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, September 26, 2013

Sex, Self-Respect and Loneliness...

I haven't been on a date in about 3 years. *Sigh* I haven't had sex in, ummm, like 4 years. *double sigh* Now don't go getting super-saved on me. Like who doesn't want the feel good of sex? Shoot, the experts say the more sex you have, the longer you live.  Sex is a great benefit to life. The End!

In all honesty, while I haven't had any opportunities for dates, I've had more than my share of opportunities for sex. Nope, I haven't found any men who want to take me out to have a wonderful dinner and make me laugh with great conversation lately. And the last one that took me out for a wonderful dinner and great conversation was on some bullshit. I've had to learn that a wonderful dinner and great conversation don't always add up. I'm so glad I didn't let him bed me. For sure everything I've learned about him since that date has been disappointing to say the least. So don't get a great date confused with love.

For sure in these last 4 years I've had plenty to ask to bed me and thus, spend a wonderful time getting lost in ecstasy. I opted out. Well, the last man that bedded me was married. Yes, I said married! Child please, that Negro was all of that and before he ever touched me I was so deep in it that it took God to pull my ass out of that it. Now that one is COMPLICATED? I touched on it in another blog and got unfollowed on Twitter ... self-righteous black women. Or maybe scared black women. If you are married, then I've become your enemy because you now know that I'm at least capable of bedding a married man and most importantly, that a married man is willing to have sex with me knowing that I have HIV/AIDS. You can read that blog HERE.  

Now, he was living with his wife when I met him, but he left her and we became a new family. Then he left me and then he came back and then he left again. RIGHT, it took God to get me out of that one. His mother and sister still love me, and I them, but at the end of the day I'm glad God did for me what I wasn't able to do for myself. GET ME OUT! 

Ok, so now that you have some back-ground, lets tackle the right now. I think my dating problem is simple, I don't really go to many places where the opportunity arises to meet men. I just spend an awful lot of time alone. Not by design, but by design. Let me explain. It's not that I want to isolate myself, it's just that I've never been a club/bar girl. Even in my twenties I didn't do much in the way of partying. I don't drink, basically because I don't like the taste of alcohol. So with no need to visit clubs or bars, that particular way of meeting men has been ruled out for me most of my life. The other thing is, I'm a really overly serious gal, I say that to say, I'm not so much of a frivolous conversation gal. So how men approach me on the top end determines the length of the conversation.

So I do spend a lot of time alone. Some of this is only child syndrome. I even learned to play Monopoly by myself. The other end of this is my health. I spend a lot of time managing my health hit after hit. When I'm down I'm down and when I'm trying to make it back up I'm spending my time playing catch up with work, blogs and bracelets. Often times it takes a lot to get it through the day so I don't want to rock the boat and make matters worst by hanging out because often times there is still work to be done. If I hang out too tough, then I'm wiped out the next day and then there goes work. But then where does a girl go to meet men when she isn't into the bar scene, Starbucks? Humm, now that's an idea so don't be surprised if I tweet I'm having tea in Starbucks, LOL. But ummm for real, for real.

Now, the sex thing is easy but hard at the same time. Yes, I want to have sex. I like sex. I happen to not be an uptight gal. I enjoy every minute from the beginning, the foreplay that begins with the mind right down to the orgasm. Remember, I did say that I'm a serious gal, so if the mind is not stimulated my body will not respond. I don't care how good looking a man is. I much prefer brilliant and well dress any day over fine. And shit, honestly, I want to be the one looking in the mirror all the time, for real, for real. 

My starting point is important, but most importantly, I just ain't giving any more men my innermost self in chances where my self-respect is lost. There is no sex worth my self-respect. FACT! This means what it means; I'm not giving myself up at any cost, so I keep myself to myself. Plus, I've been fucking since I was 13 years old and at 51, I'm not lacking in the sex department. And let me go there, I'm not scared to pleasure myself; and keep your super-saved opinions to yourself. The Bible does not mention masturbation. I prefer to love myself while loving myself then to give myself to a men who do not appreciate my worth. 

Now, for sure it has taken me years to get to this place and I'm not going to sacrifice this growth on a fuck. Now my ex, the one that was married understood my worth, the problem was he didn't understand his worth. The End! But if I had to do it over again, ummm I ain't gonna lie, I'll do it over again with him. But only at the beginning, because now that I understand who he is, I could never go back. For sure that was a painful lesson to learn, even in love. My bottom line, you have to love yourself more than you love him. That was almost lost in that relationship. Thank God for almost.

With all of this stuff I know about me, being a loner, being serious about life, maintaining my health, loving me more than idea of having a man, all of this, the sum total of who I am, for sure has to be factored into my dating life or lack thereof. For sure I'm lonely, but at sometimes more than others. But I will never, ever jeopardize the love that I have for myself. I want to die liking me, not loathing me.

I wonder if I expand my dating boundaries to men of other races how that would work. Now for those of you who don't know, I'm plain old mulatto, that means for me that my mama is white and my daddy is black. So technically I would only be dating the other half of my race, but that's another topic. I'm not sure if I subconsciously keep myself closed to the idea because, at 51, I'm still stuck somewhere with how white men typically approach black women, or should I say ME, back in the day, either as a whore, or my "white side" was in some way appearing. They would say stuff like, "So who's white in your family?" For sure that's a freaking turn off to a black woman reading Dr. Martin Luther King's, "Why We Can't Wait" and Stokely Carmichael's "Black Power" at 18. 

So here I am, 51 years of age and lonely. I'll keep you posted on that Starbucks idea *wink* 

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