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
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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:
Heifer Update & artcile on me


Hello Friends, Family & Fans,
My volunteer efforts for Heifer expanded this year when I was chosen to sit on their Golden Talent Award Selection Committee.
The five member committee read about 30 entries from around the world, and then nominated those we felt deserved special recognition for having worked with Heifer to bring their family out of poverty & for their continued dedication to the Heifer mission in their community. 

A cash award of $1,000 is provided by Heifer International Foundation. $800 is for the winner's project group or community and $200 is designated as a cash gift or in-kind gift to the family or individual who earned the award.

I loved being a part of this Award and found the nominees stories one of inspiration and strength.

I also worked on a number of other Heifer efforts, including staffing information booths at various community fairs, chairing an auction component of their Los Angeles 70th anniversary party, working their annual Beyond Hunger Event and participating in their Los Angeles Volunteers Group.

This year I expanded my personal fundraising efforts from April, May & June to January through December.

My goal was to raise $25,000 for our Armenian Women's Project.  Today we are at $30,426! Thank you dear people!

I am currently being featured on the Heifer website. To read the story click the link below.


I am in the process of making a deeper commitment to the Heifer mission by joining the newly formed SoCal Heifer Core Group dedicated to establishing and funding a Heifer project for the next 5 years.

Our second meeting is in January where we will look at Heifer's work and needs in Vietnam having done the same study of Uruguay last month.

I will write you again in the New Year to tell you about my/our next phase of spreading the Heifer mission to end hunger and poverty while protection the earth.

My thanks and gratitude to each of you for your continued dedication and support of me and Heifer International. 

Happy Thanksgiving,



Your name:
Memories of Raymond Lieberman

August 9, 1923 -March 3, 2010

Raymond always said he met me when I arrived at Terry's trailer one MBT night wearing sorely patched overalls, a man's military coat and caring a plate of warm, marbleized brownies.

I have no memory of this specific encounter but the scenario is all too familiar, and I will forever bow to the master of memory. That man could recall the color of your nail polish and the height of heels at any given event.

I do remember his visits to Meadow Brook and how he told me I should look him up should I ever come to LA.

When I arrived in 1981 I did just that.

Raymond was always so interested in everything. His intense interest in me had me detailing the minutiae of my life for over 30 years. And with that incredible memory, he shared marvelous stories and recollections from his youth in Adrian, his military tour as “Raywan Liberwax”, his time in Paris, his NY salad days, his fights with his Mother, his travels, teaching, friends, relatives, theater, art, opera, everything...the minutiae of his life.

He offered advice, all the time. And although I saw that this characteristic sometimes rubbed people the wrong way, I loved it. I loved it because we were so different from each other. His point of view was rarely my point of view.

And let's face it, the man was highly intelligent. Chances are he knew a fact that I didn't although we sometimes tussled over words. Invariably it came down to choice of pronunciation!

Stubborn, negative, truculent, inquisitive, vain, shy, critical, hyper-sensitive, brilliant, fearful, gifted storyteller, worrisome, obsessive, indignant, supportive, defensive, penurious, atheist then agnostic, contradictory, appreciative, and the best audience, ever. I miss my complicated, difficult, fiercely loyal friend.
Around 1985 I invited him to spend the weekend with me at my brother's home in Mexico. I told him I would have to read a movie script and take some time to work on it but otherwise he'd have my full attention. His reply "Oh, I'll help you." I couldn't imagine how but help me he did.

That was the beginning of  his being my drama coach.

His life long dedication to self improvement and psychoanalysis was the bedrock on which he drew his suggestions on how I might portray a certain character. He was a keen observer of the human condition. He loved analyzing body movements. We always tried to find out what the character was saying with her body that might inform or contradict what she was saying in her lines.

I attribute my long and successful career to Raymond. He loved helping me by applying his life knowledge to my work. When I got the part, he got the part. And when I didn't, he called them fools, pearls before swine, "Hollywood, Follywood" he'd say. I sometimes wonder if the last 25 years of working with me didn't bring him as much joy as his many years of teaching. He really loved our collaboration, although you can only imagine how often we argued over choices.

We also shared a love of movies and home improvement and finding a "deal." I very much miss all our outings around those interests. I also miss that he's not there to rave when I bring him something I baked or cooked. He loved those little culinary surprises. For years I did his mending until I think he finally loosened the purse strings when it came to replacing socks or bed linens or clothes. I can't be sure of that but he basically stopped asking me to sew for him.

Up until the very end he was asking about the minutiae, the block club meeting at my house and what I was serving. He thank me for every "ice cold" slurpy I brought him or the ads from the weekend paper. Oh how he loved to read those ads, every one!

I can not begin to express how much I miss him. And how much everything reminds me of him. I see an ad and think how I must tell him and how we must go to see what they have, and how much it costs. I go through Cahuenga Pass and picture him up in his living room pouring over the paper. I have a home improvement task and want his opinion on how to approach it.

Hours before he died I asked him if I could read some prayers over him, for me, I said. Of course, he said. As I read the prayers of the dying I cried, choking out the words ever so softly. He remained looking at me the whole time and held my hand to squeeze it. He comforted me as I said my good-bye.

I told him many times over the years that he simply could not die as my career would nose dive. In the end I told him it would all be fine, he would continue to inspire me as he did while with me.

There'll never be another Raymond. The man was one of a kind.

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