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, October 5, 2012

Don't Take That Chance....

I know some of you are planning your weekend, yep! And I know sex is involved, so STOP lying! And I know that some of you are going to have sex without a condom, so STOP lying! And some of you are going to justify the sex with some bullshit, so STOP lying.

Yes, I said bullshit! Some of you don't know your partner's HIV status and you still having sex without a condom. I'm sitting here having my morning tea, thinking, what the HELL are you thinking? Like why are you putting yourself at risk? HUH? Like For Real... For Real... That's real blind faith. About 38% of newly diagnosed cases of HIV, are of people who were infected by people that didn't know their HIV status. 

And some of you think you know your partner's HIV status. Yep! They told you that they tested and it came back negative and you smiled and said, "GREAT" You believe their truth as it was presented to you and now you're thinking, "We can get that thang freely." And really that's all you cared about in the first place. 

And some of you even went and got tested with your partner. I bet you're proud of yourself. Well, actually, I'm proud of you to!! Basically because you loved YOURSELF enough to know your own HIV status. And you are grown enough to have the conversation with your partner. Neither of these are small things, so I commend you. I whole heartedly believe that if you can't have the conversation, before you fuck, then you shouldn't be fuckin. 

BUT ummm the fact of the matter, at the end of the day, all you know about your partner is what they tell you and what you see. I'm not going to make this long and drawn out. This is the bottom line; YOU JUST DON'T KNOW! You think you know. You pray you know, but at the end of the day, the only thing that you know for sure is two things, YOUR own HIV Status and what your partner tells you. It's a fact, when the penis is not with you, you have NO idea what it's doing!

I know, I know, I know, you are saying, " Gee give it a break Rae.  Is there ever a time when I can let my guards down?" And the  answer for single folks is NO! There was a time when I believed that a monogamous relationship as you know it should stand on it's own two feet of honor; but with years of experience, banking on someone else to keep you safe could be a deadly mistake. 

There's not a week that goes by that I don't get an email or message on Twitter or Facebook from someone that discovered that their partner has been outside of the relationship and now they have some sexually transmitted disease. And I've told you time and time again about the men who have approached me knowing my HIV status and they are otherwise committed. And I've even confessed that I've accept an offer here or there.  I know what it's like to be lonely and the foolishness we do to rid ourselves of that feeling. At some point you have got to Love yourself, more then wanting to be loved!

While I want to say yes, go ahead, take a chance, I just can't. A chance could leave you fighting for your life for the rest of your life.  Have fun this weekend, but don't take a chance. There's no sex worth your life.  #FuckinFriday

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