Thanks much, Norma!
I was stoked to get home last night and see a nice, fairly consistent starter in the jar - i.e., no separation and no hooch.
Just a nice color, consistency, and a semi-sweet & slightly sour aroma. I think we're over the hump!
I divided the culture into 2 jars (in case one goes south on me) and named them.
I'm proud to say primo figlio mio "Vincenzo dell'Ischia" and his little brother "Nunzio dell'Ischia" are both doing well!!
This morning, the bigger jar (probably around 50oz grew about 1" and the 33oz mason jar grew about 2-3 inches. So volumetrically, they are about on even pace.
I've been feeding every 12 hours with about a 5/4 ratio (by volume, so 1c flour and 4/5c water).
If we continue at this pace, I think they'll be ready in a couple of days or so...