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, February 14, 2012

For The Love Of Self!

I was thinking about all the men I loved, the ones I thought I loved and the ones I wanted to love me. Now don't get me wrong, looking back I can count the number that I TRULY loved on one hand. But when you are in a relationship and the sex and attention is good, it sure feels like love.

I've had lovers that could make my body sing at a high pitch, and that's a fact! But in time, after the sex was over, they made me feel unsure and out of control and crazy; But back then, I hung on to the ugly like gorilla glue.

I'm just being honest here; Only when you are honest with yourself can you truly be a better you. Yep, I thought sex was love and the better the sex the more I thought I loved him. You couldn't tell me nothing! Not a damn thing! That man was the best thing since sliced bread, but then the bread molded and I was left with some stanky shit.

Often times I would hold onto the madness with dear life because everyone wants to be loved and no one wants to be alone. Yep, I was caught up in the madness and killing a part of me that could never be regained.

I remember when I first came to the realization that in my life time, I actually had sex with a man with the hope that he would love me. I said to my therapist in a session one day, "I've only had sex with men I loved." He looked me straight in the face and said, "That's not true." Of course I gave him that indigent look, like who the hell do you think you are coming to me like that. But he stood his ground, he said, "Yes, you had sex with men you loved, but you also had sex with men you wanted to love you. That day began my journey to healing a wound that had been left open and untreated for years.

With this acceptance, I began to heal and the healing led to a better me. It led to a self-love that was missing from my life. One that said, my self-worth is more important than the company of a man. One that said a man under any old circumstance was not worth my dignity.

Now don't be confused I love the company of a man, most women do if we're honest; And honestly, making changes in my life was hard. It was hard walking away from situations that left me lonely. But these situations didn't reflect the woman that God created me to be. I really wanted to do better, not just know better. Now don't be confused, me having HIV don't mean shit to men. I've had married men, men in and out of relationships that just wanted to fuck. Sexual partners coming out of my ears if I wanted them. But over time I came to understand there was no glory in the fact that a man wanted to fuck me even with AIDS.

So this journey of healing made me a better woman, one that I really liked. One that I could look in the face and smile. Now, ummm, I fell off the wagon a time here or there, but I always picked myself back up and started all over again; working on the woman God created me to be.

I've said it over and over again, no one will love you like you. When you start with self-love, you will choose dating situations that add value to your life rather than take away. You don't really need a person for sex, that is a fact, but you do need one for intimacy.  I can light a thousands candles in my house and it will never render the type of intimacy you will have with a person.

But I will not sell my soul for intimacy. I will fuck my own self until the day I die, rather than fuck someone who does not honor the woman that God has made me to be. I will be lonely by my damn self rather than be in an unhealthy relationship. Each of us must decide what is best for us. I choose self love. What I know For Sure... Self-Love Is The Best Love!

Post Script: There is no sex worth your life.. Love yourself tonight, more than you love them... Use a condom...
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