Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Major Life Changes, and How to Talk to Nerds About Drugs


Got questions? Martha Boyd has all sorts of answers. A desert-dweller, self-proclaimed crazy cat lady, former LAPD officer and widow to a Green Beret, she’s seen and heard things crazier than you’ve imagined. And is ready for whatever odd questions you have, so bring them on!

Here we are at the end of the month again already. August is upon us and kids will be going back to school in a few weeks. Now out here in CA, August and September are generally the hottest months in the year so I never understood why the school year was not adjusted as a lot of our classrooms don’t have air conditioning. The school year seems to get longer and the kids get dumber, so I have not figured that one out yet. Ah, and thus we home-schooled. I don’t think it is the teachers. I know lots of great teachers; I think is the lack of parent support at home. To my teacher friends, hope you all have a great year and get nice kids this school year.

Well I guess LYT had a good birthday. The party lasted 3 days, ending with going to the WWE Summer Slam tour in Los Angeles. At my age I totally forget and bypass my birthday. I’m just in a holding pattern now

We are starting construction on a set of stairs and small deck for the pool. Materials have been purchased and my handyman is getting it going. He will also be re-staining the front door, as it has been peeling and needs to be redone. Will have pictures of these projects next week when all is done.


This week I was out driving around doing appraisals and found some really cool yard art. They are about a street apart from each other so would almost bet the owners know each other and the artist. One home has an Indian hunting a buffalo and the other horses, cactus etc. These are so cool – so I had to share.

Wow, we got some good questions this week – great, keep them heading my way. You guys need to help keep me busy and off the streets. But anyway, let’s get on the road with this week’s issues. Remember if you don’t send questions heading my way , you get more desert and kitty pictures.


Gallen Dugall:
QUESTION! Are you going to cover the Star Trek convention in Vegas for TR this year?

I wish I were, but not this year. I have been told that maybe next year I can go. This year is going to be at the Rio which is a great spot. When we go to Vegas we get to the Rio at least one night of the seafood buffet. A bit pricy – but well worth the price. I eat more than the price in crab legs etc. Yummy.

Joel Purcell:
My daughter has begun hanging out with the stoner kids in her school. What advice did you give Julia growing up about drugs?

Sorry to hear this. Fortunately, when Julia was in that age group she was not in public school, since we lived out of town and the only friends she could hang out with were the other kids in dance or theater classes and mom or dad had to drive her – we had no public transport. When she got her license she was still on a pretty short leash as she did not own the car. About the only place she could drive the car to was college. At 16 she was already going to classes at our Jr. College. The demographic at our college was mostly adults who finally figured out that the drug and stupid kid stuff did not translate into work as an adult. Thus their 30 year-old asses were back at school. With her being so young they were not really interested in hanging out with her.

I know isolation is probably not a viable answer to the question. We just lucked out that we lived in the middle of nowhere and could home school. Had she been in school it could have been a totally different story. But she was also well aware that with both mom and dad being in law enforcement it would be hard to be that sneaky.

When I was in high school I was already into law enforcement and taking our police science classes. I was also teaching a class I wrote in high school. I wound up hanging out with the teachers and most of the kids cleared a wide path or wanted to beat me up as I was considered a “narc.” I was well aware that the rear of the soccer field was where the druggie kids kept company during school.

I have found that this has worked with some kids: See if your local police department has a “Scared Straight” or some similar program. Visuals work pretty well with the under-18 age group. Even if they don’t start watching “Scared Straight” at home you can find it on Netflix. It can be family movie night if you have one. But there is nothing like having the munchkin enjoying a few minutes behind bars or at the coroner’s office. You talking is going to be like the parents in the Charlie Brown cartoons, and that’s why visuals work well and it is not just you flapping your gums. Many police departments will help parents by letting kids sit behind bars for a few minutes and even taking them thru the booking process – talk to your local juvenile officer. Even out here in little Joshua Tree we have the program.

Also if there is something she really likes to do or would like to do as a career start now getting her busy with that to take up the “free” time. As you know, many jobs are getting more picky on who they hire and do drug testing. Now this is a bit of an extreme but some of the questions on the application for just a clerk at the Sheriffs department are: “Have you ever raised your voice to someone?, Have you ever hit anyone?, Have you even ingested any drug?” See the word “ingested”. When I applied 30 yrs ago it was have you smoked marijuana. Now “ingested” is used, boy, does that ever open up a whole can of worms. Good jobs are getting harder and harder to get. If she is planning on going to college, get her involved with a volunteer position somewhere; it will be needed on the application for most schools and take up some of that free to hang out time. This could get her in with a different group.

Good luck and keep me posted.

Patch Ninetynine:

Since I went somewhat serious last week, I’ll give you some silly ones this week.

What’s the longest you held your breath?
If all planets in our solar system had life which one would you visit first?
Who wins in a fight? Bigfoot or Chupacabra?

Thanks again for putting up with us

Well let’s see:

1) A minute
2) Venus – it sounds like it could be a beautiful place
3) Chuee of course – he is so intelligent and has better posture and carries a weapon

Patrick L:
Do u think the Star Trek franchise is dead?

Nope, I think it could go on for quite a while. There is so much territory to explore. The last couple of movies were pretty good and I am an original fan.

Abe Pat:
How do I get my dog to not bite so hard when he’s play biting?

You need to bite him harder then he is biting you ? Why are you play biting? Is he just kind of supposed to be like play chewing on your arm or something? We had wolves so play biting was never really an issue that we allowed as if they decided to clamp fully down there could really be an issue. They could hold our arm in the mouth but any form of chewing was quickly stopped. A firm NO and a small tap on the nose generally works.

Ryan L:
Does this look infected to you?

Well I didn’t get the picture but if you are asking and it is red, green , seeping anything and hurts the answer is Yes.

Better Superman – George Reeves or Christopher Reeve?

In my book Christopher – he was hot. George is good, but to this old lady Christopher was it.

James W:
How does one gather up the courage to make a life changing decision in ones personal life? How can one deal with the effects such a major decision can cause on ones self, such as loss of sleep, anxiety, etc and how does one handle a conflicted head and heart that can result from making such a decision?

Well the first thing I would say is talk it over with a neutral party – so I guess we are sort of doing this here. Over the years there have been several life-changing decisions that have been made in my life. Starting in the 4th grade my parents decided to move from the East to the West coast – friends, house etc were gone in a flash, but it worked out. Another big one was my husband and I leaving our very secure jobs in law enforcement to start our own appraisal business. Giving up the regular every 2 week paycheck – ouch. In appraisal we get paid at the mercy of the lenders anywhere from 30 to 90 days after the job is completed. Try running a household on that – fun.

I also had a big one when my husband died almost 2 yrs ago. Do I sit around and go “the sky is falling” and wringing my hands or do I get my ass in gear and save the business. After a couple of sleepless nights, and a bit of wringing I decided it was pretty dumb to destroy a 30 yr company and got my ass in gear. I decided to save the company. I did lose a big client as John was not available, but you know in the end it worked out and I now have several new clients. It also got me out of the house and did not allow me to have time to sit around and feel sorry for myself. In the long run you need to do what is right for you first and then your family second. Remember if you are happy with your choice in the end they will also be happy. Good luck.

Well guys that is about it for this week. The construction is going well on the deck and the front door is all stripped down and almost ready to be stained.

Julia and Luke are out here to get her Jeep to our long time mechanic. He is great at figuring out just what is wrong with Jeeps. Hers keeps stalling along with other things. They are going to leave the car up here and see what he can figure out.

This Saturday is the first-Saturday breakfast, so I will be doing that. Then shortly will be the Addams Family musical auditions. Been 5 years since I did an audition, but we have to climb back on the horse sometime. I am working on my audition song, then we have to dance and do lines. It will be fun.

So as always, be good to each other this next week. Keep sending in the questions and Huggs.

Got questions for Martha? On life, love, nerdy nitpickery and anything else? You can either post them below in comments, or email them directly to boydappraisal at Nothing is off the table, so give it your best inquiry.