Thursday, July 13, 2006

Great people and tacky plastic yard decor

Yesterday, a gaggle of Agave'rs met at Hotel San Jose for drinks and fellowship. It was the first time Mike and I met everyone face to face but, through the Yahoo community and everyone's blogs, I felt fairly connected to everyone already. It rejuvenated us. The building process is a pain in the arse. I guess anyone who's ever had a house built knows about all that. But Agave is a bit different. At least we know many of the great people we'll call neighbors soon.

Wendy--of Adam and Wendy--and I were talking about having the privilege of having a unique new house built alongside people you like and admire. Mike and I hold on to that as we grind our teeth through the process.

So , at the San Jose courtyard, drinking wine and getting to know new people, I tossed out the concept of The Pink Flamingo Beacon policy. Picture all of us this time next year, happily settled into the neighborhood. Let's say I discover a great inexpensive wine or cool new cocktail. Well instead of going the pedestrian route of calling everyone to come over after work, there needs to be an adopted beacon to signal neighbors to come over at leisure to enjoy a little hospitality. And that beacon, my friends, is the epitome of yard and garden flair: the plastic pink flamingo. The flamingo a little played out? Well, these are boom times for plastic yard decor. It could be anything. We just need to agree what creature will be the universal beacon. I'm a frog person, myself. Certainly, the universal beacon should be very inexpensive and widely available. Everyone should feel free to put out the universal beacon whenever they welcome neighbors to come over for drinks, food, whatever. Comments? Should we move this critical topic to the Yahoo group?

Today we met Julie at Brock and Gina's FAB house, which is our house design, to go over some issues. It does seem like they are getting their hands around this a bit more. Maybe I was just impressed with the fancy Agave info binder she gave us. Anything from Agave that's coordinated and organized is highly refreshing.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Good morning.

Saturdays are just the best thing.

We saw some really good friends last night who both were in town for conferences and meetings. Of course we had to take them to Esther's Follies, which never fails to delight visitors. If you've never been-even if you think you don't like live or skit comedy, magic, or camp-just go. They do serve booze but you really don't need it.

O.K., the Agave thing is losing its freshness. You know they built the forms to pour our slab, you saw this in the previous post. Now the forms have disappeared! Before they poured the slab! It's just empty, lifeless, and scraped of its vegetation. The story is that they needed to further grade the site before they pour the slab, which is great since a good slab is always preferable.

We just get the sense that this hasn't been a good collaborative effort thus far. It seems like planning and coordination have not been a priority. Wouldn't you think that inspecting and approving the site's grading would be an important milestone to achieve before setting up the foundation? Best practices? It's not like home building is a new market in central Texas.

Also, our Sept 1 closing date has skittered all the way to November-ish. Great. I can deal with all the broken agreements in getting this house built but how do we sell the house we're in? We have two great danes and moving into an apartment for two months isn't an option. I can't help but worry that we're missing the peak selling season of the summer, trying to get a good price on our house during the holidays.

Whatever. At least we have perfect dogs.