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, June 29, 2012

Look For The Right Way To Be Treated, Not Mr. Right!

Life is too freaking short to spend it waiting on Mr. Right! At 50 I don't want to spend the rest of my life by myself. NO I'm not looking for a husband. I doubt if I'll travel that path ever again, but good Lawdddd it would be great to have a man to rub my feet.

We spend our time looking for the right Mr. Right, but there is no such thing. Every woman wants a fairy tale but that person is in our dreams, not in our reality. Everyone comes to a relationship with something. EVERYONE! I come with HIV, Herpes, and a lot of crazy, thanks to my crazy childhood. But I also come smart, loving, kind, cute, purposeful and a whole lot of other good stuff.

The thing is, you have to decide what is acceptable to you. No I'm not talking about settling for something less than you deserve. The focus should be, a man who understands and appreciates your value. Someone that sees you in the wonderful image that God created you and respects that to the utmost. Someone who adds value to your life. We will come back to that in a minute.

This is the deal, people come to a relationship with a whole lot of history and that history has shaped them into who they are, from the very first day of birth.

Take me, I was in my mother's womb sucking an umbilical cord laced in heroin. That right there determined some of my journey and I didn't even have a say so. I talk about that in my new book, The Politics of Respectability, how our journey shapes who we are. It affects how we live our life,  understand our faith and the lenses from which we even read the Bible. But it also shapes our outlook on relationships.

So when you meet a person you have no real idea of what's on the inside, not until they begin to show you. That stuff on the inside ain't always cute, but it ain't always a reason to over look a man either. What it shouldn't do is leave you crazy or make you feel less than.

For the last 10 years my shop has been really closed.... That is between my legs.. Well I had that crazy bipolar fool I talked about in the Love Triangle Blog. Then  a few years later, I had the one who I believed to be the love of my life, but he came with soooo much, that it started to out shine the love and the life we were trying to build. It hurt more than it felt good and I had to let go and that was over two years ago.

But for the most part, I have come to a good place. I needed to close down shop as I was working on my own self-esteem. I had to learn my true value before I could have an expectation of a man. If you don't see yourself as God intended you to be, neither will he. The laws of attraction is real. I was looking for someone to love me, when I didn't even love myself.

Yeah, I thought my pussy was queen and if I could lay it on him, he would love me forever. But I discovered that my vagina only had the power of each fuck and after the fuck was over, I became an ordinary black woman lacking the most important ingredient to my wholeness, self-love. I stepped back, and through therapy I started to understand my demons. And once I understood them I could make that journey to eliminate their power over me. That took a lot of work and it left me lonely many a nights, but I learned to spend time with myself, to appreciate me. Have you ever explored your own body, the way you want a man to? Do you know the joys of your own self before you let someone else have them?

So I learned to love me, all of me and in that understanding I  began to open myself up to the world, to men. I come back to dating with the understanding of who I am and who's I am. But I'm not looking for some make believe ass man that don't exist. I've said it before, the movie Pretty Woman got y'all believing unrealistic shit. For Real!!

This is what I'm saying, you want someone in your life that respects you and appreciates your value. We meet someone and think he's the best thing since sliced bread and then we start to see little patches of mold and that ain't always a bad thing, but sometimes it is.

You have to ask yourself, does he make you feel worst than? I'm not talking about when he's rubbing all on your body. Good sex does not equate to a good relationship. Some of the best sex of my life were with men who in the end treated me like shit. The wet between your legs only last for a short time, but the tears on your heart can last a life time.

This is my litmus test, how he makes me feel when we ain't fucking!! How I felt when I discovered that what he said was a balled face lie!! BTW I hate liars! They keep you living in a false reality, theirs and then it becomes yours and there's nothing great about living a lie.

Yes, so ask yourself, does he make you laugh more than he makes you cry? Are you more stressed out than at peace? Like for Real, do you spend more time waiting on him to call, looking at his Twitter and Facebook page, than the time spent with him? This is a fact, listen carefully, IF A MAN WANTS TO BE WITH YOU, HE WILL MAKE THE TIME! 

Is sex always on his terms? Do you go along to get along, more often than not?  Did I say make you smile more than frown? Does he celebrate who you are and what you do or is it all about him?

Are you to afraid to talk about condom use or HIV testing for fear that he will trip? Well if he is tripping on what's important to you, then he does not value what you value and the questions becomes, why would you give yourself to someone who does not value what you value? Has he ever hit you or pushed you in anyway. A man has NO right to ever touch you in a way that hurts!

These are the real questions you have to ask yourself in a relationship? Whether it's heterosexual or same sex. I didn't forget yall, it's just that I'm a heterosexual woman and I speak out of my experiences. So the same goes for same sex relationships. If they take away more than they add, then thats ground for re-examination.

You have to stop looking for Mr. Right and  start looking for the right way to be treated! You are never going to find that prefect person. Everyone comes to a relationship with something, including you. Often times that something is what has helped to shape them and that very thing is a part of their charm.

Don't ask a person to change for you, if they don't already treat you the way you should be treated then you are off to a bad start. We are blinded by what is, for what we want it to be.

What should rule your relationship is mutual respect, admiration, celebration and love. I'm concerned with how he treats me from day one, not how I hope he will treat me. Proof is always in the Pudding. Action speaks a lot louder than words.

But at the end of the day, you can't expect a man to know your value, if you don't know your value.  When you don't know your value, you will accept anything and he will give you anything.

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