Thursday, November 15, 2018

The best laid plans of Cowgrannies

It is mid- November.
MID November.
As in, the middle of the month of November.
Where did the year go?
Sam did, indeed, have an awesome trip to Germany. I think he enjoyed it, but any future trips would be better shared with a loved one.
Daniel passed the polygraph. He got a call today to set up the face-to-face interview. He's pretty excited.
Dan got his first deer. I get to process it today. (Which I ought to already be started on, but I am one of the best Crastinators around. In fact, I am pretty sure I am a Pro Crastinator. (ba dum tiss!)
We are waiting to hear when Arlene's surgery can be scheduled.
Becky and I have been discussing Stephen's idea for Camp CowGranny Summer 2019.
Stephen suggests we hold it at their house. They are in the Big House now. The littlest Grands can participate, and not be separated from their Mommies. We could visit the Bat Cave at Mason, the Paint Rock (Hieroglyphic / Runestone). There are several rivers around, as well as numerous areas we might camp. Museums, the Abilene zoo...
CCG would NEED to be as early after school is out as we can make it, because I will have garden to attend to before the end of June. Also... the later it gets, the hotter West Texas is going to be.  Jennifer, Glynna, Seneca, Paula, Becky... let me know what the "black out" dates are, as well as when the kids are out of school for the summer. I hope to be better planned this next year!
I was just thinking, I have one birthday left to figure out this year... and then "face palm". There are at LEAST four more before the end of the year. (I already got Althea a gift, so was counting her as 'done'.)
*sigh* How do people deal with Christmas, when it's so hard to keep up with just birthdays?

I guess Bambi isn't going to package himself. I best get on it! Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Comings and Goings

Sam has been in Germany for a couple of weeks. He gets home late tonight. While he has been able to speak to his siblings on "WhatsApp" and video chat with them, I have had very little communications with him. I am sure it will be a fun ride back from Tulsa, unless he is just too tired to tell us about it.
Daniel and Sam
In the morning, Daniel is headed to West Texas. He has the latest step in the SAFD journey to handle on Monday: The Polygraph.  I had failed to count it as a step in the hiring process, thinking all that remained was the Face to Face interview. The interview will be conducted SOON, pending the outcome of the polygraph. The SAFD hire/ start Date will be Dec. 18. That means, in another month our nest could be down another birdy.
This is a turbulent time for me! Yeah. Get over it... the twins are already 22 years old.
So far, Tom and I have no solid Thanksgiving plans. We are having to  keep our options open, based on events in other people's lives. I am thinking we may be going to Ohio.
We did just get back from Ohio this past Sunday.
There are many things going on in the lives of Mr C's family. His Mom can use prayers, as she is having pain in her hip and may need surgery. This would necessitate someone staying with her as she recovers... actually BEING with her daily. At the moment, all the available family members are working, or have obligations that preclude their being there more than a day or two at a time. I am the logical person to be there.
Mr C and the twins can handle the house here, and our wee amount of critters without me. Garden season is past. We are just trying to take small steps at a time right now, to be sure of our direction.

Lower Falls at Old Man's Cave, Hocking  Hills State Park, Ohio
Tommy is planning a Thanksgiving dinner in Dallas, with friends an a couple of siblings. My folks (Mom and Ralph, Dad and Kathie) are getting together. Ben and Paula are going to Paula's folks, I think. We ought to know in another week or so about whether we are going to Ohio or not. But for the moment, I am just counting us out everywhere.
We had a good visit with Arlene and with Bob. We got to see Joyce for a short while on Saturday, and even spend an hour or so with Luke, and with Eric. Luke's daughter Leigha gave me a birthday card!

It would be nice to take a trip sometime, to be able to stop and actually SEE the sights along the way. I have been by the St. Louis Arch probably more than 30 times. I have never got to stop and see it, though I think most of my kids have at one time or another. We are always so focused on the destination that we seldom stop to enjoy the journey. (Heck, we hardly even stop to potty!) I'd like to see the Creation Museum at Glenrose, Texas. The Ark Encounter in Kentucky. Someday, the Grand Canyon.

Our seasons are changing. (I mean that both naturally and metaphorically.) The trees here have been going quickly from green, to brilliant colors, to raining their leaves down in a smothering cover on the ground.  So far, we haven't had a frost, and a few plants are hurrying to ripen their last fruits. Our own circumstances are changing, and we will have to adjust to the new landscapes we encounter.
Thanks for reading. May your day be blessed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Texas tripping!

Over the weekend, Mr C and I went to Texas to pick up half a beef. (Our freezer is full to the actual brim.) We got to see Becky, Ben, and Tommy, as well as spouses, girlfriend, and children of the aforementioned.
It rained... as is typical when we visit!
The grandkids used my camera to take random pictures, until the battery died. I hadn't packed the charger.
Althea (4.2)
I did get a few pictures before the kids got hold of the camera.
Milo (4.3)

Kimber (3.2), "Umpaw", and Dakota (3.3)

The Birthday Buddies, "CowGranny" and Kimber

Ruby and Stephen (Tommy)


Grace (3.4) and Althea (4.2)

Milo (4.3) and Benjamin
(Boy boys really ought to be 'a thing')

Dakota (3.3)

Mr. C

Jasher (4.1)
(I didn't get one with his eyes open!)
Katie (3.5)

We got to spend a bit of time between Ben's and Becky's houses. Tyrel was on a camping trip. Though we did get to see him before we left, it was AFTER my camera battery died. So he is absent from the pictures. I also didn't get one of my El Gee! Maybe she or Pya can help me out there.

It was a short visit, but we all had a great time.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fall Feels

I am blessed.
I have a wonderful family.
Both of my parents are still with us, today being my mom's birthday.
My children are doing well. I have a dozen grandchildren.

Today just feels... I don't know... like something is coming to an end.
I feel like the Fellowship's last goodbye at the harbor. (LOTR reference). The individuals lived on, but they were no longer in close fellowship with one another.

Mr C and I have a bit of traveling that is supposed to happen this month, trips to Texas and to Ohio to visit family. Which ever way we travel, we miss those we are without. And yet, we are closer than in the centuries past, when families had little hope of ever seeing their far away loved ones.

Sam is going to Germany the day before my birthday, and will be gone for two weeks. Dan still hasn't heard from the Fire Dept. about an interview. That may happen before the month is over. If he is hired, he could be moving within the next month.
Both my grown up children that remain at home are standing on the edge of the nest. Most people my age have long been empty nesters... and I know the day is coming soon.

Maybe it is that I am finally ready to let go of so much... stuff. Or I think I am ready. I love my property here... but maybe it is just too much for us. Without youngsters to explore the woods, building forts and making trails... what good is it? I can't just go wandering the woods alone any more.
My cupboards are FULL of preserved garden goods. My freezer is full... and that is before we go get half a cow from Becky. Do you know how long a full freezer will last us? Will we be able to use all the canned goods in a timely manner? Why even bother to grow a garden?
Maybe it is that we finally have a HOME, yet it is an empty thing, with my kids all moving away. It ties us here, instead of getting to go where the family is. (Not that I have ANY desire to live in Texas).

It is 85* and humid and it's OCTOBER! My sinuses are ready for the first freeze to take out the ragweed. I think this is a day when I really do need a nap.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Yes. It is October.
Seems like the year has just FLOWN by.  This past weekend was the annual Taylor Family reunion down in Broken Bow. It was not a big affair- but we enjoyed one another's company for a few hours. The ragweed has been dragging me around by my sinuses, so some of the cooler days have still seen me hostage to the filtered (and expensive) air conditioned atmosphere of the house. Some days, I brave the out of doors, snot cloth in hand. I am still getting okra from the garden, though ALMOST everything else has gone.
My chickens gave me eight eggs from eight hens yesterday! With the garden mostly gone, I have been letting them out in the late afternoon to have a good forage around the yard. They seem to really enjoy their unconfined time... and by keeping them inside their pen until afternoon... my eggs have been inside the coop and not under some random bush or woodpile.
You may not be able to tell, but the okra is about 12 feet high.
The plant in the lower part of the frame is "Steve's Son". "Steve" was the name of the ghost chile plant Sam and Daniel grew from a seed a number of years ago. One of the saved seeds was viable, and produced more ghost chilies than any one family NEEDS. We MIGHT move Steve's Son to the greenhouse for the winter... it remains to be decided.
Sam will be hearing any time now about the trip to Germany- it could be just a couple of weeks away.
Daniel hasn't heard from the Fire Department yet.
That's about all from here. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


The weather has cooled off, maybe for the rest of this year. The high today is supposed to be 66*. It isn't supposed to get back up into the 90's at all, at least the weather guessers are saying that.
I still have okra, tomatoes, and peppers in the garden. Okra picking is still daily, but is slowing up, some.This is our first year to grow okra, and it has been the easiest crop I have ever had to take care of. Many of my plants are over 10 feet tall, some have to be 12 feet tall.
My hens are producing at least five eggs a day. One day I got SEVEN eggs from eight hens. Most of them use the same nest box! One just drops her egg in random places- I know it is the same hen, as her eggs have a small mark on each one- a light banding the other eggs don't have.
In my egg bounty, I have been trying to use as fast as they can lay, but it isn't really happening! I made "pickled eggs" for the first time. They are... different. Up until now, I don't think I had ever eaten a pickled egg. I am also pickling okra. This, too, is a first. My trial batch was a hit, so I have about a dozen jars put by now.
I am looking forward to the Taylor Family Reunion this weekend. Mr C has decided to stay home and look after the birds and beasts. I will be taking along chicken, potato salad, and some auction stuff. I think I am EXPECTED to bring jellies to auction! If I get my round tuits taken care of, I will take some hand made stuffed kids toys. None of my grands will be there this year, (as far as I know) but maybe some great nieces and nephews will come.
Our annual Ohio trip is towards the end of October.
Sam may (or not!) be in Germany then. He is waiting news of when our friend is having his surgery scheduled before buying his ticket. Dan may be holding down the fort all alone. (If Sam's trip and ours coincide.)
Oh dog! Jaffa has spied the groundhog in our yard.
He is going crazy with trying to get it. I have let him out a couple of times, and he runs around barking and digging where ever he last saw or smelled it. He is wandering now from front door to back with a whimpering beg whine to go out. He does NOT NEED to go out. Last year he actually caught and killed one.
Well, may your day be blessed and your every need met. Thank you for reading.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


I have been looking for where I *thought* I had published Daniel's poem before on my blog. I couldn't find it.
So here is:
"Katahdin's Call" 
by Daniel "Folklore" Coder

The rain was cold. 
the wind was bold.
But my heart it told,
of a mountain to the north.
I had traveled far
 and nothing could bar me
 from the place I hoped to see.
The days I spent
 nor the miles I went,
 the cold, the heat, the rain.
From Georgia to Maine
the call was the same:
Katahdin come to me

When the trail turned dry
 my spirits ran high.
for the sun it shone
on the place I'd known,
the place that had called to me.
I turned then
to the places I'd been.
though all I saw
(for the trees were tall)
was a path scattered with leaves.

I could clearly see,
 despite all these,
 a part of me had been left behind.
With the people I met
 and the places I slept,
the towns, the shelters, the streams.
And I knew then what the call had been;

"From Springer true
 you have traveled through
mountains, swamps, and plains.
Despite it all that would have you fall,
you pressed on and on to see
 a mountain to the north,
a mountain that had called to thee.

"I am a call to all,
 who would see it all
from Georgia's pines
to Maine's shore lines
and everything in between."

I turned then,
and started again
up to Katahdin's Sign.
and I wondered then,
 if ever, when?
 I would come this way again.

This is how it is saved in my computer. It has been re-written and worked on some, so I don't know if this was its last form. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Winding down the summer

It is almost the middle of September, and I am SO ready for the first hard frost. Kill the ragweed! Kill ALL the ragweed! I will hate saying goodbye to all our good garden produce, but it's terrible trying to breathe through the pollen fog.
Yesterday was my grandson Gavin's 12th birthday, and my brother Robbie's birthday. (I think he is now a double nickle!)
Coming up soon is the Taylor Family Reunion. This year it will be at the Cypress Campground Pavilion at Beaver's Bend State Park. A potluck lunch will be held around noon, followed by the annual auction fund raiser. It will be a silent bid auction.
I plan to be there! It will also be a great time to wish my Mom a happy 75th birthday- her birthday is Oct. 4th.

One day last week, I just couldn't stand our bathroom any more. The zillion holes in the plastic coated wall panels.

The industrial steel towel rack.

 The grimy, horrible sink that I just couldn't scrub clean. I jumped into a bathroom mini- makeover.

 I primed and painted. On a trip to get paint, I found a brand new faucet on clearance... I had intended to get a new faucet when I got a new sink, and had priced their least expensive at $28. That was for the nickle plated twin to the one here. The clearance faucet was regular $89, and I got it for $22.
I needed sink measurements, so I didn't buy a sink- me wanting the off-white (bone?) and they only had bright white in stock.
I got home all happy happy happy! I spent the better part of two days priming and painting.
Mr C got home after I had painted, and asked how much longer it was going to take ~ He saw I had "primed".
Uh. It's painted. In two different shades, one is semi-gloss satin on the walls. The other is cabinet paint in gloss. He couldn't tell. And the colors were side by side on the color card, so they ARE very similar. I called them light grey, but they are a very pale green. And he wasn't thrilled about the faucet. And he doesn't want to replace the sink... He scrubbed all the grime off it for me.
 I said I was OK with not getting a new sink if he could get this one clean. Well, it's clean.
 (Why didn't *I* think of using heavy duty scotch brite and a brass wire scrub brush? Hmm. Maybe because it's a PLASTIC sink?)
I spray painted my industrial steel towel bar and toilet paper holder. And the light switch and outlet covers.
My arm went into revolt, so I haven't finished my painting. I need to do the upper trim around the room, and the little triangles of wall above the panels. Probably two, half hour chores, as it will take two coats. But not until my arm is better, or someone else does it for me. I guess my new faucet will stay in its box until my scrubbed plastic sink grows so horrible even Mr C can't stand it. Myself, I am happy with the fresh coat of paint!

Sam is supposed to put in a new light fixture above the mirror, and replace the worn-out outlet by the window. When he has time. (So I just put the painted cover back on!)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Star Time Pondering

Last night, I went out for some much needed "Star Time". I sat in a camp chair as the first stars of the evening sky appeared. Layer by layer, the veils of darkness deepened the night sky, and I saw more stars.
It always makes me feel so insignificant, sitting out under the stars. Thinking about the workings of the brain of an ant, to the vast reaches of all the stars... places and things we cannot fathom! And God created it. All of it.
Sitting under the stars makes me feel connected. To those who came before me, and to those who will come after. My (how many times great?) grandmothers in Scotland, three hundred years back. The grandchildren my grandchildren will some day bear... They saw, and will see, the same stars, the same moon.
I saw a meteor streak briefly across the sky. How many people also saw it? Who else may have happened to be looking in that same direction, at that same instant the fiery stone burned through the atmosphere above? Maybe a few people. Maybe no one but myself saw it.

Like our own time here on earth, mortal beneath the stars- we are insignificant in the face of galaxies and eons. And yet, we do matter... and matter greatly to some people. Our unique selves touch and interweave with one another, marking our places for a little while.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Still scrubbing along!

Where have I been all month?
I have made several trips to East Texas this summer, trying to help my Mom with stuff since Ralph's surgery. He is finally on the mend, in Physical Therapy a couple of times a week. He's back to doing a few small things for himself, and trying to work on the yard a bit at a time. Prayers there are greatly appreciated.
On the 13th, Benjamin and Paula and their kids, and Paula's brother Eric came to visit. The very next day, Daniel, Sam, Ben and Eric all went on the annual Trek hike in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico. Paula and the kids stayed and visited with us. When the guys got back the following Sunday, we all had another week to visit here. I really got to get some great snuggles in on the grandkids. It was my first real visit with Milo. He was almost 4 months old- (he reached 4 months yesterday) and more than 18 lbs. He is one of the happiest babies I have ever met. He began rolling completely over while they were here, and getting his knees up under him in a prelude to crawling.

Jasher and Althea were a whole lot of fun. They are really smart, and loved to help with chores, from picking tomatoes to gathering eggs.
(At least TWO of my hens are laying, in addition to Speckles the guinea.)
 The garden has slacked off tremendously. I am still getting quite a bit of okra every day, and some of the plants must be approaching 9 feet tall. (That is okra in the picture behind me).
The new squash plants are starting to put on squash- I should be harvesting some tomorrow. But one entire row is dying. We have no explanation. The new crop of green beans is blooming, so I ought to have beans in a few days.
And I wasn't kidding in my title, that I am still scrubbing along. I still haven't figured out what to do about pantry storage. The original pantry has been cleaned, inventoried and re-organized.
The last couple of days, I have worked on my closet. It has been a pit of despair. Now, we can actually get into it and find what we need. And I have room left to maybe store some (pantry) stuff.
Today's project will be the "outside" fridge, which will segue into defrosting the deep freeze. The "outside" fridge isn't really outside... it is in the well house. With all the okra and squash I have been freezing, the defrost should of been done months ago. But it wasn't.
I have been trying to post more on the family cooking blog. I got my recipe up for Fried Green Pickled Tomatoes! They are wonderful.
That's all for now. May your day be blessed beyond measure!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Canning count!

Today is August 3rd, 2018.
Tom and I have been married 34 years. Happy Anniversary, Mr C!
I noticed last night, the *sturdy* shelves in the hutch (behind the table) were beginning to bow. They were not full.
I had to take out all my jars, so I did a count while I was at it.
15 quarts & 40 pints of plain pureed tomatoes
10 pints & 9 half-pints of unsweetened green tomato relish
8 pints of sweet green tomato relish
12 pints of spaghetti sauce
12 pints & 1 half pint of Rotel-style tomatoes. (Rotel* is a licensed brand name!) Shall I call mine No-tel?
9 pints of salsa. (Salsa Not Hot Sauce!) (Family joke!)

This doesn't include several jars I used making chili over the past weekend. Nor does it count the jars of spaghetti sauce I sent to both my mom and Tom's. This is just tomatoes!
I found one quart of tomatoes unsealed, so will be disposing of those. One jar of No-tel from yesterday didn't seal, so that is in the fridge.
I re-stacked as many jars as I could on the base shelf of the hutch, but had to put a few back on the higher shelves. The needed pantry is becoming a priority.
I have jars of jellies, bags of frozen peaches, okra, & squash.
The dehydrator seems to be trying to die on me. It is currently full of peppers. We have dried onions, tomatoes, squash, and herbs as well. The final component of our "Tri-pepper blend", the Tabasco peppers, are finally ripening, and I have a single tray of those among the peppers in the dehydrator right now.

I have okra and squash to deal with today, plus the remainder of the tomatoes I didn't get finished with yesterday. Today's pickings were comparably slim, so just MAYBE I can get caught up.
I am using my washing machine. The repairmen did NOT find a leak. (They surmised that either I was using too much soap, or the steam setting was causing condensation to form and drip down the machine.) However, they DID discover problems with my machine. Apparently the "mother board" has a mind of its own. No matter WHAT cycle you program the machine to use... it uses hot water. They have to get authorization (which they will, as it is a covered warranty issue) and order a new mother board. Then they will schedule a return visit to install it. Meanwhile...  it doesn't leak and I have laundry!  Which I best get to. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Stop Digging!

For once, I was right about a quote!
Will Rogers said, "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
I have been looking around the house, which has become somewhat of a pit the last couple of months. First off, with extra grandkids, and no designated place to keep the stuff that comes with having extra people around.
To that, I added my garden preserving supplies. 10 months of the year, they are stored in one of the out buildings. But when I use them DAILY, they need to be more accessible. Garden produce leads to storage of food in bulk. Jars of fruits and vegetables need to be protected from excess heat, and from freezing temperatures. This was a problem last year with the small starter garden we had for our first year in the new house. THIS year... the garden more than doubled. My climate controlled storage space did NOT.
I am ready to stop digging.
I am playing musical cupboards. TOO MUCH STUFF!
Did you know I have a dozen large glass goblets? This would be great, if we actually used them to drink from.
Most of the time, we drink from canning jars. (Except during garden season... when we are reduced to drinking from the canning jars that have chipped rims.) The goblets are great for when we have company. (But we almost NEVER have company. And when we do have company, it is usually a LOT of company, and we use Solo cups. Sometimes recycled solo cups.)
I have plates. LOTS of plates. I have my grandmother's beautiful set of china, over 70 years old. I use that when we have big gatherings. Day to day, it sits on display.
For "every day", I have deliberately mismatched, heavy duty restaurant style stoneware plates, and a good sized stack of Corelle plates. (Also in several patterns.) More than four people warrant on a daily basis.

I have enough Campbell's Soup Mugs to start a soup kitchen.

I have probably three dozen assorted coffee mugs... and the favorite four sought after daily are from Dollar tree.

 I have bowls. Little bowls. Big bowls. Bigger bowls. Ginormous bowls. Glass bowls. Stainless steel bowls. Plastic bowls. Antique bowls. Cereal bowls. Bowls with handles. Measuring bowls, batter bowls. Bowls with covers.

Too much STUFF.
I have attempted to downsize the amount of my kitchen supplies. I no longer have seven kids at home. I get grandkids in the summer, but seldom more than three or four at a time.

Maybe I shouldn't grow such a large garden? Then the stuff in the cupboards could stay where it is. Maybe when the twins move out on their own, they will want a start of dishes?  (I know Daniel has said he wants his own SET of  dishes when he moves. Everything that matches and fits together in an orderly space.) For today, I think I will be taking a lot of excess to the storage building. If I need it, I will know where to find it. If you need it... give me a call!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Cleaning like My Mom

Yesterday, I Ping-pong cleaned. Bounced around from task to task, starting lots of things and finishing few. I did get the living room pretty well clean (except the boxes of toys), and four pints of tomatoes canned. I got the laundry caught up, using my solar dryer to great advantage.
The garden has been blessing us with so much good food, I am running out of places to put things.
Mr. C and I are discussing several options. One would be to move the washing machine and the dryer out to the well house, and turn the laundry room into a pantry. Drawbacks of this are carrying laundry in and out of the house and across the yard every time I need to do laundry, and we would need to install a water heater, 240 (220) electrical service, and a grey water dispersal system.
Another option under discussion is to tear out the built-in china hutch in the dining area of the kitchen, and build a bigger pantry in its place. The disadvantage there is mostly getting into said prospective pantry.
 As you may be able to see, the table has to be moved away from the hutch every time I need in it. The table also impedes through traffic to the patio door. The proposed pantry would go all the way to the wall where the plant sits, and come another 8" to 10" at the closer end above. To make it work, we may need to find a new home for the table.

For the present, I have to do the best I can with what I already have. Which brings me to cleaning and re-arranging. (I started writing this last night, but went to bed before finishing.)
I asked Becky where I should start on all the cleaning/ re-arranging that needs to happen. Then, I ignored her advice.
Not on purpose... I picked up something to put away... and the place it lived had other things in it, those things needed moved to their designated homes. Except, there were items that lived elsewhere in THOSE places.

It was a VERY nice day here for July, the high only supposed to reach the low 80's. A great day to clean the dust off the HVAC filters and wash the slotted door that covered the unit... which is in the laundry room.
The washable filters were hung on the clothesline and hosed off. The laundry room was already a mess, so I decided to start there.
Of course this meant I had to empty everything out of the laundry room.

 Because, you know... that's how I clean.
EVERYTHING out of the laundry room, except the washer and dryer, which I cannot carry out myself.
However, in sweeping between the machines, I found a microfiber cloth had fallen down behind the washer. I fished it out with the broom handle. It was wet.
Instead of calling Mr C right away, I looked up the receipt of the washer. It was (of course!) out of original warranty by about five weeks. I did have an extended warranty plan! YAY! I called, and a repairman is scheduled for next Thursday.
THEN I called Tom and told him.

So, what did the rest of the house look like without anything in the laundry room? (So sure you want to know! I took the pictures and sent them to my Mom and Becky, as well as my DIL Paula... whose own house is  always an inspiration to me!)

Quite a mess, right?
 So many questionable items. Like, why do I still have cone coffee filters? I don't have a machine that uses them. And I cannot use aerosol air freshener sprays... the air borne particles shut down my voice in a matter of moments.

But this stack here... put together from a few here, a few there... We have 24 cans of bug fogger. TWENTY FOUR CANS. I usually have to fog at least a couple of times during the summer, with the fleas coming in on the dog, and with little fruit flies getting in through the screens. This is enough to fog the entire house, both inside and underneath (for spiders) THREE times.

I tossed some stuff. I think I am trying to overcome being an uber frugalist. I had to give myself permission to throw away several lengths of random string/ twine that turned up. All the zip ties that come home in Sam's pockets and get fished out of the washing machine get saved. All of the wee sprinkler head filters I find in Daniel's laundry get saved. The screw driver drill bits from Tom's pockets.
But mostly... earplugs.
This is a (re-purposed/ recycled) clear solo cup full of foam earplugs. My washing machine makes them. (The earplugs, not the solo cups.) I'm pretty sure it does anyway, as it gives me several every laundry day. And, since they have been washed, and are clean... I save them. (This gets really annoying when the cup gets overturned.) They may be worth as much as 11 cents per pair, new.
If we should ever have a grand party and the guests need slightly used but clean earplugs for whatever reason... I have them covered! (The solo cup has my grandson Connor's name on the side. He used it on his first visit to the house when we were moving in... over a year and a half ago.)

(I do NOT hold the solo cup frugality record. It was pointed out to my MIL that she was still using some of the same solo cups as she had used when the kids used to come visit during the summer. Her cups were being used over 20 years later!)

My cleaned up, re-organized laundry room. (I need a few more pegboard hooks.) My laundry detergent will actually live on top of the washer, but is going to stay in the cupboard until after the machine is fixed.
  Today... do I start with the lower kitchen cupboards... or the uppers? Decisions, decisions.  Pretty sure the lower ones will be the better choice this time. Guess I will get to it!