Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Mexican Sushi


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.

Well, hi everyone…I’m back. Yep, mom and I took a little trip south of the border to Mexico again. It was for my 59th birthday. Her 90th is at the end of May so it was sort of a combo deal.

We went to our normal stop – the Melia in Puerto Vallarta. It is a great location, only a few minutes from the airport in the Marina district. From our balcony we could watch all of the ships going in and out of port.

The hotel has a really great staff, very friendly and many go out of their way to make the stay wonderful. I have made many friends over the visits (this was #4). My best friends are down by the pool with the activities. (A shout out to Raul, Claudia and Adrian). This time I learned how to make sushi at a cooking demo with one of the hotel chefs and Raul. It was fun and funny; I have made sushi for years. Raul and Claudia also do the water aerobics at 11:30 am. This is one of my fave classes. Adrian and I talk a lot about the lights for the shows and he told me about the new ones that the hotel had added. I noted a year ago that there were some dead spots and pointed this out. Seems the problem has now been fixed. John used to do concert lighting (jack of all trades) so I noticed the holes in the stage lights. So anyway, sat by the pool all day, got a tan and drank a lot of good drinks from the bar. I have suggested a possible food review to LYT that we need to review all of the pool bar drinks and rate them – I know there are at least 25. Anyone up for an Iguana?


Then the food. Hector is one of our favorite waiters, who has been there almost as long as my mom has been going. The meals are buffet-style all you can eat. Thank heavens for elastic in pants. I generally gain a couple of pounds when I go. Breakfast and lunch are my favorite meals. Sushi every day on the lunch menu. Dinner is generally a theme night. The soup that is made is to die for. This time I tried coriander soup, spinach, asparagus, chowder and mushroom. Yummy.

Our room this time was on the 4th floor (1402). It is billed as a gardenview room, but go out on the patio and there is the ocean. The room was always clean and the refrigerator always stocked with soda, water and beer. The hotel even sent a welcome back plate of chocolate covered strawberries and “welcome back” in chocolate.

Took a bunch of pics and will post a few for you all to see. My friend Vicki was watching the kitties while I was gone.


Now on to the questions:


porco rosso is indeed wonderous. i have to imagine what the cacti at home look like…but i’ll be there soon and i’ll share some piccies… if mares eat oats and doe’s eat oats what do lil lambs eat?…til then theres this.

Love the kitty on the back pic – to cute. The lil lambs eat ivy. Never thought that was a very good choice for the little lambs. I think they would be better fed with the oats that everyone else is getting.


Many years ago, when my family was house hunting, I used to try to get my dad to ask if the house was haunted. Something about empty houses seem spooky anyway.

He claimed a house he lived in as a youth was haunted, and they’d hear something run up the stairs and slam a door. Maybe he just had a disfigured sibling that was kept hidden from him.

Oh, good point – or maybe a crusty grandparent or two. Any creaking rocking chairs around? Ya never know.


If you were invited out of the blue to a wake for someone you haven’t seen in 15 years, would you feel obligated to go?

Well, it would depend on where it was. If I could drive to it in a reasonable amount of time then probably yes. At least go, sign the guest book and get a cookie. It would also depend on how well I knew them 15 yrs ago. Is it a neighborhood friend, college friend etc. If it was maybe someone I casually worked with, maybe not. But for 15 yrs ago and if I have not kept in touch and it included distant travel then I probably would not go. You can always just send a sympathy card.


Dear Luke’s MIL,
I recently became a grandparent for the first time, and our daughter is putting together plans to marry the baby-daddy (I think that’s the proper term these days). Problem is, he’s not the marrying type (he has another kid by another lady back somewhere in Ohio, and didn’t marry her) and I don’t see their marriage lasting long. They fight a lot.

As a parent, I feel like I’m supposed to intervene, but as a former youngster, I recognize that if I was in that situation, I’d want my folks to stay out of it and let me run my life as I see fit. It’s further complicated by there being a baby (our new granddaughter) in the mix. She deserves a nice stable home, but again, I don’t have the role of parent this time around and don’t feel I have the right to counter our daughter’s wishes.

What’s your thinking on this situation? Is trying to enforce a ‘good life’ by our standards overstepping our bounds as grandparents? My mind and my heart are at great odds.

Thanks as always for your column. I hope you have a good vacation and look forward to your return.

Congratulations on the new grand baby. How wonderful. Having a baby in a fighting home never works and having a baby to “make the relationship work” never seems to work either.

I agree with you that this may not be the best marriage and if they are already fighting it is just going to continue. The best thing would be to make sure she has the child support payments secured.

I agree that as a parent you would love to butt in and save your daughter and grand baby from this knucklehead, especially one who has another child and is already fighting. But …we can’t do this, she is over 18 (I assume) and out on her own. The best thing you can do is bite your tongue where the issue of the idiot is concerned and keep the lines of communication open between your home and her. You need to be the soft place to fall if she needs one and she needs to feel good enough about your home to have a place to run to if necessary.

I don’t think I would spend a lot of money on a big wedding at this point (parents of the bride generally pay).

Only butt in if she asks and then be careful to what you say as she could get angry quickly and you really need her to keep speaking to you.

Good luck and keep me posted.


In your expert Ex-Cop opinion

My 60 year old next door neighbor has started dressing like Walter White, I’m wondering if I should be concerned and what sort of things I should be looking out for.

Well it depends on what outfit. If it is just the fedora and sunglasses with regular clothes I would not worry to much. However, if he is running around with the yellow hazmat suit, etc., I might start to wonder. Have you smelled anything weird in the neighborhood? You can smell meth when it is cooking. Maybe he is just getting an early start on Halloween?

If the neighborhood starts to take on a chemical smell call the cops. Meth labs do blow up.


How realistic are those home renovation shows?

The good ones like This Old House are good. Generally they are realistic as you get to see the before and after. They are done with a good budget and with professional teams so generally it all works out well. If you are doing a renovation project and you are not handy always check out your contractor and used a licensed one. In most states there is a contractor’s license board where you can verify a license and check complaints. There are some out there that do steal license numbers or make them up – so check to see if the license is valid. Also get a recommendation from people who have had the same kind of work done. Another thing to check for is if they carried insurance and a bond. Most good contractors have insurance and bonds in case something happens. When my husband had his contractor’s license we had insurance for any breakages or accidents and a bond for any expenses for completion if he failed to finish the project.


Continuing the UFO topic, does ‘ancient aliens built THING’, perchance, remind you of all the old ‘hyperdiffusionist’ mythology in the 19th century?

(For the record, my position has always been “Life probably exists on other planets, but going from that to…the kind of stuff Art Bell talks about…is a bit of a stretch.”)

Hyperdiffusionism is a good basis to start, but today it is generally not a widely accepted theroy any more. Today is it more accepted that brains develop along the same lines no matter where and similar things like writing, agriculture, construction etc developed independently. Hyperdiffusionism is more one culture adapted from another. Then there is also diffusionium, where one group just steals the idea from another.

I loved to listen to Art Bell – and listen to Art Bell somewhere in time on Coast to Coast. Glad to hear that he is going to be broadcasting again sometime this summer. He is going to be having a new show called “Somewhere in the Desert,” I believe. He always broadcasted out of Nevada before. Maybe if we are lucky he will turn up at Contact in the Desert in May – that would be so cool.

I love all of the ancient alien stuff and enjoy the speakers at Contact. Really gives you something to think about.


Ms. Martha, I’ve lost both my parents in the last decade. This is going to sound strange, but I’ve always been envious of friends and family who have claimed to see their departed loved ones, whether it be in spirit form or as part of a dream. I’ve often dreamed about my folks, but they’re never particularly good dreams. It usually involves them being a) sickly or b) freshly deceased.

A lady I once worked with recalled seeing her father appear at the foot of her bed, just a few days after he’d passed. She asked him if he was okay and he smiled, nodded and vanished into thin air. Could it have been a dream? Most people would say yes, but I’m not so sure. Regardless, I’m envious of those who have found closure.

I apologize for asking this question as I know you’ve lost your husband recently (my condolences, obviously), but do you think it’s normal to want to have this kind of closure? To have some hint from your dead loved ones that they’re doing okay on the other side, if there is an other side? There are only a few constants in life and death is one of them. Still, it doesn’t make it any easier for those of us left behind.

When Julia was little she used to say that Grampa Bill would come and sit on her bed at night and talk to her. Grampa Bill was my dad and he only held her one time as an infant before he died. So they never carried on a conversion, only him talking to her which was hard to do as he was on oxygen. When every this happend she would always have a great story to tell the next morning. So I believe it happens. As she got older the visits got fewer, but did still happen. I think a child’s mind is much more open to something like this so if it is going to happen it may be easier for the spirt to contact a child then us cluttered adults.

I personally have not had a visit where I see John as he was. However, I think he has come back time to time and is in my Mr. Frizzy cat. For example John and Frizzy when he was a sick little one would always sit together in John’s recliner every night and watch TV until it was time for daddy to carry him to bed. Super Bowl was always a big deal in our house and Frizzy and John would always watch the games. Well, I have not watched much football since he died and I did not watch the first Super Bowl or have our party the first year. None of the cats have sat in the recliner since John. This year I decided to turn on the game. No party, but watch the game. Frizzy climbed up in the recliner and watched the entire game, even mooched snakes from the chair. As soon as the game ended he was out of the chair and has not been back. So I think John watched the Super Bowl thru Frizzy his little buddy.

Closure is different for everyone. I fully believe that John is with his mom and dad and enjoying his dad’s great prime rib.


Well, gang, I think I have answered everything that came in while I was out and about. This week was mostly spent getting the office going again from vacation. Thanks to my smart phone I was able to book a job for Monday and Tuesday while I was in Mexico. Then I needed to put the house back together a bit from the kitties being on their own (limited supervision) for a week. They tend to rearrange things on the counters when I leave them alone. Friday I will go back to my volunteering at the Sheriff’s dept.

Hope you enjoyed the few vacation pics – I have more. The strawberries sent were good. The others are of the beach view, the entry to the outside dining area and Raul and one of the hotel chefs teaching us how to make a California roll.

So keep the questions heading my way. As you know I will take on any topic of your choice. Be good to each other this week and as always HUGGS.