The Gray and the White

Purple Haze Next Phase
Prep complete, time to paint (Sun Aug 5, ’12)

We protected the purple walls with blue tape, brown paper and clear plastic drop clothes last weekend.  We wrapped up the room by Sunday evening, ready for Terry to paint the ceiling during the night, when that front southeast corner room would remain cool.  He did get the edging done before we took time out for dinner and an episode of Falling Skies.

Purple Haze Next Phase
Terry moving the ladder while cutting in the ceiling.

I woke up Monday to the same dingy gray ceiling, but I wasn’t complaining.  Terry could take as much time as he needed.  I headed off to work.  Terry painted as much as he could Monday afternoon, but ran out of paint at about the halfway point on the ceiling.  I saw a trip to Home Depot in our future for more bright white ceiling paint.  Terry thought about buying a five gallon bucket of ceiling paint, because we also have to paint the vaulted ceiling in our bedroom before we proceed with flooring in that room.  The $103 price was a bit of a shock, but we compromised and bought a two gallon variety instead for a bit over $40.  We reviewed the hard wood flooring options available, still not happy about having to order what we wanted and have it ‘quick shipped’ to us a week to ten days later.  Nothing ‘quick’ about that, if you ask me.

Purple Haze Next Phase
The Grey and White Ceiling

The ceiling remained half-gray, half-white for a couple more days.  I came home Wednesday evening to a bright white ceiling and the smell of drying paint.  We turned on the ceiling fan and retired downstairs for dinner and an episode of Chopped.  A thunderstorm rolled through Lansing while we ate, dumping some much needed rain on us and gracing us with a beautiful double rainbow.

Double Rainbow
Double Rainbow (Wed Aug 8, ’12) – click image for rest of album

The rain demonstrated yet another home maintenance issue to resolve before the drought ends in earnest.

Rain with Thunderstorm

Terry finished painting the ceiling Wednesday, applying two coats of the bright white ceiling paint.

White Ceiling

With the ceiling dry, we could unwrap the room, leaving a huge pile in the middle of the floor to confuse the dogs.

White Ceiling

This concludes the renovation of the top of the purple room. Next, we’ll tackle the floor, once we decide on whether we’re just doing this one bedroom, or all the bedrooms on the top floor.

Moon Overtaking Jupiter and Venus

Venus Jupiter Moon
The moon overtaking Jupiter and Venus

I fell asleep amid visions of rainbows and towering gilded sunsets dancing in my head. I woke up to clear skies this morning. Clear enough that I drug the tripod out and stuck the camera on it for a few minutes during the five o’clock hour before the sun began bleaching the eastern horizon.

Jupiter still hugged close to Aldebaran, but the most surprising sight for me was Orion visible, appearing to be lying down on the eastern horizon.  I could see most of the stars in that constellation, but the moon and Venus shone significantly brighter.

As the week wears on, the moon will pass by or through the two planets.  I plan to take more early morning photos until the new moon.  I am especially looking forward to the opportunity presented Sunday morning, when I may be able to capture Mercury in addition to the objects shown above.

I may be staying up all night Saturday to watch the Perseid meteor shower (if you follow that link to Sky & Telescope‘s web page, you’ll see a beautiful photograph taken by local phenom astronomer Fred Bruenjes, a fellow member of the Astronomical Society of Kansas City).  The weather, in addition to being much cooler, may cooperate and keep the skies clear.

I should probably take a nap Saturday or go to bed early, and then get up after midnight and drive somewhere, probably northwest of my home, to a darker sky location.  Then, I should be able to see more meteors streaking through the sky, than if I lounged around in my backyard, peering through the local light pollution and leafy tall trees.  But I doubt I’ll be able to take a nap, because I am also expecting out-of-town visitors for the weekend.

No rest for the aspiring amateur astronomer.