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, November 5, 2012

Monday Reflection: Bounce Back!

I'm the freakin bounce back Queen! Over the years no matter what knocks me down, I always find a way to get back on my feet.

But sometimes the going down is so hard that the coming back up is even harder. Can I talk to some real folks? This life can be a bitch with a capital B! For Real.. For Real... And there ain't a positive thinking quote that can make it better and the best scriptures go in one ear and come right out the other.

And all those people who want you to be better like right now, only takes you into to a deeper depression. They want a miracle for you and there becomes a guilt within because you can't deliver what they want at that moment in time. The bounce back seems so far away, if not impossible. Yet deep in your heart you know that its possible; the bounce back that is.

That's been my life lately. Life has been a bitch with a capital B and just when I think I'm about to pull it together, I get hit again and then again and the bounce back seems to get further and further away. And the further away the bounce back gets the deeper the depression becomes.

Can I talk to some real folks, with some real life issues? Depression is real for people living with HIV/AIDS. Bullshit ain't nothing! No matter how well put together I am when I face the public, there are no clothes or makeup that can take away the emotional pain, and even the physical chaos that I live with daily.

Yes, I do have to deal with the same stuff everyone else deals with, like disappointment and hurt, but I have that extra, i. e. HIV/AIDS and that Bitch is extra extra...

I'm always amazed at the HIV infected person that says HIV changed their life for the better. I wonder what pills they are taking because there ain't shit about HIV that made my life better

I had a life and career before HIV/AIDS. That's for real. I didn't stop using drugs and alcohol when I learned my status because I didn't drink or do drugs before I became infected. And hell naw, HIV didn't stop me from lovin men or wanting men to love me. Nor did it stop me from fucking. My journey  and healing with men would have happened with or without HIV in my own time and space.

So when I say there's not a damn thing great about having this disease I mean that shit. Yes, I am LIVING! Yes, you can LIVE with HIV! But this bitch ain't easy or cute. It adds a burden beyond explanation. There is nothing I can truly say to make you understand the magnitude of this journey.

Yes, I've made the best out of my situation. Yes, God has blessed me in my mess. I won't deny either of these things. But when a cold every normal person has, becomes a major production in my life, I know that I know, ain't nothin easy about HIV/AIDS. When disappointment and betrayal happens in my life and the stress from it lands me on IV medication for 19 days, I know that I know ain't nothin easy about HIV/AIDS. When I wake up after 12 hours of sleep and it feels like I haven't been to sleep at all, I know that I know, ain't nothing easy about HIV/AIDS. When nerve pain becomes my constant companion, I know that I know, ain't nothin easy about HIV/AIDS. But when all this happens within a two month time, I know for sure this bitch is a motherfucker to contend with; and honestly it all gets the best of me sometimes.

People want me to be "normal" and I want to be "normal" too. But there is nothing "normal about living with HIV/AIDS. I want to be that STRONG black woman all the time. I want to be that SUPER Bitch people expect of me. But honestly, when I have diarrhea in a restaurant after dinner more often than not, the truth is, all I want to do is crawl into my bed and stay there for the rest of my life. This shit is so hard sometimes, I just want to quit!

This is some real talk right now! And don't be confuse, I don't have to kill myself, all I have to do is stop taking my medication and watch myself slowly die a horrible death. That's for real. Don't get it twisted, I have advance AIDS and those 15 pills a day are my life line.

But for as much as I want to quit, I also want to see how remarkable God is! Yep, I continue to endure the madness because I know somewhere in it all, God is going to do the impossible. I say often, just keep living and watch God blow your mind. So my desire to see the wonder of God, becomes the motivation for me to bounce back. Yep, it's that simple; I want to see what the end is going to be! I know what my right now is, but I have no idea what tomorrow will be. God has already done some awesome stuff for me and through me for the goodness of others and I want to see more of His wonder.

The 1962 Bracelet Is Coming!
So even in my darkest moments, I have to find ways to get to the light. It's interesting that I'm most creative in my darkest times. I couldn't talk last week, my voice was totally gone and I didn't have the energy to engage conversation on the phone or virtual and be Super Bad when I was Super Sick... But I had a vision for my Fall/Winter RLT Collection and I laid in bed and created my best designs, I think EVER, just one bracelet at a time.

They say some of our most creative people went through bouts of depression from composers to artist. So like many other creative people, in my darkness I make a way for the light to shine bright. It shines bright on the wrist of  each person who wears my designs; and watching God grow RLT Collection one bracelet and one customer at a time, is more than enough to bounce back.

For every damn good reason I want to quit life, there is a pretty damn good reason to live in my life, so I  find the way to bounce back and see what the end is going to be.

What I know for sure is simple:  Keep bouncing back, no matter how hard the drop and watch God blow your mind on the way up!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics