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, August 6, 2014

On Line Dating Huh???

The other day I Googled dating to get pictures for a blog post and the images that popped up were all of some sort of reference to dating on-line. Like for real, for real, so many pictures came up with computer images with hearts that I rechecked to make sure that I had actually searched dating, or that some sort of auto-correct hadn't led me to online dating. LOL!

A while back you may recall that I blogged about dating and told you about a dating site for people with sexually transmitted diseases called Positive Singles. I talked about being lonely and wanting to date in that two part series. I tried that dating site and while it didn't work well for me, I know someone else who gave it a try and it worked just fine. I think my deal breaker was that I said in my profile, "I'm very public about both my HIV and herpes status." I'm sure most people are on those sites because it's easier to disclose to someone in the same situation, which was my reasoning for joining and blogging about them in the first place. Yet at same time, a person living with a sexually transmitted disease may be struggling with stigma issues. My publicness is not a comfortable place for someone who is living in secret.  I mean, I am infected and I talk about it to everyone who will listen. I'm over  stigma. I'm just waiting on the rest of the world to catch up with me. The other thing, I met Mr. Handsome around the same time I signed up at Positive Singles and I've never been the type of woman, to spread myself thin, so I just deleted my no action account. 

Speaking of Mr. Handsome, I met him online of sorts. It wasn't a dating site but for sure it was online and he knew he was approaching a woman living with HIV/AIDS. It didn't work and that doesn't make him a bad guy, or how we met bad, it just didn't work. Somethings we ought not add value that doesn't belong. So here I am again, alone and sometimes more than others, lonely. 

Meeting guys is an uphill battle for me. Mainly because I spend a lot of time by myself. If you don't go any place you can't meet anyone, a former therapist would always tell me. In full disclosure I will admit that I kind of have "only child syndrome." I like spending time with myself. I've never been one of those people who needed someone to have dinner with or to entertain me. Shoot, I can play monopoly by myself. I got skills! LOL 

Other barriers for me when it comes to meeting men, and going out, is that I don't drink and I hate bars. So what's a 52 year old woman living with HIV/AIDS in the public sphere to do? The hell if I know! I have been wondering though if I should try some of these social dating sites. Not a paid site or anything. I'm not paying anyone to help find me a date. At least I'm saying that today. 

I have a friend that does one free site and have actually gone on a date here or there. But I'm not sure if I have the patience for men winking at me. Like really, I don't know how to make small talk. Everything is always so serious for me. Everything has meaning. I don't see much in life as neutral. This is another reason why friends male or female, dating or otherwise haven't always worked out well for me. I never seem to give it a break, that is life on life terms. Not too many topics seem to be causal for me. Tiara and I go through this a lot, she mentions something and I always have a lecture to add onto the passing topic. 

Okkkkkkk, so what is a woman who sees everything in black and white to do? Should I go ahead and give one of these dating sites more then a week? Again, in full disclosure, I even downloaded an app on my iPad about 2 months ago, but after a week of winks I just deleted the app. Maybe it was timing. I joined the site about 2 weeks before I went back on IV medication and had the Lipo procedure. I was in so much pain and discomfort winking and small talk was not appealing to me.

This online dating/ app thing seems to be the trend. Now I'm still nervous and cautious about these sites. There are sociopaths in this world and dating sites are great turf for liars, but shoot, I've also met liars in church, from the pulpit to the pew.

Maybe I should put my big girl panties on and give one of these sites more than a week or two. I guess I will never really know if I don't give it an honest try. It may at minimum give me something to do other than mope. It will for sure be interesting to see how men approach an HIV infected woman who happens to blog about her life. Or should I even say that I'm HIV Positive in my bio? In past I've siad that I was an AIDS Activist. I signed up for a free weekend trail of Match.Com about 9 or 10 years ago and one brother figured out who I was just by a couple of messages. Google is not my friend. LOL!  Well if I join one of these social dating site, it will definitely give me something to blog about. It may even render a favorable outcome. I don't know for sure, but what I do know is that I will never know, if I don't give it a try. 

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