a macaroni and cheese bar with one free topping to honor the 1930s, while April’s special will be a 1940s-style meatloaf dinner and May’s special a 1950s-style tuna melt. Belgian waffles popularized throughout the 1960s will be available with one free topping throughout the month of June. According to the release, the specials will be honored at all four Red Arrow Diner locations, in Manchester, Concord, Londonderry and Nashua. The diner will also be conducting a Facebook campaign to honor a total of 100 other local businesses and is asking followers for nominations in any industry. Visit for more details.

On The Job – Bill Butts

Bill Butts

Client relations, commercial landscape and snow maintenance

Bill Butts is the vice president of client relations and sales at Outdoor Pride, a landscape and snow management company headquartered in Manchester that serves commercial clients throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Explain your job and what it entails.

My job is to work with our clients and connect with them to make sure they understand the appreciation we have for their partnership. … I also oversee new business development and sales for our company, and I help our business developers and account managers to procure new work and add work to existing contracts.

How long have you had this job?

This is my 35th year working in sales … and my whole career has been [sales in] commercial landscape and snow management. This is my fourth year working at Outdoor Pride.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

Where I grew up, there was a golf course that was down the street from our property … and they gave me a chance to work there part-time. … That’s when I started to appreciate grounds and the maintenance of grounds, and I just kind of stayed with it.

What kind of education or training did you need?

I studied business management in college and really felt like my hands-on knowledge [from working at] the golf course and my business knowledge from college was a good combination to stay in the landscaping industry. … There’s a lot of hands-on training that goes with this industry … that you get not from school, but just from being around and in the outdoors.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

I try to match my clients’ dress, and, over the years, my clients have started to put away the sport coat and tie and go more casual, like khakis and a polo. … It also has to be something that’s comfortable and allows us to do our job, which a lot of times [involves] having to walk around the properties on hot summer days or be out in the winter during a snow event.

How has your job changed over the course of the pandemic?

I’ve always been a face-to-face, handshake person, and the pandemic took that physical presentation piece away for a bit. It seems to be coming back now, but for a couple of years we were entirely remote. … That’s difficult in my business, because a lot of what I’m selling is trust and confidence, so not being able to … deliver my company pitch face-to-face may leave a little bit of a gap.

What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

I wish I knew the [large] number of opportunities this industry has to offer. … I don’t think I really knew, when I started my career, that I could be what I am today. … That might have given me a little bit of a different perspective.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

A lot of people see me as someone who plays a lot of golf and has a lot of free time, but that piece of the business — the networking — is what I consider to be one of my strengths. It’s the ability to talk to somebody in a non-work setting and learn about their business and their needs and wants and how you can provide for them. … Also, I still have to get my [office] work done, so spending that casual time with clients during [the work day] means I have to work a lot of long hours

What was the first job you ever had?

Working at the golf course, raking sand traps. I would get a dollar a trap.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Treat your customers and your employees like family, and you’ll never really have any issues with growing your business or growing your team.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
The Dynasty by Jeff Benedict
Favorite movie: Lone Survivor
Favorite music:  I lean toward country.
Favorite food: Marinated steak tips
Favorite thing about NH: The people are laid back.

Featured photo: Bill Butts. Courtesy photo.

Treasure Hunt 22/03/10

Dear Donna,

Can you provide me any information on this kitchen cabinet? Age and possible value?


Dear Jacob,

Your Hoosier cabinet was produced in the early 1900s to 1940s by the Sellers company of Indiana. Their first cabinet was done in the late 1800s, but painted versions were later.

They were made to hold all your baking needs in one cabinet. Some had built-in flour bins, sugar jars, spice jars, bread boards, and many more useful items at arm’s reach. Also the wonderful enamel top on yours was perfect for a working surface.

Complete ones in original factory paint and condition are tough to find because they were so heavily used in the time and then repainted over and transformed into just a storage cabinet. There are many people who still decorate with them today.

Jacob, the history of Hoosiers is an interesting one to read about. Even how the cabinets got their name.

The value on them can range from $200 to $3,000. This depends on age, original condition, contents, etc. Repainted ones usually are in the range of $200 to $400.

I hope this was helpful and thank you for sharing your sweet useful cabinet.


Kiddie Pool 22/03/10

Family fun for the weekend

Free family fun

Saturday, March 12, is the monthly free-admission day at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester;, 669-6144). Admission to the Currier for New Hampshire residents is free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day’s offerings include a family-friendly Creative Studio activity from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Make an alcohol ink tile, inspired by a piece from the collection, in the green studio, according to the website. No reservations are necessary but masks are required, the website said.

Science Saturday

Head to the SEE Science Center (200 Bedford St. in Manchester; 669-0400, on Saturday, March 12, for an event they’re calling “Play Dough Circuits.” The Ralph Baer Projects Club, a club celebrating the Manchester inventor who crafted the prototype for the first video game, will present an activity from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that safely teaches kids about electricity and circuits, according to the website. The event is included in the regular admission and is recommended for ages 5 and up, the website said. The center is open Tuesdays through Sunday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and until 5 p.m. on weekends). Admission costs $10 for guests ages 3 and up; advance registration is recommended. For more about Ralph Baer Projects Club, see (March 8 was the 100th anniversary of Baer’s birth; he died in 2014 and a statue commemorating him is in Arms Park.)

Princesses and a pony

The Bookery Manchester (844 Elm St. in downtown Manchester; will host Miss Manchester and Miss Outstanding Manchester Teen for storytime on Saturday, March 12, at 11 a.m. The featured book is the kids’ book The Princess and The Pony by Kate Beaton (whom adults may know from Hark! A Vagrant). After story time, Eddy, the Manchester police department’s comfort pony, will make an appearance, according to the website.

On stage

Marvel’s comic book character Squirrel Girl comes to the stage with Squirrel Girl Goes to College, a presentation of the Palace Youth Theatre, on Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16, at 7 p.m. at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; Tickets cost $15 for adults.

Getting your tools ready for spring

Everyone I know is thinking about spring — despite the fact that we could still see snow and sub-zero temperatures before we see tulips. This might be a good time to take an inventory of your tools to see if you have everything you need, and buy the ones you need. This is also a good time to clean up, sharpen and oil the tools you have.

First, a list of the basic tools all gardeners need:

1. Garden fork. This is a straight-handled tool with four flat tines that can be used to loosen the soil for planting, or to dig out things like a clump of daylilies. These come with either fiberglass or wood handles, and I always choose wood. Both handles can splinter over time, but an oiled and well-maintained wood handle will outlast fiberglass. I have some wood-handled tools still in great shape after over 50 years of regular use.

2. Pointed shovel. I like the short D-handle shovel better than those with a long straight handle, but that is for you to decide. The short-handle model is lighter weight and has a nice grip. A pointed shovel digs into the soil more easily than a straight-blade spade.

3. Garden rake. This is the rake that has short tines spaced an inch or so apart. It is good for smoothing the soil or forming raised beds.

4. Lawn rake. There are a dozen different styles, and all will do the job. The old-fashioned bamboo rake is nice, but the tines do break after a while. Plastic rakes are lightweight but also break after a few years. I prefer those with metal tines.

5. Drain spade. This is a shovel that has a blade that is long and narrow (16 inches long, 5 inches wide). Great for transplanting, it can get all the way under a plant to help you pop it out of the ground.

6. Hand tool for weeding. There are plenty, but I like the CobraHead Weeder best. It is a hand tool shaped like a curved finger, and can loosen roots from below while you give a gentle tug from above. I use it to loosen the soil for planting, too. They are available at garden centers or online at

Tools require some maintenance, and this is the time to sharpen, clean and oil them if you didn’t do it last fall. Fiberglass handles generally require no maintenance, though I suppose you could take off any rough spots with steel wool or sandpaper.

Wood-handled tools should never be left outdoors, but most of us forget occasionally; strong sun or rain will damage them and give them a rough surface. If the handle is very rough, use a piece of sandpaper and lightly sand the handle, tip to stern. Wipe it well with a rag before applying oil. For less damaged handles, rub with fine steel wool. Don’t sand a handle that has a urethane finish unless you intend to take it all off — but you can use steel wool on it.

Next apply a coat of boiled linseed oil. I like to heat the oil until hot before applying, as this is a fairly thick oil, and heating it will help it to penetrate the wood. I use a paintbrush or a rag to apply the oil.

Let the oil sink into the wood, which might take overnight or just a few minutes, depending on the grain and how dry the wood is. Never try to oil a wet handle. Apply a second coat and let dry. Then rub it down with a fine steel wool, labeled 000 or 0000. This will take off any bits that are raised up by oiling and burnish the wood.

Next look at the steel of your tool. If it has crusted soil on it, clean it first with a stiff brush — either a wire brush or even a stiff bristle brush. If it is rusty, clean off the rust with your steel wool.

If you have a well-used shovel, it is probably dull. It is easy to sharpen it, but you will need a good 8- to 12-inch file, either a rough or medium file, often called a mill bastard. Be sure to get one with a handle, as some only come with a short pointy part and require you to add a handle.

Shovels should only be sharpened on one side, the side that faces into the hole as you dig. The back side will stay flat. Push your file across the shovel blade in only one direction, away from you. You may wish to clamp the shovel to a saw horse or bench so it stays in place as you work, or push it down on the bench and file with one hand.

Go from the edge of the curve to the middle in one long stroke of your file, and repeat, keeping count of your strokes. Turn the shovel around and do the opposing edge, using the same number of strokes. Keep your file at the angle set by the manufacturer if that is evident. If not, an angle of about 45 degrees is good. That will make a sharp cutting edge, but not be so thin that it will get dull quickly. You don’t need to sharpen the sides. And don’t worry: You can’t ruin your shovel even if you have never done this before. Just keep at it, and stay consistent.

When you have the shovel sharp, turn it over and you probably will be able to feel burrs on the back side — little bits of sharp metal. Clean those off with a few flat strokes of your file.

Finally I take a rag with linseed oil and wipe the shovel blade. Some people use machine oil to oil their tools, but I don’t want petroleum products in my soil, even a little bit.

Every gardener has her own favorite tools. If you’re a rookie, visit a good gardener and ask for a tour of tools. Then go buy what you need. And remember: Sharp tools work better than dull ones.

Featured photo: I like shovels with a D-handle for a good grip. Photo by Henry Homeyer.

Outside in

New Hampshire Outdoor Expo returns

After being canceled for the past two years, the New Hampshire Outdoor Expo returns for three days to help outdoor enthusiasts get ready for all kinds of spring and summer adventures.

The expo is happening Friday, March 11, Saturday, March 12, and Sunday, March 13, at the Hampshire Dome in Milford and features retailers, free hands-on fun for kids and seminars for adults who want to learn about things like waterfowl hunting, animal calls and cold water fishing.

“It’s great to be back in action,” event organizer Daniel Kenney said. “We’re bringing the outdoors indoors, and the beauty of it is that it’s really an event where you can go and see 50, 60 feet of an archery store, a couple of huge fishing stores … a hunting gun range. … It’s kind of like Candyland for the outdoorsman.”

Retailers, outfitters and guides will be there to answer questions and offer help or suggestions for all levels of expertise in a range of sports. Kenney said there will be kayaks, ATVs, boats, fishing equipment, custom lure makers and bait makers, a hunting gun range and some unique items that can add some outdoorsy charm to a camp or cabin.

“We have a couple of really good rustic furniture makers,” Kenney said. “There’s a metal fabricator … [who can make you] a sign with your family name and it [might have] a background with a kayak and maybe someone fishing. … You just don’t see that in stores anywhere.”

Kids 12 and under get in free, Kenney said, and they can spend the day catching fish in a trout pond or trying out the archery range and the BB gun range.

“One of our goals is to educate and promote the outdoors,” Kenney said.

Seminars will be held throughout the event and cover a range of topics, from “NH Firearms Inside and Out” to “Proper Kayak Rigging for Safety and Success.”

Kenney said that anyone looking for a new hobby is welcome, as there will be booths with information on getting involved, and seminars run the gamut from basic information to more advanced topics for people who are more educated in hunting, fishing or kayaking. Retailers will offer a range of equipment as well; for example, Kenney said, there will be kayaks available for several hundred dollars and several thousand dollars.

“There are the basics there for sure, but then there are products that more of an educated angler [for example] would gravitate toward,” he said. “Regardless of what they’re looking into, there’s something there for them.”

This is the third year the event is being held at the Hampshire Dome in Milford, and Kenney said the first two years were a big success.

“It’s a fun time,” he said. “We really do pride ourselves in having just about everything [outdoorsy] represented, and we’ve got a lot of cool items … that you just can’t get at the mall, you can’t get on Amazon. It’s an experience where you can look, touch and feel.”

New Hampshire Outdoor Expo
When: Friday, March 11, from 1 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Hampshire Dome, 34 Emerson Road, Milford
Cost: $12 for ages 13 and older; children under 12 get in free
More info:

Featured photo: Attendees check out Tracker Off Road vehicles at a past New Hampshire Outdoor Expo. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 22/03/10

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

A Chicken and a Birdie: The Palace Theatre’s (80 Hanover St., Manchester) next mainstage production, Bye Bye Birdie, will have its opening show on Friday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. The Broadway classic is set in 1958 in the small town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, and centers around an Elvis-like rock ’n’ roll star named Conrad Birdie who is drafted into the Army. As a publicity stunt, Birdie’s agent and songwriter arranges for Birdie to appear on a television program, where he will perform a new song called “One Last Kiss” and give one lucky girl from his fan club a real last kiss before reporting for duty. Bye Bye Birdie will run through April 3, with showtimes on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at noon. Ticket prices range from $25 to $46. Visit or call 668-5588.

Seacoast-based Upside Arts Company presents Chicken Little at the Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth), with showtimes on Saturday, March 12, and Sunday, March 13, at 10 a.m., and on Sunday, March 20, at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The production is an original musical, adapted from the classic children’s story, with a book and music by Portsmouth theater artist Joshua Goldberg. “I had a picture book when I was little with a few different folk and fairy tales, and for some reason the Chicken Little illustrations have always stuck with me,” Goldberg told the Hippo in January. “My adaptation is centered on the idea of fame; at first, Chicken Little is fed up with everyone teasing him and wants to be anonymous, but then, the king validates his fear that the sky is falling and calls him a hometown hero, so he has experiences with two ends of the spectrum and has to navigate to the middle.” Tickets cost $18 for adults and $15 for kids under age 12. Visit or, or call 436-8123.

From nature to fabric: See “Stitched Together – Elements of Nature from Textile Fragments,” an exhibition presented by the New Hampshire Art Association featuring the work of NHAA member Cheryl Miller, on display now through April 15 at NHAA’s gallery space at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (49 S. Main St., Concord). Miller is a textile artist who creates fabric collages using hand dyed cottons, batik and machine-stitched vintage fabrics. The exhibit includes a series of her textile collages that were inspired by the colors seen in nature. “The compositions are mostly abstract but also incorporate some elements of landscape, trees or leaves,” she said in a press release. “The idea of these pieces is to evoke a mood through the use of color and focus on small details in nature.” Gallery hours at the Chamber are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All works in the exhibition are for sale. Visit or call 431-4230.

Political laughs
It’s the final weekend for local theater company Bedford off Broadway’s production of The Senator Wore Pantyhose at the Bedford Old Town Hall (70 Bedford Center Road, Bedford). Showtimes are on Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 13, at 2 p.m. The 1989 comedy by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore centers on a failing presidential campaign where the candidate’s unwavering integrity and honesty are set against a sleazy campaign manager who will do whatever it takes to win votes. Tickets cost $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors and students. See “Bedford off Broadway” on Facebook.

Writers welcome: The Merrimack Valley Writers’ Group is looking for new members, according to an email from Pembroke Town Library, which hosts the group in partnership with the Hooksett Public Library. All published and unpublished local writers who are interested in sharing their work with other writers and giving and receiving constructive feedback are invited to join. The group meets regularly; the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, from 5 to 7:15 p.m., and will be held virtually over WebEx Meetings. To reserve your spot, email



CONNECTING THREADS” New Hampshire Art Association fiber art invitational exhibition features hand-dyed fabrics, Japanese weaving, fine art quilting, embroidery and felting by New England fiber artists. Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth. On view now through March 27. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. Visit or call 431-4230.

• “AWAKENING” New Hampshire Art Association exhibition features members’ works inspired by the natural or inner world. Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth. On view now through March 27. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. Visit or call 431-4230.

• “SETTING THE STANDARD” Exhibition features new work from League jurors in all media areas. League of New Hampshire Craftsmen headquarters, 49 S. Main St., #100, Concord. On view now through March 31. Regular exhibition hours are Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 4 p.m. Visit

• “STITCHED TOGETHER – ELEMENTS OF NATURE FROM TEXTILE FRAGMENTS” New Hampshire Art Association exhibition features the textile collages of Cheryl Miller, inspired by the colors in nature. On view now through April 15. Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center. Gallery hours are Monday througwh Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All work is for sale. Visit or call 431-4230.

• “APPEAL OF THE REAL: 19TH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD” exhibition features photographs taken throughout the Mediterranean to record the ruins of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On view now through June 12. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children under age 13 and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit

• “WARHOL SCREEN TESTS” exhibition features 20 films from Andy Warhol’s silent black and white Screen Tests, shown in loops across four largescale projections. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On view March 31 through July 3. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children under age 13 and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit


NASHUA PUBLIC ART AUDIO TOUR Self-guided audio tours of the sculptures and murals in downtown Nashua, offered via the Distrx app, which uses Bluetooth iBeacon technology to automatically display photos and text and provides audio descriptions at each stop on the tour as tourists approach the works of art. Each tour has 10 to 15 stops. Free and accessible on Android and iOS on demand. Available in English and Spanish. Visit

Workshops and classes

WINTER ART CLASSES Art classes for teens and adults, including Pottery, Stained Glass, Intermediate Watercolor and Clay Hand Building. Studio 550 Art Center (550 Elm St., Manchester). Five-week sessions. Classes met for two hours a week. Call 232-5597 or visit for the full schedule and cost details.

DRAWING & PAINTING CLASSES Art House Studios, 66 Hanover St., Suite 202, Manchester. Classes include Drawing Fundamentals, Painting in Acrylic, Drawing: Observation to Abstraction, Exploring Mixed Media, and Figure Drawing. Class sizes are limited to six students. Visit

GENERAL ART CLASSES Weekly art classes are offered for both kids and adults of all skill levels and cover a variety of two-dimensional media, including drawing and painting with pastel, acrylic, watercolor and oils. Classes are held with small groups of three to eight to five students. Diane Crespo Fine Art Gallery (32 Hanover St., Manchester). Kids classes, open to kids ages 10 and up, are held on Thursdays and Fridays, from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. Adult classes are held on Thursdays, from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Tuition is pay-as-you-go at $20 per student per class and is due upon arrival. Call 493-1677 or visit for availability.



THE BALD SOPRANO The Community Players of Concord holds open auditions for its June production of The Bald Soprano. Mon., March 21, 7 p.m., Players’ Studio, 435 Josiah Bartlett Road, Concord. Visit


LITTLE WOMEN The Franklin Footlight Theatre presents. Franklin Opera House (316 Central St., Franklin). Thurs., March 10, through Sat., March 12, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sun., March 13, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $16 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. Visit or call 934-1901.

THE SENATOR WORE PANTYHOSEBedford off Broadway presents. Now through March 13, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors and students.

CHICKEN LITTLE presented by Upside Arts. The Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). Showtimes on Sat., March 12, and Sun., March 13, at 10 a.m., and on Sun., March 20, at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $15 for kids under age 12. Visit or call 436-8123.

BYE BYE BIRDIE Mainstage production by The Palace Theatre. 80 Hanover St., Manchester. March 11 through April 3, with showtimes on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at noon. Tickets range from $25 to $46. Visit or call 668-5588.

PIPPIN The Pinkerton Players present. Fri., March 25, and Sat., March 26, at 7 p.m., and Sun., March 27, at 2 p.m. Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy, 5 Pinkerton St., Derry. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Call 437-5210 or visit

PUFFS! OR SEVEN INCREASINGLY EVENTFUL YEARS AT A CERTAIN SCHOOL OF MAGIC AND MAGIC Cue Zero Theatre Co. presents. Granite State Arts Academy (19 Keewaydin Drive, No. 4, Salem). Fri., April 29, through Sun., May 1. Visit


WINTER MAINSTAGE CONCERT The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra performs. The Music Hall Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth. Sun., March 13, 3 p.m. Tickets cost $25 to $35 for adults, $20 for students and $25 to $30 for seniors age 60 and up. Call 436-2400 or visit

DRAWN TO THE MUSIC 2022 – STORIES IN MUSIC The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra performs. Seifert Performing Arts Center, 44 Geremonty Drive, Salem. Sat., April 9, 2 p.m., and Sun., April 10, 2 p.m. Visit

Make This

From an upcycled fashion show to a personal storytelling showcase, New Hampshire has all kinds of opportunities to learn and show off a new craft or skill.

Local makers talked about how they got into quilting, blacksmithing, 3D printing and more, and why they’ve stuck with it. If their stories have you feeling inspired to try out the craft for yourself, check out some of the upcoming programs and events listed here.

3D printing

As a home care provider, Pat Michaud of Concord is always looking for ways to help improve her clients’ quality of life. One of those ways, she found, was taking a class on 3D printing at Making Matters NH, a makerspace in Penacook.

“When I told my home care client I signed up for the class, he was excited,” Michaud said. “He is in a wheelchair, and he also owns a 3D printer … so he said I can ‘be his hands.’”

3D printed votive chicken made by Pat Michaud. Courtesy photo.

Michaud has worked with her client to 3D print a number of custom accessibility items, including a phone holder, a controller holder and a mug straw holder. For herself, she has printed household items and specialty accessories, such as votive and LED-votive chickens, ornamental chickens and Volvo key chains and other paraphernalia. Her next endeavor, she said, is providing 3D printing services for local businesses.

“I already have a person who is asking me to print things for her business,” Michaud said. “It’s exciting to me that I can use this [skill] to help other small businesses.”

Michaud said that, because she has a background in working with computers, 3D printing came easily to her; it may be more challenging for those who aren’t as tech-savvy, but the instructors at Making Matters are equipped to teach people of all levels of knowledge and experience.

“The class is amazing and so informative … and the teacher [has] so much enthusiasm about the subject,” she said. “If you want to learn a new skill, and you have the right mind to do it, it can be so fun.”

Making Matters NH (88 Village St., Penacook, 565-5443, is a makerspace that offers a variety of classes and workshops, including ones teaching 3D printing. “Hands-on 3D Printing for Beginners,” a one-day crash course covering the basics of 3D printing, will be offered on Saturdays, March 12 and April 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The cost is $15 for Making Matters members and $50 for nonmembers.

Port City Makerspace (68 Morning St., Portsmouth) is offering an “Intro to 3D Printing” class on Wednesdays, April 13 and June 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $25 for members of the makerspace and $45 for nonmembers. Call 373-1002 or visit


Jesse O’Brien of Danbury tried blacksmithing for the first time at a workshop offered at Sanborn Mills Farm in Loudon, which his friend encouraged him to sign up for.

“She is one of the best metalworkers I know, and she raved about taking this workshop for blacksmithing,” O’Brien said. “[After] seeing what she had made in the workshop … I had to give it a try myself.”

Metalwork by Jesse O’Brien made during a blacksmithing workshop at Sanborn Mills. Courtesy photo.

O’Brien found blacksmithing to be “surprisingly practical,” he said, and having the ability to craft his own artistic and functional metal pieces appealed to him. Plant hangers, coat hooks and custom gifts are just some of the items he has made; he also makes his own hardware for building and repair projects around his small farm property.

After his first workshop, O’Brien assembled his own small forge at home, which he uses on a regular basis, he said.

“A small forge is like a magical problem-solver which only needs some steel, coal or propane and a bit of time and ingenuity,” he said. “It’s more convenient to make things right from home instead of having to go to a store, and I can generally make something that I’m proud to own.”

O’Brien said he has plans to expand his home forge and his collection of blacksmithing tools.

“Every time I make something, I realize that it would be faster [to make] or [of] higher quality if I had one more … shape of tongs, or a hammer with a different face shape or a different shape of anvil to work against.”

Blacksmithing is a more accessible craft than it may appear, O’Brien said, and it doesn’t require a lot of strength or agility or any special physical capabilities.

“Anyone who can lift a hammer should try blacksmithing,” he said. “It’s a skillset that’s empowering and encourages anyone who tries it to learn and improve their skills.”

Sanborn Mills Farm(7097 Sanborn Road, Loudon) offers ongoing blacksmithing workshops for all ages and experience levels. The next beginner level workshop with space available is “Blacksmithing Basics,” running Friday, May 20, through Sunday, May 22, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The cost is $375. Other three-day workshops range from $225 to $400. Call 435-7314 or visit for the full schedule of workshops through November.

Fused glass

Aimee Whittemore of Henniker tried the art of fused glass for the first time a few years ago while visiting family in Arizona and “absolutely loved” it, she said. Prior to that, she had been doing stained glass.

“Now, I do both,” she said. “I love that [with fused glass] you can make things look 3D, and you can also make dishes.”

Fused glass garden ornaments made by Aimee Whittemore. Courtesy photo.

When she was starting out, she didn’t know of any glass studios in New Hampshire. Then, one afternoon, she and her husband were walking around downtown Manchester when they came across StudioVerne, the working studio and gallery of fused glass artist Verne Orlosk.

“I was so excited to see a glass studio,” Whittemore said. “We went in and talked to Verne about what she does for fused glass … [and] talked for a while about different projects that we had made. … We ended up doing three workshops at her studio.”

Over the past two years, Whittemore has created a number of fused glass pieces, including garden gnomes; a glass garden with fused flowers; ladybugs; butterflies; and a maple leaf, for which she used a fine powdered glass.

Fused glass pieces are typically put through at least two kiln processes, she explained. The first is called the “full fuse.”

“When I make a butterfly, for example, I trace my pattern onto the glass, then score the glass and … break the glass where I scored it,” she said. “Now, I have the body of my butterfly, and it needs to go in the kiln for a full fuse … which fuses the body all together and rounds the edges.”

The second process is the “tack fuse,” which fuses the design, formed with smaller glass pieces or powders, to the main piece of glass.

“There are so many different techniques you can do with fused glass,” she said. “Fusing glass is so fun, and once you get the hang of it, it comes easier.”

Studioverne Fine Art Fused Glass is a fused glass studio and gallery owned by artist Verne Orlosk in downtown Manchester. It is currently in the process of moving from Hanover Street to its new location at 412 Chestnut St. Orlosk said she will hold a grand reopening event in April. Upcoming classes and workshops are TBA. Call 490-4321 or visit


Laura Stevens of Goffstown was looking forward to taking her first quilting class at Night Owl Quilting Studio in Goffstown when the pandemic hit, putting her plans on hold.

“My mom is a quilter … [and] I sewed some as a young girl and made a little quilted pillow,” she said, “so I had been considering getting into quilting for some time.”

Not wanting to wait any longer to start her new hobby, Stevens decided to teach herself while stuck at home.

Quilt created by Laura Stevens. Courtesy photo.

“I became antsy during the pandemic … and had the free time, so I began working on a project,” she said.

Since Night Owl Quilting Studio reopened, Stevens has become “a regular” there, she said, and has participated in five different quilting programs.

“At this point, most of what I know about quilting, fabric and sewing, I’ve learned from [the classes],” she said. “It’s very satisfying to go from a bunch of fabric to something you’ve created.”

Stevens now has several quilts completed, including the one she started on her own during the pandemic shutdown, which she is “very proud of,” she said, and a wedding quilt that she made for her cousin using techniques she learned at Night Owl.

“I can’t stress enough how much I love being at the studio,” she said. “The classes … keep me on track on a project … [and give] me confidence to mix patterns and include my own spin on things.”

These local quilting studios and shops offer quilting classes, workshops and social groups. Call or see their websites for program details and schedules.

Angels Sewing and Quilting, 236 N. Broadway, Suite G, Salem, 898-0777,

Aunt Mary’s Quilting, 43 Stark Road, Derry, 845-9380,

Bits ’n Pieces Quilt Shop, 70 Bridge St., Pelham, 635-9705,

Maple Leaf Stitchin Studio, 1022 Dover Road, Unit 3, Epsom, 736-0256,

Night Owl Quilting Studio, 35 Main St., Goffstown, 384-2557,

Patches Quilt Loft, 1442 Candia Road, Manchester, 206-5490,

Pine Tree Quilt Shop, 224 N. Broadway, Salem Market Place, Salem, 870-8100,


Tom Ostberg of Windham is a regular performer of True Tales Live, a monthly storytelling series based in Portsmouth and aired on Portsmouth Public Media TV.

An avid outdoorsman, Ostberg focuses much of his storytelling on his adventures in nature.

“I have hiked the Appalachian Trail, gone canoeing, and camp every chance I get, so I continue to collect … stories,” he said. “Through these experiences of mine, I have learned the lessons that have shaped my life.”

In one of his favorite stories, Ostberg said, he describes a memorable night he spent in a wooden shelter in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee while hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Storyteller Tom Ostberg performs in a True Tales Live showcase. Photo credit John Lovering.

“I … [found] out in the middle of the night that [the shelter] had nightly visits by a family of skunks,” he said. “I connected with a young man, who was also afraid, [which] taught me a powerful lesson about respect.”

Another story he’s especially proud of, Ostberg said, recounts his “great adventure” catching feral honey bees in the woods for his home apiary while his wife was out of town.

“I love the way people light up with excitement when they hear an adventure story,” he said. “It transports us to a different place — a place we may not have ever been to before.”

While it can be nerve-wracking sharing deeply personal stories with strangers, Ostberg said, the audience’s reaction often helps to put him at ease.

“They’re so welcoming, down to earth and so easy to connect with,” he said. “They’re always full of laughter and … are feeling the moment with you.

The skills involved in the craft of storytelling also have a valuable place outside of the arts, Ostberg said.

“It’s useful in many other settings, [such as] business meetings, sharing and connecting with your friends and even family gatherings,” he said. “It’s inspiring for the teller, entertaining for the audience and opens up people to experience others’ lives.”

True Tales Live is a Portsmouth-based storytelling showcase held on the last Tuesday of the month (no shows in July and August) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Shows have been held over Zoom during the pandemic but will be held in person at the Portsmouth Public Media TV Studio (280 Marcy St.) starting in April. They will return to the Zoom format for the winter starting in November. Each month’s showcase is centered around a different theme. The series is free and open to all who want to watch or participate as a storyteller. Pre-registration for attendees is required for Zoom shows but not required for in-person shows. Additionally, True Tales Live hosts free storytelling workshops on the first Tuesday of every month (except November) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. over Zoom. Registration is required for workshops. Visit to register for a workshop or attend a show, and email if you’re interested in being a storyteller.

The New Hampshire Storytelling Alliance is a nonprofit organization that promotes the tradition and art of storytelling throughout the state. For more storytelling resources, including upcoming storytelling events, storytelling groups and a directory of professional storytellers, visit the NHSA website,

Upcycled fashion

Sixteen-year-old Amelia Bickford of Wolfeboro said she has always enjoyed “making and inventing things” from found materials, including recyclables like cardboard and plastic, so when her dad told her he had heard about an all-ages upcycled fashion show happening in Wolfeboro this spring, she jumped at the opportunity.

“Before now, my costumes and art haven’t really been seen by anyone other than my friends and family,” Bickford said. “I thought it would be a good challenge and would also be a cool way to meet others like me.”

Upcycled Fashion Show designer Amelia Bickford shows off her upcycled fingerless gloves and necklace. Courtesy photo.

Bickford is participating in the Upcycled Fashion Show as a member of a group of designers that is creating fashion pieces inspired by the characters and aesthetic of Alice in Wonderland.

Her favorite pieces that she has made so far include a chainmail necklace made of soda can tabs and a pair of fingerless gloves made from disposable plastic grocery bags.

“Upcycled fashion is … a great way to experiment artistically and … experiment with style,” she said. “There is always a way to make something look or be the way you want it to be; you only have to find out how, then do it.”

Lynn Willscher of Wolfeboro, another designer in the show, said she learned to sew in her high school home economics class in the 1960s and has been sewing her own home goods and clothing ever since. Her pieces for the show include four shop aprons in different styles made from old pairs of jeans.

“I was interested in using something that just about everyone owns,” Willscher said.

Upcycling, as a craft, she said, is “about transforming the old into the new and, in the process, increasing its value,” but it also has a larger purpose.

“[It’s] a great opportunity to draw further attention to the tremendous need the world has for recycling and reducing waste,” she said.

The Upcycled Fashion Show, presented by Makers Mill and the Governor Wentworth Arts Council, will be held on Saturday, April 23, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Makers Mill (23 Bay St., Wolfeboro). The event invites designers of all ages to create wearable art with at least 75 percent of the materials being recycled, reused or repurposed. Registration for designers is free and open now through the end of March or until participation is full. Groups and individuals are welcome. Tickets for spectators cost $5 purchased in advance and $7 purchased at the door. Additionally, a workshop, “Attachments & Embellishments, will be offered on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Brewster Academy (80 Academy Drive, Wolfeboro) in Room 103 of the Rogers Building Student Center. Participants will learn skills such as ancient lashing techniques, traditional zippers, basic buttons and hand and machine techniques; and about how to embellish a garment with dye, paint, hand sewing, hot glue and machine techniques. The workshop is open to registered designers for free and to the general public for a cost of $15. Visit or call 569-1500.

Featured photo: Fused glass pieces made by Aimee Whittemore. Courtesy photo.

This Week 22/03/10

Big Events March 10, 2022 and beyond

Thursday, March 10

Thursday means it’s Art After Work at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester;, 669-6144), when, from 5 to 8 p.m, museum admission is free and you can view the art, listen to music (performing this week: River Sister) and check out the food and happy hour specials in the Winter Garden. This week’s special tours include “A Glitter of Green” at 6:30 p.m., when you can get ready for St. Patrick’s Day (next Thursday, March 17) by looking at the significance of green in three museum pieces, according to the website. Current museum exhibits include “Appeal of the Real: 19th Century Photographs of the Ancient World” and “WPA in NH: Philip Guston and Musa McKim.”

Friday, March 11

Majestic Theatre presents the comedy Nana’s Naughty Knickers tonight through Sunday, March 13, at the Majestic Studio Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester; The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and 17 and under.

Friday, March 11

Oscar completists can add another movie to their “seen it” list: The Worst Person in the World (R, 2021), nominated for original screenplay and international feature film, starts screening today at Red River Theatres (11 S. Main St. in Concord; 224-4600, Red River is also still screening the nominated shorts packages: Catch documentaries on Thursday, March 10, at 6:15 p.m. Live-action shorts will screen Thursday, March 10, and Friday, March 11, at 3:15 p.m. and Saturday, March 12, at 11:30 a.m. And the animated shorts will screen Saturday, March 12, at 5 p.m.; Sunday, March 13, at 3:15 p.m. and Thursday, March 17, at 4 p.m.

Saturday, March 12

Get a taste of AC/DC with Dirty Deeds The AC/DC Experience at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry;, 437-5100) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35.

Sunday, March 13

The Milford Area Players production of the comedy The Philadelphia Storyfinishes its run today with a 2 p.m. show. Other shows this weekend are at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12. The show runs at the Amato Center for the Arts (56 Mont Vernon St. in Milford). Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors. Visit

Tuesday, March 15

Lil’ Buck brings “Memphis Jookin’ The Show” to the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St. in Concord; tonight at 7 p.m. The show is presented with free admission for four tickets for Concord-area residents by the William H. Gile Concert series according to the website, where you can see a video of Lil’ Buck’s dance moves.

Wednesday, March 16

It’s storytime at the New Hampshire Telephone Museum (1 Depot St. in Warner;, 456-2234) tonight when Miss Sue of the Pillsbury Free Library in Warner comes to read some of Gianni Rodari’s Telephone Tales at 3 p.m. Suggested donations are $5. Telephone Tales features stories within the story of a father who travels for work but calls his daughter every night to tell her stories.

Save the Date! Saturday, March 26, and Sunday, March 27

The Citizens Shamrock Half-Marathon, Relay and Shuffle will take place the last weekend of March in downtown Manchester. Sunday, March 27, is also the day of the Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade, for which the shamrocks have already been painted on Elm Street, according to As for the races, the half-marathon and relay take place on March 26 and the Shuffle and an 8-and-under Lil Leprechaun Run take place on March 27. There are also virtual options. See

Featured photo. River Sister. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 22/03/10

Making progress in the war on drugs

While drug overdose deaths in the United States increased 20.6 percent in one year (from the time period of June 2019 to June 2020 to the time period of June 2020 to June 2021), during the same time period New Hampshire was one of just four states to reduce its number of drug overdose deaths. According to a press release, the Granite State is projected to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths by more than 11 percent from 2018 to 2021, thanks in part to the state’s progress on its three-year action plan, Expanding Our Response, which was created in 2019 by the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol & Other Drugs. The action plan has increased access to substance use disorder peer recovery support and recovery housing, and increased investments in prevention, treatment and recovery. The commission recently updated the plan to set priorities for 2022 to 2024, including the formation of a Stimulants Committee that is tasked with addressing the increased use of stimulants in the state, the release said.

Score: +2

Comment: “Over the last few years we have made substantial progress in our long-term fight against the opioid epidemic by prioritizing a community-based Doorway response to this epidemic that puts individuals ahead of systems,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in the release.

All kinds of tax help

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration is reaching out to residents to let them know that it is available to offer guidance throughout the taxpaying season and directing taxpayers to its new tax management portal, Granite Tax Connect. According to a press release, Granite Tax Connect allows taxpayers to schedule payments to be automatically withdrawn from their bank account on a specified date. Taxpayers can either create an account or make a payment without a login. With an account, taxpayers can file returns, schedule estimated payments, see a history of returns and payments submitted and see letters received from the Department, the release said. “As a resource to the taxpaying community, we are committed to assisting taxpayers and tax preparers with all their needs this tax filing season,” NHDRA Commissioner Lindsey Stepp said in the release.

Score: +1

Comment: Taxpayer resources are available at, and the Taxpayer Services Division is available to answer all filing questions by phone at 230-5000 (option 2), the release said.

Longtime holiday food program canceled

The Capital Region Food Program’s Holiday Food Basket Project will no longer exist in the same format, after five years of research and analysis have shown that the project in its current form is not sustainable. According to a press release, the 50-year program has seen changes over the last 10 that have caused “fragmented communication and complexities that led to complications in effectively executing the project.”

Score: -2

Comment: The CRFP, which is an all-volunteer organization, will still work to get food to those in need during the holidays and throughout the year through its Year Round Distribution Project, the release said.

New grants for women and girls of color

The New Hampshire Women’s Foundation has launched a new grant program, the Women and Girls of Color Fund, for initiatives led by or serving women and girls of color in the state. According to a press release, the fund “aims to reverse the historic and persistent underinvestment in women and girls of color” and will provide low-barrier, faster turnaround grants to projects by and for this population.

Score: +1

Comment: The fund will accept applications quarterly, with the first grants deadline on July 1; visit

QOL score: 63

Net change: +2

QOL this week: 65

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at

Stay in the loop!

Get FREE weekly briefs on local food, music,

arts, and more across southern New Hampshire!