Ruth Ann Carpenter had always dreamed of owning her own gift shop and, when her position at work was eliminated after 37 years, she realized that everything happens for a reason and within two months she had followed her heart and opened Plum Creek Gifts.  Plum Creek is located on the northeast corner of 48th and Superior and features 14 rooms, each decorated with a different theme from down home country to primitive, antiques and Victorian.  There is also an Americana section, gifts for men, an area for children and a kitchen area with gourmet foods.

Tell us a little about your family.
My husband Harlan and I celebrated our 15th anniversary in May; we have a blended family with a combination of seven children: Laurie Epp (Omaha), Jeff Carpenter (Battle Lake, MN), Ken Carpenter (Minden), Mike Carpenter (Lincoln), Scott Wilson (Norfolk), Trevor Wilson (Salt Lake City, UT), and Nicole Stutzman (Lincoln), eight grandchildren, one foster soon-to-be grandson and a great grandson.  We live on an acreage west of Lincoln and enjoy the country life.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I enjoy spending time at home with my husband and also shopping with my daughter Nicole and granddaughter Madison, who is only six!  We have great times shopping and having lunch together.

What are you the most proud of?
My family is very important to me and I love being a “grandma”.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
This came from my mother when I was a little girl: “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

How would your friends describe you?
Caring, honest and with a very positive attitude. I always try to look at the positive and bright side of a situation.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to be able to speak fluently in front of a group of people without feeling nervous.  In my younger years I did a lot of public singing and it did not bother me at all but then I guess that was my gift.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I am far from perfect, but I am very content with the person that God created and that I have become.

What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
We just came back from a seven day cruise and were stuck at the Miami airport for eight hours.  I started and finished a book by Stuart Woods, Santa Fe Rules.  Also, during the Christmas season my daughter, two daughters in law and I are reading the Christmas Hope series by Donna VonLiere.  These books are heart warming and make you appreciate the simple things in life and especially during the holidays.

What is your favorite TV show?
Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-O, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, Law & Order.

What is your favorite Lincoln restaurant?
I love Mexican food, so I would say Mamasita’s in Bennet.  We live west of Lincoln and the restaurant is east of Lincoln, so we don’t get there as often as we would like.

If you could have dinner with one person from the past or present, who would it be?
My mom!  She passed away 27 years ago from esophagus cancer and couldn’t eat the last few months of her life.  It would be so fun to take her out and enjoy dinner again with her.

What is the best way to contact you?
Call me at (402) 435-6940, email me at visit our store at 4400 North 48th Street, Lincoln or go online to