ok centauri. that worked out solving the problems i was having. thanks.
the issue i have now is what i originally had well before i first posted on here and that was where i went in the wrong direction. so now i'm back to where i was back then.
you can look at a new link to see the issue
when i put the background image (the pouring water) into the main content, i have to raise it up (margin: -110px 0 0 0;) because the design calls for the water to pour over the header section. for reasons i'm not seeing it starts, then suddenly disappears.
i'm not sure if i should cut off that pouring water stream and line it up separately or if i should take it out off the maincontent div and relocate it or leave it. I could not previously and am still struggling to see what prevents it from working as a background image in the maincontent div. maybe that part extending up over the header??
Along with that, looking ahead, i have to somehow account for the maincontent div expanding downward should i have enough text to heighten those 3 floats. I'll need to create a way to fill that expanded background with the light blue of the water.