With all due respect, you have not answered my question, nor have you offered direction for improvement. I am not advanced enough to make any progress with your post. Shutting down half of WordPress and telling me I am using bad practices pretty much leaves me dead in the water.
Firstly, I am not editing html code in the Visual Editor, I am editing html code under the html tab. And, the only reason I am editing the html on that page at all is because the visual editor is adding that extra space. The dreaded spacer html is being inserted in random places when I switch over to the Visual Editor, apparently, but turning off the friendly tool of the two tools for editing which are in WordPress just to get away from an anomaly strikes me as taking Reverse out of a car transmission because you hit something backing up. No doubt there are people like yourself who are very adept at editing html without seeing the result in the Visual Editor, but I am still a newbie and I need to see what I am doing, formatting copy, placing .jpgs etc. Plus, what is it there for, anyway.
As far as tables for layout is concerned, it may be bad practice from your standpoint, but what is good practice? I went through what seemed like a terrific amount of research to try to find what acceptable layout practice for my application would be in WordPress, and came up empty. I finally found that TinyMCE offered an advanced version which included tables, and it is giving me the desired result.
Have a little mercy on me and give me some clue how to line up pictures and copy, like my page above has, without tables. I know very little about .div and .css files (although a lot more than 3 months ago). From what I understand, though, you cannot use .div code with the html and visual editors (I really don't think I know enough to edit my pages without referring to the Visual Editor).
So, using both the html editor and the Visual Editor, I am eager to learn how to edit my pages with the best WordPress layout practice without tables and the dreaded spacer html code. If the only answer is to forever edit without the Visual Editor on, and use .div codes (which will be deleted the first time I turn the Viz Editor on), then I suppose I will have to rely on the crutch of tables and be considered a WordPress moron until someone can actually help me.
I have learned a lot in the last 10 years or more of editing a website, and a lot more in the last 2 months using WordPress. However, I know only a tiny percentage of what there is to know, so any help is appreciated.