With our many sparkling and pristine streams, Enota is blessed with a fantastic supply of fresh spring and uncontaminated water. So what are the benefits of spring water? And how, in a world now full of fancy bottled water, can you tell which water is the best? In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of fresh spring or mountain water and how certain popular brands of water compare.

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Chemicals

As expected, spring and mountain water is not laced with chemicals or deliberately processed. For instance, most tap water is processed with chlorine in an effort to clean contaminated water (this is especially the case in more urban areas). There have even been traces of arsenic, benzene—a highly flammable and colorless chemical—and even prescription drugs. While these levels are very low and often have no immediate effect on the body, studies show that long-term exposure can nominally contribute to the development of cancerous cells in the body. Spring water, on the other hand, is not processed, but you should still be careful to research just where your “spring” water is coming from.

 

Though spring water does not contain the more dangerous or unwanted chemicals that tap water possesses, natural spring water does contain some chemicals. However, these are normally limited to health-restoring minerals like lithium, calcium, and magnesium. And, though spring water can often contain sulfur, you shouldn’t worry; sulfur is purported to have a therapeutic effect on skin diseases and infections. Besides that, the added boost in calcium you can find in spring water can help reduce risks for hypertension, kidney stones, and colon cancer.

 

Still wondering if spring water is all that great? Well, besides the obvious benefits of keeping away from dangerous chemicals and introducing restorative minerals into your system, spring water can also serve as a detox to help flush out toxins. This is especially helpful if you’re just getting over an illness, or simply want to begin introducing yourself to a healthier diet. Not only will you begin to feel better, but you’ll find yourself revitalized and energized by making a switch to spring water—especially if you’re looking for an end to a love-affair with sugary drinks.

 

Bottled Water

 

 

Did you know that a healthy (or not so healthy) percentage of bottled water is produced from municipal water sources—tap water? So how do you tell your favorite bottled water brands apart? Simply look at the wording on the bottle. Each brand will proclaim and pronounce its water as the best, touting wonderfully confusing descriptions such as “purified,” “spring,” “artesian,” or “mineral.” To make it a little easier to understand exactly where that bottled water is coming from, we’re taking a look into what those lovely descriptive words truly mean.

 

Spring Water

This generally means that the water you just bought came from an underground water source, from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must only be collected at the stream—or by way of tapping the underground water which feeds the spring. In the end, it has to have all the same properties—before any treatments—and be of the same quality as the water that would naturally flow from the spring. In other words, if your bottle says “spring water” on it, that means it should be the same as if you went to the spring and bottled it yourself. Of course, many companies often treat the spring water after collection, to remove any particles or debris that might be found in the water.

 

Purified Water

This is the water most likely to have come from the tap. However, that does not necessarily mean you should scorn it. After all, in order to be labeled as “purified,” the water indeed has to go through a purification process. This could mean the water was produced by distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis. In other words, “purified” water is perfectly safe and healthy to drink, but often times lacks the natural minerals present in spring or mineral waters which help the most to keep you healthy. For those who pay attention to the subtle tastes of water, purified water can sometimes seem bland. Because of this, many companies add a mineral or two for taste.

 

Mineral Water

Mineral bottled water is defined as water not containing less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids. This basically translates out to a water packed with minerals. Don’t fear the bottling company has meddled with your water, however, as no minerals can be added to this type of product.

 

Sparkling Bottled Water

“Sparkling” water is far simpler than it might seem. “Sparkling” simply means that the bottled water—after treatment, of course—contains approximately the same amount of carbon dioxide it had when it first emerged from the source. This type of bottled water might also be referred to as “sparkling mineral water,” or “sparkling spring water.”

 

Well Water

This one is rather uncomplicated in terms of collection and fact. Well water simply comes from a hole—bored, drilled, or otherwise constructed—in the ground, which taps into the water aquifer—an underground layer of rock or sand that holds water.

 

Artesian Water

Artesian water is a type of well water taken from water standing a bit above the top of the aquifer.

 

So which brand is the best to drink? It’s hard to say, as each brand offers a different taste, mineral content, or purity than another. All in all, it’s best to try different types and brands to discover which is more suited to you.

 

Of course, nothing beats being able to draw directly from the source. Bottled water can be expensive (as opposed to the cost of tap water), and the plastic containers used also pose a problem in a world that can barely support all of its inhabitants. For the most part, the best water is what’s most natural, but in the scheme of things, any water is good. Water is a healthy alternative to the sugary juices, soft drinks, or caffeinated concoctions we as a population imbibe daily. Truthfully, water is the best most natural drink for you and the benefits it provides the body are astounding. By simply replacing artificial drinks with water and natural juices, you can lose a little weight, gain a little energy, and feel a lot healthier than if you rely on drinks full of sugar or caffeine. So take the time to stop and look. Try different types and brands of water to find one that you find the most thirst-quenching, and make it a permanent part of your life.

 

 

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

To Our Enota Readers

August 1, 2012


One of the many vegetables growing in our organic garden this year is the jalapeño pepper. The jalapeno is a vegetable—or, more properly, a fruit—that can be grown either in a simple garden or in the home. Besides this, jalapenos can be used for a variety of recipes and mixtures.

HISTORY

Like all capsicum peppers, the jalepeno comes naturally from the Americas. The jalapeno in particular originates from Mexico, and is named after Xalapa, Veracruz. A mature fruit normally ranges in size from 2-3 ½ inches and is normally picked while still green. The juice of the jalapeno has long been used as a remedy for cardiovascular problems or even allergies. Incidentally, the chipotle is a just ripe jalapeno that has been smoked.

NUTRITION

Jalapenos have a good source of Iron, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Magnesium. Also, if you’re looking for a good source of Vitamin C, jalapenos can help. 1 cup of sliced jalapenos contain as much as 66% the Daily Value of Vitamin C, along with 14% the Daily Value of Vitamin A.

Jalapenos are also thought to have a beneficial effect in Alzheimer’s disease—mainly by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.

Most people automatically assume that jalapenos are very hot. In all actuality, the seeds are the hottest part of the pepper. And if you’re eating the pepper raw rather than pickled, you’ll find a little less heat. If you’re looking for a challenge, the jalapeno is definitely not one of the top peppers. The habenero is better for intense heat or—if looking for a touch of true fire—the ghost pepper can feed the flames.

CAPSAICIN

So what gives jalapenos their heat? Well, the capsaicin flavonoid gives many peppers their characteristic heat, and this is especially true if peppers have been pickled or cooked. Also, if you’re looking to add a little bit of fresh jalapeno to your stir-fry or other dishes, be careful in cooking these peppers on the skillet or grill: the compounds released can be a big irritant to the eyes and lungs if not careful. Food chemists believe this is because the capsaicin evaporates and expands.

SAFETY

If you’re eating jalapenos and feel the heat is a little too much, eating cold yogurt can help cool you down. Don’t try to drink a lot of water; this only causes the capsaicin to spread around. The yogurt (ice cream can also help) dilutes the capsaicin and helps to keep it from touching the lining of your stomach, which helps in soothing any burning pain.

DON’T get any portion of the pepper near your eye. If dealing with the peppers, wash your hands before getting your hands near your eyes or nose. If this does happen, rinse your eyes out thoroughly with cold water to reduce irritation.

Of course, eating a large amount of spicy foods over a long period of time can cause ulcers. If you are experiencing any pain after eating spicy foods, give your doctor a call and put the spicy adventures on hold until you know the cause.

RECIPES

Jalapeno Relish

1 lb. Onions

½ lb. bell peppers

1 tsp salt, optional

½ cup of white vinegar

½ lb. jalapeno peppers

1 large can tomatoes, 16 oz.

1 tsp. garlic powder

Cut stems and remove seeds from jalapeno peppers. Chop fine, wear gloves when handling jalapenos. Chop all vegetables, including tomatoes, and place in pot with other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and sauce is slightly thickened.

To get sauce a little hotter, leave in all jalapeno pepper seeds

Bottle and refrigerate, or may be put in jars and canned. Makes about 3 pints.

JALAPENO POPPERS

Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 (8 ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon bacon bits

12 ounces jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved

1 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2 quarts of oil for frying

In medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.

Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.

Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated

In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F. Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on paper towel.

Recipe obtained at allrecipes.com

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

To Our Readers,

July 22, 2012


Today will be a continuation of our discussion on lung health.

While most people think about outdoor pollution as the most common and dangerous type of pollution, this sometimes is not the case. Indoor pollutants tend to irritate us more so than outdoor pollutants, if only because we spend so much time indoors!

So what constitutes as an indoor pollutant? There are many types and triggers, with the most obvious being tobacco smoke or dust. But also aerosol products, household cleaners, and even houseplants can be sources of pollution. Cut down on these pollutants by keeping your house free of dust and mold, and by keeping smoke outside. If you need to use any chemicals while cleaning, make sure you do so in an open or well-ventilated room.

As for your houseplants, you don’t have to get rid of them. But, because plant soil is usually damp, it can allow for the spread of mold. So just be sure to keep your plants well potted and check for creeping irritants. Still, definitely don’t get rid of your green friends. They can actually help in the improvement of air quality in your home—as long as you take care of them properly.

HELPFUL PLANTS

Of course all plants help to filter the air, simply by existing. Plants take carbon dioxide and release oxygen. However, some plants can help to eliminate significant amounts of benzene and formaldehyde, as well as some other respiratory irritants.

NASA—as part of the NASA Clean Air Study—recommends that you use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in an 1,800-square-foot home in order to help improve air quality in your home. The following is a list of beneficial plants to keep an eye out for when looking to bring in new greenery. Of course, always research each plant well to make sure it is a right fit for you and your family (including pets!).

Dwarf date palm

Boston fern

Peace Lily (toxic to cats)

Chinese evergreen (toxic to cats)

Bamboo palm or reed palm

Broadleaf Lady palm

Spider Plant

Snake Plant (toxic to cats and dogs)

Red-edged dracaena (toxic to cats and dogs)

Warneck dracaena (toxic to cats)

Gerbera Daisy

Pot Mum (poisonous if eaten or chewed by dogs, cats, and horses)

MOLD

Now, a big irritant—besides smoke—to anyone with asthma or other related lung difficulties is mold. While most people take mold as the first sign of a derelict or dirty house, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, there are two common types of mold: mold growing from an overabundance of moisture, or mold growing due to natural substances such as pet dander or pollen. Keeping an eye out for any mold and eliminating it as soon as it’s noticed, however, is the best route to go with keeping your air quality in check. If you react badly to mold exposure but don’t have anyone else to help, you can protect yourself with a medical mask and covering up your skin and hair as much as possible while cleaning. If you begin to notice a reoccurrence of mold in a certain spot, be sure to investigate the possible cause.

Moisture can build up from anything—water leaking into the home, plumbing leaks, condensation from faulty ventilation, or even from ground moisture. And, because mold can propagate rather quickly and release allergens into the air, you need to eliminate these underlying problems if at all possible. Keeping the humidity in your home below 50% can help further prevention of mold growth. While this is difficult in certain regions, dehumidifiers can certainly help.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

To Our Readers,

July 20, 2012


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Here at Enota Mountain Retreat, we enjoy an abundance of clean, fresh mountain air. This is never more noticeable than when our guests arrive from large, bustling cities such as Atlanta, where the air quality can sometimes be less than perfect. Unfortunately, escaping to pristine atmospheres can sometimes be a challenge. So today’s topic is all about lung health and how you can better prevent—or keep in check—lung-related illnesses.  The first portion of this topic is related to Ozone Pollution.

OZONE POLLUTION

Ozone pollution—or outdoor pollution—is the most commonly talked about form of air pollution. Though the ozone layer helps protect us from the sun’s harmful rays (as well as some other bad radiation), it is not the healthiest thing to breathe in. So, first of all, what is ozone? Basically, ozone is O3, an oxygen molecule with 3 oxygen atoms. Normally, you’d think that the more oxygen the better, but this isn’t exactly the case. Ozone serves as a powerful oxidant and can cause damage to mucus and respiratory tissues.

Thankfully, the ozone layer is far above the Earth’s surface, but it can gather near the ground when greenhouse gases collect—though don’t think ozone comes directly from your car! Ozone forms from a reaction of sunlight on air containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. Because of this reaction, ozone is very much a daytime problem, rather than a nighttime hazard.

Cities and other urban areas that are plagued by heavy traffic are especially hard hit by high ozone levels. And when there are high temperatures and little to no wind, the problem only gets worse. So if you live in an urban area and are plagued by lung ailments such as asthma, it’s best to take proper precautions on especially hot or humid days. Pay attention, too, to the EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) to keep tabs on local outdoor pollution problems.

EFFECTS

So what exactly can ozone do to the body? Well, ozone can irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing, throat irritation, or even an uncomfortable sensation in the chest area. Ozone can reduce lung function, which makes it difficult to breath deeply. Of course, because of this, ozone is considered an irritant for those suffering asthma or other related problems. Another concerning side effect of ozone is the inflammation and damage of the cells lining the lungs. This can also lead to difficulties in fighting off lung or respiratory infections, or could even cause permanent damage to the lungs in children and adults through repeated exposure.

WHAT TO DO

When ozone levels are high, it’s best to simply stay indoors as much as possible and limit any necessary activities to the early morning hours or even after sunset. If this can’t be avoided, please try not to exercise vigorously outdoors. Try to keep away from high traffic areas—if at all possible and avoid using gasoline-powered tools or lawn equipment. Of course, it’s not always easy to follow such rules and stricture—especially if a job or responsibility includes any of these types of activity. The best thing to do is simply use caution on high level days and keep away from any unnecessary exposure.

That’s it for today, though more information and advice will be coming soon. In the meantime, try to think about any potentially harmful areas or activities. Remember, keep safe! And if you can’t run to the mountains to escape the pollution, keep inside and think of a cool summer breeze.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com


Today we’re going to talk about another healthy veggie found in our Enota garden: Broccoli.

While broccoli might bring to mind a childhood full of mushy green stuff you just had to eat to leave the table, it is actually a very tasty and nutritious treat—especially if prepared well. This particular vegetable has many healthy attributes, and can be an especially wonderful add-on to any diet.

Nutrition Facts

I bet you didn’t know that broccoli can be used to help lower cholesterol. This can be especially true when the green veggie is steamed. Fiber-related components in broccoli help bind together acids in the stomach and digestive tract which in turns help to lower cholesterol levels. While raw broccoli has this wonderful trait, it becomes all the better when you steam your veggie.

Trying to balance out your vitamin D? Well, broccoli might just well be one of the best supplements for a vitamin D diet. Blessed with strong combination of vitamin A and vitamin K, broccoli helps to keep your vitamin D metabolism in balance, whether you’re taking vitamin D supplements or if you are just trying to keep things on track.

Another great thing about broccoli is its ability to help with detoxification of the body. So if you’re trying to put together a good detox diet, broccoli is a good vegetable to add, especially as broccoli targets and supports the activation, neutralization, and elimination processes of the body’s detoxification system.

Of course, Broccoli is high in vitamin C and dietary fiber, but it also contains various nutrients that contain anti-cancer properties. Most notably, it has been found that taking in large amounts of broccoli can help reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, as well as help in the prevention of heart disease.

The following is a table showing the nutrients and vitamins you can expect in 1 cup of raw broccoli:

Nutrient

% Daily Value

Vitamin C

135.2%

Vitamin K

115.5%

Folate

14.3%

Vitamin A

11.3%

Manganese

9.5%

Fiber

9.4%

Tryptophan

9.3%

Potassium

8.2%

Vitamin B6

8%

Vitamin B2

6.4%

Molybdenum

6%

Phosphorus

6%

Vitamin B5

5.2%

Protein

5.1%

Magnesium

4.7%

Calcium

4.2%

Choline

4%

Vitamin B1

4%

Iron

3.6%

Vitamin E

3.5%

Selenium

3.2%

Vitamin B3

2.8%

Calories (30)

1%

Information received from WHFoods

 

 

Types of Broccoli

Believe it or not, there is more than just one type of broccoli. In fact, broccoli has three commonly grown varieties. The Calabrese broccoli—the most common, and often just called “broccoli,” is named after a region in Italy, and is a cool season annual crop. Another variety is Sprouting broccoli, which has a larger number of heads and thinner stalks than its Calabrese cousin. The last major variety is Purple cauliflower and is sold in Italy, Spain, and the UK.

Preparing Broccoli

One of the best and healthiest ways to cook broccoli is by steaming it. But, things have to be just right to make sure you get the most out of your veggie. Make sure not to cook the broccoli overlong: if it’s mushy or limp, it’s lost a bit of its nutrients. Just keep in mind that a slightly firm stalk is a good sign of a well-cooked piece of broccoli. This can be accomplished by sticking to a low cooking temperature range, with a cooking time of—at most—five minutes.

By the way… did you know you can cook broccoli leaves? If you’re looking for some way to incorporate all of your broccoli crop, look at the leaves–they’re a cousin to collard greens! You can boil them or steam them for a healthy, leafy side dish, or even toss them into a salad!

Broccoli Recipe

Fresh Broccoli Salad  –  allrecipes.com

2 heads fresh broccoli

1 red onion

½ lb bacon

¾ cup raisins

¾ cup sliced almonds

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup white sugar

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  1. Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Cool and crumble.
  2. Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-size slices. Combine with the bacon, raisons, your favorite nuts, and mix well.

To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into salad, let chill and serve.

 

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com


Today, we’re going to talk about another wonderful mountain community situated near Enota Mountain Retreat: the John C. Campbell Folk School.

Located about an hour away from Enota, the John C. Campbell Folk School rests amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains in Brasstown, North Carolina. It concentrates on the preservation of the folk arts of the Appalachian Mountains, and serves as an education, non-profit organization, based on non-competitive learning for adults. The school offers weekend and week-long seminars and classes year-round and focuses on a variety of arts—both traditional and contemporary. Students can participate in classes ranging across a variety of subjects, including things such as: basketry, blacksmithing, pottery, jewelry, dolls, music, woodcarving, dyeing, quilting, etc.

The school campus includes a craft shop, lodging, a history museum, nature trails, campground, and cafeteria, and many of the resident students or volunteers can be found attending regular concerts and community dances.

History

The history of the John C. Campbell Folk school hails back to John C. Campbell, who was born in Indiana and raised in Wisconsin. In his younger years, he studied education and theology and quickly began to feel a calling towards humanitarian work. In 1908 and 1909, he traveled to Appalachia to undergo a fact-finding mission of social conditions in the mountains. During this period, Campbell’s wife, Olive, began to study mountain life. It was from this that the idea of preserving the crafts and techniques of Appalachia was born.

After John’s death, Olive traveled to Europe to study folk schools in Denmark, Sweden, and other countries. After this trip, she returned to the States with the purpose of creating just such a school in the heart of Appalachia. The John C. Campbell Folk School opened in 1925 and has been offering services to the local community—and guests—ever since.

You can visit the John C. Campbell Folk School for tours, weekends, or weekly classes, and learn an exciting new hobby that will stay with you for the rest of your life. The school’s unique setting and atmosphere make for a long-lasting and satisfying memory.

You can find more information at https://folkschool.org, and sign up for classes.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com


It’s been a while since our last post, but we would like to start things off again by talking about one of the very fine vegetables found in our organic garden: Kale

           

What is Kale?

Kale (also known as borecole) is a type of cabbage, and usually comes in green or purple. While kin to cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, the central leaves of the kale plant do not form that distinctive head we know so well.  Kale can be known to grow well into the winter.

Kale is rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium. According to research, kale possesses sulforaphane—a chemical that can help in the prevention of cancer (boiling the kale can decrease it, however).

History of Kale

During the Medieval period, kale was one of the most prolific of green vegetables in Europe, though the establishment of cabbage and other such greens into the European diet made it less prominent leading into the Renaissance period.

Types of Kale

Curly leaved (or Scots Kale)

Plain Leaved

Leaf and spear (a cross between curly and plain)

Cavolo nero (aka black cabbage, Tuscan Cabbage, Tuscan Kale, dinosaur Kale, or Lacinato)

Rape Kale

Kale Recipes

Vegetarian Kale Soup                        Vegetarian Kale Soup Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 cubes vegetable bouillon (such as Knorr)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 6 white potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans (drained if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot; cook the onion and garlic until soft. Stir in the kale and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the water, vegetable bouillon, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, Italian seasoning, and parsley. Simmer soup on medium heat for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Allrecipes.com

Kale chips            Kale Chips Recipe

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 pinch sea salt, to taste
  1. Preheat an oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Cut away inner ribs from each kale leaf and discard; tear the leaves into pieces of uniform size. (I made my pieces about the size of a small potato chip.) Wash torn kale pieces and spin dry in a salad spinner or dry with paper towels until they’re very dry.
  3. Put the kale pieces into a large resealable bag (or use a bowl if you don’t mind getting your hands oily). Add about half the olive oil; seal and squeeze the bag so the oil gets distributed evenly on the kale pieces. Add the remaining oil and squeeze the bag more, until all kale pieces are evenly coated with oil and slightly ‘massaged.’ Sprinkle the vinegar over the kale leaves, reseal the bag, and shake to spread the vinegar evenly over the leaves. Spread the leaves evenly onto a baking sheet.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven until mostly crisp, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and serve immediately.

Allrecipes.com

 

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

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