To keep real marble floors in the best shape, you need to sweep or vacuum the floor often — even daily, if there is a lot of traffic. Daily dirt and grime left on the flooring gets ground in and can scratch it. A quick once-over every day will prevent a lot of problems.
For a more thorough cleaning, there are a lot of very good commercial products. With time, marble may fade. To bring the shine back to marble, you will need to buy specialty cleaners and follow the directions to the letter. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Laura Wilson of Dadeville, Ala., sent a photo of her cat. In a recent column, I asked readers to send photos of their pets where a shape or other animal showed in their fur. Laura says her calico cat, Callie, features the silhouette of Mickey Mouse on her side. To see it, please visit my Web site, www.Heloise.com, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise
LABELING HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Dear Heloise: Many years ago, my mother and I started dating household items on the bottom and labeling where they came from. It’s nice to be reminded how old it is, what vacation spot it came from or what relative passed it on.
However, not everything is labeled, and it leaves one to wonder about its origin. Some of the old quilts are labeled as to which relative made them. My mother went one step further, drawing pictures of heirlooms and stating where they came from. -- Judy in San Antonio
Dear Heloise: I mark any food with a date before putting it in the freezer. When it is time to defrost my upright freezer, I remove all the frozen food and place it on the floor, piled tightly together to keep the cold in the packages. I take a floor-type fan and place it in front of the freezer and turn it on so that the warm air from the room will circulate into the freezer.
After cleaning out the freezer and putting the food back in, it is easy to see which things are older than the others, and those items can be placed back accordingly. -- Kathie in Erie, Pa.
Dear Heloise: My husband and I use envelopes from incoming mail for writing lists, notes or messages. We use an envelope opener to slit the edge, which leaves a flat writing surface on the back of the envelope. We keep a stack of them handy next to the computer and the telephone. When we’ve completed a list or task, we recycle the envelope with the newspapers. -- Jim and Pat, via e-mail
Heloise’s column appears six days a week at www.washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
, King Features Syndicate