First, welcome, redrabbit. You'll enjoy DC and will learn a lot about cooking.
As for the measuring cup "thing," you will need to purchase a set of measuring cups and measuring spoons, too, if you don't have any. You should also purchase a "liquid" measuring cup. That is a measuring cup with a pouring spout. The other measuring cups don't have spouts. They have uniform rims all around. Most hardware stores, discount stores, dollar stores, grocery stores, and places like Wal-Mart and K-Mart will also have them.
When you measure dry ingredients such as flour and sugar, the ingredients need to be leveled off in the cup. That's why the rims are flat and uniform. Just take the flat edge of a table knife and scrape it across the top to remove any of the ingredient that is above the top of the cup.
The butter is the easiest because most sticks have marks on them telling you what 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc. is. All you have to do is to cut along the line that equals the measurement your recipe calls for.
Once you get the swing of things and some measuring tools, you'll have great fun preparing lots and lots of goodies.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!