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

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You Mad Cause Why? But You Knew He Was Married!

I heard her say, "I'm so stressed out." Yep, I was ear hustling in the gym about a month ago. I didn't  mean to, but she was talking so loud. Then she said,
"He's married!"
You know I really started listening then. Shoot I wanted to hate her with him. Girl bonding in the gym and I didn't even know her. She was so dramatic as she walked on the elliptical and talked to her friend on the phone.
"MARRIED! "She said. 
"Im so repulsed." She took a deep breath.
"I hate he ever touched me!" 
You know she had me by then. I was locked in, rock, stock and barrel. I started feeling sad for her. 
"That Bastard," I mumbled to myself. Why do men continue to play that stupid ass game? You want some choochiee other than your wife's that's between you and God, but at least be honest. Give a woman a choice. Let her know what she's giving her body, mind and spirit over too. Let her determine your worth for her. She kept talking and I kept right on listening.

"His wife posted a picture of him on his Facebook page getting ready to have a procedure."
"I can't believe that!"
"His WIFE!"
"I'm soooo repulsed!"
I had to laugh, Facebook will spill the beans every time. I was feeling really sorry for this woman. Then it got COMPLICATED! I heard her say,
"I asked him if he was married?"

 Hummmm so I wondered immediately did she have a reason to think he might be married or was she just doing the standard check that I ask right out, 1) Are you married 2) Have you ever had sex with a man 3) When was the last time you were tested for HIV? Yep, those are my three and they should be yours too! It's called self-love and self-care! 

She knocked me out of my thoughts when she said
"I kept asking him, if he was married." 
Another red flag.
"Why would she kept having to ask him if he was married?" I though to myself. Once should have been enough!

So this really was COMPLICATED! I shifted in my thoughts from a woman bonding over a sorry ass men to Life Coach Rae! I tuned back to her conversation.

"He kept pursuing me and keep pursing me," she said all dramatically.
 "Im so repulsed!" She hollered, then continued with the details.

"I asked him over and over about that ring on his finger." She hollered!

Ohhhhhh shit, so he was wearing a ring. Was she stuck on stupid? And you know I wanted to ask her to. But I just shook my head and kept right on listening. She was getting to the real story now. Truth always comes to the light.  Don't you know there is always a real story! Yep! She started in on the details.

"Yes," She continued, "He kept liking all my stuff on Facebook."
There we go with flirting on Facebook again. My thoughts started to wonder. Been there, done that and I'll NEVER do that one again as long as I'm Rae Clara Lewis-Thornton. FACT! Her loud voice brought me back to the right now.

"He said that the marriage was bad and that he was moving out and getting a divorce," she mumbled.
"Do men still really say that stupid shit?" I asked myself. Most importantly, do women still believe that stupid shit?

Now Life Coach Rae would have said, the moment you saw the ring was the moment you should have kept it moving.  He's married and even if he was getting a divorce, why would you want to be involved with someone who is still trying to close a door in another place?

 I've been there and believe me you don't even have a 1/4 of him and if there are children, you have even less. I've done it all and I am woman enough to speak out of my mistakes and my experiences. I share my growth so you can grow. Back to the story.

"Then he showed up one day without a ring," she explained to her friend on the other end.
"I asked him what happened to the ring?" 
Was she really that stuck on stupid?  You know I wanted to ask her, "Why didn't you leave him the fuck alone when you had a chance; before you gave him permission to touch you?" But I just sighed and continued to listen.

"He told me that he had moved out and that it was official," she told her friend.
"Yes," I heard her answering a question,
"I did ask him where he lived. And I was confused because I know that building and I know people who live there. But he assured me," she explained and then started venting again.
 "I'm so repulsed!"
"I hate that I ever let him touch me!"
 "I don't want anything to do with him."
 "He just kept on pursuing me, just kept on!"
 "I hate him!"
"I hate him!" 

There I was.  I had come full circle in my bonding with this young woman somewhere between the age of 25-30. I wanted to take her to Starbucks and have a cup of tea, but there was nothing I could say to her on that day. She was not ready to hear the truth. She was not ready to accept her culpability in her pain on that day. 
The fact of the matter is that he was married and she knew it. He actually did tell her. It does not matter the story he created to explain his marriage away. The bottom line was, when she met him he was still living with his wife. That was her cue to walk away. Instead, she continued to play with fire and flirt with him on Facebook.

Then she had the nerve to say in her rage.

"His wife is never on Facebook."
"I can't believe she posted on his page."
I gave her the side eye from hell. Huh? That's her husband Facebook page. She has ALL the rights and privileges. She was letting his friends/ their friends know that he was getting ready to go into surgery. Why you mad?

" She must have felt something."
 So I commented on her post, just so he would KNOW that I KNOW that he's still married."
I wanted to say, "Baby you so confused."
The fact of the matter, she did KNOW that he was still married.  So now what was her point of disrespecting his wife? You mad cause why? You knew he was married!! 

So my question is, What is it about her, within her that she continued to flirt with this man that she knew was taken? Even if she believed that he was getting a divorce, when they met, he was still living at home with his wife. Why continue to flirt with him on Facebook. Whether she wants to accept it or not, she was disrespectful to his marriage and his wife with the continued back and fourth on Facebook. She was at fought before she ever had sex with him. She gave him permission to pursue her married.

The question is Why? What was going on in her head really? What justification did she give herself. Then, why would she even want him? He had unfinished business that would continue to altar their relationship. Why would she want to go in with this baggage?

Why didn't she just walk away and say, once you clean up your situation and is in a better place to give me all of you, look me up. What was her need that she allowed herself to go in deeper and deeper?

Even when his story wasn't adding up and she knew it wasn't adding, she continued to flirt with him. What was going on with her that she continued to pursue and be pursued? She continued to meet him for drinks and that eventually gave him permission to bed her.

I know for me, a man with attachments other than me, is not worth me because you can only have a part of him. Why should I give all of me and get a part of you? Now don't be confused, for you new comers to my blog, I'm not trying to be self-righteous. It took me a long time to get here. Like I said, I have done it all. It took me a long time to like me, then to love me, but I'm here now and there is no turing back. At the end of the day, I got to live with me and all of my actions; the things I do to myself and the thinks I allow to be done to me.

She has to deal with the fallout and face the truth. The truth that she knew all along, but justified it somewhere along the way.

For sure she has lost a part of herself that she can  never regain. That's the worst, when you give yourself to someone who doesn't deserve to have that part of you.

Now don't be confused. Of course he has culpability in this, but he is who he is. He wanted to fuck and did everything that was necessary to do just that.

He was a jackass from day one! That goes without saying. But to often we women, me included walk away hurt without accepting any responsibility. It takes two to tango!

 At he end of the day, she should have kept it moving. Now she has to work through the emotional baggage that could have been avoided in the first beginning. For sure, until she accepts her own culpability, she will never really heal. She was mad and hurt that day. My heart went out to her, for her own foolishness.  

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