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, May 27, 2011

Trusting Could Be Deadly...

I didn't think anyone could shock my ass. I mean I'm the shock queen. But the other day, I was like are you kidding me? But now that I think about it, I should have remembered everything that I always knew to be true. But I have to admit that I had even bought into the madness. Looking back, I wonder why? Was it wishful thinking on my part? Was I just willing to give someone a chance, the benefit of the doubt?

Well, whatever the case, I was crudely reminded that the only person in the 21st century you can give the benefit of the doubt is yourself. I mean with sexually transmitted diseases lurking every doggone where, giving someone a chance is risk taking at its best. And in the end, could be a deadly. Putting your faith in man, rather than what you know to be true is a grave mistake, and could cost more than you are willing to pay.

So let me tell you what happened, I was having a conversation with a girl friend and every now and then I would mention her Sweetie. For some reason his name had escaped me, but every time I said your Sweetie she responded. And this guy was a Sweetie. I mean everything a woman could ask for. Tall, dark and handsome with a heart of gold. He was the perfect gentleman all the time. And did I say the man was educated and very gainfully employed?

I was so happy for her, she could not have done any better. I mean didn't everyone deserve a man like this? He has this beautiful smile and this swag that was part GQ and Afro-centric all wrapped into one. As she and I were talking, I finally asked, "So how is the commuting working out?" He had moved out of town about a year ago and they had started commuting their already 3 year relationship.

She paused and then said, "Girl you talking about Tyrone?" She added, "Girl we haven't been together in a year." I stopped in my tracks. HUH? FOR REAL? WOW! But they were a great duo, like Oreo Cookies and a nice glass of ice cold milk.

I stood in shock. She began talking again. "Girl he's engaged to be married. He got engaged a few months after he moved." I started doing the math in my head. Had he been dating this woman all along? Huh? Did he move there to be with her? I had to sit down on this one.

I was in complete and utter shock. Come to find out the woman he was engaged to is the same woman he was having an affair with when he was married. HUH? I was speechless. I didn't know what to say. My mouth dropped open. She went on, "Girl that ain't the half of it." And she told me more and more about other women coming out of the woodwork.

My head was spinning. I was speechless for a long time, just listening. I finally mumbled, "You were using condoms?" She hesitated, "Yeah, ummm some of the times." And then she added, "Well, in the end I was all the time because something seemed off."

I wanted to say so much more, but I just couldn't. Can't undo what's been done. So I ended the conversation with, "So how do you feel about all of this, I mean not using a condom, trusting him?" She said, "Well, I'm not having sex now. I'm ok being alone."

She hadn't really answered my question. I dropped it. No need pouring salt into an open wound. I was sad that this had happened to her. I have known her since forever and she is like a little sister to me. But we all have to make our own decisions about our own life and the consequences are no joking matter.

Trusting could be deadly. This situation speaks to everything I have been saying since forever: I hope that what you think you know about your partner is true.

But I see this all the time. Women insist on condoms in the beginning. But once the relationship has some time behind it and it seems to be progressing, we let our guard down. Maybe we believe we are building a relationship on trust.

And then you ask, well how much time is enough time before you let your guard down? I mean, we say to ourselves, we have been dating for a year or two and in her case three.

My answer to this is a matter of fact, if you are dating a man for 2 to 3 years and marriage is not on the table, then you are wasting your pretty. You are giving him the best of you with very little in return. And don't insult me by saying you're not ready for marriage. Bullshit! No one wants to date for the rest of their life. And if you ain't talking seriously about marriage, then it's not serious enough to have sex without a condom.

The bottom line is this... Condoms until you get married!! Bottom freaking line! And I promise to write a blog soon about marriage and condoms. I have something to say there too.

We spend a lot of time living in a whole lot of arrogance, denial and false sense of security. For Real! What do I have to do or say to get you to see if the penis ain't in your pocket you have NO idea what it's doing when it ain't with you.

STOP!!! STOP!! Putting your life at risk for a dick!! There is NO penis worth your life. If a man respects and values you, he will agree to use a condom upon your request.

And if a man doesn't respect your decision, your choice about your body and life to use a condom, then why would you even give your body to such a man?

And btw.. This friend has been around me since forever, she has seen me so sick that I cannot hold my body up. What is this? We think it can't happen to us... until it happens to us... That's some crazy ass risktaking. Why is the need to have a man more important than loving yourself!

Damn... When you set a standard and live by it, God will send you someone who will love you and the values you bring. It begins with self-love and trickles down... What I know for sure is... The only thing you can trust for sure is God and you. Otherwise... Trusting Could Be Deadly!

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