I finally did it. I tweaked with my template. Please accept my apologies if you used to be in my sidebar... I think replacing my links might have to wait until another day.
I must have too many big pictures on here too, because it was taking FOREVER to load everytime I checked to see what my changes had done. I reduced the number of posts displayed but it's still pretty slow.
It's a pretty bold change from what I had before but I think I like it a lot more. I even personalized it with a water garden pic from a few years ago (it's on the header and footer bars).