In the end, I decided not to paint the newel post and stair rail white again. It had been so much trouble to get 75 years worth of paint off, and the stain really didn't look too bad, after another couple of coats. It took another two months before we had REfinished refinishing the hallway floor, and my son's bedroom floor.
One day, while while cleaning my closet in my bedroom, my attention was drawn to a show on TV. It was a home and garden show, and a lady was getting ready to sand her daughter's bedroom floor. Of course this peaked my interest. What really grabbed me, though, was when I heard her say she was going to use a belt sander on the floor. I found myself talking to the TV. "Oh, no, not a belt sander, it won't work. You'll have marks all over the floor." Sure enough, two minutes later, "Wow, look at those marks on the floor. This isn't working, it's taking off too much. Get out the mouse sander." By this time I was laughing hysterically. I had had this exact conversation with Tee a few months before.
So they got out the mouse sander. I started talking to the TV. again. "No, no, that will take much too long. You don't want to go there." Of course the woman never heeded my advice to just break down and go to Home Depot, and rent a floor sander. I watched with a strange feeling of De ja vous, as she discarded the mouse sander and went back to the belt sander. I just shook my head and went back to work on my closet.
The next minute though, I popped my head out of the closet, and my attention was snapped back to the TV. A new show was on, and a man was telling the story of his house renovation. It all started, he said, with a pair of pliers, and removing a thousand staples out of the ceiling...