Author Topic: Will work for food?  (Read 2900 times)

Offline Deb

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An awkward moment. About a year or so ago I was talking with a neighbor about organic food, GMOs and the steady decline of health and nutrition in this country. As we parted ways, he asked me if I would consider cooking for him and his wife. 

I was completely taken aback. Sure, I have a reputation around here for being a foodie, but his question caught me off guard. I didn't know if I felt flattered or insulted. Being self-employed for many years, the idea of being indentured to someone else's dinner schedule is not appealing in the least. I told him I didn't think it would work, but thanks for asking...

Well, this past week I ran into him again. His wife is now extremely ill (on a liver transplant list). Hubby has been working from home, taking care of everything, plus caring for his wife who is now very weak. He looks 10 years older than the last time I saw him. I asked if I could help. Again, he asked if I would cook for them. This time I said I would—or at least try to make it work. He was so happy he said he'd pay for ALL of the groceries, not just theirs, to make up for the extra work. I am a foodie, I cook all the time, but we need to figure out the logistics. I offered to make and freeze batches of food for them, but he would prefer (for his own reasons) that I just make extra food when cooking dinner and share with them. Since I don't have "set" meal times and generally only get an idea of what I want to make an hour or two before I actually cook, it will be interesting.

What will be even more interesting is interacting with his wife. They are evangelical Christian fundamentalists, and the wife has been very outspoken against gays. So was their church, but then their minister was caught with a male prostitute on the dicey side of town. Ironic? Not enough, apparently. Her favorite son (she has two), came out of the closet about a year or so ago. He's friends with my son (they grew up together) and he told my son that he shared his truth with his parents. That's about the same time the wife started getting very sick.

Being a Sethie, I can't help but see a correlation between her beliefs, her son coming out of the closet and her sudden decline in health. Disease as a metaphor. Symbolically the liver is the seat of anger and primitive emotions and liver disease is suppose to reflect a lack of will to continue living. But I would never say anything to her about my thoughts. So I will help when I can, and try to impart positive, healthy energy into the food I prepare. I will become a Culinary Goddess for the time being.

There is also some history between the wife and me. As I am religiously neutral, I've been the brunt of her criticism over the years, both to my face and behind my back. Another irony is that of all my mostly "born again" neighbors, I will be the one helping. I am the neighborhood heathen. Yet, her husband has always been gracious, which helped weigh my decision.

Comments? Suggestions?

Offline Bumblebee

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Please continue posting on how this situation develops. I find it most interesting as it seems that beliefs are very extreme in this environment, therefore very visible. It makes it easier to see what form a consciousness chooses to symbolize them.

I am curious to see if the husband's state will improve, even slightly, as he believes in you  and you are feeding him. Maybe he is more prone to see things in a different way?

Very interesting situation indeed...


Offline Deb

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Please continue posting on how this situation develops.

Bumblebee,
Well funny you would say that. There is a new development that has me flummoxed. I offered to do a "trial run" dinner for them today. I bought the groceries yesterday, the neighbors' portion to be reimbursed later. They don't need to buy my food. In our most recent conversation about timing, how to get cooked food over to them, dietary restrictions, etc. my neighbor said, "Oh, by the way, did I tell you Jordan moved back in with us?" That's their older son, 24. No, he didn't tell me that. "Oh, and by the way, did I tell you my mother is also now living with us?" NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! He did not!

I am just about speechless. I will still cook for them today, only because I said I would and I'm a person of my word. It's Mothers' Day, I'll be happy to treat his wife and mother to a healthy and delicious meal (plus the rest of the family in the process). But I can't believe he would think it's okay to ask me to cook for his entire family. Ugh. My brain can hardly process this. If there were small children involved, that would be another story. But an adult son and the mother (in her 70s and in good health) can help around the house, don't you think?

Maybe it's just another case of people thinking "self employed" means "unemployed." My neighbor remains clueless that his request has now become something entirely different.

Lol, I was going to destroy and delete this topic if no one had seen it. Too late. But... still it's a conversation piece of sorts.  :o



Offline Bumblebee

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 ;D very interesting.

What did you tell him? Did you make your point clear?

It's strange how even raised in a very similar environment people can think so differently. I smiled when I read your post, not because it was in itself funny, but his assumptions are quite grand to me too. I could never even consider asking someone what he just did without feeling overloaded by guilt. Obviously he doesn't share the same beliefs  as I do. :)

If you are going to be the official cook for the whole family, might as well ask for a salary. Who knows, maybe catering could be your new "self employed" domaine!  ;)

Offline Deb

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I made the food yesterday. I tend to end up eating around 7 or 8, he had said they usually eat at 5 (so could I possibly make it earlier?). I told him I planned on having it ready by 5:30. I texted him at 4:30 to say I was on schedule, called and left a message around 5 but didn't hear back. At 5:35 I decided some door knocking was in order. Apparently he doesn't pay much attention to his phone. And there was someone from his church delivering some sort of casserole! Hmmmmm.....

So, yes, I clearly told him (especially after that) that it would not work out. I'm not used to cooking for that many people, I felt like I was making Thanksgiving dinner. Then he said, "well, what if you don't cook for my mother? She doesn't need to eat healthy food. I can give her anything." Like a Lunchable? He suggested a tv dinner! I don't know what's up with this guy, but I'm starting to see him in a different light. He did not want to give up. In the end I told him that when I make soup, or stew, which I make often and in large-ish amounts because it freezes so well, I would share with them but could not cook for them on a schedule, on a regular basis like he apparently wants. Which is where I started to head when this whole situation came up last week. But I think he doesn't want to even heat something up. They have disabled their microwave because they think it's dangerous, so that leaves pots and pans and a stove... too much work for them?

They belong to an enormous church (thousands of members) so apparently they are also getting help from others. They also have friends.

If you are going to be the official cook for the whole family, might as well ask for a salary. Who knows, maybe catering could be your new "self employed" domaine!

The thing is, I love to cook and want to keep it that way. ;)  I would say this is a done deal, but I have a feeling that's not the case. Next he'll be asking if I could clean their house...


Toronto Sethian

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I would say the adults can fend for themselves.

If he guarantees that only she will eat your nutritious food, then give as you like.

I would be suspicious--that he would eat the good food and give her instant noodles and so I would check that she was eating not them.

They are odious.

It is very loving and charitable of you to care about folks who are rather self-absorbed.  I would have my limits, though.

Offline Deb

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It is very loving and charitable of you to care about folks who are rather self-absorbed.  I would have my limits, though.

If this woman wasn't on her death bed, I wouldn't have even considered what he was proposing (which is why I turned him down the first time, last year). But it was a case of giving someone an inch... You nailed it, a lesson in boundaries for sure. And it just didn't feel right from the get-go. Trust my instincts. Always.

Offline Deb

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Death
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2015, 07:37:04 PM »
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  • My neighbor died yesterday. Her husband texted me while I was out, riding my bike, on a bike trail. Relatively nice weather after two weeks of clouds and snow. His text, "Vonja just passed away, quietly." Hard to believe, I just saw her last summer. She was in failing health but doctors had NO idea what was wrong with her. To this day, they still have no idea what killed her. I find that very difficult to imagine in this day and age. Feeling a bit of guilt for not having cooked for the entire family all this time. Also feeling like I made the right decision, considering that I felt her husband asked for an inch but wanted a mile from me.

    Strange times.

    Offline Monica

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    I saw this again today and, Deb, your last post made me think...

    Maybe Vonja was literally sick to death of being female in her religious household and community?

    Perhaps the requests, or even demands, made of you by her husband, were only a fraction of what she had to put up with. If she didn't want to leave her religion and would have lost friends and community trust if she'd broken up her family, then death might have been what she perceived as her only option, one that both allowed her to save face and also to escape what sounds like a very limited existance in terms of gender roles. So, perhaps you helped her - and yourself - by refusing to be another woman caterer to the men and other household dependants in her life.

    Offline Deb

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    Thanks for the vote of support Monica! I honestly feel she died from a broken heart. She was much more vocal and adamant about religion than her husband, he always kept things to himself. But her "favorite" son turned out to be gay, and she was a huge homophobe. So sad, to die for one's convictions or beliefs considering most of our beliefs are skewed.

    It was hard for me to witness what she was going through and to bite my tongue because she had so bought into the official line of consciousness. Anything that did not support her rigorous belief in Jesus and Christianity in general was considered as originating from Satan. I think about her often, wondering if she's still in that twilight period after death where she continues to make her own reality based on her religious convictions. I felt like my hands were tied, but also had that human impulse to do whatever I could to help.

    Ah, well, her troubles are over for now.




    Offline Monica

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    Liverish
    « Reply #10 on: December 25, 2015, 06:47:47 PM »
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  • Yes, I can see how her relationship with her son and her religious conviction would have been at odds once he told her about his sexuality. It's interesting that he had the strength and courage of his convictions to follow his own heart though.

    I was trying to convey a related thought to your own I think, but without knowing the situation as well as you. My sense was that she was pulled in many different directions and didn't see an earth-based solution that would bring her peace. Feeling 'sick of her situation' could take many forms, including heart break.

    The liver (you mentioned her liver ailment in an earlier post) is a blood-regulating organ and also helps break down toxins in the body. It produces proteins for blood-clotting and other functions and cholesterol to enable the production of vital hormones. (Merck Manuals website). It seems to be an organ that, symbolically, determines certain mental patterns of reality cohesion and also creates and filters substances able to define or demolish boundaries.
    « Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 06:49:25 PM by Monica »

    Offline LenKop

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    Interesting thread. Particularly the liver issues. The liver acts as a filter for the body, and i wonder whats being filtered or not filtered. A wise man once told me that life is about filtering. I pondered that for a while but wasn't feeling it....until I had children. Then I realised by working on myself i wouldnt pass on my 'demons' to the next generation, and hence speed up their ability to find and express themselves. And of course, my personal filters are just synonyms for my belief systems.

    LK

    Offline LenKop

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    http://www.kryon.com/CHAN2015/k_channel15_totowa-15.html

    I came across some Kryon stuff on filters just last week...perfect timing. There's one more on the channeling page too me thinks.

    LK

    Offline Monica

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    Thanks
    « Reply #13 on: December 25, 2015, 07:37:17 PM »
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  • Thanks LenKop! ;D

    Offline Deb

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    I came across some Kryon stuff

    Thank you! Funny that's from Totowa NJ, I grew up in NJ.
    On to filtering...


    John Sorensen

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    An awkward moment. About a year or so ago I was talking with a neighbor about organic food, GMOs and the steady decline of health and nutrition in this country. As we parted ways, he asked me if I would consider cooking for him and his wife. 
    Comments? Suggestions?


    First I'm glad that you are not being burned at the steak for heathen ways Deb.

    But yeah, good on you for helping them out. It's fine as long as it works for both parties, but I do see the potential for the neighbors to put more anger in your direction if things don't work out.

    Before even getting to the end of your comments I could see where this was going, the whole physical disease as a sympton of repressed ideas / beliefs etc.

    In my experience, few people are ready to look for an internal cause to disease, most of the time it's that thing where people have that orientation of looking outward for a cure, or relief etc.

    From my point of view, you are doing the best you can in the situation by offering some practical help to them, and being a non-reactive non-judgmental force where any of the neighbors beliefs etc are going to be mirrored back to them by not having someone fall into the usual reactive patterns.

    The thing I like in Taoism is that expression "the true master leaves no trace", and also the bit about Wu-Wei, doing by not doing.
    But you are already doing that by intending the best for them (according to their own beliefs etc), so to me you are a Taoist master Deb.



    Right now I have some incredibly painful sunburn, like I have not had for several years. And I would like to blame that big ball of fire in the sky. But I created the situation that lead to the sunburn so MEH!

    « Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 11:55:46 PM by John Sorensen »

    Offline Deb

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    Thanks for your supportive words John. Yes, burned at the stake, it's crossed my mind. I guess in a way I've come out of my own closet by openly rejecting religion in my predominantly Evangelical Christian neighborhood. :)

    The interesting thing about my neighbor is that she started out being on a liver transplant list, then her liver began to recover (oh how many doctors will tell you certain types of damage to the body are permanent, a one way street, yet I know someone who was on a heart transplant list for a year and recovered on their own too), so they took her off the list. Cause of death: unknown. At least to the medical profession. I bet my neighbor knows, now, what killed her. (Thinking about Anita Moorjani.)

    Whenever I have some minor physical imbalance (cold, pain or inflammation) I do some soul-searching to see if I can find out what the message or root of the problem is. Sometimes I come up with nothing, and just have to assume (I hate that word) that my body is making some sort of needed adjustment to itself, a self-correction or balancing mechanism and the reason is unknown to me.

    Doing by not doing. I like that. It reminds me of "not making a decision is still a decision."

    A Taoist master. That makes my day!   ;D


     

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