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Stephanie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Please post your comments and questions about Chapter 2 in this thread.
Stephanie
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emeraldisle
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Registered: ‎09-26-2008
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Do you agree with Amy's statement on p. 46: "We are not our best intentions. We are what we do." ?
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Tarri
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


emeraldisle wrote:
Do you agree with Amy's statement on p. 46: "We are not our best intentions. We are what we do." ?

 

I do agree with the statement.  For example, I can intend to lose weight, but unless I eat properly and exercise I'm not going to lose weight.   I can intend to be a tutor at an elementary school, but unless I go to the school and volunteer, I'm not helping. 

 

I loved the scene where she had her stuff packed and was moving back to Washington.  She went to her mom's to say goodbye and then said see you in ten minutes.  So funny and so true. 

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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Yes, I agree, intentions are great but really they are nothing if not put into action. You know the saying....the road to hell is paved with good intentions!

 


emeraldisle wrote:
Do you agree with Amy's statement on p. 46: "We are not our best intentions. We are what we do." ?

 

 

Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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ashred1226
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

This is all very true. I liked the quote you used, vivico1. I have to say that many of us have goals that we can intend to reach but never quite reach them. Infact when you think about Bridget Jone's Diary you think of all the things that can happen when you intend one thing and the results aren't exactly what you thought the would be.

But with that being sad I think Amy shows that can have either the best or the worse intentions at heart, but when you remember your life or even when others remember you, you'll both see what actaully happened and the events that followed your actions and not your intentions. 

~*Ash*~
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cocospals
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Registered: ‎12-25-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

A couple of passages in this chapter got some pretty good chuckles out of me. One was where Emily was learning to play with her cousins and Amy writes that "Nathan menaced the village on his Big Wheel like a teenager in a Camaro". Having raised three kids, two of whom were boys with fast cars and motorcycles, I could only laugh at how the way they acted when they rode Big Wheels should have given me a hint as to how they would drive as teens.

 

I wasn't quite sure what to think of the passage where her mother put the wood blocks on the window sill to spell out T-E-A  A-L-O-N-E.  I had mixed feelings, first being her mother was stating the obvious,  second was her mother was kind of rubbing her face in it.  I am not sure what the purpose was and in the context of the story, it seemed a little out of place.

 

I loved the sentence near the end of this chapter where Amy writes "Parenting is not a process of control but of surrender".  This is a hard lesson for most parents to learn especially when they become adults and develop their own lives...we have all bitten our tongues on many occasions. They have to grow up, make mistakes, learn from them and there is not much we can do to alter that process.

Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
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kayJ
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


emeraldisle wrote:
Do you agree with Amy's statement on p. 46: "We are not our best intentions. We are what we do." ?

 

Yes I totally agree with this statement. We try, but it comes down to the actual doing that counts.

 

On the TEA ALONE blocks...that really had me because I was not sure if her mother was being cruel or if that was the resigned fact now so face it??

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DSaff
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

This chapter impressed me with the amount of emotion and change I read. Amy discovers life not only as a single parent, but also as one viewing herself in the world of newly divorced. I loved how she says on page 41, "In the absence of other relationships, I felt my connection to my own child deepen." Followed up on page 45 with, "Parenting is not a process of control but of surrender." I know the feeling of trying to keep a family together just to see you are the only one participating in that process. Thankfully, there are support systems!

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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shopdaisy
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

I do agree with this statement.  She tried her hardest and had good intentions to create the ideal family for herself, her husband and her daughter; however, she could not make her husband be something he was not.  She did not want her daughter to be the product of a broken home, so she did everything she could to try to prevent this.  However, one cannot make someone something they are not.  The only thing you can do, is be the best possible person/parent you can.  This she proves countless times. 
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tabcat
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Registered: ‎09-17-2008
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

I too didn't understand the meaning of the TEA ALONE blocks.  My initial thought was that her mother arranged them, perhaps absentmindly thinking about her own life, not specifically for Amy.  But, since tea time is an English custom and Amy had been living in London...I don't know. It does seem somewhat thoughtless of her mother to be so pointed about it..

With this being the title of the chapter, I thought it would have added to the narrative if Amy had shared more about this with the readers. 

TC

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umlaut
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


tabcat wrote:

I too didn't understand the meaning of the TEA ALONE blocks.  My initial thought was that her mother arranged them, perhaps absentmindly thinking about her own life, not specifically for Amy.  But, since tea time is an English custom and Amy had been living in London...I don't know. It does seem somewhat thoughtless of her mother to be so pointed about it..

With this being the title of the chapter, I thought it would have added to the narrative if Amy had shared more about this with the readers. 

TC


I agree , there seems to be something missing here from readers perspective. Since this is the title of the chapter we should have come out of this chapter with thorough understating the "Tea Alone" phrase. I am atempted to state that usually in "normal" homes, we tended to see cute little pharses such as "mom's kitchen" or something that states about the family's bond in the house. So, by having "Tea Alone" it definetly states the loneliness in her mom's life. hmmm... just my thought, I might be reaching too far here.

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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Do you guys get the feeling that as important as titles are, they don't seem to fit well in this book, not this chapter and not the title of the book itself with so little about those women considered the "mighty queens"? I agree with, forgive me for not remember here, whoever it was that said, they thought the title of the book was just a real afterthought.

 


umlaut wrote:

tabcat wrote:

I too didn't understand the meaning of the TEA ALONE blocks. My initial thought was that her mother arranged them, perhaps absentmindly thinking about her own life, not specifically for Amy. But, since tea time is an English custom and Amy had been living in London...I don't know. It does seem somewhat thoughtless of her mother to be so pointed about it..

With this being the title of the chapter, I thought it would have added to the narrative if Amy had shared more about this with the readers.

TC


I agree , there seems to be something missing here from readers perspective. Since this is the title of the chapter we should have come out of this chapter with thorough understating the "Tea Alone" phrase. I am atempted to state that usually in "normal" homes, we tended to see cute little pharses such as "mom's kitchen" or something that states about the family's bond in the house. So, by having "Tea Alone" it definetly states the loneliness in her mom's life. hmmm... just my thought, I might be reaching too far here.


 

 

Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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DSaff
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

What if the blocks were meant to cause reflection and thoughtfulness? When I think of a cup of tea, I think of relaxing for a few moments with a good book, or just my thoughts. What if her mother was using the two words to cause reflection on choices made and changes ahead? Maybe they were simply there to remind her that she needed time for herself and her thoughts.


umlaut wrote:

tabcat wrote:

I too didn't understand the meaning of the TEA ALONE blocks.  My initial thought was that her mother arranged them, perhaps absentmindly thinking about her own life, not specifically for Amy.  But, since tea time is an English custom and Amy had been living in London...I don't know. It does seem somewhat thoughtless of her mother to be so pointed about it..

With this being the title of the chapter, I thought it would have added to the narrative if Amy had shared more about this with the readers. 

TC


I agree , there seems to be something missing here from readers perspective. Since this is the title of the chapter we should have come out of this chapter with thorough understating the "Tea Alone" phrase. I am atempted to state that usually in "normal" homes, we tended to see cute little pharses such as "mom's kitchen" or something that states about the family's bond in the house. So, by having "Tea Alone" it definetly states the loneliness in her mom's life. hmmm... just my thought, I might be reaching too far here.


 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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Deltadawn
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Yes, I agree with that statement too. Good intentions are a great start - but you need to follow through with action.
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Deltadawn
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

That sentence stood out to me too - it is so true and not an easy task for parents....


cocospals wrote:

 

I loved the sentence near the end of this chapter where Amy writes "Parenting is not a process of control but of surrender".  This is a hard lesson for most parents to learn especially when they become adults and develop their own lives...we have all bitten our tongues on many occasions. They have to grow up, make mistakes, learn from them and there is not much we can do to alter that process.


 

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Stephanie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

"I don't like to share and I'm often amazed that we insist that our children do it.  Being nice is one thing. It's important to be kind, respectful and polite.  But why should a child give up something that belongs to her, just because someone else wants to take it?"  

 

I am very much "on board" with this sentiment.  My son had two favorite toys when he was a toddler, and did not like other children playing with them.  They were fairly fragile for toddlers anyway, so when a friend was coming over, Woody and Buzz went up on my bed, and stayed there for the duration.  I never made him share something he was actively using either, and if I encountered a raised eyebrow at playgroup, I would jokingly say, "Will you share your Mercedes with me?"  

 

What do you think of insisting our children share everything?  We know children are naturally self-centered, and they usually grow out of it.  It's good to be a generous person, but to what extent?   Your thoughts? 

Stephanie
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m3girl
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Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

There always is taht period of time after the big decision and before the next decision that sets you on your way to something new and/or recovery.  She was lucky to have a place to go where she could take the time she needed in this transition period.  Not all of us are so lucky.

I remember that term "broken home" but really now looking back were the broken homes the one where the parents split or were they the ones where the parents insisted on staying together in their disfunctional unit - if not for anything else but for appearance?

Her decision to move back to DC at first seemed like she was taking a step forward - but was really more of a step sideways at first.  She was fortunate to have the time to bond with her daughter and start healing before venturing back into the real world.

Susan

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m3girl
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


emeraldisle wrote:
Do you agree with Amy's statement on p. 46: "We are not our best intentions. We are what we do." ?

 

Definitely.  And it is most obvious today during campaigns and television interviews (not necessarily politically related interviews just interviews in general).  It is not what I say....It is what I do....

 

Susan

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Tonya
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Registered: ‎04-13-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Chapter 2 went by in a blur, I devoured it. Amy has a great way of putting the way it is in such words that I wish I had thought of it!

 

I too wondered why her mom put the blocks T-E-A  A-L-O-N-E  out. The only thing I could come up with is Amy having lived in London, maybe her mom was stating that she was basically alone over there, so really much hadn't changed, just on paper per say? I don't know, just an idea.

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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Tonya, why don't you post this over to the "ask the author" thread, or "questions for the author", which ever it is lol and see if Amy can explain this some. It seems as many wonder about the title to this chapter and its meaning, as do wonder about the title of the book itself.

 


Tonya wrote:

Chapter 2 went by in a blur, I devoured it. Amy has a great way of putting the way it is in such words that I wish I had thought of it!

 

I too wondered why her mom put the blocks T-E-A A-L-O-N-E out. The only thing I could come up with is Amy having lived in London, maybe her mom was stating that she was basically alone over there, so really much hadn't changed, just on paper per say? I don't know, just an idea.


 

 

Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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