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The builder of my dreams


The above picture is a reminder of why we moved here.  We have lost our perspective at times and this is a great reminder of all the beauty and simplicity we are grateful for on our journey in the Kootenays.  I am also very grateful for my husband.  My jack of all trades, fixer of anything, get out of almost any situation with a rope and piece of duct tape kind of guy.

Andrew and I met seven years today at the seabus terminal in Vancouver during the start of the 2010 Olympics.  Who knew we would be on quite the adventure together seven years later.  Who knew that renovating and rebuilding mostly an old and decrepit house with limited job funds, no friends and living in a camping trailer during the coldest winter months would test our relationship to the max.  This experience has brought us to our knees, punched us in the stomach at times, and questioned our passion, drive and relationship to each other.  This house has nearly torn us apart.  But it has also shown us that getting through this together means we can weather the storm, regroup and keep on going stronger and better together.  We weathered a different storm before moving here but perhaps this time as we continue to rebuild our house we in turn are rebuilding apart of us that was lost in the last storm.   Nearing the end this storm, a light shines of new goals, dreams, directions and  inspirations for us as individuals and as team Doran.  This has been the hardest thing we have ever done together.  But this dream doesn’t come easy and I’ll take all the ups and downs, small accomplishments and failures along the way.

Through the ugly there has been plenty of joy.  There has been plenty of growth.  I see my husband in a new light.  He is truly amazing at anything he does.  He can figure out how to frame a house but not just any house a house that is crooked and slanted.  He has learned to plumb a house, he has learned how to install an efficient radiant floor heating system, gas lines, fireplace installation and electrical wiring.  He has made our front door out of reclaimed wood, built a deck, demolished walls while building temporary walls to only be taken down again for the new one.  He built a new addition and roof, leveled the walls so spray foam and drywall will fit properly without wavy walls.   He built new stairs, fixed old ones, installed windows and doors.  In between he has fixed the trailer from frozen pipes, dumped out the sewage from the trailer, fixed the leak in the ceiling, changed my breaks and oiled my car.  And he is still not done.  He plans to make barn doors for the laundry, build a wood counter top for the kitchen island, install floors, tiles, more decks, a Scandinavian sauna and build vanities for our bathroom sinks out of reclaimed wood.  Nothing is impossible with this guy.  He still finds time to comfort and love me, volunteer for the Balfour/Harrop firefighters, drive me to work in a snow storm and he keeps on loving me even when I want to quit and run away.

He reads, he watches he researches and then he does it.  Sometimes it takes a bit longer, sometimes things go wrong but he never gives up.  He is always learning and patient and I am so inspired by this man.  He  deserves to know and to let everyone know how great I think he is!

All these reasons and more is why I love him so much and I am so grateful that I took that leap of faith 7 years ago today to meet up with him.

*Just a side note Andrew is not a builder and he has a home owners permit.  Most of the stuff he has done is his first time!

I love this guy and he deserves everything in this world.

love his wife, Kristie


  1. With Love, Dad With Love, Dad

    A very worthy and appropriate write-up Kristie. I would just like to add one thing, with the greatest of humility, (of course) I am so pleased I showed him how to do things as a boy. He has gone on to far surpass the talents of my arthritic hands and fingers. Andrew has shown tremendous character not only in building this house but, in himself, also. I am a proud Father and love Him.

    “A chip off the old block”

    • So true! He has learned much from you and I know he is grateful for it. Looking forward to having you out in nicer weather and when there is a house to move into!

  2. Ben Ben

    The family you guys bought it from their son is in my class he told how you guys are restoring the harrop house

  3. Mike Mike

    Lovely photos of the scenery and your experiences! Seeing the snow-capped mountains makes me miss the Kootenays – I lived in Ainsworth in the late 70s and moved to Six Mile and then Nelson, left in ’86 and visited quite a bit, not much the past few years. Vividly remember the school bus trips to Kaslo, looking out at the lake and mountains and the change of weather and seasons. I miss the thunderstorms and watching the lightning over the east side of the lake.
    Kudos to you and the challenge you’ve undertaken, and the care and love you’re putting into your house. From what I’ve read on your blog you seem like kind souls. 🙂

    • Thanks Mike! We are definitely putting our heart and soul into this house. Reno’s come with ups and downs and its nice to see the weather changing. This helps lift our spirits. We really enjoy living here, so much peace and beauty. We love the Thunderstorms as on the coast there are very few and growing up in Ontario we had many. Thanks for reading!!

  4. dorothee dorothee

    I found your blog when we were visiting the Nelson area in June. I love your story, and the fact you are restoring this house to continue on maybe another 100 years. Best of luck to you both, and keep the blog coming………

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