We're done. And now, the house's next owner can say "What the hell were they thinking?":
We'd thought, given the condition of the floors, we'd go with a reddish stain, to cover up the scuffs/stains the sander couldn't remove. Here's a pic of the floor in progress to give you an idea of what we were working with:
The floor is fir (a softer wood), and had been, over the course of its 77 years, stained red, painted brown, painted gray, linoleumed (in the dining nook) and carpeted. So a light blondish color was out, and if you stain it too dark, you might as well have just painted, because you can't see the wood grain.
But then when we got to Home Despot , and saw all the funky colors you can get in the water-based Minwax stains, I pointed at "Cherry blossom" and said I was tempted. Ivan's eyes lit up, and he started the process of talking me into it. Ivan would sing the phrase "Purple floor, purple floor!" while I was trying to make up my mind. I balked at first, thinking that, like a tattoo, there's a high potential for sorrow with a hasty decision. I knew that even if we were willing to re-sand the floors (not in this lifetime, or at least, not for this house)in the future, they likely couldn't take any more sanding and would instead need replacing. And there was (mildly) the idea that whatever equity we'd just added to the house's value by refinishing the floor was negated by choosing such a bold, gay color.
Oh well. As you can see, I got over it.
This is a little over exposed:
While this one's a little too dark:
This is about what it looks like (it's so hard to get accurate color without a flash on an overcast day):
so, yeah. Next project: painting the outside of the house like the surface of the moon.
(No, I'm not kidding.)