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, June 30, 2016

The Murder of Jessica Hampton

Last week today I was waiting on the red line train and very much annoyed that it was delayed. Little did I know that a young woman, Jessica Hampton had been brutally murdered just seven stops behind me.

Jessica who was 25 years old was stabbed by Aurther Jones. As she cried for help and tried to fight back, he contuined to stab her. Once she was on the floor of the train, he slit or throat and turso as by standers looked on. The video of her murder and body went viral and the family asked Facebook to take it down. In the police press conference they believed it to be a crime of Domstic Volience.

Well on Monday one of my biggest supporters reached out to me on Twitter to ask, "Did I think HIV was a reason to murder someone." I was like WHAT THE FUCK? She went on to explain that members of his family was claiming he stapled learning the Jessica had infects him with HIV. She also expalined that I would not find this in standard news, but the topic has indeed gone viral on Facebook

I did my research and learns that people were reporting Authur's Cousion Facebook post as on one end justification and on the other AIDS Education. I was like WHAT THE FUCK? I know I had to do something, but as the week dwedeled on and my throat infection hand with stitches from a freak acceidnt I thought that I would let it pass. As I searched for articles there was still no mention of HIV. So I had decided to just tweet about it and call it a day. 

BUT THEN THIS HAPPEN! I was sitting on the train yesterday, in front of me were 3 young men and beside me were there 2 friends. I'm going to guess the age range was between 17-22. They were laughing and cracking jokes about me crocheting in a cute sort of way and I joined in. Then one of the guys asked his friends, "man what would you have done if you were on the train when dude was stabbing that girl?" I jumped in, "Jumpped on his fucking back" and the conversation began. I explain that at one point he dropped the knife. One brother said, "oh man that was a way in, I would have tackled dude then." Another guy said, "Man I heard he was mad because she gave him HIV." IT WAS ON! Rae the AIDSActivist kicked in, they were listening but wasn't convinced. Then I said, I know what I'm talking about I have HIV for 33 years. They FROZE, I turned and looked each Brotha in the face, can't tell huh? SILIENCE.. Then I said, and this is a bad day with no make up and my hair half combed. My stop approached and I got up, leaving them speechless I said the problem is we are not educated about HIV. BAM! I got off the train leaving them FUCKED UP! 

So let's talk about all of this stigma and mis-education around HIV. Let's talk about Domstic Volience, murder and something gotta change in out Communtiy. I'm having a live FACEBOOK Chat tonight, June 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm CST. You will be able to ask me questions... Here is my Facebook fanpage link. You have to like the page and the dicussion will be there and NOT on my Facebook personal page.

If you want BACKGROUND on HIV infection read my recent blog post, "I Met A Man, Can I Give HIm HIV"

This is what we know for sure...

1) Aurther Jones murdered Jessica Hampton on the Red Line Train as people watched
2) The police are saying it was a case of Domstic Voliece with no mention of HIV
3) Aurther Jines lawyer indicated yesterday that he was Schoniza
4) Auther Jones Cousion posted a Facebook Post staying that Jessica gave Him HIV and he stapped. To explain why he murdered her.
5) people reposted her post and it went viral... With NJ berv
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