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Happy Halloween. Old-school Halloween.

Well, holy moly, I am certainly impressed. I am impressed by everyone who left comments on yesterday’s blog to help that reader. See? See how amazing women are? You all took the time out of your lives to help another woman. That’s why the female race is superior. Don’t argue with me, it’s true. I hope this woman takes our advice and frees herself but we need to remember that “You can lead a camel to water but you can’t make him drink.” We have done our part by offering advice and if this woman really wants help, she will act on our advice. Bravo everyone.

Don’t worry, we’re still going to talk about Halloween today, but I want to tell everyone something. In all of the emails and comments that I received from the readers, you all say how brave I am and how courageous I am etc. etc. etc. Here’s the thing…. I am not. I am the furthest thing from brave and the furthest thing from courageous. I am scared every morning when I wake up until I go to sleep. I worry about everything. I stress, I panic and I worry.

My main concern is obviously my daughter. I worry that after I pass away no one will care for her like I do. She is only 19 years old. Who is going to baby her, who will understand her like I do, who will she go to when she needs help, who is going to take her shopping, who is going to watch Modern Family with her, who is going to help her pick out her wedding dress, who is going to spoil her children like a grandmother would, who is going to be me? Who is going to me? I don’t have these answers and it scares me to death.

My second worry is always my immediate health. I could be having a perfectly normal day and then boom! I choke on my own saliva (gross) and nearly die. I nearly die every single day. Yesterday, the caregivers almost dropped me three times. Today, the nurse almost ripped out my feeding tube. My diaphragm pacer is slightly red and now I think I have to go to the hospital. Sometimes I can breathe, sometimes I can’t and all day I worry. I’m not a hypochondriac, all of this shit is real. Thank you all for your compliments but I am not brave and I’m not courageous, I am just me. Sometimes I think I am the perfect person to get ALS because I can handle it but sometimes I think I am the worst person to get ALS because I’m such a scaredy-cat. I’m scared my caregivers are going to accidentally lock themselves out of the apartment and I am stuck, I’m scared they are going to poison me, sometimes I’m scared they are going to kidnap me, I’m scared when the nurses change my bandages (I scream in French, “don’t touch me.”) and they think I’m crazy. I’m scared my wheelchair wheels are going to get stuck in the cobblestone streets of Paris and I am going to go flying forward and smash my moneymaker. :-) I am afraid when we take a walk on the crowded streets of Paris that some idiot is going to burn me with their cigarette. I am pretty sure every day I’m going into cardiac arrest. Are you getting the picture now about how not brave and how not courageous I am. I am a big fat baby but thank you for thinking otherwise.

 Okay, now that we have that cleared up let’s get back to Halloween…
This is the last installment of my Halloween tirade because I’m boring myself with all of it…
Let’s take a step back today and admire the Halloweens of the past...

*Something you don’t know about me? I am 100% obsessed with reality TV. Other than news programs (BBC, CNN, Jon Stewart and Bill Maher) the only television I watch is reality TV. I have watched every single episode of every single Real Housewives. If Andy Cohen, the producer of the Real Housewives, ever got sick I could step in and host his show about the housewives, Watch What Happens Live!, in a blink of the eye. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I like the housewives in person. Most of them are totally trash but those are the ones I like to watch the most. I will admit that there are some housewives that I do like...

I like…

Shannon (Housewives of Orange County) because she is intelligent, neurotic, spot on and I really like her house.

Carolyn Manzo (Housewives of New Jersey) because she is wise, a good wife and a good mother but I hate her house. So suburban and I think she might be a hoarder.

Yolanda H Foster (Housewives of Beverly Hills) because she is one of my best friends for the past 12 years and because she is blunt, honest (even if the truth hurts) and one of the best mothers I’ve ever seen and she dresses really well. Yolanda is your friend because she wants to be not because she has to be. If she hates you, you’ll know it. She also has a great sense of humor.

Lisa Vanderpump (Housewives of Beverly Hills) because she is a hard worker, she’s not stupid, she’s diplomatic, speaks fluent French, is a good mother and wife and I love love love her house.

Brandy (Housewives of Beverly Hills) because I have realized that she is actually a girl’s girl and she is sensitive.

Carol Radziwell (Housewives of New York) because she is a great writer, I love love love her apartment especially her sofa, she’s brave, confident and I think she has a wickedly dry sense of humor. I think I would like to be friends with her.

Kenya (Housewives of Atlanta) because she is brutally honest, cuckoo, transparent and I like when she twirls out of a room like a lunatic.

Mama Joyce (Housewives of Atlanta) because she is both the best and worst mother. A pure joy to watch this train wreck especially when she takes off her shoe at a bridal salon and tries to hit Candy’s best friend.

Bethany (Housewives of New York) because she fucking made it happen… On her own. She might be my favorite housewife because she is cool, a good dresser, smart, a hard worker, has real emotions, a great mother and I love that she wasn’t afraid to get a divorce and it puts a big fat smile on my face to know that she is now richer than all of the other nouveau riche housewives that treated her like the servant. In your face, Jill Zarin.

Heather Dubrow (Housewives of Orange County) because she is educated, has a great vocabulary and knows how to use it, is a good mother even though that little one Colette is out of control, she is always appropriate, well mannered, evolved, aware, sure of herself, can recognize her own flaws, and most of all I like her because I love love loved her house and I am so looking forward to her new house.

 Now that I have finished being nice, there is always the other side of the coin. Next up is a little list of the housewives whose behavior makes me cringe and that I pity because they are such morons… But they are my favorite to watch.
I don't like...

Teresa (Housewives of New Jersey) because she is a liar, a phony, two-faced, uneducated, married to a buffoon, dishonest, abuses the spray tan and as tacky as all get go. She deserves to go to jail. I do, however, feel bad for her children but sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. She actually needs a rebirth.

Tamara (Housewives of Orange County) because she is total white trash, impulsive, filled with rage, completely phony and fake cries, will lie right to your face, and makes bad judgments.

Nini Leakes (Housewives of Atlanta) because it is a clear case of money and quasi-fame going to one’s head. She brags about how much money she has and acts as if her million dollars is $1 billion. Does she not realize that I still see that she lives in a prefabricated brick home in a cheap gated community? It’s embarrassing when your purse has more value than your house. I will say however, I think she is a good mother and a good wife.

Vicki (Housewives of Orange County) because she is typical Orange County. Tacky tacky tacky. Tacky clothes, tacky shoes, tacky jewelry. She has a grotto for a pool. The barbecue is the focus of her backyard. She has huge arrangements of silk flowers in her house. She has no class, no elegance, is disrespectful, is loud and I think she has a bully and a member of the Mean Girls Club. She might be the president, actually no, she would be the treasurer. However, I respect her work ethic.

Ramona (Housewives of New York) is the housewife that makes me cringe the most. She is a loose cannon, crazy eyed, can dish it out but not take it, has no decency, inappropriate, doesn’t seem like she would ever donate to charity, gets slushy drunk, I don’t know how she makes money from that crappy jewelry she sells, and is kind of violent. I will say, however, that I think she is a good mother and has raised a sweet daughter.

Carlton (Housewives of Beverly Hills) because oh my God. I almost got physically nauseous watching her adult themed orgy party complete with pole dancing entertainment. Really Carlton, you are a Wiccan? Did you say that out loud and are you aware of how stupid that sounds? I hate when people try to overly be outside of the box. It is so obvious that she is trying to get attention by naming her children these ridiculous names... Destiny, Mystery and Cross. It is so annoying and I have decided to change her children’s names to Kathryn, Ava and Pierre. Her house? Don’t even get me started… Too late. It is a burgundy brothel house of horrors. She is trying to make her husband into a macho, Chrome Hearts jewelry wearing, tattooed, sex fiend but is actually just a nice Jewish boy. She’s also too muscular, it’s not ladylike. However, I do think she’s a good mother when she’s not trying to make out with the children’s nanny.

See? I told you I’ve watched every one of them. I also watched Housewives of Miami and DC but they don’t count. Do you want to hear the worst of this? Since I live in Paris and I have no access to American TV, I actually buy these episodes of the Housewives on iTunes. It is my guilty pleasure. Whenever I speak to Yolanda, I always beg her to please, just please slap someone. I won’t say anything about Taylor (Housewives of Beverly Hills) or Kim Richards (Housewives of Beverly Hills) because it is not my style to prey on the weak. Oops, I just did. As you know, I am not a fan of “victims.”

Looking forward, I do have a favorite new reality show. It’s called, Chrisley Knows Best. Is it about a wealthy family in Atlanta whose household is run by my parenting doppelgänger, patriarch Todd Chrisley. He is hysterical and a true father, husband and family man. I love how he puts GPS on his children and how he throws their cell phones into the lake and calls them morons and doesn’t trust them as far as he can throw them but loves them with every inch of his heart. And, I love love love their house. I love all the fabrics, wallpaper, bedding and closets. I can’t tell if he is gay. It’s like he is, but isn’t.
Okay, I’ll shut up now. Sorry about the weird disjointed blog today… I might be off my meds or on them… I can’t tell the difference anymore.


  1. Hello Ellie, I have been glued to your blog all week. I have just discovered you! You have exquisite taste and a wicked (in the good sense and bad) sense of humour. I particularly love the swearing, being British. Talking of being British I had to google Carlton and Shannon as we are months sometimes years behind. I am with you all the way regarding reality tv. We now have our own version of The Real Housewives called 'ladies of London' which is proving to be entertaining. See if you can watch it. Your character analysis of the housewives is spot on. Your friend Yolanda seems extremely decent and Teresa is horrendous etc etc (I am rushing because I am cooking supper, sorry!) I can only watch Atlanta now the wig wearing blond cowboy is no longer in it! It is my guilty secret as none of my friends watch the shows (they don't know what they are missing, intellectual snobs that they are) I have a degree in art history and English literature and worked as a film and music video producer at emi so I have a modicum of intelligence. Much love and admiration, Annabel. By the way I am stalking you on Instagram. I am follower annabelmog x

  2. Sometimes I think I need meds.. Or not .. Just depending on how much idiocy I can take from airline ticket many are like"Stepford " children.
    No one can replace you - no one- but you know that everything you say, write, and continue to create is being done for Gracie. Your legacy is more than most get. See, how important this blog has become? The book? Your honesty and integrity is what she has to guide her- more than most especially when it comes to the daughter of someone like Sarah Palin? So, Gracie is way ahead of the game! So, plan a wedding now,.. Show what you think about dresses.. Believe me, I think you will still be around- like Hawking... So, continue to inspire and show Gracie and the rest of us what we need to know- !!!!

  3. Oh, Ellie, I knew you were a woman after my own heart. My RHW addiction is both embarrassing and frustrating. I really was about to gag watching the OC sluts (exceptions: Heather and Shannon) this past season, and with the convicted felons on RHWNJ, my horror only increased (although, the sick part of me kind of wants to witness Teresa 'going to college'). I'd really like to know your thoughts on Kyle ('Splits') Richards and the addition of Lisa 'Lips' Rinna to the cast.
    It's a comfort to know that another educated, well-spoken, tasteful woman enjoys watching these (mostly) trainwrecks as much as I do. Thank you for the entertaining post!
    p.s.: Please ask Yolando to slap the shit out of Kyle for me.

  4. First you have produced the best collection on Halloween ever- You are a genius accept it please.
    As to your comment about your fears regarding your daughter, your are correct no one will ever love her as you. No one can replace you but she has been blessed with a fabulous, cool mom that has given her the core values to be a great person. She will have a reservoir of strength and love to tap when needed. You have done that for her . She is ready to fly.
    As to your other fears they are totally legitimate also . However , one of the worts things that could ever happen to you has happened already and you deal with better that anyone in the world ( including Stephen Hawking because he does not seem to be as funny as you) . Granted his grasp of theoretical physics may exceed yours but he has never shown the exquisite taste and decorum associated with your blog.
    So carry on

  5. Dearest Ellie,
    Oh how I love reading your blog posts! Since I've discovered your virtual world through Heather's site, I've been reading and re-reading many of your posts. Not only do I enjoy your writing, but I'm learning so much from you. I'd just like to say thank you for sharing your knowledge, your sources, your wisdom, your impeccable taste!
    Like many of your admirers, I believe you're brave. You admit how scared and worried you are, but you don't give up, you keep on fighting. That is bravery.
    Your admirer,

  6. You are spot on with the majority of the women. Manzo is a little too self righteous for me. I think Yo should intro you to Radzi.

  7. This is one of my favorite quotes (sorry, I forgot the author) and after reading your blog entry today, I thought it was really fitting..

    Courage doesn’t always roar.
    Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the
    end of the day saying,
    “I will try again tomorrow.”

  8. WE all have FEARS.......and its A-OKAY.YOu get your BUTT to the hospital right now and have that redness checked out!
    I remember some of the HALLOWEEN masks..............from my youth.
    As far as the HOUSEWIVES........I have NEVER watched one!GOOD for YOU for having an addiction and telling each and everyone off.Sounds like great fun and I love that your READERS can toss in pointers too!
    GRACIE, will be fine.............I PROMISE.She has your blood........and spunk I do believe from the bits you have shared with us.

  9. I think that I wore that "Fortune Teller" mask one year.

    Ellie, I love the comments here as much as your posts and the quotes on bravery some up my feelings with far more elegance than I can muster.
    Gros Bisous.

  10. I'm equally obsessed!! Favorite scene of all time? The Brass Monkey showdown between Bethenny and Kelly. Have you heard the news? Bethenny's back for Season 7 and Aviva got the boot. Looking forward to RHOBH - they say it's their "most intense" season yet. Carlton's out (ding dong the witch is dead?) Ditto Annabel - Love The Ladies of London!

    Ellie, IF you could be on any of the Housewives, which would you choose and what would your TAGLINE be? (Andy Cohen talking)

    Lastly, I think your courage comes from your ability to be vulnerable. You're not afraid to express your real thoughts and feelings and that is a strength not a weakness. My deepest fear is that my only son with various mental disorders, who still lives at home, will not be able to take care of himself when my husband and I are gone. That’s all I can offer...that you take some comfort in knowing your daughter has the ability to take care of herself. XO

  11. Ellie, I don't usually watch the Housewives at my house but when I go to my mom's, she always has it on and I watch with her sometimes. From the sound of it, I need to catch up! You wouldn't be normal if you weren't scared - it sounds like you have a lot to be scared about - I'd be a wreck. But you hang in there, that's the most important thing and you're positive. That's a wonderful lesson for Gracie, to see her mom making the best of a less than desirable situation.

  12. Dear Ellie, this blog, and all of us will be part of your legacy. Gracie can read about so many facets of her mom and what an amazing person she was. Her children will be able to read and be fascinated by their grandmother. In a way, we are all dying, we should all be building our legacies and we all do in different ways but this blog that you have created it is a testimonial not only to your life but to who you are, it is your essence.

  13. I also meant to say that I LOVE HALLOWEEN and I have enjoyed the "Halloween blog series" so so much! I do not watch reality tv and have never watched The Housewives, for the first time I am intrigued :)))). See what you do? Turn people on to reality tv :))))

  14. Well, I can't comment on the Housewives part, not that familiar. However, do love BBC, Jon Stewart and Bill Maher. Your Halloween posts are great, I actually had that very gypsy mask with the rest of the gaudy costume, way back when!
    So glad to discover your blog this week via Heather from Lost in Arles. Your quick wit and ability to express thoughts so succinctly are so appreciated. Blogs can often become predictable, but not a chance with yours. Your daughter is fortunate to have such a wonderful and intelligent mother!

  15. After you describe the horror and pain you live with daily, it is one of life's miracles, and your own amazing gift, that you find the energy to blog and share. That you still have humor. That you hold on to your sense of beauty and taste. You must be one helluva strong woman. And what gifts to give your daughter! No one can replace you, but it sounds as if she'll have the compass she needs to find the right people in her path. Kathy in Kirkland, WA

  16. You have stopped me cold this morning when you ask, "Who will be me?" I had this same question when my daughter was only one month old. Having a child brings us face to face with our own mortality but I put it aside, mostly, for the past 32 years. I felt safe knowing that my best friend would handle the details of my daughter', life dramas, babies... even better than I would have. Yes, I get that your illness brings makes mortality a daily threat but I also guess that because of who you are your closest and dearest friends will help Gracie with all of it...still, your question has touched me to the core.

    p.s.I say you get to watch any damn show you want...whatever gets you through the night or day. Hell, look at me, I have no excuse and secretly watch the Kardashians! I started a few months ago and find it hypnotic.
    p.p.s. You are brave, you've just been brave for so long that you've forgotten how truly brave you are, the fact that you continue being part of the life around you shows me that...I would stay in bed all the time and just watch more trash!

  17. Dearest Elle, You deserve all the acolades sent your way. I don't think I can add anymore.

    I was recently introduced to you through Nabitually Chic, and have wanted to say something about your caregivers that you hate, except the cute one. My mother was a proper lady. She knew how to cook, polish silver, set the table, and hold a conversation. All the things her mother taught her. When she was in her late 80's and early 90's I had a difficult time hiring care givers for her. She would always think they were good in the beginning, and then she would see that they didn't wash their feet properly, or know how to cook a meal without using tons of condiments. I finally sat her down one day and told her, "Mother, I know the perfect kind of caregiver you need". She got all excited. I said, "You need a debutante. (Pause) The problem is they do not do this kind of work. The women that do this kind of work were not raised like you." ( My mother called it good breeding). She was quite disappointed. I hope you can laugh about this.

    I know angels are looking after you.


  18. Dear Ellie, "you" truly have given me strength & laughter, I mean this, each day, to live in the present, with gratitude often taken for granted, in touching others, kindness, frankness, authenticity, and yes Gracie is in your blood, you shall live forever. I so feel your concerns & despondancy, gosh I feel it with you. I feel you have built a solid foundation within Gracie as I know she is & will be prepared to fly and navigate this world. You are a funny, brillaint soul, and I enjoy visiting so much! Ever need an assistant I am here, I know the difference between a wash rag and a bathroom mat! ha ha ha….can cook, yes even good Texas food. I was born in Texas, LOL

  19. This is an exceptional post. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    First I am so glad to find others that enjoy the Housewives...Ladys of London...My husband has been rolling his eyes when he sees me watching these series and I have admitted to nobody about being a fan...until today, on your blog. Today, I can say, "We are all in good company."

    I am ready for Halloween...except for the fact that the neighbor's dog (Bernie the black Lab) stole two of my new smaller pumpkins. My neighbor telephoned to apologize. I'll replace the pumpkins tomorrow and place them where Bernie does not have access.

    Regarding illness, I would be scared too. Who would not be scared? What's not to be scared about? Are you kidding me?

    I also agree with others and their comments that state that Gracie is her mother's daughter and you have raised a beautiful, confident, well rounded daughter. Your confidence in her will guide her for a lifetime.

    My mother passed away rather young and to this day I recall her telling me to: walk tall, stand straight, dress with style, demonstrate good taste, shoot for the stars, aim high, always show good manners, have confidence in yourself, if someone says something hurtful, always "consider the source." I can absolutely hear her voice when I write these words. Believe me, Gracie will do the same.

  20. The housewives thing is just too darn brilliant - howling here in SB ! And so right on with each character . Haley and I watch all the time ! I could try to be you - impossible , but at least Gracie would approve of her surroundings . Love you Ellie , Adrienne

  21. You are right. No one will be you. But you have built the foundation and Gracie will carry you around inside of her forever. I know. My sister, my best friend, died when her daughter was 13. Now my niece is a beautiful, intelligent, educated, and loving 26 year old. I see her mother in her everyday. Strength and courage to you. The cure is just around the corner. Thank you for making me laugh and cry. Mostly laugh out loud --guffaws. I was so hoping to run into you in September in Paris but you were in Annecy. One day we'll meet, probably in the Palais Royal because I always pay homage to Colette! I love your blog! Thank you and bon courage!

  22. Your courage comes not from having to deal with your reality, but from the honest and frank sharing of your experience. That sharing enriches all of us and we thank you.

  23. I think I see myself in the 4th photo down, brings back lots of memories!

    I can relate to your panic about not being able to breath...I was scrolling through Habitually Chic (which is the way I found you) and panicked! The post was "In Memoriam" and in the tiny little photo, there was someone in a wheel chair...I held my breath!...thank God a WW2 vet, not you!
    You don't know what this did to me....I really get it, the fact that you struggle with surviving every day, and you could be gone tomorrow. Everyday time your blog comes across my screen, I'm thrilled to have another day with Ellie! Keep breathing and being the little bad ass you are!

    something you don't know about mother's name was Eleanor and my daughter's name is Eleanor....great name!!.... AND daughter gets a huge.. huge pass on her bad taste in television, because...damn it!! you watch those horrible housewife things!! xoxo Candy

  24. My favourite thing is to cook or iron in front of the Real Housewives. I am so jealous you know Yolanda. I often pause the tv to see her home in the back ground x

  25. I love Carol from the NY Housewives too. I read her book years ago - before she became a "housewife" and it is one of my favorite books. I like the Countess's style and I loved her townhouse and her home in the hamptons. She was a little cool but she has mellowed lately. I live in Long Island and the recently had an estate sale for her Hamptons house and I so wanted to go but I have 4 kids and I knew if I bought something I would be just yelling at them to stay off the Countess's furniture. I don't like the NJ housewives really because they look like they live in houses made for giants plus I grew up there.. Watch Southern Charm if you get the chance I like that show as well. Especially Whitney and his mom - they are so interesting. I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Take Care Corinne