What happens when every conversation you have is small talk?
What do you do when the only substance is the latest sporting match or movie viewed?
How do you have meaningful conversations in a world that speaks in text messages and tweets?
I recently had a conversation with someone I love who talked about how lonely they were. They talked about the different facets of their life, filled with people and communications, but nothing of substance or depth. They said that no matter what they did they seemed to be able to find fulfilling relationships. As we talked, I wept, my natural response to intense emotions which drive my guys crazy, but thankfully they were not present. I thought about the many ways I had failed this person and yet I was hopeful because we were having this conversation, but I didn't have a solution. I can be there, and I can listen, and I can do all that I can, but I am not enough.
So as not to cause alarm, this loved one will be fine. It was a candid, honest conversation one of many that we have had, but it made me wonder how many other people feel this way and about people in general and the relationships we have.
Do you have meaningful relationships, conversations with anyone?
Do you have someone you can turn to when you feel alone?
Is there a limit to how many close friendships a person can have? And does that limit a person’s influence?
As I sit and reflect on the relationships I have and those that mean the most to me, I will admit that I am very blessed that those people closest to me are my family who I know I can confide in whenever I need to. I also know that not everyone can do that, so I don't know how to solve this problem. I'm a problem solver. Life can be hard for a problem solver.
I am no expert but here a few things I've learned about meaningful conversations and sometimes put into practice. Like everyone else I am still learning and don't always practice what I preach, the children are good to remind me of this on a regular basis.
They require trust and love. They need two people who no matter what is discussed can be respectful and loving of differing opinions. No one is going to feel the same way in the same situation because we are all different we are all going to see things uniquely. Understanding this has been key.
Ask good questions. Now, this might seem silly, but often when I ask a broad question, "what did you do today?" I get a limited response, but if I can narrow down to something more specific and ask a why question there seems to be more dialogue. "Why do you think that happened this way?" or "Why do you feel_____?". The why gets to the feelings, and although feelings are hard to discuss, they all connect us to others.
Be honest. One of the biggest things I have learned is that we are all struggling with something. No one is immune, myself included, and if we are going for honesty, I'm a mess, but guess what? That is okay. I'm going to make mistakes every single day, multiple times a day. Sometimes I'm going to be a terrible mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I forget things, deadlines, homework. I lose things. I'm not the fun parent. I cry easily. The list could go on and on. I'm not alone in this, but I'm also not a horrible person. Very people in the world are truly horrible. We are good people who are progressing and loving the best we can. Most of us are trying to show that we have it all together even when we don't. Being open about who we are helps others along the way. It's hard and scary because no one wants to be rejected, but I have found that being a little vulnerable makes a difference.
Listen. This one is tough, but meaningful conversations often are not only about you. You need to ask the question and listen. Sometimes people need a second to think about their response. Quiet moments in a conversation are okay. Resist the urge to speak, so hard for someone like me. Listening allows you to ask better follow up questions.
Just try. One thing I have tried to overcome is my fears. I don't want to fail, but unless you try, you will never know what can happen. In the end, you might be surprised. I know I have been.
1. I have always found that learning who you are helps this process. You might be surprised to know that I am an introvert. Shocking right? I was to me, but it explained so many of my reactions and relationships. Can I function in a large group setting? Yes, but it takes a great deal of effort. I have learned to how to make it work, but it requires a great deal of work and energy. Knowing this helps me in how I approach my relationships, conversations, and how I read body language.
2. My glasses are not helping anymore. All of a sudden things are not working how they are suppose to. The children say it's because I am getting old and my intelligence is crystalizing while my body is shutting down. I don't need enemies; children will do.
3. John comes home today, hooray. As just sent him an email telling him how much I love him. I can't write about post about meaningful conversations and not tell him. He brought me the flowers last weekend. He's very good to me.
4. My hair was filthy, and the gray is showing more and more. I still took the picture. I'm not glamorous. I'm not whatever I'm supposed to be. I'm me, with horrible pores and dishes that need attention in the kitchen.
The combination of corn tortillas and avocado will always make me think of Guelito. I remember when I was 4 or 5 and he was visiting us in Mexico City. We walked to the mercado to pick up some fresh avocados, perhaps more things but I only remember the avocados. Then we went to the tortilleria for fresh corn tortillas. I love the smell of a tortilleria. I remember asking if we could sit on the curb and just eat them before we went home so I wouldn’t have to share with my younger brother and we did. A little girl and her grandfather on the street eating a fresh aguacate and tortillas. It seems like the perfect moment, delicious fresh tortillas, the perfectly ripened avocado and the love of a grandfather.
It also makes me think of the time I asked my mom how to say aquacate in Spanish. She smiled and said, "Aqucate". This exchange continued several times and in exasperation, I demanded to know. Still smiling she explained that aquacate was the Spanish word for avocado. Learning English again when I moved back from Mexico was a bit challenging. I have so many memories that I need to write down.
I was thinking about these two moments in my life yesterday as I sat in a meeting where memory preservation was being discussed. I am the storyteller, record keeper, but when the question was asked, "How do we help people preserve the memory?" We all know it's important, but how do help others get started, I didn't have an answer.
How do you start?
Where do you start?
How do you preserve something and still be in the moment?
That is a challenge I have, do I get the picture or do I enjoy the moment.
There was no one to take our photo sitting on the street curb eating, a grandfather and his tiny granddaughter, but it doesn't mean that the memory or moment is diminished in any way. Today many years later while eating a tortilla and avocado I decided to document this simple memory. The photo is not perfectly composed and I probably should have wiped the table off before I snapped the photo, but the few extra steps didn't seem necessary. The entire process took 10 minutes, a few minutes more if you count heating the tortilla and eating it with avocado.
Back to the original question, what is the answer? What will it take for you and me to preserve the memories? What are the hurdles? What would motivate or help you? I would love to know.
(staples from this last week)
Mondays are a favorite. Actually, Tuesdays are lovely because I spend time with Guelita and Fridays with the start of the weekend are something I look forward to. I'm not sure you can have a favorite day of the week, but I like Mondays, and it seemed like a good place to start today.
I sat in a meeting last week with ideas bombarding my mind, all centered around here, my site. Sometimes I think I will let it go, move on to something else, but over and over again last week the promptings came. I need to make this more of a priority than I have the last few years. I don't know why and quite often when I get a strong impression I rarely understand the all the reasons, but I have learned to jump in and work. A week has some and gone, and I am just barely following through, I blame the cold that took me down and kept me coughing all night long. Sleep was scarce, and I am in survival mode with little sleep, but it gave me time to think and plan and evaluate what is most important to me.
Back to Mondays. I love the reflection Sundays afford, an evaluation of the last week, the failures and success, a time of renewal. Then comes Monday, a fresh start of the new week, the first day to implement the changes. Mondays are for turning the to the next blank planner page full of possibilities. Mondays mean routine, laundry and the latest audio book. Mondays inspire and get me excited for the new week. Mondays are missionary meeting days.
Mondays are motivating, for remembering that I am stronger than I know. They are about perspective about the things not done, and the world continuing along; journal entries not written, projects still in progress, goals not quite achieved. Life is messy, imperfect and undone. It is also beautiful, powerful, faith-filled, and full of promise. Mondays are about progress, not perfection.
It is a day that allows me to prioritize the myriad of desires and responsibilities. I can't get to everything. Every time I say yes to something I say no to something else, so Mondays allow me to be intentional in cultivating and letting go.
Mondays are like last night's snowfall, beautifully blanketing the earth with a protective layer of white. The promise of spring just around the corner with the opportunity to reflect on the past. Will I be grateful for the new snow or will I lament about the continuation of winter? Today I joyfully appreciate all that Monday has to give me including the mountains of smelly laundry.
If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I had surgery Friday the 20th, a little over a week ago. As a result, my time on the computer has been limited as my healing is slower than I would like. It's progressing as it should, but I'm impatient and have too many things I would like to get done, but end up crashing and sleeping more than I think is necessary. My body has other ideas. Hoping to get back into the swing of things this week.
Now, if you are squeamish about medical stuff, you might not want to keep reading. I don't write anything overly gross, but basics conversational stuff. My girls, however, think it's too much, so I'm just warning you.
This was surgery number 21 or 22 for me. My children's lives have been one continuous round of this surgery or that. From knees to ankles, eye to hysterectomy and tumors they have been patient and helpful in ways children shouldn't have to experience in their lives. However, they rally around me, around our family, helping in and pitching in ways that have taught them compassion and responsibility. We also have an incredible support system of family, friends, and neighbors. John is, of course, the glue that holds us all together. I am truly blessed.
Someone in our home is always sick, or it seems that way and with eleven of us coming and going to so many different schools and work we pick up our fair share of viruses. So most of my life as a mother has been one of frequent colds and congestion, but recently I have noticed that the children have all been more healthy and fewer people are sick except me. I continue to have constant congestion and pressure. After a recent 4-month sinus infection I decided it was time to see our ENT and figure out what the problem was.
After a CT scan and my history, he found that my septum was quite deviated and causing a series of problems that needed to be addressed surgically.
My surgery was scheduled for late in the day, 4:30 pm and it afforded me time to get a few more things done. It also meant that I was going to be more dehydrated from the fasting and would make IV insertion more challenging. I'm considered a hard stick. My veins shrink, roll, burst, etc. making IVs a little trickier, quite often a PICU nurse has to put them in. The only vein that would cooperate was on my left hand and the wrist. This one seems always to be the strongest, but it also causes the most pain after. I'm not sure how I feel about this intimate knowledge of my veins. I'm left-handed, so that is another downside of this placement.
Unfortunately, the very kind nurse who was helping me hit the nerve while inserting the IV and I've had some tingling in my hand ever since, but I think once the bruising is gone and with continued movement, things will improve. I had forgotten what a sharp sensation it is to have the nerve hit.
Everything went smoothly, and the doctor was pleased with the surgery. For me this surgery was miraculous. See I always get sick coming out of anesthesia. After 20+ surgeries, I know how my body will react and every time is has reacted sometimes quite violently with vomiting and nausea. It was something I was anxious about considering the packing that would be in my nose. As I started waking up from the anesthesia and nausea began I felt and calm and peace that I had not anticipated. With each passing minute, hour, and then days as nausea continued, but no vomiting I thanked a merciful Father in Heaven for this one tiny, but a huge miracle in my life. I did not throw up once. I have a very strong gag reflex, and it doesn't take much, like an intensely packed nose, so this one outcome is a tender mercy.
I am wimpy when it comes to head pain, so many others I can soldier through, but this one has been more challenging.
The packing was taken out of my nose mid-week, and I was shocked at how much was in my nose. It was disgusting. I was not shocked to find that my body was abnormally creating some stuff (I can't remember the technical name, I will have to ask when I see the Dr. this week) around the packing of my nose. As he was cleaning everything out and saying that this was a rare reaction, John just laughed and said, "If anything abnormal is going to happen it will be with Allison." Unfortunately, there is much truth to that, or perhaps it is not unfortunate.
There has always been crazy health related problems, abnormalities, but as I reflected on my life this week (I've had loads of time to reflect with limited activities) I have seen those same abnormalities in other most beautiful blessings.
I am getting stronger every day. I can accomplish a little more and am trying to be patient with my healing and recuperation. I am praising God and giving Him thanks for the abundant blessings that fill my life and specifically this small chapter.
You have spent the last few weeks thinking about all the different goals and resolutions that didn't happen the way you wanted them to play out. You have been focusing on the all the things you want to change about yourself; the things you feel are lacking. It hasn't been an overly negative reflection as it has in years past when you were struggling with depression, but you have also not considered any of the triumphs and good that you have accomplished. I woke up this morning and decided that I need you to celebrate all the positive things you have done this past year along with the goals for improvement. I want you to focus on all the things you have learned and the growth you have made. Sometimes changes can't be measured in a checklist, and nearly always goals change or become modified from what your original focus had been. You can celebrate the successes without being
I woke up this morning and decided that I need you to celebrate all the positive things you have done this past year along with the goals for improvement. I want you to focus on all the things you have learned and the growth you have made. Sometimes changes can't be measured in a checklist, and nearly always goals change or become modified from what your original focus had been. You can celebrate the successes without being prideful because you know that true change only comes from relying on the Lord.
So today, start where you are. You are in a good place and things can only move forward. You are not trying to fundamentally change who you are, but rather you are trying to refine and tweak small things. You are working towards consistency and growth, so be kind to yourself.
(the pdf is the same as the quote featured, without my pen lines. The png is a black version that you can use and manipulate as desired. For personal use only.)
I have wanted to do this for years, scan our family photos and today I finally found some motivation as a way to honor my parents who are far away from home this Christmas season. The little people wanted to talk to them and we interrupted a visit, but that is how my parents are. They drop everything for us, they include us in their lives, and bless us in countless ways.
I'm sure we grumbled when mom and dad took us to get our family photo taken, but I am so thankful they endured and persisted. Compiling this simple collection brought back so many memories. How I love my parents! Their love and sacrifice for our family will never be measured in words or images, but perhaps this small glimpse will give you an idea.
Today our family numbers 36 and there is still grumbling when Mom and Dad want to have a family photo taken, but I am so grateful.
I am also glad my hair grows fast. We got some great genes from our parents.
You can now register for the 2017 RootsTech conference scheduled for February 8-11, 2017, early bird pricing is happening right now. I will talk more about it as the time gets closer as I have been asked to be an ambassador, which means I get to give away a free pass to RootsTech again this year. Hooray! I am honored and excited for I've been able to get a sneak peek at what is to come, and it's going to be wonderful.
As I have been reflecting back on the 2016 conference, I think there a couple underlying themes or emphasis for me.
The first is the story.
It will always be about the story. I heard and saw things I will talk more about that in another post, but I did write a few quick thoughts here: Not Forgotten.
Today I want to focus on the second category: media. Rootstech this year was all about interviews, people, and behind the scenes experiences.
One the big things I did this year participated in sofa chat interviews with the keynote speakers. Many of the other ambassadors are professional media people and asked very poignant questions. I took a back seat approach and just listened. Soaking in all the information I could possibly retain. Rather than taking notes I just did a quick recording so that I could go back and think about what I wanted to say. It was interesting to hear people in a more candid environment, unscripted. The speakers were all so genuine and passionate about their stories.
Instead of just leaving them on my hard drive I have uploaded them on a youtube channel if you are interested in watching them. Please note that I just turned on my phone and started recording so the quality isn't great. However, it's good enough and gives you a glimpse of what I saw and heard.
I also found myself on camera, which was an unexpected experience. I posted the first little clip they used here: things to do list. Not sure how I feel about being in front of the camera. I love talking about our story, but something about being on film was uncomfortable. Still, for my posterity, it will be fun to have these little clips for them to see.
In the description, it says that both my grandfather and my son have learning disabilities. In his autobiography, my grandfather talked about how he struggled to learn to read as a young child, but to my knowledge, my grandfather did not have a learning disability. However, my son does and found great comfort in reading about his great grandfather's struggle.
One of the biggest things I learned with all the exposure to the media and behind the scenes was how much work goes into a conference like RootsTech. Just as one is finishing the next is already in the works. It takes a massive amount of coordination and planning. It has been humbling to see all that happens for everyone to enjoy the speakers and classes. Truly, I don't have the words to describe what a huge event this is. I had no idea and the details, so many tiny little things that are thought of and anticipated. It has given me a greater appreciation for the experience and my opportunity to attend and grow. Thank you to everyone who is involved.
A completely random inclusion but I don't know where else to add it.....
One of the local papers used me as a reference in promoting the conference. I had not idea it was coming out until a few family members sent me photos of the newspaper. I read the news digitally on my phone, but seeing this little bit of newspaper made me feel nostalgic for home. Seeing my parents read the paper, finding it delivered in crazy spots around our door, and the sound of the pages crinkling as you turn them and get ink smudged on your hands. It is becoming a lost for of media and gives me some things to think about as I write these words.
If you get a chance, attend this year if possible. The power of family history has changed my life in ways that I am just learning. I would have never guessed and am so pleasantly surprised. I understand now why it's one of the popular hobbies; it's very fulfilling.
I will try and post (perhaps on twitter) when I hear other ambassadors posting their pass giveaways for more chances to win a free pass, so follow me there.
2015 Family Discovery speaker transcripts: I will not be looking for a job in transcription anytime soon.
As a result of all these posts, I am creating a landing page: RootsTech that I will link all the different post and downloads on. It might even make it visually interesting at some point.
Several months ago I was asked if I would be willing to serve as a church service missionary with FamilySearch. Four of us were called to serve in this particular assignment: (L to R) Risa Baker, Crystal Farrish, Rhonna Farrer and me. Our fearless leader and inspiration is Wendy Smedley (not pictured). We are serving as global family history missionaries, with specific assignments in social media. These four wonderful companions are talented in ways I can't even describe. Their gifts and influence will have an immediate effect on many to see the beauty and understand the importance of family history.
We had our first official in person meeting a couple of nights ago, and I was inspired by the proposed projects, upcoming events, and the ideas and cohesion that filled the room. The Spirit was strong, and I couldn't help but think about how they would be able to change the way people look at family history. I immediately wanted to be more diligent in sharing more stories with my family and incorporate some of the plans in my life.
When I got home and reflected on the part I would play, inadequacy and self-doubt flooded my mind. I am not like the other missionaries. I am the weak link, and I don't say that to garner sympathy or praise, just stating a fact. As I compared and found myself lacking and how I could increase numbers, etc. I found myself more frustrated and out of sync. It is all contradiction to my motivations for writing and sharing. I wanted to create a small intimate place where you could sit on my couch, albeit virtual and visit. I am not vain enough to think that everyone will want to stay and find great joy that there are so many different voices, something for everyone. So why was I questioning now?
Questions about what I had to offer, not only as part of this small group but as a greater whole within my calling trickled in faster than I could combat them. How could I find my way, my place amidst brighter lights and stronger voices? How could I help when I feel so weak? I remembered Ether 12:27 about weak things being made strong, but the doubts were too strong, and I was too tired to listen clearly.
So I went to bed knowing rest would help, but when I awoke the next morning to those same feelings of inadequacy, I got mad. See the adversary and I have a had long battle in this arena and although he throws some good punches I have not let him win, nor will I. So after the children left for school, I went to the place where peace envelops me and adds a layer to my armor, patching the holes were the few of the fiery darts (1 Nephi 15:24 and Ephesians 6:16) penetrated.
The temple is always a place of refuge for me. I place to fill my empty tank and bring added clarity and perspective. Together with my ancestors, for I had family names whose proxy work I was able to perform, I was finally able to stop the negative feelings that had blocked my ability to hear the whisperings of truth.
"When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves." (Russell M. Nelson, "Generations Linked in Love," General Conference, April 2009)
As a group, we have created a mission statement or manifesto that reflects our feelings and impressions about this calling. I am so honored and excited to serve and grow.
LIGHT A SPARK. We will motivate, teach and inspire others to see family history in new ways creating an atmosphere of learning, creativity, and sharing.
HEART BEFORE THE CHART. We believe that the only way to truly help people understand the importance of family history is, to begin with, the heart, through stories and memories. This process will produce life long family historians.
SEEK AFTER THE ONE. We will focus on the individual whether living with a desire to do family history or the deceased who beacons to be found.
LET THE SPIRIT GUIDE. We are nothing without the Lord. Through Him, while listening to the Spirit, we can be guided with what to say and do to further His work and Glory.
AFTER PUBLICATION NOTE: As I was expressing my inadequacy to Samantha, she smiled and reminded me that I had asked every bishop and stake president to send us, as a family on a mission. They usually laugh, and I know it's not realistic, but I love being a missionary. I love talking about Christ and His gospel. She pointed out that I was now a missionary and that the Lord's ways, means, and timing are part of the plan; to have faith. I don't know how many times I have given that same advice. Grown daughters are such a blessing.
Three weeks ago I had surgery to remove the hardware from my left ankle. I broke my ankle back in late October of 2005 and had to have the hardware installed. If you want you can read about it here: more drama and here: my new hardware. The photo of the hardware installed is pretty awesome, and I am so thankful that I wrote all this down and have it documented. I need to make sure that everything is backed up and secure somewhere so that I don't loose ten years worth of memories and stories, but back to the surgery. I know I already wrote about it here: scooter loving so I won't go into all the details, but it's hard to believe that after ten years they are out, and that's part of the miracle. Surgery went as expected. This was my 20th surgery, although it might be the 22, I'm a little fuzzy on how many times my knees have been operated on. I always warn the doctors that the anesthesia makes me sick, and I have problems keeping my blood pressure stabilized during surgery, along with a few other allergies and issues that don't need to be recorded here. As far as I know they were able to regulate my blood pressure without any complications, but nausea and vomiting were unavoidable, even after they gave me medicine before, during, and three doses (and different medication) after to help. Thankfully I was so groggy from all the medication that it doesn't seem all that bad now.
John was with me and reported that my doctor was able to remove the plate and screws without damaging my ankle bone. He wasn't sure how much bone he would have to remove to take the hardware out or how the screws would behave. In fact in the operating room, as I was waiting to be administered the anesthesia, he was reviewing the table of instruments, which had at least 40, he asked the nurse where the tools were for broken screw removal. She replied that all the screws looked to be intact, and he agreed, but comment that he wanted to be prepared because he wasn't sure what would happen.
My doctor said that everything had gone so amazingly smoothly. My body had naturally wiggled the plate and screws from the surrounding bone, and the screws came out cleanly. He said he had never seen my bones look this healthy. He was so pleased with the outcome and told unconscious me, thankfully John was there to stay completely off my ankle for the next week for the holes where the screws had been needed to heal, not to mention the incision.
Brick came by as I was taking the photo of my foot and the hardware. He picked them up and asked why I had them. Upon realizing that these were in my ankle a few hours before he made this silly expression. He was quite disgusted and had lots of questions about the why and how.
The children were wonderful about showing me extra love and my extended family kept everyone beautifully fed and cared for.
Mom and dad called nearly every day. It was fun to visit with them and hear about their adventures and experiences. I know it's hard to them not being around to help, but the blessings we receive because of their service is priceless.
The children continued to take the scooter for "joy rides" and it was fun to watch everyone zip around the house. The first five days of convalescence consisted of binge watching Netflix and appliqué, between the medicine that made me sleepy. I had sore muscles and joints from immobility, but it made me realize once again how much the hard, consistent exercise improved my arthritis. Faster healing than I am anticipated. Sweet little people were rushing to my aid. Reminding Loaf to bring me back my scooter so I can go the bathroom.
I found that I was faster healing than I am anticipated or than anyone expected. It was still a nuisance to have the scooter, but sweet little people were rushing to my aid, and I only had to remind Loaf occasionally to bring me back my scooter so I can go the bathroom.
At my one week appointment (sorry for the gross photo).
The doctor gave me two options: 1. I could take the stitches out and be on the scooter for another week or 2. I could leave them in and have limited/light walking and mobility. I, of course, chose the second option. It was strange to hobble out of the 1st post op appointment, in fact, I was so excited to leave the I forgot that one of the nurses was going to replace my steri strips.
He was so pleased with my progress and the surgery. He said my bone and surround muscles, etc. had never looked this good and he has operated on my ankle (both sides) three times now. He said my arthritis is still quite severe but with continued weight loss and a lifetime of exercise would dramatically help. It was strange to have such positive things said after a major surgery, that is not the typical for me. The report has always come back with complications and setbacks, so this was most unexpected.
Although I was able to get up and move, it was surprising to me how tired I was and how quickly my ankle would swell causing me to sit down. I think much of week two was spent resting and recuperating. The children came in and watched as many Olympic matches as I would let them and I would push myself a little more every day.
Week three. Still swollen, slight bruising and scar healing amazingly. After my two-week post-op appointment, I was released from my doctor's care. Again, this has never happened. He was so pleased with my healing and progress that I was free. He also warned me of overworking and being wise but was confident in my ability to listen to my body that I would do splendidly.
A view of the scar from the other side. It's more noticeable, not in this photo as much, and people assume this is the side that was operated on. This scar was hard and angry for a very long time, so friends are shocked at how the other side is healing.
I am not four weeks post op and feeling great. I worked out three times last week and progressively increased my intensity and mobility. Yesterday I completed my first double workout day where I workout in the morning with the girls and then again in the afternoon with the boys. I pushed 325-pound sled around the HIIT room floor and walked away feeling week, but no swelling or negative results. I don't feel any pain like before, and there is only slight tenderness from where the muscles, ligaments, and tendons had to be manipulated to access the bone and the hardware.
I know that all the exercise and conditioning before had an enormous impact on my quick healing, but I also cannot fail to acknowledge the hand of God. My recovery was a small miracle, not only for me but more importantly for my children. Their lives have been filled with one surgery after another; that is all they have known, and I know it's been hard on them. Words will never adequately express how much I love God and praise His name for this tender mercy in our lives.
God is real, and He is a God of miracles.