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, June 13, 2011

Monday Reflection: There is Hope In Time....

Telling someone to hold on when it seems as if their world is falling apart sometimes seems futile. I mean their heart and spirit are screaming: CAN'T YOU SEE, I'm hurting? But yet all you can really say to them is hold on. I say it often, I even repeat it to myself, "Hold on Rae, tomorrow is another day." I do it because the Bible says there is life and death  in the power of the tongue. I do it because in that instant it reminds me that I want a tomorrow. Asking to hold on for an hour or even a moment is asking for time... Time for it to be better... To get better... There is hope in time...

But we wake in the morning and nothing has changed, we say, "But I thought the Bible says that joy comes in the morning?" Well, I'm a living witness that joy does come in the morning. It may not be tomorrow morning. It may not even be the morning after because our time is not God's time. And I've learned through my own history with God, His time sometimes seems like whack time, like, ummm where you at God? You forget about me? Yep, when you are going through, it's like, gee God, why you so slow? You may not voice it, but you think it and your heart feels it. 

But if you look back over your past isn't it interesting that it seems like you came out of that other situation just in the nick of time? Right before you were at the point of losing your mind...

I'm writing this post for all of us today. I have some close friends who are going through very difficult times right now. Their world is falling apart as they know it. Change is inevitable and sometimes painful. I write this blog for me because my health has taken a major hit and the hits just keep on coming. 

I want us all to remember that there is hope in time. If you can just hold on in that moment, it becomes a second which becomes a minute, which becomes an hour and then another day.

Pain is an inevitable part of life. Change is also an inevitable part of life. And they both serve to make us stronger and better. I don't understand why there is pain in this world, but there is. Pain and evil were the two most debated issues in my theology classes in seminary. And no one really had an answer. The Bible says simply, "In this world there will be tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." With this in mind, I'm learning to be content in whatever state I'm in... Can't do shit about it anyway, except go through the journey... And stressing over the journey will only make the journey harder.

This is what I know for sure... God can use anything, even your pain, to enrich your life and the lives of others. So for all of us today, Hold On! Why? Because time will give you a better tomorrow. Hold on because each day you wake you are still a part of God's earthly plan. And life in and of itself is the most wonderful gift that God can render in your earthly journey.

Just think... If I had given up. Stop taking my medication, stop holding on in those days that were full with pain... Those days when I could barely hold my body up... When I could see death staring me back in my face... If I had stopped holding on, there would have never been a tomorrow. I would not be writing this blog today... So while we may not be able to see our way out of it at this moment... Hold on and allow your hope to rest in time... God's time!

PostScript: My health is not good... I plan to write a blog that outlines everything that is happening to help you fully understand how AIDS work... No, I'm not dying... But I am struggling... Keep me in your prayers as the doctors try to put me back together again. I will be taking some time to get better. I will not be blogging everyday, but I have asked some of my blogger friends to fill in the gap.

What's the point of having people who love and support you if you don't allow them to support you. You cannot want support on the one end and refuse it on the other. Sometimes God sends people to help us on our journey... Don't miss your blessing stuck. Don't deny the help that God sends your way out of pride. Its counteractive to your deliverance... Even Jesus had disciples...  Ain't no glory in suffering alone, you don't win a prize for that shit, you just create a harder and darker path for your deliverance.

So I hope you will continue to read as others help me fill in the gap.

The radio show Tea With Rae: Wellness For The Mind Body and Spirit will be postponed until after I'm completely off IV medication. The book club RLT Reads will be postponed over the summer. I will announce the summer read within the next week and we will discuss it in late September...

Thanks for all your support #IcannotdoitAlone

Yes, my next Tweet Up is tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14th at 7pm.... In honor of National HIV Testing Day. YES... I plan to have my IV medication on Tuesday during the day and get to SideTrack and have a blast with you... 

Please join us... I toured SideTrack Bar for the first time last night and it is freaking Fab. The guest DJ, Laura Branch, I understand is off the chain... We will be dancing, laughing, socializing, giving away wonderful raffles, tweeting and testing for and about HIV/AIDS. You can RSVP... I know a lot of you have said you are coming but have not RSVP'd. You can still show up but it would be nice to have you check in... HERE


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