I'm confused, two questions, please help

I’m using WP for my site, and we are wanting to make a few minor changes to our homepage content area. Here is what we are wanting to do.

At top center have a “Quote of the Day”, below that have normal static info, then below that have a portion of our latest post.

Question 1: We would like to be able to add a quote everyday to the posts, with a category of say “QD”, but if possible I would like to have this category hidden in the Category list in the sidebar. Not sure if there is a way of hiding a category. If anyone knows a solution to this, please help, if not we will just have to leave it listed.

Question 2: We would like to pretty much have this homepage automatically update the Quote of the Day and latest post. I’ve tried a couple of things but it just isn’t working right. I’m sure it is probably something simple that I’m missing, but I’m still fairly new to WP and PHP. So I outlined what we were after above. For the Quote of Day, I want it to show the latest (only 1) quote that would most likely be categorized as QD (hopefully hidden as described above), then the static content, then the latest post from all categories except QD, and only one post.

Thank you to anyone that is able to give me some guidance.

Thank you for your reply. While searching for solutions to my issue, I came across this plug-in: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/widgets-reloaded/
It gives you more advanced widgets, which in my case allows me to exclude one or more categories. If anyone installs this plug-in, just be warned that if you are currently using any widgets, they may disappear upon activating it.

I’m still researching a solution to my other issue.

In answer to hiding a specific category from the WordPress homepage, this post will help you now, and in the future - http://wordpress.org/support/topic/hide-specific-category-after-using-wp_list_categories

As for displaying the quote of the day automatically, it would be a simple case of parsing the QD from the database - you will however need to be a little more conversant with PHP & mySQL … alternatively, have you tried looking at the QTD widget? http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/quote-of-the-day/

You can always use it as a reference point to custom write your own code for the site … hope that helps.