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, August 21, 2012

Who Stays.. Who Goes...

You know men come and go in our lives, they really really do. Not like in the olden days when a woman met a man and he was her history for most of her life, if not all of her life. That's a time since past. In my generation women looked for love over and above security and a name.

 Love became our savior. Looking for Mr. Right is our main goal in a relationship; but they seem to come and go and come and go. Some of you seasoned women know what I'm talking about. Do you ever stop to think where the heck was that man you thought you couldn't live without at some point in your life?

Let me make a quick detour from my original intent of today's blog.  Given what I know about relationships, I wonder why in each relationship we can't see beyond its success, maybe to its failure. We hope and pray for the best and we bank everything on that, our heart, our mind and our bodies. We give them everything with the hope that we will have everything in the end. But what we give on the front end, doesn't always compare to what we get on the back end.

It's amazing how resilient women are; we take that licking and keep right on ticking. We bounce back and bounce back and bounce back, but I wonder what part of us we lose when the ball goes down before it comes back up? I wonder do we get lost in the looking? Do we ever stop to consider the long term impact of what it does to our spirit?

And what do we do with their families? Until recently, I've never maintained a relationship with an ex's family. Even my ex-husband's family kept it moving. Sometimes I think about all those wonderful Christmas gifts I gave when I was married and rolling in the money from speaking. All the money I spent. Lawddd all the money I spent. I think about all the times I got my frail body up and cooked and took stepchildren shopping.  And when he and I were done, so were those relationships that came with him. Looking back, maybe those relationships had run its course.

On my side, it's been easy, because I don't really have a family and my step-grandmother who raised me never really was a part of my adult life; She did not participate. So there was no one on my side for my ex's to develop a relationship, but on the reverse, I have developed relationships with my ex-boyfriends family's that seem to go right out the door with the relationship. That is some more emotional baggage that we carry at the end of a relationship.

Then came my most recent Ex-guy. We just had so many layers to our relationship, that maintaining it was harder and hurtful than letting it go. So WE let it go, but his mother never let me go. She was honorable enough to say, I developed a relationship with this woman and whatever you all have to do for you do it, but I have to do what's best for me. Now that's a hell of a woman. Yes maintaining a relationship with me has made some people uncomfortable, but she has not missed a beat. Not even from day one when I was hurting beyond belief, she just kept holding on to me.

You know God will bring people in your life that are supposed to stay and God will remove people in your life that you can't remove yourself, but they need to go. Sometimes, we hold on to what should go  and let go what we should keep.  Holding on when we should let go causes us far more pain than if we had let them go. Letting go, is not always a bad thing.

I'm grateful that I'm mature enough  and seasoned enough to recognize who should stay and who should go. When you can recognize this, you live in harmony with God's plan for your life.

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