In effort to simplify


“Our life is frittered away by detail…Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” -Henry David Thoreau Walden 

By nature, I am not a simple person. I love details, even the ones that simply remain imaginative, and can easily involve myself with them in ways that no longer serve the original purpose for which I started. As Mark sometimes remarks, there are times that I can inexplicably “check-out” or occupy myself with something that is neither necessary nor pertinent to things that actually need to be done around me. Parenting has been invaluable to me even if only for this one reason: simplicity. For those of you who have children, I’m sure that you can attest to this as well. There are more demands made on my time than I could possibly meet; so, I am required to prioritize and shed the wanted, but unnecessary “stuff” to meet the immediate needs around me.  And so, I’ve created this blog. Funny? Maybe. I’m sure that it would disappoint Thoreau to see that in an effort to simplify my life, I have actually taken on another “affair.” But, I’m hoping that the simplicity will come by way of streamlining my thoughts, stories, and pictures into one venue that everyone/anyone outside of my little, immediate world can partake. I named it “Cloistered Away” because, in spite of having tons of interaction with people on any given week, there is in fact still a seclusion or set-apart-ness that comes with having young children. For your part, at the very least you can expect to see pictures of the kids more than once every six months (!).  










Share this post:


  1. Pingback: I AM COYOTE | an interview – cloistered away | enjoying simplicity

  2. thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m so glad to hear from each of you…thank you for your compliments and encouragement in this endevor!

  3. hey bethany! found your blog through the Iles! Just wanted to say hello. You have a beautiful family. Aina and Caleb keep us posted on you guys, as well as Sam D!
    ~kristyn (randolph) Holleman

  4. Now that I have been schooled as to what a blog is, this should be fun seeing what unfolds. Thanks for staying in touch

  5. this is great! i need more bethany commentary AND thoreau quotes in my literary diet. keep ’em coming, friend.

  6. I love you guys! So happy that I will be able to hear about what is going on. :)

  7. Did you know that when you click on the beautiful picture of your beautiful family to enlarge it, that it looks like you all have little tiny LEDs inside your eyeballs?

  8. Tooooooooo Funny! I was just talking to Kayla about that same topic the other day. I had set out to clean the litter box(What a great metaphor), and I ended up cleaning everything around it…didn’t end up taking care of the litter box until the next day!! It really feels like I’m doing that same thing in life all the time. Any way, I’m thrilled about the new blog, keep it up. Love you guys!!

  9. I’m excited we’ll be hearing more from you. Your fam is so gorgeous! I can’t wait to hear stories of how Blythe keeps the boys on their toes.

  10. Tim said it best. I can’t get enough of Bethany commentary either. Thank you for doing this!

  11. this is great thanks for thinking of us, i love the pictures,of the kids the address you needed is 6514 Fenwick cc tex, 78414 sorry it took me so long i too have a crazy life love love love yall jean carol

  12. Hooray! for the opportunity to get to see what’s happening in your lives. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I can’t get enough of Bethany commentary. I might have to get one of these new fangled “logs”(sp?) myself.

  14. what a beautiful family! you look amazing bethany! i miss you guys so much. -c

  15. Looking forward to hearing of all the adventures happening with the Douglass clan!! Blogging is just a great way to get the news out fast and you are keeping a history to remember later on!! The 21st century Laura Ingalls Wilder….heh-heh
    Love and Blessings,

  16. Simplicity is not all that simple – I purge my stuff to simplify my life and spend hours, days, weeks, months trying to clean up the mess the purging process brought forward. Simple things like the garbage – how can one person have sooooo much garbage. Guess I need to be more dedicated to the environment and do more recycling; but, then that would not simplify my life. Sorry I missed you guys at the wedding – I would have loved to have been there; but, a Sunday evening was not in the plans for us. Love seeing and hearing from you, keep the blog going.

  17. Thanks for sharing…your thoughts and pictures. I am looking forward to much more of both!

    Love to all,


  18. You say “eeek” because….? The last family pic we had was last January. I feel good about that.

Leave a Comment

You May Also Like
How to Take Courage
How to Take Courage

A Time for Silence | Personal Reflections on 2020
A Time for Silence | Personal Reflections on 2020

Being Neighborly During Shelter in Place
Being Neighborly During Shelter in Place