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, July 20, 2011

God Requires Us to Love Them- Not Live for Them!

In the last two days I've been talking to friends about people in their life who've made jacked up decisions that affect both you and them.  And what's equally jacked up; they typically go on with their life just as content with there messy shit leaving you stuck with the lingering odor.

It's a sad reality that people have the right to make bad decisions about their life that affects you negatively. And it's a mess when they make bad decisions they had no right to make and it affects you and others.

Like one of my good friends called me about family funeral drama. Yep, I don't know a family that hasn't had funeral drama. As he was telling me, all I could do was shake my head. Like how can two brothers, who know their brother has taken a turn for the worst, not inform the dying brothers adult children that he is dying? *Blank Stare*

I'll tell you why, cause their greedy ass was to busy trying to change the insurance policy before the brother died to do the right thing.  But as God is my witness, there is no amount of money on this planet that would not let me inform my nieces and nephews  that their father is dying. Who does that?

Ummm, but then you take another situation, totally different. My girlfriend basically raised her sister and did a damn good job might I add. But now at 18, a freaking alien or something has erased everything she was taught by her big sister and it seems she has lost her freaking mind.

Now that she is  ummm "acting" grown *shrugs* She is making some jacked-up decisions. Like how do you not get your ass out of bed to attend a workshop that is required for you to get $8000 dollars of your tuition. *Blank Stare* There ain't NOTHING on this planet that would make me stay up so late and not get my ass out of bed to handle my business. #For Real. 

At that age I was on my own, grown (and gettin some good stuff might I add)  but on my own not because I wanted to be like her, but because I had no choice. But you better believe if someone was giving me $8,000 for tuition, I would have been the first person in that freakin line. In fact, because the man that I was dating  truly loved me and was looking out for my best interest, he would have put my ass out of that bed.

Now, you take a situation that I was in. A friend, told me that no one had ever given him a chance. No one had believed in him enough to go out on a limb. Well, I heard him loud and clear and I used all of my contacts to get him enrolled in a school that would accept all of his credit hours.

And with only 32 hours to complete a bachelors degree, he walked away from school midway through the first semester; Leaving embarrassment written all over my face.

Now, he had that right. I can't begrudge a person's right to make decisions about their life. Just like my girlfriend, she has no right to deny her sister the right to make decisions for her life no matter how crazy or sad it makes her. It may not feel good and you can still smell the stench a mile away, but it is their right.

Even my friend's brother who died. He had diabetes and just refused to take care of himself. And with most diabetics, if you don't do the right the thing, it will take you out of here. The same is with AIDS. Someone told me just a few days ago that a friend of theirs was dying. She apparently stop taking her medication and now AIDS is taking her out of here and she has two pre-teen children.

What do you do with this? When people you love make these jacked-up decisions about their life?  Well, what I'm gonna say is gonna sound cold, but it is the truth. You do nothing about them! You can love people, but you can't live for them! God has given each of us free will to do as we please.

But you can do everything for you. Yep! You can take that free will and wrap your ass right around it, the same way they did. There are consequences for every choice you make in life. When people make decisions for themselves, you have to honor their right, and they have to live with their consequences.

But then it  should mean that the boundaries change.  Don't get me wrong, a change of boundaries does not mean  that you shouldn't love them anymore, just means that now you have protect yourself in a way that they have proven to be either unwilling, or unable to do so. When people make selfish decisions, you can't do a damn thing about it. #FACT

 In all of these selfish acts I highlighted there is sadness. Children, didn't get to say good bye to their father, One person has died and another seems to be on their way. There will be yet again orphans to AIDS; These children will be going from pillar to post, because already the family is not stepping up to the plate.

One person has missed an opportunity to change their life and circumstance and another has made her life harder before she has even cracked open one book. You can see them crashing, and out of our love, our impulse is to save them, but you cannot save those who don't want to be saved.

Each of us must live our own life and use our free will wisely.  We can Love them, but we cannot Live for them. God has given us only one life--ours. To overstep that boundary is trying to play God and when we assume a roll that was not intended for us, we create more problems for ourselves than that friend or family member ever did.

Go in peace knowing that God has only required of us to Love them... NOT Live for them!!

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