I know you know how it is. Sometimes - more often than you'd like, to be sure - your hobby gets hijacked by Life: all those things on various lists to do.
For me lately, it's been a "light" remodeling of the downstairs bathroom (which is, typical of such projects, taking much longer than planned) as well as the usual seasonal chores of leaf raking & wood splitting/piling. In addition, I decided to finally cut down some huge
trees limbs (but they're as big as trees, and tougher to get to), which resulted in a huge mess to clean up (and more firewood).
Fortunately though, the NHRHTA Photo Library volunteers nights have restarted - moving to Fridays temporarily since every single Thursday night until the end of the year is booked with various work & charity meetings as well as holiday parties(!)
And so it goes. I'm sure you have similar tales of hobby time thwarted.
But the bathroom will be done soon (hopefully this week) and the leaves/trees will be taken care of (hopefully this weekend), and with all the "new found" time, work will continue on The Valley Line. In the meantime, here's something fun....
Depending on your scale, it may not be all that noticeable, but starting in HO scale and larger, you might want to consider....
...wait for it ....
Along with automobiles and reweigh stencils on your freight cars, license plates set your layout in a particular time. For Connecticut, here's what a license plate looks/looked like in my modeling year of 1947:
http://www.ctplates.info/ct_pass40-49.html There should be similar websites for other states.
Many kudos to you if you're at that level of detail on your layout. But even if you're not, I think they're another great way of researching and experiencing the history of what you're modeling. With a little PhotoShop work, the numbers should be easy enough to change. Now I just have to figure out how