Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mosque Architecture

I love finding exploring new mosques. I love admiring the details put in by the builder and reflecting on the Islamic patterns used in the design that seem to never get old or go out of style. We recently found a new mosque in Dubai. I don't know the official name of it, but it is located in the Jumeirah Beach area near Burj Al Arab. It was simple, but so beautiful I had to share pics that Z1 and i took of it. Since we were there for the Taraweeh prayers, all the pics are taken at night.

How to Water Your Plants While Traveling

Hello folks! Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I've been enjoying Ramadan. Part of the joys of summer and the holiday of Ramadan is visiting family and friends and some times that includes traveling. The life of an ex-pat alone is destined to excessive traveling. While it can be fun, there is definitely a burden that comes with taking care of my plants while I'm gone. I love plants and wish I had half as many plants as I had back home, but I limited myself to a few because I knew keeping them alive in the heat of hell Dubai would be a challenge. 

Shortly after moving to Dubai, I bought three plants and before we knew it, we were on our way back to the USA for our first visit home. I had asked my neighbor if she could take care of my plants while we were gone. Sensing the reluctance in her voice I decided not to take her "help" and knowing that I would be traveling more often than not, I quickly realized I needed a better long term solution to water my plants while away. 

At that time, I hadn't thought of this idea I'm about to share. What I did instead, which also worked great, was slightly over water my plants for roughly ten days before my departure, to insure the soil would be moist enough for the duration of my trip. Everyday for ten days I watered my plants keeping the soil very moist and squishy in texture. I don't know that a true gardener would be happy with that idea, but it worked. The soil was pre saturated with enough water to feed the plants for at least 15 days in my absence. My plants were in tip top shape during the EXTREME summer heat of Dubai. I also had the air-condition, or "air-con" as they say out here, scheduled throughout the trip to keep the plants and house cool. 

I later remembered these watering bulbs and an idea was born! How about using my olive oil and other miscellaneous bottles? The concept is the same, but the "watering bulb" is just in a different shape. Off I went gathering different bottles I collected overtime.

Olive Oil bottles.
Decorative bottle that was filled with dried corn from 99 cent store. You can use any bottle that has a thin neck and small opening. Wide necks and wide openings will let out too much water too fast. The point is to release a little bit of water at a time over the span of your time away. 
Filled up with water...
...and stuck it right in the soil. Make sure it's deep enough or the bottle will fall out. 

Tada! And it's square-ish shape is so cute. 
Because it's clear, it's practically camouflaged by the leaves. 
I use bottles that are in portion to the size of the plant. If the plant is too small and bottle is too big, the bottle will  fall out. If the bottle isn't big enough, there will not be enough water for the duration of the your trip.
Can't even see it. 
I used a bigger bottle at one point for a longer trip, but again you can't even see it. 
This plant is being restored back to life, hence the sparse leave. 
 For my tiniest plant I used a couple medicine droppers for the same effect. 
This plant is very tiny and couldn't take anything bigger. I ended up putting three droppers which I am sure will be enough. 
A few empty olive oil bottles, or any bottle with a thin neck and small mouth, or even medicine droppers for small plants will do the trick. Water is dripped as the plant needs for perfect watering while you are on vacation. Plants are happy, I am happy EVERYONE is (hopefully) happy :o) Hope you liked this post and thanks or stopping by! 


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