I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. I hope you took time to sincerely reflect on all you have to be thankful for. I hope your feast was scrumptious.
    And, I hope you wore your stretchy pants – because there’s nothing more uncomfortable than indulging in too much pecan pie and wondering afterward if the waistband of your pants truly was devised as a weapon of torture.
    I often have such thoughts about the waistband of my jeans while I’m milking – even without any such Thanksgiving-style indulgence. Squatting to milk cows in a stall barn while wearing properly fitted, traditional blue jeans is most certainly a form of torture.
    I’ve tried wearing looser blue jeans. But then my milking routine ends up going something like this: prep a cow, hike up my jeans, yank down my sweatshirt, pull my towel belt back into place, prep another cow, then repeat the entire jeans-sweatshirt-belt sequence.
    I tried wearing bibs while milking. The bibs eliminated the waist-constriction problem and the pants-falling-down problem, but created two new problems.
    First, when I squat in bibs, the motion pulls on the fabric around my knees and puts too much pressure on my kneecaps. Real knee pain trumps tight-waist discomfort, so that’s one strike against bibs.
    Second, bibs don’t work so well for those of us who drink a lot of tea – if you know what I mean. The process of removing layers while wearing bibs is as maddening as the constant hiking-up of comfortable jeans. Strike two. I tell you, sometimes a girl can’t win.
    So that brings me to yoga pants. Since leggings or stretchy pants or athleisure, or whatever you want to call them, have now become acceptable everyday attire, why hasn’t someone designed yoga pants for farming? We do more bending, squatting and reaching in a day than any yogi does in a yoga session.
    Of course, traditional yoga pants would need some upgrades. Life in the barn is a lot more demanding than it is on the mat.  
    Insulated barn yoga pants would be nice for winter chores, so I don’t have to deal with thermal underwear or tights under my pants.  
    Water-resistant barn yoga pants would help for rainy days and the mornings when I hike through wet pasture grass to fetch tardy cows.
    Pockets are essential, as well. Like most farmers, I need lots places to stash the variety of gear that accompanies me throughout the day.
    And, then I really need some tough fabric that holds up to walking 20,000 steps a day without disintegrating where my thighs rub against each other, doesn’t split across the knees from squatting 200-plus times a day, and sheds cow and calf hair so I don’t have to deal with animal hair in my washing machine and dryer vent screen.
    Lastly, it would be helpful if these barn yoga pants were either relatively affordable or durable enough to last several years so that my return on investment is positive. Most of my barn pants come from Goodwill or thrift stores, because it’s hard to justify spending money on clothing that will be immediately stained or literally worn out within a year.
    Perhaps my requests are unreasonable, but I’m really not asking my pants for anything more than the world asks of farmers: survive in the most challenging work environment and do it for the least possible cost.
    Sadie and her husband, Glen, milk 100 cows near Melrose, Minn. They have three children – Dan, 11, Monika, 8, and Daphne, 5. Sadie also writes a blog at www.dairygoodlife.com. She can be reached at sadiefrericks@gmail.com