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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Jan 24 2016 :  6:19:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Charlene asked about my towels i am using in the milking parlor, so i thought i would start a thread for misc milking parlor stuff.

i don't use throw away stuff at my house. ok, we don't reuse TP or qtips... so we aren't over the edge in this principal. but we don't have disposable plates or napkins or utensils, etc. and this applies to the milking parlor and entire farmstead. we do have disposable gloves and sanitary wipes for when they are medically necessary, and a roll of paper towels is sitting around in case we need it (in the same place it was 3 months ago) - but these are rarely used, but when needed they will be used liberally. sidebar: i actually adopted this practice for financial reasons and it had nothing to do with being environmentally friendly, that is just a nice extra that makes me feel doubly righteous about it ;>

i bought my towels off amazon. they are by "Liliane Collection" and they are actually commercial kitchen towels. they are 100% cotton and have virtually no lint. it is important for me to easily distinguish between milking parlor and other towels, as they are never washed/dried/stored together. so having these towels with colored stripes puts the entire house on notice that they are milking parlor towels and not to be touched for anything else.

i use two sizes:

- the smaller is for washing cow udder, teats, or a whole bath if she has a spa day. these are 14" x 25" and very generous. i actually use them folded in half, and they are still large - but that gives me a nice surface to scrub away gunk and still flip it over for another washing without having anything bleed through from the other side. a normal day takes 6-8 towels to clean an udder (3-4 for general udder cleaning, then one each per teat). a particularly nasty pre-milking cleaning in this household is referred to has a "10 towel day".
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IFTRSBC?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage



- the larger is mostly for sanitation/protection. such as lining stainless bowls to put milking supplies in, laying on my counter to put clean sanitized milking supplies on, covering milking supplies during milking just in case the "poop hits the fan", etc. these are 20" x 30". http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L5JF5VO?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage



amazon sells them in various packs of smaller or larger quantities, so search around to find the quantity you need. I have 100 of the smaller and 50 of the larger, although I have probably only used about 30 of the smaller and 10 of the larger as i wash a load of these towels almost every day and thus keep using them over and over. i have a special drawer in my milking parlor just for these towels, so i could pull out a ton at once if i needed them for some reason. that just makes me feel good, even thought it will never be necessary.

it has been four months now and i don't have any signs of wear and tear other than some light betadine staining. the towels are holding up well, no unraveled seems or threads running amok or worn areas. i am very pleased at the quality. i also love the look, just clean simple kitchen towels with a lovely stripe.

i have a stainless bucket in my laundry room only for these towels. normally i come in from milking and that day's towels go straight into the washer with a bit of soap and a dash of bleach. but if lover boy managed to start a load of laundry then i toss today's towels in the stainless bucket and then most likely wait until the next day to be washed with that day's towels.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Jan 24 2016 6:26:03 PM

CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 24 2016 :  8:02:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great thread idea! And thank you for the link for towels. I enjoy hearing how organized you are and am adopting several of your ideas around here. Thank you, Cindy.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Jan 25 2016 :  08:00:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
you are most welcome charlene! i know i am just a homestead, so that carries different expectations than a commercial enterprise. obviously some of my ideas wont work where people have regulations that require certain products, etc.

i can tell you that the organization is paying off. i think that is why i was finding it so hard when lover boy's back was bothering him, "his" chores aren't nearly as organized and it took a lot more effort/time to complete daily ;> so we'll be organizing those later this year as well! when things are efficient and streamlined i truly find the choring a delight, its such a meditation.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 25 2016 :  08:47:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love your practicality and frugalness ... and the specific numbers of towels that you use! You are most definitely a numbers gal!! :) Helps all of us, though. I am hoping someday to have a smaller stackable washer/dryer set in my mudroom so all of my farm animal laundry can be taken care of right there without being carried through the house down to the laundry room. Oh, the wish list keeps growing at a rapid rate; but, at least it goes on the wish list and then we can ponder and really decide if its necessary or not in our situation.

I also know that organization really helps Cecily ... she follows a list to a "T". So, if I can train her on certain farm-related tasks the right way the first time, it will ALWAYS get done the same way. And, I can see when things are streamlined and efficient how it is relaxing ... no stress or redoing. A win-win for everyone.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

11132 Posts


Posted - Jan 25 2016 :  11:37:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the thread on Misc. milking parlor items Cindy. Always interesting to see how other folks do things, and I'm sure we can all improve in one facet or another. Enjoyed reading your post and suggestions and links to your towels. Thank you.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 26 2016 :  10:32:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Janet, be sure to share tips, too! You have oodles of experience and don't waste things either.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Jan 26 2016 :  5:01:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks for the kind words gals. i spend so much time stalking HJO and taking away advice from all of you, its just great that we all share everything around here. it sure has made my cow adventure this year doable!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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maryjane

7001 Posts


Posted - Jan 27 2016 :  06:37:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here are the towels I use. I wash/dry a batch everyday--probably 20-30 towels/day. They help keep everything sanitary during milking. Plus, I actually enjoy the chore, the routine, the neat and tidy nature of it all. Seriously. I even like folding them. I think it reminds me of when I had children in diapers (flannel squares that my mother and I had sewn that I folded just so every day).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FZPR6FM?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 27 2016 :  09:11:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MaryJane, may I please send you my laundry?? I'm not quite at the point of enjoying this particular task! :) And, I'd love to share the laundry joy in case you need more of that sort of joy!! smiles...

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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maryjane

7001 Posts


Posted - Jan 27 2016 :  7:44:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, smiles! I do think my passion for laundry and washing dishes comes from the fact that I lived without running water and a washing machine for so long. I'm still amazed that I can put clothes into a round door, push a button, walk away, come back, and they're clean. And running water? I've been know to bow my head at the sight of a tap. Cold and even hot. Water! Right from a pipe. Inside. Where it's warm. And dry. Like we always say, it's the little things:)

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 27 2016 :  9:28:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love those little things as well ... but actually folding and ironing? Well, not so much. :-) But someday when I'm not washing 3-4 loads a day it may be a possibility that I enjoy it!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Jan 28 2016 :  04:35:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i have to admit to LOVING to wash dishes and do laundry. although when we have 10 loads of laundry one after another all in one day and no one else is putting up clean clothes that can be a bit too much.

many days when cleaning up the milking parlor i thank the heavens for plumbed water. i always think, i could make my own hot water - as long as i have plumbing so i don't have to carry the water ;> what a blessing it is to have these luxuries that previous generations didn't.

finally, years ago i heard from a wise woman to consider anything you do for your house/family, that you don't particularly enjoy, as you are "blessing them". this was PROFOUND for me as a new wife - when my lover boy drops laundry all over, instead of nagging him to pick it up I just do it and smile and think to myself "i am blessing him." when i do dishes, i am blessing my family and house. when i do laundry, the same.

this doesn't mean you are a passive wimpy wife and let everyone run all over you. it means that we all contribute to our households, and rather than nag at the hubby for his very few negatives i just compensate for those since he also does a million and one positive things to bless me each and every day. so for me it was about turning a negative into a positive, and blessing my loved ones.. and after over a decade it has truly become a positive habit and action and makes me smile and happy.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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NellieBelle

11132 Posts


Posted - Jan 28 2016 :  07:27:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't mind doing anything if I'm feeling well. I love to get up and get going, doesn't matter what the chore, and I'm grateful when I'm feeling well enough to do them. As far as picking up after family, well, I'm not as sweet as you Cindy. I expect them to pick up and help out, out of respect and appreciation for the home that we are blessed to have. And I will do the same for them, out of love and respect for the work they do. That way we're all contributing and happy.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

7001 Posts


Posted - Jan 28 2016 :  08:50:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Speaking of "droppings," I know we're supposed to think we're blessed each time we clean up after our cows (think gardens and the image of a cotton farmer in India capturing what his 4 to 6 cows give him in sacred golden bowls--no manure, no cotton, no farm, no life without manure), but I'm not sure about running around behind Nick when he drops his clothing, although ...

Now I really have to run.


MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 28 2016 :  10:15:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love your perspective, Cindy. It nips those discontent thoughts right in the bud! I also try hard to be thankful and be verbal about it (not always as good as I should be!) when other family members are "blessing" me by picking up after me. I do often use the words with my family, "Leave it better than you found it ... even by a tiny measure." Not only put your own dishes in the dishwasher but also the extra cup in the sink or put away your own clothes and also one extra pile of folded laundry ... you get the idea. It does help when everyone pitches in.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Jan 28 2016 :  4:52:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
oh ladies, don't give me too much credit... i am more of a drill sergeant personality. i use the blessing thought to combat the "[bleep]y wife syndrome". i look around me and my generation woos their men, marries them, then proceeds to complain about anything and everything, and then is surprised it doesn't work. i don't mean that everything is women's fault, i just don't like the constant [bleep]ing... men are mostly so much easier, treat them well and they respond great.

but i must say, mary jane if they are dropping their clothes then its definitely a blessing and don't stand around doing nothin'!


Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Feb 02 2016 :  11:11:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was rereading this today and just started laughing at both MaryJane and Cindy! You two!!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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Sydney2015

1156 Posts


Posted - Feb 02 2016 :  11:40:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree! I started laughing also!!

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Feb 02 2016 :  4:54:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i have to give credit to HJO as they cleaned up my language a bit ;> thanks for making it clean MJ.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  7:26:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
because i am hopelessly neurotic i will now post info on my milking parlor cleaning bottles.

i tried two different heavy duty industrial chemical approved spray bottles - and both had the seals eaten away by bleach and vinegar within a month and froze up. so i tried these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01314J23M?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

they are pretty, and at two months are holding up wonderfully. the glass is heaver than the plastic ones i had, but the weight is a nice weight in my hand, probably because they aren't too big. i do refill the diluted bleach one weekly. being glass i just write on them with a gold sharpy "bleach" or "vinegar" and i can tell the difference. they do also come in brown if you want different colors.



for soaps, i use these plastic numbers that are the perfect size for my windowsill http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QBOKGQ2?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage
they are a kinda cute roundy squatty size, perfectly balanced so no tippage when you one handed push down. i have one for hand scrubby soap to clean hands, one for liquipfan, and one for castille soap. they look like this on my cute holder


and here is where they sit on the windowsill above the sink


the out of place bottle to the left is the "foaming hand soap" dispenser that has been around for about ten years. lover boy has to have foaming soap. maybe most of you farmgirls know this, but instead of buying foaming soap you just keep the one dispenser and then buy a gallon replacement of whatever regular liquid soap you want. then mix that regular liquid soap with water at a 1 to 6 ratio (or 1:8, your water minerals might make a difference). voila - inexpensive foaming hand soap ! i have a gallon of liquid soap that i have been using for this and it has lasted years. no joke.

i have two sets of all this, one for the milking parlor and one for the kitchen. don't have the sinks all up in the milking parlor yet so the reality is all the milk bottle cleaning is still done in the kitchen.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Feb 05 2016 7:29:44 PM
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  8:09:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You make the basics look so pretty! And, yes, you are neurotic but I learn so much from you! :) Keep it coming! My Amazon wish list keeps growing with items that you mention. Thank you.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Feb 25 2016 :  4:42:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
so here is the original milk trolley cart i referenced in the milking parlor thread



note all the grooming and prep supplies on the floor to the left. i got another trolley cart and here is that setup. i used a few little "coop cups" that hang nicely to put my teat dip cups in so they don't leak on anything - it has made my life super duper happy. and my large flat back hanging stainless bucket on the right side holds all my dirty towels and then can easily be detached to take in to wash each morning.
the coop cups i bought are here and i like them as you can put them facing in or out on the cart, and they are solid - they don't move around. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002U4MVH4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage



i also found a few of the same flat back hanging buckets in one quart size (baby size!!), perfect for teat cups as well. so i am trying them out. the bottom left is one of these, while the bottom right is the coop cup. the top left is also the same size one quart flat back handing bucket.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0021WVQ58?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00



one use i found for the same one quart hanging bucket is to put one on the milking trolley, so that when i am done milking i can put the milking inflations in it when i remove the bottles from them - it holds them nicely and keeps them clean and not rolling around on anything else.

my intent here is just to find easy ways to keep things clean, without creating extra clean up. one of my pet peeves had been that the teat cups tended to leak on things, and i didn't want things all icky. with the coop cups i was facing them out before milking and then my clue was that they didn't get faced back inward until i had cleaned them up... that system doesn't work with the one quart flat back buckets but its not like that is hard for me to remember to do.

i ordered a few enameled trays for the bottom of the trolley shelves but they were too big (size advertised was less than actual). i'll report back when i find an acceptable solution there. i really just want one for the top grooming shelf so that i can lay out brushes instead of putting them in the bucket like they are now.

is this the cutest little stainless bucket ever or what?

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Feb 25 2016 4:55:06 PM
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Feb 25 2016 :  8:09:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cindy, you crack me up. Just when I think I am organized. . . They are the cutest little buckets ever.
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NellieBelle

11132 Posts


Posted - Feb 26 2016 :  04:19:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All set up Cindy. Nice. A place for everything and everything in it's place. I doubt I will ever be that organized. You had a good teacher in MaryJane.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

7001 Posts


Posted - Feb 26 2016 :  04:37:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would say I'm learning from Cindy at this point:) Two flat-backed buckets on order!

Hubby hadn't been in the milking parlor for quite a while. When he saw Cindy's cute little teal parlor carts for the first time this past weekend, he exclaimed what an improvement they are. Total cute-ness combined with major functionality (he didn't say that exactly).

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Feb 26 2016 :  09:51:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks ladies! i am neurotically organized so its an easy thing to get overoccupied with.
janet has it right, "mis en place"!

and mary jane, i haven't even disclosed to you yet my plans for remodeling the super duper milkmaid throne! i am waiting until sally is dried off, then i'll be turning my attention to that and hopefully have some cool pics to send to you. i think your megan will find it interesting as well, as long as i can pull it off.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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