Thursday, July 1, 2010

Too Old To Cut The Mustard

I have heard this expression all of my life, Ernest Tubb, Buck Owens and several others have sung “Too old, too old, he's too old. To cut the mustard anymore” I have been doing some research (very little actually) to find an origin and basically it just points to a person who can’t perform a task, job or whatever to their potential or a person who is too old to do anything properly anymore, some of the definitions and opinions go deeper but here is how I see it and how it fits into my life.

Mustard weed is a plant we have growing all over the place here, it’s tough especially as it gets taller and our pasture is loaded down with it, this stuff is so tough the horses wont even eat it, I see the goats on the hill back behind us looking down and laughing as I am mowing and I wonder if they would eat this stuff? I think of the song “Too old, too old, he's too old. To cut the mustard anymore” every time I am out mowing because the majority of what I am mowing is mustard, so in a sense I am cutting the mustard. Out around the mailbox and some spots in the yard yep there it is more mustard and here I am out pulling it up by the roots which look big enough to be carrots sometimes, in the dry ground it seems like they will not come up too easy so here I go I whoop out my pocketknife and cut the root in half so I can dispose of the plant, I have just cut the mustard again, Cindy’s Dad and I went out and cleaned along the fence and the round pen out back, we had our “Shovels, Rakes, and Implements of Destruction” working the mustard weed over we spent all morning that day cutting the mustard.
 This morning I mowed about half of our property and have just got out of the shower so that I am no longer covered with dust and pollen from the mustard flowers, I am about worn out for now and tomorrow is another day to which I just may jump on the other half and take on the task of cutting more mustard.

I just want you to know that I am not too old to cut the mustard and with the proper tools you can cut the mustard for a long time, so go on out and get your shovel or hoe for the small jobs, jump on that tractor or grab the mower for the bigger jobs, and if you just want to prove to that youngster that spouts off that you are too old to cut the mustard, whoop out that pocket knife and snip one in half just because you can, you are never too old to cut the mustard, just smile and remember with age comes wisdom and you are smart enough to use whatever tool you need to cut the mustard.


  1. That's pretty cool. I had never really considered the expression before.

  2. I think hubby needs new tools, he's getting too old to cut the mustard. Perhaps a riding mower will help. I'll have to put a bug in his ear!

  3. Oh see now I'm going to have to ask my neighbor how she cut the mustard seeds out. Her pasture was covered in it, she did something and now it's gone. Crazy thing is, I never seen it in my yard, just hers.

  4. Well Mr. Jimmy, that is quite interesting..
    Thank goodness I have a 16 old son to cut the whatever grows in my yard..

    Nice post!!

  5. You ROCK, Jimmy!

    I LOVE how you took this expression from symbolic, to literal, and then back to symbolic again.

    "you are never too old to cut the mustard, just smile and remember with age comes wisdom and you are smart enough to use whatever tool you need to cut the mustard."

    BRAVA, my friend!!!

  6. Thanks for naming the plant that grows everywhere here during the spring.
    Great post Jimmy! And we are NOT too old to cut the mustard. It just takes us a little longer...

  7. Thanks TS, There are a lot of old expressions out there, kind of fun to give them a look sometimes.

    Hey Ms A, Getting him a riding mower just may do the trick, anything to help cut the mustard in my opinion it what we all need :)

    Hey Melissa, I could send you some if you want, seriously if she found a way to stop it from growing I’d like to hear.

    Thank You Lynne, It’s nice to have a 16 year old who will jump in and help out in the yard, all of ours are grown and gone now.

    Hey Ron, Thank You Buddy I am proud you enjoyed it my Friend, you gotta have fun with these old expressions sometimes.

    Yes Sir Pat, “we are NOT too old to cut the mustard. It just takes us a little longer...” Amen to that one my Friend :^)

  8. And I will never be too old to cut the cheese, either!

  9. Hey Joe, I think that one goes with the territory too :^)

  10. Sounds like a weed we have here, the roots do resemble a carrot and pulling them up is always a workout.

    Glad to know your not to old, just yet!

  11. Fabulous post, Jimmy. You took this and ran with it. Keep cutting that mustard!

  12. LOL, you cut the mustard just fine. It's just the cheese you have to watch! (sorry, couldn't resist)

  13. Hey Heather, It very well could be exactly the same thing, when I get too old hopefully the Grandbaby will be willing to help Ha Ha

    Early Good Morning SuziCate, Yes I was humming that in my head and you know how it goes from there once you start thinking :^)

    Morning Kristy, You know how it goes, some things just sneak up on ya Ha Ha


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