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, October 25, 2011

Sneak Peek! RLT Signature!

Onyx Gemstones and Sterling Heart Charm!
I'm so excited about the latest line in  RLT Collection. I'm growing and proud of this growth!

What I did this year was create very distinctive lines.  Fall/Winter, Cruise and Evening. My Fall/Winter 2011 line is simply fab! I love the color black and I've always wanted to create a collection that featured this color. Onyx is the perfect gemstone to be the centerpiece of this collection.

I took the onyx gemstone and created bracelets that would compliment black. And consistent with my theme, I have a bracelet for every woman; Every personality and Every price.

Heart Charm shown with Onyx Stackables!

My Fav! African Turquoise with Onyx !
I'm most proud of RLT Signature Bracelets, featuring three gemstones in the center. My signature Bracelets can be worn by themselves or paired with any bracelet within a particular collection. The three gemstones will distinguish my Stackables from others in this popular style. Three has so many meanings in cultures around the world, but of course it also symbolizes the RLT in my name and the name of the collection. You will see RLT Signature bracelets in every RLT Collection line.
RLT Signature shown with Onyx Stackables!

RLT Signature! Agate Gemstoens and Onyx!
The Trunk show is this Thursday at the Comfort Suite Hotel, 320 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago at 6:30 in the Atrium.

 The show is Free!  Come hang out with me, Tweet, Eat Sweets and View RLT Collections; Fall/Winter 2011, Cruise 2012,  Day to Evening, Pearls and my New Diva AIDS Awareness Bracelet.  

You can RSVP here  Clink This Link! And yes you will be able to purchase bracelets at the Trunk Show. They will be available on the Website the evening of the Trunk Show.
Agate Gemstones with Fireball Center

RLT Signature featured with Onyx!

Agate Gemstones  designed with Leather and  shown with Gold Glass Stackable

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Reflection: God Will Bless Your Work!

I must admit I've been a late comer to Oprah's Life Class. I'm not sure why, but I just never tuned in until my BFF Markeeda commandeered the remote control last Thursday. Of course I stopped in my tracks because one of my favorite celebrities, Paula Deen was her guest. I LOVE Paula Deen! I mean everything Paula, from her story, drive, spirit and yes her dog gone recipes. I have NEVER had a bad recipe. OMG!

Paula found herself a young divorcee with no money and turned her one skill and passion into a million dollar empire. She went from $20 to $20 million.  Oprah asked her how she do it. And Paula said the most profound thing; And that has stuck with me all week just like gorilla glue. She said, "I did the hard work and God blessed it." WOW! How profound for an era of microwave and quick fixes to almost everything.

The Bible says that God will make room for your gift and I know this to be true in my own life. But how can God bless your gift if you never use it? I've simply had it with all this name it and claim it jive that floats in our world today, especially in these prosperity Churches. Yes there is some validity to blessing the church and the man and woman of God... But to make that the primary connection to one's blessing, is just not right nor is it Biblical.

There are so many Biblical examples of God blessing a person because they put some effort into it. From the lame man on the side of the pool made to walk, to the woman with the issue of blood, who risked everything going out in public and touching Jesus to get healed to the parable of the talents.

 The way it goes, Jesus  gave one person 5 talents, another 2  talents and another 1 talent, each according to his ability. The person with 5 talents worked all talents and gained 5 more, the one with 2 talents worked them both and gained 2 more, but the person with 1 talent buried it and gained nothing as a result. Nothing rendered, nothing gained. Even Jesus often performed a miracle with something. He turned the water into wine. He fed the 5000 with the fish and five loaves of bread. We always ask, What Would Jesus Do?  Well there are many examples, of putting what is before you to work.

Paula Deen had a gift for cooking and instead of hiding her gift as she did herself with agoraphobia for many years, she used what was before her.

Yes, she was afraid of leaving the house, but that didn't stop her. She sent her sons out with bag lunches and from that she grew an empire.  She even remembered that her lunches didn't look like much, but they tasted good. I submit the more she cooked, the more she grew her skill.

RLT Collection F/W 2011
I feel that way about my bracelet collection. The more I design and craft the better they will become. Over these last three years I can even see the the sophistication in my designs. And the more I design, the more I want to design. The more I design, the more sales I will get.

Paula Deen was so on point, God will bless your work. You cannot be afraid to step out there. Often times people are stuck in fear, afraid of failure, afraid of what people will think of you, just afraid.  There are no quick fixes in life.
In truth, you pay for everything you get in life, one way or the other. There is no pie in the sky, no gold at the end of the rainbow, no prayer cloth, or a minister that will make you rich. You have to do something for yourself.

So what everything isn't the way you want it, to make that move. In honesty, life will never be perfect, nor will the conditions that you think you need to follow your dream. Remember, Paula was afraid to leave the house; stuck in her own skin, but not in her gift. Ain't that something, this woman didn't allow the fears in one area of her life to carry over into other areas of her life. She used what was before her.

What's your excuse for NOT using all the talents that God has given you, not only for your own goodness, but for the goodness of others?

 I will stand by this idea that God will give you all that you need to make the most out of your talents, but you must be willing to use them. Paula said it best, "I did the work, and God blessed it!!"

Sneak Peek!

Onyx Gemstones are the epic center of F/W 2011 Collection!
I'm simply excited! I'm having the first Trunk Show for RLT Collection and I can't contain myself! I've put so much time, energy and yes money into making my latest collection the best!

This has been a long time coming. When I started this venture three years ago, I had no idea that my passion for designing would grow in this way. And with the growth of my passion has grown my creative gift.

I'm proud of my designs and I'm proud that I not  only have the desire to take my bracelet business to the next level, I'm actually doing it. Yes! I'm putting action behind my dream, rather than wait on it to fall out of the sky.

Black Onyx Stacks & Agate Charm Bracelet

This Thursday the 1st RLT Collection Trunk Show will be held at the Comfort Suites Hotel, 320 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago at 6:30 in the Atrium.

 The show is Free!  Come hang out with me and Tweet, Eat Sweets and View RLT Collections; Fall/Winter 2011, Cruise 2012,  Day to Evening, Pearls and my New Diva AIDS Awareness Bracelet.  

You can RSVP here  Clink This Link! And yes you will be able to purchase bracelets at the Trunk Show. They will be available on the Website the evening of the Trunk Show.

I will be giving Sneak Peeks of the Collection all week as well as  highlight the sweets that I will have at the Trunk Show... I hope that you will join me...

I hope you don't get bored with my excitment, but celebrate with me as I strive to be and do my best!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yep! Taking It to The Next Level!

Yesterday I had a photo shoot for RLT Collection, my bracelet line that I launched three years ago. I've been working on the new collection now for almost three months. Yes, I've been even working while I've been sick; Doing the best with what is before me each day. I think that we all should do our best with what we got; To do less is to squander what is before us.

I decided to take RLT Collection to the next level, so I'm taking steps in the right direction. You can't just talk about your dreams, at some point you have to put some action behind your dreams.

So here I am working hard to get to that next level. I'm having my first Trunk Show, on October 27th at the Comfort Suites, Chicago. I'm a little nervous about having fashion bloggers and writers review my work, but if I want to go to the next level, it must be done. The collection needs the exposure.

The reality of it all, everyone will not love my bracelets, but many will. I cannot let the fear of rejection stop me from giving it a try. I've just got to be willing to push the envelope. I also understand that I might even learn something from my critics, but I will be careful not to allow it to destroy my own creative eye, but instead use it to help me grow.

Yep, I'm doing everything I got to take my collection to the next level. I'm launching the RLT Signature line, The Power of Three. Stackable bracelets are the hottest accessory in fashion right now, from Barney's to Forever 21.  So I'm taking my designs to the next level, creating my own distinguishable style for my stackable bracelets. The Power of Three will be unveiled both at the Trunk Show and on the website October 27th.

Yep, I'm doing everything I can to take my collection to the next level. I'm in the process of revising the bracelet website, which is the primary place my bracelets are sold. I'm giving it a face lift, and website design is not an easy thing, nor my expertise. Nope... But I'm not letting that deter me one bit. So my  photo shoot yesterday was for the website.

I was very blessed to have an awesome photographer, Parrish Lewis of Parrish Lewis Photography. I'm honored to be the small pea among some of his big name clients. The make-up artist Nicole, from bombshellartistry, was just like her business name, a BombShellArtist.

The photo shoot was fun, but it was mostly hard work. I came home and went straight to bed. And let me tell you, this morning, I didn't want to get out of that bed. But I have a Trunk Show in 9 days; so, as usual, I'm pressing my way.

Yep, I'm taking RLT Collection to the next level! I'm investing time, energy and every available dime I can get my hands on. I'm giving it all that I have because at some point you have to stop talking about your dreams and put some action behind your dreams!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Step Into Your Greatness!

I was working on another blog this morning that I was struggling with and because of the struggle, I spent most of my time watching one of my favorite television shows, House.

I love that guy because he's wonderfully complicated, just like life. And while most of the time he seems to be black and white, there is a lot of grey area in between the black and white. Unfortunately, people don't always see the in between because they are so busy passing judgment on the black and white.

Well, this morning's show really moved me in a very special way and so here I am writing about that one thing instead of the thing I thought I was going to write about. I'll get to that blog on trust, just not today. I typically go where the spirit leads.

 I must have been off my House game because I missed him going to jail. Apparently he ran into a wall with a car and just like him, he didn't hire a lawyer and so now he's in jail. The thing is, House doesn't think he deserves anything good, so jail is a sort of self-imposed prison. I wonder how many of us, live in a self-imposed prison? Not one with real walls, but invisible walls that limits the good things that God has in store for us. We don't see ourselves as God intended for us to be so we sabotage every chance we get. 

I dated a guy, I think he was the love of my life. For Real!  For Real!  But he could never see himself as God had intended.  He spent 20 years in prison. While in prison he earned 92 credit hours. He served his time, got out and couldn't finish 33 hours to receive his BA. Life in prison determined the boundaries of his expectation for himself out of prison. It was easier earning those credits that could never be used than earning credits that required action. He is one of the most brilliant minds I've ever met, but because of the bad he rendered upon his life and others, he doesn't believe he deserves any good. But God is ever redeeming. He's just waiting on you to forgive yourself, just as He has forgiven you.

I wonder how many of us have that prison mentality. We are afraid of failure so we sabotage, relationships, careers and growing in those special gifts we have. We don't think we are good people because, Mama, Daddy and the people we know said so.  Or even because we have already had to face failure. So we stay stuck, rather than meeting our full potential.

We even stay in bad relationships because that's all we know. I've known women who have stayed in unhealthy relationships because they had Herpes, HVP or HIV and believed that was all they deserved on one level, and all they could get on another. We are afraid of failure so we don't follow our dreams and on the other side we are also afraid of hard work; The time that is required to make that goodness a reality.

Since I've launched my bracelet business I've invested hours of time searching for the best gemstones, designing, and all my extra money and some of my bill money in  trying to making RLT Collection a success. Sacrifice is often required to get where we need to be, but on the short end sacrifice seems harder and the pay off too long.  Some are even afraid of success, because with success there becomes an expectation. To whom much is given, much is required.  Life sometimes seems easiest without excpectations. In prison, you are told what to eat, when to stand and when to sleep. He told be it was like being in a coma; Walking Dead.

But what I love most about House is the dichotomy that he lives. While on one end, he punishes himself, on the other end, he never lets his personal mess interfere with his calling. Yes, in his personal life he is a complete and total mess, but on the other end, he is so totally good at what he does and is willing to take risk. Yes his character is so wonderfully complicated. Risk taking on the one hand and sabotage on the other.

At the pivotal  moment in this particular show, he risked going into solitary confinement and his parole to save a life of a fellow inmate. The jailhouse doctor says to him, "Why would you risk it?" He turns and looks her dead in the eye and says, "I have a gift." That stopped me dead in my tracks.

It's a powerful thing to know that you have a gift, it's even more powerful when you are willing to use that gift, no matter what the outcome for you may be. It must be a living hell too know that you have a gift, but are too afraid to use it; To afraid of failure on one end, and success on the other. What people think of you should not determine in any measure what you do with your gift. 

I love House's I don't give a fuck what you think of me attitude, I am who I am, accept me as I was molded by life's journey or not accept me. One thing is for certain, and I know this  to be true in my own life, God will make room for your gift, if you are willing to use it.

Yes, this episode of House had so many life's lessons, whether it is in your personal life or your professional life. You were created in God's perfect image for a specific purpose on this earth. But first you must see yourself as God intended for you to be, on the one hand and be willing to step into that greatness on the other.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I've been MIA! Sorry but my health has been on a roller coaster ride. I got off IV medication well over a week, all healed, by the way,  and then three days later I had a cold. I was hoping the cold would move on quickly, but it has set up camp. Yep! A week turned into two and now it's bronchitis.

The over achiever in me has been whining like a spoiled brat. I had to postpone the Trunk Show for RLT Collection, reschedule a photo shoot two times and to make it worst, I have neglected my blog.

This is killing me, but I've come to an understanding that my Super Woman cap needs to be repaired!

So I am coming back soon. In fact, I'm working on a blog about trust now. Hopefully I will finish today, but either way, just hang in here with me, I'm coming back in full force as soon as I get better.

In the meantime, Please RSVP to my first Trunk Show for RLT Collection. I'm so excited about showing my new collection up close. So come hang out with me at Comfort Suites Chicago, October 27th, 6:30-9:00, it's free of charge.  Click Link Here to RSVP! In the meantime, I'm pressing my way as best as I can... #IcannotdoitAlone

Also, I'm looking for other bloggers who are willing to write a blog about the Trunk Show. Please email me @ rae@raelewisthornton.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rae's Favorite Things!

The thing I remember most about 1st and 2nd grade in Chicago Public Schools were those darn Butter Cookies! I would sit in my class at Beethoven School and wait with anticipation as the wonderful aroma filled my senses with delight.

Lunch was the most exciting part of school in those early days.  I couldn't wait to get my butter cookie each day. Once I smelled those cookies, I would begin asking the teacher, "Is it lunch yet?" I think those butter cookies was the beginning of my becoming a food connoisseur. Today I am a real foodie.

Once I left Beethoven that was the end of butter cookies for me. Earl School had cold lunches and there was not a butter cookie to be found; And then we moved to the suburbs. I remember asking the luchroom staff at Chute Middle School in Evanston, where were the butter cookies? I dragged my feet with disappointment when I learned that butter cookies were a Chicago thing and there were none to be found in suburban Evanston schools.

I just knew I would never have a butter cookie again until I started dating a principal of a Chicago Public School in my mid-twenties. Yep, he brought them home often and now that I look back, that was the best part of that relationship. #JustSayin

 Honestly, I hadn't thought about those butter cookies since forever until the other day. My friend Wilbert, brought one of his client's cookies over for me to sample.

WOW! Patrick's Gourmet Cookies are just how I remembered them as a child. I tried my best to savor the moment and eat them slowly, but the next morning I found myself in bed eating butter cookies and drinking tea. They didn't last a full 24 hours. When I went to his website, I learned that his passion for butter cookies is also rooted as a child in Chicago Public Schools.

His Peanut Butter Cookies are a close second and I can't wait until he launches his lemon cookies with icing. I think my life will be complete with Cafeteria Style Cookies.  For sure Patrick's Gourmet Cookies will become a stable in my house. They go great with tea! Yes, Patrick's Butter Cookies are one of my Favorite Things!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

RLT Book Club: A Must Read!!

I know that you all thought that I had forgotten all about our book club. Not a chance! I love to read! And I love to share my finds with you.

So here we go again. I found a book that I couldn't put down. It is a page turner! Can you image the year 1852 and there's a resort in the North where slave owners take their female slaves to have sex with them freely, away from the watchful eye of their wives?

I was glued to this book. And while the book is fiction, the resort is not. I love the author's imagination, but something like this happened for real, for real.

The book Wench by Dolen-Perkins-Valdez is a page turner! I don't want to tell you everything. I just want you to go on and order the darn book and participate in RLT Reads Book Club. I'm giving you five weeks to read this book because many of you will have to buy it. I got mine from Amazon.

Be done with Wench by the first week in November. I'm asking the author to participate in our online discussion.  I hope that she will agree. But whether she does or not, I'm sure that we will have lots to say. I will let you know the date of the discussion once I've heard from the author.

I'm sorry that my health got in the way of our wonderful book club. But Baby I'm back!! I have already picked the second book and the author has agreed.  So put on your reading glasses. RLT Reads is Back!

#TeamRae-Chicago AIDS Walk 2011 #FunTimes

I didn't  think that I could do it this year. My health, as you know has taken center stage and interfered with a good portion of my life. As I debated the yes and no of the Chicago AIDS Walk, some of my devout members tweeted me often asking about the team, so with less than two weeks from the walk, I went ahead and signed up #teamRae.

I got off the IV medication on Friday and I shook off whatever I was feeling physically and participated with my team. The walk is always fun and it's for a great cause, service organizations that treat people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Core Center where I get all my health care is one of the recipients. There are times when I need to get medication from there. Like the cream I use to treat my herpes infection cost $700 for a small jar. So I'm grateful for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago leading the way each year to create additional funding for Chicago's AIDS  Care.
Some of #teamRae at Manny's after the walk

When I first arrived to the walk I thought that we would have only five people on the team, but some of last year's team members started to filed in one by one and two by two. And each time, we all jumped with joy and hugged with excitment.  We even had some new members this year and they just folded in like they had always been a part of #teamRae. We had 11 members in total and we had a blast walking Chicago's lake front.
Kurt and Sophie
And the star of the show was my little Miss Sophie. She was a hoot! When she wasn't riding in a man's arm, she was strutting her stuff like a Diva Poodle should.

Missing from the team this year was my old lady Nambi. At 15 1/2 it was time for Doggie Heaven... I miss my baby RIP Nambi

Me and Nambi 2011
Ok so next year I have a goal of at least 50 team members and to ensure that it happens, I took that responsibility out of my hand. What's the point of having a team and no help? So I am proud to announce that Antonia, but everyone calls her Toni, is Team Captain. You can find her her twitter @ itsToni and on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/ItsToniS
Me and Toni Tweeting Walk 2010
Or if you email rae@raelewisthornton.com I will forward all the information. There is a $25.00 sign up fee from the Chicago AIDS Foundation and we will be having #teamRae t-shirts next year. I will try to keep the cost at $20-22. So save your money. 

Lastly, you can still donate to my team. They have not yet closed out donations  Click this link. I'm so glad Toni kept asking me about the walk for this year. It was what I needed to help lift my spirit. I'm just so honored that people believe in my work around HIV/AIDS and show their support in so many different ways. The Chicago AIDS Walk is one way to be visible in this fight against HIV/AIDS.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Reflection: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Death!

I thought that I had lost my mind when I opened the window at 4:00 A. M. and stuck my head out of the window to cool off on Friday. But when I felt the impulse to raise my t-shirt in front of the window this morning so the heat and sweat that was under my breast could cool down, I knew that this was out of control.

I had been fighting the truth of this for three months now. I just couldn't come to terms with it.  I had been on a medication that caused me to have hot flashes for 6 months so I made myself believe that this was a residual from that medication even though I've been off of it for three months now. But when I pulled my shirt, yes you heard me right, when I pulled my shirt down and moved from the window, I picked up my iphone and called the doctor.

MENOPAUSE! Are you kidding me? Yep MENOPAUSE! WOW! I didn't think that I would live long enough to see menopause.  #For Real When I made a transition to AIDS the life expectancy was three years and at one point I was sick enough to die. And the truth of the matter is AIDS has a mind of it's own, you never know how it's going to hit you or when, but make no mistake it will hit.

I remember when I first started speaking I would go to high schools and ask the freshman to stand, and I'd say, "By the time you graduate I'll be dead." And according to everything we knew about AIDS, I should have died.

Yes, I had a great doctor and I did everything that was expected of me, but honestly HIV/AIDS treatment didn't take a turn for the better until the mid-nineties and by that time I had been infected for over 10 years.

I remember when my t-cell count was 8, my viral load 400,000, and I was a size 0. The quality of my life had withered away. My life consisted of speaking and bed. I would crawl myself out of bed, pull my Diva together and go speak and turn right back around and crawl back into bed, until it was time to speak again.

I was waiting on death and I did nothing to prepare for a future. I didn't save a dime. I lived for the moment. I couldn't see past each gig. And after that third bout of PCP, I knew that my life was over.  But a funny thing happened on the way to death, I lived!

So here I am, looking menopause in the face. Well actually, Perimenopause. Let me explain. Menopause is actually the end of the road. It's when a woman's menstruation stops altogether. Her body stops making eggs and produces less estrogen and progesterone.

And the new fancy term for getting there is Perimenopause, it's the time leading up to a woman's last period. During this time a woman's period can stop and start again until a year has passed since she has actually had a period. During this stage a woman has changes in her hormones made in the ovaries and this causes hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, decreased sexual drive,  headache and memory loss, to name some in this long list of issues that effect women during this time. But honestly many people interchange these two terms, Menopause and Perimenopause.

Whatever you want to call it, that's what I'm going through. My gynecologist who specializes in women and HIV is already on the job. I was not surprised to learn that hormone medications can change the levels of HIV medications because many HIV med's are affected by simple things such as over the counter medication and alcohol. So now she is in the process of determining what I can take so that my HIV treatment is not hindered in anyway.

So here I am living! Living on the way to death. I say that because as sure as I'm living today, we will all die one day. The difference for me now, is that I'm thinking more about my future than I am about the end. The truth of it all, no one knows the hour or the day except God and trying to predict when AIDS is gonna take me out of here is trying to play God. The only thing I know for sure is that life is a precious gift! It says that you are still a part of God's earthly plan. And each morning when I wake, no matter what I'm facing, I give that day everything I got; To do less than my best is a slap in life's face.

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