There are so many reasons I have movies on my mind today.  The first one is that a group of folks on Facebook that grew up in my neighborhood started reminiscing about what was our neighborhood theater as kids.  When my family moved out to this house in 1957, the nearest theaters were drive-ins on N. Post Oak and Hempstead Highway.  Both gone now.  "Dress up" movies meant going in to Houston proper to the theater on Shepherd (now a Trader Joe's) or the one in Rice Village or in River Oaks.  So we were excited when we got an indoor theater within walking distance (1.2 miles).  Walk is what we kids did too -- on Saturday mornings, and Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas afternoons, when the adults wanted to talk uninterrupted by kids.  Occasionally on weekday afternoons if our homework was done and something good was playing.


The second reason is that World Market is having a Movie Night Giveaway Sweepstakes, featuring Outdoor/Backyard Movie Parties.  I have been having a grand time thinking about how much fun our Fourth of July parties would have been if we could have closed them out with one of these.  


What's a movie without food, right?  Juicy grilled burgers at the drive-in, and of course popcorn and candy at the indoor theaters.  In my pursuit of the perfect Movie Night popcorn, I came to tears when I discovered PopFamily, a Beaumont, Tx company run by a veteran and his wife with a flavor to make everyone happy.  Even at 7:15 am on a Sunday morning, I am drooling over the idea of Chocolate Coconut Almond Supreme, cause my favorite thing at the Oak Village 52 years ago was to take a bite of my Almond Joy and then cram as much hot, buttered popcorn as possible into my mouth and let all the flavors swirl together. My second favorite was those flat round caramel marshmallow candies -- Bullseyes!  Third was Rolos.


The third reason is that movies, like books, have shaped my world views and perspectives. sparked my imagination, explained human emotions,  and modeled behaviors.  I remember when a neighbor was scandalized that my mother had taken us at our tender ages (I think I was 10 or 11) to see Cleopatra with its daring midriff costumes and infidelity and use of sexuality to manipulate the powerful.  Oh please!  I'd been running around in little crop top and short sets for years, and so had most of the little girls in the neighborhood.  What I learned from that movie?  Using your sexuality to get favors and power is an asp that will bite you in the end.  Then there was Pollyanna, which taught me to look at the bright side of life, even when most of it was dark. Surprisingly to perhaps many adults of the time, what I learned from The Yellow Submarine & the other Beatles movies was not that drugs were ok to do, but that they made you lose touch with reality.   I could go on and on.  The point is that kids don't always learn the things you fear they will, especially if they have learned good values at home.


So if Win the Movie Night Giveaway, what movies would top my list?  Now there's a question I need to ponder with a giant Cherry Coke and a sleeve of Jalapeno Cheese popcorn!
 
 
Love is the joy  of  knowing you exist.  Being loving is the  response to you as who you are, even when you surprise the one who loves you. The latter is often difficult for many of us. We have our unmet needs, our fears, our blindnesses, our priorities.  Sometimes, when it comes to loving our self, we surprise our self 
 
 
I have been living on borrowed time for a long time.  Every day since that man in the pickup crossed into my lane and smashed head on into my MG Midget convertible at about 45 mph.  Yes, the top was down. When I saw that even my evasion efforts of pulling off into the breakdown lane were not going to prevent the accident, that having slowed my vehicle to almost 0 and pulled the emergency break.  I threw my upper body sideways into the other seat, took my feet off the pedals, and thanked God for the many opportunities I had had in life and the many good people I had met.


The MG did not survive.  Nor did my pantyhose.  When I sat up in the driver's seat, after hearing the truck door slam and the man yelling "I've killed her.  I've killed her, OMG  I've killed her," I thought he was going to have a heart attack.  I had a small cut and bruise on my left knee where it banged against the knob that rolled the window up and down.    Even the police officer could not believe I wasn't dead, much less barely scratched.  That is the moment I knew God had some purpose in life for me.  I had no idea then what that purpose was.  I still do not.
Even that day, unbeknownst to me, lupus had begun to destroy my body.  That was almost thirty years ago.  Lately, I have begun to think my borrowed time is running out.  That whatever task God had in mind for me has been accomplished, even though I lack the foggiest.


Most days I feel too tired to go outside to my garden, or even to sit at this keyboard and write.   I'm weaning off prednisone, because it will take 5 years off my life if I don't, and it's not controlling the lupus.  I see my doctor in a few days, and I am expecting bad news on my test results.  Inside, I just know something is not right.  


I will not subject you to a litany of the pain that is now with me day in and day out.  I will only say that most days, at some point in the day, I end up crying from it.  I lay in bed and moan, because I cannot make it go away  without taking prescription pain killers, and I do not want to die an addict, even though I know that eventually, I probably will.


There are still so many things I want to do, to see, and I know I never will.  Some of them are big things, like seeing Sweden before I die.  Some are tiny, like cleaning out a drawer, but I am too exhausted even for that.


Mostly I read and watch movies or British TV shows.  People exhaust me, even those I love the most. Putting on that stoic face to keep from crying, or moaning, or screaming has become enervating.  Putting up with those that irritate me has become impossible.


The real problem is that I do not know how this stage will take.  Will it drag out several years, with my family and friends growing more and more agonized by my pain?  Months?  Weeks?  


Or is this not what I believe it to be, but just lupus playing with my body chemistry?  Having been clinically depressed, I know this is not depression.  I can feel joy in simply touching my husband's cheek, or petting my stubborn, narcissistic cat, and laughing at her narcissism.  


No, this is something else.  It feels like goodbye, like my body telling my spirit "I want a divorce."  I don't think my spirit was expecting it.
 
 
This post is long overdue.  I have to plead for forgiveness due to a couple of crises around the house, and a bad patch of my SLE.  A couple of weeks ago, we made a humongous bowl of guacamole and ripped open the Chocolate flavor of Food Should Taste Good chips.

I have to say that as a stand-alone chip, the salt ruins it for me, personally.  I have a very low tolerance for salt, however, so others might not feel the same.  Once the salt was gone (yeah, I licked it off!)  I thought the chips were pretty good.  With guacamole on them, they were delicious, by far the best pairing with guacamole I have tried!  I also tried them with my Wensleydale and Apricot cheese.  The chocolate flavor was overwhelmed.  What I'd like to try is Philly cheese with black cherries mashed into it.  How could chocolate and cherries and cheese NOT be good? Hmm  I should try PB and Nutella on them.

We also tried the Olive chips.  Predictably, my husband really liked them, and I didn't.  I don't care for olives, as a rule, so that was no surprise.  Neither of us cared for this flavor with guacamole, which is probably not surprising.  My husband said he thought it might be good with chili con queso, which he hasn't tried yet, and hummus.  I might try them again when we do that.  One of the few places I like plives is in Middle Eastern cuisine.  People who like Olives, my husband assures me, will love these chips.

We still have a number of flavors to try -- Hatch Chili Pepper at the top of my list, Cheddar Cheese next, and of course the regular old Corn.  I also still have a bag of the Multigrain to test,.but I want to try these with a variety of cheeses and meat salads.  Perhaps my signature Pimiento