Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: The Desert, She Burns


Martha Boyd is not just Luke’s mother-in-law – she’s also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything. Comment below with questions, or email them to boydappraisal at yahoo dot com.

Well, this is the last full week of June; my, how time flies. It is almost Christmas. Soon we will be seeing the decorations going up again in the stores. Sending this week a picture of Mr Frizzy watching all of you from his lair. I think he has that “I know what you are doing” look on his face.

Anyway, this week has been interesting up in the old desert. Some of you may have heard of the forest fire up in the Big Bear area. This is about 6 miles from where my brother in law lives in Morongo Valley, but up in the mountain wilderness area and he is on the desert floor. Several years ago we had a big fire in the same area called the Sawtooth fire – this one burned down into Morongo Valley stopping 75 ft from his house and burned 30+ homes in Pioneertown. This fire set up lots of fire breaks and already burned land has slowed the progress of the fire toward Morongo Valley. So it looks like they will be okay.


However, for the last week we have had to put up with all of the smoke and some ash from the mountain. My saying has been that I am trying to keep Big Bear out of the pool. Been running the filter almost 24/7. Right now, the weather report is teasing us with the possibility of rain this week end. HA HA HA will believe it when I see it – however I did wash my solar panels this morning. Maybe that is like washing your car and then it rains – fingers crossed.

LYT and Julia made it back from the East Coast and they are stuffed full of lobster. The trip was great until they got back to Los Angeles and were left stranded at the airport by the service which was to pick them up and take them home. It seems that this service had several other pick-ups at the same terminal and left more irate people then just our fearless leader; even LAX security got involved trying to resolve the issue. If LYT wishes to add the company name here he can [Nope: now resolving the matter privately – LYT]. I see lots of complaints being filed with the airport as the services have to have permission to pick people up at the airport – no permission, no pickups. But hey, they did not want to pick up reserved passengers the other night.

Gallen Dugall:

QUESTION! This weeks “episode” of Star Trek Online brings back the voice actor for Deep Space 9’s Nog who is now a Star Fleet captain so my question is this – what do you feel is a good balance between bringing in fresh characters and fan favorites? Should the Trek universe be considered big enough that while you may hear about such famous characters you never actually meet them?

The Universe is pretty big, and in that respect they can do a lot with it. You will always need fan favorites – that is true with any show. You have seen how up-in-arms people get when a favorite is killed off. Sometimes they even have to bring the character back as there is so much uproar. Dream sequences are such a bitch. New characters are good as they help move the story forward in a lot of cases and can also draw in new viewers. I think you need about 80% old faves and 20% new blood to give writers lots of options.

James Polk:
Dammit, secondary confirmation means that I now have to try the gravy pie thing. Probably I’ll brown up some regular sausage and mix it in. I doctor up a lot of prepared foods instead of cooking from scratch these days. Like adding extra pepperoni and cheese to the ninety nine cent frozen pizza.

So my question, Ms Ppraisal, is this:

Are there any prepared or packaged food items to which you prefer to add extra stuff to make them better? At some point do you, like I do, pretend that this equals cooking it yourself?

I too added extra sausage to the pie. The brown and serve kind. The same company also makes a cheesy ham and potato pie. Yes, I add extras to my frozen pizzas such as sausage, onion, pepperoni, cheese and sometimes pineapple. Soups I start with the soup and add stuff. I even doctor my Kraft mac and cheese. Have you ever put crab, lobster or shrimp into it? Yummy. Lots of times I start with a good base, fix it up and yes I cooked it myself. It is semi from scratch. I think Food Network even has a show that teaches you how to do what most of us have been doing for years.

John Zoldberg:
I love the Homer Simpson fabric pattern in the picture! Two questions here:
1) What are you thinking of making with it? and 2) Do you like the Simpsons, if so, who is your favorite character, main family member or supporting character?

The Simpsons fabric is going to be a pillow cover. It is a flannel fabric so it should be really nice and snuggly for the pillow I am doing. Yes, I like The Simpsons, and even know one of the illustrators on the show. He grew up out here in Joshua Tree and his folks still live out here. I like Maggie: she does a lot without saying anything. It’s a good show and it is amazing that it has lasted so long.

John Zoidberg:
Also, if it were at all possible to give you guys out west some of the rain we are getting here in Missouri, I definitely would… the Mississippi is getting so high, pretty soon we’ll be able to tie a tire swing to the Gateway Arch

We could sure use some of the rain. If we can move oil from Canada why can’t we move water across the country? A pipeline is a pipeline after all. Most of the trees on my property are looking thirsty. I have big pine trees that have been on the property for more than 30 yrs. The government want us to cut water use by 28%. I even have palm trees that are taller than my house. I’m afraid that they will all die which would be such a shame. I do use grey water, even though it is not really liked by water agencies, but at least some of my plants like it.

We were a bit light with the questions this week so you are stuck with more of my photos. This week , we feature the smoke from the fire. Yeah, I know, kind of like watching paint dry – but I thought they made some pretty interesting effects with the trees etc.





This upcoming week I have to take 2 continuing education classes for my appraisal license. We have to do 56 hrs every 4 yrs. Every two years we have to take a professional ethics class. This one is 7 full hours of rules and regulations. Lots of fun. The other class is on making adjustments to the comparables we use in a report like the number of bedrooms or if there is or is not a garage. Another full day. But I kill off 14 hours in 2 days so we will live with this torture. I have my bag of snakes packed (chips, coconut crackers and donuts) and they always have lots of coffee at the classes.

So anyway, that is it for this week. Be good to each other this next week, keep cool and away from fires, tornados and or whatever else the weather is brings to your area. Huggs

Keep your questions coming, be they foolish, philosophical or anything else! Any questions submitted in comments below or by email will be included in future columns.