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

Friday, August 26, 2011

How Big God Is... How Small We Are...

All week long I have been feeling like shit physically, which left me depressed and in the crappiest mood. So much so, it seemed every time I tried to write a blog I couldn't. I didn't even write a Monday Reflection because I really couldn't find any joy or lessons in my life other than I am alive.

 Now don't get it confused, I understand that being alive is a blessing and actually its half the ball game. But when you keep getting hit you almost want to say, are you up there God? Did you forget about me? Is this some freaking test and if so when do you plan to end it all? I was starting to feel a bit like Job. Let's see how much Rae Rae can take. Don't kill her, but make her feel it.

 I thought that I was gonna lose my mind this week, between the nerve pain in my hands and feet, to the point where walking actually hurts and at points throughout the day using my hands is difficult, even holding Sophie's chain makes my hand tingle and go numb, to a kick ass sinus infection, to this freaking Herpes infection that seems to have set up right smack back on my clit yet again, only three weeks off IV medication.

Yep I said it, ain't no point in being ashamed it's way too late for that. Having drug resistant herpes combined with an impaired immune system is no joke; It's worst than having roaches. Every time you think they gone and you start to relax, you see that nasty pest running across your kitchen floor. And don't act like you never lived in a place with roaches, but you better be glad you don't have herpes. #ForReal So this week I couldn't muster up enough of nothing and was feeling a tad abandoned.

Then a funny thing happen in the course of living this week, God reminded me how big He is and how small we are.  When I woke on Monday I felt like Job, tired and wounded with a lot of questions why? And when I woke on this Friday morning, God gave me the message of Job. And in an instant a peace came over me.  God is funny, even how He operates.

I was e-mailing a friend and I mentioned how sad it was that the Martian Luther King Memorial dedication was canceled and all that money and hopes were lost. I said, Mother Nature can come hard sometimes and then it hit me. What God told Job, "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? I will question you and you will declare to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth. Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined it's measurements--surly you know?"  (Gen 38:2-3)

And after four chapters  of God's wonder, God forces Job to speak. Anyone who argues with God must respond." (Gen 402b) WOW, God told Job, "Gird up your loins like a man."  Yep, God told Job, you coming at Me, you better come with all you got. And even If you hit me with everything you got, I'm still bigger than you.

God told Job to man up and in the end, that's exactly what he did, Job says, "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." (Gen 42:1-2)

I get it! No need to ask God did He forget me; His memory is longer and wider than measurements themselves. No need to ask  God why; Even if He were to explain, I wouldn't understand the plan. God's plans are far greater than anything we can ever conjure up in our head. Like Mother Nature  all we can do is go along for the ride. Embrace the changing seasons with grace and understanding that God's wonders never cease. There is hope in God's wonders, for it reminds me that He never fails or falter, just keep on holding on and see what the end is going to be.
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