I think I'm getting it!
Well I followed GSnyde's recipe for the San Francisco Country Sourdough (I don't have any books yet, still waiting on the mail...) and I'm so happy with the result. I made two boules; I won't show you the first one as I forgot to turn down the oven as instructed and it's a bit dark and dismal. But this one I paid much closer attention to and although it's not as pretty and round as the original, I'm pretty happy with it. I like the dusted flour look as opposed to a shiny crust, very earthy, and I AM an earth girl. : ) Thanks to all who have answered my questions and given advice so far. If I haven't responded to you individually, it's because there has been such a torrent of good advice that I am overwhelmed. So instead of wasting time on the computer, I've been putting all good advice to use in the kitchen.