Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Manicures and Karate Classes

          A few weeks ago,  my manicurist left the Springville hair salon where she had worked for several years and started making house calls. Kathleen has about a dozen customers, and sees half in her home and half in theirs. That’s what she does each weekday morning. In the afternoons, she teaches karate.
Kathleen holds classes after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Margaret Elementary and Wednesdays and Fridays at Springville Elementary. She has a second-degree black belt and teaches Yoshukai-style, which is the Japanese version of this martial art. Her husband, 10-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter have black belts, too, and all continue to take lessons at IKF Karate on Center Point Parkway. I’ve watched her enthusiasm for karate grow over the past couple of years, and it’s one reason she stopped working at the hair salon.
I feel so decadent having my nails done in my own home. Sometimes I miss not being able to get my manis and pedis when I get my hair cut, but I really like the relaxed atmosphere of my own Great Room. We can enjoy cookies and all kinds of libations without having to provide enough for a salon full of customers.
During the Christmas holidays, for example, I mixed us a Candy Cane Cocktail. This yummy drink is made with vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, white chocolate liqueur  and heavy cream. I like to serve it in my crooked-stemmed margarita glasses with tiny candy canes as garnishes. Directions suggest the option of a drizzle of grenadine for color and/or a dusting of crushed candy canes for fun, but the former turns the pretty white drink red, while the latter just sinks to the bottom of the glass.
This week, I put on a pot of coffee and we enjoyed the Thumbprint Cookies I had made over the weekend. Not as exotic as the cocktails, but still fun.
During the 1980s, there was an all-night gay bar on Birmingham’s Southside called Mabel’s Beauty Salon and Chainsaw Repair. I told Kathleen that if she ever set up shop in a permanent building, she should call her establishment Kathleen’s Nail Salon & Karate Studio. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? On the other hand, it might attract folks looking for something besides polished nails or karate lessons. 


  1. The Springville Hair Salon was where I spent my Saturdays growing up. Mother spent hours gettinng her hair done by Sue Weems, and I read comic books and drank Cokes on the little couch in the entranceway. I'll bet it's much different now. This blog still conjres up wonderful memories of my childhood.

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting. It's interesting how certain things can trigger nostalgic remembrances. But that's not the hair salon to which I'm referring. Springville has two or three now. This one is called Simply Hair, and is located south of the downtown area, but still on US 11.

  3. I'll have one of those candy cane cocktails :)