In the meantime, I got myself a simple tripod from Staples - the Slik Compact II for Digital. It's a wonderful little tripod and I'm quite happy with it. It comes with a little carry pouch which makes it great for taking along when you're out and about. At $29.86 it didn't hurt either.
The other thing I bought was Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4. I already have Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. It's been a great program for doing basic edits on my photos, but I wanted to do a bit more and everything I read pointed me to Lightroom. Since I work in the education field I was able to buy it for $79.98. What does Lightroom give me? Well, I'm still learning, but here's one thing I've just done in a few minutes.
I went from this:
I'm still learning how to do things, but I'm hoping it will give me some flexibility in improving the images I create ... whatever the camera.