Thursday, March 30, 2006


I had posed some questions of Pam. Here is her reply (along with my queries synopsized).

Sprinklers in one area were on all day while it rained.
Re: the sprinklers, the rain sensors malfunctioned and were being checked out yesterday. However, due to the rain we've had and what we expect, the irrigation has been turned off for this week and probably next week.

Realtors unable to access area?
Per the access control policy I sent out to all owners in February, there is no problem with realtors getting in to Spanish Oaks, as long as we are notified of a showing. The Board has adopted a policy that open houses may only be held on a "by invitation" basis; this is to maintain the integrity of our neighborhood so that we don't have 200 or more "tire kickers" in Spanish Oaks every Sunday afternoon. By and large, anyone looking for property in this price range isn't going to be out visiting open houses on Sunday afternoon.

Muddy streets.
Discovery is still paying for street cleaning, and I'm sure it will be done next week once the rains have stopped for awhile.

What is the mechanism by which our homeowner rep on the board interfaces with them and HOA?
Donald will be interfacing with me on a daily basis, and with the Board periodically. He is more than willing to take calls from homeowners to discuss their issues, and has already begun to receive same.

I just mailed out quarterly billings, and included a kind of "update letter" with it, so that should cover most questions.

Hope this addresses your concerns, but don't hesitate to contact me with any further questions.


Thanks to Pam for the clarifications and details.

And from her Letter To Homeowners:

East Gate (side) landscape improvements to begin.
Indeed, there are several areas on the Club Blvd which look like something is underway.

Park work to begin in 30 to 45 days.
Wonder what they have in mind? Certainly some of these islands have been impacted by construction, esp. trucks.

Supply your data for the homeowners directory.

Foundation for West Side Guard House will be poured next week.

And Pam says she's planning some events for Spring and Summer. This makes it appear that there might be something possible for all, not just golf club members.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Donald Abrams had what I think could be a great idea - that we post names/pictures of residents here so that neighbors can place the faces with the names when we see others out and about. For obvious reasons, and due to the fact that the world can access this site, I don't think children should be included. But if you send me your pictures, I will post them, or even build another blog where they'll sit, with sufficient response. I'll even offer to take them for you if we can coordinate a good time.

Or maybe the directory can include them?


I am going to attempt to try to clear up some misunderstandings.

Discovery has not said there would never be social memberships. Some of their clubs do have social memberships. But, right now there is not anything to be a social member to. We are eating in a tent and the kitchen facilities are in a portable building. Don't get me wrong, this has not prevented them from making some amazing meals, but it is certainly not an ideal setup.

The swim center and fishing hole are both going to be part of the HOA, not the club. Steve was eager to talk about this and had all the boards to show this off at the HOA meeting, but it didn't seem like that many people were paying attention by the end of the meeting. They should be opening next summer 2007 as will the road to the club.

The Austin Tennis Academy is not part of Spanish Oaks. Anybody can get a membership there.

Hopefully more people will fill out and turn in their questionares for the directory. As of yesterday, Pam had only recieved 20 and was hoping for more before she compiles the info.

Spanish Oaks did not change it's name. The golf club has always been called Spanish Oaks Golf Club and the community has always been called Spanish Oaks at Bee Cave.

Yes the lot owners/residents are not going to be invited to any more of the events through the golf club -- unless you are invited by a member. Why not just be happy for the invites in the past instead of complaining about not being invited now. The golf club is separate. If we are to have social events for residents it needs to be done through the HOA. Which also means it will be paid for through our assessments -- the past freebies were paid for by the golf club. Is anyone interested in heading up some social events?

Hope this clarifies some of the misunderstandings that were festering out there.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Pam Chandler.

Lori Bailes


Do You Need a Housekeeper? Monica Espinoza has Mondays and Thursdays available. For an estimate please contact her daughter Maria @698-8493 or son Carlos @740-7898

Monica has been cleaning for Teresa Duncan on Musket Rim for nearly a year and has proven to be very reliable, thorough, hardworking, honest and kind. I whole heartily recommend her services. For any questions of referral, feel free to call Teresa @ 351-9088

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Hello Bob,

On the subject of club membership and exclusion from activities...we would certainly welcome the opportunity for a "social membership". In fact, when we were first shopping lots/homes in this area, we were told that this would probably happen when the swim facility was complete. The swim center was a big part of our decision to buy here. There are other clubs here in Austin that offer separate memberships which often include tennis, swimming and club/spa facilities.

It is a bit awkward that our builder has asked us why we don't attend the Thursday night happy hour, saying "...everyone is there". I guess this means we aren't everyone! Which is sometimes a compliment. Interestingly, he is not a club member. Obviously, exceptions are made.

Please feel free to post any or all of this message and thanks for your thoughts.

K. Sadler


I post my comment here since the comment form seems to be malfunctioning. This is administered out of Blogger, so I can't fix it. If ever YOU hit this roadblock, simply E me your comment at and I'll post it as a post, not a comment, or append it to the post to which you respond. Thanks.


By creating a two tiered system, i.e.: Golf club members and non-golf/non-members, the sense of community is endangered and the early believers who don't golf are penalized for their forward thinking and 'brochure belief.' In our view this is a mistake.

Discovery Land must know that existing owners can be the best salesforce for their 'product.'

At every party or get together we've been to in S.O., the buzz about Discovery has been a hot topic, and honestly, it hasn't been happy talk.

Some say that realtors have 'blacklisted' S.O. due to the difficulty of showing it to prospects. We can't confirm this, but the feeling is out there.

As Terri points out, this is the first property they bought into after it had been in process, so perhaps that changes the way they operate versus their normal model.

I welcome their use of this forum for their input and communication which I feel would go a long way toward easing some ruffled feathers. Don't know why they avoid the opportunity. Thousands of views mean that this blog has a significant reach. I would think much deeper than the relatively few sales 'tours' we've seen.

I sure hope the social center they are planning, here on the East side, is not members only, or that a social membership is offered.

Believe me, if I play golf there will be lives endangered. On the plus side, there'd be dozens of new golf balls lost and free for the picking. I don't even want to think of the atomic divots I'd leave in my trail.

We need a social membership and not at a sky-high price as there should be some reflection of its intrinsic value.


At least two more homesites are being cleared on the East Side, one up the hill (beside the Tenant's existing home) you see from the roundabout at Spanish Oaks Boulevard, another tucked in a cul-de-sac off Musket Rim.


In our opinion, the single story home at Musket Rim and Paraiso is really impressive as it appears to float over its property. Stone is up, roof is on - a very nice job! Can't wait to see the final look!


Paul and Tanya Streeter's personal home is also in early stages... a really interesting layout from the imprint. Last we looked the concrete hadn't been poured yet.


The "French Chateau" on lower Musket Rim is a large property and a huge house with an existing outbuilding. They recently cut down maybe 2 dozen smaller trees which I miss, but it's their property. Hope they don't go turf-crazy! This is a property that is embraced by S.O. but appears to actually be part of the Preserve.

comment from Kim Sadler:

Kevin and I were sickened yesterday to see that the new neighbors across from us on Musket Rim have had a tree service cut down all the gorgeous Spanish Oaks from the property.

The undesirable cedar (Mt. Juniper) had already been cleared from this property and most of what was left provided nice screen and beautiful fall color. At this point, I am not sure if they have an ignorant tree service, or if they lacking information and actually asked that this task be performed themselves.

In case anyone is new to the area and doesn't realize why this community was named Spanish Oaks, the Spanish Oak (Quercus texana/) is 15-30' native, deciduous tree with brilliant fall colors. It is cold hardy adaptable to full sun or partial shade and is drought tolerant.

Because it sometimes has a rough, gray bark and no leaves in winter, someone not knowing, may mistake it for a dead tree. When in fact, it is helping to let the sun in to warm your house or yard in the winter, then providing excellent shade to cool your house in the summer. The biggest surprise comes in the fall with the stunning orange-red to maroon color it provides.

It is too late to do anything about the trees that have been lost in our view across the street, but is there something we can do to prevent this from affecting some of our other neighbors? We will report to Pam but not sure if this is even a DRC issue.

Thanks for listening, Kim


With the rain we've had, maybe we'll see a profusion of wildflowers now.


At about 9:30AM today. Appears that a car went off road directly across 71 from the East entrance, and somewhat down into what might be a ditch. I didn't see another car which appeared to have been in the accident and have no idea what happened. When I came upon it, police had traffic stopped and a firetruck was on scene along with a flatbed tow truck. Couldn't see any damage or injured. I have to admit I was very worried that a friend/neighbor might have been involved. Too worried to even think about snapping a picture with my cell phone.

From the angle, it didn't appear the westbound car just went off road there, slipped the lip, as it were. It appeared it shot straight across from the driveway, but it was hard to tell.

Friday, March 17, 2006


In case you haven't been getting any invitations to any activities from Discovery Land/Spanish Oaks, this will solve the mystery:

You aren't a member!

Right. The Golf Club haves are invited. The non-member have nots are not.

No more S.O. activities for have nots.

Wonder who will be allowed into the ol' fishing hole?

It would be nice if this were communicated from someone 'in charge', but maybe only the haves got the word.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Forgive me. Looking at this picture I realize the bull could easily escape/expand his reality by simply rushing the fence. But why would he? Food and ladies are provided for his dining and dancing pleasure.

How many of us are captured by own our sense of reality - one which perhaps is comfortable, but narrow?

4000TH HIT

This blog just passed it's 4000th hit. That's a lot more use than I expected when I started it. Thank you very much for visiting!

I think it simply shows an appetite for communication from or about Spanish Oaks. Or people searching for Spanish OATS are hopelessly lost!

Tennessee, Spain (Spanish Oats?), California to Florida, Texas to Minnesota, there's quite a span of locations.

As always, your input is welcome. E me long form material you'd like to post at, or simply make a comment under any post. As administrator, I have to approve them so you won't see yours right away. But I usually check daily for those.

Monday, March 13, 2006


This is the new West Entrance side Sales/Information office. I doubt if many of the residents or absentee owners get over that way so I thought you might like to see it.

There apparently has been quite some effort put into adding trees along the roads there. No new guard house yet, but it is planned so the Tennis academy folks can go without passing one.


Donald Abrams will be the homeowner rep on the home owner association board. I hope to interview him and will post that on this blog.

See the Texas HOA detail link to the right of the posts if you want to learn more about how this works - why there is only one homeowner.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Here it comes... apartment monster!

I thought you might like to see the site from Spanish Oaks. We can only hope they have hill country style in mind, and any parking lot lights are down firing of the orangish color.

The doctor's house has the worst view of this - you see his driveway

Doc's entrance

(and sometimes cattle) as you enter on the immediate right past the east gate - I wonder if he'll move to the top of his hill, which sits in mid-Spanish Oaks... or if he'd sell. If he does, Discovery Land better be ready to step up!

Doctor house (s?) face Apartment Monster

Saturday, March 11, 2006


I think they've taken as many Christmas lights down as they are going to - a high ring of them still circles the Guard Shack on the East Entrance, but it's an improvement. How many times do you look up that way? Baby step forward.

Irrigation and fresh dirt has been laid across from the old sales office - in an area which used to be used for parking. Another step forward...

Do cub scouts still earn badges by doing things like... picking up trash in their communities? Seems like a lot of bottles and trash is scattered about the various worksites, or near them... these are in places where the grass cutters can't simply run over them and shred em up. Heck, now cub scouts probably study Nuclear Power. Wonder if that badge glows in the dark?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Gotcha! I have been told the Christmas lights will come off the East Gate House and burnt out floodlight bulbs will be replaced at that time (the ones that have turned the mailbox area into some shadow world.) Also I read that all those workers who park between the wooden fences and the building envelope will have their builders fined, and the builders will also have to re-flora-size (my term) what they turn into tire tracks.

Isn't that dull?

What can I tell you? There's been little news and no contributions of material to the site lately. Things ARE greening up... not news, but nice to see!

Today I counted 16 vultures riding the wind and... circling something? "Oooo ooo Scary, boys and girls. Very scary." (*Count Floyd, SCTV.)

Tout Fishing in America: We use ABC Pest control services and their rep/agent/debugger RICHARD is a joy. He cares a lot. I find that rare, in my experience. In Houston (The Woodlands), we always had a different guy each visit (same company - not ABC.) They all had facial ticks or twitches and swore the chemicals were safe. If you go with ABC, ask for RICHARD as your guy.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Paul Streeter has built several homes in Spanish Oaks and is building another - this one for him and his wife, Tanya - he sends the following:

Hi Camelot Custom Homes' friends!

Many of you don't know what Camelot's Vice President does in her spare time....

This is just a reminder for you to watch Animal Planet on Sunday March 12th at 8pmEST/7pmCST

to see the premiere of Tanya's film "FreeDive". It's a visually stunning film about her freediving in exotic locations with different marine life, from huge Humpback whales, manatees and playful sealions, to penguins, marine iguanas and turtles. Your kids will especially enjoy going on this aquatic journey with Tanya!

Enjoy! (And check out her website for more information about her World Record dives.)


Camelot Custom Homes, Inc.



Population (year 2000): 656
Est. population in July 2004: 1,308 (+99.4% change)
Males: 342 (52.1%), Females: 314 (47.9%)

Median resident age: 35.9 years
Median household income: $120,871 (year 2000)
Median house value: $470,000 (year 2000)

Races in Bee Cave:

White Non-Hispanic (90.1%)
Hispanic (7.6%)
Other race (3.5%)
American Indian (2.0%)
Two or more races (2.0%)
(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

Ancestries: Irish (19.1%), German (16.8%), English (13.3%), French (4.9%), United States (4.4%), Scottish (4.3%).

For population 25 years and over in Bee Cave

High school or higher: 94.2%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 55.8%
Graduate or professional degree: 19.4%
Unemployed: 2.3%
Mean travel time to work: 25.7 minutes
For population 15 years and over in Bee Cave village

Never married: 13.4%
Now married: 79.8%
Separated: 0.7%
Widowed: 1.7%
Divorced: 4.4%
5.0% Foreign born (3.7% Europe, 0.6% North America).

Population change in the 1990s: +417 (+174.5%).

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Well darn, we've had spring all winter, and especially yesterday and today with temp in the high 80s! I notice several small trees around lower Musket Rim and Paraiso Parkway with pink blossoms happening!

Plus, the various almost-finished homes are being landscaped now and that's a treat! The Streeter home is in process, and the Duncan home just up the street is just finished. VERY nice! The Duncan home across the street (we call them Duncan2) was done a little while ago and IT too looks fabulous.

Shirley and Donald on the back of Musket Rim had a landscape crew for weeks - maybe months - and they meticulously placed everything - the final result is wonderful. I can't wait to see it in the blooming period. It's a showcase!

Over here at stately wood acre we planted at least a million wildflower seeds and it'll be interesting to see what, if anything, comes up. They say that the first year is the worst and I can attest from our experience elsewhere that's exactly true... so it sure looks like some beautiful properties are about to sprout here in our slice of life.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Four of the ten lights above the mailboxes are burnt out. And yet we are led to believe that someone rides the property every few nights to check on things. Could it be more obvious? (Yes, all 10 could be burned out.)

And they cleaned the mail area but missed the window well grunge (too short to see it is my guess.)

Have you ever stayed at a fine hotel? They get the big things right - atmosphere, accoutrements... but also the little things that make you feel so good.

Wouldn't you think that, especially in the sales mode, it'd be even more important to get the little things right for Discovery Land?