Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hobbes Versus the Dinosaurs

Do you remember the tiny, cute, dinosaurs from the movie, Jurassic Park that were seemingly harmless until they ate you?  
They were Compsognathus or Compy for short.
Chicken sized dinosaurs that moved as a group (flock) and ate anything that didn't eat them first.
Sounds an awful lot like chickens to me.
I have long thought chickens were just modern day dinosaurs and I think scientists tend to agree.

Hobbes found out that the little birds he thought were going to be snacks were really just tiny dinosaurs.
Last week, I finally let my chicks out to freerange with the older hens.
Hobbes had been stalking them intently through the fence of the chicken run for a couple weeks.
I could tell he couldn't wait to catch and eat one.

Amelia catches her first snack while out free-ranging.
Amelia had other ideas.
She and her sister Marie are Sicilian Buttercups.
They won't get much bigger.
What they lack for in size, they make up for in personality and hubris.

Here Hobbes is planning his attack.
Tiny bird, what could go wrong?

Here Amelia doesn't wait for him to come to her, she goes to him.
Confronts him.
Tail up, feathers fluffed, eyes on his every move.

Watch his head.

He loses the staring contest.  He looks away.

He looks back at her and she's having none of it.

She tips that tail and stretches that neck.
He looks for an exit.

Here he retreats to the "safety" behind the fence.
He doesn't know yet that she can slip right through the fence.
She chooses to let this transgression pass and walks away.

This scenario has played out many times since I took these pictures.
Every single time, she and the other chickens approach him first if he's eyeing them.
Every single time he retreats.

Safe and warm and hiding his face.
He's just glad we don't have any neighborhood cats that could witness his humiliation at the beaks of tiny chickens.

It's okay Hobbes, they really are tiny dinosaurs.
You made the best choice to walk away.

Monday, May 26, 2014

1 Year, 5 Months, 25 Days

The post title is how many years, months and days my father was in the Marines.

He was 17 years, 8 months, and 3 days when he joined the Marines.
His parents had to sign off for him to join.

I'm certain he was more than happy to get out of his house and off to the fight.
In his house, he was out of control because of the alcoholism and abuse of his father and the terrible unhappiness of his mother.
I would imagine he felt he'd be in control of his life somehow if he were carrying a gun.

He looks happy in this picture.
Proud, even.

What's astounding to me, is that 69 years, 4 months and 5 days after my father was honorably discharged from the Marines, our soldiers still suffer untreated from "Shell Shock".  
It is still looked down upon as being weak.  
We did not then, and we do not now---give the soldiers tools for dealing with the hidden wounds of the psyche, the heart, the soul.
It's somehow supposed to be okay to kill other human beings and see unimaginable atrocities and just go back to your 'real' life, unharmed.  
To be unaffected by what your soul has endured.

In our country we put so much emphasis on being on the right side of what God wants.
We're good, "they"(Germans, Japanese, Italians, Koreans, Vietnamese, Russians, Cubans, Iraqis, Iranians....) are "bad".
God loves us and not them.

What I suspect is that God weeps at what we do.  
He weeps at what they do.
All He can do in the aftermath is gather up the souls and comfort them.

I believe in heaven.
I believe that all the broken souls and broken bodies are there.

Today, we honor those that gave their lives for wars fought 
and won 
and lost.
I honor the man who was broken beyond repair.
I honor the man who sought escape.
I honor the man who jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.....
and died.
The war took 46 years, 1 month and 13 days to kill my father.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1732 Miles, Give or Take a Few--Part 2

Red River in need of some rain!
photo credit: http://thinkprogress.org
Friday morning.
487 miles.

Jenna and I got up, got cleaned up and downstairs for breakfast at our hotel--bright and early.
Sort of.
I was trying to time our arrival into the Fort Worth area before rush hour.
I missed.
We could have walked through Fort Worth quicker than driving.
No matter.
What's important is that we stopped multiple times stretch our legs and check out some clean bathrooms and some not so clean bathrooms.
We also may have gotten a snack or two.
We also may have eaten lunch at a Cracker Barrel.

All that with no moaning and groaning from menfolk---because there weren't any on the trip.

Some of you may have done some math and know that it's way more than 487 miles between the Kansas City, Missouri area and Central Texas.
You're right!
It's 487 miles between Missouri and the Red River.
The glorious border river that says, "You're back on home soil!  Welcome home!"

Friday afternoon:
280 miles.


That feeling of being "home" lasts for a few minutes until it sinks in that you're still 280 miles from where you lay your head.
4.5 hours.
Unless you are in the car with Jenna and me.
Then it's longer because we have bladders the size of walnuts.
Just sayin'.

We drove 767 miles in 14.5 hours.
It should have taken far less than that.
That puts us driving at roughly 52.9 mph.
I know my speedometer clocked us at 80 for most of the way through Kansas and Oklahoma.
Maybe next time we won't stop at so many bathrooms----at least not the icky ones.

Road Trip Observations:

11. Love's Truck Stop has the nicest, cleanest bathrooms----hands down!

12. Besides their clean bathrooms, Love's sells just about everything. 
You can buy a slushie, a rhinestone encrusted purse, a neck pillow shaped like a dog, flowery flip flops, a fake turquoise encrusted cross, a dream catcher and every salty or sweet snack known to man.  
You can even take a shower if you're a "professional driver"(read: trucker).

13. Testosterone can be a bad thing when you're doing 80 mph on a two lane highway.
Jenna and I were positive that the 4 vehicles, driven by men, that were jockeying for 'first in line', doing 80 mph from Oklahoma City to Forth Worth were going to be called to their eternal glory by Darwin himself.  Forgive the run-on sentence, but it had to be said in one breath.
They managed not to kill themselves or anyone else.  At least as far as we know.  We lost them at the Dallas/Fort Worth split.

14. The gift shop at Cracker Barrel is better than the food at Cracker Barrel.
Except their pancakes, because well, they're fried in butter. 

15. The line at Taco Cabana is longer when there is a coupon for "buy one, get one free" margaritas in the local paper.  

16. Karma dictates that we got in aforementioned line AND there was a new kid at the register because we didn't want a margarita AND we thought the testosterone driving game was probably going to get them killed.
Oh well, we ate.  It was tasty.  The bathrooms were clean, too!

17. The last 10 miles home are the longest.

18. The traffic lights will all be red.

19. Having help unloading the car is wonderful.
Thanks Eric and Quinn!

20. Having time alone with Jenna--Priceless!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

1732 Miles, Give or Take a Few--Part 1

photo credit: bradmangas.com
Flint Hills, Kansas

I was out of pocket on my blog last week because I was on the road.
Wednesday morning I left and drove to Wichita, Kansas.
549.24 miles.
By myself.

Road Trip Observations:

1. I love the interstate.
Really, I'm not kidding.  Thank you President Eisenhower!

2. I love the Kansas Turnpike even more.
SO worth the $10.25, end to end!

3. Having bluetooth (I rented a car) to go with my new phone was a wonder of technology.
Did you know you can talk on your phone on a speaker in the car?
Yes, I know many of you know that.
This wonder enabled me to call my friend, Deb and talk for waaayyy longer than she had time for.
She helped me stay awake when I was feeling drowsy.
Thanks Deb!!

4. Central Oklahoma is beautiful. 
Trees, lakes, green fields and cattle (see observation #11).

5. Some of the billboards in Central Oklahoma make me twitch a little bit.
Their theology is much different than my own.
I didn't know Jesus ever owned America and if he did, I didn't know he'd lost it.

6. People will form a mile long line to get "all you can eat" shrimp cocktail at a casino.
I stayed at the Hampton Inn that attaches to the Kansas Star Casino near Wichita.
Brand new and cheap and clean.
I did not join the mile long line.
It wasn't really a mile long, but it might as well have been.
I ate a salad in a different restaurant.

Thursday morning I got up and drove to Lamoni, Iowa.
313.3 miles.
By myself.

"What the heck is in Lamoni, Iowa?", you ask.
Jenna was in Lamoni, Iowa!
Her college is in Lamoni, Iowa!
It was "Graceland" before Elvis was even born.
I'm pretty sure he stole the name.
Well, not really.......but still.

We packed up the car.
We toted her fridge to someone's house off campus.
I hope it's still there next fall!

We un-lofted her bed. 
(which takes 5 people to do without having the whole thing crash down on any one person)

We wandered around campus while she said goodbye to all the people she loves.
We left campus and stopped for coffee at her favorite coffee place.
We drove back to campus to tell someone goodbye that she couldn't find the first time.

Thursday evening we drove to Independence, Missouri.
112.8 miles.

It was late.
We rang up my nephew Nathan and his wife, Jen and asked them last minute if they'd like to come eat some dinner with us.
They did.

It was even later after dinner.
I know, it was a surprise to me too! :)

To a hotel and off to bed.
A very long day waited for us on Friday.

Road Trip Observations:

7. The Flint Hills in Kansas are my favorite part of the trip.
Stunning prairie, not a house or power line in sight!

 8. Loading a car when the temperatures hover in the 50's is WAY easier than when they are in the 80's!

9. Going back to campus after you've already left is important when goodbyes are involved.

10.  Iowa is SO beautiful.

11. Some people are 'mountain people'.
Some people are 'ocean/water people'.
I'm a 'prairie people'.

Prairie Person.
The miles of fields, full of corn and wheat and cattle and sunflowers---they all feed my soul.
Do people really retire in Kansas or Iowa?
I might start a trend.

Tomorrow's post:
Independence, Missouri to Dripping Springs, TX
767 miles.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins

Cottontail rabbits are not the brightest bunch.
Case in point.

Yesterday, I heard my neighbor's dogs losing their minds.
Since they are in my care right now, I wandered over to see what was up.
I thought maybe a fawn was frozen with fear, just beyond the dog yard---it has happened before.

Nope, the dogs were pawing at something small, just on the other side of the dog yard.
Something small and fuzzy and something I immediately recognized as a baby cottontail.

 I put the dogs up in their crates and went to investigate.  
Teeny, tiny ears.

 Teeny, tiny "bun-buns".  
We got 4 inches of rain overnight on Monday and the temperature dropped into the upper 40s.  I am surprised the bunnies are alive at all.

Let's explore the question about being alive in more depth.
If you'll look at this picture, you'll see my 'jury-rigged'  solution to protecting the bunnies from further persecution from the dogs and impending rain.
It's the top of a cat crate.

What you'll notice is its proximity to the dog yard fence.  The nest is directly beneath the rock, under the crate.  
What on earth was momma bunny thinking?
More to the point, how on earth did she manage to:
1. Dig the nest?
2. Line it with fur?
3. Give birth?
4. Come back and nurse at least 2 babies (that I could see)?
5. ......for the last 2 weeks (fully furred, eyes open, ears erect)?
6. Do all this without alerting the dogs?

The biggest question of all is WHY? 
If you know, please share with me.  
Momma is obviously one sandwich short of a picnic.
I can only cross my fingers and toes that these babies don't make the mistake of heading into the dog yard to explore when they get older.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It May Have Rained Here A Little Bit

I broke up with my favorite television weather man recently.
He just continued to lie and lie and lie about our chances for rain.
He was all, "70% of widespread thunderstorms" over and over again this spring.
It never rained a drop.
I can't abide a liar.

I am just to the right of the "s" in Dripping Springs (left of center).
I may have gotten back together with him this morning.
He finally quit lying and told the truth for once.

Of course, if he has girlfriends in surrounding towns, they probably got back together with him too.
It seems it rained in many places last night.

We'll see if he keeps up the truth-telling.
I told him we are only back together on a trial basis.
I reminded him that I can't abide a liar.

Monday, May 12, 2014

They Know Me So Well!

Yesterday was Mother's Day.
First let me say that it should be called Women's Day.
There are SO many, many women in this world who do not have children of their own for one reason or another, but who help to raise the world's children.
Thank you to each and every Woman who makes a positive difference in the life of a child.
Something so small as a smile at a crying toddler in the grocery line makes all the difference in the world.
Trust me on this one.

At our house, we celebrated with the traditional Mother's Day gifts.
Thanks Eric!!

A Wheelbarrow.

Thanks Quinnie!
A rake for picking up manure.
Thanks Preston and Katie and Baby C!
A movie pass to see Godzilla.

Those aren't things you'd ask for?
I'm a practical girl.
I have received jewelry in past years.
I delight in it, I just don't use it as much as I use things like Wheelbarrows and Rakes and Movie Passes.

These people understand me!
Every time I use a 'practical gift' I remember the love and understanding my family has for me.

This was also my first Mother's Day away from this one.

We also spent her birthday, my birthday, and Easter apart.
Being 866 miles apart will do that sometimes.

When Preston was away at college, he was able to come home a lot.
I never went one holiday without him.
The sting of him being at college was muted by his close proximity to home.

Not so with Jenna.
She is in Iowa.
I am in Texas. 

Her gift to me this year was a gift from the heart.

"The more I've been away from home, the more and more I have realized I'm just like my Momma. Sometimes I literally hear her voice come out of my mouth!! I've heard from so many people that know us, "You are TOTALLY going to be like your mom when you grow up!" Those words could horrify some people, but I don't really mind it. 
I don't mind stepping into the shoes of others and always wanting to help if I can. I don't mind having a love of cooking and baking and providing for others. I don't mind geeking out about animals and plants and thinking of her every time I see some marvel of nature.
Carla Welch Cox you have passed down so many blessings to me, whether you meant to or not, that I am so thankful for. I can only hope that one day I'll be able to love and nurture my kids just as much as you do. Happy Mother's Day Momma! I'll see you in 4 short days!! " 

I'm not certain if there is a better word than "blessed" to describe just how I feel about having my children in my life.  
Through all the trials and tribulations of child raising, I can now see that it is all worth it.
When you're in the trenches of sleepless nights and toddler tantrums, it's hard to believe you'll ever be able to sit and marvel at the young people your children have become.

Blessed are the Children.
Blessed are the Momma's too.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Amelia and Marie, What Breed are Thee?

I knew the breed of all but the chipmunk looking chicks.
They were in a "mixed pullets" bin at Tractor Supply.

I really thought I'd figure out exactly what breed they are when they became fully feathered.

 A close up of Amelia and her sister, Marie did not yield any details at such a young age.
I figured, based on the chicks available from the hatchery where Tractor Supply gets their chicks, that they could be Welsummers, Speckled Sussex or Barnvelders.
None of the above.

 What I do know is that they are banties.  
For non-chicken folk that means they are very small chickens as far as chicken sizes go.  
Sort of like the miniature chickens of the chicken world.
These girls barely weigh as much as a big dove at this point.
They look very much like an Old English Game bird, the way they carry their wings and tails.
Ideal Poultry does not breed OEGs.
Furthermore, these girls have a different shaped comb than OEGs.
Their combs are shaped like two parenthesis, side by side.
Like this:
( )
The are two separate lines--they do not join at the top or bottom.

No matter what, these girls are by far the sweetest of the bunch.
They will always come sit on my lap when I'm in the run.  
Amelia will stop and nap for a while if petted gently.

If you recognize this breed, please share it with me.
I'm usually very good at finding things on the interwebs, but this eludes me.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Does It Look Like a Rocket or a Comet?

Sorry, this flower has little to do with anything other-worldly, but it does look like something from the heavens.
I first saw Columbines in the Rocky Mountains.  They were all blue.  
I really wish the blue ones would grow here, but it's too warm for them.
Luckily, I can have all sorts of warm colored ones in my garden.
If in the shade, they produce flowers all summer and remain alive throughout the winter.
I love perennial flowers.  It's like getting something for free, every spring.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Baby is a Baby.....

.....at least in my eyes.
Many, many folks can smile at the wonder and miracle of a nest of Cardinals babies.

Four tiny mouths to feed.
Both parents are constantly on the move and ever watchful of my cat as he sleeps (ignoring them) on the back porch.
Frankly, Hobbes has no idea this nest exists.  He spends all his days either asleep on the porch or watching my chicks run circles around my old hens in the chicken run.

In another 10 days or so, I'm going to have to help these Cardinals fledge their babies from the nest.
The darned things built this nest in a small tree behind our swimming pool.
The likelihood of one or more of these babies taking their first flight right into the pool, is very high.
Last I knew, baby birds cannot swim.

These babies, however, are self sufficient from the moment they hatch.
I love them just as much as a nest of baby birds.
They are spiderlings of a common Garden Spider.
I watched their momma spin their egg case late last summer and then die (remember Charlottes Web?).
We had a particularly cold winter for this part of Texas and I was certain the baby spiders would have frozen.

I was delighted to find the egg case broken open and these tiny babies fluttering in the wind on what looked like golden thread.
I got a ladder and pair of tongs and took the entire thing down out of the eaves of my house and deposited them all in my garden.

They, each one, is no bigger than a freckle.
I hope a few of them survive and spin the intricate and bug catching webs they are so famous for.

Hopefully this summer I'll have one or two of these big girls around, keeping my garden safe from marauding grasshoppers.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

These donkeys will not be mine after all.
Even though I paid for them.
I am (supposedly) being cut a check this week, in refund for their purchase.

I will recount the story, but will not 'out' the name of the breeder, as I have no proof.

Lesson 1: Stay in constant touch with seller if you don't bring your purchase home immediately.

*I went to a breeder to buy 2 donkeys because I couldn't find any in rescues.  I picked from their "Pet Quality" group.  I wrote a check on April 8th.

*Before I purchased them, the seller agreed that they'd be happy to have their vet geld (castrate) the pair and they would also take care of the aftercare of the donkeys for 2 weeks at no charge to me.  All I did was pay them the money for the vet.  I was sure of the amount, because I had checked on the price of the procedure with my vet.

*I was told that the donkeys would not be going to the vet until after the 15th of April--Tax day was looming.
I was fine with that, as I was in the process of getting arrangements made for their housing and transportation.

*I got an email from the seller letting me know the donkeys were scheduled to be gelded on the 18th.

*I got a response to my email of inquiry on the 22nd telling me the donkeys had been gelded and were doing fine.  They'd let me know when I could come pick them up (in about 2 weeks).

*Two weeks came and went, and so I inquired via email when I could come get them. 
No response.

*I picked up the phone and called.
"Oh, I was going to call you later tonight...."
Mr. Seller/Breeder told me that one of the donkeys wasn't doing so well.  In fact, it had been back at the vet for a week.  Infection had set in and they didn't know whether the donkey was going to make it. 

If I wanted, I could come pick a retired female donkey in replacement for the donkey "that might never be right or healthy again".  
I could "pick up the healthy donkey of the pair and see if I could find another donkey from another source" 
I could "wait and see, but we're going out of town for Mother's Day and we won't be able to attend to any of this until the week following."

Let me stop right here and let you know that this man talked circles around me.
I KNOW I should have asked a boat load of questions and made him shut up until I got them all out.

What happened was this----I got off the phone with my mind spinning full of unanswered questions.
I am the worlds worst person when it comes to confrontation.
My heart starts pounding and I can't say what I want to. 
 I end up blabbering and getting nothing done.
I SHOULD have called him right back and demanded to know:

1. Why didn't you let me know (as they are technically MY donkeys) that the one was seriously ill!
Shouldn't I have some say in the treatment of the donkey?

2. What is the name of the vet where the sick donkey is?
I did ask twice what the name of the vet was, he was able to skirt the question and say the donkey had actually seen two vets and everything was being taken care of.


Are these folks the nicest people on the planet or 'horse traders'?

Was the donkey really terribly ill? 
Wouldn't they want ME to pay for the vet bills, since I had purchased the donkey and paid for the gelding of the animal?

Did they seller have 'sellers remorse' and decide to keep (or sell for a higher price) the one donkey?
The seller did make a comment (more than once) when I purchased the donkey,
"Man, you have a good eye.  I don't know why that little donkey is in the Pet sales pen.  He does look good, doesn't he?"

Since I didn't have a vet's name, I called the two large animal vets in the seller's county.
One hadn't done business with the Seller since 2013.  
The other told me, "I can't tell you anything about the little donkey because its still in the sellers name.  If you get their permission, then we can talk to your vet about it."

Ah, so there really might be a sick donkey??
Heck, maybe the little donkey is dead.  I don't know.
The seller is not forthcoming with ANY information.
The vet can't legally tell me anything either--which I understand.

Now what?!!

I was never given a bill of sale ("We'll give you all that when you come pick them up.").
I was never given the legal registered name of either donkey ("We'll give you all that when you come pick them up.").

However, I do have my cancelled check with the 'farm names' of the donkeys in the memo line.
Are they mine or do I have to take possession for them to be mine?

At this point, I just wanted out.
I wanted as far away from this situation as possible.

I did not want to pay thousands of dollars for a sick donkey's vet bills, that I hadn't agreed to.
I didn't want a lone donkey.

I didn't want an retired female donkey.

I wanted answers.  

I emailed and asked for their vets name again so I could get a handle on what the prospects were for this little donkey I had named, Finn.
No response.

I then emailed and asked that we cancel the sale, less the price of the gelding----since I had asked for the procedure and it supposedly taken place already.

Response was quick.
Basically, "we'll write you a check tomorrow."
The end.
No asking for $$$$ for the cost of a (at this point) week long stay at the vet.
No asking for $$$$ for their time and trouble.

So again, are they the nicest people in the world or 'horse traders' with something funny going on?
I'll never know.

I do know that I will be taking any future purchase of any donkeys home with me, the moment I write a check.

I'm sad and embarrassed as I write this.
Why did I trust that these folks were on the up and up?

Lesson 2: Get EVERYTHING in writing.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Who Lives in Muscatine, Iowa?

Dear Readers, I have a little widget on my right side-bar that tells me (sort of) who has clicked on my blog---or at least where they live.
Every day, I am happy to see that someone from Muscatine, Iowa has visited.

I love that name--Muscatine.
It rolls nicely off the tongue.

Plus it's in Iowa.
What's not to love about Iowa?
My daughter goes to school in Iowa!
I'll be there in 11 days to pick her and her belongings up to come home to Texas.

Muscatine is evidently across the Mississippi River from Illinois. (see map).
If you click HERE, you'll see some vital statistics about this pretty little town thanks to Wikipedia.

Vital statistics are all well and good, but I want to know which one of my lovely readers is from Muscatine.
It's probably someone that I already know and love, but just didn't know lived in Muscatine.
Maybe not?

Please out yourself. 
Please comment and raise your hand and say, "It is I!  I live in Muscatine!"
Please tell me the coolest thing about your city.
I already see that you have a great bridge over the river.  
I love bridges!

photo credit: John Weeks III
I hope you reply.
Heck, you probably already reply and I just don't know you're from Iowa.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Office Assistant Keeps an Eye on the Consultant

We're having our fence put in.
We have so much rock that the contractor had to rent a bobcat with an auger to break through for fence posts.
Hobbes watched at a safe distance.
He was also keeping an eye on the contractors goofy assistant---a giant Golden Retriever.
Hobbes and I differ in our opinion of aforementioned assistant.
I think he's a delight.  
Hobbes thinks he's a mess.
We'll just have to agree to disagree and let it go at that.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Babies Join the Flock

Note: Since not all my readers are chicken owners, here are a couple definitions.
Chicken Run: A large, fenced area to keep chickens in and predators out.
This is where many chickens spend their whole lives.
Chicken Coop: A secure sleeping area and place to lay eggs.  
Preferably, the Coop is within the Run.
Free-Ranging: When chickens are allowed to roam an unfenced area.
My chickens are allowed to free-range for several hours each day.

Integrating new chickens into an existing flock can be a challenge.
Often, the old flock makes it difficult.
Blood can be shed.
The last two times I've gotten chicks, I've had to meet this challenge.
Once the chicks are old enough, they need to go outside.
Both times, I've jury-rigged a small run for them, inside the existing run.
It's not pretty, but it works for me.
I use a small dog fence and hook it to the existing chicken coop and surrounding fence.
Then, I add all the comforts of chick home, outdoors---a "coop" for sleeping, food and water.
To keep the little girls from inadvertently flying up and over the top of their 'run' and into the big chicken run, I zip tie a couple sheets over the top.
Big chickens stay on their side, babies on theirs.
This way, all the girls can sort of coexist without any bloodshed or bullying.
I keep it this way for two weeks.

This morning, I opened the magic gate between the two chicken runs.
I only open it as wide as little chickens (about 6 inches) and make sure it can't move one way or the other.
That way, little chickens can retreat to their run if the bullying becomes too intense by the bigger girls.
As expected, the bullying is minor.
In fact, the little girls only get popped on the head if they get too close to the older girls.
My run is large enough that the little girls can give the older girls a wide berth and there's still room for all.

 This is Eleanor or Ruth (can't tell them apart just yet).  She's checking out the big girl coop.

 Big girls and little girls, all in the same area.  So far, so good.

 Jane, Ruth and sweet, sweet Amelia.

 Amelia showing off her head turning skills.
Really what she was doing was looking at something in the tree above.  

 The big girls, believe it or not, seem slightly afraid of the babies.  Here they are huddled up against the coop door, as two babies peck in the corner of the run.

 Marie and Eleanor checking out the big girl coop.
I believe that Eleanor is the top chicken in the new flock of babies. 
She's terribly bossy.

Can anyone tell me the breed of my little Amelia?
She was out of the "take your pick" bin at Tractor Supply.
She looked like a chipmunk as a chick.
She and her sister, Marie are smaller than the others.

And so, for now the little girls will continue to sleep in their own little coop and run.
Next week, I'll move their miniature coop into the larger coop.
The following week, I'll remove the little coop and they'll all be in the large coop together.

If you're doing the math, you'll see that I take a month for full integration of the babies into the main flock.
I will say, that I feel like it works better if you have more new babies than you have older hens. 
That way, there are too many little ones for them to focus on just one.