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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Considering The Wife....

Since my blog post on Rev. Charles Jenkins and Mundi Griffin I've been giving a lot of thought to all the issues that surround infidelity. I've given a lot of thought to Dr. Tara Jenkins, Rev. Jenkins' wife.

Honestly, I hadn't thought about the impact of my blog post on her prior to posting. For sure she knew about the affair prior to my blog post, because Rev. Jenkins confessed. His confession started this process. Actually in reality, Rev. Jenkins making a concrete decision to step outside his marriage set his wife's hurt in motion.

What I don't know, and really for me the most important piece, is if any of my details were new to her. It's one thing when you are trying to reconcile within yourself and heal with one truth, to then learn that what you thought you knew was only some of what you actually knew. The healing process then takes a turn. I've always contended that you cannot heal with half-truths and misinformation. Secondly, I have wondered what additional pain have I caused Dr. Jenkins by keeping the issue of her husband's infidelity in the public my posting my blog.

Many people know that Rev. Jesse Jackson and Mrs. Jackson are like family to me and I have never spoken about the baby and the affair publicly. I have always had this overwhelming urge to protect Mrs. Jackson. That is what family is suppose to do.

I remember when the baby drama was made public. The "publicness" of the issue made it a circus. The fact of the matter, when the news story broke, it was old news to everyone in the family close circles. In fact, Rev. and Mrs. Jackson had already worked through the issue of his infidelity.

Yet, the "public" announcement of it all, created a new energy around the issue. I know I even became pissed off at Rev. Jackson all over again. It hurt me to watch Mrs. Jackson hurt.  I watched Rev. Jackson humble himself and take responsibility publicly. It wasn't about blaming for him but taking ownership. The biggest thing though was watching Mrs. Jackson. We surrounded and undergirded her, but be clear, she was never a weak woman.  In fact she is the strongest woman I know. With her faith in tote, Mrs. Jackson held her head up and walked through that fire, with dignity. I was amazed at her strength and  the fact that she always had the most profound insights. She was always looking at the bigger picture. Yet, it didn't mean that she didn't hurt.

I am sure those who love Tara Jenkins have surrounded and undergirded her as best as they can. But it does not take away the circus that surrounds the drama of her husband's infidelity, the picture and all the madness that came with it, as that was also the case for Mrs. Jackson. Support does not take away hurt, only time.

With this in mind, I am publicity apologizing to Tara Jenkins if I have caused you any pain. It was not my intent to hurt you, but to unpack the truths.

Now, I'm not seeking a response from Dr. Jenkins, I just wanted her to know my heart.

We have watched wife after wife, Jacqueline Jackson, Tara Jenkins, Gizelle Bryant,  Maria Shriver , and Hillary Clinton just to name a few, go through the fire because of their husband's infidelity, but do we ever really consider them? Do we ever really consider the wife?

I ask this because I have watched the Scandal craze with amazement. Everyone wants Olivia to get her man, that is, the man of another woman.

I've heard people say that their  love is "special." But what really blew me away was when people started passing one of Olivia's quotes around Social Media, "If you want me, earn me," like there was some honor in a married man disrespecting his wife.

The fact of the matter, when we translate that into real English, it means, in order to earn me you have to disrespect your wife more and more. It means you have to lie to her to be with me. It means untimely that you leave her for me.

{Side note: Now I'm not on a moral higher ground. I've been there with that demand and no consideration of the wife. I will talk about that in my next blog post Being Mary Jane. But I have worked on myself enough to get it--- this is wrong as a left shoe on a right foot.}

In all the excitement around Scandal, I have never heard anyone say this is some wrong shit. I have heard them say that a woman debases herself being a side chick, but no one talks about the "wife," Mellie.

For those who want Olivia to get her man, there is almost a justification, his wife is weak and they don't belong together are some of the ones I've heard. But in reality what people are advocating week after week is for Fitz to leave his wife.

Has anyone given any thought to the environment we are creating, i. e. It's O. K.  to be a side chick but of equal importance, it's ok to disrespect the wife.

What if Mellie beats Olivia's ass? Would it be a beat down she deserves? And what about in real life, when Lorena Bobbitt cut her husband penis off? We made her out to be a crazy lady. A wife gone mad.

Who considers the wife? The husband certainly doesn't. When a man steps outside of his marriage he has said, I place this emotional and spiritual fuck over and above my wife. I can morally degrade her, and keep her at the same time. When divorce is available to everyone.

Who considers the wife? The other woman certainly doesn't, she has said I can trespass over this woman with her husbands permission. I told one of my ex husband's women, "what kind of man would let a woman call his house and disrespect his wife, his sick wife at that."

And even if the husband doesn't have a level head in the matter, why would a woman pour salt into the wound, woman to woman? Like when Mary Jane in Being Mary Jane cornered  her lover's wife in a store to tell her that she was fucking her husband. Wasn't it enough that he was leaving is wife to come to you?

And what blows me away, the husband and the other woman together, they have partnered against not only the secret institution of  marriage, but against the wife.  I've been in that kind of planning meeting and looking back with disgust for my own disgust. I've been both the wife and Mary Jane. I know, as Mary Jane, I felt like the wife had no rights. I needed to respect, and for sure my authority came from the husband. How sick is that? I wanted respect when I was the wife, but didn't want to give it to a wife.  Thank God for years of therapy and a place of understanding of what it means to love oneself. With self love comes love and respect of others.

Who considers the wife in their own personal lives and environment?  Infidelity is not some far fetched concept. We know these people, they are are family and friends.

Do you  go on record with your disapproval or do you remain silent?. Like when does a brother tell another brother, man you wrong.  Or do you just come to his rescue when needed and hold on to his secret because he is your brother?

When does a pastor tell another pastor, pier to pier, man you can't bring your woman around me and you can't talk about your wife with disdain around me. Is there a moral authority that pastors hold other pastors to?

When does a girlfriend tell another girlfriend, you know you ain't got no right to that man, he has a wife and sometimes children....Thats some unhealthy shit no matter how you cut it for you, for him, and all involved. When does a girlfriend speak that truth to a girlfriend?

Who stands up for right in the face of this wrong? I remember a friend of mine was having an affair and I told him point blank, you cannot bring your woman to my house.  I will not entertain her, it don't work like that.

But how many of us ever take that kind of stand? How many of us have entertained the other women?  I wonder how many of the people who have called Mundi a whore, are friends with a Mundi of their own? How many Mundi's have you had in your home or have entertained in some way, yet you know the wife personally?

I learned that my ex-husband's family knew about one of his women. Like how does that work? How is it OK for a  family member to participate in the face of outright wrong?  When she married your brother, uncle, father cousin, she became your family too.

Who considers the wife? The media certainly dosent. They print stories to sell papers with no consideration. I called a blogger today a "Blog Whore" as it relates to this issue, but let me be clear, in my quest for the truth, I didn't even consider the wife.

Who considers the wife? The public doesn't  really. For everyone has an opinion that is often carried out with dogma. That's the reason I removed the post yesterday, the dogma was dark and sinister in spirit.

We have so many examples  floating around. I watched the public turn on the wife, worst than they do on the other woman, when she decides to stay in her marriage, especially when it's a public figure. Like the way feminist kicked First Lady Hillary Clinton's tail when she didn't divorce President Clinton. When it was rumored that Maria Shriver was staying with Arnold she was also under fire.

Everyone has an agenda and an opinion about the wife without any consideration for the wife. Her hurt are hers to work through - her way, it does not belong to us. All we can do is pray for her and those closet undergird and support the decisions she makes that will best serve her life. In the end, it is her life.

Who considers the wife? God certainly does, adultery is a sin.

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