As a single working mom, the amount of time I get to spend with my daughter is limited to weekends, and even the weekends are often limited to a day and a night, if either of us wishes to have a social life, which we both do.  That’s really tough because we love each other and have fun together and each helps the other make sense out of life.  I know it’s the quality of time spent together more than the amount, but most of our time spent together is quality time – it just would be nice to have more of it.

So we had last night and today together.  We were both kind of tired last night – she was a little quiet, so we just hung and watched Jersey Shore and Ghost Adventures. She stretched out on God’s Cat.  I took a bath.  As I say, a quiet night.  Today, upon rising, we ate and then talked about life and compromises and how to live with difficult people and right/wrong conundrums and all sorts of things for an hour or more.   I think we both felt like we got a lot of value from our talk. Each time we have one of those really good talks, we seem to understand one another better.  So, no, this is NOT how to annoy your teenager. Or at least not how to annoy mine. We’re getting to that. Trust me.

Wanting to go out but not being sure what we wanted to do, we decided to hit Longmont and the flea markets. It’s a pretty good flea market town, and we like its Main Street.  So off we headed.  Our first stop was where we got God’s Cat, and we had been contemplating a second, but fortunately for my wallet, this flea market was closed on Sundays.  Across the highway, however, in their old location, was another flea market, with a parking lot sale going on.  Unfortunately, I did not realize the extent of the parking lot sale until I had actually placed my truck in the middle of the parking lot sale.  At that point, I realized that there was no place to park because there was a sale in the parking lot (see how I’m not picking up on the parking lot sale concept) and I had two choices:  run over people in their booths or squeeze between the cones indicating that I’m where I shouldn’t be. As Kelsea can tell you, I have extensive experience with putting my vehicle where it shouldn’t be. The people at Home Depot and at Camp Lejeune Marine Base can vouch for this as well.  We made as graceful an exit as possible and parked far away, hoping not to be recognized when we approached on foot.

We love flea markets.  We poked around to our heart’s content and found some things that were too expensive but too wonderful, such as PorkChop the metal boar:

$599 was a bit over my PorkChop budget.

An old freezer that had a buckle latch as opposed to an actual handle, and was in mint condition:

The freezer even had a name already!

China cats were nestled in the corners of your grandmother’s couch, staring at you psychotically for all eternity:

I love humans, I just can't eat a whole one. That's why I have so many little cat friends.

We both agreed that we would have to leave the house and never return were this to arrive at our door:

One of the creepiest things ever - or is it?

I revelled in a totally inappropriate sock monkey:

Totally inappropriate sock monkey

Made all the more inappropriate by its tag:

Yes, you read right.

As we exited, we encountered a life-sized nutcracker:

Open wide!

Kelsea looked askance at me when I said that you could fit a baby’s head in there.

We headed down to Main Street, and though most of the shops were closed on Sundays, because clearly any money spent on Sunday in Longmont should be going to the church, we did enjoy our window shopping experience.  We were also greeted by two gentlemen occupying a bench, who asked us if they could buy a cigarette from us, and when we said no, asked us for money to buy cigarettes, leading us to wonder how they intended to pay us for cigarettes had we had them to sell.

I wanted to share some of the interesting signs and displays from Main Street with you:

Yea for us! Tough luck for you.

I believe the torso on the right has a club foot. Who would do that to a (half a) mannequin? And both are going to wind up with yeast infections from wearing their jeans too tight.

A very clever window display for men’s clothing:

Just a friendly game.

With incredibly high stakes.

Longmont has lots of free and easily accessible public parking and numerous small public art installations:

Courtyard Mosaic

Incomprehensible Cheese-Covered Fork with Small Ball of (Apparent) Snot on the Third Tine

We did find Barbed Wire Books to be open. It claims to be the largest used bookstore in Longmont, and one we hadn’t yet visited, so we went in. I picked up a couple of mysteries.

Armchair in Barbed Wire Books.

Kelsea told me she was hungry enough to eat me, so we made our final stop The Pumphouse. The burgers were good and they had misters (those things that spray mist, not men – and when I say “not men”, I don’t mean that they don’t spray men, they WILL spray men, but men is not what they spray – oh, never mind) above the patio diners that sprayed just enough to cool, but not enough to dampen. Kelsea shared with me her most recent app acquisition:

Just say "moose". Just once. Just for me.

And so, we headed for home.

Now, you may be wondering about the “how to annoy my teenager” part of the day.  Well, that comes into play when I share with you what we bought at the flea market.

We found her a new army jacket from either the WWII or Korea era – I can’t tell which, but it’s in excellent shape, was only $10, and was a medic’s coat, so she is totally thrilled with that.  But sorry, no image.

We found a small $2 sign for the kitchen. It’s a reminder for me of a) how to cook, and b) how to live:

Can I take the advice of a tin plaque?

I discovered a 1960’s Ouija Board.  Previously, I have refused to have a Ouija Board in the house – perhaps because my Mother was so strongly opposed to them – but when I saw this one, I knew that it was the perfect time for it to arrive in my life.

Perhaps it will help me communicate with the Bungalow spirits.

And last, but so totally not least, I found Him.  I had been in the booth where He was before, and didn’t even see Him, but when I walked in again, He immediately caught my eye, and it was all over.  I had to have Him.

Him (or He)

And this is where I began to annoy my teenager.  She found Him terrifying.  Their initial meeting went something like this:

Me:  Look! I found the coolest thing ever!
Her: GAH! What IS that?
Me: I don’t know. Isn’t it awesome?
Her: NO!  You are NOT buying that.
Me: But He wants to come home with you.  Here, hold Him.
Her: Get that thing away from me.

Clearly, they did not have immediate chemistry.  So the rest of our afternoon played out along similar lines.

Me: He likes you. He’s looking at you.
Her: Well, make Him stop.
Me: Sorry, I can’t do that.  He does what He pleases.
Her: Mom, you’re sick.

Her: I’m hungry. Let’s go get a burger.
Me: Okay.  He likes burgers too.  And He thinks you’re pretty.
Her:  Mom, STOP IT.
Me: What? I’m just saying.

She offered to carry Him on her lap if she could keep the truck windows open, but I’m smarter than that.

He was apparently all the rage in the 1950s, with numerous other incarnations, and was highly collectible among housewives of the day.  Can you imagine coming home after a hard day at the office and being confronted by multiple versions of Him?  Kelsea would rather stick her head in a garbage disposal.

So I will keep Him until I sell Him on Ebay, or tire of annoying her, whichever comes first – and I think we know which one that will be.

I am so looking forward to the coming months with my daughter.