How To Break In New Cowboy Boots

When we lived in the city, I considered myself an urban farm girl.  I milked goats, made cheese, gardened, canned, pulled goat kids out of their mamas, gave shots to goats that needed them, slaughtered chickens, autopsied rabbits.  But I wasn’t what I considered a true farm girl because all of my outdoor work I did in big, black rain galoshes.  Wellies.  Mucking boots.  In my glorified vision of farm life, real farm girls wear cowboy boots and I had never broken in a pair in my life.

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Now that we live in the honest to goodness country and are building an honest to goodness farm, that seems to be a skill my boys and I need to learn.  They dream of having horses and I can’t very well send them out amongst the real cowboys in their rain boots.  As a Christmas gift, my parents presented them with their very own brand new cowboy boots.  Beautiful leather, pristine condition.  New.  And since Christmas, that is how they have remained, complete with the tag hanging off the side.  I mean, what do you do with brand new shoes?  You don’t exactly wear them out into the mud and manure in the barn, right?  But, if not, how do boots go from looking like they do on the shelf at Big R to how they look on farmer’s feet?  Do you keep the new ones new for when you go make Sunday visits and buy some old worn out ones at Goodwill for the rest of the time?  The multitude of questions began to bother me.

Enter:  April Parks, a beautiful, friendly, goat farm owner, wife and mother.  We spent an hour at her place, Parks Oasis, a couple of weeks ago, perusing her selection of goats for sale.  Also on the farm were chickens, a cow, horses and herding dogs.  I looked down at her feet and made the determination, THIS is a real farm girl.  Her children were running this way and that, playing, riding horses, training dogs…and every last one of them had on cowboy boots.

After a long discussion about copper bolusing goats and without skipping a beat, I said, “This is a change of subject, but just how do you get your cowboy boots to look like that?  Do you just buy used ones?”  I still couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that new $85 boots would be used as working boots.  It is not in my frame of reference to take, say, some brand new $85 heels and purposely metamorphosize them into dirt kicking, barn cleaning work shoes.  Really, who does that?

April’s sweet (and non-judgemental) reply was…”You just wear them!”  Not able to believe my ears, I clarified her statement by saying, “You mean you just get them dirty and worn out on purpose?”  “Yep!  That’s the great thing about boots, you just hose them off!”

Hmmm.  Seriously?

Trusting April’s advice, later that week on a hot, dusty day, I sent the boys outside where they commenced a February (??) water fight with the hose…in their shorts, T-shirts…and brand new cowboy boots.

We’re on our way to being real farmers now.

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  This post ran in its edited version in the IndyBlog on February 14, 2015.

About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel. In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing. That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now. After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery. But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking. We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling. At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year. Well, it has been a year and I am back. Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing. I love it. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting. I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know. Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were. We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats. Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs. Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors. There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl. I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things. My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life. Lindsey
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