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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Moving Beyond Regrets!

Have you ever had sex in a car or sucked a dick that you wish you hadn't? Now close your mouth from shock and speak Truth To Power! I know I have.

In my late teens sex in the car was often the only place you could afford to go. It was a hot and steamey clandestine meeting that was worth every minute. Good Lawd, that Brotha was something to remember and I don't regret not one moment of it! But ummm there are something's that I wish I hadn't done, but did. I know I have sucked a dick here or their that wasn't worth my mouth or the degradation I felt when it was all done. I don''t really regret them because it I had not done them, I wouldn't have learned something new. To live is to learn and to die is to forget!

I'm no virgin and sex for me started when I was 13 and I'm 50 now. Yes, I wish I had waited but by that time I had already been taught that sex was love by my uncle and step-brother. So I set out about this world looking for someone to love me with about an ounce of self-esteem. I hadn't thought about regrets until an old college friend dropped by last week and asked, "Other than the obvious, do I have any regrets?" I told him that I had none! Not even the obvious! I keep saying to people that our journey shapes who we are. I can't pick and choose one expect of my life because it's all connected. If I could choose it would start with my birth parents. Born to heroine addicts set me on this likely course and it is what it is.

So their are no regrets, but yes their has been some shame. I imagined Bill Clinton lied about Monica Lewinsky because to admit that he had this young girl suck his dick under his desk in the White House was a tad shameful, to say the least.

I've often wondered if Monica regretted doing it. Her life was forever altered. Clinton left the White House to become a millionaire and she struggled to just get a job. It was women who did the most damage to Monica. Women black listed her, like their man was next on her list. Jenny Craig said using Monica in her adds was the worst mistake of her company. Women dropped her diet plan like a hot potato. Monica was a generation to late. if it had happened ten years later she could have made some money with the right branding like others have done.

At the time I use to joke with my girls and say, "Hell yes I would have sucked the President's dick and I would have never told!" He's one fine white boy with a whole lot of swagger. For Real! Now stop being all high and mighty, some of y'all know if you had the chance you would drop it for Presiedent Obama. I wouldn't because I was at their wedding and I don't do husbands or boyfriends of friends. See even a hoe got some rules! :)

Today I wonder if I had the chance with Clinton, that is the woman that I am in 2013, would I do it? I probably would have done it just three years ago, just for the heck of it! I mean damn the President! Make a woman feel powerful even if its misguided, twisted and distorted thinking. For sure the man is the one with the power, but what a sugary boost to ones self-esteem. That is ,to be able to say if just to yourself, "I must be a bad bitch that a man that powerful would want me?"

So we do things that are a tad savory at best. You were trying not to go there but in the moment it was hot and steamy and he kept saying, "Just do it baby," and the pressure of wanting more from him takes control and before you know it, you sucking him like a lollipop, hoping that this will be the thing that wins him over.

So yes, at 50 there are some things I've done even as late as my 40's that I know were not cool. Not cool because they only served to chip away at my self-esteem and self-worth. Not Cool, because it made a mess of things that still impacts my life. Not cool, because I didn't like me when it was all said and done. Not cool, because others were hurt by my selfishness. Not cool, because I was hurt by my own actions.

I've grown so much since the early 90's during the Clinton- Lewinsky Scandal. Shoot, I've grown so much in the last few years. It's a wonderful thing when you can look at your life and all that's been done and you can say, I learned this from that!

But knowledge is powerless if we don't use it! At the end of the day, it's not just enough to know better, you have to do better. Now, doing better is no easy task. NOPE! Sometimes we find ourselves in the same situation over and again. It's only when we have had enough of self-loathing that we really start to do better.

It's like an addict. In the months clean, they forget how they felt, the self-loathing they felt after they use. That's why they remind themselves in 12 step programs that they are an addict and that all power comes from a higher source. This simple reminder helps to keep them on a course of self-love over and above self-loathing.

The truth is, you cannot run from the things that you have done. All you can really do is learn from them and use that knowledge to be a better you.

I've learned that sex is not love and just because a man makes me wet between the legs doesn't mean that I should give him my innermost self. If the truth be told, you can make your own self wet between the legs. I've learned that just because you have chemistry in bed, doesn't mean that a man will love and respect you.

With this knowledge I've used it to be a better me, making decisions about my life that are worthy of my worth. But the fact of the matter, we are only human and we have and will make decisions about our lives that leave a bitter taste in our mouth, sometimes literally!

All you can do is regroup and keep it moving. It's not that we fall down, it's not even about how long we stay down, it's about the getting up. When you get up, you acknowledge that you are a child of God worthy of love and grace. All you have to do now is forgive yourself, as God has already forgiven you.

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