Sunday, June 24, 2012


Hobbits are a fictional diminutive race who inhabit the lands of Middle-earth in J. R. R. Tolkien's novel,
The Hobbit.  The novel The Lord of the Rings includes more hobbits as major characters.
So, as most people probably know, hobbits have odd eating habits, eating six normal sized meals a day. Here's a list of the meals they eat:
1. Breakfast
2. Second Breakfast
3. Elevenses
4. Lunch
5. Afternoon Tea
6.  Dinner
7. Supper
My parents are becoming hobbits.  No, really.  They are.  I know this because over the last three years I have observed their eating habits and they have changed dramatically. When Bill & Mary Beth first moved here in 2009, they took care of most of their own meals, in particular breakfasts & lunches.  Once they were comfortable in the kitchen, familiar with where everything was kept, they were able to take care of themselves.  I thought this was good because the more involved they were in such matters the quicker they would feel like they were home and not guests in their daughter's house. 

First breakfast is served around 7AM.  For over 60 years, Bill has had 2 scrambled eggs for breakfast with bacon or sausage, toast, OJ and coffee with cream & sugar.  No deviations, except on occasion I think he'd have over easy eggs - you know, for a change of pace.  He made his own breakfast.  There wasn't a day during my entire childhood that I didn't see him whipping up eggs in a bowl using a fork.  My mother didn't eat eggs but maybe once a week.  Mary Beth preferred cold cereal with toast in the morning, usually plain cereals like Corn Flakes or Cheerios.  Sometimes she'd go for plain shredded wheat - the kind that looks like the baled haystacks you see in fields when passing farms.  These breakfasts were the same even after moving here until about a year later.  Mary Beth informed me that Bill was having a hard time making breakfast due to physical limitations.  Actually what she said was that he was so slumped over the stove she thought he'd catch on fire!  Now THERE is an image for a caregiver to contemplate!  I went to him and suggested that I do breakfast. Because of his diminished appetite, my dad only eats 1 egg now with OJ and coffee.  No toast or bacon.  Mary Beth still eats cold cereal everyday, however after she discovered Froot Loops in our kitchen, she never ate healthy cereal again.  .

So that takes care of breakfast.  For about 30 minutes.  Second breakfast is served around 8AM.  After returning to her bedroom, Mary Beth will call out for more coffee and usually something to go with it.  Sometimes a pastry, cookie or an onion bagel with peanut butter.  Don't ask.   Bill carries chocolates in his pockets, as well as, cookies.  If there is pie or cake from the night before, they will ask for that.  

Elevenses time can vary anywhere from 9-10AM.  It usually consists of cereal or waffle topped with ice cream.  That's right.  Ice cream.  The waffle will also have fruit on it.  Strawberries, peaches or bananas.  No syrup because that would make it too sweet, you know.

Lunch is served anytime between 10-noon.  That usually consists of a half sandwich with coffee or soft drink for Mary Beth.  Bill used to eat that, too, but now wants Froot Loops with ice cream.  He will sometimes have Cream of Wheat, but with honey & butter.  No ice cream.

They usually take a nap after lunch, wouldn't you?  When they wake they will have a snack with something to drink.  I guess that's Afternoon Tea.  It takes place between 2 & 4PM. Many times they will come into the living room to watch TV and they have their Afternoon Tea in there.  Cheez-its and coke for Bill.  Flavored Wheat Thins and Sprite for Mary Beth.  They love to have milkshakes, too, so if I make a milkshake, they will share it.

Around 4PM they are looking for dinner.  They have had it as late as 6PM, though, depending on the household schedule.  They have become finicky in their golden years.  If I fix a roast with potatoes and root veggies, they may eat some.  Many times I have fixed a meal like that only to have them ask for Cream of Wheat, soup, Ramen or canned tamales.  This used to aggravate me, but I came to realize that if they are eating, that is the more important issue.  After dinner, they both want dessert.  It can be ice cream(again!), pie, cake, cookies or sometimes another milkshake.

Between 6 & 8PM is supper. That's usually cereal or sometimes a handful of cookies or chocolates.  Then it's off to bed between 8 & 9PM.

See what I mean?  Hobbits!

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