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, September 13, 2010

Monday Reflection: Gratitude For Today!

I’ve been so off lately. Behind in ALL my work because of my health and the move. Blogs haven't been written, bracelet orders haven’t been sent out, and emails and messages have not been answered. For sure I’m moving slower than normal doing the bare necessities. When this happens, it seems like my whole life is in shambles. Like the overachiever in me is an epic failure. But actually it’s not and I have to remind myself to keep things in perspective. Not to allow the magnitude of it all create more drama than what it actually is. It’s hard though.

Yes, it is true that I am sick. But it is also true that I am getting better. I’ve been off my HIV medication now going into my third week and I can see slow improvement. My diarrhea has completely stopped. I’m not as nauseous all day everyday. Just periods throughout the day, especially after I eat. I’m able to eat more food each day. But it is still hit or miss. Like yesterday I was able to eat peach cobbler but then the ice cream was too sweet, the salad but then the dressing made me sick to my stomach. I can eat a cupcake but not the icing. So while I see some progress I know that I am still not at my normal.

The problem is that the longer I’m off my HIV medication the more afraid I become. I’m wondering how much virus activity is happening in my body. Like, what’s it (HIV) really doing now that there is nothing to fight back. I know in the long run my immune system does not stand a chance fighting HIV without any help. While I know I have to take this drug holiday to get better so that I can tolerate my HIV medications, I want microwave progress. But that’s not always the real world, huh? And with that said, I must be grateful for what I've got and not stuck on what I don’t have.

And yes, work is behind, but I’m writing a blog today. I’m on the road speaking today and I answered at least 50 of my emails so far today. So it’s all in perspective. We are a greedy society. American’s over indulge in everything. As an overachiever I have to remind myself that a blessing is a blessing. Like my girlfriend Alicia was in town. I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked, but I did get to see her. She did made it count. She came bearing gifts, with lots of love and that’s all that matters. What comes from the heart touches the heart no matter how big or small. And likewise some movement is better than no movement.

Last week I said it was better to muddle through chaos then to be stuck in chaos. Today I’m suggesting that we have to keep it all in perspective. Call a spade a spade in both good and in bad. So often we get stuck on what didn’t happen and how we want it to happen that we rarely stop and take account of the goodness that is happening. God makes no mistakes and what is suppose to happen does. Surrender your greediness to God’s goodness and it will then open the flood gates for the blessings to overflow. 

Remember the Children of Israel and the manna. Well God ordered them to eat for the day and not worry about tomorrow. And each time they disobeyed God, the manna spoiled. So keep it in perspective, both the good and the bad. The blessing in the right now is better than no blessing at all. There is a lot of wisdom in the AA saying “One Day At A Time.” I have to remind myself that all I have is today. The blessing of today is more important than what I want for tomorrow. And out of the gratitude of today, God will give us a better tomorrow.
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