Author Archives: SuzyKnew!

About SuzyKnew!

SuzyKnew! is dedicated to improving the sexual and reproductive health and sexual pleasure of women of color.

Happy Mother’s Day 2022

Happy Mother’s Day, SuzyKnew! Readers

We’re sharing the Mother’s Day greeting from Parker Avenue Knits in Detroit. If you haven’t been yet, stop by and say “hi” to Sally and her mom and sister and check out the beautiful yarn and creativity by Black women.

 

Sunday May 8 is officially Mother’s Day in America but what does that even mean? For every person I have had the pleasure of meeting or servicing at Parker Avenue “Mother’s Day” is something different. Life is a real interactive sport played by imperfect humans. Life with Mother is not one scenario fits all.

Whatever your experience as or with a Mom and however that made you feel I truly hope you know on yet another Hallmark holiday that your fiber family is here. We don’t shout Mother’s Day from the roof because someones experience includes a mother who tried but couldn’t live up to the unrealistic standards society imposed on them. Someone else wanted to be a mother but the universe had other plans. And someone still had a mother or a child but only for a while and not anymore in this realm. Someone has two dads. Someone has an aunt, grandmother, teacher, neighbor, sister who has loved them more than a mother ever could.

Sunday May 7 and 8 Parker Avenue is open with one little twist… our teacher Miss Linda will be teaching Saturday and Sunday. Miss Linda will get you started if you have never held a needle or a hook, she will help you get unstuck if that project has you stumped and she will consult with you as you pick out your next masterpiece. No mother ever gave more confidence and encouragement to a fiber fan than our Miss Linda even your mother will agree.

Bring your fiber AND maybe your mother. Because here we celebrate every day and just try to bring a little joy to everyone.

Warmest regards,

Sally and her Mom

Fertility Friday: Answering Your Top Questions About Cervical Mucus

 

 

This weekend we are sharing Fertility Friday’s post cervical mucus.

Understanding cervical mucus is the key to understanding your menstrual cycle. In a healthy cycle, your body produces cervical mucus prior to ovulation in response to rising estrogen levels. However, there are many factors that can affect normal mucus production.

Fertility Friday regularly receives questions about cervical mucus via email and direct message ranging from why am I not seeing any mucus? and, what if I see cervical mucus every day? to how do I tell the difference between arousal fluid, semen, and cervical mucus?

If you are looking for clarity about cervical mucus, you’ll love today’s podcast episode. I take a deep dive into cervical mucus and answer your top questions, including:

  • What are the different types of cervical mucus (CM)?
  • How to check for CM
  • How to know if your CM is normal
  • How to tell the difference between CM and vaginal cell slough
  • Strategies for differentiating between CM, arousal fluid, and semen
  • What if your CM is yellow or gummy?
  • And much more!

An Easter Monday Poem: Sweet Bye And Bye

Sweet Bye and Bye

Well, drip the juice
turn off your
Sunday suits
Fried chicken crackling
Rerun, what’s happening
Brothers givin dap again
ain’t no O’Jay
whistlin
back stabbin-in
Bill Cosby
found a friend again
Fat Albert
workin off pork rinds
and gubment
cheese
sinners gettin
on knees
Faith returned
Heaven turned warm Sweet Bye and Bye
Just a little sumthin
sumthin
remindin us how
a man’s actions
added volume
to his words
Kids were seen
not heard
and grandma
kept couches
wrapped in Saran
wrap.
I’d give a limb
to see a kid
climb a tree again.
Sweet bye and bye
days gone by.
Grab a palm leaf and
wave it on Sunday
We live in a world
with so many
discrepancies
God has abandoned
Sunday and puts in
work Monday
through Saturday.
Cotton field
work ethic
and a King’s
mentality
We need to overcome
One mo gen.
I’d rather see
the human race win
than watch another
Superbowl commercial
Facts of life
that feel like lies.
A Mason jar,
Fireflies and a dad
changing diapers
were such good times
Copyright © TS Lewis | Year Posted 2015

Sophia’s Friday Uplift – April 7, 2022

Sisters!

We finally made it to Spring! Regardless of what the weather is doing in your neighborhood (it’s pretty cold where I am right now), Spring has sprung! Yes, I’m well aware that the first day of Spring was a couple weeks ago. But there’s just something about the arrival of April and the upcoming Resurrection Sunday that makes it just feel Springier now.

Anyway … for me, along with supremely disrespectful allergies, the Spring season brings with it the sweet spirit of renewal and hope. Yes, things are still a mess in the world. A date on the calendar certainly doesn’t erase all the evil shenanigans we humans get up to.  But it’s not only a new month and a new season, it’s also the beginning of a new quarter. And that means we have new opportunities to get this thing called “life” right.

I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity that Spring presents. Embrace this season of renewal and hope by making changes in your own life for the better. They don’t have to be big changes like quitting your job or dumping your spouse. (Although if you’ve prepared and planned for it and you do need to quit your job or dump your spouse, then by all means, do you!) Minor changes count, too. Simply organizing your junk drawer or cleaning out a closet are “little” tasks that can improve your life.

How are those New Year’s resolutions going? If you fell off that particular wagon, don’t worry! It’s Spring, which is sort of like a resolution “do over”! You can start those resolutions anew. Or better yet, choose new ones that you’ll actually be able to successfully complete!

I know someone who, without fail, does a huge spring cleaning every single year. She says her anxiety flares up if she skips a year. While I don’t wish anxiety on anyone, I can’t help but envy her. Her home is always immaculate, and she’s the most organized person I know. She knows exactly where every important document is, has nothing in her closet that’s out-of-date, and has a supernatural ability to purge all unnecessary clutter. Yet her home is still filled with heirlooms and precious memories.

Since housekeeping is definitely NOT my ministry, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around doing something like this every year. But I do draw inspiration from her, and at least try to do a smaller scale spring cleaning of my own.

And by “spring cleaning” I don’t just mean finally getting rid of the pants I’ll never be skinny enough to wear again, and even if I am, they’re so out-of-date that I wouldn’t wear them anyway. I mean, I use this time of year to cleanse the negativity and clutter from my heart, mind, and soul. And believe me, this ain’t always no easy task, depending on the type of winter I’ve had. It can be hard and painful work, but it is always worth it.

How about you? How are you going to take advantage of the fresh start of Spring? How does the promise of renewal that comes with Spring motivate you to make your life better? Do you engage in Spring cleaning of any kind, from literal de-cluttering to a more spiritual kind of cleanse? Let us know in the comments section below!

Until next time …

Sophia

 

 

“The Slap” – SuzyKnew! Weighs In

Ladies, everybody is talking about “The Slap:”  Will Smith slapping Chris Rock across the face at the Oscars for insulting his wife has everyone talking and giving their opinion.  So, SuzyKnew! has decided to weigh in. First, we should say we don’t all have the same opinion about what happened.  So, this is the first opinion – but not necessarily the only opinion – we will share.

To sum it up: Chris Rock has got nothing to say. He needs to sit down.  He deserved to be slapped.

How can you insult a man’s wife and not expect to be slapped?

Tell me.

As for all these folk who are talking about “you can’t condone violence” and “violence anywhere is unacceptable”… please. Violence?  Watch the video below.  Do you call that violence? Violence is when someone knocks or throws someone down and kicks and smacks them multiple times. Violence is pulling out a knife and stabbing someone or shooting them.  Please.

The type of slap Will gave was an age-old one from a man determined to defend the “honor” of his wife and his own honor.  This is the same type of slap a woman gives a man for getting fresh with her.  Would people call that “violence”? The slap Will gave is also the type you give someone who is hysterical or out of control to get the person under control.  Chris Rock needed to get his mouth under control.

People are really exaggerating when they talk about “violence.” Either they are too P.C. or always think about violence when it comes to Black people.

Many women of color, especially Black women, are saying they were proud or pleased to see Will defend his wife. Tiffany Haddish said the Will Smith slap was “the most beautiful thing” she had ever seen. Folk are saying Black women aren’t protected enough or defended as they should be. People think they can treat a Black woman any kinda way.

That is true. But, the way I see it, “the Slap” was a man’s gut reaction to his woman being insulted, as stated above. Whether the man is White, Black, Yellow, Brown or Red. A man is a man, and a Black man is no different.  How many movies have you seen where a man has slapped or slugged another man for stepping out of line with his wife?  Nobody is saying, “Oh! That’s so violent! You shouldn’t do that?”  What? You shouldn’t defend yourself? It’s not the end of the world.  It’s called self-respect. Dignity.

And don’t get me started on the Oscar’s threat to take away Will’s Oscar. Please. If that happens, then we might see some real violence…

 

 

Sophia’s Sunday Uplift – March 6, 2022

 

How ya doin’, Sis? You ok? Are you drinking enough water? Have you been able to do a little exercise, lately? How’s the job?

If you’re anything like me, all the noise, mess, and chaos going on in the world has me stressed and overwhelmed. So much so, that I haven’t been as diligent about taking better care of myself as I’d hoped. Most days I’m doing good just to get the basics done, never mind anything even remotely resembling self-care. And I feel so damned helpless about all the pain and suffering happening damn near everywhere!

I recently saw a post that said:

“It can be overwhelming to witness/experience/take in all the injustices of the moment. The good news is that *they’re all connected*. So, if your little corner of work involves pulling at one of the threads, you’re helping to unravel the whole damn cloth.” (Tweeted by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca @LadyOfSardines, 2/23/22.)

She’s right, you know. All of us, whenever we do any kind of good work in the world, are helping to unravel the threads of injustice, war, famine, disease … ALL OF IT! So, keep on doing what you’re doing, Sis. It does help.

Having said that, we’re no good to anyone if we don’t take care of ourselves, first. After all, no one can pour from an empty vessel. So, here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for your daily battle with the forces of evil:

(Ok that was a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean.)

  1. Awaken with Gratitude: When you first open your eyes for the day, before your feet even hit the ground, give thanks to whomever or whatever your Higher Power is. Whether you say a prayer or list the things for which you’re grateful, let your first thoughts of the day be filled with thanksgiving. It’s a great way start off on a positive note.Praying Woman
  2. Drink Water: Water is life. Let the first substance to cross your lips be at least a sip of water (but preferably more, of course).
  3. Stretch and Move: You may not have time for a full morning workout. Or your schedule may only allow workouts later in the day. But if you can at least stretch for a few minutes and move all your limbs, you’ll get your blood and endorphins flowing. Stretching is a great way to wake up those sleepy muscles!
  4. Speak Life to Yourself: I know it sounds corny but saying affirmations to yourself before you encounter others helps to center your mind and focus your thoughts. You don’t have to say affirmations, per se. Maybe just give yourself a pep talk. Or look at yourself in the mirror and compliment yourself. Listen. Depending on what’s facing you that day, these might be the only positive words you hear about yourself all day. Besides, you’ll be better able to face other people, such as your spouse, kids, boss, coworkers, etc. after you’ve pumped yourself up a bit.
  5. Play Your Theme Song: This one is optional and is really only effective if you’re into music. Take a few minutes and think about which song (or songs) get you fired up to face your day. Or, and this is my favorite, think of yourself as the main character in an action movie. What song would you want played every time your character came on screen? Play that song in the morning. Maybe you can’t play it until you’re on your morning commute. Even better. That way you’ll walk into that job, meeting, classroom, whatever with that awesome earworm in your head to kick start your day.

None of these tips are particularly earth shattering. I wouldn’t even call them “life hacks”, as the popular term goes. They’re just small behavioral changes that, when done with consistency, become habits that can make it easier to deal with … well, everything.

Oh, and it goes without saying that you should try to get as much restorative sleep as possible.

I know, Sis. I know. You haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since the Obama Administration. None of us have. But you should at least try. I find that I sleep better if the last thing I do ISN’T scrolling through social media or emails before bed. Do whatever works for you, but you need to get more sleep.

And drink more water. Again. Goes without saying.

So, give some or all these tips a try and let me know if they help. In the meantime, be well, Sister. And remember that you deserve all good things!!

To Ukraine With Love – A Post-Valentine’s Day Salute

To Ukraine With Love.

Most people know “From Russia with Love,” the 1963 James Bond film. But, today we want to send love to Ukraine that is facing a horrific invasion by Russia – without any love.

Ukraine needs love and support… and so do we.

This post features a woman demonstrating against the Russian invasion asking for love and support wearing sunflowers, Ukraine’s national flower,  and the symbol of resistance.

If you missed getting or sending love during Valentine’s Day.  We hear you. We feel you. But, think of Ukraine and the horror they’re experiencing – and resist.

Resist the negative feelings and think of love. Send love to Ukraine. Wear a sunflower to symbolize the resistance Ukrainians are mounting against Russia, like Jill Biden, pictured  on  the  right.  The world is resisting, standing with Ukraine and against Russia, as we face the unknown – nuclear war?

Send love to yourself. Send love to Ukraine. Send love to the world.

Did You Know It Takes 8 -12 Years To Get A Proper Diagnosis For Endometriosis? Fertility Friday

 

This weekend we’re sharing an episode from Fertility Friday’s new FAMM Practitioner Series, which features practitioner Brittany Cornish. Brittany shares her personal experience dealing with endometriosis as well as many incredible insights about getting the support she needed to address it.

Given that it takes an average of 8 to 12 years for the average woman with endometriosis to get a proper diagnosis, it makes sense that it can be difficult getting the support you’re looking for.

Most women who seek traditional medical care for endometriosis related issues are given one or more of the following options:

  • straight-up gaslighting (i.e. your periods couldn’t possibly be that painful)
  • hormonal contraceptives
  • pain medications
  • surgery

Other than the gaslighting option, the medical options listed can be extremely helpful with symptom management, but most of the women Fertility Friday Lisa Hendrickson-Jack works with want real solutions that address the root cause of the problem.

Click here and tune in for some great suggestions for cutting through the noise and getting the support you really need.