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Sunday, January 09 2011

Remember when the Divas went shopping?  The Divas Go Shopping

Lest anyone think our "diva-like" behavior is limited to Christmas shopping, let me share yesterday's adventure with you . . .

Other Half announces that on Saturday we will go to the cattle auction. Thinking this is a simple road trip for fun, I agree. Other Half then announces that we are taking the cattle trailer. "Why" I venture cautiously. It is winter. We have sold our spring calves. The cows are calving. I'm staring at another winter of cows calving in the cold rain and hauling hay in the mud. Why add more responsibilities?

"You never know what we might find."

Translated: He has just sold an old farm truck and the money is burning a hole in his pocket.

Saturday arrives.  A cattle auction is for Other Half, as Toys R Us is for your average 6 year old - an adventure. Give him a pocket full of money and you might as well have handed a 6 year old a credit card as he walks through the sliding glass doors.

We make decision to take only Trace, Kindergarten Cowdog. He is delighted - he is riding shotgun to the cow sale. Yee ha! Other Half has decided to buy Lily (Top Hand Border Collie) some baby calves to practice her cowdog skills on this winter. I argue that he would not have to do that if he had kept the 2010 calf crop instead of selling them. He argues that at the time, the money was more pressing than letting the dog play with calves valued at $700 each.  Touche.

Two hours later we arrive at cattle auction with every other rancher in a four county area. By now, it is noon, my caffeine level has dropped dangerously low and Diva (Liza Minelli) emerges from my personality. Because of crowd, decide against taking Trace inside sale. Send Other Half inside to buy cattle.  Trace and Liza Minelli stroll around outside and examine the LONG line of cattle trailers lined up to drop off cattle.  Trace is quite interested.  Liza and Trace watch as they slap stickers on cow butts.

Liza decides that this is a good place to actually do some re-con work because you can see the cattle better out here than when they are run through the sale.  Decide that Trace and I can phone Other Half with tag numbers of good calves.  Other Half used to be an assistant ranch manager on a 44,000 acre cattle ranch.  Other Half has spent almost 50 years buying and selling cattle.  Liza has spent . . . less . . . considerably less . . . time . . . (none!) buying cattle.  But never mind THAT!  Liza feels completely qualified to judge good cow flesh. So Liza and Trace walk the trailers looking for nice, clean, beefy calves that will put on weight quickly. There are too many to bother with.  Liza becomes bored long before Trace does.  Liza wants a frappuccino.

Other Half phones demanding location. He announces that he has just purchased a calf.  Liza is expecting to hear that he has purchased a nice beefy red or black Angus-looking calf. He informs Liza that cattle prices are too high today and so instead of buying three, he just bought one. ???? Liza is annoyed.  Why even bother to buy just one?  You can't work dogs on just one calf! Wellll . . . perhaps the calf was of such exceptional quality that he decided to add it to his breeding herd. Liza inquires as to breed. Other Half describes a scrawny roping calf. 

 Roping calf in rain

Liza has a fit. Liza launches straight into Diva Domain.  Liza is not happy.  Why buy it then?!!!!

Other Half launches straight into Diva Domain himself. Enter Aretha Franklin.  Aretha informs Liza that if she didn't like the calf he purchased, then she should have had her ass in there with him when he was bidding on it. Put Trace back in truck. Stomp into sale barn to show cow man (who has logged almost a half century in cattle) how to buy good calves.

See nice calves cross through.  "Get any of those," Liza informs him.  Other Half is not bidding. He is looking at numbers on tally board.  The cattle are moving through quickly and Liza is having trouble caculating the price per pound weight with the actual weight of the calf who just left the area. It is all moving entirely too fast.  Unlike the sheep and goats, which sell by the animal, cattle are sold by the pound, and then weighed as they step out of the arena.  The weight then flashes on the screen.  Liza wants little cows to train her dog on, but she also wants to re-sell the calves next summer at a major profit, thus, she does NOT want scrawny roping cows, she wants nice beefy BEEF calves.  (Liza has gotten a bit spoiled when it comes to having nice cows.) 

But Aretha is the COW person. Liza is the GOAT/SHEEP person. Liza has trouble remembering how big the animal which just left the arena was when comparing it to the number flashed on the screen. It is much easier to simply snap at Other Half and say, "Buy that one!" when a fat toddler animal crosses the arena.

And he does. He buys a little black angus thing.

He then informs Liza that the next calf will come out of HER money.  Do what??!!  Okay fine then.  Liza watches numbers flash and becomes bored.  Liza announces that Trace needs a break and informs Other Half to just buy another good beefy one as she starts to climb down stairs.  Aretha Franklin informs Liza Minelli to get her ass back there and select the calf SHE wants.  And so she does.  Liza quickly finds a nice little Charolais-looking heifer and informs Aretha to get THAT ONE.  He does.  Liza now owns a cow. 

 Liza is bored and ready to go.

Aretha picks up the paper work.  Liza's one cow cost almost as much as Aretha's two cows.  Holy Crap!  Is THAT what those numbers mean? Obviously Liza and the meat packers are buying the same type of calf. Oh well.  The scrawny roping calf will probably eat just as much as Liza's white elephant and not gain as much weight. Liza is quite certain that she will double her money on this calf by next summer.

Aretha gives Liza the paper work and tells her to give it to the man at the loading dock while he gets the cattle trailer. Liza strides towards the man like she knows what she's doing, then hesitates. Pink or Yellow???  Which copy does he get?  She doesn't want to look like she's never done this before.  (She hasn't!) Notes that he has a pink paper in his hand.  DUH!  He must take the PINK copy!  (Liza IS actually a Trained Investigator in her Other Life!) Give man pink copy like she's done it all her life.  (Ah ha!  Take THAT, ARETHA!)  Aretha backs up trailer to loading dock like he's done it all his life, (which he has!).  Liza peeks through the bars at HER calf.  Do what???  She's the same size as Other Half's scrawny roping calf but she cost three times as much! OUCH! 

Other Half then informs Liza that there are cows you train dogs and horses on (i.e. roping cows/longhorn crosses) and there are beef cattle.  (Liza declined to remind him that there are dairy cattle too, because it just didn't seem like the time.) Instead, she argued that the beefy calf would gain weight faster than the roping calf and why put feed into something that wasn't going to double in value. Aretha agreed that Liza had a valid point. Since now Liza was not only suffering from LCL (low caffeine level) but also LCBL (low checkbook level), Aretha pulled out of the sale barn parking lot and headed out in search of caffeine.  Then . . . he informed Liza that although it would be dark when they returned home,  they would still need to tag and worm all the calves and castrate the roping calf before they ate dinner. Yeee . . .  freakin' . . . ha!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 07:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
ROTFLMAO!!! Love those DIVAS!!
Posted by Lynne on 01/09/2011 - 08:27 PM
It would have been cheaper to buy a good/trained cow dog wouldn't it? You don't want sweet Lily in with the cattle anyway. Cattle are mean. :) As for the chores awaiting you before dinner--no thanks. Some things are better left until the light of day.
Posted by CeeCee on 01/10/2011 - 07:59 AM
Surely you could have gotten 5 nannie goats and one billie goat for the same amount of money-that would really show Aretha! WHat were you thinking?????
Posted by Sue in Wyoming on 01/10/2011 - 05:38 PM
I KNOW! Can you believe that??!! I could have bought 3 or 4 more ewes! BUT . . . she is a nice calf and hopefully I'll be able to double my money on her. God willing! Right now we're having to teach her how to eat at the trough because she appears to have just been pulled off her momma and has no life skills. The roping calf, on the other hand, is teaching the beef calves how to eat. (Groan . . . I hate it when OH is right!)
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 01/10/2011 - 06:07 PM
Oh My Lord! This could be Tommy and I! She is quite a looker though. Nice bone, good top line. Keep her to make more good-looking,beefy babies! I once bought a horse at auction while arguing with my Dad. I now sit on my hands at ALL auctions!
Posted by Dani Ezer on 01/10/2011 - 08:30 PM
Thank you! I like her. Unfortunately she is wilder than a March Hare. Other Half's choice, the roping calf, is much calmer and easier to handle. (I hate it when he's right!)
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 01/12/2011 - 10:42 AM

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