Random Acts of Futility

Another snowy day in the Midwest and another Winter Weather Advisory, so I decide to tackle some of those jobs around the house that I have recently begun to call “Random Acts of Futility” .    You know, the things you do that no one ever notices.

The kitchen table is a wooden oblong table with one leaf.   My first futile act is removing the leaf and scraping all the crumbs, glitter, gummy residue, and icing drips that resemble the colors the kids used on the Easter cookies.  Back in 1993.  It’s pretty gross and I have to use a paint scraper to loosen it up then a sturdy broom to sweep it into the dustpan onto the floor.  For some reason after all the scraping and sweeping, I felt the need to measure just how much gobbledy gook I was able to scrape from beneath the area we eat all of our meals.  1/4 of a cup!  Now there’s progress.  I can hardly wait until the husband comes in tonight and says,  “What did you do today, sweetie pie?”    “Why, I scraped one-quarter cup of gobbledy gook from under the kitchen table.  Thanks for asking.”

Since I am in the kitchen and I think I might eventually mop the floor, I decide to clean off the bottom of the kitchen chair legs.   A couple of years ago I found stick-on felt circles that you can place on the bottom of chairs.   Their purpose is to keep the chairs from scratching the floor.   In my kitchen that’s a lost cause.  I use them because they make the chairs quieter when you scoot them up and back from the table.  They also act as a magnet for dust bunnies and cat hair.  Eventually you find  you are scooting the chair back and each little leg is surrounded by a grayish cloud-like material.

dust bunnies and frozen frog 006I turn the chairs upside down to begin and of course one thing leads to another and I decide the bottoms of the chair seat need to be scrubbed as well.  I don’t even want to know how icky stuff gets stuck down there.  Under where we sit. ((ew)) 

That task being completed, I roll out the refrigerator and then the stove/oven and sweep the sticky, dusty,  residue from underneath.  If I  can’t find a pen to write with,  it’s time to clean under major appliances. That’s where they all end up.  Plus bottle caps, plastic silverware, rubber bands, paper clips, and usually a bit of change.

There are more rooms to tackle, each with their own set of futile tasks, but for now,  I mop the floor and decide to call it a day.

What are some futile jobs that you have to perform?



Related article… well, sort of related anyway…


About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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33 Responses to Random Acts of Futility

  1. marymtf says:

    Phew, the secret’s out. I’m so glad I’m not the only one with a junk drawer.
    How I read your post was that you began one project then it led you to the next and to the next. My dear, don’t do it again. It’s not only futile but neverending.


  2. I often look at dust that has accumulated on top of the ceiling fans that came with the house when I bought it 15 years ago. But what I REALLY need to do is go through the stacks of papers, bills, letters on the desk in the office … it was my “to do” chore last winter (never did it) and this year (haven’t done it yet). sigh ….


  3. Shoveling, vacuuming all the tight spots, cleaning out the ‘junk’ drawer, cleaning the stove and oven, etc. I feel like almost everything is futile, even making the bed!
    Now that I have no more pets, the dust balls on the bottom of the chairs are almost gone. I would do anything to have my sweet babies back, though — Even clean those messes daily. 🙂
    Great post!


  4. I can’t click Like; it’s too gross 🙂


  5. The most futile task I undertake (once every couple of years) is cleaning UNDER and/or BEHIND things that never get moved under normal circumstances (couches, bookcases, fridges, stoves). It’s amazing what you find (including a lot of stuff – like Lego heads and bits of tin foil – that the cats have stuffed under/back there over the years). I probably should add cleaning the oven here – but I never do it unless something catches on fire (that happened once – it was a random piece of pie crust – the smoke detector went off and everything – VERY exciting!)


  6. Maxi says:

    Ditto. I have said for years that “housework is a thankless job that no one notices … unless you don’t do it.”
    Blessings ~ Maxi


  7. I hate to admit it…but, those futile jobs seem to go to my husband…he is the one who seems to dig out the crumbs, grease and gooey stuff…Now…I’m really beginning to wonder about him???


  8. With 2 young kids, a grown man, dog, cat and 3 horses, I consider any act of cleaning futile and endless. I did however just get to cleaning behind every appliance – both in the old house and the new one because we just moved. I feel that should do us for another 20 years or so.


  9. Caddo Veil says:

    Well Ruth, I’m laughing–because you write this so well; but part of me is hollering to you: “Ruth! Write a novel, or read one-anything, for Pete’s sake!!” A quarter cup….sheesh–I do NOT want this measuring idea to rub off on me, please! God bless you–love, sis Caddo


    • Oh don’t worry sis Caddo… I am actually reading “On Writing” by Stephen King…. its wayyyy better than it sounds, too! Contrary to popular belief, I do not spend my days cleaning… that’s probably why there was 1/4 cup of stuff under my table.


      • Caddo Veil says:

        Oh, you are too cute!! Hmmm, now you’ve got me curious about that King book–will you let me know more, when you’ve finished it? And–“Ma’am, Step Away from the Cleaning Implements!”


  10. Lady Lovely says:

    The futile task that I have been avoiding is cleaning and organizing all my crafts! Such a chore, but must be done…one day 🙂


  11. Yes, another day of trying to keep the walk clear of snow. I am blessed to have a husband with a strong feminine gene and he tackles these types of random acts of futility. He is always taking the knobs off the stove and degreasing the entire thing. He uses sweeper attachments to sweep under the cupboard lips and around wall edges. When company is coming … he springs into action! 🙂


  12. I like your updated blog colors – easier on the eyes for reading! You’ve reminded me of every futile task that I’m trying to drag myself through today. Thank you?


    • Thanks.. I was hoping someone would comment. I didn’t shop around much when I first started blogging.. didn’t realize some themes have better “readability”
      Sorry I think I depressed you a bit. It’s ok.. no one will notice anyway.. that’s why it’s futile. :/


  13. Elaine says:

    Cleaning up the washing machine and vacuuming out the lint in the drier. . .


  14. lucewriter says:

    Fun post! Actually I feel a lot better about my kitchen now. Thank you ;).


  15. I’m so glad I’m not the only one engaged in Random Acts of Futility! The one thing I do that I’m sure is never noticed is sweeping alongside the stairs – there’s a small depression about 1 cm in width, between each step and the wall, and all sorts of motley bits get jammed in there. I use a very small brush and sweep each one on both sides of each step. I haven’t thought to measure the detritus (crumbs, small bits of my yoga mat that get caught in my cat’s paws, cat fur, you name it, it’s in those depressions) but next time, I will.
    Thanks for the laughs, I really enjoyed this.


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