Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Green Fireballs, Black Cats, Brown Underwear


Luke’s mother-in-law is former LAPD, a licensed property appraiser and a self-described crazy cat lady. None of which has prepared her for TR readers. All questions and answers are real.

Hey de ho all – well it is Thursday again, another day at the funny farm, ah, I mean ranch. Things are a bit late today, but better late than never. Fun day today. I had already fallen asleep by the time my questions came in at 7pm. Yep, I crashed at 6:30 pm, even missed dinner. It’s a b**ch getting old. It was a long day for me and I guess LYT got really busy. Last week was one of those weeks: it was my 58th birthday and 32nd anniversary, Both were 1st without my husband. LYT and Mrs LYT took over and sent 2 lovely sets of flowers and I also got a TV for the bedroom. Baby Frizzy is checking out the flowers and they were approved.

Getting hot here in the desert; we hit 95 yesterday. The garden is starting to sprout and I got the first vac done on the pool. The pool will need a couple of more passes with the sweeper before it is ready to open for the summer. We love to submerge in the pool like hippos and then BBQ dinner. Well, better get on with the questions.

dnjscott – Does it get cold in the winter in JT like in Vegas? Ever seen a ghost?

Yes, it does get cold here in Joshua Tree. We get snow at least 1 or 2 times almost every winter. The snow is enough to make a snowball or two, but not enough to have to shovel. If we don’t get snow, we get freezes. Last year we had to replace all the exterior plumbing due to freeze bursts – it had just gotten to old and finally went. Had lovely water spouts all over the yard. Now during the winter we can turn off lots of the water areas and drain pipes, only keeping the main line to the house open during winter.

Yes I have seen a ghost. We have an old house in Glendora, CA. It was our first house and is now a rental. The house was built in 1888 and was part of the first church in Glendora. Anyway, after I first moved in and re-decorated the house from bachelor to family home, things started to happen in the house. My husband had the house before we got married and he did not have much in the house except for a refrigerator with a bottle of wine and an ant colony.

In the dining room I put out a silver tea set – well, the teapot kept tipping over with nothing in the house to knock it over. Also we were in the living room on several nights and the heavy curtains at the front window would open and close like someone was looking out the curtains. Again, nothing in the house to move the curtains – he had not gotten any cats when this was going on. Another time, in the middle of the night, we heard footsteps on the stairs coming upstairs. They were heavy and woke us up. Guns drawn for a burglar and there was no one on the stairs or in the house.

do you have a favorite tv cop or as a former cop, do you dislike all representations of cops on tv

I really like the old cop shows that I grew up on. Anything Dragnet by Jack Webb. I loved Adam 12. Both of these shows were on when I was becoming interested in being a police officer. Then the icing on the cake was to get to work in LA. I got to walk a foot beat in Central division (Adam 12). The radio call for them was 1 Adam 12. The one stands for Central division. Each division has a number that is in front of the call sign. Rampart is 2 etc. Adam is a 2 man unit and Mary is motor officer, Sam is generally a Sargent. Jack Webb was a total machine to rep LAPD, but the shows were wonderful.

I also loved Baretta with Robert Blake. I got to work overtime security several times on this show when they were filming downtown. Mr. Blake was very nice to me. I was generally the only female officer on the set and he loved to bend my ear on female cops. Mr. Blake was always kind and generous on the set and no, I don’t think he killed his wife. Not the Robert Blake I knew. By the way the exterior that was used for his apt is at 6th and Main in downtown LA.

Another fun fact is that one of my training officers was part of the composite cop for the Joseph Wambaugh books like The Blue Knight (Bumper Morgan). Wambaugh was a Sgt. in Central and he built characters off real officers. When I was assigned to this guy he made me walk the beat always behind him when we first started. He was old school and had been assigned this “female”. He told me the first day that females should be home and not here on skid row. It took a couple of good arrests and I was finally allowed to walk next to him. A few years later I saw my friend again with a new trainee, this time a guy with a diamond stud in his ear. This guy was walking further back then I had to. I stopped and we spoke for a few and I heard all about the earring and how at least it was right on a female cop. My Donald has since retired.

Question 1: if you use a time machine and are hurtling through whatever it is that is outside of time would you be affected if say someone at the same moment your device was switched on went to before that moment and killed you or just destroyed the device
as you are outside of time in this device do you cease to exist or is it the moment the machine stops in the time stream either in the present past or future that you no longer exist

I think I would just go poooof in space and time.

Question 2: if you could use a transporter device that makes a duplicate you with all your memories to be beamed out into the universe to explore whilst you remain on earth and one day have their duplicates beam to earth to share their memories of the duplicate that made them would you do it and what questions would you ask them

Oh, this sounds like a lot of fun. I would rather explore space on my own, but sending a double to to it and then share would also be good. I could be safely here and the double could get into trouble. Since I first watched Star Trek and Star Wars I have always believed that there are others in space. Why should we be the only ones – sort of grand of us. I would want to know about their culture, families, history all kinds of things. It would be good to learn about their advances in tech etc.

Have you ever seen a Green Fireball?

I live very close to a military base and we have all kinds of interesting thinks flying thru the night sky. Green fireballs are generally thought to be some sort of man-made object that shoots thru the sky similar to a meteor and gives off a green glow with a head and tail. We have seen things that are green, white (majority) and sometimes red in the sky. Our base is a training base – so they shoot off many things. We also have great meteor showers and have seen the Northern lights from time to time at my house.

What kind of bear is best?

A teddy bear. My fav real ones are pandas. We don’t get many bears here in the desert, but once in a while one will wonder down from Big Bear which is in the mountains above where I live, but that is generally only when it is really dry in the mountains or there is a fire.

Do you believe in luck?

I ask because I love to gamble. (responsibly of course) I get these “hunches” from time to time. It’s like it’s a certainty and I’ll play it and win.
It works in reverse as well. I know my pocket aces will be busted so I toss them.
Not to say I always win, but it has allowed me to bet big when I have it, and cut my losses when it feels like a bust.
A while ago I walk into a store. I look at a scratch off and I know it’s a winner. I ask how much and they say $50. I tell them no thanks. I see a $5 one and have the same feeling. I buy it, win $50, use it to buy the $50 one and won $200

What’s your thoughts? Random event? or Lady luck giving me a nudge?

I sure do believe in luck. Every time I got to Vegas with my daughter, she zeroes in on just the right slot machine to play and she always wins. My gramma Julia had the same touch. I would park her at a slot and come back an hour later and she would have a bucket of quarters for me to cash in. Leave her another hour and another bucket.
Also while I was a cop I was shot at on 3 different times. The patrol car I was in all three times was killed, but I didn’t even get a scratch. Knock on wood – yes I believe in luck.

QUESTION! Have you ever seen a truly pure black cat? I know a gloriously black bombay cat but when direct sunlight hits him the truth is revealed that his black is really a deep brown.

Yes, I live with one. Attaching a pic of Miss Boo. She is black. When she walks down the hall at night all you can see is the glowing eyes. She scared the you-know-what out of LYT one night.


Speaking of lasagna. I occasionally want to make homemade lasagna. I use canned sauce because I’m not good enough to make scratch pasta sauce. But mine always turns out underwhelming and I am usually disappointed.
I believe that because my momma didn’t mess with lasagna much, so I don’t have an ideal lasagna recipe in my head.
Do you have any tips for making a good lasagna? How many times do ya think I can type the word lasagna?

Truth be known I also use canned sauce. What I do with the sauce is to grate a clove of garlic into the sauce the day before I am going to make the lasagna. This really helps to pep up the flavor. Also use a good quality canned/jarred sauce – not the 99 cent kind. You can also add some extra cut-up cherry tomatoes and some diced onion. When I make my lasagna I don’t use ricotta. LYT does not like ricotta. I use Jack and mozzarella. I use regular or a sage sausage for my meat. The cheese to meat ratio is about 1 meat to 3 cheese – we really like the cheese.

But the real key is to let the sauce sit for a day with the garlic before making the lasagna.

QUESTION! What do you consider the most important invention of all time and why?

Toilet paper. Can you imagine still having to wipe with leaves and twigs?

Okay I have a good one. My son is potty trained yet can have as many as seven small poop accidents. Any ideas to break that cycle?

Yes, I have found that this works. Get a bunch of small treats that you know he will like and work for. Keep them in a place where they can be seen but not reached. Start with when he makes it to the potty without an accident and delivers, he gets a treat. He has to deliver the poop in the potty for the treat or he will just run to the potty for a treat. It’s a trade thing. After a while if he can go a whole day the treat may get a bit bigger. Then you move to longer times, days, weeks, etc. This is commonly known as jelly bean therapy.

Well gang, another good group of questions from you all. Next week we will start getting ready for Easter. The Easter bunny will be stopping buy. All of the baby ones are already running around on the property. Remember to be good to all this week. Huggs to you all.

If you’d like to add your questions to the pile for Luke’s mother-in-law, leave them in comments below.