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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

And What About Dating- Part Two

Often times the holidays seems to compound the loneliness and isolation of a single person living with HIV. I know for me this has been the case. No doubt dating with a sexually transmitted disease is hard: The having to disclose; having to explain the how I got to this place; The fear of judgement and rejection. The shame with acknowledging your choices and for some even your culpability in your infection; the self loathing that comes with why you chose to trust the very person that infected you, whether it is HIV or herpes.

Out if my own loneliness and isolation I've been thinking about dating a lot as of lately. People think being this famous woman with AIDS means that I'm not lonely, but at the end of the day I still come home to myself. I have no one to wind down my day, even if with just a phone call. I give so much to help enrich the lives of others but get very little to enrich my own life. This is my situation living with this disease. In my last blog about dating I talked about men willing to date me in private but not public and my decision to shut that down out of self respect and love for myself.

But where does that lead me and how do I meet that special someone? Even as an AIDS Activist I'm still faced with the same issues others with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are living with. Disclosing your HIV status to a potential partner is scary. That is true no matter how long you have lived with HIV or how many times you have disclosed or even how public you are. To have that first conversation with someone that you are attracted to is hard and leaves knots in your stomach.

Just recently I told a man after our initial conversation that I had drug resistant herpes. Let me tell you, I didn't exhale until he said, "I read that in one of your blogs," and we went on to the next topic. I like this guy, so we will see where it leads. *giggles* To his testament he didn't drill me on how the hell I ended up with two sexually transmitted diseases. There were no judgments or backtracking on his part. But in those first 60 seconds my mind raced pass the conversation to my own fears. What will he think of me with both HIV and herpes? Will having two diseases be a deal breaker? Even that self-loathing became a part of my mental drama. As I was rambling on about my herpes I was thinking, "Girl how did you end up here?" But at the end of the day you can't change the course of history, all you can do is accept your journey for what it is and try to be your best you with what you got.

So dating is challenging for us all! Since that last blog on dating, I've had so many people reach out to me privately about their own drama around dating with HIV. One woman emailed and asked, "So what about those positive dating sites?

I got to tell you, I see them as an easy way to get pass that first level of fear; rejection. You don't have to have that initial conversation because the person reaching out to you already knows your baseline. Now I've got to be honest, a while back, like 7-8 years ago, I did a free trial weekend for one of those poplar dating sites that advertise on tv, but based on what I said to the guy, he Googled me and that was a deal breaker *shrugs* his loss, because I'm a wonderful woman.

Now recently, I signed up for PositiveSingles.Com.  I wanted to see what they are about for myself since I'm recommending them to you. Now, like I said, I actually met a guy recently and it's very early, not sure where it will lead, good places I hope - so I'm  not sure how long I'll stay on a dating site. I try to have integrity. Plus, I've always been a one man kinda woman.

But what I know for sure about the dating sites is that the person reaching out will at least know your base-line when they send that first email. I think a dating site like this could be a way to get the conversation going and sometimes all you need is an open door. So what the heck, you really have nothing to lose but time. For sure you should work within the parameters of the site and be honest. I mean no point lying on a site where everyone has a sexually transmitted disease. I think it's a level of freedom actually, everyone is at the same starting point.

Think about it this way, you know right off bat that you are not being rejected because of your status. With your status out of the way, you can now go forth and see if there is compatibility. Now let me be honest, everyone with HIV is not going to be a perfect match, sometimes you gotta work through the barrel to find that right apple.

At the end of the day I think that we should fight the isolation that comes with this disease. I also think that we should use all the great tools of modern technology to do so! Each of us deserve to be loved, and none of us deserve to have HIV.  By forcing yourself to live in isolation, you punish yourself and that is not what God wants of us! When we wake in the morning we are still a part of God's earthly plan, so I think we should live our best life while we have a life! 2014 is fast approaching why don't you step out of your comfort zone and see what is waiting on the other side of fear of rejection.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics