Christmas 2012

Dear Loved Ones,

We’ve had a rather delightful year.

With Tom now in his third year of receiving epidurals and acupuncture to help maintain pain control, we ventured into the world of foreign travel via a planned tour. The big questions were: how will Tom manage, how much can he actually do, and would that be enough?

We chose a 16 days trip to Spain, Portugal & Morocco and it turned out beautifully.  The hand-picked tour-goers, many of them close friends of each other, were fabulous, and very welcoming of us and Tom’s wheelchair. When the group went off on the almost daily 90 minute walking tour Tom went to bed and rested up for the evening. His final assessment, “Let’s do this again.”  And so we shall.

The rest of the year was peppered with short trips to Carlsbad, Cambria, Santa Barbara and Big Bear, CA. I went to St. Louis twice: a sisters’ road trip to Branson (a complete hoot) and my alma mater honoring me (27 family & friends attending, many of them SLU grads too). We took four pals with us to  NM for the Balloon Fiesta (my Bucket List, ?), Tom went to Virginia for three weeks to see family and friends, and our final trip this year will be San Francisco for Christmas and New Year’s.

Tom has stayed the course in trying to develop chronic pain support groups under the aegis of the American Chronic Pain Association.  This has been a daunting task, rife with inherent problems and obstacles.  He now had two groups and is working on a third.

He continues with his genealogy research, thanks to Ancestry.com and some interested relatives.  He has also tutored grade-schoolers in an after-school program in the inner city.

As for me, I’ve kept busy with work: Adam Sandler’s THAT’S MY BOY, PARENTHOOD, THE MENTALIST, a national commercial for GE and THE UNTITLED NINA SIMONE PROJECT.

November/December has been devoted to cataract surgery.  I’ve been either pre-op or post-op for nearly 6 weeks now and it should continue for about a year as I do daily eye exercises in the hopes of getting my new Crystalens to give me perfect “near” vision.  The distance & intermediate vision is already greatly improved.

My spare time has been devoted to the planning of the Keaney Clan Global Reunion in Boston, slated for June 2013. However, my main philanthropic passion remains Heifer International (I sit on their LA Leadership Council).  I’ve had many opportunities to support their work, either by fund raising, speaking engagements or volunteering at their events. I am especially involved in their effort to raise 3.7 million for an Armenian initiative with the World Bank and the Armenian government.  If you’d like to learn more, please go to my Personal Page at http://teamheifer.heifer.org/MarianneMuellerleile

Merry Christmas and many blessings throughout the coming new year,

 

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