Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: The Addams Family Cacti


[Note: Martha Boyd is on vacation this week. Last week’s questions – and this week’s – will be answered in the next column]

Hey de ho all. Another week has come and gone. God. they go fast when you get old. This week you all get a couple of pics of Miss LoveBug. Caught her being oh so comfortable in the chair at my husband’s desk. The kids spend a good part of the day in the office when I am also in the office. At night we all move to the living room to watch TV.

It is me and my five little shadows.

I am having such a great time at the Sheriff’s, volunteering. Everyone is so nice, and I am surprised how much of my old knowledge is returning. I love working at the front desk and answering calls from the public. I am looking forward to doing more volunteer work in the community. Later this year, I am also going to audition for The Addams Family Musical. I so have to get back to the theater. It has been about 5 yrs since I was last on the stage, and it is time to make a comeback. The production will not audition until summer and then runs for 5 weeks in October of 2015. When I get more info I will let you all know.

Well now, let’s see what brainbenders you have provided for this go-around.



Hi. As a real estate appraiser have you ever encountered a supposedly haunted house? and does that affect the value? Value added or removed?

I have lived in a haunted house, and it was great fun. We had a really nice spirt. It loved to move the front curtain like it was peeking out looking at something. It also loved to tip over my silver teapot and it walked up and down the interior stairs. Just stuff you lived with, and nothing that was mean or dangerous.

In appraising I have never appraised a haunted house. But I am sure you would have to do some kind of a survey to see the reaction to the property in the neighborhood. We do have to disclose if someone died in the home and if it was by natural cause or violence. The natural does don’t really have much impact and generally tend to resell. I did one for an insurance company where there was a murder of a family – they never could sell it and finally tore the thing down; the vacant lot did finally sell and someone built a new house – I have not heard of any issues with the new house.


i am an unrepentant fan of studio ghibli. so, obviously i like anime. are you familiar with studio ghibli? if so have you seen anything you like?

Yes, I especially like the work of Hayao Miyazaki. One of my favorites is Porco Rosso. I am a big pig fan and have a huge collection of all things piggy. I like anime, most of the work is so pretty and the stories are wonderful.

P.S. love the kitty baby pic you sent along.


Real estate question for you: My spouse and I have been looking to move out of our 2-story house into a 1 level due to too many falls down stairs. We would also like solar after spending 5 days without electricity in the winter (I know folks in Boston roll their eyes at this, but we’re not used to or prepared for it here). Why aren’t developers building more houses to accommodate an aging population wanting to be free(er) of utility companies? Thanks for the insight in advance!

I grew up, at least thru the 4th grade, in Acton, Mass. We had a 3-story colonial out on Rte 2 near the Concord border. The house was built in the 1700s by a father (he was in the middle house – mine) and his 2 sons; they lived on either side of my house. So I understand Boston winters.

Currently, I live in a 1-story home. The one-story model was most popular in California until about the 1990s when lots got smaller and builders went to 2 floors for more SQ. I totally agree that as we get older, 1 floor is much more practical. I recently previewed a new 55+ development in the area. Two of the four models were 2 story – stupied. That was also most of the comments by the seniors looking at the homes. The second floor was a loft bedroom and bath. The developer was saying this was the room for the grandkids. Oh yeah, I could just see the little dears jumping of the loft balcony and right down to the living room. Who needs stairs? This floor plan did not make it to phase 2 of the project.

I have solar on my house and just love it. I have 32 panels and the house is about 2500 SQ. I don’t have a battery storage system, so if the power goes out, I don’t have power. The panels keep sending back to the power company, but the house is dead. So if you are worried about no power, you need to put in the battery back-up and the conversion panel. When we put in the system the battery back-up was not terribly stable and thus we choose not to put it in. However, I understand that the system has greatly improved and you should consider it.

With my solar my summer electric bills went from $900 a month to about $100 a month. The power company bills solar in a 12 month cycle, and this year they currently owe me $1000.

If you do go solar, consider putting the panels on the ground. They have to be cleaned about once a month and you may or may not want to go up on your roof to wash them down. Now that I am by myself I have to have my handyman go on the roof to clean the panels.


UFO’s…I just read this article about UFO sightings in Tennessee which opened with the sentence: “Ever since E.T. flew across the sky on a bicycle, aliens and UFOs have become a staple of American daydreams.”
Right, because no one ever reported UFO’s before that 1982 movie. Oh, it’s not like it’s unknown that UFO’s were been a part of popular culture for decades before that. Who the hell do they get to write these articles? That’s not really a question; I’m just amazed the lack of basic research or common knowledge in what vaguely passes for internet journalism.

Totally agree with you. What about all of the fine black and white 1950s alien movies? What about Roswell? I think that was well before the E.T. movie. I remember growing up on these movies. Also remember Lost in Space and My Favorite Martian? Must have been a very young writer who did the story. The US was into aliens way before E.T.


The cacti are starting to bloom in the yard, so I am sending some of the pics for you to see. They are just starting, so hopefully they will get a bit better in the next few weeks.


Well, my friends, that is about all for this week. Please keep the questions heading my way. Like any mom, I love giving advice. You can take it or leave it, but I always give my opinion and shoot from the hip. As always, if you want advice on something that you don’t feel like sharing publicly – shoot LYT a private email and he will get it to me. Love you all and talk to you next week. Be good to each other until we get together again and HUGGS.

Even though Martha’s working on last week’s questions still, feel free to add more below. On any topic. She can take it.