3:30pm - Leave for train station, Lucy naps.
4:15pm - Arrive at station, Lucy wakes up.
4:29pm - Board train. Estimated arrival time = 9:30pm
6:30pm - Change baby into pajamas and attempt to adapt bedtime routine to train.
7:00pm - Lucy is asleep.
7:45pm - Lucy woke up on train with bright fluorescent lights every 2 feet along the ceiling so she thinks it must be middle of the afternoon and after her nice "nap", she is now refreshed and ready to play again.
8:05pm - Train stops at station but doesn't start again.
8:10pm - Official Conductor Announcement: Train in front of ours is stopped. Wait for more news.
8:12pm - Call my brother to tell him not to leave to pick me up until I have more details. Lucy plays happily on my lap.
8:15pm - Official Conductor Announcement: Train in front of ours is derailed. We will probably be here for several hours. Wait for more details.
8:18pm - Call my dad to tell him bad news. Call interrupted by incredible puking baby.
8:25pm - Baby is now clean and changed back into pre-bedtime routine clothes and playing happily again. Lacking a change of clothes, I still smell like baby puke. Official Conductor Announcement: Buses have been sent to pick us up and take us to the train stations. Buses scheduled to arrive in approximately 2 hours but they will let us know if they will be late.
8:26pm - Call my dad again to plead for rescue.
9:00pm - Baby still awake. Have attempted to shield her from light by laying her under tray tables covered with jacket and receiving blankets. Decided not the throttle conductor when he walks by and comments on the "fun time I must be having building a fort."
9:30pm - Fort building efforts fail. Baby still awake.
10:00pm - Baby still awake.
10:30pm - Baby still awake. No buses yet but have been told they should be arriving "soon".
10:35pm - Dad arrives!
10:37pm - Lucy goes to sleep almost instantaneously once put in comfy car seat in quiet dark car.
12:25am - Arrive at parent's home. Lucy still sleeping away. Thank my
You can see wear down the center of the photo, in the high traffic area. You can also see some yellowing of the wood.
I rented an orbital floor sander from the local rental place. All sanders I saw in how-to articles had 3 sanding discs on the bottom, but this had one big rectangular pad (the sander looked something like this). The rental place also gave me a bunch of sandpaper (of grits 20, 36, 60, 80, and 100), and said I would not have to pay for what I didn't use. Note: these sanders are quite heavy.
Before sanding, I shut the bedroom doors and put newspaper under them. I also taped over the outlets and hung a sheet of plastic between the dining room and kitchen. These measures were intended to keep dust out of these places. I also donned safety glasses, a dust mask, and ear plugs. Previously, I went over the floor a few times to make sure I removed all carpet staples and nails. We did not remove our baseboards prior to sanding.
I started sanding with 36-grit paper (smaller numbers mean coarser paper), sanding primarily with the grain of the wood, although the rotation of the sander means it goes across the grain half the time.. The first pass revealed a large number of 6" by 1" slight depressions in the floor, perpendicular to the grain of the wood. I thought these might be relics from a previous drum sanding job gone bad (note: besides the orbital that I rented, drum sanders are the other type available. These sand more effectively and efficiently, but in the hands of an amateur, these can cause damage to the floor due to excessive sanding). I also found some wide scratches that I had not noticed previously. Apparently, floor finish can really hide some flaws in hardwood.
I had a heck of a time with these depressions. The sander had little effect on them. I tried using the 5" palm orbital sander I had on hand, but it also had little effect, as did sanding by hand. I also found that the area a couple inches out from the wall, all the way around the house, was similarly impervious to my efforts. I knew I needed to get the finish off of these spots, or they would stick out when I tried to stain the floor.
After doing two passes with the 36 paper (one at a 45 degree angle across the grain), two 60 passes, a 20 pass (I was desperate), another 36, and two 80 passes, I thought the floor was acceptable. The finer sandpapers are intended to remove the scratches put in the floor by the coarse paper, and give the floors a smooth, even finish (I should note here that I vacuumed the floor after each pass with a shop-vac to remove dust). I should also note that I generally used two sheets of sandpaper per pass, with each pass covering about 450 square feet. There appeared to be some color left in the wood, but I thought I had removed enough material that I could stain over what was left.
But then I rented the edger, and found out I was wrong. The edger is a foot-tall unit that uses one 7-8" sanding disc that is attached to the unit by a bolt. When operating it, only one side of the disc actually touches the floor. The edger, which spins at a high rate of speed, instantaneously reduced my edges to white bare wood, in stark contrast to the rest of the floor, and the numerous passes I made over it. I was tempted to use the edger to do the whole floor, but that would have taken days and killed my back.
So I decided to try a 3-disc edger, thinking that maybe the sander I had rented was the problem. Lowe's carries such a sander, so I rented theirs. Note: while the sander I first rented did a very poor job of picking up dust, despite having a vacuum attachment that is supposed to do just that, the Varathane from Lowe's does great in this regard. This sander worked well for about two minutes, then seemed to do nothing. It was as if the sandpaper only worked when brand new (it turns out this was the floor's fault, not the machine's). With this sander, I managed to feather the edges of the floor, so the contrast between the white edges and the light brown rest of the floor was not so stark. But it still didn't look right.
At the beginning of this process, we got a quote from a company to see what it would cost to have someone else do this job. The quote was quite high. But after renting the Varathane, we decided to get another quote, to see what it would cost just to drum sand it. I thought about renting a drum sander myself, but didn't really want to mess with one of those.
The quote we got wasn't too bad, and we wanted to get this done, so we bit the bullet and hired a local company to do it, and the floors ended up nice and white in short order. My ego was assuaged by the fact that the owner of the company confirmed that there was drum sander damage on the floor. He also said there was something weird with the finish on our floor, so he had to use more sandpaper than normal to get the job done. This made me feel good, because all the how-to's I read made sanding seem easy and straightforward, but that wasn't my experience.
That wraps up the sanding part of the job. Here are some links I found helpful.
Next, I will discuss staining, a much more successful endeavor.
This may sound surprising, given the religious discord we often see in the news. But the authors state that people who know members of other religions are more tolerant of them. They call this the "Aunt Susan" principle, stating that, often due to inter-religious marriages, many people have a relative of another faith.
I would like to look at one specific point that the Economist column brings up. It says that 9 of 10 of those surveyed think that people from other faiths can go to heaven. This is seen as a mark of tolerance, and the 1 in 10 who don't see it this way are called "inflexible."
Speaking solely for Christianity (although I gather Islam is the same), our doctrine says there's one path to heaven. Don't follow it, you don't get there. But this sounds harsh and unfair to a lot of people. I suspect that most of the 90% of people cited in the study are not deeply involved in their faith, and thus assume that any "good" person can go to heaven. Or else they believe that, no matter what the Bible says, people from other religions still believe in a God of some sort, so they're OK. Maybe they go to a non-denominational megachurch that focuses solely on the feel-good parts of Christianity.
What this story suggests, then, is that our society is better off if everyone is only casually religious. The Economist author states that, for the "inflexible" 10%, Aunt Susan "is not welcome in their company." He seems to assume that, if you don't think someone is headed for heaven, you dislike them. Ergo, devout people create divisions in, and are bad for, society.
If you are only interested in this from the societal aspect, maybe these findings make sense. But from a religious standpoint, the lack of knowledge/acceptance of basic doctrine is troubling.
But I would dispute the assumption that the devout dislike those that aren't going to heaven. Sure, there are people like that, but there are many others that have devoted their lives (or at least a good portion of their time and/or resources) to reach out to these people to try to improve their lives, in hopes that they will eventually end up in heaven. That sounds like good social capital to me.
Growing up with a dad in the army and an "army wife" for a mom, I remember them going to a number of functions. There were "hail and farewells", conferences and my favorite, balls. I'm so glad they called them balls and not dances or reception; balls sounded so exotic and fancy to my 7 year old ears.
I would sit on the bed watching my mom get ready. She would be wearing a pretty dress, putting on her make-up and jewelry. Then the very last step would be perfume. Spraying a bit of Poison in the air, she would gracefully step through telling me this was the secret to smelling nice without being overpowering to anyone within three feet of you. Then she would spray some for me to walk through too. I had all sorts of ideas of what the balls must be like, most of which were probably a little overblown, but either way it was so exciting to see them head off and I couldn't wait until I got married and got to go on dates too.
Not that I minded being left with a babysitter. Babysitter came with special treats like popcorn, frozen pizza, games and movies and the opportunity to pick on my brothers with a less perceptive overseer (oh wait, that was supposed to be a secret). It was great fun.
This past Saturday night, Craig and I had a date night. I’m not ready to leave Lucy so we had to be creative. After putting her down, Craig threw a pizza in the oven, picked up the toys, oatmeal canister, pots and pans, and diapers turned burp rags that had been strewn all over the living room floor. I threw a load of diapers in the wash, took a shower and laid down a blanket and some pillows on the now picked-up floor. We sat with our dinner and had some great conversations. Then we snuggled up and watched a movie (eclipse - Craig is a good sport). We had to pause the movie once so I could go feed a baby back to sleep but it worked.
Someday date nights will change. The frozen pizza and movies will stay at the house but I will not. Someday I will get dressed up and spray perfume and Craig will come in to help me put on my necklace and give both his girls a kiss before sending the littler one off to look for the babysitter. Someday will come soon enough. But for now, I wouldn't change a thing.