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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday Reflection: Muddling Through The Chaos...

Where the heck have I been? I know... I know... the nerve of me. How dare I go one whole week without writing a blog? Without even a hello. But in the last week, I’ve been muddling through chaos. For Real... For Real... My stomach virus was one thing. But then the doctor discovered a mass near my ovary. And to make matters worse, my pap was abnormal and I needed a biopsy. This was something out of an old fashioned daytime drama. Oh yeah, let’s not forget, I had to finish packing and move. And all with no cupcakes. It was not a pretty period for me. So forgive me, superwoman #fail and this is why you’re getting a Monday reflection on Tuesday and the first blog in over a week.

So let's take it from the top. A little over week ago, during a routine gynecological exam, the doctor discovered a mass near my ovary. Everything stopped! Women with HIV/AIDS have a lot more gynecological problems then women without HIV, as well as a larger share of cancer. So the doc didn’t waste one moment. She scheduled me for an ultrasound the following day. I already knew that I needed a colposcopy, an invasive exam that allows the doctor to take a closer look at your cervix. This was starting to be overkill. So now it was all compounded. Could I have cancer? I mean, three abnormal pap’s and now a mass near my ovary the size of a small plum. Not good! Let’s not forget my stomach virus had not budged. Diarrhea, nausea, food sensitivity. I was lucky if I managed to get down and keep down 800 calories a day. Not only was I miserable, I was scared and confused. Not only did it seem that my health was out of control but my home and my life as well. I was muddling through the chaos as best as I could. I knew something had to give.

We tackled one problem at a time. Scared out of my mind, I agreed to go on the drug holiday. So a week ago last Friday I stopped taking all of my HIV medications with the hope that it will resolve the problems I've been having with my stomach. After one week we saw mild improvement, so the doctor extended the holiday through this week also. I have to say that I see more and more improvement with each passing day. Currently, my diarrhea has totally stopped. I still have mild nausea that seems to be more intense immediately following a meal. And slowly but surely I’m able to eat more at each meal. But it’s still hit or miss. Like today, I made grits for breakfast and the taste of them made me nauseous. So food is still trial and error. As for cupcakes, I tried one on Friday and I could only get through half. It seems super sweet and still isn't agreeing with my stomach.

Overall, the drug holiday seems to be resolving the problem. Remember, I had food poisoning and it made my stomach super sensitive to my HIV medication, leaving me on toxic overload. It looks like I may have another week off the medication after this week then back to HIV medication. Now, are all the potential problems still there? Yes they are. When I start back taking my HIV medication, I still may not be able to tolerate the same combination. Or I could have developed a resistance to them which means I will have to go on a new regime that we pray will be just as effective for my strain of HIV. But I can’t solve this problem today, it’s a dilemma I will have to cross when I get there. Can’t worry about what I don’t know. Now, on to what I know for sure. The mass they discovered seems to be nothing more then two common cysts. Typically they will shrink on their own. That was a relief!

As for the colposcopy, they had two experts look at my cervix and it looked “great.” Of course we will have the test results in about a month but they seem to think everything is just fine. The only thing though is this procedure left me pretty sore. But I had no time to think about my pain. The next day I was moving. No, I didn’t have professional movers, I had friends. The thing is, you cant ask people to do more for you than you are willing to do for yourself. So I “man-up,” as the saying goes. It only took us 8 hours considering I had over 30 boxes of books, 7 feet of bookshelves, over 100 pieces of art, and let's not even talk about the clothes and shoes.

Of course the house was in shambles. I mean, #ForReal! Of course I couldn’t let myself live in chaos. AIDS renders enough on it’s own. I can’t handle any extra. So for the last five days, I have been unpacking like a madwoman. I wouldn't dare ask those same friends to come help me unpack. So it seems that in one full week, my life was in chaos. I was hit from every angle there was. But, I muddled through it all. And let me just say, muddling is both good and bad. The dictionary says, “To muddle is to persist successfully in a disorganized blundering way.” The goodness is that if you keep on muddling, you will reach your goal. That’s far better then quitting and getting stuck in the chaos. On the other hand, it would be great if we could persist with clarity and direction all the time. But the truth of the matter is that life is not always clear. It’s like a puzzle with many little pieces, all you can do is live one piece at a time.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics