Dear Grandma: Six Years Ago Today

Dear Grandma,

I wasn’t expecting to write another one of these this week, but six years ago today I closed on my house and officially became a Lake George homeowner, so it seems appropriate I write it on the actual day.

What a ride it’s been. In those six years, I’ve had 6 different jobs, 7 different job titles, worked in the news, pet, financial, TV, pharma and packaging industries and had some lovely freelance clients in the tourism industry. It sounds a lot worse than it is.

I was 28 when I closed on my house. My goal was to be a Lake George homeowner by the time I was 30, because I always thought my life would end at 30. That’s around the age mommy was diagnosed with MS, so I just assumed that’s when my life would start to fall apart, too. Clearly, I’m still alive, but I’m not sure if I am any better off than I was six years ago.

Although I have become more experienced in some areas, I feel like life was a little easier and more fun six years ago. Since I bought my house, my friends have dwindled, my depression has gotten worse, my self-confidence has dipped to new levels and I overall don’t feel well. I patch up my emotional wounds with things like dog training classes, constant work and redoing the backyard, but at the end of the day, I am still fundamentally sad most days for reasons I cannot explain. No amount of therapy has helped, and medication caused more problems than cures.

When I work with clients it’s all about managing expectation. Under promise and over deliver. I wish I could figure out how to do that with my own expectations. I wanted to live here because it was my happy place. It was the only place I can ever remember as a kid where there was no flighting, and everyone wad happy. You would say, “Grandma Tess” or “Lake George” and everyone’s face would light up. Still does.

I guess, I thought by living here, those happy feelings and good times would automatically happen again. It’s like buying a home where you vacation — it’s not a vacation anymore.

Last year, I toyed with the idea of selling it. The thought of it made me sick to my stomach. But, realistically, it wasn’t making much sense financially, geographically or just in general. Then, I was presented with an opportunity that allowed me to work remotely, and my dream of living here not just on the weekends became a reality.

It’s not been easy, but it is a whole lot better than before. When I travel someplace, whether for work or pleasure, I always wonder what my life would be like if I lived there instead. But, I like having the Adirondacks as my home base. If I feel happiest anywhere, it is here.

Despite everything I wrote above, the past 6 years haven’t been so bad.

Through various avenues, I’ve gotten to meet people and see places I maybe never would have been to otherwise. I’ve met some people during this time that I look up to and have learned so much from. I’ve grown my career, and have had professional opportunities I never even knew existed. I’ve learned a lot about myself, friendships, love and life.

Of course, there are always more things to learn, which I think, I  have learned, is my passion. I used to think it was writing, then I thought it was the pet industry, then I thought … well, you get the idea. But, in the end, I think my passion is really, learning.

I don’t know if I will live here for the rest of my life. It’s partly why I started Life’s Always An Adventure, but for right now, I feel like it’s where I am supposed to be.

Cheers to another six years … maybe.

Dear Grandma is a tribute to Michelle’s great-grandmother, who inspired her love of the Adirondacks while visiting here since she was a baby. Her great-grandmother, now an eternal resident of Lake George, would always write her letters. These are the letters Michelle would be writing to her great grandmother about her life in the Adirondacks now. 

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Dear Grandma: Waiting Up for Family

Dear Grandma, 

It’s funny how much I remember even though I was so little. Sometimes I wonder if I only remember things because of all the photos mommy took, but there are no photos of this, so I know it’s a real memory not triggered by a  Polaroid. 

Last week daddy decided very last minute to drive up and help me with several home project I decided to finally do. It was late. He didn’t leave New Jersey until after 10 pm, which meant he wouldn’t be here until about 3 am. 

Remember all the times mommy, daddy and I did that, especially on a weekend, to come see you? It was always so late and usually daddy would carry me inside straight to you. You were always awake waiting for us. 
My memory gets a little foggy after that, likely because I was so tired, but I do remember sometimes we would stay up and talk for a bit before bed. Poppy was usually sleeping and it was always exciting to go to sleep knowing I’d get to see him in the morning. 

I tried, but couldn’t stay awake until Daddy got here, so I fell asleep on the bed with the dogs. But, I did, still half asleep, wake up for about 10 minutes when he got here, at 3:30 in the morning. 

How did you always stay awake for us? 

Dear Grandma is a tribute to Michelle’s great-grandmother, who inspired her love of the Adirondacks while visiting here since she was baby. Her great-grandmother, now an eternal resident of Lake George, would always write her letters. These are the letters Michelle would be writing to her great grandmother about her life in the Adirondacks now. 

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Live at the Lake: Post Memorial Day; looking ahead at Lake George events

Welcome to Live at the Lake, hosted by Michelle Maskaly aka The Adirondack Chick, and focuses on things in and around the Lake George region of the Adirondacks.

This was originally broadcasted live on Periscope and is unedited. Follow @theadkchick on Twitter to for links of future live broadcasts.


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Adorable Garden Center in Ballston Lake

One of my very favorite things to do is randomly drive and stop at local farm stands, wineries, stores, basically whatever seems interesting.

That paid off Saturday afternoon on my way back from an agility trial with Maddux when I stumbled upon Green Acres in Ballton Lake, New York.

I mean first of all how adorable is this place?!

But, besides it being absolutely adorable, all the plants looked amazing. It started with the reasonably priced and great selection of herbs, and then I saw the vegetable plants. Less than $1 each, I was hooked when I learned that they grow them themselves.

Family owned, Kim, one of the co-owners, explained her father built the place, and now she and her sister operate it.

Needless to say, I walked out with a ton of vegetables, herbs and flowers. I even bought plants for my Dad in New Jersey.

I do my fair share of shopping at the larger home improvement stores, like Lowe’s, but when it comes to my vegetable garden, 99 percent of the plants always come from a local place. Most of my flowers do, too. It’s so important to support these types of family-owned, local places. Can’t wait to plant these guys tomorrow.

Where do you buy your garden plants?

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Memorial Day Weekend Freeze in the Adirondacks

So, I received this notification.


Yup, a freeze watch Really? It is May, and Memorial Day weekend! There was frost warnings sporadically over the past few weeks, but a freeze watch? That took me by surprise.

Apparently, it can happen, but I guess because I previously never received notifications on my phone, I didn’t know. Plus, because I was away because of work so much, I maybe didn’t pay attention.

I already lost three six-packs of plants, but I didn’t want to lose anymore, so I brought these guys in my garage. Even the seedlings that were in the greenhouse, I decided to bring in.

And, forget a BBQ, when I saw it was already 40 degrees out, I pulled out a package of my vegan, gluten-free pea soup I had frozen earlier this year. It was perfect for this chilly night.

I still can’t believe it’s Memorial Day Weekend, and there is a freeze watch! Darn climate change!


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Expanding the Backyard Garden

I love my garden, but I really don’t like gardening. At least that’s what I’ve come to realize. 

Planting the plants, picking them out at the store or starting them from seeds, walking out to the backyard to harvest veggies and making a delicious homemade meal. I like all those things. 

Turn over the soil, putting down the weed block, planning what goes where and pulling weeds. Not a fan. 

But, it has to be done. Which, is why, my Dad came up to help! 

I like to think I can do a lot of things on my own, which I can. But, digging up grass is a little beyond my strengths and my dads help was much appreciated. 

My original backyard garden was about 18 x 20, and I wanted to expand it by another 4 to 5 feet. Since I will be here all the time now, I can water it and take better care of it, so of course I wanted more room to plant! 

That, and by expanding it the way I did, it will make mowing with the tractor easier, especially since I want to also expand the flower beds. 

We also had to expand the fencing. That was actually pretty easy since I knew at some point I would want to make it bigger so we left the extra fencing there instead of cutting it off. All we had to do was move both the fencing and the poles out a little further. 

Not hard at all. 

All the weed block is down and now, I’m just waiting to put some plants in. Although some of these seedlings look like they are ready to get growing in the garden. 
When do you start prepping your garden? 

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May Weather Warning 

When I saw this alert on my phone I nearly fell  over. 


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Under Construction 

Yep, you really are reading The Adirondack Chick.  We just, look a little different. 

After years of putting it off, I finally found a reliable company who transferred all my content from Blogger to WordPress. And, without losing my photos! That was a big thing for me. Comments, likes, page views…I could deal with loosing that. My photos? Not so much! 

Yeah, I know, why did it take so long? That’s a story for another day, but in the meantime, we are back able to blog and I’m excited to be using this platform. 

That said, it’s going to look a little “plain” for a while as I learn how to navigate this. While I’ve used WordPress many times before, it’s all been set up previously for me and there was a help staff. 

It’s just me. 

Please bare with me! I do most of my writing on the go, and from my phone. Sometimes there are issues. I promise I’ll try to figure them all out, eventually, but right now I am just happen to be able to share our adventures with you again. 

What blogging platform do you use? Any tips? 


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Life Captured: Why I Live in the Adirondacks

Today was on of those perfect days where I take a walk by the lake and remember why I wanted to live in the Adirondacks. 

It is like falling in love all over again. 

Despite it being May, it was cold — tank top under my heavy hoodie cold — but it was beautiful! 

The trees are starting to get buds! 

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April Snow in the Adirondacks

I usually work from my home office, but because I was having some trouble with stuff in the kitchen, yesterday I was working from my kitchen table. Mid-afternoon I looked out and saw this ~ 

Umm, what? Snow? It’s the end of April!! 
Sure enough, it was snowing. 

Although it wasn’t enough to really stick, but was hilarious. I mean, really, snow in April? 
We did A quick live broadcast of it on Periscope, which if you are not following us there, please do. It’s lots of fun. Find us at TheAdkChick. 
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