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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Moving Beyond The Fuck!

I only had sex with one guy while I was in high school. Yep, For Real.. For Real... But good Lawd I had sex with a plenty more out side of high school, Yep... For Real.. For Real... Now don't be shocked, but I'm gonna name this thing today. I have to get beyond the fuck. I cannot allow the fuck or fucks to hold me hostage for the rest of my life. Nope!

I am moving beyond the fuck!!!

I've been talking to an old lover and friend and in the course of the dialogue I had an impulse to say, yes I have HIV/AIDS but I wasn't a HOE. Yes, I fucked you, good Lawd one of my best lovers ever. It's been well over 25 years and you never forget. NEVER forget the intensity, the passion, the connection.

But I must be confused or something!!! I gave him the best of me many years ago and that should be enough. Interestingly, it was enough for him, but I had this need, ME to say I'm  NOT A HOE!  How crazy is that?

With all the passion between us, why would he think badly of me? Why would he take the best of me then dispose the rest like garbage? Where the hell is my head? What am I thinking? Has society and judgments made me crazy? Do I have to justify my fucks until the day I die? The fact of the matter, I have AIDS, so I fucked somebody, somewhere; and contrary to what people want to think, only one fuck will get you HIV. But it is also true, the more fucks you have the more you increase your risk. I know this to be true, so what's wrong with me? I have HIV and it is what it is. I fucked to get it and that's also a fact. Why must I justify the fuck? Why must I contextualize my fucks to make you like me?  Shouldn't the fact that I opened my life up, of my own free will be enough?

This is the first time he and I have talked since I learned my HIV status 25 years ago. He was one that I couldn't locate after my diagnosis, but I didn't stress much about it because we used condoms. By chance he discovered my HIV status while watching me on Nightline, started looking for me and found me 18 years later on Facebook. How cool is that? I tell you my life is a made for TV movie just like Oprah magazine said.

He celebrates the woman that I was when we were together and the woman that I have become, so why isn't that enough for ME? Is there a part of me still fighting RESPECTABILITY? So I was happy to know that he is proud of me and the work that I am doing.

So why did I have this need to say I'M NOT A HOE? If the person that you give yourself to doesn't know who you are and appreciate you in your fullness then he doesn't deserve you. But back to me. So it's no secret that I started having sex when I was 13. He wasn't a high school student either. I've always liked men older than me and he was 4-5 years my senior and actually my lover that I just reconnected with recently was 3 years older than me. I stayed away from high school guys at my school because I didn't want Mama to learn that I was fucking. I talk about that in my new book; how I spent years trying to prove to Mama that I was, "respectable" so I wouldn't get accused of fucking her husband. For Real... That was my life. Trying to be respectable on the one end so Mama wouldn't hate me and respectable on the other end, so her husband wouldn't rape me.

The problem was the lack of love in my home, so I went looking. You combine that with my childhood molestation, by the time I was in my late teens I was hot on the trail of love. When you grow up being violated by the people who are supposed to love and protect you, you begin to think touching is love.  I was looking for the right man and my body was what I knew how to give and had been taught to give and I believed it to be love.

So sex was what I knew how to do. But I was doing it the right way... CRAZY!!  No one night stands, only sex with men I thought I loved, did love, or the ones that I wanted to love me. By the time I was 18, I believed if I could suck a man's dick all night he would love me forever. It was normal for me, sex was normal for me. I had been touched since I was 6 years old and when you  grow up being touched, you do what you know how to do.

For the record, in and out of relationships, looking for Mr. Right is a lot of fucking. The earlier you start and the longer it takes you to find Mr. Right adds up to more sexual partners than you may want to admit. If you start at 16 and don't get married until you are 26 thats 10 years of Mr. Rights. What if you don't get married until you are 36? That's 20 years of only fucking the right Mr. Right (s).

 So what constitutes a HOE? Is it where I fuck?  Hotel, Motel, House, Backyard, Car, What?  Does it make the fucking more acceptable if I do it in the house rather then a motel? New Flash: The penis still goes in the same way no matter where you do it; it's still a fuck. Or is it that where you do it, makes you feel better about what you're doing? That's how I open my book,  a fuck is a fuck is a fuck.

So what makes me a HOE? Who I fuck? How many men I fuck? How many times I fuck one particular person? How we fuck, oral, vaginal or anal? Is one way of fucking more acceptable than others? Does anal sex make me more of a Hoe than vaginal? If I only fuck while in what I believe to be a "relationship" does that make me less of a HOE?  What if I have 20 relationships before I find Mr. Right, am I a Hoe then? And what about men? Why is there a double standard? Why are women policed and not men, it takes two to fuck. Why do we have all these judgments about fucking when everyone is fucking? WHY?

I have another news flash, I'm 50 years old and I have had someeeeeeee sex. Get Over It!! Yes! I need to get over it and so do you. I am tired of dealing with the politics of what constitutes being respectable! OVERIT.COM 

Looking back over my life I probably wouldn't take one fuck back. Each and every fuck helped to shape the woman that I am today. This has been my journey. If I could change the course of my life, it would have been at conception, parents that weren't fucking while high on heroin, but I cannot.... It is what it is.

There is no shame in having sex, just judgments and consequences. Judgments are like assholes, everyone has them. New Flash: Judgments are dangerous. They can and do kill. And for you Super Saved Judeo-Christians maybe you should stop judging everyone else's fucks and life and start examining your own. When they brought the woman caught in the act of committing adultery to Jesus, he simply said, "He who is without sin cast the first stone." Now ponder on that!!!

As for me, the greatest consequence (s) has not been HIV, Herpes and HPV, although it seems that way some days. No the greatest consequence of each fuck was giving away so much of me that I can never regain again. With each fuck I gave him a part of me that is gone forever...  and forever is forever. But even in giving so much of me away, I have regained a part of me that I never knew... Self-Love...

Post Script: The book is on Amazon Kindle now and we are editing the final draft for paperback. It will be submitted to Amazon by Monday. Then it will take them 5-7 days to make it available.  Thank you for all your support... #IcannotdoitAlone

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