Thursday, December 30, 2010

LVMRR - moving up!

The Lunger Valley Model RailRoad now has track that elevates over Lake Lunger via the Lunger Valley tressle. The Lake borders the base of Mount Lunger, and the rear of Lunger Valley Farms. I'm still assessing the slope and how it will allow an engine to pull some amount of rolling stock up the incline.

The outer loop elevates even greater to rise to Mount Lunger and actually go through the mountain. The challenge is the same with this elevation, and in both cases care is very essential as the engine and its cargo descends down the slope -- faster and faster. The engineer needs to be alert as the train hits the bends at the bottom of each slope, and re-enters the Valley.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lunger Valley Model RailRoad - the beginning

In 1953, my dad and I went out one day to get our first Lionel model trains. I have it until today. About 1993, I set it up again in our Dingmans Ferry basement for the kids to enjoy. It stayed up for about 3 years. Since moving into our new house, the itch got me again last December to set up trains for the grandchildren. The circle under the tree has become a full fledged project.

After an inventory and re-acquaintence period, I tried a tiny layout on a small table. That quickly became too small, so I went to the basement floor, which quickly became too painful. I finally had a good design laid out on paper, so it was time to build an official train table. Here's the 1st one of 3 for the Lunger Valley Model RailRoad (LVMRR).

The table allowed me to lay down some track, see how a train would look, set in some of the original "Plasticville" buildings, and layout the beginnings of the "village" of Lunger Valley.

Of course, I quickly realized that the residents needed a means of transportation throughout the village, so a terrific birthday gift from Robin and Evan got me an original Lionel trolley. It is perfect to carry patrons around the village and down to the station. It nicely surrounds the village park.

Building the 2nd table enabled me to determine track location for the railway surrounding Lunger Valley farm. This is at the heart of the Valley, and will eventually look up to an elevated bridge over Lake Lunger, and an even higher elevation up to Mount Lunger. If you can zoom in on the picture you can see the outline of a square cut in the table. This will allow me to gain access to the inner portion of the layout once all the landscaping is complete. I will come up from underneath the table.

The 3rd table is the location for the Valley's freight yards. Some accessories of interest include a long loader, a milk car and loading platform, and a cop & hobo car. In the foreground is a recent addition from Robin to celebrate my retirement. It is an original 1957 Lionel No. 42 Picatinny Arsenal gas turbine switcher. This No. 42 switcher is a scale model of the (then) new experimental gas turbine switching engine built by Davenport Locomotive Works for the U.S. Armey Transportation Corps. When I retired from Picatinny Arsenal I was credited with 42 years of service - so when I discovered this switcher I just had to have one.

Here's a recent shot of the entire 3 table layout in a corner of the basement. There's plenty of under table storage and access to wiring and farmland access. Next step is to create the ramps along the left side and rear to allow the LVMRR to climb across Lake Lunger and further up through Mount Lunger.
Stay tuned for the further development of the LVMRR.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer blooming

It's been exactly 1 year since we planted all the shrubs and defined the mulch beds around the property. The 6 week drought hasn't helped the grass, but the constant watering has kept the shrub beds around the house in bloom. The front walk entering the house is bordered by variegated liriope, carpet junipers, and green velvet boxwoods. We've filled in between these shrubs with a variety of annuals that have done quite well. On the other side of the front porch you can see more boxwoods, coreopsis moonbeams, a hamelin grass, and the tall dragon-lady holly.

The right side of the driveway and garage shows hosta patriots, 2 globe arborvitae, more moonbeams, karl forrester grasses, chanticleer pear tree (with 2 more behind on the lawn), a winterthur viburnum. 3 mums survived the winter and are at the front of the bed. Peeking out behind the grasses is a nikko blue hydrangea and bamboo nandina. Notice 2 green mountain maples, and one of 4 birdhouses, built by Evan, at the rear.

The left side of the house has 3 endless summer hydrangeas, a dwarf hinoki cypress, and 2 amazing hibiscus mallows. The flowers on the hibiscus are abundant now and open to about an 8 inch diameter. We have been amazed by these two, even last year when they were first planted. The screened porch has been delightful, especially on these very warm summer nights.

Across from the hibiscus and along the east side property line is a large bed that is backed by 5 yoshino cryptomeria trees, 5 rose knockout blushes, 1 royal frost white birch, 3 miss kim lilacs, 1 buddlea butterfly bush, another winterthur viburnum, a tea viburnum, and a large assortment of dwarf forsythias, including fiestas and gold tides. Another birdhouse is at one of the rear beds.

Surrounding the stairs down from the porch and patio is our herb garden. A long cluster of dwarf sunflowers is intermixed with chives and dill at the rear, oregano and margoram, 2 basil, parsley sage rosemary and thyme, and 4 flowering lavender.
Along the back of the property are 2 october glory maples, a dozen
burning bushes, 6 sparkle berry holly, and 5 green giant arborvitae. You can see 2 of Evans' 4 birdhouses (we call them number 1, 2, 3, and 4 going left to right).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Late spring at the Lunger's

We took this shot from across the street at sunset to get a perspective of our house and the beautiful setting behind us. As our shrubs, bushes, and annuals mature we will post closer views of our landscaping.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Finally moved in.

We did move in on August 4, but it has taken us all this time to unpack, have new furniture delivered and setup, and just get acclimated to a comfortable new environment. Here you can see how some of our rooms turned out.

Here’s our living room looking down from the top of the front stairway. We have a few of our previous furniture and a few new pieces.

Our dining room is very much the same with our favorite Scandinavian dining room set. The French doors take you onto our screened porch.

Our kitchen reflects the way we want to eat and prepare foods. The peninsula offers a great place to kibitz during meal preparation, and also a nice place to get a meal ready. At the rear is our home office and entrance to the garage.

We also have a wonderful view from our porch into our dining room and beyond into the living room.

So come on down to visit with us, anytime. We’d love to have you over.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Finishing touches

Sorry for the delay getting this blog out, but we have been fighting many dry days and keeping the grass seed watered morning and night.

We have occupancy and are moving in tomorrow; with lots of carloads of boxes and items done ahead of time to minimize the van loads.

Here are some finishing touches on the house that is now completely done.

The front door is complete with stain and polyurethane. Inside we have the living room with fireplace, the kitchen and office viewed from the dining room, and the dining room with French doors onto the screened porch.

There is also the completed staircase to the loft and 2 second floor bedrooms and bath.

We are particularly pleased with our lighting choices including kitchen and hall pendants, as well as numerous recessed lights.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Final details

This week has been completing everything needed for occupancy inspections. All items have to be in and functional, especially lighting, outlets, HVAC, and hot & cold water. We passed the building inspection, and now have to wait 1 week for the local township occupancy inspection; then on to closing. The final detail of the dining room is crown molding around the ceiling.

The main stairway and railings have been completed, as well as the one into the basement. Here you see the open stairway railings and posts up to the second floor, and the railings along the front of the loft. All of these are stained oak.

The screened porch final got its screens, stairs and railings, as well as a railing along the top of the exterior basement stairway. Porch lighting, both in and out, is also in and working.