2018 Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

We traveled too much this year, literally. Six planned trips, three unplanned: South Africa, Monticello, Iowa (niece Allie’s wedding), Chicago, Vancouver, Alaska, St. Louis, Atlanta, Mammoth Lakes, CA, Washington, DC, Singapore (Allie’s second wedding to her husband, Kel Vin), Bali, Sydney AUS, New Zealand. We were on the road 94 days.  Too much. It got so hectic I stopped making lists and went to winging it.
The unexpected travel came when the various organizations Tom is working with wanted him at a conference or to participate on a panel.  He has been VERY involved with chronic pain advocacy, medical research advancement, suicide prevention, advocacy online classes and leading support groups.
He’s become a bit of a “go to guy” when it comes to understanding chronic pain having been interviewed for national news coverage, had his articles and interviews published, worked with the Dept of Defense and Cedars Sinai among others. He has another offer on the table as of January but is on the fence about taking it.
One thing we didn’t expect was Tom’s increased pain. We think his adrenalin masked it when he was volunteering so intensely at our parish for so many years. Once he truly stopped in late 2017 his pain surged, which added many trips to his doc for epidurals.
He’s had other medical issues this year which have yet to be fully resolved. We returned from N.Z. last Thursday. Tom was able to see his GP that day who took x-rays. Apparently he had 3 fractured ribs before we left for Singapore and got one more when he fell out of bed in Bali. We now think his earlier respiratory issues might be related to broken ribs. We’ll both be working on improving our health in 2019.
The other unexpected trip was my shooting the feature WELCOME TO PINE GROVE (WTPG), in Atlanta. I also shot several more McDonald’s commercials, one for Blue Bunny Ice Cream and have been hired as a voice-over series regular on the animated show THE ROCKETEER. Both WTPG and THE ROCKETEER are slated to air in 2019. Six of the commercials are on hold so we may see them again.
We stayed very busy socially, exercising and volunteering.  In fact I had a revelation during my last 8 month effort in chairing the Opportunity Drawing for our Heifer LA 2018 event. I am done officially spearheading anything.  I have loved every minute of my years of leadership and projects, project, projects!  I will always be a volunteer and always fund-raise for Heifer, I just won’t be “Leading the Charge.”  I have retired my shrink wrap.
I have never had a problem saying NO; I just rarely did.  I want to do other things now, mainly projects around the house. I have eliminated self-imposed deadlines. Basically, I am semi-retiring from my life, not my career.
Last night I cleaned out our spice shelf. If it didn’t have a lovely aroma, I tossed it.  Down 16 spices.  Feels fabulous.  I might take on the linen closet before the end of the year.
We are sending our love and prayers to each of you. 
Merry Christmas,
Marianne and Tom
Your name:

Heifer LA 2018

(for ticket information click  https://www.heifer.org/events/la/index.html .  Kids 15 and under FREE!!)

Many thanks to each of our Opportunity Drawing Donors! (Over 29k in donations!)
We couldn’t do it without you!
Adam Friedman
Andre Adams 
Anna’s Hair
Barbara Linkevitch
Birla Angelica
Bree Abel Rotter
Buddy Powell’s Commercial Acting for Adults
Cecilia Castellano
Center Theatre Group 
Charlie & Rene Chiara
Chris Chalenrath 
Coin & Ghost Theatre Company
Dale Raoul
Diana Haberstick
El Coyote Café
Emilio Anorve 
Esthetica Skin Care
Eva Basler
Evergreen Landscape and Architects, Inc.
George Pennacchio
Golds Gym Downtown LA
Golds Gym of Southern California
Grasie Mercedes
Grassroots Co-Op
Heifer International
Jasmine Blue Flowers
JJP Dental Practice
Joel Brooks
John & Joy Beaty
John Brauer
Jorge Castaneda 
Josef Centeno Restaurant Group
Judy Friedman
Karen Mann & Phil Ciminelli
Karla Ahmanson
Kenneth Poch
Klasky Csupo Inc.
LaBrea Tar Pits
LA Galaxy 
Leah Kamaiko
LEH Design
Lori Daniel
Lorilynn Failor
Los Angeles Lakers
Louise's Trattoria
Margaret Haneberg
Margo & Ralph Kidushim
MA’s Italian Kitchen
Marianne Muellerleile & Tom Norris
Mary Benson
Mary Engelbreit, MECO, LLC
Mary Pat Gleason
Michael F. Rohde
Miranda J. Barrett
Nails by Wendy
Natural History Museum
Ndiginus Art Accessories
Padaro Beach Grill
Palermo Ristorante Italiano
Papa Cristo’s Greek Grill
Patricia Bubash 
Paul’s Video Productions
Phil Devine
Rehab Vintage
Roger Combs Woodworker
Skate or Buy
Susan Fitch 
Svelte Barbershop & Essentials
Taix French Restaurant
Teri Allen
The Enchanted Garden
The Magic Castle: The Academy of Magical Arts
The Pasadena Playhouse
Theresa N. White Custom Art & Photography
Trader Joe’s #54
Quilts ‘n Things Fiber Arts
Vibrato Grill & Jazz
Wendy Hogan 
Winnie Freedman
Yoga Works
My sincerest apologies for any misspellings or omissions. Marianne Muellerleile
Your name:
2018 Just Stay Home prize winners

Extending a boat load of thanks to my 45 donors who raised $20,746 in the month of May by participating in my 8th annual Just Stay Home fundraiser.

This money goes to support Heifer International's Vietnam Dairy Development project.

The ten door prize winners are:  Mary E White, Holly Derheim, Laurie Ritz, Winnie Freedman, Larry Brown, Louise Owen, Renaissance Family Foundatuon, Mary GBenson, Shea Butler & Mary Alice Muellerleile!!

Your name:
2017 Christmas Letter

 2017 Christmas Greetings to our Family and Friends,

Well, we’ve had another fine year but a few things shifted and some of it was unexpected.
Tom volunteered, I continued waving the Heifer International flag, we traveled, I had health issues & some great work opportunities.  That’s it in a nutshell.  For those who hate these annual letters, stop here.
Tom now has a new position at the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA), as their West Coast Regional Director.  He is also now part  the ACPA Members Advisory Committee (MAC). All this “promotion” means he is putting in more volunteer hours as he continues to facilitate several chronic pain support groups.
He continues to be an advisor for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (pcori) and works on several chronic pain related projects with Cedars and UCLA.
He is also in his 5th Year facilitating a weekly pain group with housebound or isolated seniors through Senior Center Without Walls.
After 15+ years of volunteering at our church, Tom has stopped.  I call it a retirement as his volunteer hours were never restricted, as originally agreed upon.  His time there just kept increasing and increasing. When he started having chest pain and difficulty sleeping, he realized it was time to step away.
I have continued to mentor 5 young actors. Here in LA are Marquise, Rose & Carisa, all from U of MN.
Had the best 3 weeks ever in NYC shooting a recurring role on ELEMENTARY. Also I got to spend one on one time with my 2 NYC mentees, Gabby from SLU, Carmen from Viz.
Shot another pilot this year that didn’t sell. WHERE I’M FROM was smart, funny and hip. I played a nun/principal of a grade school.  Then I shot a SCHOOL OF ROCK that has yet to air. Ended the year with a gang-buster of a commercial for McDonald’s buttermilk chicken tenders. They made 7 spots out of my 3 day/36 hour shoot.  And they saturated the market with them.
Click here to see:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg69z2k9a9c&feature=share
In March I had an unexpected nosebleed that lasted 10 hours and 23 minutes. Yikes! I’ve had them throughout my life, periodically, but nothing like this one.  MD said it was an artery.  Big drag.
In June I joined my girlfriends for a glorious trip to Missoula, MT. Our hostess/girlfriend entertained us in high style from trips to a buffalo reserve, to fab eats to a party/recital in our honor.
Later that month I joined my sisters in Perrysberg, OH for the final dance recital of our great niece, Caroline. OK just to be honest, she WAS the best of the 100+, all ages, dance company.
Tom joined me for the Muellerleile Family Global Reunion in Seattle WA. The three-day reunion was followed by five glorious day trips that included a postcard photo experience of Mt. Rainier.
Upon returning I got the sinus infection of a lifetime. Nine weeks of on again, off again, total relapse, give me drugs now, will my ears ever clear. My 3rd MD was a sinus specialist who got me in shape to fly home to St Louis for my 50th Visitation Academy high school reunion.  It was an AMAZING time. Only to be followed by more fun when my sister Cecilia and I gave our niece Allie and her finance Kel Vin a wedding shower. 
Our Heifer International’s Partners for Change group put on an inaugural fundraiser to benefit projects in Arkansas and our own Vietnam Dairy Development participants in the Mekong Delta. With the help of sponsors and Bob Greenblatt of NBC/Universal Studios, we truly knocked it out of the park.  We are already at work for our 2nd annual Beyond Hunger fundraiser.
On November 13 I experienced what I thought was food poisoning. Six days later I saw my GP, who sent me to Urgent Care who sent me to a CT scan who had me admitted to ER that night for raging pancreatitis.  They took my gall bladder out on day 6 and it took 2 more days for the pancreatitis to calm down.  My surgeon says I’ll be 100% by Dec 13.  Apparently the pancreas takes its sweet time calming down.
As you know, I have been Tom’s care giver for 28.5 years as I am never really sick.  My previous hospitalization was in 1963 for a tonsillectomy.   
This reversal of care-giving was hard on both of us.  Tom struggled with his chronic pain as he had to miss two epidural treatments and slept at the hospital almost around the clock. His 6'4" frame never found a comfortable way to curl up.
I can not tell you how critical it was for me to have him there. As I have a high tolerance for pain it took me forever to figure out and express how much and where it hurt. Finally Tom had me look at those face charts (never knew they existed) and I was second to the right, almost crying. Once we got through that I had my first narcotic and shortly thereafter one more tablet.  Finally the pain was subdued.
Since returning home, Tom has spent most of his time in bed, recovering. He has had one of the 2 missed epidurals. My friends have rallied and helped finish decorating our home for the holidays.  Special shout out to Mary Pat, Barb, Mary, Cece, Marquise, Galen, Bob and Fr. Jose.
The show must go on and they have seen to it that it will.  We welcome five family house guests this week and host our every other year Christmas party in a few days.
On December 18 we are flying to South Africa for a long anticipated vacation. They’ll be lots of down-time interspersed with trips to Johannesburg, Sun City, Pilansberg National Park, Pretoria and Cape Town.  
We close with prayers of gratitude for health, family and friends.  
We continue to pray faithfully for world peace, understanding and acceptance of one another.
Sending you our love and good wishes through this Holy Season & throughout the coming year, 
Marianne and Tom
Your name:
Results of my Just Stay Home Fundraiser 2015
Hello Heifer Donors,
My 5th Annual Just Stay Home Fundraiser, on May 23, 2015 was a huge success.
Fifty-one people decided to Stay Home by donating to the Heifer International Vietnam Dairy Development project to the tune of $16,230.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
The door prize winners for the non event are: Louise Owen, Dan Broadley, Nancy Wilson, Terry Kilburn, Tim Yanchun. Laurie Ritz, Karla Ahmanson, Barb Fitzgerald, Beth Correll & Roberta Quiroz.
I will get your prize to you as soon as possible.
Several of you have told me you will be supporting this project before the end of the year.
I have every confidence I will reach my goal of raising $25,000 by December 31.
If you’d like to join the fight to end hunger and poverty while protecting this earth, click here to learn how: https://fundraise.heifer.org/mariannemuellerleile.
With gratitude, 
Your name: