This weekend, it being rainy and unsuited to any other pursuit, I finally got this job done. Not with an auspicious start, per usual. I looked in our broom closet for the fox tail and it was not there. So, I figured it might be down in the basement because I use it there to clean sawdust off of woodworking projects. I spent around half an hour in the basement poking around and eventually gave up and thought of looking again in the original closet, but more thoroughly this time.
It still wasn't there. I finally gave up and was in motion to shut the closet door...there it was, hanging from a hook on the inside of the broom closet door!
Progress was rapid until I came to a ceiling fan. The amount of dust and grime was shocking. Even worse was a bathroom ceiling vent grille. That had to be disassembled and cleaned in the kitchen sink. The three regular ceiling fans were so bad that the floors, which had already been vacuumed and mopped, had to be redone.
Most satisfying was the girl's bathroom. It had had specks on the ceiling ever since the day I repainted it (a while ago). These spots were, I believe, some small insects who had landed and somehow got stuck there. They wiped away easily and that bathroom looks more pristine than it ever has since we've been here.