I returned from Lake County, California in love. I didn't see much of the county, but it felt mountainous and rural, with a pleasant mix of agriculture and wild spaces. It was not terribly far away, and it didn't feel like it was remote and cut off. Zillow and some math revealed that for the same amount as the rent we pay now, i could get a tiny rented room near the office, commute four times a week, and we could pay the mortgage on over an acre with a decent small house. (Basically, i spent one evening and the next morning looking at economic statistics, zillow, zoning regulations, etc.)
Next step: a trip with Christine there.
The training over the weekend was how to scientifically collect plants to be used as specimens for two projects. I've a stack of photos to go through and three different lupines in the fridge. I can't identify to what species another patch of lupines belong from the photo -- that was another evening gone. I was a bit intimidated about the scientific collection with the crowd: i think i need quiet to record data etc.
The other stretch of California i've recently fallen in love with, the Panoche Hills, is in the opposite direction from Lake County's creeks and lakes: it's a patch of desert and near-desert landscape. That's where i'm planning on doing my collecting. I'm very much looking forward to it. Paperwork comes first: i need a permit from the BLM.
I am ... moody ... in an odd way. Part of it is that the land and plant thoughts are not what i am supposed to be doing. What i am supposed to be doing is pleasant enough, but, oh, it is not where my passion is. So there's guilt for being distracted, a bit of blues over whether i would ever be able to devote all my energy to these passions, a sense of procrastination paralysis (again).
Meanwhile, i bought very nice crochet tools (hooks with highly engineered cable attachments, and a nice hard plastic cable) and have found the crochet hook knitting to be harder with the stiff cable instead of the fiber cords. I'm thinking if i sand down the tip of the hook to a point, it may be easier to lift the lace-weight yarn off the cord.