I’d followed along in the tutorials to set up those sidebar posts to begin with (using the recent post plus and advanced text widgets that were referenced there). In the tutorials it went through the different features — as in how many posts to display in the sidebar and how to customize them so that only specified content displayed.) So I was thinking this was the best place to get the answer. Whatever I did didn’t work.
I do appreciate your time. But from what I’m reading above it sounds like this is a custom sidebar issue and not a theme or support issue. I will keep looking! and thank you again.