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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Does Anyone Date Anymore?

Does anyone date anymore? Is chivalry dead? Is there an expectation that sex is automatic in every relationship? And just because a man makes you wet between the legs does that mean that you have to go ALL the way?

And how soon is too soon for sex in a relationship? I know there has always been a double standard in our society. Women who have sex early, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month are typically called whores. And men are glorified for being able to get that "thang." And honestly, the main reason women hold out is to ensure that he is what he says he is. But holding out for months won't determine if he will be an ass in the end. Nor does it guarantee that he won't dump you once he actually "gets it." I mean some men love the chase. I've said over and over again, no one ever really knows everything about a person, not really. Even though we bask in a level of arrogance, proclaiming that you know your "Boo."

From day one we always claim that we really want to become friends first, but do we really follow through? I mean the moment they make us wet and tingly, or him hard and throbbing, all our best intentions typically go out the window.

What we do is exchange chemistry for friendship. But I'm here to tell you, just because he turns you on sexually does not mean that you two are compatible in other areas of your life. Really! I've had some wonderful sex from some assholes. For Real! Who, in the end, didn't really have my best interest at heart, and wasn't capable of an honest friendship based on mutual respect.

I started thinking about this because I had dinner the other evening with an absolute gentleman. It was a real date. I can't even remember the last time I've had "real" date. My last relationship was a whirlwind and it ended in a whirlwind that left me broken. And that was a power that I gave him over me. But... Never again. Never again. We blame everyone but ourselves and a person can only do to us what we allow them to do. Whether they have best intentions or not.

So this gentleman took me on a bona fide date. He knocked on my door, rather than calling me on my cell phone to tell me to "come on out." He took my coat at the restaurant. I sat first, he opened doors. He never assumed anything about my life and my willingness to talk about a particular topic, even though he knows that talking about my life is the epicenter of my ministry. He did not take me for granted, rather he asked.

And it was a lovely evening. We laughed and shared a meal. There's a lot of intimacy and power in sharing a meal. Really! You see, sharing a meal forces you to actually look at the person sitting across from you. It allows you to see a smile or the special way they laugh. And those can be some of the most powerful moments of intimacy. Intimacy isn't fucking. It is characterize as, essential, innermost, familiarity, comfortability, very personal. Fucking on the other hand is what it is, an act of sexual intercourse. And the sad part is, you can have fucking without intimacy. Dating allows for intimacy.

After dinner, I invited him to my home for tea. And we laughed, we talked, and in those most "intimate" of moments, like a touch on the leg, a soft brush across my face with the swipe of his hand, a hug, we both knew that we had chemistry. But chemistry does not add up to friendship.

Friendship takes time. It must grow. It must be fermented just like black tea. Black tea is the strongest, boldest tea and it goes through the most and longest processing before it is ready for a tea cup. I submit that we must give ourselves time to be the strongest and boldest that a relationship can be. What's wrong with courting the old fashioned way? We want everything to happen overnight in this microwavable society. Let a person earn the right to be with you.

No, I'm not putting any time limitations on it, but I am saying, know that there is a difference between chemistry and friendship and there is a place for both of them in a relationship. Chemistry is instant and it creates a path for friendship... It is not the path. And friendship will under-gird the longest, strongest and boldest of relationships.

And oh, the thing that impressed me the most, when we stood at my door to say goodnight, he didn't try to stick his tongue down my throat. He didn't assume that the intimate moments we shared throughout the evening gave him the right to cross that boundary. And what's the rush anyway? If the friendship grows, both of your tongues will tag along.

Does Anyone Date Anymore? Yep Me!! Just like I declared that no man could have my coochie in the dark if he was not willing to walk with me in daylight in the park... Well, no more whirlwinds for me... I'm gonna let my relationships ferment just like my favorite tea, with time...

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