I finally decided that hauling the SO out to collect geodes in a riverbed was not realistic, at least for the next year or two given his age, so I gave in and we picked out one at the local rock shop to crack open. The helpful advice we received there: "The bigger they are, the lighter they are, the better they are." We found a nice light US (as opposed to Moroccan) geode - and sure enough it was full of dense but delicate quartz crystals.
My husband used a chisel and hammer to open this - I can see we will need a little practice to open these more cleanly, but I think it's not a bad first try. The SO enjoyed the results (and now has something for his next Show-and-Share day at school).
Here's the before photo - this guy weighed in at just about one pound:
I'd like to say I've been working like mad on jewelry behind the scenes, but this would be a complete lie. On the other hand, I finally spent part of my prize money from last year's Fire Mountain Gems and Beads contest yesterday - I can hardly believe I've had that $750 gift certificate just burning a hole in my pocket for the past 8 months! (Thanks again to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads and sorry I was a weenie and missed the contest deadline this year.) When my treasure arrives (and I mean it - I picked up a big strand of graduated sapphire rondelles among other things), I'm hoping it will inspire me to start working again.
Hope all is well with all of you.