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, June 30, 2014

When Your Dog Has Cancer....

It felt like the life had been sucked out of me when a specialist/radiologist told me that my dog Sophie has a tumor the size of an egg on her liver. But I felt like I had been sucker punched today when I learned from the new veterinarian that I switched her to, that the tumor was actually the size of a grapefruit, maybe close to two and not an egg. I know it to be true because I saw the tumor on the xray myself.

I'm not sure how the radiologist missed a tumor this large when he performed the ultrasound on Wednesday. To add insult to injury, I  actually took Sophie to the Vet back in December for her back and they x-rayed and saw that her liver was enlarged and never mentioned it.

 I learned in April that her liver enzymes where very high and they suggested an ultrasound. I had been trying to pull the money together to get the ultrasound, then I got sick and was shut down a few weeks that's why I haven't been blogging.  But last week I decided that I needed to make the ultrasound happened because Sophie was just restless. It was  then I started selling my handbags and jewelry on Facebook. (BTW) thanks to everyone who purchased something from me; I've spent over $1200 since last week. For sure without your purchases I would not have been able to get Sophie the care that was  needed.

Dr Gill with Sophie!
So here we are. A missed tumor in December and a misdiagnosed tumor just lest week. But I knew in my spirit that I need a new veterinarian on Thursday after I got off the phone with her current Vet about the ultrasound report. He just didn't seem proactive.

Thank God I followed my first mind. If I hadn't switched to Dr. Gill at Bronzeville Animal Clinic, I would have never known how advanced the cancer really is.

After speaking with me on Thursday,  Dr. Gill was on top of it, looking for solutions to shrink a tumor, at that time so we thought, the size of an egg. (based on the radiologist report on Wednesday)

When Dr. Gill saw Sophie on Saturday she was really concerned. She thought then that this tumor was really bad and put some extra medicines on board. On Monday she decided that Sophie was in way to much distress and took an xray herself to discover that the tumor is so large it has shifted all of Sophie's organs. 

Did you understand all of that? Cause it was a mouthful for sure. The bottom line, my baby girl has liver cancer and it's not good. For the last 3 days it seems to have gotten worst. She don't want to walk, she barley eats and she whines all day.

But then who would want to walk if all your organs had shifted and you have a tumor covering your entire tummy. She can't get comfortable. She's just an unhappy baby.

I've cried until I can't cry anymore. Well that's a lie, I get overwhelmed about every few hours and have a moment.  I can't wrap my brain around this. I feel like God got jokes. Like really God? 

Dr. Gill and I thought we had a plan on Saturday, but now it has been shot to hell by the size of the tumor.  Chemotherapy and radiation does not work for this type of cancer, so basically, the tumor has to come out; A surgery she probably would not survive.  

The plan today is to see if any of these medicines we got on board will give her some relief. Maybe prednisone will shrink the tumor, at least that'[s our hope.  Next week If we have not seen any improvement in the quality of her life, I will  have to make one of the most important and hardest decisions of my life; Operate or just put her under. 

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