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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Reflection: Just Take A Deep Breath....

Can we talk? I mean some real talk! I got a lot of freakin stuff to complain about! A lot to be mad about and a lot to fuckin give up on! That's real talk living with HIV/AIDS. Just walk ONE day in my shoes and see for yourself.

 Living with this disease is a nightmare wrapped into a pretty package, setting you up. You see, the longer you live, the harder the living. It's a gift and a curse all wrapped into one. A gift because life is always worth living, but the cost sometimes is a tad overwhelming.

I know, I know, yes I'm still here! I'm alive and doing my best each and every day. But do not be confused, ain't nothing cute about living with this freakin disease. Now, I know, I know, we want people who become infected to have hope. And I try to give it to them and some for myself, but I'm not going to lie and let my lie set anyone up for failure, thinking this is a cake walk, cause it ain't.

Yep, we should have hope for longevity and a life full with possibilities; And yes that's possible with proper treatment and care. And as I said, life is worth the living For Real.. For Real...

But as sure as my name is Rae Clara, some days I just want to list my shit and get it off my chest. Let it all hang out! Well, I sort of do that in a roundabout way in my blogs and when I speak, but truly, I've never just listed all the madness that I face living with AIDS. Yep, I could list it and the list would be long as hell, but then listing it won't change not a darn thing! Not one thing on my list will alter. It is what it is!

So instead of giving into the madness and writing this long ass list about how much I hate living with AIDS and why, I'll just take a deep breath, have a wonderful cup of tea and Keep It Moving!

Why? Because no matter what I'm facing, I have to continue to believe that life is worth living. When God wakes me up in the morning I know that I am still a part of God's earthly plan, so why not embrace what's before me no matter how jacked up it is sometimes.

 Now this is where my faith comes in. I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future. I don't know how many good days I will have versus bad days, but my faith tells me to believe that thing I cannot see, will be.

In the end if I see value in living, then I will make the best out of the life I'm facing. You see, I had the chance to change the course of my history 29 years ago. I made decisions based on everything I thought I knew about life, but in the end, it proved to be wrong.

All to do now, is take a freakin deep breath and keep on living!

FYI: RLT Collection is having the best sale EVER! 50-65% markdowns... Click Here!  the website is... www.rltcollection.com
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