Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Superbowl, Strange Magic and Snipers


In which ex-cop/crazy cat lady/mom-in-law Martha Boyd answers your questions from the coziness of the Joshua Tree desert.

Well, here we are in the the last week of the month, January is over already – bummer. It goes by faster as you get older. Some big doings will be happening the first week in Feburary here in the desert. This will be the 9th year, I believe, for King of the Hammers. It is a huge off-road racing event that is held out in the Johnson Valley area. This is North on Hwy 247 between Landers and Lucerne Valley. From what I understand racers from all over the world attend the event. For more information check out

SUPER BOWL WEEKEND. Sorry, even though I was born in Boston I’m going for the Seahawks. Would have rather had Green Bay, but Seahawks will do. Actually, I really go for the commercials. I don’t really watch much of the game as I am generally in the kitchen. Sometimes we go to the Rotary Super Bowl party, but other years it has been at-home gluttony. In years past, the typical fair at the Boyd party was as follows: nachos, crock pot of cheezy goodness, hot dogs with all the trimmings, pizza, wings, taquitos (home made guacamole), fries, chips, Fritos, meat/cheese plate, crackers, vegetable tray and several dips. Dessert in the 4th quarter is always make your own sundaes. Leftovers to follow. I generally do all of the food and provide sodas, water, coffee. It’s bring your own beer as my friends all drink different things.


Have attached several photos this week. One is of a very pretty sunrise out in Joshua Tree, just loved the pretty pink and blue of the sky. On my trip to San Bernardino I took a picture of the Central headquaters building of the Sheriff’s department. The other photos are of Mr Frizzy enjoying his sun spot in the office. I so want to come back as a pampered house cat. Isn’t he just soooooo cute?

Question time!


Hey Robo Mom

What’re your thoughts on the recent trailer for Fantastic Four: the Rebootening? Any favorite moments, hated moments, thoughts on the glimpses of the cast?

When I saw it the other night on TV I went WOW. From the little over a minute, I was interested in seeing more. I have always liked Fanstastic Four. So it has whet my appetite for more. Just hope they don’t put out to many trailers so we have already seen the movie before it hits the theaters.


Are you going to [Star Wars] Celebration? It’s right next door, been vaguely thinking about going.

I very possibly will be in the area, but it’s probably going to be for an appraisal conference over the weekend. Might get the 1 day ticket for Thur or Friday. The appraisal conference keeps me working and paying the bills. I have friends that will be there for sure, so I may just have to live thru the pictures they post.


Is always a pleasure to read your column even if I don’t ask questions. But today I will.
This winter had been really really cold. This got me thinking, if I was to get stuck in my car in a really cold day what would be the best way to keep warm. To turn off the car and turn back on when it gets too cold inside, keep the car on and keep a constant low warm temperature or just rip stuff up and start a small fire?

Glad you enjoy the read and thank you for asking a question. Feel free: I answer everything; LYT does not edit the questions asked. It is not safe generally to keep the car running especially if you are standing still. Carbon monoxide can build up in the vehicle. I hear stories every year where people were stuck in a snow storm, the tail pipe got blocked and they died. When I lived on the east coast my folks always carried extra blankets in the car, gloves, hats, scarfs etc. Out here in the desert during the summer I always have extra water and energy bars in the car just in case. Mostly if I know the weather is going to be bad I just try to stay home.



Question time:

If a movie where to be made about your life, what kind of genre would it be? Comedy? Action? Also, who would you want to play you, Luke and Julia?

Well, for most of my younger years it would be action as I was in police work and at least you can get something out of that maybe would keep people awake. But mostly my life has been fairly boring so I doubt anyone would want to purchase a ticket. Luke and Julia could play themselves as they are both actors. Some others would have to play them at younger ages, but they could handle – especially Julia – anything from high school on. As for me I like Jennifer Aniston. For my husband John I would go with Bryan Cranston as he was in a movie with Mr. Cranston many years ago. Check out the movie Last Chance – my husband danced with his wife Robin.


After hearing Michael Moore’s remarks about snipers, what is your opinion about the profession? I for one think they are invaluable members of the military, providing cover for our troops and taking out bad guys before they get close enough to do damage.

Well, to start with, I never listen to Mr. Moore. So with that said I have no idea what he said. However as to snipers, I am in awe of their talent. The expertise and training they have is amazing. Yes, their job is to take a life, but it is generally one life to save an innocent life or lives. If we did not have those who take hostages or carry explosives to take out many others, then we would not need snipers, would we? Unfortunately, in today’s world, they are many times a necessary weapon and thankfully they are darn good at their job. Most of them take pulling the trigger very seriously and it takes a toll on them whenever they get the kill order.


QUESTION! Is it really that weird to have the names of the animals added to an indictment of cruelty to animals?

I don’t think so. Probably a pretty good idea if you know the exact animals and thus their exact names. Why be generic if you have the exact information?


New question. What was the movie you said you were most excited to see last week. 😉

One was Strange Magic – just because it looks so pretty in the trailers. However I guess LYT did not really like it all that much – we don’t agree on everything, but I am sure he is correct as I was judging on pretty colors and cute animals and fairies. The other was the new George Lopez movie Spare Parts. I like Mr Lopez and the movie looks good, about kids from a small Arizona school taking on schools like MIT in a robotics competition. I like the underdog-type stories.


My renters have decided to move, so rather than find more I’m thinking about doing some upgrades and selling the place.

Besides carpet, flooring and paint, which are going to happen, is there something else I should sink some money into that will help me sell it?

Kitchens and bath upgrading area always a good bet. Especially the kitchen. New granite counters, a new stove, hood/microwave. Many people, even if you paint and put in new carpet, come in and change those items. Most lenders with REO (real estate owned) properties don’t do the paint/carpet stuff unless it is really bad, because buyers come in and paint the interior color they want – the same with the carpet. But they do pay attention to the kitchen and making that look all nice and updated. A kitchen can make or break a deal.

Something I would not waste my money on is solar. There is not enough data in most markets to warrent the cost. Solar is really nice and I have 32 panels on my house, but it is like a new car; you drive it off the lot or put it on your roof and the depreciation is terrible. In an appraisal my solar cost $30,000. The adjustment for a comparable size home is about $5000 difference. When I do an appraisal the room I take the most photos of is the kitchen.


Well, my friends, that is all for this week. Keep those cards and letters coming. Hope which ever team you are going for this weekend wins. As always be good to each other and Huggs.

This column lives on your questions, readers, so let’s have them! Post your serious or silly queries in comments below. Anything will be answered…anything!