Hi Rob, Welcome!
I don't think stuff ever disappears on the ground, but I can't say for sure. I never used the femur, either.
Rowan, I didn't figure out you could learn Walk the Abyss & Awaken, either, until late in the game.
Rob, when you click on the box in the haven, a screen will come up with all your stats. At the top, under "earned" are the points you have earned. Put your cursor on the skill you want to increase & it will tell you if you have enough points to increase that skill. I always put points in "Common" discipline first - Feed, Blood Healing, and eventually Walk the Abyss and Awaken.
Are you enjoying the game?
"Christof, do not play with thy food. 'tis unseemly".