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 4, 2014

Growing Pains...

At 51 I'm not ashamed to say that I'm still a work in progress!! I learned something new about myself everyday that I don't like! Discovery, then acceptance is the first two steps. But the real question is what are you going to do about it, that is, the thing you learned about yourself? You see it's not enough to know better, but at some point you have to replace the old with the new! The Bible says that you cannot put new wine in old bottles. At the end of the day, it's the action behind the discovery that makes us great .

So this is the deal, over the weekend I had a clash with two men that are special to me, my Pastor and Mr. Handsome. It was two totally different topics but it had the same result; it made them irritated with me.

I could on the one hand, right it all off as my freaking hormones all over the place and partly that could be true. The doctor confirmed that for me; the lack of sleep from my night sweats, thats cause by hot flashes in my sleep is what's causing my mood swings.

But that would be the easy way out, and we all know that I'm hard on myself. So another truth is that I tend to see things in black and white and that makes me overreact. The truth is, one truth don't negate another truth. Honestly, this black and white thing I got going on, is a trait of many Adult Children of Alcoholics, that I share. I remember in my early 20's Mrs. Jackson would say to me after an argument with Jesse, Jr. (We were always feuding about something or another) Mrs. Jackson would say just as calmly, "Rae it doesn't pay to be so damnn right."

For sure she had a point, because sometimes you win the battle and lose the people in the fight and for sure that's not always your intended outcome!

Now this thing about being right is relative because everyone's right has some validity. Sometimes it's a matter of respecting that everyone has a way of doing things and unless it's a total volition of you, and even if it is, it's there right. I learned that in Al- Anon, that a person has a right to make choices for their life even if you don't like the intended outcome for your life. You always have the option to move on.

The reality is that the most people don't always live with you in mind and that's not a bad thing per say. We each have to live our own lives, where we intersect then great!

Another person's way of doing and saying things isn't always meant to be mean or hurt you. A person's way of expression is just that. If you know a persons heart then that should be enough to get you pass that moment of what you are feeling.

With this said, I was reminded in both of these situations that I really need to work on some areas of my life. I keep saying that I really want to be my best me. I'm using these moments as  teaching moments and a catalyst to be a better me.

Someone who's opinion that I value said to me today, that Mr. Handsome is a shock to my system in a good way.  He is shaking things up over here. For sure he  has made me take a critical look through the lenses of which I view life; and when a person helps you to grow that's always a good thing. Pastor, well in a small but significant way, showed me that whatever I was tripping about had no validity.

Both of these men I certainly respect and are happy to have them in my life, that is without a doubt. I'm glad they have crossed my path. Even in an narrow way, I'm happy for my craziness, because it reminded me that I still have work to do on myself. At the end of the day, all we can really account for is ourselves and you must love the skin that you are in, or do something about it.
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