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, May 23, 2011

Monday Reflection: It Ain't Over Yet....

I try so hard not to miss Monday Reflections. But today was one of those days when you are over it way before it gets started good. I mean, I was real happy to see another day, but ummm. Really? Sometimes the plate is so full you don't even know where to begin. It was one thing after another. Today, one fire or the other needed to be put out, so I spent my day dealing with everything but what I had planned. And honestly, if I had sat down earlier today, this blog would have been a bitching session. For Real... For Real...

But as I was laying in bed trying to clear my mind from the chaos of the day and drift into a deep Vicodin sleep, it occurred to me that it ain't over yet. Nope there are two more hours left in this day and that is enough time to write today's Monday Reflection.

Yep and that's how I feel about everything in life, especially life. We spend a whole lot of time bitching about this and that, and some of it is rightly so. I mean we do have to process the stuff... the shit... the chaos...

Thank God that I have some people in my life that seem to make it so much better. Like this evening, Markeeda listened to one mess after another and in between each new topic she said just the right thing and even made me laugh. So go ahead... Bitch... But it's better when you have someone you can trust to be honest, sincere and loving with their ear and ummm without a lot of stupid ass conversation and questions... just a whole lot of compassion.

But when all is said and done, it's not the end all to end all. Somehow we survive it. Don't we? And weeks, months and years later that thing that created all that chaos, that had all our attention, seems to be a distance memory. Somehow we made it through what seemed hopeless in that moment.

That's even how I feel about living. I mean after celebrating my 49th birthday yesterday, I clearly know it ain't over yet. God has blessed me with more years then the medical community said I should have. And I remember back then, I spent a whole lot of time thinking about death, which today seems so unimportant to my life... to my living. I learned death don't need any attention... when it's time comes there will be nothing to think about... So why give it energy in the living?

It's even like that for that man you thought you couldn't live without. Remember? When the relationship was over everything made you think about him. And you couldn't see how you were going to get through another day, or even how the hell you gave him so many of your days... but then a day turns into a week, then a month, then a year or two and before you know it, he becomes a distant memory. So go ahead and process the right now, so you can live in tomorrow.

It's amazing the miracles that God grants us each day. But don't get stuck in the shit... the stuff... the chaos... or even the right now of it all so that you can't step into the newness of what's next. It ain't over yet!

Post Script: Thanks to every Birthday Tweet, Facebook, Message and Gift! The outpouring of love was overwhelming. I tried my best to answer everybody... but umm, I'm so loved... Superwoman got tired...

I spent the day doing what I was supposed to, ministering. The rest of the day, I rested my tired sick body...

Keep me in your prayers. The doctor is trying desperately to keep me off IV medication, but it's not looking good. My Twitter, Facebook and Blog Family you are the bomb.com with a bag of chips and a mystic... I love you all!! Much Love!! #IcannotdoitAlone

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