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A touch of Japan in Harmony


Fri, Nov 9th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

Cindy and Doug Ofstedal, owners of Asahi Loft in Harmony, Minn. Photo by Barb Jeffers

Peace, tranquility, and relaxation. These are just three of the many words used to describe Asahi Loft by guests. Asahi Loft of Harmony, Minn. was opened in June of 2011 by Innkeepers Cindy and Doug Ofstedal. Once a guest arrives at Asahi Loft they are greeted by a place unlike any other in the area.

Cindy and Doug were both school teachers in Harmony from 1976 to 1986 with Cindy teaching Home Economics and Doug teaching sixth grade as well as being an assistant football coach. The couple then moved their family to Tokyo, Japan to teach in a far different culture.

The Ofstedal’s taught in Tokyo for 25 years, and through their travels in Japan collected a wide array of Japanese items. While in Japan the Ofstedals never forgot Harmony and the surrounding area. Cindy even wrote a column from Japan for the Harmony newspaper at the time, The Harmony News, called “Jottings from Japan.”

After returning to Harmony and building a home which was completed in 1999, Cindy stated that the area in the nearby building was just “empty space.” The couple thought about using the space as a rental property or a Bed and Breakfast but decided upon something different than what was already in the area.

With the atmosphere evoking a sense of the Japanese lifestyle from the shoji doors and screens to the hand carved ranma (transoms) the space of the Asahi Loft can surely give a guest a sense of Japanese living. While enjoying the ambiance of the Asahi Loft a guest will also have the conveniences of an air bath hot tub and a kitchen including coffee and a variety of teas to enjoy with the beautiful Japanese dishes on hand. Cindy makes the stay for the guests even more special by delivering fresh eggs and homemade bread as well as other details that visitors rave about.

A recent guest, Barb Gecas, who owns Heston’s Lodge on the Gunflint Trail (www.hestons.com), came to the Asahi Loft to work on a large project for her business. Barb stated, “The quiet and solitude I have found here has been inspiring. “I’ve been able to work hard, relax easily, and to enjoy some unique offerings in Harmony,” she said. Barb added that she will “definitely be back.” Cindy Ofstedal notes that people from near and far spend time at Asahi Loft including parents of Luther College students, couples on a Honeymoon or an Anniversary celebration, to a single person just looking to get away.

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Diane Marie Torgerson

Wed, Nov 7th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Obituaries

Diane Marie (Kiehne) Torgerson, 63, of Harmony, MN, died unexpectedly on November 5, 2012. She suffered an apparent heart-attack Monday morning at her beloved church in Greenleafton, MN. Having Pastor Roger by her side at the time of her death, in th ..... 
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Ada Austin

Tue, Nov 6th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Obituaries

Ada Austin of Harmony, was born in Cresco, IA on December 7, 1938 and passed 4 November, 2012. Survived by the love of her life, her husband James, sons Scott Austin, (Donna), Mike Austin, (Denise), daughters, Tori Kenney (Brian) and Konya Bloomquis ..... 
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Habitat Wall Raising celebration in Harmony on November 17

Fri, Nov 2nd, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

Harmony, Minn. – Habitat for Humanity Winona – Fillmore Counties will be having a wall raising celebration at its Harmony house on Saturday, November 17. Habitat broke ground on the house last spring, and they are now celebrating the new family ..... 
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Harmony Arts Board to sponsor Joni Finnegan art show

Fri, Oct 26th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Arts & Culture

The Harmony Arts Board is hosting an Art Show featuring the paintings of award-winning local artist JONI FINNEGAN on Saturday, November 3 1-4 pm at the Quarter/QUARTER Restaurant in Harmony. The Art Show promises to be a delightful event. Chef Steph ..... 
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E. Douglas Richards

Thu, Oct 25th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Obituaries

E. Douglas Richards, 83, of Harmony, MN died peacefully on Monday October 22, 2012 at the Heritage Grove in Harmony, MN. He was receiving care from Mayo Hospice. Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 11 a.m. the Harmony Metho ..... 
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Taitem Michael Millard

Fri, Oct 19th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Social Scenes

Gabrielle and Trinity Millard of Brookings, South Dakota are proud to announce the birth of their son, Taitem Michael. Taitem was born July 6, 2012. He weighed 7 lb. 10 oz. and was 20 1/4 inches long. Grandparents are Michael Mueller of Harmon ..... 
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Letter about Voter ID

Fri, Oct 19th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, Each election we hope that everyone eligible to vote does so. Current Minnesota law encourages this by allowing voting by mail or absentee ballot. In recent elections more than 250,000 voters – nursing home residents, the disabled, ..... 
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Letter about the Voter ID Amendment

Fri, Oct 19th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, After the Civil War Democrats in southern states enacted poll taxes to restrict the voting rights of those (the newly freed slaves) who would be most likely to vote against them. Now in Minnesota it appears the same tactic (restricti ..... 
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