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, April 10, 2012

Herpes... Again... Overit.com!! Day 43! Count Down To 50!

I was hoping and even praying that I would get through this 50 day count down to my 50th birthday without being sick; without herpes. But I guess that prayer didn't get answered because I'm only on day 43 and I have 3 herpes lesions right there on my clit. Yep, Yep and it hurts like hell, if this is what hell feels like.

I keep telling you that AIDS has no compassion. It don't give a fuck about your life and yet some of you are still out there having unprotected sex like all you have to do is pop a pill if you become infected. For you new comers to my blog, I have an on-going issue with herpes you can read Finally Letting Go of The Shame HERE.

In a nutshell, I have drug resistant herpes. I was infected with herpes before HIV and in those early years I almost never had a herpes outbreak. But for some reason, in the last 4 years herpes has wreaked havoc on my life. The short of it, the doctors think that there is a part of my immune system that was so damaged from my early days of AIDS that now I just can't fight herpes off. They consider this an AIDS related infection because if I didn't have AIDS, I wouldn't have such aggressive herpes. While AIDS and herpes are two separate illnesses, one has made the other one worst. And by the way, if you have herpes, it's easier to become infected with HIV.

For me, NOTHING but an IV form of anti-viral medication has worked against my herpes. I've tried everything under the sun and the moon . Trying to come up with an answer, I've had more biopsies and cultures on my vulva that I care to remember. In the end, nothing works but  Foscarnet and Cidofovir  IV medications.  I just finished 49 days of the medication back in February, 2 times a day 2 hours each and the side-effects are not cute.

One Week Of IV Med's!
I knew I was headed in that direction, but praying that it wasn't so. About 3 weeks ago I started to have nerve pain again in my back and legs and had to start taking medication to help the pain, yet again.

In a nutshell, I have peripheral neuropathy that  comes and goes. We also think it is caused by herpes attacking my nervous system.  There's no real way to nail all the causes down, but we understand the core problem. It feels like someone is sticking pins and needles in my back, feet and legs.

Any who, here I am again. The doctor is trying to figure out what course of action for me to take this time around. She is trying to get me in a drug study that is an oral form of one of the IV medications. Lord knows I don't want to go back on IV medication so if they let me in the study I'll do it. This is big for me because I have never been in a drug study in all the years of my infection, but when you are at the end of the road like I am, you don't have a lot of choices. I don't want to seem ungrateful, cause I truly am grateful that there is something else to try, but I'm not excited about this one bit.

I will keep you updated but I am not happy. I'm trying not to allow this to affect my overall attitude as I continue to count down to 50. I feel kinda all messed up. I'm happy to be alive but I wish it was under different circumstance.

 Like why couldn't my health stay good just until my birthday was over. WHY? But in the real world there are sometimes no answers to the why.

I keep trying to get it through to you, that there are choices you make that will alter your life forever and the best you can do it try to keep it all together, as you fight for your life. I'm going to do whatever I must to keep me happy doing this period. But honestly, this new outbreak and the possibility of a drug study has knocked the freaking joy out of me. Pray for my health and my spirit.... Maybe prayer and a few days to digest it all I will regain my spunk. I hate AIDS.... For Real! For Real!

I hope that you get it! Some things cannot be undone! If not for the Love and Grace of God and my will to live, I think I would lose my freaking mind with this never ending disease that zaps everything from you that it can; And now it's working on my birthday joy and the miracle of my life.  Overit.com

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