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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How Do We Remain Sane In A Mad World!

How does one remain sane when the world around them seems to be going mad? That's what I asked myself this morning as the TSA woman rubbed her hands up my legs to the top of my vagina. Yes, I said my Vagina! Then she went back down my leg and up to my VAGINA yet again and when she reached the top, it was as if she said, "Tag, I got you," And back down my leg again. Each time she came up, I could actually feel her hand right there, un huh, right there.

 By the third time I was insane. She had already patted my ass three times, as well as, my breasts. And Lawd, my crazy self don't know how to follow rules without some adjustments, so I was explaining the entire time how I felt this was a violation of my Constitutional Rights and one day the Supreme Court was going to wake up and do their job. I know the supervisor was tired of me, yes I said supervisor, cause if it had to be done, if someone had to rub their hands up my legs to my VAGINA, then the boss had better get her ass over here and explain it to me.

 But anyway, by the time she started searching me, she was already tired of my crazy Libertarian ass. See, the other TSA worker had just kept me standing, looking stupid with my shoes off and when I asked her what I was waiting for, she got smart.

Now y'all know at 6:00 am in the morning is not the time to get smart with me. Well, no time really but this time I was trying to be patient but she just kept me waiting. And when I asked her when she planned on searching me, she said, "When I get ready." All hell naw, I asked for the supervisor immediately; And when she arrived I explained where the other TSA worker went wrong.

 But then this supervisor had to get another supervisor when I explained I had no intention of walking to this private room to be searched without my shoes on the nasty floor. I mean come on? How much humiliation must one stand for in a day? And I hate to throw AIDS in the pot, but I had to say it. Well, technically I have a disability, not because I say so, but because the Americans With Disability Act says so. I know I don't look or act like it, but I do #ForReal and I told the supervisor like this, "Baby I got AIDS, and with this compromised immune system of mine, I have NO intention of exposing myself to the crap on this nasty ass floor. " Well, she called the other supervisor over and it took him all of 10 seconds to tell me to get my shoes.

This is what the body scan shows
 Yep! The man was no fool! But the female supervisor was stuck with me and the body search. See the body scanner said it couldn't detect something on little old me and this caused the search. I stood there with dignity as the supervisor explained how she was gonna pat my ass, breast and groin... I ain't got no groin I wanted to say, I got a VAGINA!

 Lawd how does one stay sane when the world seems to have gone mad? I was so discombobulated when she was done, I went straight to the Starbucks line for some tea, and I could have used some vodka in my tea and I don't even drink. Then I stopped and got a bag of chocolate covered peanuts and almonds because one was not going to be enough for me to recover from this madness.

As soon as I got to the gate I called my BFF to explain and tell her how humiliated I was and yes I tweeted this madness.

 But now sitting on the plane, I wonder how the supervisor felt as she had to rub her hands up my legs to my VAGINA; Not one, but three times; On top of that, listen to my mouth. Lawd Lawd,  did she think I was as crazy as I believe these rules to be?

But I ask a larger question, how does one accept a job that requires them to assault and insult another person? And yes she was good and brain washed, especially the young sista who stood and watched. I know people gotta live. I get it and someone has got to do it. If not her, then who? I get it. But how does one stay sane in this madness? Yes, I get 9/11 too, I do. But I heard it said in a more dramatic way, "Do I deserve to live when I become the monster I'm trying to fight?" 

And my question is simple, has the Patriot Act become the very same monster it's trying to kill? At the very core of our Constitution is Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. In this modern age, do these laws violate the very essence, the spirit of who we say we are?

 And with that said, does it deserve to live? And if it does not die, how much does it erode our system? And then, what distinguishes us from the three headed monster we are trying to fight?

 Now I could name a whole lot of other things that make us look more like the monster, but I'm not going to have that philosophical fight, today my fight is with the TSA worker patting me down like she was taking me to jail, where there are NO rights. In the meantime, until America regains itself, how do we remain sane in a mad world?

 As for me,  I  will continue to stand for what is true and right and do it with grace and dignity!
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