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, March 9, 2012

I Remember The Lovin...

Good Lawd I remember Lovin that man! By Lovin I mean having mind blowing sex that kept his tail coming back for more and more. Now don't get Love and Lovin confused because they are two totally different things, that may or may not have anything to do with each other, depending on who you are talking to.

Truth be told, you don't have to love a man to give and get some good Lovin and you can be in Love and the Lovin is well just ok, so you thank God for the Love to keep you going.  But when the Lovin is as good as the Love, OMG you have struck gold.

Yep, I remember Ummm every single one of them. Lovin them that is. Now I'm not going to pretend that I'm a virgin; Noooooo, that would be a bald face lie. I'm not even going to pretend that I've only had sex with ummm one, two or three of them. That would be a bald face lie too. I mean, I am a product of the eighties. Good Lawd, I remember the eighties! All I had to worry about was getting pregnant and embarrassing my mama, or so I thought.

Now I wasn't a hoe. Well, what's a hoe anyway? By the standards of the eighties, it was a girl who had one night stands, sex on the first date, and had sex with more than one man in one week, shit, we even extended that to more than one in a month. Funny how a woman who have more than one sexual partner in a month is a hoe and a man is a player, player, but that's another topic

Yep, I remember every one of them. Looking back, I also remember that I thought the sex I was having was love and the better I was in sexin him the more he would Love me.  Good Lawd, I thought if I could suck a man's dick until he plead mercy, he was mine forever.  STOP! I can't believe I said that, but it's the God living truth.

 Let me pause and say, after I typed that last sentence, I almost went back and took it out for fear of being judged. But shoot, it's the truth and it don't really matter, because people gonna find one thing or the other to judge you on. So I'm not going to be silent because you can't handle the truth.

Anyway, Yes I was one messed up, confused, looking for someone to love me forever black woman.  It took years for me to learn that a fuck is a fuck, is a fuck, is a fuck! No matter how you try to make it look or sound pretty, it's still a fuck. And just because a man can make your body talk don't mean that he Loves you, nor does your fancy tricks guarantee that he will Love you back.  Shoot, it don't even mean he will treat you with respect.

Now, it would be a wonderful thing if I could say I only had sex with men I Loved, but truth is, I had sex with men that I Loved and I had sex with men that I wanted to Love me. Yep, if we are honest about it, sex comes long before the Love. Yep the sex typically starts at the deep like stage and the, I want him to like me more stage. Some times you think the sex will bring you closer, make the relationship deep.  Wrong! If you can't get close without fuckin, you can't get close fuckin.

Yep, I remember the men I had sex with thinking that the relationship was getting serious to discover he was the biggest asshole on the planet. Yep, I remember the men I had sex with that I wanted to Love me to later discover that his brand of Love hurt. I remember the one twice my age that I thought would marry me, but instead wasted my pretty, as I waited for him to pop the question. I remember the young buck, good Lawd do I remember him. Hoping that he would Love me as much as he Loved the Lovin between my legs, but he never did. I remember the one that I prayed would leave his wife for me, but after he did, he went back. Yep, I remember, I remember, I remember, I remember.

I remember the Lovin, but I can't remember Loving me more than Loving the Lovin.  Nor can I recall the difference between the two. Somehow, the Lovin seemed to make life all better, well at least for that moment in time; But in the end, after the dust settled, I would  simply have a wet pussy and an emptiness deep within.

 If truth be told, if I Loved me instead of the Lovin, I would have passed on anything that didn't lift me, renew me and celebrate me. But sadly, I was way too damaged by the time I reached 16 to even know what love was and it took almost a half century to learn. Then, it took equally as much time to learn the difference between Love and Lovin.

It took more years  than I want to admit of Mr. Wrong's, to stop looking for Mr. Right to love me. But good Lawd, when I stopped looking for love in places outside of myself, it freed me up to look for the love from within.  It put me in a position to lift, renew and celebrate the woman God created me to be.

Love of self has placed me in a position to say no to anything a man has to offer that isn't the best for me. Now don't get me wrong, I will never stop Lovin the Lovin, it's just now, I Love me more than I Love the Lovin.

Looking back, the most difficult part is accepting the part of me that was hurt, mistreated, abused  and lost by the lack of self-love.  You can never undo the damage, only move forward. Case in point; A couple of weeks ago,  I went to the doctor for a biopsy in the opening of my vagina.

When the doctor stuck that needle in my vagina to numb it up, all the Lovin flashed across my face and sunk right down to my heart.  Later that evening, as I crawled into my bed and stayed for a couple of days, I thought about what I knew then and how it shaped my right now.  If I knew then, what I know now, my life would be different today. But if I could'a, would'a, should'a means nothing in the real world.  The fact is, I didn't know any better, nor did I have one person to tell me differently.  I knew what I knew and I believed it to be true. In time, years of mistakes undergirded by self-abuse, I learned a different way and then it took even more years to do the better that I knew.

I say self-abuse, because, I made choices about my life. I chose to have sex, I chose to love him, I chose, I chose, I chose, I chose.  Context does not matter, at the end of the day, I made decisions based on what I knew and understood to be true.

The bottom line is, we make decisions about our life and body every single day, taking ownership for the good and the bad will help one grow to be a better you. When you take ownership, undergirded by an honest understanding about the path you have taken you can be a better you. And even if you choose not to be a better you, you will at least know the difference.

Yep, I remember the Lovin and the impact it has had on my life. I remember looking for someone to Love me forever and learning their Love or lack of Love for me had nothing to do with the Lovin.

I remember that a good fuck got me HIV and Herpes and long after the Lovin was gone, I was left fighting for my life, for the rest of my life.

It didn't matter that I never had a one night stand. It didn't matter that I didn't have sex on the first date. It didn't matter that I had sex with men I Loved and men I thought would Love me, but in the end didn't. It don't even matter that I never had sex with more than one man in one month.  I can't undo what's been done.  I can only move forward being the best that I can with the information that I now know.

I thank God as I approach 50 years of age, that I have learned to Love me more than the Lovin. Nor am I looking for someone to Love me any longer.  I understand that Self-Love is the beginning of all things wonderful.  I understand that validation comes from within and there is NO Lovin on the planet worth the Love of self.

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