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  • NEIGHBORS - The stories and goings on in McNary Estates neighborhood
  • YOUR HEALTH - Wellness and Living Good information
  • CREATIVE NOTIONS - Stories, poems, and posts focused on a lighter side of living
  • IN THE KITCHEN - News about local Restaurants, Home Cooking and more
  • HUMOR ME - A lighter side of life perspective
  • ON THE GREENS - McNary Golf Club is the central hub of activities on the course and beyond 
The McNary Newsletter is paid for and distributed by Tom's Professional Services within the community, however McNary Estates HOA does not contribute financially to the newsletter. Contributing writers: Mark Percy, Christine Dieker, and Bob Balmer. Contributing Photographers: Susan May
McNary Wonderful Holiday Lights and Decorating Contest

Many residents asked if the HOA if they would please once again light up the bridge for the Holiday Season. Residents and board members, Amber Wilcox and Cheryl Ousey worked very hard to make this become a reality. The bridge is 280 feet long so 560 feet of bridge was needed to be decorated with icicle lights, garland, bows, balls, etc. After a lot of research they found a great deal on LED icicle light strands. They bought 18 strands of lights at $25 per strand for $450. They also needed extension cords, timers, garland, ribbon, Christmas balls, etc., to decorate the 10 light

poles with an estimated cost of $400. So it will cost approximately $850 to decorate the bridge.

Since they were on a time crunch, Amber and Cheryl generously purchased most of the items needed in hopes that the community will donate money to reimburse them. To donate money to reimburse Amber and Cheryl, please make checks out to McNary Estates HOA. Mail your check to: CMI – 2105 SE 9th Avenue, Portland, OR  97214. 

Volunteers were needed to decorate the bridge. Many met Amber and Cheryl the day after Thanksgiving to get the task completed. With their smiles and motivation, once again the entrance to our beautiful community is decorated for the Holiday Season. Thanks to all those who helped and to Amber & Cheryl who stepped up to lead the way.

The 1st Annual McNary Holiday Home Decorating Contest will be held this year with the following dates:
Entry Application Period: November 9, 2020 through December 12, 2020
Judging Period: Tuesday & Wednesday, December 15 – 16, 2020
Winners Announced: Friday, December 18, 2020
Please read these rules and instructions. Entry applications are available from: Cheryl (541) 840-2852, Amber (503) 990-1960, or below.
1. Participation is open to all residents of McNary Estates.
2. Entry is free, no cost or fees apply.
3. Members of the HOA Boards are not eligible to win but are encouraged to participate.
4. Entry Applications must be received no later than 5pm on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.
5. Contest is for exterior decorations only, including decorations in windows that are visible from the exterior. Judging will be done from outside the residence only.
6. Judging will be based on “curb appeal” as viewed from the street only. Therefore, only those decorations located on the street side of the property will be judged (corner lots will be judged from both streets). Judges will not enter the property to view back or side yards. 7. Participants agree to have one or more photos of their decorated residence exterior posted on the McNary Website and/or published in the McNary Monthly Newsletter. Participants agree there will be no compensation of any kind for said posting or publication.
8. Judging criteria will include [a] Traditional Spirit of Christmas i.e., Santa Clause, Nutcracker, etc.; [b] Elegance of Design, Overall use of color and lighting etc.; and [c] Wow Factor, Animated, Special effects, etc.
9. Judging will be done on Tuesday & Wednesday, December 15-16, 2020 from 5pm to 9pm both nights.
10. Participants should ensure that all lights, animations and decorations are in place and activated for the judging periods on both nights.
11. An Entry Number Card will be provided to each participant. This card must be affixed to the exterior of the residence in a conspicuous place where it can be seen by the judges from the street.
12. Winners will be announced by 6:00pm on December 18, 2020 by phone.
13. Winners in each category will receive a $50 Gift Certificate for Jeff & Sheryl’s on the Turn at McNary Restaurant.
14. Be creative, be festive, have fun!
"2020 Holiday Season" Written by Calm team members. Calm is a smart phone app that help users sleep better, boost confidence, and reduce stress and anxiety. Calm's mission is to make the world a happier and healthier place. 

When life gives you 2020, tap into your mindfulness practice to bring magic to the holiday season.

As we head toward a very different holiday compared to years past, we can reclaim the peace and joy of the season through mindfulness—one of the most powerful tools we have in the face of life's twists and turns. With practice, we learn to work with our circumstance exactly as it is, and it's from this grounded place of openness, that we can discover the beauty and possibility that lives in the moment.

Here are three steps to mindfully meet the holidays this year (feel free to repeat as often as needed):


It's okay if you’re experiencing some hard feelings about all of the changes you've been navigating. Make space to honor any emotions that have been stirred up within and explore ways to process what you're feeling. Talk to a friend, listen to sad songs, stomp your feet, or scream into the wind. Notice how your feelings shift when you attend to them. The aim is to express your emotions so that you can let them go.


Once you've acknowledged your feelings, don't get stuck in what could've, would've, or should've been. Instead, look around and imagine what you might do with the people you can see, the places you can go, and the resources you have. Here are a few ideas from the Calm team to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Savor slow and quiet mornings with time for meditation, coffee, and watching the sky.

  2. Awaken joy within by making someone else's day better.

  3. Go for a walk and seek out the beauty that surrounds you. Keep looking until you find something.

  4. Write a letter to a friend reflecting on what makes them wonderful. If possible, read it out loud to them on a video call.

  5. Try something new: a recipe, a local adventure, or an online dance class.


Now that you've opened your mind to new possibilities, focus your energy on making your holidays meaningful. Notice if you get distracted by negativity and gently bring yourself back to what's possible in the now. If you're struggling to stay present, try bringing your attention to something that pleases your senses. Here are some more ideas from the Calm team:

  1. Watch the slow dance of a candle flame.

  2. Wear your softest sweater.

  3. Listen to music that soothes and settles your busy mind.

  4. Sip hot chocolate.

  5. Simmer cinnamon sticks and orange peels on the stove.

May you discover the magic that lives in the moment.

Stories, poems, and posts focused on a lighter side of living. 
My name is Jim Shier and I’m a single dad to two AMAZING kiddos; Wyatt (six) and Scarlett (four). They were both born on August 21st, just two years apart, which happens to be my mom and Uncles birthday!

I’ve been looking for fun and creative ways to spend quality family time with them and painting rocks has become something they really enjoy doing.  From picking out the rocks, to cleaning them, painting and then dropping them off.  We’ve done things from the Lorax, choosing kindness to getting out the vote!  But because of COVID this year I wasn’t comfortable taking the kids trick or treating so we decided to paint Halloween themed rocks and drop them off throughout the neighborhood in their costumes instead.  It was a ton of fun and may just become a new family tradition! 

Granny's Peanut Butter Balls By Christine Dieker
Our Christmas tradition includes my mom, Gloria Jones, making delicious Peanut Butter Balls. There are a few recipes and even other names (Buck Eyes) for these delightful treats. Here's how mom brings us joy!

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6oz (half a package) Almond Bark
  1. In the bowl combine the peanut butter and butter, mixing on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Turn mixer to low and add in the powdered sugar mixing until evenly incorporated. Mixture will be thick.
  3. Using a small cookie scoop (about 1 tablespoon), portion out the mixture and roll into balls. Place them on a large parchment lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to chill.
  4. In a medium bowl melt the almond bark in 25- second increments, stirring after each until smooth.
  5. Take 5 to 6 peanut butter balls from freezer.
  6. Using a small kabob stick, dip each peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate, tapping off the excess.
  7. Place back on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with all balls.
  8. Drizzle any extra chocolate on top of the balls.
  9. Allow the chocolate to set before storing or sending as a special gift.
 “The Right Tree With the Perfect Story” By Bob Balmer
One year my wife and I drove up the Clackamas River to cut a Christmas tree from a U-cut lot. We like more natural-looking trees, a tree more uniform than a Charlie Brown tree, but not a tree that looks oddly flawless. All the trees in the lots where we stopped seemed the same, perfectly pruned and perfectly unnatural trees, and then we saw a sign that said Grandma's Tree Lot. To our delight, we saw a patch of firs of all shapes, firs that resembled trees that one might find in a forest.
Overlooking the lot was a large, white house. A wreath with a red bow hung from an impressive oak door. The house suggested a home that had once, before years of neglect, been grand. It was then that Grandma came out. She was tall, almost elegant, and she wore a long flowing purple coat, her white hair piled on top of her head, her face as withered and rosy as the crimson apples still clinging to the gnarled trees in her yard.
She said she and her husband had owned the tree farm for decades, and though he had died earlier that year, she wanted to keep the lot open. Her son, who held a chain saw, had driven over to help her.  Grandma wanted us to see her peacocks patrolling her side yard. “Go watch them spread their feathers. They're beautiful,” she said.  Before we left to see the peacocks, Grandma said that inside the house was a long table that for years her family had sat around and that they'd sit around it again this Christmas.  Her pipes had frozen, she added, but that wouldn't stop her from her Christmas traditions. 
Sometimes a story is so good that you want to reward the teller for telling it, but you don't, for it would seem foolish to turn a chance conversation into a literary arts moment.   On the surface, I was about to give a resilient woman $20 for a tree.  As it was, however, she had also given me a story that spoke of perseverance and hope -- a perfect metaphor for what Christmas, I often have to remind myself, is supposedly about.
McNary Gets Hairy for Cancer
By Mark Piercy, Men’s Club Member
Although No-Shave November had been around for years before, 8 siblings in the Chicago area formalized the fundraiser in 2009. They were inspired to act by the death of their father, Matthew Hill, who lost his fight with colon cancer in 2007. They started the web-based nonprofit to organize local efforts to raise cancer awareness and funds for research, treatment, and education. The concept is simple. You give up shaving and trips to the barber/salon for the month of November. The few dollars you save on razors or that larger sum you save by skipping the barber/stylist is then donated to the cause. The organization grew and has raised more than $10 million.
The annual event caught the attention of McNary Estates resident Chris Morrison. He thought it might be a worthwhile and fun endeavor. So, he tossed out the No-Shave Challenge to a few of his golf buds in late October. A couple of those buddies got in on the action and it evolved to include a larger circle of golf friends, ultimately involving members of McNary Golf Club and the McNary Men’s Golf Club. From Chris’s whim sprung an effort that included 26 men. This local effort became known as Hairy McNary No-Shave November. Participants swore off their razors and delayed their scheduled trips to the barber. Soon after, scruffy looking men began appearing around the golf course and showing up in the neighborhood regularly. Faces got itchy. Residents became suspicious. Retailers kept a close eye. Cops were on edge. Pets were leery. Wives became indignant. Faces had become nearly unrecognizable. Some abominable. Some just downright ugly!
The Hairy McNary version adds an element for fun. As beards sprouted, their owners, some reluctantly, surrendered their “mug shot” selfies in various stages of imperfection. Borrowing a euphemism, after only a month these young beards are just entering their awkward teen stage. Photos, some mercilessly cropped, would then appear on the Men’s Club Facebook page as quizzes for readers to guess the owner. You could expect that sly commentary, all in good fun of course, might accompany your photo. It was a rite of passage. One might have to stow his vanity briefly when sharing those intimate closeups. You were vulnerable. It was tantamount to baring your soul. Oh, the humanity! But the underlaying purpose negated those small moments of uncomfortableness. By good deed’s end, all these swell sports raised $1800 for the American Cancer Society, a decent donation by any standard. One can only speculate, just as magically as those beards appeared, how many disappeared December 1? Hmmm…just another one of the Season’s mysteries. And fewer indignant wives!
Copyright © 2020 The McNary Newsletter, All rights reserved.

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