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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There Is Hope In Tomorrow!

Yesterday when I left the clinic after getting my IV medication, I was so freaking beat down. I sat in that taxi on my way home and all I really wanted to do is cry. When I arrived at the clinic that morning at 9:00 a.m., I already had a low grade fever, and by the time I finished at 4:00 p.m., I was nauseous, dizzy, fatigued and so weak that walking was an effort. Not to mention, I'm still in pain from the actual infection. Read here about the infection. My spirit was at an all time low. When your spirit is this low, there is a hopelessness that comes over you.

I want to say that I was able to draw on my Monday's Reflection, "Remember," but I didn't have the energy to muster up an ounce of memory. All I could say was, "I know You up there." And I do know He's up there, but when you're in the midst of it, there is a loneliness that overtakes you. I'm not going to pretend that coping with hardship is easy, it's not. It's hard as hell! Some days it take everything I got to keep it together. But I'm determined to not allow AIDS to take me out of here, emotionally. I can't always control the physical, but the emotional, well that's in my domain. So for me, at different times, I muster up all that I can in different ways so that the darkness does not swallow me up. You should never just have one strategy for life's journey.

I arrived home and there my solitude began. My Sophie met me at the door, wagging that tail a mile a minute, jumping and barking to be picked up to give me all the love she can muster up. Then there is the comfort of my home. A refuge that I have created that speaks peace to my very soul. My art collection is the epicenter of my home and everything stems from there. I started collecting right at the point when I made a transition from HIV to AIDS, and each new piece has been chosen carefully over these 20 years to speak life into me. Your home should be a place of peace, it should speak life into you, not take it away.

I warmed up dinner. Thank God my girlfriend Melanie cooked dinner on Sunday and dropped it off, if she hadn't I would not have eaten. I was too beat and actually warming it up took an effort. I ate, got a cup of tea, and me and Sophie retired to the bedroom.

I gave Sophie a rawhide to keep her busy and I laid back with my pillows propped up with some beautiful agate gemstones on my lap and spent hours designing some fabulous bracelets. With each new bracelet design I started to feel alive again. For me, beading takes me away from the dark place. It reminds me that there are some good things in my life and it helps to bring me back to the light.

Beading reminds me that I'm a gifted, creative woman that has a lot to share with the world and a lot more living. I begin to imagine someone wearing one of my new designs. And that for me means that there is a tomorrow and that there is hope in tomorrow, even if today has been drowned in sorrow.

@MsKeeda Wearing RLT Collection

My bracelet designs remind me that there is a life beyond the right now. And when someone wears my bracelets, I feel as if I have given them a part of me that AIDS can NEVER take away.

So when I'm low like yesterday, I bead. And what's so incredible, I seem to do my best work when at my lowest. I've been beading a lot lately and by the way the designs are simply fabulous! Coming to the website soon. #ForReal.

I'm not saying that the pain goes away when I bead, I'm just saying that I'm reminded that there is a life worth living even in the pain. I'm saying that the beading takes me out of that dark place towards the light. We tend to be hopeless and irrational in the dark, but in the light we see more clearly and that provides perspective for the pain. And with perspective for today's pain, there is hope in tomorrow!

Postscript: Many people seek destructive ways to help ease the pain: drugs, alcohol, sex, overeating and overshopping. Those are temporary fixes to complicated problems. I remember the day when shopping was my answer for everything. With therapy and a desire to live healthy and a lot of HARD work, I have come to a good place in my life where I find solitude in a way that is healthy. I stopped shopping and God replaced the void with beading and knitting... Reading has been a place of solitude since I was a pre-teen. Find yourself a place of solitude... In solitude, there is hope in tomorrow...

blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics