When I came home from work today, there was a horrible noise coming from the basement. Upon investigation, I found that the alarm for the computer backup battery was emitting a high-pitched wail. I attempted a couple of quick fixes on it (which didn't work) then I had to start working on dinner.
The noise from the basement was really annoying, even in the kitchen. I tried turning up the radio; that helped some, but I could still hear the shriek of the alarm in the background. It was really aggravating, so to take care of it I wore ear plugs.
I looked around the house for some of the disposable yellow ear plugs that Tony used to take on Boy Scout camping trips, but I couldn't find any. I tried to think what other things I had in the house that would work. Suddenly I remembered that when I had earaches as a little girl, my mom used to put in ear drops then plug up my ear canal with cotton. I decided to try cotton balls to block the noise.
I grabbed two pieces of cotton from the container upstairs, rolled them into cylinders, and pushed them into my ears. The first try was very uncomfortable, but after I took the cotton out and rolled the pieces a bit thinner they felt fine.
Turns out that cotton makes great earplugs for light-duty use. I could hear the kitchen radio, and even the oven cycling on and off as dinner cooked, but no more alarm from the basement. I left the plugs in until Tony's car pulled into the garage, then took them out. It probably would send the wrong message if he saw my ears plugged up when he walked into the house!