Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rattlesnake, Tilapia, Monsoon, And . . . .

This week was like a variety show. Something different happened almost each day or night and to think school has not even started yet. Tuesday we welcomed Sr. Mary Ann Feminella to Our Lady of the Mountains Convent. She will be the first Franciscan teaching Sister at All Saints Catholic School.

Sr.Mary Ann is preparing for her Kindergarten Class who will greet her on August 9th.

Wednesday, I received a cooking lesson from Dot, our school nurse, in how to make tilapia. Tilapia is a popular fish dish with the Filipinos. I worked with ingredients I had never used before: fresh ginger root, a fresh fish,and  soy sauce for fish. To make tilapia you must make two slits on both sides of the belly of the fish. Peal the ginger root and then cut it up into fine "sticks". Next, you need to  slice at an angle green onions.

Put a generous amount of garlic salt on both sides of the fish and put the ginger sticks and some of the green onions inside the belly that has been slit open at the bottom. Pour seasonsed soy sauce for fish on both sides of the fish and then rub the ginger into both sides of the fish.

Let the fish marinate now for 5-10 minutes.
 While the fish is marinating make your sauce.
Pour  virgin olive oil in a frying pan and add the white pieces of the onions. Check your steamer to be sure the water is heating to a low boil. At this time add ginger and soy sauce into the sizzling olive oil. The fish goes into the steamer and it is done when the slits in the belly are white-all the way.
Take the fish out and put it on the plate and pour the sauce on it and garnish it all over with the remaining onion pieces.

Invite your company to come and eat.

Now, hopefully, I can make it all on my own for the next dinner. I did learn a phrase in tagala-their Filipino dialect-"aynaku" which means - Oh my goodness!

Thursday night, I went to teach, Calla, one of our senior parishioners how to do email on her brand new computer. I ended up volunteering to help her when I went to pick up the beautiful bookcase she was donating to our convent. She told me her new desktop computer will be going to the convent next if she couldn''t figure out how to do email and pay her bills via the email. I could tell she was frustrated with it so I told her some night I would gladly come and teach her. She said, "You're on! I will feed you first. What do you like to eat?" So Sr. Mary Ann and I went to her lovely home as she is also an artist and enjoyed a delicious meal. While I was teaching her Sr. Mary Ann did the dishes.

The computer lesson at first was a challenge because we discovered that when the lightning from the latest monsoon knocked out her phone it also must have knocked out her router. After placing a call for help we were able to access the internet without a router. To her great surprise she was able to write and send two emails. Lesson number 2 will be coming up soon.

Thursday our custodian reported she saw a rattlesnake last night right outside of church -waiting to get in to pray. She watched it and eventually it went down to the parish hall  and then she lost sight of it ....and I missed getting a picture of it. I am sure there will be a 2nd sighting of it. Stay tuned. Our fire dept. gets more calls to remove rattlesnakes than any other calls. We might be calling them during school if our friend reappears.

Friday-was time to enjoy seeing the greenness around our school-a rare sight. We have had lots of rain from the monsoons so everything around school is in bloom and just GREEN, GREEN! This is a joy to see in a desert. Enjoy our cacti and desert bushes.

This is the greenest I have seen our ocotillo!
Wait till it blossoms!

Saturday morning I was off to the  Sierra Vista Mall for "Back to School". All schools were invited to set up a table about their school and pass out school supplies. The mall was packed with parents and students.

Sunday I spoke at all the Masses at our parish to talk about our school and to hopefully sign up some more students-our latest count is 99-an increase so far of 21 students from last year at ths time. .Our goal is 105 students.  I also thanked the parishioners for all their donations for our new convent and I also invited them to the house blessing and open house of Our Lady of the Mountains Convent next Sunday after the 9:30am Mass. Many parishioners were thrilled for the invite as they have been wondering where we live and what our new home looks like. You are invited too!

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