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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Reflection: The Pesky Details...

Lawwwwddd Lawd there's nothing like the newness of a relationship. When the flirting is exciting as shit and he makes every bit of you smile and I mean every bit.

It's an exciting thing when you can let your guards down with a man and can go from God to Sex in a conversation and not miss a beat. It's a good thing when you are mature enough to share your past and the hopes for your future without judgments.

But many people don't let their guards down and share the most important parts of their life or their desires, for fear of rejection. Lawdddd Lawd, who wants to jack up the flow of the newness with the pesky details of condoms, one's last HIV test and their STD history. Like, I bet you know what his favorite position is when he's doing that thang, but do you know how he feels about condoms?

I get asked all the time, how do I tell men that I have AIDS? And quite honestly, most men that approach me already know my status. I mean, I have been on the cover of five magazines and have an Emmy Award for news reports that I did on my life. I have done everyone's TV and radio show that's important to name; so my having AIDS is not hard to miss; but the fact that I have herpes sometimes gets lost in all the other information that's out there about me.

So I know what it's like to interrupt the flow of newness with the pesky details that no one wants to talk about. Those details that might cause judgments that leads to rejection. That's a hard one, for real... for real. But I think the lack of pesky details can in the end be far more costly if you don't fill in the blanks up front.

And I know it's hard. I promise I do. Take this exciting ass man I'm talking to right now. It's really really really new and lawdd he makes my body smile and he ain't even touched me yet.

He already knew that I have AIDS and knows a lot about HIV so we only needed to talk about a few minor details, which really made me happy. He is so cool about my HIV Status and shit he just wanted to know if I knew how to put a condom on with my mouth... LMAOOOO, no but you bet I will learn.

So the flow was great...All day! Then it hit me, the pesky details. I know he reads my blog so my first assumption was that maybe he had read "it" already. The pesky details of my having herpes. But honestly, living in the grey areas of an assumption is being dishonest and it's not honorable.

Week of IV Med's
So with baited breath, I told him that I had herpes. I took a deep breath in and waited to exhale.YESSSS I was nervous, because I like this man. SMDH that I like him a lot. And honestly my ex was nervous more about the herpes than the HIV, go figure. But those who have been following my herpes drama on the blog, know that those IV treatments I have to treat my strain of herpes is a motha... For real...

So I waited for his response. I didn't filll that moment of silence with chatter. I waited... Waited for him to tell me what was acceptable for him with the understanding that each of us have to make the best decisions for their life and body.  At the end of the day, I have to be a woman and accept it.

And honestly if they don't want that one thing to be a part of their life, then you need to move on to someone who wants you in your fullness, your flaws and your greatness.

I waited... but not long, being the man that he is, he didn't miss a beat. He likes me, my flaws and all. *giggles* So, now we are onto getting to know each other better and see where it will all lead. One day at a time.

I was thinking about this today because a lot of you are getting ready to start the school year. You will meet men that excite the fuck out of you.

But then there are the pesky details. The pesky details must not get lost in the excitement. In the 21st century you need more information than his favorite color or what position he likes to fuck. And while the Auntie in me would prefer that you focus on the books and not that man, I understand that is not always reality.

So with that understanding, I want you to deal with the pesky details because that's when you live your best life. That's when you put  you first and self-love first becomes a way of life. The pesky details is you at your best! My bottom line, if a man dosent bring out the best in you, then he dosent deserve you.

You can lose your dignity and self-worth in a relationship that does not allow your value to shine bright. And equally worst, you may be left fighting for your life, for the rest of your life... And there is no man worth your life.

I don't give a fuck how wet you are between your legs or how he makes you feel, if you have not had the honest conversations then you are living in half-truths and your relationship is a lie.

I know in my own life, I don't have time for bullshit. I'm way too old for that.; if he does not add value to my life then I will keep it moving in a heartbeat. If the pesky details can't be an honest part of the discussion then the rest is futile.

I want you to live your best life and any man that you meet, should want you to do so too. No matter how he makes you feel, I promise you that the best feelings are in the pesky details.

Good Luck this Semester! Study hard in those books and not on the dick *Auntie voice*

Post Script: This is the first in my Back To School Series...

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