Q1: If you just want to edit the photos, why don't you just open them using the editor? The catalog serves no purpose in this task, unless there are other reasons that you haven't mentioned. But with regards to your problem that the catalog won't import the photos, it seems like you aren't making good use of the tools in the catalog, which should make finding files faster and easier, not more difficult. You could assign these photos a keyword, or add them to an album, so you can call them all up when you need them.
Q2: Zoom via F11
When you are in the Organizer, you go to the full screen view (shortcut F11).
OK - that was a simiple fix - I thought I could only use the full screen for slideshows. I really have read topics form the help menu but I think it's too much to absorb all at once.
HI - yeah, I know I'm not using it to full capacity - and I would very much like to. Need more time to absorb the help articles I'm reading. There is an awful lot to learn (for me) and I'm so used to "My Pictures" it has been easier to go back and do what I know.
Until you are ready to actually use the Organizer to organize, I would say: don't use it! If you're not using it to organize, then it becomes a hindrance and extra work.