Hi, Laurel -- I'm glad the verification steps worked for you and thank you for the kind words.
My theme is heavily into pages and I've never had them in the sidebar. At one point, I did use the archive widget, but I read somewhere -- here, I think, but I can't swear to it -- that Google not only objects to duplicate content on different urls, but is not happy with duplicates on the same blog/site. So I ditched the widget in favor of the page. Perhaps someone really in the know can confirm or scuttle this.
The sitemap is another matter entirely. I discovered, after verification and deleting that page, that I needed to re-verifify every 5-7 days. So the sitemap page really exists only to have the child page with my Google code so I don't have to keep re-verifying. It works like a charm and I "borrowed" (stole) this idea from a fellow wordpress.com blogger at http://roadsofstone.com He's been very helpful to us all in this regard and you might enjoy browsing his blog too.
BTW, I'm a Jane fan also.