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

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Every morning I thank the Lord for another day and then I grab my IPad to see what's happening on my Twitter timeline. And I hate when I wake to madness; And that's exactly what I got this morning.  Lawd knows I wasn't expecting tons of re-tweets showing me foolishness some young people had tweeted.

I re-read the tweets over and over again and then I crawled out of bed and got connected to my morning IV drip, turned the teapot on and re-read them again. As I sat in bed with a wonderful cup of English Breakfast tea, allowing this medicine to pump through my veins, I knew my timeline was waiting on a response.

And I also knew that what I wanted to say and needed to say couldn't be said in a 140 characters. My first reaction was, they can't possibly believe this shit they tweeted. Like seriously!

I try never to respond to tweets such as these without investigating. So I ventured to each of their timelines to get a feel for who they are and I'm not sure if I was relieved or disappointed. I saw that both timelines were full of madness, and that's what twitter is all about; Freedom of speech in the best and worst ways, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Sometimes you know when the ugly is for real, like you can feel it. But then other times you can't really guage it.  You don't know if people are tweeting crap for attention and shock value or if they are sincere. So after viewing their timelines, all I can really say yet again, is, Seriously? Vulgarity and Vulgarity was the theme of both their timelines.  And that's fair, if that's what they choose to tweet and people want to follow them.

If you catch my timeline on Friday's you may be shocked. For Real my #FuckinFriday Tweets are provocative and over the top and some of my timeline love them and some can't wait for Friday to be over, they just hang in there for something else. I mean, I got unfollowed by another AIDS Activist because she didn't like my cussing.

What I love the most about all of this is that the people on my timeline who saw those tweets thought enough of my work to say, help, set these young people straight before they end up with HIV. Help them see the reality of this disease. And for that I'm grateful.

But the truth of the matter, I don't know if these young men are just on some bullshit trying to shock the hell out of people to get a large following or not. But I wonder what the people on their timeline think? The ones that read these tweets; If they take them at face value or not. That's what bothers me the most. You will a lot of power with your tweets and they can lift up or tear down, they can inform with the best of information or they can perpetuate misinformation.

So let me set the record straight. AIDS is the number one killer of African-Americans between the ages of 25-44, not a gun shot  And with  African-American being 52% of all cases of HIV in the United States, it's hard to believe that every black person doesn't know someone either living with HIV or have died from AIDS.  Or maybe not! I mean if I had HIV these guys would be the last two I told on the face of this freaking planet. Laughing at Sexually Transmitted Diseases is no joke. And with the kind of stigma and shame they are tweeting, I would be afraid to tell them that I was infected.

But oh Let me set the record straight again, up top was an example,actually I have been living with HIV for 28 years and AIDS for 19 and I thank God there is nothing a person can say or tweet to make me feel ashamed. Those days are fucking over!! I look good for a woman living with this disease over half of my life. I hope you don't think you can look at a person and tell.

And by the way, I read on one timeline that they make their women get tested for HIV. But the HIV test is as good as it is. So if you get tested today, it's for the sex you had 3 months ago, not the sex you had last night. And in the reality of life, if the pussy aint in your pocket my Brother you have no idea what it's doing when it aint with you. So go on and fuck bare back, but understand, AIDS takes prisoners and it's harder to live than to die with AIDS.

And I got to say this... Laughing at Shingles, Huh? Yes Shingles is in the Herpes family, but it comes from the Chicken Poxs strain of Herpes, not from slinging your dick. If you have ever had the Chicken Poxs, Shingles will  most likely be in your future.

Oh Lawd, this was a lot to take in this morning, but it's the life and area we live in. At the end of the day, people still have to make their choices, about what they tweet and how they have sex. My prayer is that is doesn't bite ya in the ass one day.  Seriously!!!!

ps... I wonder if I will get cussed out for this blog... Let's wait and see...

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