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, May 4, 2012

Dating The Right Reverend- Part Two!!

I know yall been waiting on part two of Dating The Right Reverend, so here you go.  You can read Part One Here.

We left off at the phone call from the other woman. So I couldn't wait to let whoever this heifer was know, there's a NEW woman, so step the hell back.  So I said, "Sweetie, he's in the shower right now, I would be glad to take a message." There was silence and I smiled. "Mission accomplished," I thought! She chimed in, "Will you please let him know, (whatever the heck her name was) is on the phone." "Sure," I said and went to the bathroom. "Hey Babe Kathy Mae is on the telephone." "WHAT?" he said. I repeated myself, "Kathy Mae is on the phone. I told her you were in the shower, but she 'sinsistent."

There was a deep sigh, "Rae, I'm in the shower, tell her I can't come to the phone." So I politely went back to the telephone. "He told me to tell you that he can't come to the phone right now." There was silence and then a defeated voice. "Alright," and then click.

I had won! But I knew he was irritated, so I slipped off my clothes and slipped into the shower with him. I would make him forget all about her. Make him remember that I was all the women he needed. My tongue made my way down and it became just the two of us all over again. But later that day it was nagging at me, so I asked the Right Reverend, "Who is she?" "Baby, she's an old girlfriend that won't let go." He added, "I have nothing to hide. You have been all over this small town with me. You've met my family and friends, I have nothing to hide."

He was right, if he had another woman then he was slicker than slick because I had been everywhere and met everybody. And then I started to think about it, I had HIV. Why would he be with me if he wanted someone else? And why would he put someone in a triangle with HIV in the middle? He was much smarter then that. So I continued to enjoy the day. I put Kathy Mae or whatever her name was, out of my head.

As the day turned into night, I couldn't get it out of my head. I just couldn't get it all of my head. So that morning when he left for work, I went looking. Now the thing about looking is this, don't look if you are not prepared to find. For Real... For Real...

The fact is when you go looking the relationship is already over, trust has already gone out the window. If they are cheating it's confirmed, if they aren't cheating, then you have over stepped boundaries for no reason. Ummmm, but sometimes, whether you find it or not, there is something inside of you that says something is wrong. No one should be made to feel as if something is wrong. A man should make a woman feel like she is the only woman in the room all day long, bottom line.

So I went looking. I looked and looked and found nothing. It started to seem as if I had been silly. I got a cup of tea and relaxed on the sofa and then something in my spirt told me to look in the hall closet.  WOW! There I found it, a bag of letters, OMG! and I mean letters. But there was nothing locally, they were all from another town in Michigan.  I sat there are read them and I was blown away. The girl wrote, "While you were in the pupil preaching, I was getting wet and thinking about fuckin him." WOW!! HUH?

This was too much for me. I paced that damn floor all day waiting on his ass to get home from work. I was hurt, mad, pissed-off and whatever else you want to add. How cold I have been such a fool? How could I have been such a fool? I have HIV why would he add a third party? Yes we were using condoms but this was still so not right on so many levels.

The minute he walked in that door we had it out. But in the end, it became more of an argument about why I had invaded his privacy, rather than what I had found.

He had me on the defensive; I knew I was wrong looking through his things. Let me be clear, that bag of letters was wayyyy back in the closet. I was digging deep. I was wrong. I had no right. I was ashamed of myself and mad as hell at him. Mad that I had found these damn letters. Mad that another woman was thinking about lovin him. Mad! Mad! Mad! All of my insecurities stared to surface. Maybe he would choose her over me because I have HIV. It was a mess!

But the more we talked the more he seemed to smooth it over. He had a great explanation and it sounded good. She was an old girlfriend, look at the dates on the letters Well, they had been sent right before we started talking. He pleaded his case and it sounded good. It sounded good because I didn't want to be with HIV and alone. It sounded good because he was the perfect man in all other respects; Minister, good job, running for political office in his home town, compassionate about social justice, well dressed and good lawd that boy knew how to rock my world in bed.

I surrendered to his madness and explained it away. Just months before I met him, I was thinking that I would never find a man that would be with me because I had HIV and now I had one that was inhabited to the 3rd power.  I explained it away, "It takes time to clean house," I said to myself.  Maybe she was old news. Yep, I explained it away because I didn't want to be alone.

He had to be a keeper. This had to work out, it just had to. But I missed the golden rule that day, When someone shows you who they are believe them, don't make excuses, don't explain it away and don't wait for a better day. It is what it is!

I put it all out of my head. I explained it away and went back to DC lovin this man for lovin me. The relationship seemed to be going steady. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and I was head over heels in love.  I was in DEEP!

Then in one night it all came tumbling down and I had to face the truth and make a hard decision, keep a man, or lose myself and all of my dignity in the process.

To Be Continued...

I know I know... I'm sorry my life is crazy right now.. and I'm trying to balance it all... I will work on the rest later tonight... *blows kisses*

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