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 13, 2012

Monday Reflection: Gettin My Groove Back!

If you had seen me walking down the street yesterday pushing my grocery cart, you would have thought I had won the lotto or something.  For Real... For Real... But that was nothing of the sort, I was just happy to be able to go grocery shopping. It hit me as I was walking up and down the aisles yesterday that it's been months since I've been able to do this simple chore.

Yes, I would go to the store every now and then, but the task was physically just too much for me and I've had to get most of my groceries delivered by Pea Pod. That's a great service, but it's limited. Plus, there's nothing like being able to walk those aisles and get what you really want, but more importantly, just the ability to do it, is a blessing.

Week Of IV Medication

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not confused that some people don't have money for groceries and I'm grateful for the money to buy. I don't want you to think I'm minimizing that fact. It's just  that I'm also grateful for the ability to perform this simple task. Walking has been an issue for me in the months past.

First, there was the herpes that was painful between my legs, then the neuropathy that was painful to my feet. It feels like someone is sticking pins in the bottom of my feet. While the pain has not totally subsided, I thank God the pain is reduced greatly.

Doing simple things just wasn't happening. Oh yeah, let's not forget the just flat out fatigue from the IV medication that zapped the freaking life out of me. There were days when I didn't want to wash my ass, more less, go get groceries.

But I'm gettin my groove back!  Yes, I am! After I ended the 49 days of IV medication, I turned around and had a biopsy in the opening of my vagina and that shut me down yet another week.  It was all a bit much.

But ain't I glad trouble don't last always. Yep, I'm gettin my groove back. The herpes is all gone, the IV medication is out of my system and I'm all healed down bottom!

Yep! I'm gettin my groove back. We never think about the simple things that a person cannot do when they are sick, but I face it every single time I get shut down. Its like my entire life stops.

Yes, I try to keep up as best as I can. There's a part of me that cannot let AIDS take everything I got, but certainly, I'm not able to do half of what I'm able to when all things are equal. Now be clear, there are still limitations with my, "Normal" like HIV related fatigue, mild neuropathy, medication side-effects, mainly head-aches, Functional Bowel Syndrome, which creates, diarrhea, daily nausea and food sensitivity; Sometimes, just the taste of food makes me sick.  It's a lot to deal with on a daily basis, but over the years, I'm able to manage it, figure it out, fight it. The bottom line, I'm able to keep it moving in spite of it all, but lately, keeping it moving was at a very, very, very slow pace.

So yesterday, I was grinning ear to ear pushing my shopping cart down the street home. There was a level of gratitude in my heart for just this simple task. I came home, unpacked my groceries and made dinner; collard greens, short ribs and buttermilk corn beard. In the last few months, I was so tired of carry out and frozen meals that I thought I was gonna lose my mind. I even washed four loads of clothes last night. Yep, I'm gettin my groove back!

Now that I'm back to my, "Normal," the most difficult thing for me is going to be creating balance. I'm so behind in all my tasks, I want to do it all in one flash. The overachiever in me wants all of my life back as soon as possible; But I decided last night, that I'm going to pace myself. I'm just too happy to be able to do the simplest things right now.

When you're going through something it feels like things are never going to change. The longer it takes to see some positive change, the heavier your heart becomes. I've learned over the years, no matter how dark it is in the right now, just keep holding on. Do what you must to make it through another day. Even if you have to tie a knot at the end of that rope, just do it!

Hang on for dear life because as sure as I'm typing this right now, a change will come. Yep, that's exactly what I did. I kept holding on. I kept doing what I needed to do for my health to get better. I took the hits one bunch at a time. Now today here I am,  I Got my Groove Back!

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