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, June 14, 2011

Guest Blogger: A Day In the Life When the Diva is Your Friend

Each morning that I wake up, my day is essentially my own.

 While I am a single parent who maintains full and complete custody of my teen son, I can pretty much dictate how I manage my day. I can take one pill or none. I can go to a doctor or not. Let me tell you, I loathe them and have not been all year. My extremely athletic child however recently suffered a concussion, but I think you get my drift here.

We are both healthy and I have Rae Lewis-Thornton to thank for that. Her sacrifice is on a daily basis. She has suffered, been scrutinized and had her most intimate details self-disclosed so that we, who are negative, can be free.

A Day In The Life of a Diva was not my first encounter with brave Rae's tale. I remember picking up that oh-so-famous Essence Magazine and thinking what is this beautiful creature sharing with us? What I read made my jaw drop. I was young and single but heterosexual. I did have many close friends in the gay community affected though and as result I was extremely sensitive to the cause. Never once was I made to think it would impact my health personally until Rae shared her tale.

From then on I was vigilant. My physician was reluctant, but I insisted on annual testing of all things related to my sexual health. Verbiage would surface like, “Have you been exposed? What makes you think you need all of this testing? Are you a IV drug user? Are you promiscuous?” Only with exasperation would they approve the blood tests which I just do not get! To this day! I am happy that I was insistent. Knowing saves lives! Being a responsible sexual partner is the only way.

Early in 1996 I delivered my first born child. I think it is profound that I am able to share raising my son with Rae, whom I now consider one of my dearest friends. She has NO idea how she impacted my life. She knows she sacrifices for the good of her community each and every day, but she does it so selflessly that I do not think she pauses to realize her impact. I owe my health, and that of my son whom she playfully refers to as Prince, to her message and her selfless living. I can only hope the little I have given to her since we met can give her a glimpse of my gratitude! June 27th will be National HIV Testing Day.

If you don't know your status go to this website: http://www.hhs.gov/aidsawarenessdays/days/testing/index.html #about for more information on testing in your area.

 Know your status! Knowing saves lives! Be responsible ~ your community thanks you.

Post Script: Dwana is a wonderful blogger. You can find her at Healthier, Happier, You!  You can follow her on Twitter also...
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