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, March 6, 2012

Celebration of Life!

I never thought that I would live to see 50 years old, but by the grace of God, in just under 3 months I will celebrate my 50th birthday. I know it's hard for many of you to believe that I was dying, but I was. I remember when my T-Cell count was 8 and my Viral Load was 400,000 and I was on my 3rd bout of PCP, an AIDS related pneumonia that was the number one infection that killed people with AIDS.

When I looked in the mirror, I could see death staring back at my size 0. It was clear that I was wasting away. HIV medications were mediocre at best and the average life expectancy for a person with AIDS was 3 years. But God kept me here long enough to benefit from the new class of HIV medication that changed everything about living with AIDS. I did what I needed to do for my health, for my survival. I stuck my treatment out no matter how horrible it was or made me feel. I decided that I wanted to live and I did what I had to. With AIDS, there's no middle ground, you decide how long you want to live, or how soon you want to die. I chose life and whatever came with living with AIDS.

Be clear, it has been no picnic in the park. I remember those days of lying on the bathroom floor, shitting on myself, too sick to get up and reach the toilet, yet again, so I made the cold tile floor my bed for hours. When I really stop and think about it, it's a wonder that I made it, AIDS was taking people out of here by the hour, back in those early days.  It really is a wonder that I made it. I mean, it's a wonder that Mama didn't take me out long before I got to HIV/AIDS. I came out of my mother's womb at 3 pounds and drug addicted, at a time when drug babies where unheard of, it's a wonder that I made it from day one.

I stayed in an incubator for 3 months, so I've been told. My childhood was plagued with abuse; physical, emotional and sexual. I mean when I think about it, it's a wonder that I didn't lose hope somewhere along the way and take myself out of here; I mean For Real, For Real... But I knew somewhere in my heart, that God had a purpose for my life, and that I was more than what Mama had written me off to be. The songwriter says, He saw the Best in Me.. Clearly God saw the best in and intuitively I clunged to that inner knowing with dear life. 

I never gave in to the darkness that filled my childhood days. God and church became my refuge. I depended on my love of God, and God's love of me to keep me. Pretty profound I think for a young girl to know deep within that  if I just depended on God's love for me that I would make it.

I made it through those darkest days of being beat with a Polaroid camera, or whatever Mama's hand could reach; But then I turned around at 23 and was told that I had HIV. There was no hope back then, NONE! There wasn't even one medication to treat HIV, when I was told of my status.

So yet again, I had to lean on the love of God. I had to remember my history with God. Keep a clear head and understand, that if God could bring me out of one thing, God could bring me out of another thing. I had to remember that God's love was the only constant in my life. And even on that cold tile floor that day, I laid there and talked to God.

So here I am having survived the worst of worst any child should ever have to face. Having lived with HIV for 29 years and AIDS for 20, here I am! I'm excited about this next stage of my life. I have no idea what God has planned for me, I'll just take the days as they come, the good, the bad, the wonderful and the ugly; And in that, I will continue to depend on God's Love for me, and my love for God.  People keep asking me how I'm going to celebrate, and I'm not quite sure. I know that I am planning to give myself 50 wonderful things throughout the course of this year. In the scheme of things, I'm just glad to still be here! Not just alive, but actually living in my life!

I  also wanted to do something special with RLT Collection to commemorate and celebrate my life and work. So I came up with a simple but yet wonderful new bracelet. Pearls are my absolute favorite gemstones and I think EVERY woman should own real pearls. With this in mind, I designed this Diva AIDS Awareness Bracelet with 8-10 mm Freshwater Pearls and these pearls are a nice size. I paired it with a beautiful pave' AIDS Awareness Charm. The crystals are bright red and encrusted in sterling silver.  The RLT Diva AIDS Awareness bracelet will celebrate my life and work. It's $50.00, one dollar for each year God has blessed me in His earthly plan.

There's no huge mark-up on this bracelet. With the price of Sterling, the ribbon alone was a healthy price, but I took the leap. I wanted something special. Typically I design a few Diva AIDS Awareness Bracelets a year, however, this will be the only one from now until May 22, 2013, birth year to birth year.

I hope that you will celebrate my life with me, by sowing into my life and ministry, by wearing and buying my new bracelet. I am taking pre-orders now, the bracelet will be available for shipment no later than, May 1st.  Those who purchase on the front end, will take some of the burden of the cost of material off my back. LAWD... LAWD... So I'm hopeful, that I will have many pre-sales. Pre-Order Here!

I'm excited!! Just excited. I don't know what God has in store for me but I can't wait to see. What I know for sure... That God's plan for my life is far greater than anything I can plan for myself. I'm just going to open my heart and mind to these next years of my life. I will continue depend on God's love for me and my Love for God!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics