Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My Food Saver Repair

Earlier this week we finally got to Sam's Club.  We have been paying the yearly fee for three years, but we never were able to make the trip.  Sam's Club is about 1 hour and 15 minutes away, but we hadn't had time to go there, shop and get back in the time because of responsibilities at home.  I would prefer to shop at Costco, but we don't have any store close enough to us.  While at Sam's we purchased a lot of everything because the quantities are always so large.  We also purchased a whole pork loin, a big slab of salmon, several pounds of chicken tenderloins, ground beef, a ten pound box of bacon and some luncheon meat.  Since there are only two people in our household now, we decided to package everything up in small quantities for the freezer.  My husband cut the pork loin into roasts and pork chops and divided everything else.  We put the meat into Food Saver bags, and I started to seal them.  It was then I discovered that the sealing part of the Food Saver was working but the vacuum part was not.  There was still air left in the freezer bag.  Being very unhappy with my malfunctioning Food Saver, I decided to take it apart.  What did I have to lose?  It didn't work anyway.  I have done this before with a vacuum cleaner and my Bunn coffee pot.

I missed my calling.  I should have been a Maytag repair woman.  I love taking things apart to see how they work.  Sometimes I can't put them back together again, but sometimes I can repair whatever it is.  In this case it was my Food Saver Vacuum sealer.

I removed the seven screws that was holding the bottom plate on.

Inside I saw two clear plastic tubes.  I thought that was probably part of the vacuum mechanism.  Then I saw one of the tubes appeared to be clogged.

I took a knitting needle and removed the clog.  It looked like a small piece foam, but I ignored that fact.  Ignoring it ended up to be a bad idea.  It actually had a function which I discovered later.  I put everything back together.  I must say, it was easier to take it apart than it was putting it back together.  I struggled a bit and after I got the seven screws back in, it was ready to try.  I set it up and sealed the bag.  It semi-worked but something was wrong. It vacuumed the air partially but then stalled.  I tried again and the same thing happened.

Since I have a short attention span, I waited a few hours and started the process again.  I realized that the foam inside the tube probably had a function.  After thinking about it, I thought the foam's function was to restrict the air flow enough to keep the tube from collapsing.  The reason the old piece wasn't working was that it was old or clogged.  I put in a new piece and replaced the tube.  Then I put it back together for the second time and tried sealing another bag.  Walla!!!!!  We are back in business.  Not only did I save a bunch of money by buying in bulk, I saved $149 by not having to buy a new Food Saver.   At least for now.  After all, the Food Saver is more than 25 years old, and I suppose it won't last forever.

Monday, October 12, 2015

My 50th Class Reunion

This past weekend my husband and I attended my 50th high school class reunion.  It is the first reunion I have ever attended.  For as happy and contented as my life is now, it wasn't always that way.  My school days were anything but happy days.  We moved several times in my early grades and by the time my parents got settled, I was in the middle of fourth grade.  I transferred in February of that year and felt behind academically and socially.  By the middle of a school year in a fairly small school, most friendships have been established.  Most kids had been friends since an early age and so were their parents.  Most of my school years I felt invisible.  I wasn't bullied, I just felt that I didn't really exist.  I remember sitting at school dances all by myself.  I didn't get invited to parties or slumber parties or dances.  I'm not saying that for sympathy.  I have learned that many many people felt the very same way.  I think it is the feelings all young people experience to some extent during adolescence.  No matter what the outside appearance, you can't always tell what is going on inside.  It is something to remember with our own children and grandchildren.  What you see isn't necessarily what is happening.   Perception isn't always reality.  Everyone is on a journey.  In hind sight my miserable school years were mostly my own fault.  I have learned you can't sit back and wait for anything to come your way, you need to go after what you want.  That is why it took fifty years for me to attend a class reunion.  I am so happy I went, but I'm also happy I waited fifty years.  My life path has taken me where I am today.  Watching nature and living a simple life has taught me what is important.  If you are lucky enough to live this long, age also teaches what is important and what is not.  Things aren't important, people and relationships are.  I do regret not moving around the room enough to speak to more people, but it appeared that everyone felt included and had a great time.   At least I hope so.  Age is a great equalizer and hopefully it brings with it great insight and wisdom.  Imagine how smart we will be in another twenty five years.