2019 Christmas Greetings to All!

I have had a year of productive puttering. My goal to purge was kicked into high gear when we decided to put 2019 technology into our 1905 home. We now have central air/heat and a fully insulated home. Please visit our attic and basement. Be inspired!

It took a team of 10, 40 hrs/wk for 4 weeks. Then we hired a 2 man team 40 hrs/wk for 12 weeks. The goal was to do EVERYTHING to make our home comfortable and beautiful for our most senior years. New mattress, linens, exterior solar shades, ovens, earthquake proofing, stoop handrails, window shades, upgraded electricity, wallpaper removal, termite tenting, refinish floors, plumbing, garbage disposal, carpentry, endless interior & exterior painting, ETC.
While we had only a few trips: me - Monticello, IA, me - St. Louis, we - NYC/PA, we - Lake Arrowhead, then Tom - NYC, the world came to us as we hosted friends & family from: Texas, NZ, Barcelona, Montreal, Bordeaux, Metz, Saint-Lattier, Oakland, Dayton, St. Louis, Newport Beach, Madrid and Monticello, IA, . We’re going to play catch-up as we leave for 3 weeks in Peru on December 18.
I pulled a calf muscle March 1 prepping for our renovation. Relapsed it twice, still doing PT for ham string issue, small meniscus tear and small baker’s cyst. Makes me feel ancient but MD says there is hope of complete recovery.
Tom has been doing PT for a year to prep for Peru/Machu Picchu/Amazon. Although it has increased his pain, it has also greatly strengthened his body/stamina/energy. He says it is worth it!
I did 7 more episodes voicing “Lucille” on the Disney Jr animation series THE ROCKETEER, shot an unsold pilot TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, worked with Marc Cherry on his WHY WOMEN KILL and finished the year doing the drama 911.
I think Tom has become the nation’s “go to guy” for chronic pain. Besides leading his support groups (American Chronic Pain Association, AKA ACPA), his phone support group, through Well Connected, doing many one-on-one phone calls and driving up to 2 hours to meet one-on-one with a chronic pain sufferer (ACPA) he is being asked to participate in national programs.
His work with Cedars Sinai has expanded to include participating in a 5 year study, funded by the National Institute of Health, examining the use of virtual reality as a tool to mitigate lower back chronic pain. Their work has been published in the American Chronic Pain Association newsletter and the NY Times National. 
He has been interviewed on NPR: https://apple.news/ANXG6f90XRa2AEQPwNe5IvA (Hopefully this link and the ones below are still active.)
He is in 2 of a 3 part series for Spectrum News. part 1 and 2 links: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/exploring-your-health/2019/09/23/why-pain-hurts--understanding-pain-and-the-brain-nys#
In the January 2020 issue of National Geographic, Tom is featured in the lead/cover article by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee. They are expected to do promo radio interviews in the next 2 weeks.
This is Mission, a PR firm, just covered all his expenses to fly to NYC for a week to be interviewed and have his naked body painted to reflect how he feels his pain. It is part of a THIS IS PAIN campaign on display at the World Trade Center in NYC. On or about Dec 14 Tom will put the official end product on his Facebook page and the other websites he maintains for Chronic Pain organizations. (Voicesinpaincare.org & chronicpainla.com)
Tom is already scheduling projects for 2020:  The National Academy of Medicine wants us to participate in their Action Collaborative on Countering the Opioid Epidemic. Their “listening sessions” are intended to collect input on the state of pain management, as experienced by different end-users and stakeholder groups. The listening sessions will also seek to clarify intended and unintended consequences of recent changes to the opioid prescribing guidelines and metrics, as they pertain to the delivery, access, and coordination of pain management services. 
The Department of Defense has invited Tom to return to DC in January to be a Consumer Reviewer for their Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. He will sit on a panel and review proposals by scientists seeking funds for their High-impact, High-risk, High-gain projects.
Tom has also agreed to rep Cedars Sinai’s research results on how to be effective in Patient to MD and MD to Patient communications. He is one of two non medical participants in this multi- million dollar grant research program.
The absolute best part of all of Tom’s participation in Chronic Pain Advocacy is that it gives his pain, his life, purpose. He can be of service.  And we thank God every day for this gift. 
In His mercy,
Marianne and Tom
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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,



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