this weekend the riddles celebrated grandmother's 80th birthday. on the way to alabama, i got to see wes & blakely. here they are with their sweet son, ashton, who will be two in august. as you can see they are expecting again soon- another boy, collin, next month! grandmother picked the restaurant, lloyd's, and we enjoyed a great seafood meal. (sorry for the blurry picture. i think it was focusing on the flowers, but you get the idea.) then we went back to the house for cake & ice cream. here's the beaming birthday girl!it was great to catch up with my cousin, ashley. we missed chris- his softball team was playing in a tournament, so he wasn't able to come. he held down the fort and kept eva company all weekend.
katy told y'all about what she did last weekend, so now i'll let you in on my half of the story. i've been working a ton of hours lately, so sorry you haven't heard from me in a while. typically we drive down to alma, ga on memorial day weekend for a good time of eating and family fellowship with the rimes (my mom's side of the family). since katy wasn't able to go this year, i drove down to my parents' house on thursday night and made the rest of the drive with them on friday morning. we got to alma around mid-day to find another typical scene: folks shooting something just for fun. :) my cousin chuck (fellow TECH man) made a potato gun earlier in the week, and he and kyle were giving it a whirl. needless to say, around 20 lbs of potatoes and a few cans of white rain hairspray were gone by the end of the weekend, and they weren't used for salad or hair fixin'. my grandfather started our memorial day family tradition about 12 years ago with the pig pickin'. those of you who went to high school with me probably remember this. we did that for 5-7 years, and for various reasons stopped cooking the pig for the last several years. well, this year we went "whole hog" again. my cousin will set in motion the awesome plan for the grandsons who would be there to begin doing this again. all the plans were made and the supplies were gathered before we got to alma. one important thing was missing:
the 90 lb pig!
we picked up the pig on friday afternoon from d.l. lee & sons, a meat processing and packaging plant owned by some other cousins of ours (my great grandmother was a lee). if you ever see any lee brand sausages in the store, pick up a package - they're delicious. we can't get them up here in greenville, so i brought a few packs back for future enjoyment.
we went to bed semi-early on friday night and woke up at 4:00-4:30 the next morning for cooking. the day started out with preparing the coals. getting charcoal and wood ready for pit coals is much more fun if you have the right tools.
we put the pig on at about 5, and the rest of the morning was full of coffee, smoked sausages, talking, watching the pit temperature, adding new coals to the fire, and jerry clower's greatest hits. here's one of my favorites.
(l to r) will, me, kevin, & jay intently watching the pig.
around 11:30, we turned the pig and gave it a slathering of some of good sauce.
after it was finished cooking, the "chefs" enjoyed a few moments of pulled ribs and other good meat - a true reward for waking up early and cooking all day. finally, the chopping and pulling commenced to produce the final product: lots and lots of chopped and pulled pork (enough for 31 with 2 hams left over).
6 of the 7 rimes grandsons (l to r) kyle, me, will, jay, kevin, & chuck
folks, this was some good eatin', and we've definitely renewed a family tradition.
on sunday mr. mike cooks up a low-country boil, and it was as good as ever.
some delicious low-country boil: shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, and onions
of course, most of the family was there and we had a good time talking, eating, driving around town, shooting potato guns and real guns, fishing, sitting under the carport, eating (repeated for emphasis), and relaxing in general. memorial day weekend and most others with our family are just a good ole' southern good time.
chris & i spent the holiday weekend apart and though i was sad to miss the rimes family spring fling, i had a great time celebrating tori's bachelorette weekend! eight of her closest friends from high school, college, and work met in helen, georgia where we rented a cabin.on saturday morning, we went tubing. i'm not sure how i've survived almost 26 years of my life without ever going tubing, but it's pretty relaxing. we linked all 8 of our tubes together.on sunday, we went horseback riding. this i have done before, but not a lot. they show you how to steer your horse, but i'm pretty sure these could do it blindfolded. other than that, we spent the weekend watching chick-flicks and eating delicious girly food (think strawberry chicken salad and sunflower honey bread).i'm looking foward to tori's wedding july 4th weekend. chris & i are road-tripping to chicago!