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GingerBKelly Posted - Aug 31 2015 : 11:11:02 AM
I placed a tea towel in my bathroom. I'm not sure, is it OK to decorate a bathroom with a tea towel? Where can I find decor like this, with cows on them?

The little milk bottle is from my grandpa's dairy. (Bayles dairy, Butler NJ).

Then, I want cow curtains or milk bottle curtains for my kitchen. Good Lord, where does it end?
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GingerBKelly Posted - Sep 14 2015 : 07:32:24 AM
On second thought, I'm sure Ken would rather have a cap that says, "I dig my farm girl." Just sayin'

Anyhow, I never knew that this was sooooo incredibly simple. But, yesterday, Ken and I churned out our first batch of fresh creamy raw milk butter! Tis' a nice little accomplishment for us.

Churning out my first batch of real raw milk butter makes me feel like I'm stepping into Grandma Elsie's shoes, one tiny toe at a time.

GingerBKelly Posted - Sep 08 2015 : 8:29:15 PM
HA HA! Excellent choice, most excellent!
maryjane Posted - Sep 08 2015 : 8:26:48 PM
How about a ball cap that says, "I dig farmgirls."
GingerBKelly Posted - Sep 08 2015 : 6:23:24 PM
Maryjane, my husband Ken finally saw my tea towel. He likes it and mentioned that he wants one that says, "Farm Boy at Heart." I snickered. He's so!
GingerBKelly Posted - Sep 02 2015 : 06:13:29 AM
Oh yes! Milk boxes are really neat! I love them too!

If only I had a milk box from Bayles dairy, that would make my day! Unfortunately, I think my mom had the last one that wasn't so rusty and she placed it at the entrance of our door. Eventually, I believe the weather made it deteriorate. If it was still good, perhaps she stored it. I don't know. Maybe she sold it or gave it to the museum. Mom passed away last year (still grieving), so I can't ask her, but in my prayers. Maybe one day I'll find the cute aluminum Bayles Dairy box that I believe had some sort of thermal insulation of sorts, I'll ask dad about that.

Note: We lived not to far from NYC. Mom was from North Arlington. I believe grandpa delivered milk as far as Patterson or Newark, which is only a hop skip and a jump from NYC.
GingerBKelly Posted - Sep 02 2015 : 06:08:23 AM
Well, shucks. Thanks, guys. But I love your stories too, just so ya know.

I'll look for photos and things to share. I know I have some around here. If I don't, after harvest season and I finish fall planting (I've got tomatoes, peppers, cabbages coming out of my ears now), I'll be headed back to NJ to visit dad. I'll ask for more photos and try to wiggle a little more "Bayles" Dairy paraphernalia from him. When dad has an audience, dad likes to talk (I'm a chip off the old block, I guess). I'm sure he will supply me with a never-ending parade of photos and fun stuff to take back home with me to share with ya'll. (Never thought I'd have an audience for this sort of stuff).

This is way "wicked" cool, as they say in New England. Life is good, SO good!
NellieBelle Posted - Sep 02 2015 : 05:53:57 AM
When I was a little girl, my dad drove a dairy truck and delivered milk etc. to those little boxes at peoples doors and porches. Pretty cool reading all the histories related to milk/cows/dairy/ restaurants.
Ron Posted - Sep 02 2015 : 05:16:20 AM
I still carry around the image of the dairy box by the apartment doors...this was in NYC mind you..the man in the white truck came a filled the little boxes with milk, butter and cheese and eggs...

Imagine how humanity survived with out the regulation .
maryjane Posted - Sep 02 2015 : 03:57:14 AM
Ginger, of course you have milk running in your veins! Raised in a former pasteurizing house saw to that. Do you have photos of it? I have always loved the name Elsie and now I know why:) I did name my most recent heifer, the girl Cindy is taking home, Elsa. I've always loved saying the name for starters.

Any photos of the Golden Nugget? Can you imagine being able to go to a diner today where all the dairy products are made right there and from a nearby family dairy none-the-less? I would spin nickles too!

I'm glad you're dreaming about your own someday dairy with your own bottles complete with family saying because your story will be so appealing. As it turns out, people (me included) are hungry for more than food--we want food with meaning, history, a new root crop of sorts, rural rootedness. I hope you can locate some photos of Elsie's cows.

I'm with Janet, stories like this are my mainstay. Loved it!!!! Once I have the people (like your family) and images in my mind's eye, I find I carry them around for inspiration--a different kind of fortified milk.
CloversMum Posted - Sep 01 2015 : 2:46:54 PM
What a heritage you have, Ginger, and some great photos. Love the saying that was stamped on the milk bottles!

Thank you for sharing!
NellieBelle Posted - Sep 01 2015 : 1:04:39 PM
Ginger I love your family history with the dairy and the photo. How truly special and wonderful it all is and thank you for sharing it with us. I soak the stories up like a sponge. Really love hearing about them. Just beautiful. Keep them coming.
maryjane Posted - Sep 01 2015 : 12:44:41 PM
I'm saving this fantastic, long story for 4:30 a.m. tomorrow along with a cup of coffee ... and cream! Wonderful Ginger! The photo is just amazing.
GingerBKelly Posted - Sep 01 2015 : 11:48:09 AM
MJ....the tea towel aprons are just too adorable! Way cute! Now I want!
GingerBKelly Posted - Sep 01 2015 : 11:23:32 AM
I do have stories about my family's dairy and milk business. Thank you for asking.

My father worked at the dairy, when he was young. LOL...he seems to be constantly pulling dairy paraphernalia out of the garage and basement to show me, now that we have a dairy cow and he knows I'm very interested. Dad has donated a lot of it to our local museum (I can't keep everything) and has given a few things to myself and my daughters. I have been begging for more milk bottles and milk crates, but so far dad can't find many. Milk bottles and things from our family's dairy are so special to me. They are the precious few things I want to decorate with, and that's about all.

My grandfather married my grandmother I'm not sure, maybe back in the early 1900's, maybe 1920 something. My grandmother's name was Elsie (such a cute old fashioned name, I love it!). Grandpa was named Everett. Grandma was born and raised in Sparta, NJ, cow country! Grandmother was a farm girl who commuted into Butler, via train, simply to work at the local rubber mill. While in Butler, she stayed at my granny's boarding house. This is how she met my grandfather and eventually, they decided to get married.

Because my grandmother's family were dairy farmers, my grandmother convinced my grandpa to go into the milk business. He did. My grandfather set up the pasteurized milk and delivery business and trucked milk from grandma's family farm, from Sparta to Butler.

Grandpa sold milk door to door to all the neighborhoods. He also sold milk to local schools (great business). I'm not so sure how long my grandmother and grandfather did this, but I do know that during the depression years, the milk business was very difficult and very hard work. Often, grandpa would have to barter for things and services, because people could not pay their milk bills. My dad said that the chimney of my grandpa's house was build on borrowed milk money, so was the player piano they had sitting in the parlor.

My Uncle Emmett helped with the milk business, along with my dad, Jack, and his brother, Robert. It was truly a family owned business for many years. From the stories my dad and Uncle Robert still share, they say the dairy was hard work, for everyone.

My dad has told me stories of how my grandmother would load big 80lb. cans of milk into the milk truck. About how grandma would transport the fresh milk from Sparta to Butler for processing. Every day, snow sleet rain or wind, my grandma was out doing this. She did this and much much more, simply to help keep things afloat during the depression.

Dad remembers the day grandma had a flat tire on the truck loaded down with hundreds of pounds of fresh milk. I have no clue how they found out (no cell phones, back then), but dad said that he went with grandpa to rescue grandma. Grandpa had to stop the dairy line, which stopped production. They fixed the tire and grandmother came home and worked into the wee hours of the night to keep things going.

I asked my dad, wasn't grandma afraid to travel back and forth by herself, back then? Dad mentioned to me that grandma was OK. She could take care of herself. Dad said that grandma packed a gun, (a revolver) under her seat for safety. I laughed! I can't even imagine how resilient and strong grandmother was, back then! I can picture my grandma, this stocky cute little woman with a dress and a white apron, packing and shooting a pistol. Too funny! But that's the way it was. It's really cool to know these things, about everyone, especially grandma.

Eventually, the business waned when grandpa had a difficult time finding help and struggled to deliver milk to all the people in the town and the schools. My Uncle Robert and my dad were older now. Both decided to marry and begin their own separate lives and eventually, separate businesses. My parents were married in 1958, so I guess it was about that time, when my grandpa decided to move away from the dairy business and start a new adventure with grandma.

They were smart. They started a luncheonette business. This was a brilliant idea, not only because my grandmother was an excellent cook, but because they built a reputation on the great milk they got from Sparta, from the dairy cows raised by my grandmother's family. The good milk from my grandmother's kin-folk's farm was wonderful for all the homemade goodies my grandmother would make to serve people at the luncheonette. When my grandmother was alive, the business thrived.

About the same time, my father and mother were looking for a place to take up roots. They wanted a home. So my dad agreed to purchase my grandfather's pasteurizing building, for a reasonable price, and build our home next door to grandpa's house. They worked very hard to create a nice cozy home for me and my brother to grow up in. I was raised in my grandfather's pasteurizing building, so to speak. Imagine that? Maybe this is why I'm sure that milk runs through my!

The Golden Nugget luncheonette, downtown Butler, NJ was a great success. This cute little 50's style luncheonette served shoppers and people who worked at the rubber mill, nearby. It was a lovely place, with spinning chairs, amazing food smells, nostalgic coca-cola glasses and very interesting people. When my grandmother was living and working there, the food was out of this world!

My grandmother would make homemade pies, homemade ice cream, home made cottage cheese and butter. She used fresh milk and eggs "farm fresh" from the Sparta dairy. I remember going into grandpa's store for a tall cool glass of milk and a lovely slice of homemade grandma's apple pie with ice cream. Yummy!

At the Nugget, the factory workers taught me how to spin nickles on the tables. I was like their live little Shirley Temple, cute and friendly to most everyone. Although grandpa would sometimes shoo me away, because I wasn't a "paying" customer, I'll never forget how heavenly grandma's pie and ice cream was. I couldn't get enough of that lovely, creamy, farm-fresh milk.

I wish my grandmother could have lived long enough to pass down this amazing wealth of cooking and dairy farming knowledge to me. Unfortunately, she passed when I was only around 6 or 7 years old. My grandfather didn't talk too much, back then. I think his family believed that children should be seen and not heard, so I didn't talk to him much. I was busy being a little girl too.

Now, I tend to ask my father about everything dairy. My dad knew about the operations and how all the equipment was used and about my grandmother's family's cows.

One cute thing I do remember is the little saying grandpa had stamped on the dairy's glass milk bottles. It was an adorable little cartoon of a calf who appeared to be leaping into the air and saying,

"Boy oh Boy do I feel fine, try Bayles' milk I just had mine."

I'd like to have the same saying stamped on my own milk bottles, one day. We shall see, we shall see. One foot in front of the other...

Recently, during my last visit, dad gave me this photo of my Uncle Emmett and one of the later milk trucks (we had early 1930's old milk trucks too, but this is only one photo I could find to share with ya'll, in a pinch).

My dad is the young lad with the hat sitting on the running board. My two cousins Joan and Elinor are sitting next to my dad. This photo was taken in 1941. My Uncle Emmett used to raise eggs for delivery as well as help with the milk business. I remember his chicken coop, behind our house. Anyhow, when my Uncle Emmett decided to part company with my grandfather, the business name morphed from Bayles Port Murray Dairy Products, simply to Bayles Dairy. (my maiden name is Bayles)

Maybe one day I'll find a few better photos. I'd like to share some of my grandmother's dairy cows. I'll ask my father about this.

This is the first time I've finally found friends, especially other women, who share the same sort of affinity I have for all things dairy and cow. I'm kinda giddy with joy about this. So, the pleasure is all mine. Again, thanks for asking. I'm always happy to share! I will ask dad about more dairy photos. If he has them, I'll share with ya'll if you like.

GingerBKelly Posted - Sep 01 2015 : 10:27:05 AM
Thank you for the tips, folks! I've been away, enjoying Mary Jane's Milk Cow Kitchen book (totally hypnotizing). Thank you, Mary Jane for sharing such knowledge and fun stuff with others who love everything cow, like me.

I shall look for the milk cow decor and kitchen stuff, a little over time. We need to watch our pennies, especially if my husband's idea about a new metal barn was something he is thinking seriously about. (that would be really nice!)
NellieBelle Posted - Sep 01 2015 : 04:45:02 AM
Ginger, the last time I looked you could still buy some of MaryJane's "Milk Cow Kitchen" fabric at I'm making curtains and making seat covers for milk cans with some of her multi fabric to put in the new milk parlor. Missouri Star Quilt Co. had a good selection at one time. Do you remember much about your grandpa's dairy Ginger, I would also love to know the history.
txbikergirl Posted - Aug 31 2015 : 6:11:44 PM
i'm a huge fan of etsy ;>

i love a shop there called "high fiber".

i do NOT know this woman, just happened upon her shop a year or so ago and have now purchased many towels, napkins, etc. she has cute cow and chicken towels and napkins.

even if you don't like her stuff it will give you ideas ;>
maryjane Posted - Aug 31 2015 : 12:03:13 PM
Tell us about your grandfather's dairy. How cool is that?
maryjane Posted - Aug 31 2015 : 12:02:36 PM
Cute! I recognize that:) I had some Milk Cow Kitchen fabric but I think our inventory isn't so great any more,
Looks like we only have the milk bottle cap version left.

Also, Charlene's mother embroiders awesome cow tea towels. I'll see if I can find the photo I took of them. We made some of them into aprons,

Just a heads up, it doesn't stop. I'm total cow d├ęcor at this point:)