The children were out of bed on my first try this morning. All I had to do was tell them there was snow on the ground outside. Everything looks so nice covered with snow. It is still snowing and it sure lifts a person's spirits. Last week was rainy weather, so this is so much nicer and prettier than muddy dreariness. Benjamin, 9, and Joseph, 6, got out their little shovels and said they will go make a path to the school bus for the girls. There wasn't that much snow to shovel, but it made them feel proud to be doing their sisters a favor. With the snow it also made it easier to track the deer. Joe made his first lucky shot this morning, getting a doe. A friend is also bringing us a deer, so it looks like we will be busy cutting up deer meat this week. Joe likes to eat the tenderloins and I'd like to make some deer bologna. Joe doesn't have work for three weeks so he should have plenty of time to get some more hunting done. Sure does help stretch the meat supply in this house to have some deer.We have surgery scheduled for son Benjamin on Dec. 5 to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. Benjamin won't be able to run or jump for two weeks. This will be so hard for this active little boy. He just can't wait to make his first snowman. I hope we do get enough snow for him to make one before the surgery. For myself, we have enough snow already. Lovina and Kevin wanted help getting all bundled up to go outside. They wanted to watch Joe skin the deer. I ended up watching myself for awhile, almost forgetting that this column still is not done.

Daughter Elizabeth, 14, is doing her math lessons. It is pretty quiet in here with the children outside. I don't want to let them outside too long as it is only 32 degrees outside. I am imagining this winter, though, 32 degrees will seem warm when the temperature goes lower yet. Meanwhile, I have laundry to get up from the wash-lines in the basement. We washed clothes on Saturday and hung them up in the basement since it was raining. Now they are ready to be brought up, folded and put away. This can sometimes take a few hours with a family of 10. It seems like in the winter months there aren't too many days when clothes aren't hanging in the basement. I'm thankful for having a warm place for the clothes to dry, though.

Deer meat will be on the menu in the weeks ahead. This is a recipe that I want to try tonight or tomorrow with our fresh deer meat.

DEER STEAKS WITH

PAN-GRAVY

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons all purpose-flour, divided

3/4 teaspoons black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon paprika 4 boneless venison loin steaks, 4 ounces each and 3/4 to 1 inch thick

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 3/4 cup milk

In a shallow dish combine flour, salt, and paprika. Dredge steaks in flour mixture to coat. In 12-inch non-stick skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add steaks. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until browned, turning steaks over once. Remove steaks from skillet and keep warm.

In small mixing bowl combine milk and remaining 3 tablespoons of flour. Stir until smooth. Whisk mixture into drippings in skillet. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until gravy bubbles, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve gravy over steaks and enjoy!

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