SUBMITTED Business partners help the Couchiching Conservancy to protect nature by contributing time, money and products to benefit conservation efforts of land, wildlife species and water.

The business of nature

Everywhere you look, there are sparkly lights, holiday events and Christmas shoppers. I think Orillia must be one of the most generous communities around – one reason I love living here.

David Hawke/Special to the Packet & Times As someone once said, “so many books, so little time.” The collection of reading material that is stacked on a beside table or shelf will reveal much about a person's character. The author admits sometimes there is a backlog of information to be digested.

Who has time for a tome?

If you want to know a person – to really, really know what that person is all about – take a look at the reading material on his or her bedside table.

KATE GRIGG/SPECIAL TO THE PACKET & TIMES Patsy Robbins has turned the greyness of grief into a garden of colour.

Remembering Patsy Robbins

Editor’s note: The July 24, 2015, edition of the Packet & Times featured a column about Patsy Robbins, written by Kate Grigg. Robbins died Tuesday in her 74th year. In memory of Robbins, we are reprinting the column, with the addition of these words from the author.

Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital.

Hospital celebrates

Recognizing the value and importance of strong community partnerships, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) held an appreciation breakfast Tuesday for local partner organizations that have helped enhance the flow of patients through the health-care system.

Submitted Amy Dodington, a soprano who grew up in Muskoka and honed her chorale craft as a young girl with The Cellar Singers, returns to sing with the choir in Messiah.

Messiah returns to Orillia

It's tradition for The Cellar Singers to present Handel's Messiah in Orillia every second year. This year, the holiday classic comes to the stage at St. Paul's Centre on Dec. 11 at 3 p.m.

The Orillia Museum of Art and History. ROBERTA BELL - THE PACKET & TIMES

Music of Alex coming to OMAH

Don Evans and the band Alex are bringing A Child's Christmas in Wales and some great music back to the Orillia Museum of Art and History, building a welcome Christmas tradition, this year for the benefit of The Couchiching Conservancy and OMAH.

The season for giving

Now that December has arrived, we often turn our thoughts to family, friends and the month-long celebration of togetherness that is December.

1. Niagara Falls: The Journey Behind the Falls at Niagara Falls is a great place for Instagram photos. Be sure to bring a waterproof camera! PHOTO COURTESY ONTARIO TRAVEL

Top 10 Canadian places featured on Instagram

Instagram recently revealed its list of the top places in Canada featured in Instagram photos this year. Given the size of the population (and some of the events going on this year), it’s not surprising that southern Ontario holds down seven of the top spots. You’ll also find British Columbia and Montreal. Here’s the list.

Manitoba government workers are sicker than their counterparts in other provinces, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Flu docs question every-year vaccination

Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough and get your annual flu shot, right?Just as the seasonal push for the flu vaccine is in full swing, mounting research is raising questions about that advice for healthy Canadians.One leading Canadian researcher is calling for a “critical review” of Canada’s influenza vaccine programs

(imtmphoto/Getty Images)

Job seeker is rebuffed for negotiating

Dear Amy: I am a 34-year-old man working in risk management, seeking a mid- to senior-level position in my profession. Recently, I had a wonderful panel interview with a billion-dollar health care company. It could not have gone better. I was thrilled to receive a voicemail a day after the interview requesting a call back.

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