I don't quite remember when I fell in love with tea but I do remember the most special moments of me drinking tea. I was eighteen years old and I went to live with my biological mother for four months. I had just met her months earlier and it was awkward for both of us. She and her ex-husband lived a very quiet life in Boulder, Colorado. He was a professor at one of the universities and she was a housewife. After years of drug addiction and being in and out of jail, she deserved the break. I was homeless so she and her husband agreed to let me come live with them. Each evening my mother and I would find a spot in the living room with a cup of tea and a book.

Now, years later, I'm a self proclaimed tea expert. I start each day with a wonderful English Breakfast tea to get me going. As the day progresses, who knows what wonderful tea I will crown queen. But for sure, I have at least three cups of tea a day. And yes, when I can, I have tea everyday at about 3:00 P. M. I love to invite my friends over for tea and cupcakes and so far everyone thinks it’s a delightful experience. I am always in search of the best blend of tea. Yes, I’m a tea snob, I prefer loose tea but I do like some bags also. I have learned not to judge a book by it’s cover. Some bags can be quite nice. And yes again, any Diva knows, what you drink your tea out of is very important.

Tea for me is a way of life. It's wellness for the mind body and spirit. Here, I will explore every expect of tea possible, with a high concentration on wellness. I will review the best teas, the best places to have tea, the best ways to brew tea, the best tea accessories, what tea goes best with what foods, and the list goes on and on. I plan to share my passion for tea with you. And I've been told, nothing I do is ever boring so be prepared to go on this tea journey with me.

RLT Collection Tea Ball Frosted Clear Beads!

Mint Medley by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

About This Tea:

Until recently I had never drank Peppermint Tea made with loose leaves. And Honestly, I will probably never go back. The freshness of loose Peppermint Tea cannot be denied. When I open the can of Mint Medley, From The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, I feel as if I stepped into a garden of peppermint leaves. It is a perfect blend of organic peppermint and spearmint leaves grown in the US.

Mint Medley has become a favorite and I find myself reaching for this tea tin almost everyday. It is great for on-going nausea. The health benefits and endless. It relieves muscle aches, headaches, migraines, stress. And now that it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I have a mean cough, I'm sure it will help to relieve some of this congestion in my chest. Mint Medley has been in my tea cup more than any tea as of late. It has really helped with my winter cough, congestion related to this bout of pneumonia. You can read my full review on The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Mint Teas.

RLT Collection AIDS Awareness Tea Ball!

Welcome to my world of books! As an pre-teen books changed my world. I fell in love with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance period and the more I read the more I wanted to read. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It spoke to my own degradation and gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

I love to read! Inside a book I escape into someone else's life. There is something wonderful about turning to the next page of a wonderful story. Something intoxicating about the smell of the book and the story it brings to life. Reading brings me joy, and these days with my health in the balance, I find solace in my books.

I spent hours in my bedroom sequestered with the door closed reading the classics from the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, Wright and Baldwin. Books became my escape and my salvation. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

Reading is the one thing that the pain of my life could never take away from me. It was the thing that helped to make it better. And even today, living with AIDS, books continue to be the safest place for me. It’s the one thing that belongs to me that AIDS cannot take away from me.The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS.

The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS. I have read hundreds of books from many different genres and I will pick the best of my reads over the years. I warn you, it will not be exclusively white or black, male or female, fiction or non fiction, it will be all of them.

I’m so excited and I’m grateful to everyone who wants to be a part of this venture. We already have 110 Book Club Members. You can email me @ RLTReads@raelewisthornton.com. The Twitter hashtag is #RLTReads. We can make this book club as wonderful as we want to make it. Who says that Oprah has to have the only ownership to a wonderful book club?

This Month We are Reading In My Fathers House by E Lynn Harris

Read along and join our discussion July 19th at 7 pm CST

For more Tea with Rae "Vlogs" Click here to visit her youtube channel

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday Reflection: Let Go and Let God...

I have tried my best to give my readers something thought-provoking on my blog, especially on Mondays. But these days, my mind is cluttered I don't know what to write about. I have so much going on in my head and my heart. Love: Loving someone and being loved backed. How does it work when circumstance takes priority over the love. My finances: By far this has been my worst year as a national speaker. The loss of my book deal two years ago sent me on a downward spiral that only went deeper with the economy. Like most Americans, I was hit hard. I went from 5 to10 speaking engagements a month to a total of 6 this entire speaking season, September to June.  Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul takes a toll on your spirit.

My health: After 33 days on IV medication, trying to get my life back. My energy was zapped from this aggressive treatment. Getting back to my routine: Writing my blog more regularly, answering e-mail's and the tons of Facebook messages I get, keeping my bracelets stocked and promoting my work around HIV. And let's not forget, getting the weight off that was gained as a result of this medication the last time I was on it three months ago. I can't fit into my clothes and I have no money to buy new ones. Something has got to give. But mostly, I find myself wondering when will this nasty little bug attack my body yet again and force me back into this horrible cycle of fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and shutting down my life as I know it. My doctor has concluded that there is a part of my immune system that will not repair itself and fight off this AIDS related infection. So I'm stuck wondering when will it attack my body for the 8th time.

And then there's the event at Encore Liquid Lounge on July 15th, in just ten days. I have given it the best that I got, working through the fatigue and nausea. But I'm still a nervous wreck. This is the first time I have ever hosted an event using my name and brand. Will people come is by far the most pressing thing. But then will people support me financially, buying raffles, bracelets and making a donation? Will I have enough Swag Bags? Will people have fun hanging out with me mixing and mingling? It's not a formal event it's a social one promoting HIV/AIDS awareness.

There is so much going on and it's not all just about me. I have a girlfriend with breast cancer and I worry about her as she goes into the next phase of treatment. I have a girlfriend who's waiting on pins and needles to see if her job will be phase out. There are people that I love who are struggling with some serious issues and all you can do is wonder if they will ever overcome them. I mean there's enough to go around.

But then I'm reminded of the scripture that says, "All things work together for them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." (Ro 8:28)  I have got to believe that God's got this! All of it! No matter the outcome, I have to believe that  it will all work together for good: The good, the bad and the ugly. And with this understanding, I have got to let go and let God... So every time I start to get in my head with all my craziness, I will repeat the Serenity Prayer. Why? Because you can only do what you can do. Other people are actors in your life, free will is deep. But there is also nature, circumstance and situation. You can only control you, nothing else. So today, I will Let Go And Let God....

Post Script: God Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Grant me patience with the changes that take time, an appreciation for all that I have, tolerance for those with different struggles, and the strength to get up and try again, one day at a time.

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