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, September 30, 2011

Stop The Madness!

I stand by every freaking thing I say and do! And when I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and will admit where I see my wrong. My opinion is my opinion; And guess what? Opinions are like assholes everybody got them. But at the end of the day, we can all agree to disagree. By the way, that's what I say about people reading my blog, you can disagree with me, but when you personally attack me, that's a boundary.

So yesterday I wrote a blog about some tweets that my followers sent me from someone else's timeline and boy didn't I get my ass kicked. The young men, "Went-in" on me as we say on Twitter. Now often I fight back with word for word, but I didn't yesterday. Why, because for one I thought my blog was fair and I had said everything that needed to be said.  And honestly, I didn't really need to because my timeline took up the battle for me. You Rock! Yesterday's Blog Click Here!

At the end of the day, the young men reduced it to joking and that I that had taken it all out of context; And this is how he and his homeie's get down. While, people can say whatever the hell they please, I know I sure do, I don't think AIDS is a joking matter. I mean we don't joke about other health issues the way we joke about HIV/AIDS. I don't see a darn thing funny about the possibility of someone contracting HIV or laughing about someone living with this horrible illness.

I have never heard someone joke about a woman getting her breast removed because of breast cancer.  I'm so over it. I wrote a blog a year ago about the same thing. I've even known AIDS Activist, not living with HIV to participate in the joking.

Joking about HIV/AIDS perpetuates the stigma and shame that is already attached to this disease, especially in the African-American Community.

I'm going to say it Loud and Clear, I will challenge any joke that is sent my way. I see nothing funny about my 15 pills a day. The Stigma and Shame must STOP! People must be allowed to live with dignity with this disease.

There are many who cannot speak up, who are to afraid to speak up, who live in shame and fear of rejection with HIV.  Well, those days are long gone for me. God has given me a voice and a platform and I will continue to use it until the day I die. And I hope my voice will lend courage to others living with HIV to stand tall.

I understand, don't get me wrong, it took me seven years to get to a good place with my status. And my mother still rejected me, still said,  "See I told you." But people are going to treat you how they are going to treat you. You can only change how you respond.  I told my mother, "AIDS is to hard to fight both of you, so you can stay and we live in peace, or you can get the hell out of my life."

We are in this together and We have to stop the madness! What's the quote, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

Post Script: I was so emotionally drained after all the "mean" tweets yesterday. But I never surrendered to the madness. God allowed me to keep my wits about me. At one point I said, "Just so you know, I've not said what I could have said." One young man  said, "Me either"

So late last night that same young man tweeted me,"Beautiful Black Sista," I told him I didn't have the energy to fight. But he came in peace. He actually had a really important HIV question that one of his followers had asked him. So I moved beyond self and answered the question. What I know for sure, it's not about me, but how God uses me. I pray that I always remember that !

If I had never written that blog, I would have never answered that young lady's question... "What happens when two people with HIV have unprotected sex?" Answer: They can reinfect each other with a different strains of the virus that could accelerate their illness. If the other person is taking medication, they will be reinfected with the their medications strains that are resistant to HIV, which may not work for the other person.  

Live in your purpose, and let nothing deter you!

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