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But Shanz is definitely on the right track. 90% of what I know about Photoshop, I learned by playing with it over the years. Open up existing images, and play with them. Find out what all the filters do. Then open up a blank canvas, and find out what the different drawing tools do.... etc., etc.
Check out your local bookstore's computer section for any tutorial type books they might have also... a good printed reference is sometimes the key to figuring out a tough problem.
If you save your picture with the layers still separate then you can only save it as a .psd (Photoshop document). To save it as a normal image file, e.g. a .jpg, you need to merge all the layers by going to Layer/Merge All.
Once I got the hang of the layers thing, I could do lots of other things without getting too confused, like drawing lines, filling in shapes and playing with filters.
They should be a good start to helping you understand the tools and filters better. I'll see what other links I can root up later, possibly.
Start at the top of Help>Contents which usually says something like "Looking at the work area" and just plain read the entire thing from top to bottom and do the instructions as explained until you have gone through each help topic.
You will be fairly proficient in just a few days!