Of Babies, Botox, and Porcupine Balls…..A Mother’s Reflection

I am old.  I will be 45 in September. I don’t really feel old, and I don’t think I look old, but I have long suspected that I must be old.  Cashiers sell me booze without blinking, and everyone calls me ma’am.

But  any doubt that I was aging died a few weeks ago, when my baby boy had to go to the Emergency Room.  When they brought in his discharge papers to sign, they handed the clipboard to HIM. Not to me, his mommy, but to HIM!  Lady, I don’t care if he does have five o’clock shadow and a voice like Al Green—you best hand me those papers! Screw HIPPA!  And then, proud parent moment, he actually read them before signing.

Cherub faced little rug rat

In my head, he is still the cherub faced little rug rat playing with Hot Wheels, and watching continuous loop footage of The Lion King.  How is he driving a lifted pick-up truck?  Why is he taking Business Calculus, instead of learning his ABC’s?  Why is that little girl in the lake with him wearing a string bikini instead of a ruffled tutu bathing suit?  Where are their floaties? Why is he going to work this morning?  I’ll tell you why!

Because I am OLD.

I don’t remember it happening.  It just happened.  Only yesterday my husband and I were chasing toddlers, and then we woke up and we have these two pre-men in our house.  They are growing hair everywhere—EVERYWHERE—and they don’t smell like baby powder and chicken nuggets anymore.

So if that happened to them, something has to have happened to me, right?

A precursory look in the mirror, reveals—nothing.  I am pretty sure I look the same as I did in college.  It’s just that the college kids today look like they are in fifth grade, right?  Right? Shut up! Who asked you?!

So upon closer inspection, I see—no gray hair—that’s good.  Okay, so I see some very fine lines between my eyebrows, where I frown at the computer.  It must be creases in my make-up, so I remove my make-up.  Wait…Why are the lines still there?  And when I put my eyeliner on, and add the little tail at the end, why does the tail seem to droop?  I’ll tell you why!

Because my son signed his own paperwork at the Hospital.  Because he is taking Business Calculus. Because he is driving a lifted pick-up truck to work every day.  And because the girl riding shotgun is not in a booster seat, and she is not wearing a ruffled tutu bathing suit.

But I don’t feel old.  I think my children have grown up around me, and I am still 25.  The day that I look in the mirror and think I look my age will be the same day I make an appointment for Botox injections between my eyes.  If my hair gets gray, no problem—L’Oreal has a solution!  I will not, as the commercials  say, grow old gracefully.  I will fight it every step of the way.

Until I need to ring up Doctor 90210, I only need periodic rejuvenation of my mind and soul.  Two things that take me back so quickly, and so perfectly to my childhood, are my sense of smell, and my taste buds.  And when my nose smells something cooking that I enjoyed as a child, it is a double WHAMMY, guaranteed to bring me warm and fuzzy feelings.  Like I am a little girl in a ruffled tutu bathing suit, eating lunch my granny prepared.

Below, I am sharing one of my favorite comfort foods from my childhood.  Porcupine balls. No, no!   This isn’t a “rocky mountain oyster” sort of thing.  Porcupine balls are ground beef mixed with rice, formed into balls, and pan-fried and simmered in gravy. 

Please enjoy!

Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs   

Serves 6-8


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 envelopes onion soup mix
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cups long grain rice (not cooked)
  • 1 cups water


  • 1 can condensed French onion soup
  • 2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup
  • 1 cans water

Combine meatball ingredients in a large bowl.  Roll into 2” balls.  Fry in a large skillet until browned on all sides.  Mix soups and water together in a large bowl, and pour over meatballs.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

You have your meat and starch covered….Just serve with a salad or other vegetable!


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Categories: children, Family, Food, humor, recipes, Texas, Uncategorized, writing


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25 Comments on “Of Babies, Botox, and Porcupine Balls…..A Mother’s Reflection”

  1. 2013/05/11 at 11:13 pm #

    I cook my porcupine balls with a tomato sauce. They are YUMMY! 🙂

  2. 2013/05/11 at 11:29 pm #

    Now I feel older. Two weeks ago I hot 48 and last week my eldest became 18 🙂

  3. Lance
    2013/05/12 at 12:16 am #

    Now I feel old too, and I’ve got a good two years on you. Not only do I remember when your eldest son was knee high to a grasshopper, I also remember your youngest sister at about that age too! Well, enough about our age. Great write up as usual and great recipes!

    • 2013/05/12 at 11:39 am #

      Haha! But it’s been a great 27 year ride with you, my friend! Holy freakin’ guacamole! Can you believe we’ve know eachother 27 years? We are OLD! 😉

  4. 2013/05/12 at 12:42 am #

    You hit the nail on the head! No, we’re not old…. they’re just getting taller. 😉

  5. 2013/05/12 at 1:19 am #

    great post and love the porcupine meatballs i use to make a different version for my kids when they were young. Happy blogging!

  6. 2013/05/12 at 5:09 am #

    I remember the first time I read this post (or at least perhaps parts of it in different places perhaps I’m not sure) but yes, reading this led to my discovering a method of meatball better than any I had yet tasted hehe!
    Happy mother’s day Texana! Good to read from you again 😀

    • 2013/05/12 at 11:30 am #

      Yes…this was a rerun! I’ve been super busy the last few weeks, so the best I could do was find a relevant old post for Mothers Day.

  7. 2013/05/12 at 6:27 am #

    What a great post! This is exactly how I feel….I never realized I was getting old until lately. Happy Mothers Day!

  8. 2013/05/12 at 7:36 am #

    You need a Mother’s Day hug (hugs)). 45 is far from old … I can hardly see it anymore in my rear view mirror. Wait until your babies’ babies start having babies. Enjoy life and cherish every moment. As always, loved the insightful post.

    • 2013/05/12 at 11:37 am #

      I do cherish every moment, and I can’t wait until I have grand babies. But it better be at least 5-10 years or somebody is getting grounded! And sent to bed without supper!

  9. 2013/05/12 at 8:26 am #

    I understand you on this one. I look at my boys now-days and ask–What happened to those little guys who used to watch Blues Clues? Or play the Blues Clues learning CD’s…who watched Jimmy Neutron, and danced to the music of Sesame Street, or walked around with clothes baskets on their heads in their imaginary world? Lol. Yes I get you. One day you’re out and about and men speak and want to pursue a conversation (mind you, I’m quite happily married), then it changes to hello Ma’am lol…when did I turn into a Ma’am?? Our minds tell us we’e still the same ‘us’ we’ve always been, but other factors slap us into reality. Feel better, I’ve got you by a few years.

    Anywho, those meatballs look delicious, and I’m looking forward to giving this recipe a try!

    • 2013/05/12 at 11:35 am #

      I liked PB&J Otter….I was so sad when my kids outgrew watching it. Now it’s all zombie flicks and such.

  10. 2013/05/12 at 8:51 am #

    I will be 40 this year, so not that far behind you. And I have a toddler but you have pre-men (I love that btw). From where I’m sititng you did this all right and I did this all wrong!

    • 2013/05/12 at 11:33 am #

      Oh huh, I miss having toddlers! Cherish the moments. Now I have to wait for grand kids!

  11. 2013/05/12 at 10:03 am #

    I hear you! Your observations could be mine haha. But we’ll forever stay young, no doubt about it!

  12. 2013/05/12 at 12:48 pm #

    Loooove this!

  13. 2013/05/12 at 2:49 pm #

    For me, the first clue was when I saw my father’s hands sticking out of my sleeves.

  14. 2013/05/12 at 5:50 pm #

    Your first run of this is in a favored place in my recipe file! Thanks again.

  15. 2013/05/12 at 8:08 pm #

    Oh, I totally watch spongebob….my favorite episode is “The Hash-slinging Slasher”

  16. 2013/05/14 at 1:49 am #

    Christine, your kids “keep” you young! I am 50 years old now with a 13- soon to be 14-year-old daughter who keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure! I absolutely adore your blog! And yes, I use Loreal and my hair is long and my arms are saggy but I fit in a size 8, so pooh on that, huh???

  17. 2013/05/19 at 12:15 am #

    You have an angel of live, You are lucky
    I have been waiting for a years .. Christine

  18. 2013/05/19 at 6:15 pm #

    Count your blessings, girl! I’m 62 going on 42 and I’m REALLY old! It’s the best time of life. I loved raising my children and loved having a career etc; but life is so much grander when things slow down and we have a bit more time to “smell the roses”. Don’t be so hard on yourself! I’ve let the hair go gray (and get compliments all the time), don’t wear makeup anymore, but I still clean up good! Oh, and I love porcupine balls! Thanks for sharing!

  19. 2013/05/27 at 8:26 pm #

    I will not agree to being old- I like you have had my kids grow up around me. Crazy how time goes by. My oldest is now 20 and at her age I was married with her on the way. She, however, is single and not pregnant.
    Great post, will have to try the balls.

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